The Starless Square: amid the vegetation


In a conference the other day, the architect Peter Cook showed coloured drawings of how he imagined architecture and vegetation would cohabit, with the latter progressively taking over. I was reminded of the description of a part of the Lodge in The Starless Square, Book Three of The Storyteller’s Quest. Here’s a short extract from that as yet unpublished book figuring our two favorite magicians at cooking, Fran and Martin.

Tiny holes above the wall let a thin stream of water filter through along its whole length causing droplets to form on the moss and fall a drip at a time cascading from one plant to another till they finally reached the shingle below. Martin and Fran stood fascinated for a long moment watching the drops form and fall unpredictably.

And here’s a longer extract that precedes the one above.

From a distance, the north wall looked like a rough stone construction some ten feet high with small climbing plants and moss dotted here and there, but from close up Martin could see that under the layer of plants it was made of multiple irregular vertical folds, some much thicker than others. He thought it must be concrete but when he touched it, some folds were too thin to be concrete.

“It’s glass, I think,” Fran said.

The surface must have been specially treated because it was pitted with many tiny holes making it rough like weather worn stone. Many of the tiny stones that must have been used to make it remained embedded in the glass adding tints of brighter colours in some places. From where they stood it was clear that it was the wall that was making the sounds they had heard. Small openings between the vertical folds allowed the wind to squeeze though causing the glass to vibrate.

“Like organ pipes,” Fran remarked. “Different lengths make different notes.” 

For more about The Starless Square see here.

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