‘Serge’ surges into the 20th century through the swarming sounds of modernity and technology. Words and speech come alive, pronunciation, phonology, synaesthesia, electricity, magnetism.
The rattle of glass bottles and the fricative rasp of copper wire against more copper wire rise from the trap’s back and, mixing with the click and shuffle of the horse’s hooves on gravel, hang undisturbed about the still September air.
The other accident he doesn’t see take place—only its aftermath. Beswick forgets to strap himself into his seat and falls out when his pilot loops the loop. He plunges three thousand feet and lands in a nearby field. A Beswick-shaped mark stays in the grass for weeks: head, torso, legs and outstretched arms.
“The acid from his body,” Stedman says as he and Serge stand above the patch one afternoon. “Stops new grass growing.”
“It’s a good likeness,” Serge says.
“All his memories, and everything he ever thought about or did, reduced to battery chemicals.”
“Why not?” asks Serge. “It’s what we are.”