West End Story
West End, Brisbane, is filled with stories. Inside The Reader bookshop, they whisper from shelves. Outside, they’re graffitied everywhere, told and retold by buskers and dancers, drunks and moochers, homeless and those who soon will be. Lee, a writer searching for her voice, is oblivious to it all. Then, one enchanted evening, West End’s lizard statue steps down from its pedestal under the giant leopard tree, and everything changes.
I once heard a world-famous author read from one of his young adult novels in a venue at Oxford, England. The section was very funny, but I’ve always remembered less about its content than I have about the – equally amusing – way the author giggled through the piece as he read. The audience chuckled at his words; it chortled at his delight. At the time, it seemed to me I was in the company of a creative completely at home in his skin. That for a moment – or a sustained series of moments – I was witnessing first hand his original sighting of his piece’s central idea as it fluttered into his periphery, seeing the way he had, using his writer’s voice as a net, captured it, then watching the way he had transformed it into words so cleanly that all it colours remained bright and sunny and perfect, seemingly fresh-made for special presentation to this exact Oxford audience at that precise moment. As a writer he had opened his eyes, looked, and given voice to what he had seen just as it was, without affectation. And magic happened. I’m sure he’ll giggle each time he reads that section, happily ever after.
Where can I read it?
West End Story appears in Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine (Issue 57). Find it here>