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Momentism all around

(Momentist short stories from Scotland)

Laura Hird | Kevin Williamson | Brian Reid
Rodge Glass | Margaret Elphinstone

Laura Hird | Inverness
Wednesday, April 19, 2006 | 5.50 p.m. – 6.00 p.m.

Pass eight cows huddled together in a field, then field after field of cows similarly grouped in little gangs. I am in a minibus back to Arvon writing centre at Moniack Mhor after a magical day dolphin-watching on the Moray Firth with the inspirational Art Angel group from Dundee. Three minutes ago we passed Kilmory Guest House in Glenurquhart Road in Inverness where I used to holiday with my parents and our dear friends, Margaret and Jack when I was a child. Passing the Caledonian Canal we drive on with the breathtaking expanse of Loch Ness on our left, past a café I fell and banged my head at when selecting a cake, aged eleven, during one of those holidays. I still have the crescent-shaped scar on my forehead.
After days of sporadic rain and hail, it has been a gloriously mild and sunny afternoon. My fingers are sticky with chocolate from donuts Jim from the group kindly bought for us when we stopped to buy paper and pens after realising we wouldn’t get back to the centre in time for the ten minutes in which this exercise was to take place. Loch Ness looks beautiful and imposing. I’m on a high to be driving past somewhere that represents such a happy time in my life, before cynicism, drink and the death of the four people that made my childhood holidays up here so special. If the monster is finally going to show itself, now would be a perfect time. We drive up the steep road back up to the wilderness that is the road back to Moniack Mhor. A car toots its horn loudly behind us but we are safe. Jim, who counted down to the arrival of 5.50 p.m. when the exercise was to start now counts down to 6 p.m. when it ends. “5 . . . 4 . . . 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . . Stop writing and vomit!”

From Ten Minutes Scots (Leconte 2006)


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