Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Gone walkabout

I believe everything my great-aunt told me and, like her, I chase rainbows. With grim determination. 

When it storms in the mountains I go hunting the aelfs. Up the winding paths to the stars, into the deep pools of dust. 

Waiting for the rainbows that fall like meteors. Listening.

“Why don’t you believe in human beings?”

Onesti and Teathyme are riding side by side.

Onesti smiles and says, “You would like to believe in them, wouldn’t you.”

A frown crosses Teathyme's face. She sings, “I am not playing…”

Onesti says, “Ok. I will be serious. I cannot prove any of your human beings are real. They are not an objective reality, like the clans, gold, rainbows, dragon-kin or spider-kin – which can all be perceived in the physical world. They cannot be proven to exist in the same way as the, for example, spider-kin can be proven to exist. Human beings are simply not an objective reality.”

Teathyme stops singing, “Our cats believe in humans.”

Onesti sighs, “I am prepared to accept that lots of us want to believe in human beings. I know the cats believe in them.”

She reaches down and pats the great white cat carrying her.

Onesti says, “Here. I am prepared to accept that they are a social reality. They are as real as the weight of smiles and songs. It is something enough of us believe in to change the way we behave. We tell stories, we weave dreams and we dance songs about these supposed creatures. We make up stories of their exploits and then we strive to invent their imaginary technologies and strategies for ourselves, but, in reality, they are just a reflection of our own selves.”

Seeing Teathyme's face crease, she smiles a concession, “But, they have played a role in what we have become.”

Teathyme starts to protest, “There is more to humans than mere storm magic, I can feel it. They can help us protect the clans.”

Onesti continues, “You are too close to your feelings. You are letting a social reality become an objective reality.”

Teathyme sings, “Spirit dust and star wraiths. That means nothing at all. Show me footprints and smell-trace.”

More urgently, “Come with me. I know where there are humans.”

Now it is Onesti’s turn to hesitate.

Onesti says, “But, why would you be so quick to believe in humans? You tell stories of them being as prolific as spider-kin and as cruel as dragon-kin. Why add to our problems?”

Teathyme sings, “They can help.”

Onesti knows the answer to this, “Remind me of the spider-kin.”

Teathyme sings –

“The web weavers, that infest the nodes of the world, distorting reality.
The trap builders, that wait for our story tellers and ruin the fantasy.
The great scorpions, that poison our teachers and turn peace to agony.”

Onesti growls, “How can your imaginary human beings help against such?”

Teathyme sings, “Come with me, blood sister. The universe is a large place. Let us see if they can end our winter.”

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