Fingers from behind tonight’s black curtain, creases, folds disturb the once perfectly taut sky. Cold fingers, earthy limbs and hollow eyes…
… palm to palm our lives, as we run.
This assembly of graphic memoirs reveals the story of two young refugees and their attempt to chase down an endless dawn.
Echoes of Dawn is a horror story, though it could also be considered a romance of sorts. It is the tale of what happens when a young couple suddenly find their world disintegrating. With no other option but to run, the story is essentially what remains of the lead character’s journals, a compilation of his writings and drawings. Echoes of Dawn is a writer’s attempt at making sense of the world, compiled in retrospect and with each section reflecting the different stages of his journey, this book offers us a fragmented history of one of the most horrific of periods in time.
- binding: Paperback
- category: Fiction
- author: Sam Rawlings
- illustrator: Matt Black
- isbn: Limited Edition
- price: 2.99
- size: 149mm x 210mm
- extent: 14 pages
- illustrated: Yes (7 colour illustrations)
- publication date: First Published in 2008
- publisher name: Lazy Gramophone Press
- distributor: Lazy Gramophone Press
‘He who binds to himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity’s sunrise.’
~ (William Blake, 1757-1827)
Revolution 2 (extract): written by Sam Rawlings & illustrated by Matt Black
Footprints, the street was painted in footprints, a mosaic of red feet. Palm in palm we walked, our own muddy soles. Often, upon returning from the hills, we would bear witness to the haunting silence of our village. For no wind blew here, no river flowed. Here, we heard only the humans’ echoes. But these red feet, these footprints followed neither paths nor roads.
Our eyes upon the shadows, we listened, and as we listened the footprints groaned. Slowly, ever so slowly, two hands from the darkness. The squelch of sticky feet, red smeared from cheek to cheek, a skinny girl stumbled, she fell, dropped her pencil into the road; a puddle of jumper and long brown hair. Though using both and hands and knees she continued to crawl, her moans as empty as the sockets of her eyes. We stepped back and out they came; tens of hundreds, seemingly thousands upon thousands of gaunt frames. They loomed, slow yet menacing, they slipped from the darkness and tumbled towards us. The girl yelped and she was gone, crushed beneath their clumsy stampede. An army of distorted faces before us, we turned. We turned and we ran.
Houses, shops, schools, hospitals, cars, pubs, churches, our village rushed by. Our village followed by more villages, followed by towns, followed by cities; not a single place to hide. No matter how hard our car tried, their mouths found us. Surrounded now, resigned to the fight, the streetlamps swirled as fires lurched into life, hurling their smoke adrift the battlefield. Limbs and knives and guns as the last of us danced beneath the sky.
Revolution 5 (extract): written by Sam Rawlings & illustrated by Matt Black
The dead man’s weight was pinning her to the carpet. She looked so frail. Kneeling, I tried to free her from our corpse but instead she made a lunge for my neck. Clutching at my T-shirt she dragged me towards her, that mouth kissing my already swollen lips. I struggled for breath as she ran her bloodied hands through my hair, gasping as we fought to set her loose. Once free she staggered as her body rose to its feet, hands immediately reaching for my trousers, lifting my T-shirt, once again stuffing her tongue down my throat.
“Fuck me,” she whispered, “fuck me, fuck me.”
Her light frame span wildly into the middle of the room as I pushed her away, though she soon returned, hands grappling at my jeans, fumbling at my zip, wrenching me towards her.
“Fuck me,” she groaned.
Yet again I broke lose.
“Fuck me,” she said, she screamed, “fuck me, fuck me,” her voice rising high and wide, “fuck me,” she giggled, before a tear slipped from her eye. “Fuck me,” she cried.
Within the depths of that room she stood; wobbling, crying.
“Fuck me . . . Fuck me . . .” she cried, her salty cheeks resting upon my chest, arms wrapped around each other’s lives; daylight at the window, a long and heavy hug . . .
. . . such had been our lust for time.
Revolution 9 (extract): written by Sam Rawlings & illustrated by Matt Black
His horse falls. Its head dips slowly forward, unbalanced by the obedience of a tumbling shoulder. He leans, throwing all of his weight to the left, as if by pure will alone he could drag life back into a dying beast’s limbs. The horse crumbles. It slopes to the right and as its rear hooves give way it crashes into the dirt. A bellow of dust mushrooms up from under them making it impossible to see.
She stares intently, waiting for the cloud to subside. The tip of her revolver wavers as she struggles to trace her target, rotten toes raking nervously at the earth beneath, retracting and lurching in anticipation. Such impatience. She is tempted to shoot …but for a final glimpse of his beautiful face she would have by now re-claimed him.
“Let the barrel of your gun name me,” ‘I’ am rumoured to have said, and now, as he stalks his death bed, so it shall be.
The dust clears. Phoenix, he sees her at last, neither over his shoulder nor through the pages of a dream, but face to face, her and him. He spreads his arms, laying out his palms, sunny side up, head tilted back, eyes fixed to the sky.
Hair impedes her vision, this, the last act of a rebellious breeze. He fights, she thinks. Too tense, she remains fixed upon her crime. Side on, the ‘L’ of her aim, her stance a long time made; though prey she longs to behold him. The dust, her patched left eye her hair swept right, the chamber of that gun; still his distorted and beaten frame maims her. She hesitates.
A hero waits; at the most opportune moment saves the day. A villain takes as and when deemed fit, the first opportunity to escape; and so, once again, he chooses.