Fallipop & Finkle
The following is a fever dream I had at a trance festival. I was feeling quite orite when we left for the party, but by the second day I had a sudden flu and aching body. That night, instead of stomping on the dance floor, I lay in my tent being lulled into a feverish, frantic, full-on psychedelic lucid dream. When I awoke, I remembered it all clear as day and proceeded to write a story called;
Fallipop & Finkle
This is the world. The mysterious and strange square shaped world that we observe. The only world there is. The Saun brings the bright world into being for different inhabitants to live. Now, this time, there is Fallipop (or so we have just called him). Fallipop has four long limbs on his underside which he moves with. On his back end is a wavy limb for which we do not know the use. On his front is another limb we have learnt to call, a head – this he can open and close. He is walking to a new inhabitant that has appeared; with 6 round limbs arranged in a circular shape and attached to a long slender body. It does not move or make sounds, an inanimate thing - and so we have called it, the Finkle. Fallipop becomes aware of the Finkle and it changes his behavior. He now jumps up, prances (a word we use to describe his fast and erratic motions) and makes sounds that correspond with the opening and closing of his head. It is a good sound Fallipop makes; it makes something in me feel like the Saun - bright. Except that we have decided that; we cannot feel. These 'feelings' are merely illusion of our phantom limbs. No, we are merely three voices. We experience having these limbs and extra sensory feelings because we would like to have the attributes of the world's inhabitants, like Fallipop for example. I would like to, anyway - I do not know about the other two voices on either side of me. They deem it useless to ponder about such fancies, but somewhere in their phantom limbs they must feel as I do. How can something we experience not be real?
It is a good sound Fallipop makes. I would call this sound a whiney. However, I do not really like to participate in the philosophical conversations. Somehow I feel as if I would want to see more
of Fallipop and the Finkle then any other thing I have seen in the world. I cannot find the words to explain it, but somehow they seem to belong together. Fallipop now takes the Finkle with his opening part of his head which we have been taught before is a mouth. He prances even more and whinnies even louder. He looks extremely... happy. 'Feelings' and 'moods', is a new topic of debate for which we have just recently digested words. We integrate the words into our voices when we hear them from a figure called, Shata. I do not like him, but I feel good learning about the world. Happy is a good mood. The concept of 'good' and 'bad' is also a new topic of much uncertainty. Nevertheless, Fallipop and the Finkle make me feel happy - something even more than happy. Yet they also make me want something more - something that does not exist in the world. After a while of happy play with the Finkle, another large person appears. He makes a loud and bad sound, accompanied with fast and powerful jerks of his limbs. He has been in the world many times. This is Shata. Shata has five limbs. One of them is slightly thicker, but shorter, and sits to the side of his big middle part, while the rest sit on top – varying in size. He does not look pleased with Fallipop. Shata shouts in a raging voice. He takes the Finkle from Fallipop and rips off the limbs one by one. Fallipop becomes scared (that is a very bad feeling) and he makes himself smaller, drawing his limbs closer to each other. Fallipop walks to Shata in this small position, head hanging low. Another thing rises from below the line - the line that always remains dark at the bottom of the world. We have seen this thing many times before too, we call it a Grynder. A person goes into one end of the thing and comes out in smaller, long strips. And so it should happen to Fallipop as well. Why? Shata proceeds to take the strips made of Fallipop by the Grynder and sinks away beneath the line. It seems wrong that Fallipop should receive this fate for merely enjoying the presence of the Finkle. This makes me feel a bad feeling. Sadness, loneliness, hatred, I do not really know. A feeling like the darkness itself. The Saun goes off.
It always begins with a boom that makes us aware. Then the Saun comes on. Ten times the Saun goes on and off, stop. Dark, then a loud boom - it stops for a while. A boom again. Then ten times more - stop, dark, boom. Then it is the time for us to stop. When we stop, we ‘sleep’. Sleep is the best. Why can it not always be sleep? Sometimes in sleep I see another world besides the real one - a world for which I have no words, it is a good world. It is a world of...
more. However, it is just an illusion. I have not asked the other voices if they also have sleep illusions - it seems like a topic primed for ridicule. When we wake, it begins again. Boom, ten, stop, boom-boom, ten, stop, sleep. This cycle happens seven times and then different inhabitants come to the world. This is how we count time. The voice to the right of me suggested that we could also count smaller increments of time with clicks, using our tongues, or our fingers (the ten things at the end of our top limbs). Of course, the voice to the left will say that it is ridiculous to do so, because we do not really have tongues or fingers. "We only think of them," he would say. "All that is real is the world in front of us". If this is true... then I would rather sleep forever and live in the illusionary world of my dreams!
But it cannot be. These loops around these things of mine we have called, 'hands', must be real. Two hard, round loops attached to a string of smaller loops. The tiny pointy thing I have found with my fingers must also be real. With this I have been making stripes, one after the other onto one of the tiny loops. It now feels like one big line. It will soon make a part of the tiny loop to be gone. Then I will know if it is real. I suspect that I will be able to move my hands more once... "Will you stop with that noise you are always making! We must sleep now," says the voice to the left of me. "How do you even make that sound? I know you said it is from the stripes you make in the loops, but you must realize that this is a folly."
"I really do think that we should consider the possibility that we also really have limbs," says the voice to the right of me. "I think that we are perhaps also like Falipop. We have four limbs like Falipop has, and we also have an opening in our front that makes our noises. Thus..."
"Don't be ridiculous. Next I suppose you are going to say that Shata is like the phantom limbs at our ends just because he also has five appendages on him."
"Well I have not thought about him that way, but now that you mention it. Yes, Shata does seem to look like what our... what are they called? Hands, yes, what our hands would look like if I had to guess."
I resume making stripes on the loops. I have no interest in their contemplations. Even if we could figure out and know all the workings of the world, what would it matter if we cannot be in it as Fallipop is? The voice to the right of me seems like he would endorse my ideas, but he is easily swayed by the voice to the left's enduring beliefs. "You are clearly delusional," he says. "I stick to the original theory of these inhabitants; Shata is obviously the creator of Falipop, as he is the creator of all the people and things in the world. Shata has a perfect form while Falipop is malformed and has fallible behavior."
"And what pray-tell is the Finkle then?" The voice to the right enquires.
"The Finkle is a trial that Shata has set up for Falipop to test his purity and obedience."
"What? That is illogical. Surely if Shata created Falipop then he would already know if he is pure or not?"
"Will you stop your noise?" The voice to the left demands me.
To which I reply gingerly, “I do not think that Shata nor the Finkle nor Falipop are real."
The other voices shout like Shata. I suspect that they become fearful of my suggestions and pretend to be like Shata, so that they can mask their fear - the fear that Shata will throw them in the Grynder, even though we supposedly do not posses bodies. This to me is illogical. Why should we fear anything if we are merely observers?
Louder I said, "What are real are these loops around my hands. And the object in my hands that I have found with my, hind limbs - the feet, and have picked up with my fingers. With this object I have made stripes over and over again in one of the small loops, I can now feel the stripes becoming one big stripe. I believe I will be able to remove them from my hands very shortly. Once I am no longer attached to these loops I will know more than we ever have.
"Be warned. Look at what happened to Fallipop when he questioned Shata," says the voice to the left or perhaps even, the person to the left.
Then the one to the right, "I strongly advise you remain calm with us and make further deductions about the nature of our reality. It is the only w...”
The small loop with the stripes makes a final ‘clink’ and snaps into two half loops. There is absolute silence. For the first time ever I feel a part of my body in the middle of me, below my head and between my arms. It beats from inside, pulsating faster and faster. I was right - my hands can move more now. I pull my hands away from each other and the remaining string of small loops fall away from the big loops around my hands. Nervously and slowly I bring my hands to my sight. And there they are; two limbs that are in fact shaped like Shata. Hands. They are another colour which I have never seen. Many colours in fact, but it is hard to make out with only the dim pinprick of light shining from above. My hands also exist in more than two dimensions - there are three! I wanted to believe this is true, but now that I see it, I cannot help but be overwhelmed by a feeling of chaos. My head hurts and my vision is spinning. Everything is warped. I feel things coming from my eyes rolling down my face. My body is moving involuntarily - heaving. And I am making a loud sound like a pained whiney, but slower. I move my fingers around. My hands can move wherever I think them to! I start to feel my body - four limbs and a head with an opening. I use it to make an unfamiliar sound - laughter. It’s unfamiliar, because Shata’s laughter was bad. This laughter feels so good. Very much like the whiney. We are shaped like Fallipop! Relatively close. I can feel my entire body now, outside and in – in three dimensions. Yet I cannot see it. I raise my hands to my head and feel some kind of device holding my head in place and preventing me from seeing anything except the world in front of me. I use my hands and try to break it as I broke the loop, but I feel like I do not have enough strength for movement to achieve this. Another restraint. Why? I listen to the thumping sound in my middle and it gives me a rhythm to kindle the movement - like Fallipop's prance. Something stirs inside me, moves up to my hands and with a sharp movement I break the plates around my head. I can now look down. I see my body. It is all so confusing. Why is it not flat? I look to the left and right. There they are, two people restrained just like me, except they look slightly different than me. They are also bound by the loops and the head plate, and they have tubes coming out of the back of their body and head. I reach to the back of my own head and feel the tubes there, I break them of and a devastating sensation envelopes my entire
being, starting from where the tubes were attached swelling through me and crippling my ability to think. After some time I come to again. I still feel disorientated, but I am motivated to progress by the prospect of discovering more of this new world. I wonder if I can move like Fallipop does with his four limbs. I try. Again I feel like I do not have the strength for movement - or rather the thing that begins the movement. An abstract thing. Again I use the beating thing inside (I’ll call it my Uh-ohm) me to help me, as well as a sensation of something coming into the thing on the middle of my face (between my mouth and my eyes). I now realize that we have always been doing this action - the sensation goes deep into my body all around the thumping thing and it gives me that something to start the movement. I fumble. I am not nearly as good as Fallipop with moving. I do not know how to use these limbs. However it slowly comes to me and I crawl in the... space. Again, not flat with two dimensions like the world (or what we thought was the world, because now there is another world). In fact, what we used to know as the world is only a flat surface in one dimension of this new world - a rectangle shape in space made of six rectangle shapes. Four around, one below, and one above us. In the one above there are three circles, one right above each of us. This is where the dim light comes from after the Saun disappears. I turn around to look behind me and I see a strange device that is directly behind us. It has a long limb almost like that of the Finkle, that partially disappears beneath another three-dimensional rectangle shape. I crawl closer on all my limbs on the floor (the name for the bottom rectangle underneath us- or the 'phantom bottom' as the left person would call it). I struggle to move with the finesse of Fallipop, and tumble. In my stumbling action I accidentally hit the device with a part of my hand. The Saun switches on. I recoil in horror. The Saun is out here in this device! I look around seeing much more now in the brightness of the Saun. On the floor is a stack of light coloured rectangle shapes - thin and easy to pick up. On these rectangles are replicas of Fallipop, the Finkle, Shata and the Grynder device, portrayed in the exact sequence of events as they happened in the world – except, in static positions. These are easier to comprehend, seeing as they are also flat and familiar. Right at the top of the first rectangle are other straight and curved lines shaped unfamiliarly; "This Week's Picture Show Script ". I do not know what this is, but what is even stranger are the lifeless shapes of Fallipop, the Finkle and the Grynder device lying next to the stack. They are all
attached to long limbs like the Finkle. Fallipop has thin strands attached to him. I pick him up by the long limb and pull on these strands - this makes his limbs move like they would in the world. I look up at the device that is the source of the Saun, I lift the Fallipop up in front of it and suddenly Fallipop appears on the flat surface in front - 'the world'. I do the same with the Finkle. So these are the real people, the world is only a replica. But how do they move over here on their own, and where is the figure of Shata? A feeling of immense fear and confusion wells up in the place where the thing has been thumping inside of me. I do not exactly know why, but without really thinking about it I drop the Finkle and raise my free hand in front of the Saun device next to Fallipop.
"Ah, Shata! See, nothing has changed," says the person to the left.
"Hm, they are moving rather strangely," says the one to the right.
My body shakes, I get really upset and crush the Falipop figure with my hands. I crumple it up and throw it away. The other two gasp. A sound we have never made before.
The left claims that; "It is alright. Shata shall make a new Falipop. I am sure."
I have heard enough, seen enough, and have felt enough. "No. It is as I have seen in a dream of mine. They were not real. They are fabricated here with dead things and another thing that makes the world. Well it's not the world, it's only.. a... uh, I can't explain it. You have to experience it as I do."
"If this is true, what then makes the noise for the dead things?" The one to the right enquires.
"You cannot seriously be indulging his delusional fancies. He is just making these strange sounds trying to trick us."
"No, I am not. Let me take off your hand loops, and remove your restraints, then you can see as well." Without thinking about it, I get up onto just my bottom limbs - the legs and somehow effortlessly move closer to them. My replica is casted by the Saun onto 'the world' in a huge erratic mass. This evidently frightens the other two.
The left, "No! Absolutely not! What are you doing? You are upsetting the natural order of the world. Just keep quiet!"
The right, "I'm afraid he is right. You should rather stop with whatever it is you are doing."
I move to right in front of them, but their eyes are shut - out of fear. I feel a heavy disappointment and sadness for them. From where I am standing I see something I did not see before; another rectangle shape in the back wall behind the Saun device. There is a dim line shining right around it. It beckons me towards it. I walk towards it and feel it with my hands. There is a shape sticking out of it to the one side. I test it with my hand, it shifts and suddenly the entire rectangle shapes swings towards me. I get a fright and move out of the way. Where the shape use to be, there is now another... space. It is completely bright, as if there is no place in it that the Saun does not touch. Is there a different Saun in this place? I step into the space and it swallows all my rational thinking. The rectangle shape behind me shuts by itself and makes a loud sound. ‘Boom!’ That is the boom we always hear. I look to the right and to the left of me; the space stretches on both ways for as long as I can see. Filled with exact replicas of the same rectangle I just stepped through. Are there more like us?
"Hey. What? You! What the hell? How...?" A voice resounds from the left of me in the space. I turn and see that it belongs to a man. Not a man like me. He has a bigger body that is all one colour of black and where his face should be, is a shiny rectangle shape. He walks to a certain place along the wall and grabs something off of it. He now stalks towards me like Shata would charge at people and swings at me with the thing. I manage to miss his blow. I do not know how, my body is somehow instinctively moving - without me even thinking for it. The thing in his hand is a weapon with a long limb and a sharp rectangle end - an Akse. We have seen in it the world before. It is used to end people and things. He steps back and swings at me again - somehow I catch the limb of the Akse and I seize it from him. He is surprised and jumps onto me with the full force of his body. What ensues is an entangling of our limbs combined with grunts and sharps jerks by both of us with the intent to bring harm to the other and to free yourself - almost like with the restrictions in my room. Somewhere inside of me something begins to stir. Something burning like an endless amount of Sauns. Feelings; anger, confusion,
hatred, sadness, loneliness, and more I do not even understand, begin to well up in me as I am tumbling on the floor with this other person. As if everything I could have felt during the entire time I was in that room is being released at once. A being with force of its own, and all it wants to do is to obliterate everything. I realize that he has stopped and that my right hand balled into a tight round shape, is beating into the lifeless mound of this person. Underneath him a red stain is starting to grow in a round shape. I am the Grynder. I get up and prance, I prance as fast as I can through the space towards the side he came from. Hoping to find what? All there is, is this endless replication of rectangle shapes that most likely open up to rooms just like mine. The rectangles flash in the edges of my sight. This is a strange kind of view, I have always only been able to look straight in front of me. Everything warps again. Black. I recover from the floor and realize that I have pranced into a wall. The wall at the end of the long space. No, another rectangle open-way, but this one is different. Above it is another inscription shaped with lines; ‘Exit’. It does not have a shape to open it like the one for our room. Next to the exit on the wall, is a rectangle shape with a Shata figure in the middle of it - or is it a hand? Perhaps if I place my hand in the shape it will open this door. I tentatively hover my hand above the shape, it is larger than my hand. I get a feeling similar to the moment when I finally striped through my loops. There is still a big loop around each hand, but at least I am rid of the small ones that bound me to that room. To that one position. How long would I have stayed there if I did not find the sharp object - forever? My Uh-ohm starts to beat again, and my hands shakes as it slowly comes closer to the shape. This is a moment bigger than any other. What is behind this ‘exit’? More rooms? It cannot be. My hand touches. Immediately a loud and long sound pierces my hearing and seems to hang somewhere far above me. I cannot see who or what is making the sound. I push against the ‘exit ‘ rectangle, but it will not open.
The sound of an unknown voice also floats above me, "There has been a perimeter breach, all personnel to discontinue their break, and search the facility immediately. I repeat, there has been..."
Perhaps the hand of the strange man that I ended will work. He must have some kind of authority over me like Shata has over Fallipop. Again my body moves without me really thinking
about it. I prance all the way back to the man, I pick up the Akse and I sever his hand from his body. More of the red colour comes from his hand and arm where it is now split. I pick up his hand with mine and prance back to the door. I place his hand on the shape - this must work. Nothing. The door still will not open! I hear voices and the sound of many people's feet getting louder. I look at his hand again and realize that it is inside of a black skin. I slip it out - it looks just like mine underneath the black skin. So he is like me, but why was I inside the room and he outside if we are the same? I take his bare hand and place it against the shape. Somehow, I feel that if this does not work I will be ended. I push the door and finally it swings to the outside. My eyes are blinded, in this space there is a Saun that is so radiant it is touching my skin. If I was confused before, I am now utterly dumbfounded. If I thought I knew more, I now know I know nothing. I cannot comprehend anything, the world is warping to the extent that I feel I have completely lost control of myself. Again, I prance. Voices trailing behind me scream that I should stop. Loud bangs. Gigantic rectangle shapes that rise from the ground are blurred in my already warping vision. I think I see other people inside these shapes or in other strange things on the floor. It is all so confusing. Even stranger, is that for the first time in my life I am not trying to observe, or to understand and figure out what I see. All I want to do is to prance. Prance so fast and so far until... until what? I do not know. I do not know anything anymore. All I have ever known has been an illusion. I prance for what seems to be forever, until I am out of the grey rectangled place and enter a wildly unfamiliar green place where everything is curved and has motion. I view this for a short moment and then I feel weak again, like the first time I tried to move. My legs give way and my eyes fall shut. Black.
He cannot be from the city. The city people are too scared of the forests, but he did come from that direction – he was running faster than anyone I have ever seen. I wonder if something was chasing him. Whatever it was is long gone. He’s been sleeping for a full day now. He looks so peaceful, like one who knows how to dreamwalk. Quite a handsome man, if a little dog-eared. He looks like he belongs here, but he obviously has never been in the forest, because he is lying right next to a snake hole. What a silly man – I should probably wake him. What beautiful lips he has. Oh, he’s waking, better hide first – mother always said that you should feel for someone’s intentions before befriending them.
He’s waking up, and he looks frightened, he looks like he‘s trying really hard to arrange his thoughts. He shakes his head and looks at the forest as if a mist is clearing before his eyes. A deep relief smoothes his face and he sighs deeply - he must have big lungs. He crawls as if his legs are broken, or rather… as if he is not sure how to walk. He uses the nearest oak tree to prop himself up, but as soon as he feels the bark his eyes shoot open in amazement. He caresses the cracks with his fingers, tracing them up and down and suddenly he laughs a full bellied laugh. Is he insane? Everybody always says that the city people have lost their minds. Elder Shawhixe says that their bodies have control over their minds and spirits, like a man that is at the mercy of a wild horse running away with him. A wolf of the Mist Mountain starts to howl. The man looks at the sky in astonishment and howls in reply. More wolves join in. They rarely answer to a man’s howl Who is this man? He laughs more and howls back.
He jumps up and suddenly runs. Still limp like a newborn born antelope, but with so much enthusiasm - like a child overwhelmed by excitement for the New Spring Solstice dance. Now he is spinning round and round, and then he is surprised at being drunk? Has he never done that before? He looks at everything as if it is the first he has ever seen it. He flails wildly and then drops to the ground – he looks like he is having genuine fun. Oh, how I would like to join him. Of course my parents say I am too old for such frivolous things and that I should be looking towards marriage, but look at this man! He lives as if this is the first and last day he will feel the earth beneath his feet. Maybe I can speak to him now, but no, I must first see his heart. A worm
is crawling on his head. It is a green bristlehorn, quite poisonous, but obviously he does not know that, or does he? He picks it up with his fingers and studies it with such awe. He walks a little way and puts the bristlehorn down on a bush of tanglethorne. He picks one of the flowers and smells it and puts it in his hair, a very strange man – either completely stupid or very brave. Often the two are not very different, is what mother would say.
He is heading for the water. He must be very thirsty. This would be a good chance to test his temper. I will slip into the other side of the lake and sneak up on him like a crocodile.
Humans – the strangest of all the people of the earth. These two are already beginning a dance of courtship, although neither one would acknowledge it just yet. But take us bird people for example, when I courted my female, she was well aware of my every intention and I was of mine. It often seems as if these humans do not know what their own true intentions are. He drinks hastily as if the water will soon disappear. She is already hidden beneath the water, she can hold her breath for long – I see her swim every day. Her bubbles break surface, and he is alerted. He scurries back and falls, gripped by panic. Not one from these forests. She emerges from the water, and at first he is terrified possibly suspecting some creature, but then he sees the girl and he is besieged by her beauty. She is a beautiful one, as far as humans go, and she has a radiant spirit. They stare at one another for a long time, like wild cats waiting for the first twitch from the other. Then she speaks;
“Come swim, the water is wonderful.” She says “Water?” He asks and stirs the water gingerly with his feet, letting it trickle between his toes. “Rather just jump in all at once. It's better than being scared of the cold.” She laughs sweetly and splashes him with water. He gets a fright and scurries to stand. She just laughs some more and then swims away, luring him with a winking hand - a strange courtship indeed. Clearly overwhelmed by his instinct for companionship, he jumps in. The flower that was propped in his hair falls our and now floats nearby. They swim circles around each other, finally - a dance. “My name's Pachi. What's yours?” She says. “Name?” He asks, “What's my name? I don't even know what I am…” “You’re a human silly. I think I'll just call you that, Silly. Do you know what this is called?” She asks, picking up the tanglethorne flower he had in his hair. “It is quite a special flower.”
“F-finkle…” He stutters, looking dazed and confused. “No Silly, don't you know anything? It is a…” She was going to say Moniflaro, for that is the known name, but for some reason she hesitates, seeing something tender in his eyes and then continue; “It is a special Finkle. One drop of the juice can put someone asleep, but eating the whole flower will kill you. The same juice can burn through metal, but it can also heal a cut on your skin mixed with the right amount of water.” She carefully applies the juice from three squeezed leaves to the metal loops around his wrists, they melt and fall off, sinking into the water. He stares at the ripples out on the water as if it were witchcraft.
“I should know this kind of stuff, I’m apprenticing with the village healer.”
She then takes one leaf, opens it slightly with a pin she takes from her hair and dips it in the water. She daps it softly onto the cuts and gashes on his shoulders, arms and legs while she gyrates him curtly around in the water. She turns him upright again, and daps his face. When he stops coughing and regains his breath he looks at her and becomes entranced by her eyes, staring deeply into them he says with the utmost tentativeness in his voice; “Pachi?” “Yes?” “Is there someone here whose name is Shata?” “Shata? No.” She smiles broadly. “You're strange Silly. I like you.” “I… like you too.”
They look at each other intensely for a long time. Quite likely they have broken time and are now standing in a bubble outside of reality. And then, without warning, Pachi kisses Silly. He does not know what is happening, his eyes are open and his lips frozen. She pulls back and looks at him confused and apologetic. He takes a moment to regain senses and then grabs her and kisses her fervently. What happens next, is not describable with words, perhaps something only the spirits can see; an explosion of colour, sounds, fragrances and feelings that swirl into beautiful shapes and patterns that sing with the otherworldly vibration that is love. An intertwining of souls and the loss of self – like two rivers flowing into the ocean.
As so often happens in nature, two souls form a weave union. When this happens, a guardian spirit comes to look over the union. In this case that would be me. Ah, and such an enchanting union this is. However, this man is from the city. Strange. It very rarely happens that a person from the city has love for another, and certainly never a love that calls upon a guardian spirit. They usually just revel in lust and consumption, but this one is different somehow. These two seem to have just discovered the act of corporal entanglement. I doubt they will be doing much else in the days to come. After quite some time they lie blissfully still, exhausted and yet humming with a radiant energy. She strokes his hair and speaks: “You are a beautiful man.” “So are you.” Pachi just grins and laughs at him. Suddenly, there is a rustle in the forest nearby and the sound of a horse whinny scatters through the trees. Silly bolts up right and perks his ears. “Fallipop.” He exclaims with an eager voice. “A what?” “It's a Fallipop making that noise.” He darts away towards the horse. She runs after him, only to find him sobbing and staring at the horse as if it were a god. “That's just a hors... a Fallipop, yes. Have you never seen one before?” He shakes his head, still in disbelieving shock. “I can show you how to ride it...”
After much struggle to get him on the horse and to calm the horse, Pachi takes Silly for a ride through the forest. They pick up some speed and laugh together, wind dancing through their hair and clothes as the horse dashes through the forest. They go across the Erinim rivers, over
the Malken hills, through the Tanglethorne forest and before they know it they almost ride into the Deadlands. They are halted by a gate with an old rotted wooden sign that has a hand the colour of dried blood on it indicating to stop. Silly slides of the horse’s back and kneels down at the sign. He lifts his hand very hesitantly to touch the hand on the sign. He turns around unexpectedly and looks at Pachi thoughtfully.
“Pachi,” he says, “there is something I must show you.”
Silly knew right where to go, edging through the outskirts and back allies of the city. As if being anchored in one place for so long has embedded a magnetic north-point on his minds compass. My, but this is a terrible place – even though it is so full and big, it feels deserted. As if no spirits live here, and why would they? With every creeping step we took in the shadows of this place, it felt like a sharp rock scraping at the glass of my being – like crawling through tanglethorne. I have never been in the city before. I’ve only glimpse it from the outskirts, and for that I got a rigorous penance of chores. My brother had followed me and snatched me up the moment he found me, about to climb through a hole in the city fence. He brought me straight home and as customary to when someone breaks the tribal trust, we had an hour of silence and eye-gazing – after which followed the deciding of my penance.
Now I understand why. This place is evil. I can feel it permeating the air like an unseen smoke. And where there is smoke, there is fire – a fire of separation. There is no unity in this place. We have heard stories of course, and though I had never believed it could be so, I now know for certain. The few faces we saw out on street, spoke a thousand volumes. These people were owned by the things that they worked so hard to own. Did they not know that we are all children of Mother, and that we shall return our body to her when leave for the sky path again?
“Here.” Silly spoke and wrenched me out of my thoughts. For how long was I just lost in head? I did not see a thing, as if all my senses went blank. This place. It is as the elders say, there is a curse here that drives a person’s soul into a deep corner of the mind.
“So how many others like you are there?”
“Everyone in this place is like me, even them who are not bound by chains. The ones up in those high towers - they are not free either. Everybody who is not outside in.. in…”
“Nature.” I always feel bad, correcting him. It he has learnt many intellectual concepts, but not much about the world outside.
“Nature. They look but do not see, they hear but do not listen, or smell, or taste, or touch. Not really, only a little bit - in a fuzzy way. They do not wish to think or live for themselves. They are too… comfortable.”
“We cannot free the entire city.”
“No, but we can free those who were with me.” He takes the Finkle flower from his hair. “And then they must free as many as we have freed. And those must free as many again. And soon we will have freed the city.”
“How will we get it in to them?” This monstrous building of steel trimmed with spiky wire seemed like a forbidden vault of secrets. All of the city’s buildings did. What evil lay inside? What evil did he have to endure? Just then I see the sign…
Great spirit! Why? Should I tell him? Perhaps he knows already. Perhaps that is why he is so driven to free the others.
“There is a way, we just need to get inside the front door. And you need to tell me one thing; what is a, ‘week’?
Right through the front door? He looks downright determined though. My totem is a tigress and for the first time I will truly let her run free.
“I have a plan!”
Shata corp. ‘The hand that feeds’ Meat Factory no.5
We rode back to the tanglethorne forest. I dared not go back to the village, they would already be looking for me and if I told them of our plan they would not permit it at all. That is if they let Silly stay in the first place. Everything is so uncertain now – everything has changed like a wind bringing weather from another land. Standing in an opening underneath a thick canopy of twisting braches adorned with fanglike thorns and the most beautiful purple flowers, an ominous feeling crept up on me. Try to think of something else – Finkle. I quite like the name Silly had given the flower. It certainly soothed the nerves now. If the elders but knew what we were about to do…
“Do you remember what I told you of the Finkle?” I asked.
“Poison?” He asked awkwardly, his mouth twisting around the word.
“Yes. Collect as many as you can. We will use the poison to make darts, as my brothers showed me when I was little.”
We rode back to the city. I’ve had the nagging feeling that I should never have involved Patchi in this. I also have the feeling that whatever I say, she will not abandon this quest now. There are two guards at the rear entrance of the meat factory. She deftly uses the ‘dart blower’ to put them to sleep with the poison from the Finkle. Is this why it is forbidden by Shata? Ah, Shata is not even real. What is real? I really do not know anymore. All that matters is what I feel for Patchi - that which is called love. Nevertheless, I cannot live knowing that there are others like me who will never know the truth and will never get to experience this feeling. This feeling that is worth dying for. We sneak up to seemingly lifeless guards. We move their bodies behind a refuse bin and take their clothing. The clothing of the factory workers are luckily full-bodied and have masks as well – we should be able to remain hidden with ease. Inside, we walk past many workers unnoticed, until we come across one with a different colored uniform and a hand marking on his mask. He stops us with an upraised hand. Shata again.
“Unit 557. Room 34. Remember that one of your ‘products’ are shipping out today. So just double check it.”
I reply with a safe an simple; “Yes.” It seems to suffice.
“Excuse me, where is this week's ‘script’?” Pachi asks.
“Down in the print room.” He points down the hall and gestures with a curved finger to the first corridor to the let. “As always unit… 9-3-6. Oh yes you are new. They will be ready after lunch.”
”Thank you.” She says unwavering. She is brave indeed.
“Unit 557, be sure to show 936 the ropes. 936 be on alert at all times – just last week one of the products managed to escape. He killed one of our most vigilant employees. So be aware.”
“Yes. Thank you.”
We walk on, but I can almost feel the man’s eyes on our backs looking at us with suspicion. We round the corner to the left and enter the print room. The master copy of the script is lying next to a big electronic device. I discard it into a waste collector and together Patchi and I create a new script with a pen and paper we found in a drawer of a desk. I’m learning many new things from her. We then dart out of the room and head up a ladder further down the hall which leads up to the roof of the building. It is time. I only hope that they will know what to do.
“Drop one flower through each of the holes. They are air holes directly above the prisoners.” I tell Patchi.
There are only two products in this room now, because one has escaped. Therefore I personally took charge of this room, just so that the other two products would not get any ideas. I persistently told the board of the directors that teaching them language and entertaining them with shadow shows was a bad idea, but it is true that most of them die without stimulation – which of course is less profitable. It is probably more education then they would receive out there in the wild anyway. Some of them are from there, wildlings that stray to far from home and wander to the city out of curiosity – dumb savages. The rest are orphans picked up on the city street. ‘The weak are meat and the strong must eat.’
“What the hell?”
Flowers are falling from the holes in the roof, one after the other through each of the holes. When the first flower hits the floor the captive scrapes it towards him with his feet. The second one follows suite. Wait just a minute…
“I knew there was something funny about those two. No-one says ‘thank you’ around here.”
The guard walks hurriedly towards the print room. The end of lunch-time siren rings and workers line up at the print room. He is about to enter the room, but then he sees that the ladder hatchet is not properly closed and so instead he climbs the ladder. The workers walk into the print room one by one to take the new scripts and then return to their work rooms. On the rooftop the guard emerges and sees Silly and Pachi with their masks off, dropping the last flowers. Unfortunately I cannot do much here; this place is barren of nature. The only strength I have to reach into here is the flowers. He takes his gun and shoots; Pachi jumps to cover Silly and is shot. Pachi takes a concealed blow dart and shoots the guard between the eyes. He passes out. Silly scurries frantically for the bag with the remaining flowers, he turns it out and it is empty. He removes the flower from his hair and tries to squeeze juice from it into Pachi's wound. It is completely dry.
“No! You cannot go away! I love you!”
“We have done what we must, my silly man.”
“Then I am coming with you.”
“But we do not know where that is, or if we will even see each other. “
“As long as I can think and feel for myself, I will be free. And as long as I am free, I will look for you, even if it takes a thousand lifetimes. Even if you are a Finkle and I am a Falipop, then I will smell for your scent and we will be together...”
He proceeds to eat his flower and they lie down enveloped in each other.
“You really are too silly. But I love you too, and I believe you.”
This is the world. The mysterious and strange square shaped world that we observe. The only world there is, but strange things have happened. First one of the voices disappeared and now this object looking like a Finkle with more than just two dimensions has dropped in front of us. This time in the world, Fallipop appears first and gathers a Finkle. A circle appears. Fallipop approaches the circle and rubs it with the Finkle, the circle opens. Fallipop rejoices. Shata appears and is angry. He chases Fallipop and catches him. More Fallipops appear and they overpower the Shata, they proceed to rub him with the flowers. He dies and withers.
He was right.
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