Autumn in the market City of Barchester, and two bright students begin their final year at University, content with old friendships, paying lip-service to old dreams. Until, that is, an ill-conceived prank introduces them to Julian.
For Sophia and Steven, the friendship they form with this worldly stranger marks a coming of age, a possibility to embrace the needs and longings they have never had the language to express. But Julian has his own secrets, and as the nights grow longer, it becomes clear that not all desires are without cost; that some things should never be brought into the light.
Time’s Fool is a novel about monstrosity, about desire and communication. It’s about the self we present to the world and the needs we whisper to ourselves in the darkness. It is about honesty and the fear of honesty. It is about the things we refuse - refuse to say, refuse to seek, refuse to believe - because sometimes, ignoring those things is all that keeps us sane.You can see a transcript of the video script here
Beside him, Lucy’s head hit the table with a quiet thud. It occurred to Steven this might be some sort of prompt.
“What I mean,” he said, raising his voice to be heard above the pub noise, “is that knowledge is the antithesis of fear.”
Across the table, John stared into his pint with an expression that suggested he’d sooner be elsewhere - but no one cared about John.
“Bring it out in the open and,” Steven blew a raspberry, “and okay, while there’s some evidence that Le Fanu...”
Lucy started to move her head in a slow, rocking motion, sending seismic ripples through John’s beer. Steven snatched up his own glass before her convulsions sent it over the edge of the table. He took a drink. Opposite him, Sophia massaged her temples.
“Where was I?” he said.
“You were shutting up,” Lucy replied, her voice muffled by her hair.
“Le Fanu!” he said.
“Please not Le Fanu,” said Sophia.
“Well, now, there is some evidence Le Fanu was a believer, but we’ll let him off. The fact is, though, the stronger a writer’s conviction that they knew how spiritual manifestations worked, the worse the ghost story.”
“Steven,” said Sophia.
He tipped his glass in her direction and tried to arrange a smile on his face. It was difficult, as he had reached the stage where his flesh felt rubbery and uncooperative, where his fingers seemed to be moving without him instructing them.
“Please shut up, Steven.”
“I will not be censored,” he said, or maybe he shouted it, because a couple at the next table turned, looked at him in a bemused fashion. “No,” he insisted, more quietly, “I shall not have my rights violated in this fashion. Le Fanu is very important.”
“So’s my birthday,” said Sophia.
“And technically, that isn’t until tomorrow.”
“Do you really believe all that?” said John.
Steven tried to trace back over the last few exchanges to establish some context for this, but drew a blank, “All what?”
“All this ghost story bollocks.”
“Well, yes,” said Steven, “yes, I should hope so. I mean, it is sort of central to my dissertation, so I should really try to, shouldn’t I?”
John stared at him as though he was obtuse which, all things considered, was unjust.
“He meant, do you believe in ghosts,” Sophia explained.
“No-one believes in ghosts,” said Steven, and leaned back against the booth, “that was my point.”
Lucy raised her head, grabbed her glass and drained it before resuming a face down position.
“Exactly, so why bother?” said John, “Why would you study something that you know doesn’t exist?” And he had that smirk on his face, the point scoring one.Read more...
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