Saturday, July 13, 2013
Worlds within Worlds #9.3
Once upon a time, God made a seed ...
The sky has dimmed somewhat, and the wind has cooled from its unnatural heat. Still, I cannot sleep. The words that Maak-em-ay-are-see has fed into my ears turn tumbles like waves, capping my swirling thoughts in white foams.
There is a book, he told me, that sets out the true history of how God had come to his world and filled it with wonder. Or, more accurately, there was a book, until his brother Sam set its pages to the flame.
Books are wonder-filled things, I have learned, where the knowledge of many men – and women – lies captured in lines and loops just like the ones he has been making on bark. When I asked him if he was going to capture me in his new book, the man had laughed and shown me a drawing of a face that he says is mine. That sketch worries at me, though I don't feel any different: my fingers confirm that I still have my face on the front of my head.
The words tethered within the burned book could speak when they were looked at, and the story they told were all about his God's seed – a tool, of sorts – which gives the man that holds it great powers to rule other men and women, even the wind and the storm.
These words make no sense. Why would a man want to rule a woman? Perhaps to stop her chewing on his muscles while he still breathed, or to make her give him good medicines or fine clothes ... but such a thing is a dream: women are too tricky to be ruled.
Maak-em-ay-are-see has no idea what his words have done to me. He lies on the other side of this grove's hearth stone and snores. I probably pushed him too far on this first day of our trek; his body is still mending itself, even though he seems happy with it: the body of a fit teenager, and the mind of a full-grown man – I can't wait to find Sam!
He told me that the book had been guarded for many years by a gang whose brothers were the best men in their world. Their job was to search for the God's seed, which had been stolen by demons. They had invisible creatures – angels – to help them track down these equally invisible demons who lived in the heads of unsuspecting men. For only when the seed had been reunited with the book could it bloom and fruit as God's final plan for the world.
I do not understand it when something is both true and false. My gang mate's story feels true in my gut, and yet my eyes and ears and nose and fingers clearly show the falseness of his words. This is the battle which sets my thoughts foaming.
'So what part does Fol Huun play in this story,' I had asked.
'Why do you call the rock pools "Fol Huun's gift"? Quid pro quo.'
'They are her way of restoring a man's Inner Voice to the flesh.'
'So that's how new people are generated – when somebody dies they reincarnate in a new body?'
'Only men.' I catch his next question in his eyes: 'I don't know where women go to be healed. They have more secrets than trees in these valleys, and a clever man knows not to ask the wrong questions.'
'But Fol Hoon ... you speak as if it – she – is a real person.'
'She is not a man, nor a woman. Not even a guardian – great gull – though sometimes she will take the form of one.'
'So she's a God?'
'She is ...' I look around me and spread my arms wide. 'She is everything!'
His question made my forehead hurt, the way it scrunched skin across brow. 'Quid pro quo!'
He had smiled at that – the first smile he had offered me since I hauled his hairless flesh from the healing pool.
'My uncle told me something – a thing not written in the Book. He had set me a task of looking for the God's seed and, for a while, we thought that Sam's parents might know where it was. He said that while the Book has much to say about the seed, it never describes what it actually looks like. When I asked him why not, he said it would look different to whoever looked at it: maybe a ring, or a brooch, or a statue – it could even look like a teapot or a watch. But whatever form it took, it always had seven different coloured stones in it. Always the same stones, in the same sequence. He said that the stones had secret names that could never be spoken out loud – except for one of them: Fol Huun – the missing stone. Because originally there had been eight stones in the seed ...'
I roll over onto my side, facing away from the hearth stone, wishing my Inner Voice to stop its chatter so I can sleep. It refuses to heed my pleas. It keeps telling me: he's wrong; the seed has nine stones, not eight ...