Abundance

Several times in the past Yulik had been reprimanded for keeping food in his pack.  The seniors had always had the rule that food was not to be kept outside the laboratory.  The trouble was Yulik was always hungry and as he could never be certain that food would arrive when he required feeding he had kept a stash for needs must.

Yulik was a fast growing specimen and had outstripped the rest of his group having had several growth spurts in the last few weeks.  Tallest of the entire group Yulik had to duck his head under the ceiling beams or bruises the colour of night appeared on top of his snout which was unbecoming to an up and coming.  The seniors were keen to have Yulik as an example of excellent growth for his group and their peers on all levels.  But food was an issue that required discipline in this place where there was only enough to go around for everyone once a day.  To some it appeared that Yulik had another source of food that enabled his appetite to be sated more than once a day.  He did.  Yulik had a forbidden secret.  At night Yulik always went for a glide into the country outside this place and he would always come back with a full pack.  He went alone after everyone was asleep.

One night shortly after Yulik’s latest reprimand, quite by accident, Yulik was spied by an eminent senior, gliding from the highest launch tower platform.  Even as he watched, with shock at such a willful act, the senior registered admiration for Yulik’s gliding technique.

After learning of Yulik’s nightly forays the senior committee decided he would be followed.  Another source of food would be welcomed by everyone.  Also another food source would explain Yulik’s splendid growth spurts and his expertise coordinating such technical takeoffs from the highest launch pad.  He was very young for this level of expertise.

The night he was followed his stalker was almost caught by Yulik on leaving the platform.  Yulik’s attention was drawn by the noise the spy made as he cleared the edge of the launch pad.  He obviously did not have Yulik’s expert technique or practice for jumping the safety rail around the rim of the pad.  The stalker thought he was safe but Yulik remained suspicious as he continued his majestic glide over the land.  High take-offs were required as the wing span of a Grell was as wide as his length from snout to the end of his tail and Yulik was a tall one when standing, towering well above all his mates.

The life of a modern Grell was short compared to the ancestors.  The ancestors had very long and distinguished careers as gliders in the land.  The Grell of today was shorter and less robust.  This was due to population of course, but it was necessary to keep on producing offspring for future generations to continue the lines.  Perhaps Yulik was a throw-back in the ancestral mold.  It seemed to the Senior following him that Yulik also had greater intelligence because he had sought out another food source, he also had the courage to explore away from the reach of the disciplines of the laboratory.

Yulik was traveling fast in the direction of the mountains which was the outer limit of Grell territory.  He dipped his lower body and rose up to enable an air passage across the mountains.  As it was he would just skim the upper reaches.  There were glaciers, rivers of ice cutting their way to the valleys below.  Yulik knew the way having traveled here so many times before.  He skimmed over the icy waves of an upper glacier, which had carved a pass between two steep mountains, pleased he could maintain this height in the freezing air.

The Senior following was anxious and confused.  Grell training, instilled since birth, had been that never under any circumstances leave the territory of the Grell. Because of this edict it was rumoured that unspeakable things would be seen, terrible injuries would occur, and as a matter of course dire consequences would fall upon your head from the members of the senior committee.  As he approached the pass a strange independent thought struck the Senior; that if Yulik does this often and thrives unlike the rest of Grell, who are undernourished under-achievers, then hanging on to old traditions and fears needed to be a thing of the past.  As he thought this through he too was over the glacial pass and Yulik had left his line of sight.

The Senior was lost in a panic.  He would be driven from Grell even if he returned now with Yulik.  Then he saw a flash of Yulik’s wings – what?  Yulik’s wings were beating up and down and he was gaining height.  How?  The Senior would need to start beating his own wings or crash land in strange country outside the border of Grell.  Unused muscles screamed as he tried to beat his wings up and down.  Slightly, slowly he gained height and followed in Yulik’s direction.  Beating wings were not forbidden in Grell territory it was just that no-one knew this was possible and so no-one had tried.  As the Senior followed Yulik he was in pain and fear and very worried about what all this meant for the future of the Grell.

Yulik supposed he had lost the senior over the pass and he continued on no longer gliding but flying.  He had discovered here on the other side of the mountains that he could beat his long wings and gain height; he had also discovered his long tail acted as a rudder for direction.  This discovery had occurred out of necessity as he had been careening out of control into the furthest edges of the glacier one night and in an attempt to save himself his wings began an automatic and spontaneous beating motion that had saved his body from crashing and to his astonishment had enabled him to gain height, change direction, take off without a tower, land with grace and even circle in the thermal currents above the mountains on this side of Grell territory.  Somewhere deep inside Yulik’s core centre he knew that Grell were supposed to do this: fly free.  He was convinced that the laboratory was an aberration, an abomination that had become a prison for the noble lines of Grell.

As he flew on further from Grell territory he knew where he was heading, not much further to the pastures of the southern plains.  There was food there that was just waiting to be plucked up by his giant feet as he dangled in the air above the ground.

The Senior amazed at his own temerity as he continued following Yulik across the sky was getting used to the beating of his wings.  His body seemed to take over the task naturally and almost like second nature his tail helped to guide him in that direction.  Slowly the Senior began to realize that he was actually enjoying himself.

Yulik was approaching the pasture he had frequented for a long time.  He chose a different location every few nights so that the food did not deplete.  He did not wish the supply to stop growing.  The spores had to take root and continue.  He traveled further this night than ever before.

The Senior watched Yulik approach the ground.  Yulik seemed to hover above the surface – he didn’t land.  His big feet dug out a huge chunk of vegetation and as he rose into the sky again his huge tail swished to the side and Yulik gracefully pirouetted in the air and headed back to the mountains.  The Senior would be seen if he could not hide.  Senior saw his chance and swooped behind a huge rocky outcrop which gave him time to allow Yulik to proceed on his way.

As he neared the mountains Yulik saw ahead in the distance the gaping soft black hole looming darkly against the craggy face of the tall mountain a long way west of the pass and he made a direct flight for the hole.  The hole was so big Yulik didn’t have to duck or maneuver at all he just sailed right in.  It was an easy landing as he stepped of the chunk of vegetation.  Yulik picked up the chunk in his arms and scattered it widely on the floor of the dark cave then he followed the line of the cave into the rear and the food.  The spores from the previous chunks of vegetation had taken root here in the dark.  He pulled a big piece of flesh off the solid trunk beside him and feasted.  The taste was similar to the food made in the laboratory but there the similarity ended.  This food was nutritious; it had substance, chewiness and flavour.  When Yulik had finished eating his fill he put another smaller chunk in his pack to take back to the laboratory for breakfast.  He would have to hide this carefully.  The rules were so entrenched in everyone’s psyche he couldn’t understand why he was so different.  He hadn’t been stifled by the rules or made fearful of the myths, the history that made the Grell feel inferior and unworthy.  No wonder they believed the stories and upheld the restrictions placed upon them to the point of starvation and weakness.

Yulik was not prepared to starve or stagnate for the sake of historical continuity.  The Senior landed in the cave although not with the same grace as Yulik.  As he looked around the outer cave he could smell the food.  That was when Yulik asked him if he was hungry.  He was.  He was very hungry.  He hadn’t heard Yulik approach from the rear of the cave and he felt silly as well as hungry.  Yulik beckoned the Senior to the rear of the cave and broke another large chunk off the stumpy trunk he had just eaten from and gave it to the Senior Grell. The Senior ate and then ate more when it was offered.

At this point the Senior needed to ask questions about the food and the cave.  Why food could be grown here and maybe in other caves from the spores generated by the many pastures full of the vegetation that Yulik had been harvesting.  Yulik warned that he had only fed locally and had no idea what lay beyond the pastures that bordered the mountains.  Nor had he any notion as yet as to whether the area was inhabited.  He thought perhaps it was inhabited and that was why the Grell were confined to the territory on the other side of the mountain pass, but he hadn’t had time to explore further or during the hours of light.  He felt that the native inhabitants of the area here would be active in the light hours.  The Senior was curious about all this and decided that as he was a senior in the council after all that they should stay and explore.  The council knew he had followed Yulik and whilst they would be angry and anxious that they had not returned they would not send a search party beyond the mountains and would wait for their return.  When it was agreed by both parties to work together they settled for some sleep but only after the Senior placed himself in the entrance of the cave.

The dawn woke Yulik and he ate his fill.  In the light he could see the spores growing into the sides of the cave where he had scattered the vegetation.  He had been doing this now on a regular basis for about a year and he noticed that he always scattered the spores near the mouth of the cave but harvested from the back in the dark, dark even in the dawn and daylight here at the front of the cave. It seems that the spores moved by themselves into the darker areas before they matured.  He wondered why the Grell had left this place and why, at least, they hadn’t taken the pasture with them?

After the Senior had eaten his fill they were anxious and curious to be on their way.  Yulik and the Senior flew further south until midday and all they could see from horizon to horizon was uninhabited pastureland, no dwellings or workers in the pasture.  From their vantage on high they did see a vast expanse of water to the west.  It was so big they couldn’t be sure if it was a lake or a sea.  So turning west they decided to investigate the shoreline and fly a square pattern that would take them back to the cave in the mountains before nightfall.  As they approached the shore they flew higher and out over the water and as they turned to look at the shoreline there were high cliffs as far as the eye could see.  Majestic cliffs covered with dark patches that when they got closer they realized were caves just like the one in the mountains.  Hundreds of caves littering the cliff face all along the shore.  They flew in closer to the shore looking for the inhabitants of the caves.

Then the Senior gave voice in surprise.  There on the rocks below the cliffs was a figure.  Yulik hailed the Being below.  As they came closer Senior was worried about the reception two strangers flying in would receive.  He had just cause.  As Yulik began to land the figure on the rocks shouted out an alarm call and in seconds the rocks and cliff face, and even along the cliff edge above was bristling with Beings that looked like Grell but with a few differences they had short tails and no wings.  Yulik could clearly understand what they were saying so they had the same language.  There was terrible fear here and the Senior realized more quickly than Yulik that these Beings were afraid of them.  It seemed they were very afraid of their cousins as ancient looking armaments were being hastily trundled out of some of the caves.  Big machines that threw spears into the air, thankfully not with great accuracy, as the warning shot missed Yulik by yards.  It was time to go and until they could see a safe way to communicate with these Grell-but-not-Grell there could be no answers to their questions.

The opportunity came days later when the Senior, out on patrol, spied a lone ‘not-Grell’, as Yulik had come to refer to them.  The Senior approached on the ground with his wings folded, walking upright on his legs and with his long tail draped, relaxed across his shoulders.  He hailed the stranger, in a friendly yet formal manner, from a short distance.  The strange ‘not-Grell’ was startled and cautious but not antagonistic.  He waited until the Senior came closer.  The stranger had heard that winged Grell had escaped the territory beyond the mountains and had been elected to check out the situation.  He was a brave one indeed and he had been schooled in the ancient history of why the winged Grell had originally been banished to the territory.

The Senior and the stranger, after formal greetings, began to answer each others questions and sadly the Senior heard the history which was unknown or forgotten in the territory.  They were all Grell. The strangers name was Morec and the senior was only ever called the Senior.

Apparently many hundreds of years ago there was a mutation born into the land of the Grell.  Because she was the only one born with wings and a long tail it was thought only an aberration and a mistake of nature.  However more and more were born with wings and long tails as the years went by.  When some of these winged Grell grew to maturity their ability to fly shifted the power in the community where they lived.  Before long there was a terrible war and many lives were lost.  Eventually the non-winged Grell banished the winged ones into the territory beyond the mountains and over time fostered the belief of cursed country outside the territory into the folklore of the winged ones who were contained there.  It was written in their teachings.  Morec spoke with conviction as he told the Senior that the two could never mix again as there would be more wars.

The Senior spoke of the harsh life and starvation in the territory and of Yulik’s discovery of the food in the pastures and the cave on the mountain.  A solution needed to be found, and fast, thought Morec as he left to consult his community, before the territory Grell escaped in numbers and war surely followed.

The Senior told Yulik of the meeting with Morec and Yulik worried with the Senior about the outcome.  They both felt powerless.  Powerlessness was the life long lesson in the territory.  Territorian Grell only glided.  On his nightly forays Yulik only flew after he crossed the mountain pass.  The powerlessness was so entrenched it was of itself sufficient to keep the winged Grell subdued.  Days later Morec came to the pasture below the cave and waited for the Senior and Yulik to come down and hear their verdict.

Morec, on greeting them both was very conscious of Yulik’s size and the difference between a better fed Yulik and an underfed Senior.  The non-winged Grell were right there was a possible danger here.  Morec proposed a treaty.

Vegetation for the pastures on the territory side of the mountains would be provided to enable more food for the Territorian winged Grell.  The mountains must remain the southern border of the territory of the winged Grell.  There would never be further communication between the two Grell communities on pain of war.  Morec stated that the border would be watched and if needs must the ancient weapons would be revived and trained on the mountain passes.

Yulik and the Senior took note of this dire threat.  Morec did however, from the kindness of his heart, suggest that the land to the north and east of the territory was uninhabited except for the Dirrell a grazing herd of small creatures that kept to themselves.  The Senior negotiated for the pasture vegetation so that the spores could be farmed and harvested in the laboratories of the territory.

Yulik was sorry he could not come south again without causing problems for all, but he could understand Morec’s concerns and fears.  Yulik stood head and shoulders above him.  What would the winged Grell be like if fed properly from birth?  Yulik felt he would be very happy to see one like that in the future.

Now that the Senior and Yulik were on their way home to the laboratory they decided: never to return where they were not wanted, never to go to war with their ancestors, and to convince the council of seniors to move north and east allowing them to become a powerful community, finding other pastures to grow the spores and actively farm the vegetation on the neglected pasturelands within the territory instead of trying to reproduce stunted spore trees in the laboratories.  The pasture spores had much more flavour and nutrition.

As the Senior and Yulik flew back over the pass and into the territory the beat of their wings became stronger and stronger and Yulik was more determined than ever to explore new places.

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The Bringers

On a wave of love the people cheered for the Bringers of the new way.  So many had sacrificed their lives for the new order.  The old way was debased and degrading.  Too many deaths, too few living in peace.  Death of living had reigned for almost a century.  It had been a very dark time and then everyone just stopped.  Stopped the torture, and the killing.  It was over.  Some could not believe it and still stayed in their holes, defending the entrances with savage aggression.  Others, in fact, most of the population had come out into the sunlight.  Their faces were gaunt and ashen; generations of underground faces had come out, shading their eyes, to see the Bringers of the new way.  The children were the first to understand that change had come to their land, and after a while they were running around, tentatively at first, then shouting out and playing as children do.  Laughing out loud as they knew there was no longer any fear of giving away the hiding places.  Little children learn to let go of restriction quickly and these little ones were almost hysterical in their newfound freedom.

The Bringers walked amongst the ‘Hole’ people as they called them, passing out favours into the hands that rose up to touch them.  The Bringers were careful though; they didn’t want to be mobbed.  In amongst the cheering voices they began to detect sobs, individuals, who had, all of a sudden glimpsed hope, in the absence of fear.   Hope allowed them to let go, allowed vulnerability.  Each Bringer could see this spreading and they appreciated the honour, and understood with humility the privilege of being a Bringer of newness.

The Bringers knew that the newness would spread to all the people in a very short time.  The daily prospect of torture, possible death, and definitely killing for survival was over.  The Bringers continued to pass out the favours.  They were silly things, but they raised the energy just because they were silly, frivolous hats and masks and shrill whistles.  The Hole people had never seen them before and didn’t know what to do with such things.  Some threw them down, or passed them on to the next person, others just held on to them as a part of this strange newness.

The Bringers had come to this place specifically to stop the madness and vulgarity of such base existence, and so over time, they gently eased in the changes, helping the Hole people to feel safe and to live above ground if they chose.  Houses would be built with them, and they would teach them how to grow their food above ground.  The Hole people had become foragers, and grew only those things that liked the dark spaces underground.  Now they could grow green things, grow children that had strong straight legs.  Hope was the new way.  The Bringers gave out advice and education, and they enabled the Hole people to advance.  Over time the Hole people would liberate their own ways, they only needed to be free of the constant, terror, torture and the killing.  The Bringers would need to stay for a while longer, because as yet, they hadn’t liberated the killers, only scared them away.

That was the next step, and a lot harder, peoples who had instilled fear, and preyed upon others, and killed for nearly a century had held the power.  Power by fear.  They wouldn’t willingly give that up, but then the Bringers also had a dark side, and could also engender fear.  This had been discovered in other places they had visited.  Places where people fed on the fear of others they had learned, were easy to conquer, as these were the ones who actually feared the most.

Jenson

“Dear mother, there has been a problem with Jenson for years.  He is old, and needs new plugs and joints, as I have told you before.  We will all go together then, as you are so fond of him.  We’ll take him and wait, if you like?  There is a hotel near the factory, so we’ll have him back here before he knows it, and he’ll be better at his tasks, and you will be more settled.”

“Jenson has been with us a long time and has been of great service.  With age robots of the Jenson range seize in the joints, and the plugs and wiring don’t fire off as fast.  So they get slower and are unable to translate orders as well as when new.  This model was a prototype for the more current model Jenson 111, but mother won’t have a replacement.  She says, she likes the particular character of this Jenson, and I must admit, he does have certain quirks that give him a sort of personality all of his own.

When we had him made from father’s plan, we didn’t think he would be sturdy enough to carry the task load he was given here at the house.  Mother has been infirm since I was born and now in her later years can’t walk without the aide of Jenson.  When she needs to move about he picks her up and supports her, carries her about in a very dignified way.

I actually didn’t realize until I came to stay for this holiday how much Jenson does for her.  He does all the housework and repairs, and the house is immaculate, and he sees carefully, and gently to mother, which includes all of her personal care.  I feel very humbled to know that this robot, a mere prototype built on the direction of father’s plans, and modified to his personal instructions, has relieved my brothers, sister, and I of the personal care of our mother.  More important than that he has also enabled mother to be independent and sociable, to be out and about in society, she even has houseguests, all because of Jenson’s existence.

Actually I hadn’t realized until I was staying in the house how much we owe to him.”

“Mother dear, what do you say to this idea of mine?  How about, whilst we are at the factory, you meet one of the new model Jenson’s?  Now, now, don’t get upset we aren’t going to replace our Jenson, but I do believe he could do with some help around here don’t you?”

The Captain’s Daughter

“We don’t know how long it took to get here.  We have been traveling for generations.  My grandfather was Captain of the ship Borjenswar.  You might suppose then that my father was now the captain but you would be wrong.  It was my mother who trained as captain alongside her father.  My father is the second engineer and he looks after the machinery that enables the fusion that runs the Borjenswar.  The first engineer is really a fusion technologist.

Now let me summarize for you.  All this means is that granddad left our home, what was left of our home planet, when he was a young captain and took with him his very new wife who was actually the ship’s secretary.  She wrote up rules, plans, happenings etc, but mostly Gran was a counselor to the crew.  She was everyone’s mother or auntie.  Granddad and Gran had three children on the voyage.  Mother studied to be Captain, her two sisters became ordinary crew and when they were old enough got married to other crewmembers and just had babies for the new colony.  Mother and father had me first and then my brother.  Even though he is younger than I am he is in training to follow mother as Captain.  We start early on Borjenswar.  I am studying to be an agriculturist.

We have extensive and intensive agriculture on board.  Size doesn’t matter in deep space.  Borjenswar is huge, we just went from our home planet in shuttles out to the ship and all took up residence.  We carry at present five thousand people and several animal species that my teacher, and boss, feels we may infect the new home world with if they get loose and become feral.  I’m not sure, as I don’t think they will survive.  We have seen three possible home worlds since leaving our own but the populations were not friendly enough to allow asylum.  The leaders on Borjenswar feel we should just keep going.  Our life on board is very good and we can deal with five thousand.  We have plenty and are self-sustainable for a long time to come.  The next planet is coming up for our inspection in about four time tours.  I will be older then and may have several children of my own.  I have my eye on a second chef trainee.  I like food and its preparation as well as growing it.

When we have children here on Borjenswar, more often than not, because of our duties we all help care for the children.  Depending on their parents’ duty some children are closer to their neighbours than their parents when they are young.  It is only when they can understand that they can really claim their parents.  It doesn’t seem to do us any harm though; we all just live here together anyway.

Our home world was very depleted and so we all came onto Borjenswar.  After many time tours out, during a visit to a possible home world, somehow an introduced disease passed through the locks into space.  I was lucky.  To keep our family tree intact my paternal grandfather had to let go of his wife and two of his brothers to rid us of the disease as they along with thousands more had become carriers of the disease.  It has been written down in the history of the Borjenswar as the greatest tragedy of the voyage.  Well, I am a realist and I say you cannot call it that yet, we have a long way to go

I am developing a new strain of plant for my traineeship exam at the end of this tour and it is becoming a struggle to keep the seedlings alive.  They need something in the mix and I’m not sure what it is.  We are always attempting new species in the plant house that is at one end of Borjenswar, near the engines. It is cool at one side and heated on the other so we have both micro-climates without drawing on extra power for heating and cooling systems.  We travel by a monorail system to get about Borjenswar.  A number of the population have ideas that they send to us regarding food for the future.  Our diet is somewhat limited although we keep trying to extend our resources to encompass new vegetation, and the animal carers try to breed new and more vigorous species.  There are some fowl that have been enlarged by increasing the amounts of certain genetically improved plant food that they favour.

When we have a new food source completed we always grow and supply enough for both the working food kitchens at once.  A number of the kitchens are closed now but there is a kitchen to one side of Borjenswar and on the deck below is another.  They are both in constant use as five thousand people eating around the clock needs two kitchens.  On break days I go to the view deck with my second chef trainee and we look out into space and see if we can pick out a home planet.  There isn’t much else to do on board.  You work and spend time with your friends.  Once upon a time we had games of chance to play but they caused arguments and in-fighting in the families so the Captain stopped them.  We can’t have disorder here.

When we do find a home planet we will have to begin again with the indigenous plants and animals no doubt.  Perhaps we shall find a new home eventually and maybe I’ll experience the excitement and adventure of such a find in my lifetime.  We are wary of new places though because there may be disease, hostile natives, and even ferocious animals.  When it’s all said and done I think it’s much safer and comfortable on Borjenswar.”

The House on the Hill

“There were rolling hills here in the back country before you reach the desert.  Now the hills have been flat-topped to allow for more buildings and new roadways into the houses clustered in enclaves all over every available land surface.  People, people, people, everywhere you turn.  It wouldn’t really be a problem but it is the only land left except for the desert.  They have built up a buffer zone.  Those few scrappy shrubs and rocks over the hills there are the buffer between civilization and the desert.

The desert is quite severe and even just a few miles in people have got lost and died.  There are no water sources out there or here in the hills for that matter.  It does rain here though very sparsely out there in the wilderness.  People frantically collect rain in dams and tanks when it does fall here in the hills.  So here we are on this little island kingdom where everyone wants to live.  Two-thirds of the island is literally covered in by wall to wall houses with small roadways between clusters, roadways wide enough to allow a pack animal or a narrow cart, some only a person wide.  In some places the houses are built with a narrow lane running through their middle and that is getting ridiculous.

People keep arriving here to stay.  They bring baggage and furnishings, animals and relatives, too many that we can see.  My family had a house on the hill below the castle walls.  The castle was built up there because of its vantage point, a 360 degree view over the whole island, on a clear day with an off shore breeze you can see to the farthest shore.

How far now the view?  Only to the next wall I’ve no doubt.

My family house was old and sprawling.  The King ordered us all to another area and off our own land.  Our house was demolished for smaller box-like accommodations for others, for new arrivals.  I notice the castle and its walls still stand for all their age and sprawling tendencies.  The elders of my family have decided to petition the King for a larger house but I have my doubts as to whether or not we will be seen.

Trade flourishes of course, particularly in foreign furnishings and timber wares. A foreigner told me the other day that timber products are now in short supply.  Well already there is no growing timber left on our island it’s all in houses.  I asked this foreigner where he came from and he told me his story.  In our ocean there are two islands his island was slightly bigger than ours.  The people that lived there now live here.  They had used up all their natural resources, trees gone; erosion, no buffer left and the desert sands rolled over the lot, the whole of their land, in the space of a decade.  No rain means no water, so they are all coming here to live. Already we have no growing timber left and are built up to the buffer zone.  Where will we go? We really need to see the King.”

Heronimus the Great

There is an occurrence in the universe that happens every now and then.  A being emerges who has a greater knowledge and presence than the greatest one who came before.  Heronimus was such a being.  His equal is yet to become.

Heronimus had an ability to immerse himself in the concepts of the broader vision.  He could envisage magnificent worlds of plural realities that intermingled in a chaos of beauty and eventually he needed a way to express these concepts.  On one of his journeys into vision he saw a female being using a long stick with a pointy end.  She was moving the stick over a flat wall and where she touched the stick colour and shapes were left on the wall.  Heronimus decided to attempt this, to leave a copy of his vision for others to appreciate.

A stick was alright but did not really work the way he had witnessed in the vision.  Heronimus began to experiment with other implements and also colours.  Where did she get the colours?  His vision had shown that she was a very different kind of being from Heronimus and in her world perhaps there were implements he had not yet beheld.  He would continue to try different things.

The red came by accident when his offspring skewered a sea creature and it exploded red juice all over the rocks.  Of course! The colours could be found in the world around.  A being of lesser greatness and presence would never have connected to the colours in this way; the yellow in the mineral paste that the scarabs licked, the purple on the sole pads of the scratching remnant that invades the cereal plants.

Heronimus was ecstatic as he was on the right track now.  He even had a wall.  His offspring assisted with the collection of colour samples and Heronimus was ready with a selection of implements to dip and touch to the wall.  With superb sweeps of his forearms colour began to appear in scratchings and bold strokes across the wall.  Heronimus drew the female being of his vision with her two arms and two legs.  Two eyes and one mouth and a sprout of filaments from her head completed this perplexing graphic as she applied colour on her wall in that far away reality Heronimus had envisaged.

Others came to see the wall, those who willingly acknowledged that they did not have the vision of the now Great Heronimus, but who could judge greatness in this colourful wall.  No other walls had ever been coloured before and there was no such unfortunate creature, with two arms and only two eyes to compare with this vision, within their universe.  Yes!  Heronimus was great, a superior being indeed one who could envisage such a scene and replicate it on a wall.  Others must now be taught how to do this and it was so.  Heronimus was hailed historically for his greatness and presence.  However, future versions of the original wall by those of lesser greatness gave the poor creature more arms and eyes so that she could feel happier and more at home on any wall.

 

The Monitor

“How beautiful the light.  Swathes of coloured cloth festoon the trees and loops of colour swirl through the forest on the hill.  The new wave of emotion that has come from the people hits me as I float gently above the canopy of the colour forest.

The people see me, look through me; I am also colour, the colour of the sky.  So they nearly all see me as sky.  There is only the discernment of a few who are aware that I am a shape within the sky.  I have been here for many, many moons too numerous to count and I watch the people as they enjoy the colour forest.

I have witnessed the previous generations replace the leaves with the materials of all colours.  It happens when the leaves fall from the trees and die into the soil in which they live.  The bolts of diaphanous colours emerge from the shed below the forest.  The bolts are unrolled and unfurled in graduations of tone on tone as they fly in the breezes that cross the forest floor and the colours seem to blend into one another as they waft.  I am overhead now and an observant person is pointing up in a futile attempt to help his partner discriminate my outline against the sky.  Blue on blue I am not.  I am transparent and the blue shines through.

A child has the end of a piece of cloth in its mouth and is sucking.  A mother curbs her daughter from wrapping the cloth around her sister.  There is happiness and gentle caring in the colours.  Everyone will return to their homes at twilight and the colour swathes will go dark and wait for the dawn again to blaze in their glory.  I will become the blackness of the night then and the stars will shine through the membrane of me.

I am the watcher, the observer who has the switch that turns on the lights in the exhibition hall.  Outside, when the people leave here, they go to bleakness and grey.  When the feeble sun does arise sepia tones of drab invade the outside world, outside the exhibition centre.  My cousins on the outside have been decimated by the toxins and the apathy.  I am the only colour monitor left and I am imprisoned in the hall.  How beautiful the light!”