Tuesday, July 09, 2013
Worlds within Worlds #7.3
You are different. You remain old; I know you. Yet you are also new: I do not know you. This is a different thing.
I can barely make out the form of the guardian. It perches on a rock just above the water's surface, and that surface is being rippled by the wind. All guardians are big, I know, and most come clothed in a set of grey-on-white feathers. This guardian has a very impressive bill - bright yellow with a red patch beneath the hook that terminates it.
The other egg is still new, though I have seen it before. I know it, but I do not remember it. This is another different thing.
I remember me, my Inner Voice tells the guardian. Do you remember me?
The bird considers this proposition, cocking its head lower to bring its eye closer to mine. I take time to admire the sharpness of its beak.
You remember this sky, it says. This is clear to me.
I am impressed. The guardians are not known for their helpfulness, or for their conversational skills. I risk another question.
I have heard of other skies. A sky as yellow as your beak. And a sky that has no color, and all colours, but mainly blue. I have dreamed of such skies.
But you do not remember them.
No, I agree.
The bird's head disappears. Wings spread wide to fill my sight. 'Ak! Ak! Ak! Ak!'
Jiar tried to teach me the language of the guardians, once, though I doubt he knew any more of it than I. This call could be a challenge, or a summoning. No man has a real understanding of the guardians beyond the necessary. It is enough to know that they do not appreciate being plucked, or eaten.
The membranes surrounding me have toughened, and the liquids they hold are growing stale. Soon I will need to break free of them and resume the counting of breaths.
My resurrection will be much easier if the guardian agrees to help me. I remember the deserted groves and abandoned long houses; I doubt that any brother will be looking for me in this healing pool.
Wings fold, and the beak returns to my sight.
I know you. I remember you. I welcome you, Kal of Tintuun. You I shall aid. The other – I know it, but I do not remember it. I cannot help it. That is your task.
The guardian moves out of my sight, but it is not gone. I feel a sharp stab in my thigh, and another - it is tearing at the membrane already, eager to have me gone from the pool.
Where are my brothers? my Inner Voice cries.
Stretch your legs. Your brothers have been called to serve a greater purpose.
I do as I'm told. I do not struggle as my limbs extend, tearing the membranes along the holes the guardian has made in them. Soon they hang in tatters around me.
I remember not to move my chest. Free in the water, I look for hand holds in the rock wall - a ledge would be better, but none has been gifted to me for this resurrection.
When my head breaches into air I squeeze my ribs tight onto my lungs, and squeeze my legs deep into my belly. Water leaks from my nostrils and mouth in ropes, and then dribbles.
My first breath is deep, and loud, and complete.