I have been walking for some time, much longer than I originally expected to. I pause to think. A morning's stroll through a nearby meadow led to the discovery of a gate and a curious looking path behind it. The path lead to a small wood.
The wood is bursting with life, a strange contrast with my previous experience. As I walk through the wood, I take the outer path. Even though it seems quite safe, I prefer the outside walk. I look into the field just beyond the trees. It is completely empty as far as I can see, except for a single scarecrow. I walk on, and when I look to my right again, I notice the scarecrow has moved. It is marginally closer to the wood. I shake my head and move on. However, the further I walk, the nearer the scarecrow gets. As I look at it closer, I see it has only a thin stump of wood for a leg. There is also nowhere to hide in the field. I become increasingly disturbed by this as I go on, so I begin to walk a little faster. Soon, the scarecrow is half as close as it was when I originally looked. Suddenly, I hear a sound from the field. At first I am hesitant to look round, as I am afraid the scarecrow is making the noise, but my curiosity is quick to take over and I look back to see a murder of crows mobbing the straw man. The birds are increasing in number at an incredible rate. They seem to be almost raining in. The more that fly in, the wider the flock becomes, until there is a cloud of crows flying around the scarecrow, pecking away at it and making noise. The sound is painfully loud. Suddenly, every one of the birds flies off into the sky at once, and within seconds there is not a crow in sight. The scarecrow too has disappeared. I eventually reach the edge of the wood and a muddy track lies ahead of me.
Behind me is a wood, opposite me is another wood. I stand on a muddy track in between. From my right I hear a noise. At first it sounds like a tractor. The louder it gets, the more harsh the sound seems... not a tractor, possibly an old car. I look to the right in anticipation of what it is. There is a corner some way up the track, around which drives a fairly new looking car. It is obviously the worse for wear, but is driving at a fast speed. I have begun to walk to my left, travelling in the same direction as the car as. I realise the track is quite narrow, so look for an entrance to the wood. There seems to be no way in either side. I eventually hope the car will slow down as it passes me. As it drives closer, I realise it is not slowing down at all. I begin to run. There is still no way of getting into the wood. I am now panicking. Eventually, an entrance is in sight to my right. I lurch forward and jump into the gap. As the car drives past I see it is completely empty apart from a dog in the front passenger seat. It drives off round the corner leaving a cloud of dust which doesn't disperse for a minute or two. Eventually, I regain my breath and energy, and continue along the road. Just before I reach the corner, I hear the noise in front of me again, and I realise the car is driving back. I run back again and jump into the small gap at the side of the road. As the car passes again, I see the dog has no tail. Once again, undeterred, I continue along the road. Once more, I hear the car coming back along. This time I manage to make it to a small gap in the hedge that is now lining one side of the road. The vehicle drives past once more, this time there is no tailless dog inside. I decide it is now safer to walk through the fields than on the dusty track.
Across the field is a large patch of gorse. I walk between gorse bushes, taking care not to catch my skin or clothes on their spikey branches. There are gaps between the bushes that act as pathways. As I explore, I notice there are many of these pathways that interlock, resembling a sort of maze. I aim to reach the fields beyond the bushes, so take a right turn in the direction. However, after several corners, I now appear to be heading in completely the wrong direction. I soon reach a dead end, but before turning around, I spy a number of juicy blackberries growing in the brambles blocking my way. I grab a couple handfuls and make my way back to the open area near the railway line. Upon arriving, I sit on a relatively dry patch of ground. I take the bottle of water and two rolls from my backpack, placing them next to the blackberries in front of me. After the meal, I take a different turning at the gorse maze, and soon come to the entrance of a wood.
The temperature drops as I walk through the wood, this time taking an inner route, hoping to reach the other side and find somewhere to get my bearings. A woodpecker drills into a tree somewhere above me. Soon the path I am on peters out to little more than some worn ground beneath the trees. I push branches aside, and contiually catch my feet on tree roots. As a little light shines through the branches, I begin to recognise the wood I am in, yet do not understand how I came to be in this location.
Leaf Pass is the prequel to Purlieu, and should be listened to as such.
released August 13, 2011
Written, produced, sampled and performed by Ross Baker, 2001 - 2011.
Originally released on Treetrunk Records.
2017 reissue contains 17 bonus tracks of period material.
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