… into a novel.
I have a lot of ideas floating around but they don’t seem to congeal into anything resembling coherence.
I have tried the “just start keying and the Ouija will take over” approach, but the Ouja has been absent so far.
But here is what I have managed to lay down as – I guess – the concept.
I just was there.
The murmur of voices lay low, below the level at which I could distinguish words.
There may not have been words.
The sounds may not have been voices.
But years later, when this event became crucial, my best memory has been that they were voices.
The smell of wood smoke acridly dominated the first moment of my being there.
The source of the smoke was at my feet.
My feet were on the periphery of what one would have described as a circle: there were many other pairs of feet surrounding the source of the smoke.
The source was a fire.
It wasn’t big; it wasn’t small; it just was.
That in itself is odd, since fires, like all things finite, have size shape and dimension.
This one did not.
This one shimmered smokily at the feet which surrounded it.
And the feet came and went.
Sometimes there were more; sometimes there were less.
The fire waxed and waned to accommodate the number of feet: the more the feet the bigger the fire.
The converse was also true.
What the people, or creatures, to which those feet belonged were not revealed.
The flickering light of the ever changing fire did not extend upwards beyond what would have been described as the waists of the figures surrounding it, if those figures had been identified positively as humans.
In some cases there were more than two feet.
The First Speaker
The feet were four.
Or as best as I could see them that is what they were.
So I immediately knew, or immediately concluded, that the speaker was not one of “us”.
But the feet and the fire and the fluidity of the occasion had already made “us” and “them” meaningless words.
I made note of that.
That might be important I thought.
And then the feet had a voice.
But it was not a voice in the air; it was a voice in my head.
“We are as smart as we need to be.
We are as smart as we are able to be.
And that – how smart we are – is at least as good as you.”
In my head there rose a rumble of sound that, if it had been in the air, and if my ears had been hearing it, rather than my – whatever it is that doesn’t hear, but senses, feels, knows – had been its source, I would have said it was a sound of general approval.