Terence Moss has a creative imagination…and a half!! As a child, he fantasised about becoming a writer but clearly didn’t get round to it till recently. Nostalgia and ‘El Levante’ triggered things off!
You know, it’s difficult to know where to start with this author. A follower of Stephen King’s supernatural works (he’s read about 50 of his books); he eventually set his mind to write a trilogy of, yes, the Rock’s Levanter of all subjects – but with a difference! ‘Science Fiction,’ he calls it, and it really is. Just by him giving you a 30 minute run down about Part 1 of his ‘Twilight Zone’ type story will be sufficient to get you stuck into reading, THE MAN IN THE MIST, no joke!.
…He’s transported back to his childhood back here on the Rock – these days spends much of his life living in his other home in Australia – yes, back to ‘El Patio’ where so much of our day to day existence in the 50s and 60s was focused on, with open front doors, chatting to the neighbours et all. He, however, is looking on as in the present, as an adult (in a misty cloud, of course) watching himself as a child where he lived where now ‘lives’ a car park by the back entrance to the Elliott Hotel in Cannon Lane.
Anyway, the child meets the man (who later becomes a reclusive tenant in the same building). He’s known as, ‘Ramos’ and from then on readers, this ‘Time Traveller’ in this Science Fiction story becomes really involved in his quest to find the keys between Calpe (Gibraltar) and somewhere in the Maghreb (probably Morocco) to sort out the Levanter cloud which could – as time passes – make the Rock become a volcano like it did on Mount Etna, in Sicily. You can imagine the consequences of that if this ‘volcano’ erupted and flattened the whole of the town and with it our existence forever!
Sorting out this terrible and disastrous state of affairs would not get rid of our infamous (a bit of a nuisance) levanter cloud but stabilise it and all would be well. So he begins the arduous trek of having to go to Gorham’s Cave in search of those keys taking him through a long tunnel that surfaces somewhere in the area of Ragged Staff car park where the sunken garden once was. But, of course, in order to pursue his goal to discover those keys and make the levanter settle down, he requires the help of other Gibraltar residents, many of them well known characters like, the photographer with his camera on a tripod who used to situate himself by what is now Referendum Gate or archway, our Maltese immigrant, ‘Tobaiba’, Monsieur Garnier, an eccentric character from La Linea pre-Civil War, and other characters and individuals.
He was told in the Levanter Mist by a strange character that his ancestors would help him. But the trouble was, it became a problem trying to suss out who was friend or foe – who was a goody and who was a baddy…All this to help him find the keys to appease the levanter’s angry, ‘volcano inclined’ temper and just return it to being a nuisance spoiling our otherwise sunny days – a much better option, you will agree.
In the end after having gone through many ‘time portals’ all over the place in search of the keys, he leaves them with various documents in a Time Capsule for his granddaughter to discover …. and she takes over as he passes on and his ashes are scattered in the sea at Sandy Bay… her journey in the second book takes her to the scene of the sinking of the SS Utopia in 1891.
The story delves into life in Gibraltar during the 60s and our author time travels in or through his ‘Misty Machine’ – the Levanter Cloud! He discovers more about his ancestry as he grew up and experienced life as it was then. Real or Fiction, his journey certainly took him back filled with nostalgia and it really is nostalgia at its most meaningful best as he relates to ‘how it was’ living in ‘El Patio’ many years ago, long gone!
And a point about the importance of writing stories about Gibraltar – your home town (if it is). It’s a way of keeping our culture and identity alive never to be forgotten. THE MAN IN THE MIST by TERENCE MOSS…Our history brought to life, as well as, an entertaining read…ooh that dreaded Levanter Cloud!
The second volume, The Girl in the Mist, is due out in December. Copies of both books are available by emailing him directly on email@example.com or through Amazon as a paperback or kindle version.
Text By Richard Cartwright