A bell chimes from the scullery annunciator, her ears whip up on their rear legs in attention, detaching from the skull in a pert hop. Opening the door, they hurry down the hallway towards the Bishop’s quarters. “Without my ears… how may I hear?!” screams Iiana, but silently, as the sound from her throat no longer possessed a place to which it could return. She tries to sing a song, first a shanty recalled from the men unloading narrow-boats on the canal: “Lou lou, I look t’the moon, I sing your tune, I howl like a dog in June”. Silence. A frown. She tries her favourite tune: Venus and Cleopatra, a waltz played on the harp that closes every Yule ball. Its lyrics tell the tale of a stranded queen who throws her crown to the sky in panic so it shines as a star guiding her subjects to her. It ends in tragedy as the searching knights pass her by, assuming she is a wandering beggar because she no longer wears her crown.
Mouth moves, no noise. Robbed not only of the Bishop’s tremorous yelling at the sight of disembodied floating ears but so too of her own voice. The voice widowed by its ears… it curls up in a small box inside Iiana’s heart and slowly dies. Iiana picks up the pairing knife and quietly finishes gutting fowl for the blackbird pie.
Born September 2nd 1994, Muir of Ord (Highland, Scotland), Iiana Bilor-Wesly and her grandmother Ruth Alpine were awarded 1st Prize by Mary Quant at the Abinger Hammer Teddy Bears’ Picnic fashion expo. Wesly is notable for being one of the few women to graduate from the Royal Grammar School Guildford. She currently works as a writer and has been published in The Guardian. Her debut novel is set to be published independently in 2018. Besides this, Wesly is a cunning angler, chef, comedienne, and linguist.