'Higgs' is the first part of Cilla McQueen's 'Serial', which is being published on this blog in small sections every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Here is the full text of 'Higgs'. Next, we begin 'Hotdog'.
Through waist-high grass cut through the empty section.
Bend to retrieve the glossy supplement falling out of the newspaper.
Slip ankle-deep in muddy water
Jump the stream, land in tough bracken.
A narrow track through lupins up the bank to the road, not a short cut.
One wet shoe, damp pages stick together, gold high heels dancing,
a dress the colour of wild lupins, mascara, holidays, bin it.
Feel for keys, braille-fingered over pen, lipstick, purse, phone, cards, diary, paper-clip. Not a jingle.
Hurry back down the bank steeper from above,
retrace the slippery track under the lupins,
brush off lupin flowers in a clearing edged with serried russet stalks,
no passage visible.
Until a tabby cat
appears, stares, disappears.
Find the opening, stride through tall resistance, arms covering the face;
slide into the stream.
The keys unseen. Nor palpable among the boggy roots.
Go home. With a chisel ruin the frame, climb through the window.
A duplicate, a duplicate,
A cup of tea, make scones for Eric the Red
who might turn up tonight with his telescope.
The almanac open at the page on Caelum,
etched in the heavens between Columba and Eridanus.
Look up, affected by the gaze from the apple tree outside the window
of the same tabby cat, or one similar.
Nought but the grin etched in mind,
the last miaow of Blossom who died bolt upright like a Queen.
Alpha Caeli, Eric states, has a diminutive M-class red dwarf companion
in a very wide orbit.
Lacaille saw a pair of chisels tied with ribbon
He cleans his glasses on his tie and puts them on again straight.
We might just be looking at NGC 1595 or NGC 1598!
The scones are satisfying.
Murphy’s particle, he repeats emphatically.
You have to allow for the Higgs, sine qua non,
absolutely nothing at all.
The more imagination grasps at the idea the greater the void created.
The arches of Eric’s eyebrows uphold three horizontal lines across his freckled forehead. The wrinkles deepen as he glances up, keen-eyed.
Are you with me?
Images, from top
Tussock grass plant aciphylla colensoi, 1961
Reference Number: 1/4-044636-F
Reference Number: WC-325
Poul Gnatt and Julie Barker on sand dunes at Bethells Beach, January 1954
Reference Number: KW-0001-G
Flowers in fields near Sfax, Tunisia
Reference Number: DA-03012-F
Plan showing the structure of an observatory tent
Reference Number: B-091-008
Ann Finnimore surrounded by vases of flowers
Reference Number: 1/2-147836-F
View of Mt Dumas, Campbell Island
Reference Number: PA12-1423-012
Trowel for cultivating window boxes
Reference Number: 114/111/02-G
Study, Sir Frederic Truby King's house, Melrose, Wellington
Reference Number: PAColl-6301-87
View through a window, (Wellington ?)
Reference Number: 35mm-25542-26-F
Old Man rock or Queen Victoria, Puponga, ca 1939
Reference Number: 1/2-009677-F
Maori needle, tattooing chisel and bird holding ring
Reference Number: 1/1-007559-G
Beneath the pale moonbeam's misty light, just you and I dear
Reference Number: E-628-038
Blast cloud as explosives are used to create the spillway intake at the Benmore hydroelectric project
Reference Number: PAColl-8557-35
Rooms with a view; the Empire Hotel on the corner of Shakespeare Road and Brewster Street.
Reference Number: B-155-018
Taieri Pet at Middlemarch
Reference Number: WA-28295-F
Jo. Bap. Piranesi Veneti architectus. F. Polanzani faciebat.
Reference Number: C-091-001