ian macartney
from nicholas looks down and sees light
“He gets therapy. […] Does this happen? I will not say. He makes the choices, I scream fire in his dreams, urging him to avoid otherwise, the other-wise. The flipside of Heaven. The bottom of a raincloud.” – while standing in grass, trousers at ankles, two mortality-teens see him; scared &c.
Old man waits in pharmacy (talks about seeing the metal ducks, predicts there will be snow at the day of prom, even though it’s the height of autumn; the metal ducks told him, after disappearing and the child has gone home they reappear, shimmer in the air as silver frozen supernovae, saying great things, prophecies for the newest age, these “sparks” messengers throughout the entire book) 
Prom proper (Jason & co., [listless student], two-mortality-students, rebellious-Christian-youth, bookshop-employee, Crow-Burger and indie-rock-kid-couple collide) 
Graduate takes a pill at prom, meets younger self day before he goes into high school, talks outside in the summer snow as he lights a cigarette, to his past self’s disgust and anger 
“Bodys” by Car Seat Headrest plays, everyone not dancing/confused/at sides, “beautifully distant, perfect, not really”, two-boyfriends mosh together in middle; Black Marble, Arcade Fire’s “Porno”; Thee More Shallows’ “Knight School”, Casiotone’s “Scattered Pearls”, etc.; The Pulsars’ “Tunnel Song”
Indie-rock-kids-gay-couple take trip to the beach, see diver/seal/etc. desperately holding on to a rock, trying to reach out and save pups, only manages to get one and they are huddled together as the two sit horrified (too far away to intervene), hands clasped
“Within the micro-fibre of their touched skin was a microbe within which held the quark which itself was an entirety, a miniature universe which held a galaxy and so a world where on the [same beach description, except] beach of a sea of pink soap sat two lovers, and hands clasped [Kid A] whispers to [Kid B} “I love you.” (first use of phrase in book?] 
[“There will have to be a mourning period in Heaven” “Maybe God’s always crying” “And the Messengers wept, and wept, and wept, and their light burst past the skyline/horizon”]
Young child tries to get rid of 6 little metal ducks, puts them on Loch, magical things happen each time (sinks the first time [two-sentence ‘chapter(ette)’]; floats away the second; flaps its wings and flies away in the third; turns into a kaleidoscopic crystal in the fourth; explodes into perfumed smoke in the fifth; pauses everything on the river in the sixth)
Secondary school prom committee doing cocaine in the school bathroom, their discussion and then being found out (disenchanted member rats them out) (one of them, “nothing worse than being beautiful and sad”, waned Christian tradition; decides to leave and tells teachers his whole friend group are doing cocaine in bathroom - seen alone at prom proper
Cereal and bare-foot bloody walking through the school, skiving swimming (one of the indie-rock-kids, meets his boyfriend here?) [how the couple meets]
Film student returning home on train back from London/England/a fairly distant city; train full of half-full seat couples, “queues snaking from the self-service checkouts while the cashier staff at the conveyor belts languished, bored); reads an Independent article about [something parodically apocalyptic] and a Quart article on how the human race will be entirely sterile in fifty years, but on reading it was based purely on flimsy metadata analysis; “he closed one of the five Twitter tabs he had open just as something interesting and/or colourful caught his eye, and he lamented the loss of that crucial entertainment because the thought of opening his internet history to find it again seemed exhausting, and filled him with a vague dread, but then it subsided in subsequent waves of internet-feed, the morsels falling from a loading bar, bleeding their life on to the screen.”; “The last thing typed into the search bar was ‘plastic-eating fungus’ which was in reference to a recent discovery of an organism that could disintegrate things in three years compared to millennia, the world’s process occurring faster, and searching for the joy inherent in that”; “he listened to the sad songs even though it made him worse, but the happy songs nestled in his playlist simply called ‘RECOVERY’ implied something worse, disingenuousness, like it was a spit on the face of bad things. Here was an article, school shooting, the African-American family weeping in court for their relative-victim, mother screaming I FORGIVE YOU I FORGIVE YOU I FORGIVE YOU”; “[student] felt small on the train, its lightspeed landscape”; sees Spark flicker on train (“Hey.”)
Rebellious Christian youth break into the church tower, lie in a circle and stare at the night sky, through the broken roof; ring it, play with the ropes (hanging dangerously out of the tower) (met by one of the silver-duck-explosion-spark things, when all high on the spiritual bliss/content, lying down)
[Ideal book cover: “Village” by Vasily Kafanov]
Shopping centre on edge of town, weird fountain by Japanese sculptor (referenced by London/city-film-student, works at the food court there in the summer/general holidays), connected to the ‘sparks’/messengers mythology (congregate here, fly in as silver birds, perch when visible, glide in the glass dome, the arcade’s glass amphitheatre, when heads are down – full of people, momentarily unrealised in their vision for material things); the grandfather [pharmacy] of the boy comes here, just sits by the bench (Observed by film student; older brother of one of the indie kids, mentioned in passing at the prom as supplier of drink) 
Radio show from college, last one left in entire building; “the night was purple and amber, amber from the town lights”;; brushes shoulders with one/both of the indie kids “and the Messengers wept when they walked in their own direction, towards drink and urine, respectively (though both blurred for the sparks)”;  has the scrolling online map, seeing everyone across the country, etc. 
Driving by motorway of nearby bigger town [“onwards to Glasburgh”], the forest of streetlights at winter night/5am &c.[bleary businessman, wanders in his shell. The vessel takes petrol at the nearby Mac&S then grey distant from home and the safe love of his family.”; stops by and listens, in awe, to college radio, some composed electronica/contemporary classical piece, beautiful ambient; misses the name of artist and song
Brief, dialogue-less: right by the motorway, very close to the loch (locus of stillness, the grass curled to golden death by the barbed fence, etc.; the log floating on the still, as if held up, yet no ice; miraculous), two young first-years hug each other, gender unknown (long blonde/short black) before running off in the opposite direction, long-blonde having walked too far up from his home, looks back longingly, excited, victorious somehow; short-black walks placidly the other way, up the hill, feels the beauty of stark January time, the traffic screaming along
Sequel (“Remember those kids, hugging by the motorway?”): the two meet on a hill at night, watching Grangemouth-esque facility; “Do you think God notices our little goodnesses among this?” “I think he sees us suffering”
Recollection of piano lessons, sprinting back from them too 
Train ticket seller (trans, bald, wears a purple silk head-band-thing; used to be a fortune teller) [Recalls dream in which God (12-headed, etc.) revealed himself and humanity’s purpose, doesn’t go to plan]
At midnight, frozen over car park for supermarket becomes skating rink for primary school children 
Opening messages at 1am so the bold text doesn’t always float to the top of the feed, but they do not know you have ignored them
“The latest song I added to the playlist makes me want to cry, but I hope u atoll find ot as beautiful as i do regardless – yes ive had aome wine, yes I am partially sorry lol xx” 
Boyracer clan meet outside Mac&S every week, in late evening, two scared employees as clan drives around bumped weed-grown car park of the deserted and decrepit garden centre, across the road (become a miniature jungle)
Urban exploration to said abandoned garden centre 
The loch sheeted with emerald – the stink of algae
“A desolation like home”
“To have your son return from London, refusing to join the family criminal business, demanding you throw away all their meat!” [Talks about gyoza in Blackbox Shoreditch – shitake mushrooms, coleslaw bed, pomegranate seeds]   
12 year old bullied boy – goes to overgrown closed off road (where the boy-racer clan go to in the evening) up from loch, near big farmhouse; finds dying-then-dead barn owl, wing broken; neck snaps in his hands, feels the frailty and life flicker out (find owl poem?); has to touch its eye; listening to The Hotelier -> reading dad’s Mary Oliver 
Two v young (P3) girls go to find nettles for witch potion/game, under fence on steep hill to dried burn near primary school; actually stings hands (one forthright, other shyer)
Rastafarian rides bicycle around town, singing – big rainbow kite behind him means he has substance
Minister takes away child’s Tamagotchi during sermon (“bleeping pearl”)
“The foam and head remain, a cup consumed with froth, white to the cup’s brim, and he sipped, for his family, his friend’s father, the deceased and memorised.” 
Mix black dog myth and Satire of The Three Estates into one story (“How far back can an Angel go? Watch me.”); island in the middle of loch – brief mention of man-made, crannogs (most far-back; “After that, why it’s the Postman himself, that’s the extent of his reach and then some.”
Stoner uncle snoring in waiting room for dancing class, he the youngest by decades in a room of dance-mums; baby screaming at iPad
2 crannog islands (“I forgot about the other one. The other crannog-islet. The Islet of Swans.”); all loch-birds come here, evenings of harmony, somewhat miracles
[Bridgesburgh as nearby village]
‘Tossed theology about”
Young girl on concrete path by Dovecot Park, staring at ants intently; woman on the driveway, bent over and scrutinising as much, but weeding
This is a sequence of chapter notes for a novel I've stop-started over the last five or so years called Nicholas Crow Looks Down and Sees Light, a 'novel of vignettes' about a fictionalised version of my hometown, Linlithgow, and the surrounding area, West Lothian, all in the Central Belt (south) of Scotland. Each paragraph summarises a chapter-to-be. Sometimes there are outlines, sometimes there are quotes. Collating these 'glimmers' (versus fragments, as it were) created an ontric stream separate from the novel proper, implying some kind of greater whole that isn't actually present (...yet, I do hope to finish the manuscript one day). Haunting without the source &c. Moreover, once I decided this was what I would send to These Accents, the work became less coherent, feeding into an 'idea' of incoherence/stream-of-consciousness, although the initial notes were an uneasy mix between semi-hewn prose and raw draft. So now this text plays-pretends at incompletion, when there were actually portions more fleshed out, more than could ever be dreamed. 
Ian Macartney is a writer. He can be found online at ianmacartney.scot, but for how long?