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What came before you was only a sound.
I don’t mean that’s all I remember – I remember lots of stuff. Really. I remember brass-banded elevators with levers and pulls and tubes. I remember light breaking through windows, light from someplace far far away. I remember making a sort of nest for myself out of books and sparkly things– mostly sparkly things. I remember waking up here.
I’m a sort of accident. It might have been my fault – you would say yes, of course, Ren, because trouble rides on your wings which are shiny and gorgeous and I secretly want to touch all the time… well, maybe not that last bit. But I don’t think so. I like to think of myself as more of a thing that had to happen, because otherwise I wouldn’t have happened.
(You say this is something called circulus in probando but I don’t think you know what that even means.)
But what I remember is a sound. Ping. Ping. Ping. Sometimes it was just like that – over and over again – and sometimes more like pip pip pip, faster and duller and almost organic.
What came before you was rain.
In my head I see you entering my words on your computer, that set of files you call the Lingua Ignota, your unheard language. I can even imagine you typing–
–because in your world everything should be ordered, names and behaviors filed in columns, folded into rows, all ready to read with just a few fingertaps. That’s even how this tower is formed– your tower, not the tower. Folders. Files. Formulas.
(Darkness, water, chaos.)
So before you was rain. I’d been there for so long it seemed… you’d say immutable. Nest. Things. Rain. I tried to tell you once how it works, how the tower is everything we think we know (and we is everyone, not just everyone here) and how, when we watch the dawn, it looks like we’re inside and the light is outside. But it isn’t.
(That time you didn’t use any big words from old languages. You just said I was full of nonsense and I said full of nachos actually. I like them.)
In your world clouds do all the raining – cotton-puffs piled up into big blankets that cover the sky. I only know that because I saw it on tv; the sky around your tower is always clear and blue. You say when the tower is taller they’ll be able to create storms that will water the desert and make a garden to rival Babylon. Except then Babel would fall dark. It says so in a formula, or a file, or a folder. D:/>LINGUAIGNOTA>cd CONCHSIS.
(Darkness, water, chaos. Zip for three.)
In the immutable world there are no clouds and no clear blue sky. Instead there’s a big umbrella that covers everything. It leaks – that’s important. Only it doesn’t leak like on your world, where the clouds do the raining. The umbrella does the raining, so it leaks from itself. Sort of. It’s like what I said about the tower and the light and how we’re outside even though it looks like we’re in, because it isn’t a real umbrella, just like my nest wasn’t a real nest and the books weren’t real books and the only sparkly thing was me.
Still. Let’s say I built a messy nest between pillars made of books and lined it with things that shone. Let’s say there was an umbrella that covered up the sky. Let’s say there was rain, rain that rusted everything – the things I collected and the big empty city (let’s say there was a city) all around. My wings. Mailboxes, and old bicycles, and garden benches made of iron. Signs. Everything.
Only not me.
(Darkness, water, chaos. Breath.)
|What I Write||
solarpunk, fantasy, mythic fiction, fanfiction. ♥ the excerpt above is from the hymn of babel, an ongoing project inspired by science, big data, and christian gnosticism.
some previous pieces of my flash fiction are available to read at the muse café:
under the username “crimsoncookie.” ♥
my handle on ao3 is “rainingsomewhere.”
this year i shall be back to 500 words a day during the week, and focus on slow-writing and edits on the weekends. ♥ and take the 4th off, because goodness it is hard to concentrate while hiding under the bed from fireworks. …and also my birthday, too, just because.
(…secret goal is to finish the first draft of chuck’s dragon, but i make no promises. i’m quite terrible at promises. but i’ll try.)
i do not like writing about current events very much, or politics… or honestly anything the least bit personal that is not in the form of a story, really. and many other writers have talked about how important stories are. so. i won’t speak on that, but instead nod sagely and ask for a sponsorship to make me feel happy and encouraged.
but. if you’re browsing around and see any bit of story that shapes something in your head – some bit of the future or realization of the past or just something inward or outward or anyward at all – please give clarion west money. the stories will thank you. ♥