Maybe I’m dreaming.
Star Prophet and I stand on a beach at sunset. The sun is too big, half the sky is red fire. Solar flares curl and destabilize the ionosphere and the sand is too large, like grains of rice between my toes. I slip my fingers into the band of my shorts, it’s cold. There is no sound, the waves do not crash.
The blue star-hood turns and I see that his right eye is bleeding.
“Who did that to you?”
“You did.” he said.
I touch his face, then I touch my face. My fingers feel strange in the empty cavity where my left eye used to be. There is no pain, just an odd sticky feeling of pressure.
“Want to go for a walk?”
I get up and go to the bathroom, and brush my teeth. Ultra-Brite is red already, so my toothbrush doesn’t look strange. The pads of my fingers are yellow-white as I press them against the mirror. Hand bone, and wrist bone, and arm bone all connected. Broken-glass joints. The rice-sand titters away from my feet.
“It pushes, it pushes, it pushes us..us! It pushes us, child, child, sweet child of mine.” Star Prophet said. “Humans are so blessed, so special in the cosmos. The line of our bones running all the way back to the Tigris, throwing ourselves out there — up there! More to see, and more to know and more to go. Heh-heh.”
“To stand on a street corner, and feel the heat of the pavement through your shoes and the wind of a car and feel it all stretching out, backwards and forwards — the wolves howling at the tent flap and the burst of nebulae off the port bow.”
The carpet, the thick carpet — the steep walls of the hall, my uncle snoring. I slammed the flat of my fist against the wall, but he didn’t wake up. I was still holding my toothbrush.
[Still not happy, but getting there. Maybe once I ‘finish’ this can be a good practice revision piece before diving into That Thing.]