One of the unreturned

The navigator sat in the deep, dark silence woven around him. He existed within that dark space as a lone thought in a mind the size of the universe. For all he knew he was just a lone thought in a universe. He knew for a fact that he was not; he was constantly aware of the others on the ship. But in the long hours of their flight the navigator had come to realize things were not as they should be. Not on the ship – the crew were chosen for their absolute faith in the mission and their easily cleansed minds – but inside him. It was nothing concrete, and often he did not even sense it, but there was something there that should not be there. It was a precursor to a feeling of sorts, which the navigator should not have. Navigators were the most complex of the Creations and went through very rigourous testing before even being succumbed to the simulations, and only very few of them went through the iterations with good enough scores to actually be but in charge of a ship. The navigator knew everything inside him was as it should: as close to perfect as was possible. And yet he had doubts. Suddenly the navigator hit the Wall, and senses tensed and light ascended.

”Input caution. Confirmation required.”
”Acknowledged.” said the support officer on duty. ”Dispatching officer to the indicated input. Stand by for manual confirmation.”
”I can see why it needed confirmation.” said the voice of one of the input officers. ”Looks like one of ours.”
”Out here?”
”Yes. The data is uploaded now.”
”Confirmed. One of ours. Preliminery report, Navigator.”
”The probe Atlas.”
The support officer examined the object in front of him. ”The radioactive decay would agree. It came a long way. Is it contaminated?”
”No.”
”Wery well then. Total download and put it in the bucket.”
”Acknowledged.” The darkness came back.

It was not total darkness. The navigator had access to the optical inputs of course, so he could in a way see infinity. A lone thought, in an infite universe. He brought up the Atlas reports generated. Such an old thing. It would hold little interest to anyone, or everyone, depending on whether the historians considered it of interest or not. Maybe this would be part of a new story? As everyone had, the navigator had a profound sense of the importance of the stories. They shaped, they guided, they led through dangerous paths. In a way, the navigator was like a storyteller: endlessly telling stories and paths through the rigors of existance. Only the navigator had no audience. Or anything else besides that infinite darkness. This was the navigators purpose and he took comfort in it, yet still… Time passed, and the cycles never ended. The navigator saw what would have been three years pass by before it hit the Wall again, with its sounds and colours and light.
”Input caution. Confirmation required.”
”Acknowledged.” said the support offices on duty. It was a different man. ”Dispatching officer to the indicated input. Stand by for manual confirmation.”
”Just a meteorite … why the caution, Navigator?”
”It has large quantities of water.”
”So? Hang on, is that really a cause for a caution?”
”Yes, as it is very rare in this quadrant.”
”Ah. Yes. Very rare elements would cause a caution. In hindsight it probably wasn’t a good idea to implement, but it is very pretty. I’ll put it on display, shall I?”
”Negative, put it in the bucket with the others.” sighed the support officer. Darkness descended once again.

Like a lone thought in an infinite universe the navigator guided the ship through the stars.

Annonser
One of the unreturned

The quest of the purple

”Is this thing on? Alright. Let’s begin. Jenny?”
”…”
”Jenny, focus please. Jenny! Focus! What’s your status?”
”…”
”You didn’t do the prechecks? Are you serious? That is in your job description!”
”…”
”No, just shut up Jenny. Shut up. No, shut up. Jenny. Jenny? Just flip the switch, ok. Just … do it, ok?”
”…”
”Whatever. Are you all ready, then, finally? I did not think I would have to ask at this point, but apparently I do have to ask. Are you all ready?”
”…” ”…” ”…” ”…”
”Ok. Whatever. Fine. Ok. Starting test Gamma-3, number twentyseven. The injector is on standby, preparing red-one. … … Ok, looks good. Ben, inject red-one.”
”…”
”Inject red-one, Ben.”
”…”
”BEN! Red-one! Now, ifyouwouldsokindlyplease!”
”…”
”Yes. Ok. Fine. Thank you. No, really, thank you. I should just tattoo that in my face because man I hate saying it to you.”
”…”
”Whatever. Whatever! Red-one is go. … Red-one is gamma-stable. Prepare mauve-three. Pete?”
”…”
”Yes, we are.”
”…”
”No, that was last week. Are you serious?”
”…”
”WHAT-EVER. Abort! Abort, abort, abort, abort. We’ll have to start over. For the record and for the future generations should you unlucky sods ever uncover this crap, Pete thought we were still on mauve-two. Get a grip, Pete. I’m serious.
”…”
”Clean out the spam then!”
”…”
”No, I did say it in the meeting.”
”…”
”I remember it.”
”…”
”NO. Shut up, Pete. Just get mauve-three so we can get going, ok?”
”…”
”Just go. Just go. No, no, just get it.”
”…”
”I really can’t believe this. I need a break. Listen up, while Pete is setting up mauve-three, take five.”
”…”
”WHATEVER!”
”…”
”…”
”…”
”…”
”Ok, we’re back. Jenny, is the injector still in standby?”
”…”
”You shut it down? I … Why?”
”…”
”No, just … Take another five, everyone.”
”…”
”…”
”So, Jenny. Standby, is the injector at least tangential to the concept?”
”…”
”Ok. Starting test Gamma-3, number twentyeight. The injector is on standby, preparing red-one. … … Ben, red-one please.”
”…”
”Good. … Red-one is gamma-stable. Prepare mauve-three. … Pete, inject mauve-three.”
”…”
”Alright. Mauve-three is gamma-stable. Looks good so far. Liv, how’s the beta-levels?”
”…”
”Coherent, Liv. I appreciate it. Alright. Kim, prepare delta-lavender.”
”…”
”Ok, inject delta-lavender.”
”…”
”That’s… Uh… Liv, readings please? What is that?”
”…”
”What? No, that can’t be right.”
”…”
”Yes, I see it too, but … Wait. Kim?”
”…”
”That’s purple-ten, isn’t it?”
”…”
”Look at the label please.”
”…”
”… and it’s five-five-zed-three, which is what, Kim?”
”…”
”Yes, indeed. Abort! Abort is another word I need tatooed somewhere. Abort! Liv, anything useful at all?”
”…”
”What is the speaking equivalent to caps lock again? All right, yelling. I will not yell because I am an adult and I am a thinking person and I do not let my emotions run away with me but I can definitely feel some very, very cold logic coming up.”
”…”
”Just forget about it, Kim. Get delta-lavender, and read the labels. That is why they are there.”
”…”
”Yes, I know that is stupid, but it’s how it is. Whatever. Whatever! Take five!”
”…”
”…”
”…”
”Ok, we’re back. Starting test Gamma-3, number twenynine. Jenny, I really hope you left the injector in standby this time.
”…”
”Fine. Red-one, Ben.”
”…”
” … Aaaand mauve-three, Pete.”
”…”
” … Delta-lavender, hit it.”
”…”
”Liv, readings? Looks fine from here.”
”…”
”Excellent. Everything’s looking nice and purple.”
”…”
”It’s a shade of purple.”
”…”
”They’re all purple. Whatever! Prepare lilac. And Jenny, I hope that is just lilac and not lilac-1.”
”…”
”Good. Prepare injection. Carefully. … And go.”
”…”
”…!”
”…!”
”Well, that was interesting. What happened, Liv? Ben, stop laughing. Ben, please. It is funny, but also not really. Ben. Ben? BEN! Have some water, dude. Jenny, don’t cry. I’m sure it wasn’t your fault. Liv?”
”…”
”Ah. See, totally random Jenny! It is pretty volatile at this stage; there was a backsurge just when you were about to inject the lilac.”
”…”
”Jenny, calm down. Take a break. Wash up. Use the … the soap, you know. The special soap. What’s it called again?”
”…”
”Yeah, that. You’ll be fine, Jenny. You’ll be fine. Ok. See you in a bit, OK?”
”…”
”She gone?”
”…!”
”…!”
”…!”
”…!”
”Yeah, whoooooo. Hahaha, oh man. She will have to shave off that hair unless she likes that colour. … Ok. I’m fine. And relax.”
”…”
”Liv, anything useful? You got the backsurge stored for analysis?”
”…”
”Excellent. Every day we learn. Carl, take Jennys spot. I’m sure it won’t happen again.”
”…”
”No, there isn’t.”
”…”
”Too expensive. Yeah it sucks, I know, but what can you do? Prime the injector! Starting test Gamma-3, number thirty.”

The quest of the purple

Wrap

I sang a song I had not sung before
Beat right out of the deep black blue surrounding all
Upbeat tempos’s far from my deal
Waiting in the stillness so far from the expression that should be
I hope I sang loud enough for you to hear
Coming swiftly, down so low inside my heart
Spine’s tingling while the music dances on
Hearing shouts and thoughts said out way too loud
I could not bear to see the flame lick the wounds
While those dark black eyes smiles at me in cooling song
A memory fades along with dreams
Sleeping restlessly among the heaps I’ve made
Desperate enough to cry out like it would not be in vain
Singing songs I know must one day come in real
Endless streams of minds along the road ahead
Smiling, smiling, smiling so carelessly under the skins
Drifting and echoing songs I’ve never sang before

Wrap

Still

My back is turned towards the cliffs,

their ungainly depths a memory alone

of hellish stench and grievous wounds

In the dark I stand

tasting the cold

the icy winds remembering me

that I feel and am, alive just broken

The tiny light within my chest,

a steadfast glow creates around,

shines on nothing but sand and silence,

silence made from nothing.

Above me stars, dancing slightly

unguiding as the wind itself

yet pillars strong and dear

A tiny smile across my mind

breathe in, breathe out, heart slow and steady

alive yet still, fleeing yet waiting

And so I wait, and so I wait

for the dawn so true and wanting

minds eye seeing and longing

for the smell of lifes and works

Like a rock within, longing for growth and green and clouds above,

the only tear left in me

I spill for longing after the song

And still I wait, unmoving

And still I wait, deep breathing

And so I wait, endlessly wishing

That I could long for more

Still

Beep

The red glass built over the lamp is actually hand crafted by an old glass-blower. It is a work of art in itself, but neither of the men currently in the room knows that. Had they known they would not care. Earl would care, but he would not admit it. The glass is framed by a black ring made of excellent plastic: heat resistant and truly almost everlasting. It has not even started to shown signs of any kind of withering, even after all these years. Around the plastic frame there is cold steel. Simple, yet strong. You  have to kick it very hard before it will bend even slightly. Twenty centimeters above the red glass there is a text written on the steel: ”The Red Light” the text says. Compared to the glass and even the steel it is a very shoddy: lazily done by someone with a very, very lacking character, and he – because it most definitely is a he – has thick glasses and is probably of above average intelligence but of lower than average personality, which shows in his lazy handwriting, which is made thickly with a cheap marker. The man in question in Carl. Carl is a hunchback.

Some one hundred centimeters or so to the right of the red glass there is a ninety degree turn which is what marks the beginning of an adjoining wall. Literally the only thing of interest on that wall is a window – fifty times eighty centimeters, single glass – out of which one can only see a red brick wall of bad manufacture. The wall is five hundred and twenty centimeters long. Some one hundred and fifty centimeters above the red glass there is another as close to ninety degree turn as one can expect, marking the beginning of the roof. Some one hundred centimeters below the red light is the fourth eighty nine degree turn, marking the beginning of the floor. The roof is in excellent condition, the steel unspoiled by hands and even looks. There are three lights embedded in the roof, hidden behind smoked glass so as to provide a pleasant slightly brooding light. The hue is slighted towards brown. The steel floor is scratched and coffee-stained, most of which has been done to the poor floor by the heavy-set Earl. Earl has no real hair.

Some one hundred centimeters or so to the left of the red glass there is also an approximately ninety degree turn, which mark the beginning of the opposite adjoining wall. That wall has many interesting dials on it which measures many interesting things, the biggest being twenty centimeters across and the smallest being seven centimeters across. Sadly, the dials end after two hundred centimeters and makes room for a door. The door is made of two sheets of solid steel and is filled with concrete. It is a thick and heavy door, and it is ninety five centimeters wide and two hundred and ten centimeters high. The handle, which is shaped like a dragon eating a dog and is slightly to big for comfort is located on the far right side of the door. The hinges are of excellent manufacture so it is surprisingly easy to handle, unless one happens to be a small child which has been tested and found to be correct. Beyond the door continues the wall which now is of no interest for fifty centimeters or so until the desk starts which extends to the point when an adjoining wall appears in a ninety degree fashion. The desk if of plywood or poor manufacture, and it is really just a sheet of cheap plywood on four wooden pegs. On the wall facing the wall with the red glass which is the wall which Carl and Earl is facing there is a small radiator plugged into the extension cord which is connected to the single power outlet in the room which is located in the corner to the left of the door. On the miserable plywood sheet stands two computers on top of which stands two monitors in front of which sits Carl and Earl. Carl sits to the right of Earl and Earl sits to the right of Carl, which is the side closest to the door. They have chairs that swivels quite freely. The chairs are stuffed and soft but the stuffing in Earls chair has suffered from his increasing weight. There are two keyboards in front of the monitor, one of which currently is being used to plagiarize a tale of mystery and murder. The other keyboard is silent. Earl is sleeping.

”Beep.”

Carl turns swivels around in his chair and looks at the red glass under which the lamp is glowing thus shining a red light which Carl is now looking upon. Carl is sweating very slightly and his face puts on an annoyed look which is mostly made out of eyebrows. He swivels towards Earl, grabs his left shoulder and shakes him violently.

”Whahu?” says Earl sleepily. His red eyes, even redder than they even usually are, looks at Carl.
”The light is on.” says Carl, cooly, in control, so very much in control.
”Unnppffhble.” says Earl and swivels around to look at the red lamp beneath the red glass which he is admiring in secret. When his eyes has managed to focus on the light, he says. ”What?” He is slightly more awake than a few moments ago.
”The red light. It’s on.” says Carl and points at the red light. His control over what constitutes his own universe is still within his greasy grasp.
”So?” says Earl, dumbfounded.
”It’s on. It’s THE red light.” says Carl. He is not wearing the look of eyebrow annoyance but has unfortunately taken on an experimental look of helpfulness which also is made of eyebrows. His forehead is slightly moist with sweat-moist.
”I know it’s THE read light.” says Earl with a truly annoyed tone in his voice. His face has no way of expressing eyebrows, so he uses his pleasant baritone to convey his meanings instead. ”Haven’t you ever wondered what it’s for?”
”I have never wondered what is is for.” lied Carl as he did not want to seem interested to Earl as that would be a moral defeat one which Carl would not be able to accept even in his strangest dreams he is sometimes writing about when he is not plagiarizing murder-fiction. His eyebrows waggled slightly too hysterically even for the hair-lacking Earl.
”I just wonder what it does.” says Earl, ignoring Carls eyebrows and the moisture of his sweat-moist.
”It goes beep.” Carl smiles weakly which is something he has learned from his murder stories of murder and mystery. Earl scowls as well as an eyebrow-lacking man can.
”Funny.” he rumbles in the deepest register he has access to.
”Yes.” says Carl but ironically.
”Let’s go.” says Earl and rumbles up from his chair. He grasps the dragon-handle, pushes it down and swings the door open, outwards as it only goes, on its well-made, soundless hinges. He steps out in the corridor, and Carl follows him.

The door is at the end of a corridor about one hundred and ninety centimeters wide and two hundred and ten centimeters high. The walls, floor and roof are of an unknown material, but they are painted in a bright green color. The corridor is close to one hundred and fifty meters long, and every three meters there is a bright light which is taken and whose beam is narrow embedded in the roof.  The walls and roof is without fault except for the brown spot where Earl spilled some coffee some six months ago. The floor is quite badly scratched and the paint is peeling, revealing gray of an unknown matter. One lamp exactly halfway through the corridor is flickering. On the other side of the corridor is another heavy steel door of exactly the same design as the door at the other end of the corridor, but on the handles on this one the dog eats the dragon. Earl pushed down the dog-dragon handle and opens the door which also hinges on excellent, well-oiled hinges.

Inside there is a room which is an exact mirror of the room in which Earl and Carl works, with the only difference being the wall on which the red glass under which the lamp is hidden is located. The text, still as shoddy and character-destroying as in the room in which the red glass under which there is a lamp is located, reads: ”The Levers of the Red Light”. There are two levers, one being approximately thirty centimeters from the wall to the left of the levers and the other being approximately thirty centimeters from the wall to the right of the levers. Both levers are approximately one hundred centimeters from the approximately ninety degree turn which marks the floor and approximately one hundred fifty centimeters from the approximately ninety degree turn which marks the roof. The levers are of very solid make. They have a single bar – round and about fifty millimeters thick – made of stainless steel with a red knob on the end. The bars are thirty two centimeters long, the entire lever being thirty six centimeters long. The knobs look untouched, which they are not but not far from. They are pointing down. Earl walks to the one on the right side of the left one and Carl walks to the one on the left side of the right one. They look at each other with peculiarly blank faces.

”One, two, three, pull!” they both say and pull up the levers. After two seconds relays start to click inside the walls, and after ten seconds of furious clicking the levers sink down again. Earl and Carl look at each other, nods, and walks out of the room. Carl walks first, Earl follows him. When they reach the room with the red glass under which there is a lamp Carl sits down on his chair and Earl sinks down on his chair which makes a very sad noise. Carl looks at his screen, reading what he last wrote in his plagiarized mystery story with mystery and murder. Earl soon snores gently.

”Beep.”

Beep

The Wall

The man rest his back against the wall. At least he was out of the rain here. The wall had a small tower on it here which had a worrying slant to it. It looked like the entire wall was about to collapse inwards, and thus it provided shelter for him. At one point the man might have been worried about making camp in the immediate shadow of the wall like this, but now he knew the wall would not come down. It never did, it never could. He had no idea how much time he had spent on this side of the wall, but it felt like an eternity. For all the man knew about time it might very well have been an eternity. He had walked up and down its length, or at least he has walked so far as to almost loose sight of the great tower. It felt important, although there seemingly was no reason for it to feel that way. It just did. It was big. Very, very big. Standing in its shadow was almost awe-inspiring. The width of the beast was at least one hundred meters, and the height… He did not know how to calculate the height of things by measuring their shadows – not that there were any shadows in this permanently clouded over hell – but the top ended just below the clouds. Away from the wall, what the man had come to think of as in-land, there was a great mountain. He climbed it once to see what was on the other side of the wall, but he could see nothing but mist and shadows. Not swirling mist either, the kind that makes interesting shapes. He remembered the ocean, and how you could look at it for ages without getting bored. Always changing, always breathing, always moving… It was like fire really. But the misty shadows were nothing but gray, as exiting as a concrete wall in the distance. Further inland, there were nothing but mountains as far as the eye could see. Along the wall there were grassy plains, forests with game and lakes with fish, endlessly repeating. It rained a lot, but there did not seem to be any kind of seasons here. And the clouds darkened the skies, so there were no sun or moon to see. Time became meaningless. The man finished his fish and went to sleep when that deep, dark night fell.

If the mist was dull, the wall was also dull, but not quite as dull. The workmanship obviously was excellent. The man had often tried to find cracks in the wall, and that quest was why he dared himself away from the big tower. The small tower loomed, but no stone could be even slightly budged, not even the ones that looked to be loose. He had fashioned a great pole to use as a lever, but it was like trying to move the mountain inland. The man estimated the wall to be about ten meters high. He had tried to get over the wall, and while the wood in the trees was strong, the bits he could break off were to short to be of use and he had not found anything he could make into a rope. He seemed to recall stories of people – whatever that was – making rope out of grass, bark, sinews and almost everything. But the grass was short and fragile, the bark on the only tree that grew was hard and brittle if you managed to pull a bit off, the game and fish were only small. At one point he thought he was onto something with strips of leather from the various small animals he caught, but for one thing he didn’t really have any tools – apart from a small stone he had managed to sharpen somewhat – and also he would have to kill a great number of animals indeed to make even a short lenght of rope. He had a pile of leather, but most of it was of no use and he had had a bit of trouble finding the beasts lately. Better to stay with fish for a while. He knew the animals reproduced fairly swiftly, but not that swiftly.

And so the days went. Nothing ever changed, nothing ever happened, nothing ever mattered. Until the morning he heard a voice.

”We love you.”

It was a shock. He had just washed off in the lake nearest the small tower. The man just knelt frozen, hands frozen on his chest, water dripping from his beard and hair. He waited, and waited, heart pounding, mind rushing with thoughts and emptiness. He had not heard a voice in … he could not remember the last time he heard a voice other than his own. He stoop up, nervously, legs shaking, and looked around. Everything was as empty as ever. A fish jumped and swallowed a bug. A slight wind ruffled the trees. It started to rain, and the rain seemed heavier than usual. And colder. The man hurried back to the dry shadow of the leaning tower, and rested his back against the wall. He made no fire. His mind and his heart was confused. Had there really been a voice? And what did the voice say? That he was loved? He did not really understand what that meant.  A lump dislodged from his heart and found its way pass his throat, which became tight, and to his cheeks, which became hot, and to his brain, which shouted. The man leaned forward as the tears flowed like a river from his broken body. He did not eat that day.

Night came, and with it sleep, and with sleep morning. The man woke up and wondered if it had been a dream. The voice that said those strange words still lingered inside him, but it was fading. He decided he would check up on the population of the small animals in the surroundings that day, to see if any progress could be made with the leather rope. He washed himself in the lake, made a fire, caught a fish and hungrily ate it after he had grilled it. He sat for a while, looking at the flames that danced endlessly. He had at one point thought about setting the forest on fire, just to see what would happen, but he decided against it. That would just make things more difficult. The man was still tired, probably from all that hallucinating yesterday, and the fire was very pleasant.

”I love you.”

The man put his hands over his ears, but the damage was done. The panic rose inside him, his blood turned to ice sludge in his veins. He shut his eyes and screamed and screamed until he had no voice left to scream. His head felt like it was filled with ice and lava, his hands cramped around his head, leaving impressions in his skin. He fell forward, dangerously close to the fire, and laid there until the world stopped jumping up and down on him. Slowly he released his grip from his head and sat up. The world was the same. Only the rain came, slightly colder still. He still did not know what the words meant, he did not want to know, and still the tears flowed through him, out of him, leaving him gutted and dried.

He awoke. It was still day. The fire had almost died down. The man felt like a carcass, like someone had skinned him alive, but on the inside. The rain remained. He decided not to check out the populations that day. He managed to catch a fish, grilled it, ate it in apathy and then went to sleep, hoping the madness would end.

He woke up with a yell. He had seen things! In his sleep! It was like the world, but a different world. In it, there were others that looked almost like him, but they weren’t him. ”People.” The word swam around in his head, confusing him even more. Others? Was there such a thing? He tried to remember the time before the wall, but nothing stood out. He remembered the wall, and the big tower. But in the images in his head, there were others. The details were fading fast, but one ”other” was still solid. An ”other”, dressed in a flowery dress, dancing, spinning slowly. The hair was auburn and shoulder long, the shoes were black. The image already started to fade as the man stared out in the night without reflection. He did not sleep more. His mind shut down and he just stared on through the night.

The Wall

Någon gång ska jag komma på hur man skriver titlar och det kommer att vara awesome

The multitude of children sat in front of the storyteller with wide eyes. They were ugly, they were smelly and there were a lot of them. There always was a lot of them. Usually this pleased the storyteller, because after all his purpose was to be as good a storyteller he could be and storytelling required listeners. This was natural, this was correct, this was true. A big part of the storyteller believed – actually knew – that this was the way it was supposed to be. But a small, black spot inside him persisted in insisting that no, it was not. Nothing was what it was supposed to be. Nothing had ever been what they were supposed to be. They. Them? The pit of smelly doubt inside him had only grown lately. Just slightly. He had no reason to doubt. He certainly did not doubt the stories. How could he? He was the stories, his purpose was to tell the stories and they were true. He took comfort in the stories, he knew they were right. He wasn’t even sure what it was he doubted. They? People? Did he doubt people? That certainly was much more logical than doubting the stories. People were just people. The kids in front of him was people, but small and smelly and many. He didn’t really like people no matter their size, but that was part of the purpose of being a storyteller. You had to be true to the stories, not the people that benefited from the stories. People came and went, the stories remained. He sighed, flashed a weak smile at the tiny creatures in front of him and began the recital.

”In the end, only dust remained.”

It was both the beginning and the end of most stories. Some of them made a knot at the end and started over from the beginning. Some stories had proper endings, some stories had no beginnings, some stories could only be half told. Those stories were always troubling, but not in the same way the unclear doubt was troubling. It was a kind of mechanical trouble. He could only ever tell one part, or side, of those stories. Which part he told was entirely random and no matter how much he tried he could not change that, and he had no idea which part he would tell when he started telling it. Sometimes he really wished he could tell one part of the story but then other part would come out instead, changing the outcome of the teaching completely. He knew both parts, as did most people, but the application was always random. Maybe it wasn’t random? Was that the doubt? The storyteller had really thought about that, had spent quite some running the problem through his brain several times, but he always concluded that no, that was not the cause of the doubt. He couldn’t prove whether the random stories were truly random or were indeed controlled by some force or other, but that actually didn’t bother him. He couldn’t prove it either way. One storyteller, ages ago, had gone mad with worry about that one; this was common knowledge and not part of a story. But it was still true, the records showed that that was the reason she went mad. No one knew what happened to her though, the records didn’t show that. Was that cause for doubt? No storyteller had ever had that fate, no storyteller had ever just vanished. They were either performing their duties or they were put on display in the Museum and revered by all. The disappearance of a storyteller was strange indeed, but cause for doubt?

”In the beginning, nothing but shadows was.”

People filed back and forth. No recital for some time. The storyteller just silently watched the people scurrying past. They were like people. They didn’t really look at him or payed him any attention. Some children stole glances at the storyteller; he noticed them all. There were tellers as well as storytellers, and the tellers actually recorded everything around them. The storyteller never quite liked that idea. It seemed … ungainly, for some reason. Was that the cause for the doubt? He decided to come back to that at a later time.

”Dust shape, dust carry, dust make, dust create.”

High above the storyteller the stars came out. He had always liked the stars. And the moons. And most things he could not reach, out there. No, his place was here where he was, being a storyteller, telling the stories to the coming generations. He knew about the star-travelers, of course. They were very popular, for obvious reasons. They went out there, out into the cold abyss and returned as heroes. Sometimes he wondered if there was a space for him, a space in a place where he would not be a storyteller. He could not imagine there being such a space or a place, but he liked the fundamental parts of the idea. It was too alien a concept to make actual sense, but that feeling of a slight longing felt really, really good. Sometimes anyway. Sometimes he wanted the silent longing to go away, and sometimes it did go away. He was a storyteller, not a dreamer, or even a guide. He told stories. In a way he was one of the most important cogs in the machine; the stories held everything together, gave everything context. Some people, for no other reason that they are people, thought the star-travelers were a travesty to the stories, but the storyteller knew this to be false. He knew it intimately, and he had on many occasions told the stories of the travelers, but people didn’t listen when they didn’t want to. Of course they didn’t. They were people.

”Speak to me words, words of light, and burn the sky to cinders.”

The storyteller nodded.

”Yes, child, this is the story of the thief and the traveler. In the beginning, only dust remained.”

Någon gång ska jag komma på hur man skriver titlar och det kommer att vara awesome