This One Sky Day
Due for publication, sooon...
Click here to see what Leone thinks her characters look like in This One Sky Day...
"I have been dreaming of this place for a long time..."
Set in a fictional archipelago called Popisho, where goats are jealous, gods are mischievous, vaginas drop out unexpectedly and everyone is a tiny bit bored with magic, the novel spans a single day.
A man and a woman, once in love, are walking across the islands towards each
other. Xavier Pere, 39 is a master chef, the illegitimate son of a god, formerly
addicted to hallucinogenic moths, mourning the death of his wife and forced by
a corrupt governor to travel the land, seeking ingredients for the most
romantic meal in the world. The female lead is Anise David, 35, who is recovering from the loss of her third stillborn child. She is investigating a rumour that her husband has made his mistress pregnant.
Xavier and Anise will meet a variety of people throughout the novel: for Xavier,
most important will be a paternal connection with a young, indigent graffiti artist
called Romanza, who knows a lie when he hears one - and helps him as he
struggles not to relapse into moth addiction. For Anise, it will be meeting her
husband’s mistress, Mal, a connection that allows her to heal.
By the end of this day, both Xavier and Anise will have learned what they need in
order to meet again, wiser and ready for love. But there is the smell of something
sticky and strange in the air, and all is not what it seems…
THIS ONE SKY DAY is ironic and sweet, dark and light, serious and silly. It
questions the nature of love and addiction and creates a world that both satirises postcolonial society and celebrates oddness.
Excerpt from Chapter 1
Xavier Laurence Pere spluttered awake at 4am, conscious of several things in the same moment. He was lying on his back at the end of his sea-cliff garden, one shoulder wedged against a thin bamboo fence. The fence was the only thing between him and a dark beach drop below. There was a duppy – an old ghost – sitting on his chest, forcing something up his left nostril. He knew the ghost was old because it had shrunk to the size of a small child and there was a pebble jammed into its face where an eye should have been. But most importantly – beyond the writhing, ice-cold determination of the duppy’s body and the shaking fence – he could feel his own rampant erection, peeping above the waistband of his pants, unperturbed by the cool air.
Yes, yes. Oh, yes.
His joy was disrupted by the sudden and ominous creak of bamboo. His stomach lurched.
The duppy grinned and pushed its cold fingers further up his nose.
Bellowing and sneezing, Xavier reared up and away from the precipice, pushing the offending apparition off his body. The ghost flew across the garden and hit a night-blooming cirius plant, braps! just like his niece, Chse was fond of saying.
--I fall down, braps! Just like that, Uncle!
Xavier struggled to his feet, pulling at his pants to make himself decent.
Anise David (nee Latibeaudearre)
She has the bottom half of a racing horse: hips rounded and flared; juicy thighs that rub together when she walks, everything taut and tight as a drum, like when she was young. Her cellulite is ripples on water.
In company, he was judicious and attentive, although tempted frequently to cards with the boys and to liquor – again, her mother’s voice, that is the way of man, when you going to grow up, Anise? In bed, each part of her body was kneaded and given full attention, the penis broad and firm, her orgasm never neglected. Sex always ended with her sweating and flustered, satiated, kissed firmly, as if he was placing a full stop at the end of a very long sentence.
He cooked at night because he liked the quiet. Dishes like lagoons, slopping rich with gravy and excess; in the next hour, a single, perfect square inch of something, and the waitresses whispering hush, so diners might concentrate on mouth and tongue. There was privacy, and calm, and a tinkling, two-woman band in the corner: guitar and a single drum, almost imperceptible, like insects he’d let indoors. He only hired musicians who were lovers. It affected the sound.