My story ‘Vines’ has been published by Interzone Digital. The idea for it first came to me about twenty years ago, when I lived in a flat in Brixton, near Brockwell Park. It took me a while, but I eventually found a way to convey some of the strangeness of those days. This is the first of a new wave of SF stories, so it has a special place in my heart.
Read ‘Vines’ on Interzone Digital but here’s an excerpt:
‘The vines crept through the fabric of East City one summer night, the seed falling over us silent as snow. Once landed, the roots took hold through brick, concrete or slab, emitting a moist chewing noise as the seeds exploded into their complexity. Moonlight seemed to provoke them into a state of frenzy, but the vines grew calmer during daylight, almost sluggish in their state of strange photosynthesis.
The first morning, Dolores and I picked through the garden of our house near the park. Although the vines propagated themselves along fine green tendrils, these grew quickly into stronger cords, as thick as a finger, with the heaviness of wet towel. The lengths flared with spotted white-and-purple flowers, and we watched as they consumed the existing plants: the rosemary and thyme bushes Dolores had planted for a kitchen garden, and the ancient hydrangea which we tended to grudgingly, as a totem of the previous occupant’s hold over our lives. We wandered around that morning in a state of confused excitement, like earthquake survivors traversing an exotic park. I expected the vines to smell of tomatoes, that innate fragrant fleshiness, but instead they possessed a powerful, earthy odour, like some kind of mushroom.’