The prologue of a part built novel about a group of disparate people who have quite unusual mental abilities.
He watched the bird rise from the valley floor, hold motionless on a thermal, its wings silhouetted against the white sky and he thought what a magical thing this was, what a miraculous thing for God to have created this creature to be so majestic, so fine for its task. Men were nowhere near so well suited to what they had to do.
For a long time, the bird seemed to just hang there, only the merest ruffle of the very tips of its huge wings the only movement and yet he knew that it turned its head slightly, tilted it’s all seeing eye downwards to survey the valley floor below for movement.
Dramatically it stooped, plummeted towards the ground with heart stopping speed.
He was a child again, a vague sense of urgency driving him forward, though he could put neither time nor place to the memory. In his mind he could feel the rough grass against his bare legs, his heart pounding as he ran towards the place where he felt sure that the bird would be lying, terribly injured if not dead.
The bird he had been watching rose in to his line of sight and claimed his attention again, banishing the half-remembered thoughts. He watched it hang like a Chinese kite against the sky.
The idea occurred to him that perhaps he might put off his return to London for another week. There was nothing that urgent, nothing that might not just as easily be done here, and after the States, he really did need the rest.Thinking of America, even being here and looking out across the steeply wooded valley, he thought of Jenny and the way they had parted. He supposed that if he made a big effort they might forgive one another and get back together again but even as he thought it, it didn’t seem worth it. There were some people, some relationships that really were more trouble than they were worth and though the physical thing with Jenny was great, they were too different, emotionally, intellectually, every way, to make a go of it.
It was no fun thinking of Jenny and the past. He needed something in the here and now to soothe his soul.
He gazed out across the valley before deciding to make his way back up to the road.
The bird stooped again.
‘Why doesn’t it die?’
‘Don’t worry. God will catch it.
He half turned to make his way back up to the Range Rover.There was a sudden sensation of something soft and slippery beneath his boot, a mossy clump still wet from last night’s rain.
Suddenly, in the terrifying moments of free-fall before his body fell back against the rocks, he was the bird, stooping to some prey on the valley bottom.
Then his shoulders hit rock, he fell forwards on to his knees, turned over in space, fell back the pain smashing in to him with each contact.
‘Don’t worry. God will catch you.’
There was a sudden massive jolt to his brain, then blackness and nothing more.