CollisionThis story is set in the Twinmaker universe.

I say “story”, but it’s really intended as a reading, or some kind of spooky performance art, which you’ll hear below if you play the first audio clip. Below that is the text.

I created it by breaking the text into nineteen fragments, each of which I stretched to the length of the original recording. Then I played all those stretched fragments at once. Finally, I added another vocal recording, kindly provided by my stepson Xander Monteath. I think that’s the icing on the cake. Or the hoar on the headstone, if you prefer.

The twenty parts represent the twenty missing people in the story. The story length in seconds is the temperature of a healthy person in degrees Celsius.

Anyway, see what you think. Everything you hear in this recording is the human voice. Maybe it’ll take you as long to read it as it does to listen. That would be cool.



At precisely eleven twenty-four
on the twenty-third of March,
twenty people stepped into d-mat booths
and never arrived at their destinations.
They’ve disappeared, the authorities say,
got lost in the noise somehow – though
that’s supposed to be impossible.
They say we’ll never see them again.
But what if that’s wrong?
What if they’re still coming,
still in transit and tangled up,
all of them together in
some freak accident –
still on their way,
just travelling slowly,
oh so very slowly . . .
Will they arrive
one day
all at



The story’s not going to win any awards, I know, but it served its purpose as a text for an experiment I really had fun with.

If you want to hear the original reading, untreated, that’s the first recording below. To hear how it sounded before stretching, that’s the second.

Image: morguefile



  1. Valerie says:


    Just the way I like it.

    Taking it up a notch … waiting for the body to hit the floor 5, 4, 3, 2, …..

    Thanks for imagining that this could work. That scream? You are right. It really works.

    • Hey, thanks! I like this kind of thing too. It’s fun to explore new ways of telling (obscuring?) stories.

      Xander has an amazing scream, as befits a budding young rock god. He had a cold but still managed to belt out a beauty, which I stretched by a factor of four in order to give it that endless, excruciating quality. Brr.