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the Swiss Orange

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Creatureform Fables vol 1

[prologue] Her elliptic curves in the grey dusk shape the statue of a majestic shadowfigure. Her gold eyes scalp the open hillside, the moon waning above, her coat glistening reflections, wisping at the edge of every regal strand pressed firmly against her hardened huntress back. Her ears tune to the night, the quiet itself her guide. Her gracious steps carry her floating down towards the valley, her presence alone marshalling the land. She follows those familiar tracks, the scented trail a knowledge passed down by blood, to be held, she is a keeper of this secret way. The ground is beaten down with drought, those still pebbles in the dry clay outlined by moonlight, and she comes to rest at a waterhole nearby that is sour and warm, her scorched tongue welcoming each gorge and she senses the emptiness of the land. She scans the open land as she drinks, dipping her paw into the pond to stir a fish but nothing lies under these dark waters. The white moon lifts barren into the sky. She lifts her head back to the hills, where the scent of fire and danger looms, the smoke and haze hanging low on the purple sky. She senses an ant and soon she is tracking a colony of workers and comes upon a large pit in the ground. She bats at the earth, laps her tongue along the dry mud and rolls in the dust to scratch her back. The wind bears many alien noises and soon only one strong fluting can be heard above all, and with each strike of the wind she comes to understand something deeper and greater about this life though she can no longer comprehend her enlightened senses. She sees a form in the distance, something she has never seen before but comes to revere immediately. The thing stands erect on two legs and makes its way with a god-like assurance along the empty plane, this, her new master, the object of her love.

Celladore No ordinary effort stops the wheel.


In sleep it spins without resistance, passively, falling deeper, lacking more the will to activate any change. Years, centuries. Millennium. Time shaping matter, shaping world, shaping men. Nothing holds still. In my dreams it is raining and always there is fog, a glistening haze fizzing upon cracks of white lightning. I stand on the sky, on cloud and smoke and vapour designing and twisting the world beneath, imperceptibly shaping and hypnotizing. The world, Kaia. Its been too long Kaura My world, my name. Everything has changed Kaia is mine ...You are mine You will see ..You will be let go and see for yourself Visions, torment, strange dreams. Smoke, a pale haze. The need for strength grows. There is another form to take. That noble form. Man. A shape held in hiding. Know the years of your cowardice. Let them go. Make an amazing effort. Stop the wheel. Take a step, a step to change. Become a man. A man with will. A man with freedom. A man with love.

A man with a heart. A heart a beat ..life! Sudden. Breathe in a breath and exhale. Awaken my eyes to a sting, a vacuous void, a cavern my home for the last centuries, empty, a distant water trickle, a bell hum of ringing ponds and puddles. A body electrified with muscles, blood, coursing warmth and I shiver, shaking bones. Veins, pathways, bones, structure. The complex man. Learn to walk again. Move a leg, stiff, fall to the cold rocky ground, breathe still, register pain, feel the blood leave me, wounds, fresh, ripped flesh. Speak to myself, console. I am alone. I am here. I am now. I am. Get up. I do. I fall again. Agony. My mind screams anguish. Poison blood flows through me. I lie still and watch a grey film encase the darkness, shaping imagery, its thoughts. Flexing the stiff, crippled joints of my body, trying to get up, my mind swirls with questions, darkness. Life, is this really it? Why have I returned? You are here to be my witness Get up, fall. This is your rhythm. Adapt to it, rise, descend. The ground is there to catch you. I move on, steps vibrant and bursting through the grand empty space, shattering the silence of the cavern. Sound reverberates, haze engulfs, a direction is taken, old paths, memories. I am the disciple of my own senses, awe of this life, guide my next step, help me find my way out. Wretched, I spit. The effects of my dreams, my body aged. I remain deep in thoughts

that bare no useful conclusions, only extending my imaginations and uncertainties. Amazed, gazing at still darkness knowing that even the blackest worlds move like everything else and shadows take over my mind. A platform to a great moment seems to unfold in the timbre and shifts of the sounds of my steps, my patter. Light somewhere taking effect out there in a crack in the solitude of this fallen world, this cave I lived in as a mushroom for the last centuries, raining down, yes out there, a fountain beam, a thin light from a broken piece in the ceiling above, or what could it be? Is this imagined? I move towards it, my eyes seeped with the images the light lays upon them, the first light upon my eyes in a thousand years. I see. I see myself. Who is this here, this man of bones laden to skin and of no will and constant surprise? You are unequipped for this world. Let me show you. You made a mistake to leave the world and betrayed us all, turned man on himself. Have a look, just, one by one, each well defined particle welcomes your sight and your understanding, your witness. Take account. See the shapes form, distinct, men, crowds, places, cities. Wars. History. Violence and great power. The men you taught, your warriors, the Maneche, watch them fall. Did you expect them to follow a dead man? Time passes, man survives. Do you survive Kaura? Or do you lay down and die? Hear the words of history. See the sights. Bear the consequences. Stop a section of time and become a part of it. Listen Understand. You are not a part of these events. A world apart, observe, a crowd made from light forms gathers around a man who speaks, proclaims, bestows the path of their future. He speaks, they cheer, celebrate, look at each other, and his words fill the air, and mans history is about to change, and this is the moment and all will make it known that this was the day. Dances, laughter, songs. Mans greatness is praised.

Haze and mist rise, I stand amongst the crowd of light, a dark monody, singular, a passenger of another time. Bound to the present, castaway, the world I see is called free and anything declared possible and all rejoice and nothing here is sacred any longer, and any old way has become a lie. My own ways. Festering, I watch, learn, alone in fear. Vile men, paths of despair, craving. This is the past I have been summoned from sleep to change? And how does a man change the past? Only a fool would try. I keep my eyes fixed. I hold on. The light shows me. Yes, it says. The haze agrees. I say nothing. An active past impresses itself upon a passive man. Emotion and life, and the sense of weakness, fear. Push back, grow in strength. Press, sweat, break through. Give up. Be told you are not able. See. The past is done. Follow it through to the present. Enter into the present with momentous strength. Accept the task. You were once a hero, and have been called upon again. Kaura, see and do not fear. I lift my eyes to the source of light above, the thin beam raining down from a fissure in the roof of the high caverns ceiling. A boy shines aloft in the distance, high up, watching the scene of light below. He is not like the other bodies of light that shine. Anguished bursts, he explodes and appears near then far, propelled along the darkness, the surface of the crowds that form and disperse, other visions, wars, battles, great cities rising to prominence. An empire. The letters TAS. The boy outshines all and looks towards me, lifting himself above the crowd, then landing before me and he stops and stares into my eyes asking for an answer. He asks who I am and if I am like him, and looking into me he realizes I am not the one to know these things and he walks away into the light, never blending in, and there he stands watching me and I him, a grim cloud of haze forming above us and he lifts his eyes to the darkness and says, Celladore, and glows and breaks the hold of the visions of this unbreakable past, and he

bursts away and I fall back onto the hard rocky ground hearing an echo, Celladore, Celladore, and all goes black.

Symphony Winds Winds in symphony chorus play soundly and with smooth precision in
tunes of the forest nearby his window. The young boy, Alistair, listens. It sounds much like the winds of Andorra, his old home, but here in Magaree he knows to think otherwise and he listens a little more closely. "A true conductor creates the wind song by isolating certain sounds in nature," he was taught. "Then he finds a way to get everyone else to hear his song. These are the winds of Kaia." Chaos, uncertain melody, sudden and halting crescendos. The roughest winds, cold dark night and nature in its true form. These were the winds he was told about, upon which each night he builds a song searching always for that one eluding note that would make his songs complete but all threads fall apart, and every night the multitude of sounds remain mixed and poorly arranged, and he loses himself in simple sounds and thoughts, in the neat hum of the belling metal frame of the hut in which he sleeps alone. Out the window is the crisp air and the promise of spring, a cloudless sky and the great void beyond stirring the depths of his imagination and anything he thinks is possible. It makes him uneasy, darker than usual. He watches the haze slink above the tree-line, stretching up to the star-speckled sky and swirling into shapes that soothe his eye and make him feel numb. Songs fall apart, notes become meaningless. Anything he can give means nothing, anything he was ever given, life, love, becomes worthless. That is the tone of his one true song and always he cannot help but become lost in the skys endless wonders. They say he is alone and he is. They say all is darkness and

it is true. They say many things that a young boy is not prepared to know and one like him left alone in this strange place, the boy, Alistair, struggles to keep his mind from those places and turns his ears to a wall of frogs in a nearby swamp, no more thoughts of death, no more thoughts of her and what he saw. Lock them away in a song you will never listen to. Outside a creature prowls in the tall weeds. A moment glorious and always for this animal, and the boy listens to this raw spirit, instinct bound and not confused by any freedom of choice or emotions, and he turns his heart away from the music and from that complex infinity of untouched sound waiting for him to shape into something meaningful for there is nothing with meaning anymore except what is to come next and if he will live through it again or die like she did.

The Caves The boy meets me in my dreams. Together we sit and stare
and observe. He asks if I am real and of him I ask the same. He speaks nothing more except that word, Celladore, and I ask him his name and he gives me a look of incredible fear and says nothing. I wake up calling out to him. Boy! Sudden, the shock of pain hits and I let out a strange bellow that echoes in the height of the cavern, and falls back down upon me as a dark and eerie laughter not my own. All has returned to its former state, the darkness and the only source of light that single strung beam cutting into the black like a portal to the sky. Trickling rings of light burn into my eyes. I breathe to the rhythm of my blood, a pulsing cadence, slow, steady death, my mind darkened, though my chest heaves and I am alive. Beyond the light the darkness is patched with haze that swirls in tight winding spirals, freezing in place when I observe, conscious of me, reacting to my presence and judgments. ...Yes I am me... it says. I am mesmerized, stiff, surging with pain. Thin legs, bony knees to carry me back to my feet. How could this be? Did my mind turn so dark over those thousand years? The once pristine body I held deteriorated in form, in shape, my spirit wanders these caves somewhere and it must be found. I rise. Facing the stifling darkness I position my feet to hold balance, unable to see, a hollow wind coursing around giving off the impression of echoing storms within the vast cavern. My senses guide me step by step, somehow recalling the way. Each step I feel

more alive, though always one step away from death, my nimble body holding this withering spirit. I move along the slick rocks tempted to do something I am not prepared to do, not strong enough yet to try, but always the possibility of using my creatureform looms, though I know I would never achieve any form and surely disappear in the depths of time. I return to myself, my breaths, timing out the rhythms of these and the rest of the cave. Lifeless, I almost hold my breath completely. In the dark I move, what life I bring to it I cannot measure, nothing feels real, nothing is certain except the most certain thing, and I know what has happened cannot be, and that I should not be here. ...you should have died long ago man.... you think I wanted you to miss this?.... I wedge through pillars of rock, cutting blades that graze my skin. I follow this path squeezing through what could be an alley between walls, and I start to smell sulfur, I feel the heat, and then the orange glow out there, and I know I am going the right way. The lava brings heat to the alley, pouring into my bones and my skin, my heart. The deep beginnings of this volcanic labyrinth, moving through the ancient lava tube and entering into the primary cave, and deep below a smelting lake of fire. Watching it churn and roll down there, the rumble around me and trembling earth, vibration shakes me to life and the sights fill my eyes with new awe. Moving through with caution, the cauldron`s edge inviting a slip or easy fall, the rock unsteady and falling free. I could fall free, die, where does this will to live come from? Why do I go on when I know what is to come? The ground sways and rocks, cracking, hot violence below in the cauldron, I exit the primary room through a small tunnel, heat on my back, sweat on my forehead, into the cooling darkness. I heave forth a breath and cough, the sulfurous air making my head light, and the haze dancing around in hypnotic sways makes me feel like I am constantly spinning. I reach up for a rock and prepare to climb, unsure, how high can it be. This looks a little different. I cannot say if this was the way I entered in a thousand years ago, my mind so far from the moment then, for it was here I came to rest and die, I never

thought I would leave. Then again, I never thought I would succeed in winning the war. A thousand years since, even those memories remain fixed and clear in my mind. The great evil, the things I did. Was it worth it? Something tells me no, the haze, what it has planned for me, what is it? I am frail, weak, I look back at myself. This is how I was when I entered here, forlorn, removed. All others basking in victory, the world was free, evil had been vanquished. But if they knew what I did to destroy it. ...they learned soon enough.... I lift my head and see the haze playing out the images of a time long past, but I already know this has happened, and it is why I cannot move, and the stiff flex of my arms remains too limber to lift my body, and I weep, for I am alone in this world, and what I have done cannot be forgiven. ...don't think I'd let you die in here old fool... I continue breathing. Does it matter? My heart seems to beat separately from me. All I sense is sorrow, pain. Death, looming over me, just come now. A bomb blast from the depths below. Shaking around me. Loose stalactites fall from above landing into the glowing pit. I turn back and stand on the edge of the cauldron, watching them sink, watching the rock melt into a new substance, and the fall makes so much sense, this is the only way out, and if I should die I will and if I should fly, I shall escape this place. ...but never escape.... It will be. I jump. Wind along my neck, heat bursting onto my toes. The sight of a fiery death, the pain will soon be over. I close my eyes and think of falling, and who I was becomes meaningless for it will all be swept away. I think of the winds blowing my ashes away. I think of the earth churning my body into something new. Something new. A new form, a new shape. Yes this is it, this is the way, the way I`ve forgotten,

and this is why there is hope and this is why I am still here. Death shall not take me, not yet. Flee death, live, grow wings and fly away, before the splash into the deadly lake of fire. I fall away from this shape of a man and into something that can transport me to the surface, and its wings appear just before we hit the lava and with a panicked swoop I lift myself upward, a wing burning, perhaps on fire, but this alarm is what I need to fuel the creature, and powerful gusts of my wings lift me spiraling and out of the hot glow, into the darkness, and up above a small point of light, and rising I see the shadow of a small boy clinging to the wall, climbing, rising upwards with me, and the smoke dances beneath me, around me, beside me, speaking to me words of warning, and laughing, telling me it knows me all too well.

The Monster The boy, Alistair, is shocked from his dreams. He looks
out his window upon a single star, an ancient relic of light that has counted down the last night hours for eons, times that existed before him and even any creature. As it burns away into the glowing purple sky he finally accepts what is coming, what has already been. The history of his existence will soon be pondered by someone like him one day, in a spray of light from millions of ages away. This is what he thinks suddenly and it captures him in an emotion he cannot contain, a fear he has been rejecting since he heard Nevin crawl out the window, out of his bed in misshapen creatureform, like a child called by the night to some demonic resting place. The fear wells and burns. Dread settles. His brother would have killed by now. By now the child had eaten. Nevin. Alistair lets the name float in his mind. The sunrise turns the sky pink. He takes one last look at the nameless star that has kept him company this night, he thinks of eternity and tries to comprehend the distances. He casts all of his fear into the star, knowing it will one day arrive at that far off place in consequence, and he waits for the sky to turn red before he gets to his feet. On the cold planks he stands facing the door, which has blown open as it always does in the roaring winds of morning. The cold, toneless moan. No cries, never a sound from the village beyond the hill as the child would attack quietly returning at dawn with the bodies of the dead sometimes wrapped under his arms like trophies, always smiling and his eyes black like coals. There were nine deaths and more by now, indiscriminate in style, all pieces equally savoured and all meats and ages. Night the only consistent detail followed by whatever ravenous beast was feeding on the souls and bodies of the town, and now its spirit as the people began to fear the nights, their dreams, the darkness, until the

existence of such evil became known across the village, an entity itself, hatred and sorrow directed at the unknown, and all the while Alistair would listen to the villagers speak of this one, sitting in a tree or picking up loose words on the wind as they would describe sightings of this beast and discuss its origins, most blaming the government and technologics for letting loose on them a monster created in their labs, still others believing the beast had come forth from the mystical forests surrounding the town. No, none of these things. Alistair would listen with his head down, his eyes closed. It was Nevin. It was his brother. He spoke nothing to the child of these events, though the child would speak often to him of his dreams, violence, blood filled accounts that he could describe in certain detail but not comprehend. Of faces, of cries and smells. Some faces familiar, other children he knew, of a voice he would hear in his dark dreams that would narrate all to him in great detail, a voice that sometimes sounded like their mother's. "But she's dead right?" the child would ask his older brother. "Yes," Alistair would say and look away from the child telling him not to listen to that voice and to just say "Celladore" every time it would come into his head and the child would agree solemnly and say he would try. "Celladore." Alistair lips the word to himself, feeling the softness of his tongue roll along his teeth, taking its meaning in the present. The things it used to tell him are gone, their old instructions left in different times to a different person. The silent anticipation of what's to come creates a void in his mind that begins to fill with thoughts, burning questions better left unanswered or unknowable themselves. He wills away these things, thinking instead about how cold his feet are, then about the smell of the pine emanating from the walls, the wind and the air, the stirring of dust at his legs from the rumbling wind. Thoughts that might be his stir about his mind. He rejects them, the chaos, the fear waiting to pounce on him. Just give in boy, there is nothing you can do. Footsteps in the grass, the crunch of feet upon the dry spring ground, the drag of something in the

dirt. It could be anything. Try to imagine what is coming to you boy. The shape fear takes, and any indication he gives only empowers the beast, and instead of the monster he thinks of the child inside, Nevin, and of the darkness overtaken him, and no longer why this is, only how to pull him free once again. A craze of birds awoken in the fields cries out and then is cut short, gobbled quiet. A ferocious gnawing, growl, sick bliss from outside the metal hut, and Alistair looks at the doorway waiting for the creature's shape to take form in the door frame. He reminds himself he has done this before. He reminds himself, Celladore, and he keeps focused. The wind batters in collisions, a putrid smell fills his nostril, his own sickness contained in his stomach, spinning now with insects or butterflies, his legs without feeling. A shadow forms in the doorway, an arbitrary form of darkness moving about as if existing in some other realm beyond material and matter, the soul of all evil captured in this foul elongated form. The stench, a blaring reek of death and blood. He can hear chewing and clacking of jaw. He can hear whistling breaths. He can feel everything. The wind rattles against the bolts of the open door, making the hut moan and ring in a combination of notes that create a million different songs and the sky beyond the open frame has taken on an orange hue as this little piece of Kaia revolves to accept the morning sunlight. Alistair looks on. His body vibrates, though he does not move and it is only the spin of his blood that makes him feel like he shakes, the beat of his heart that the monster stares at through the doorway. Alistair puts his hand upon his own chest. "This is mine," he says, looking out the door, the beast sitting in the grass, its elongated limbs holding onto something, fabric stained red, skin, bone. There it sits, waiting, waiting for you boy. To break, to fall apart. Deep seated in holes dug into the depths of hell its eyes upon you, waiting to strike. You are the only one it lets see and it is for a purpose. Look at the haze now having fallen from the sky, surrounding the beast, and the child within consumed by this shape, nightmare, you know nothing else but fear, and it looks on with joy. Whisper that word to yourself boy, "Celladore," and what

good does it do? Many will die. Many have died, and now it is your turn. Rising from the grass the monster steps forward into the pink haze of morning, dewdrops clinging to its tumour coloured skin, grey and tightly wound to the bone, except its stomach, which hangs heavy, dripping with slime. It steps like a ghost, hypnagogic and surreal. Every detail of its shape is proclaimed in the rising sun and captured in the frame of the doorway where it stands, too large to enter the hut but without the most grotesque of manipulations of its neck, twisting it, no bones holding this thing together, only its hunger. Alistair looks into its eyes, locked deep into its skull, face sunken, ringed with shadows, smoke seeping from its mouth, blood, the skin on its neck exposed and cleaved, muscle tangled and hardened, broken through, torn and built as if through violent thrashing, perhaps a resistance to its own movements. Nevin, are you there? Alistair looks deeply into the monster's eyes and asks again. A spark rises on the marble black surface. Nevin. A cloud of darkness swirls around those eyes, pursuing the spark that rises and disappears in no perceptible pattern. The monsters eyes fall into its head further, deep into its brains, the sockets emptying and its mouth cranks open, the arm of a corpse still in its teeth. It tilts its head and bears its spindling rows of teeth and advances with its arms pressed forward trailing the haze, enslaved by the strophe of its rhythms. The dreamlike composition of every form in this quietest part of day tests the reality beset before Alistairs senses. The haze thickens the air, bending light and sound, all projections of the world and creature intensified the vibration of existence spinning wildly out of control except in the small space in which Alistair now occupies for he has become the center of the universe. The monster advances lush and dispomanic, grasping, the very muscles holding its arms together stretching and snapping under pale white skin. The haze spins and pirouettes painting sentences and images onto the air, details left to each passing

moment, morphing in transience to provide new gloom and piercing terror. Alistair rests his stare upon the eyes of the monster, wherein contained the shapes of its evils pursue the spark of the mind it has invaded. He tracks the scintilla lights that flare like supernovas in glorious bursts and are consumed by darkness no sooner than they appear, a spark moving about in a rhythm incomprehensible to calculation or prediction, a signature precise and cryptographic to the mindless monster incapable of discerning such a key, a language acquired through the eternal bond of blood, brotherhood. Alistair begins with a whisper. "Celladore," he says in a voice soft, unshakeable. The monster hesitates, its fingers recoiling in apprehension as if being recalled to a world outside of its own craving. The eyes flash with chains of lightning sparks that make the monster wail out in a bilious grunt. Its long shadow eats over the boy and he states the word again firmly. "Celladore," Alistair says, lifting his head high to the monster standing above him and it grabs him by the waist, letting off a stench of breath, a final monition, and digs its nails into his side, pain he does not feel, for his focus is still on the monster's eyes. "Celladore," he says, peering, penetrating the darkness. He calls out for Nevin. Alistair's feet leave the ground, being lifted, his side pouring warm blood, trickling, a scent that pierces through all others. "Celladore," Alistair says, lifting his hands and placing them on the snout of the beast, pushing against its open jaw, and with one touch all of the monster's falseness is revealed, and Alistair is dropped to the ground and the monster lets off a stomach churning cry and falls to its knees, ripping at its eyes, tearing away its own flesh until all that's left is a skull with black ooze falling from its sockets. The room burns with ashen grey smoke, the monster melts away, its tongue falling from its mouth and onto the floor, its teeth bursting apart into a dispersing grey smoke that retreats through the door and collects with the rest of it out there hanging in the sky, tainting the variegated lambency of the risen sun with a twisting fog.

"Celladore," Alistair chants in a lowly voice, his lips barely parting. Particles of smoke glisten, miasmic film scattering into droplets, individual specimens each typical and bose, of no power or effect and animating the air in speck kindles that lie still like dust untouched, left to hang in a formless curtain. Alistair lies and watches the monster's eyes flame, its flesh burn from its bones and boiling, and still it pursues him, reaching out its arm until the bones and muscles are broken free and it falls to the ground on fire, and the monster falls down and Alistair watches the fire eat away at it until nothing is left except the ashen body of the little child within, Nevin, and he coughs and turns to his side, his eyes wide, looking back at Alistair, and his black eyes sink in, and Alistair looks back upon him saying "Celladore" until they both fall asleep.

Welcome to Meke Cove Up in the clouds. Surging through vapour and the light electricity of the
higher planes of Kaia. I burst high and penetrate the last stand of her reach, and up in the ethereal darkness between here and the great void beyond I have risen. From these heights I peer down on a world below that looks similar to what I remember, cratered hills and volcano heads boiling silently in raising pillars of smoke that ascend and dissipate into a thick film. The mountains at my back lead to the land of Meke, a land separated by chains of volcanoes and ridges. I am on constant alarm, the creaturebody I inhabit driven with an intense fear. I should not be here, this is too high, there is something wrong with this air. Many messages, my human mind transforming simple sensations into words and descriptions, upon which I must decide, and constantly catching each decision to dare not fall into the grasp of this body's instinct, for that would be the end. Descending, flattening my wings and turning into the clouds, the smog, the taste of it upon my beak sticking and I feel infected. I press through the fog quickly, diving into a tight shape that compresses against the air, and I am pulled to the earth. In the last clouds of smoke I get a broken glance at what occurs below and what I see is not something this beast can discern, and it registers slowly, in bits and pieces that a nature as direct as a creature's can fathom, though this constant fear becomes nameable, and this is it, this is the world you wanted me to see. Describe to you the things I see. They do not move like creatures, nor is their purpose so noble and true. They gleam like silver against the sun, and their blades are sharp like diamonds. They cut through everything, all that remains, and this is what I see, the falling, the green land being pillaged for its life, its goodness. Not good enough for man, the natural form was never so, and this is what I feel, take control, look at it and know why, and know that I am the one that made this all possible.

The Manache has failed. The harmony is broken. ...It never was and you never had a chance.... They are all dead. ...Yes... Who killed them? ...They killed themselves... How can this be? ...You left them old man... You left the world when it still needed you... ...Welcome to my world... ...Brace yourself... For wha--? I slam into the earth with magnetic force, the pain and sudden shock breaking bones and cracked, the skull of the creature. I land, dust swirling around me, ash upon my feathers. I lay in the trembling earth looking skyward. Billow mist upon the likely day sky, up above a white sun barely breaking through, dormant and far away. I breathe quick breaths, and turn my mind from this body and this pain, and think to the most familiar things, and the shapes I know best, what they are is always easy to find, for this is who I am, a man, and my name is Kaura. With a burst my shape emerges, bones exploding into place, sinew encased, glossed with skin. Legs lifting me high. A chest giving birth to a larger heart and the first breaths of air to enter me absorb into my newly formed lungs. I breathe out, a skull fully formed, eyes seeing, filling with tears. My ears are enraged with a psychotic shrill violence. The land shakes, the ground wails. I turn. Elephantine jumbo. Prodigious mountain of steel looming above me, dotted with red little eyes that glow electric. It whirs. It lifts arms of spinning blades. I run. Fields of them! I narrowly pass through the cutting arms of steel and the falling

trees. Rumbling, the earth guides me with a rhythm to follow or die. Passing through, the sounds swirling in my head, the ring and tumble. The soles of my feet surge with pain and my knees fill with liquid. I jump off the path and into a black pool of ashen earth, and I sit, observing the finely tuned process, the perfect mechanics, the purpose is clear, take all of it. I crawl backwards, to a higher vantage point and watch the earth being shaped into a new form, one much like I had dreamt and I lift myself from the black dirt and look onward and before I become afraid I turn away and move towards the beach and the ocean beyond. I move through paths lead by heaps of broiled wood, blackened death. My mind withdraws into memories, distant images of what was once a lush forest full of life. The fantasy holds me captive with its beauty, its energy. I look up at the sun which in all realms of my memory has always looked the same. A timeless thing, endless in its power to conquer time, death, the keeper of our time, mine. The choice is not my own. Black oozing earth, the rolling ground beneath my feet. I sense all anguish, and absorb it, and it turns quickly to anger, fear. Casting away thoughts, cursing to myself. Unsteady steps along a barren hillside. From the earth itself shoots great beams of light, vivid passionate colours, lambent, intense and entranced with radiance. I peer into the light and down and into wells of churning fire and electricity, friction and waves, and the hair on my neck rises and my skin tingles. I move away, suddenly conscious of a great magnetism taking place beneath the ground. Structures rise on the horizon. Large steel boxes gleaming with light, electrified. No men or creature, only metal, gears turning and harmonized march, eloquent and cold. Every sententious detail extended definitive power, attention, the creatures of these things have mastered the world in a way I could never have conceived but immediately understand. I will receive you world, I will try to comprehend. Signs printed in language I cannot understand, lines drawn straight and narrow, beautifully written, the language seems like a new version of one used in Andorra, the

world's center and greatest place, and they are everywhere, giving off stern warnings, but only pieces remain, "edge", "off", "no!". Carved into the earth beacons of electric light line certain areas and invite my sight, I turn my eyes, I break my attention, every second there is a division of my being into a small portion, ever insignificant. A voice echoes around the hills, seeming to come from the sky, a deep coarse command in a new language, "leave!", "danger!", "welcome to Meke Cove!". My eyes to the earth I walk, each careful step, towards the cove, towards the beach, towards all of my questions. My feet pass along the dry earth and up and down the rise and fall of the bending hills. I look up. Columns of streaking light blazing high into the sky. Not even their size amazes me, not even the shock of such an existence of wonder made by man's hands. Creation, the beauty of it transforms in me into an ominous dread. I feel like I am in another world and then I remember, I am. Natural wonders, are these? Yes they are. Manmade, and man is nature. I look as I march into the light, to this city, this mega capital. More signs, welcoming me. Meke Cove it is. I am whipped and turned by the sensation of living things, all around me suddenly, condensed in this ball of light, "Welcome to the City". I lift my head to the sky, transfigured into crystal incandescence, and false stars are laid upon the surface, lustrous and radiant, aflame, blazing and polished. The city blushes with brilliance, structures laid upon each other, one by one up to the clouds and beyond. The tallest sits near the shore beckoning admiration, yet they all do, and the most beautiful is placed in the center, ornamental, crystal ice boulder shaped like an egg, and the letters TAS are impressed upon every surface eminently. I look on in awe, climbing the side of a steep incline, the stretching landscape around me lit up and all the signs read, "Fall! 2000 Leaps!" This is the cliff's edge. A city out there, alive, and here I sit on the curving line of death waiting for it to converge into a form I can welcome. Is this it? Is this what I am here to see? Impressive

shapes and beautifully dancing light? I am a great warrior and I have conquered worse, but the power I had then is gone, given up to this dream world. My imagination goes wild, my thoughts spin and my focus is weak. What a world, what a place to be. I move to the edge and look down. Trees speckling below like little ants, the same as the people and mechanical, fixed, cursory monotony, ever beautiful, ever captivating, beguiling, somnolent, and drawn forward in a sleepwalk I step off the cliff's edge and fall. Pocketed in a funnel of air, I look up at the widening star sprinkled sky and imagine flying but it does not happen, no wings burst, no change of form, I stay the same, weak, lost in fantasy and I smile dumbly, plummeting. Electric voices call out to me from the cliff walls. Hold now intruder! Falling he is in quadrant seven! "Still too high to say its quadrant seven, could be six, better even eight! Voices screaming from hidden places. "Secure em all then six, seven, eight! Go quick, speed on this man is picking up! Indistinct, mechanized. Hes in five! Hes in five! a voice yells. Getting on it, got it, got it! Contact countdown ten, nine, eight... Is this death? "...five...four..three... pre-contact..." "Take it forty-one..." Uncertainty always to embrace, even at the sign of every welcome, nothing is certain.

Devinette The boy, Alistair, gazes upon Nevin's charcoal coloured body, his chest
lifting slowly, rhythmic. I am restful, calm and silent. Alistair's eyes stay fixed. This could still be a dream, but recalling he never dreams he suddenly springs up in horror. Distressed he looks out the window. The sun lifted above the tree line, still morning, still time before the village awakens. He jumps to his feet and takes Nevin into his arms. Beneath the child, a tiny imprint clear of ash and Alistair looks at it wondering something, but unsure how it could mean anything he turns away and puts Nevin's sleeping body in the corner, lifting a blanket over him, chanting softly, "Celladore," and questioning what to do next. Tendons left in a trail along the doorway, out on the pathway. He collects the skin and twisted severed meats. The metal hut rings as a soft wind blows, a probing gust, a haze passing through. The small structure holds together by strings of rope the boy tied together himself with the help of a man whose name is Essex, the only person he had spoken to in these dark months alone in the derelict camp, the refuge of the world. Magaree, hidden away, accessible only by hidden tunnels and a magical forest, the devinette, and it is there he must go to hide these pieces, away from the search parties, the noses, the crazed loved ones of those taken by the newest massacre. He looks in at Nevin who lays asleep, sediment-covered. The dead meat in his hands, remains, no haunt of the form or identity it once completed. He places it in his tunic, tying a knot in his shirt to contain the bloodied meat, and he faces the incredible day that has formed and with swiftness moves down the pathway and into the morning air. Into a field of amaranths he walks, matins singing from the trees the songs of

waking, the songs of beautiful morning. Beyond the hills he can see a glistening light glazing softly over the roofs of the village below, and all is well in Magaree for the time being. Amaranths give way to other weeds and flowers growing wildly in the brush. Bushes block the path and make him go a winding way that he marks in his memory. Shadows multiply, beyond him standing the ageless ailanthuses with branches like sentinels chasing away the sky, merging into the great void beyond and perhaps the stars beyond, and the shadows entrench him and he enters the forbidden forest of devinette. Take the paths you are offered. Do not look up, do not listen to the whispers. There is no wind within the trees, within the tangle. Alistair enters the forest with a solemn face. His eyes are not dazzled by the glowing roots of tupelos and the abies, pinacae, all the woods alive, and for a moment it comes to silence as he enters in, the newest being, and a new balance takes form and invites him to be initiated into its wonders. Devinette, devinette. He makes no guesses, no uncertainty twists him into its arms. He keeps focused, his senses empty, he does not look back, he does not keep his eyes fixed on any creature or plant even though they all move for him and welcome him in to their conversations and strange words, and they speak to him but he does not respond. He stops before a tree and digs into the earth. Soft in his hand it is warm like living flesh and full of insects, spiders, within his palm entire worlds of life. A tree speaks to him and tells him he knows his pain and that he can make it right. If only the boy would stay with them. Alistair takes the meat from his tunic. Lumps of flesh he presses into the earth and covers, and the trees ask him of the meaning of this sacrifice and he does not answer. They ask if he wants to leave and he still says nothing. He walks away, he blends into the mystery, silent, charged with the energy of a million eyes blazing into him, incinerating and kindling his blood. They are becoming hungry, you have stayed too

long, the trees say he has given himself away, he should never have come here. He starts to run. Duck and dodge, branches, arms, teeth. Prestige of many wonders and sights crashing into him. He is vivid, his eyes surge and he has never been so afraid. The scent of fear, blood, the sights of his deepest terrors. He stops and lets each present itself. He opens his eyes to every mystery. Reveal yourself, creature, plant, unknowable terror, I will know you, I will become your master. The eyes of a lycanthrope hit the earth when he looks into them, the marmosets yell and hide when Alistair turns his gaze upon them. Vatheks crumble at the sight of the boy before them, all stunned and their popping jaws crack and the weendigos yelp and climb the trees. All hidden, alarmed, a foreign presence with them. Alistair walks quietly along, the soil moving beneath him, the roots of trees tickle his soles and guide him away, telling him never to return and to never utter a word about what he saw and he is ushered towards the light of an opening in the trees where a gorgon stands feasting on the body of some prey, and it stops to watch him with eyes white and face covered in bowel and blood and it smiles and bears its teeth, an abhorrent rumble coursing from its throat, and it turns away from the foul carcass at its feet and runs at the boy and jumps and dives towards him and the boy holds up his hands, prepared to die. A root from beneath the earth snaps at the creature, capturing it, and it holds it high for the boy to see, and the gorgon chokes up blood and spits wildly, writhing, and calling out the forest becomes filled with chaos and every illusion of his soul faces him, every reality, and his feet feel trapped by the weight of his legs, and he starts to sink into the earth, his mind surrendered to the unknown, all the same, everything and nothing at all, every potential, details and wholes, horrors and beauties. Darkness, effervescence, places where neither exist and only a pure and unchallenged light lives. And his body glows, his eyes go white. His blood turns weightless and clear, his body unclouded and brilliant, exposed, all of his own hidden secrets become known. He

becomes a body of pulsing beams, shimmering, he lifts himself from the earth and rises above and faces, the gorgon and hears its thrashing cries, squirm and struggle. The boy no longer, the phantasm of light, Alistair, a soft golden trail of splendour at his back as he floats through, ethereal, out of the trees, and a lucent skin lifts the shadow of mystery from the space he occupies. Out of devinette, and without any riddle left unanswered, he moves forward, unhindered, creatures following out of the darkness and as far as the scattered trees allow them. Alistair floats along a path of gillies, wandwibbow bushes of piercing orange and blue. The quiet houses take form on the horizon. Peace upon each wet glister of air and the haze waiting in the clouds for the moment to turn. He passes through the village, through the yards and backs of houses, he passes along, an unnoticed streak of light. Quiet and still, for just these final moments, noiseless the morning paradise of waking dreams and of perfection, a day anew, and all possible dread awaiting the people of the town, and a scream penetrates the silence, the hush, and calm turns to commotion, cries and hollers, bawling bellows and screech. Alistair leaves the village and goes towards the hills and he sheds the light of his soul and his body goes dark and his skin rises to the surface and his blood turns red and mortal. His feet touch the grass. He walks down the hill and enters the hut where Nevin rests on the floor and Alistair stands above him and watches his face, comparing darkness, and seeing into his dreams Alistair falls down beside his brother and lets a saccharine sleep fall over him, and he feels the child move next to him and press his face against his chest and they sleep entangled, together, dreaming of life, of their mother, of the way things were, and nothing is sweeter than falling away into such fantasy and for a while everything is all right.

Steneker and Mayden Stone cutting pulse. My muscles seized and bones rattled. Dragged
along the hall. I drift. Sleep comes and goes. Moving, the lights above me simmer. Clank, voice. Dream, awaken. Wake up wailing to the pain inside me, growing. Knocked on the head by something hard. Stammer. Hear their laughter, see heads, too many of them gathered around me, watching me, speaking in tongues.

Red light bathes the air.


Crimson, pulsing every now and again. The moment stands still. Is anything certain? Metal gears grind, screech. I hug myself on the floor. Stale air, electrically charged, every dim rise and fall of glow captured by my ancient eyes. Dead, still, I lie there observing, listening to others cry out beyond the walls, or are these the voices within I carry onward into my dreams?

devilish laughter is it so or grinding the gears? happiness has left here

In my sleep always laughter and layered dreams and words and things that
no longer exist. My home, my place. My place here on this earth, Fourchu, the isles, calling out to me in long lost dreams, or images, playing out here in this eternity, when the minutes pass slowly and I can no longer account for the motion of my thoughts or my destiny.

Days, hours, minutes. Passed, the time I witness is fractured and


moves at different speeds, some moving quickly, some dragging on in endless loops of imagination. I am moved from place to place by men who torture me along the way, laughing cruelly and speaking of oranges and fruits and accusing me of dark purposes. To no avail I defend myself and where I lift my hands to block they hit harder and tie my arms around my back and punch me until I spit up blood. Lifted alongside them, forced to walk. They hit me with sticks and force me to walk a straight line and quote my name and upon several attempts to render any other response than what I give them I am hit one final time in the face and falling they all gather around me and kick at me and gouge their boots into my joints and break me up as much as they feel is necessary.

Dull peace, rest here, but pain is much too real to keep a man sleeping.
A white room made of pearls, flicker glance, a white glowing air. Smooth surfaces, round and serene. I am calm here. Accepting all of it, my thoughts, my pains. This is the place where it is all made clear, and I am on display for someone and they watch outside there, speaking to me all along, searching within the depths of my mind.

This is a room made of glass. Though I have never seen something so magical, the reality is clear and simple. Let it go, the awe means nothing, the shape. There are two people outside looking upon you and they know that you have finally woken up. They mean to question you. This is simple. War games, the ones you know best. I struggle with my arms. Clamped to a chair I fight and lift with all of my power. I call upon the ancients to help me. I dig deep for all of my might. Nothing happens. I fall forward and try again. A piece of wall reveals itself. Heaved forward, I watch two shadows form upon a milky screen, dust, dramatic formation of them upon the glazing scene. Reflections, lines blurring and worlds melded, memories holding in balance this incubate new world, strung together only by comparisons to the distant past. Two people enter with steps determined and properly timed, and the dance has begun, and they can see I am ready for questioning. A woman, a man, and already they put forth a performance, arguing, she offering to be calm and gentle, he threatening me and lifting his hand, striking me, lifting me up by the throat calling me "oranger". I spit in his face. He digs his thumbs into my ears. A shrill hiss enters my mind. A voice, hers, the woman's. Calm, it says. He is doing his job and I am doing mine, and the man shakes my head and pounds me against my chair, my head rings, he strikes again and the woman seems to float freely into my mind, taking in whatever thoughts or images she finds there, not my own consciousness but now hers to dwell in and she absorbs everything. I fall forward in my chair, blood falling from my face. I look up at her eyes. Grey, sterling whirl, finest silver. Beauty, she stands elegant and tall with a medallion strapped loosely around her neck like the old oracles of the mountains. Beside the man, he a

brute of general form, large, built to kill, his face emotionless and made of stone. A blow to the gut. He tells me to sit straight. "No questions I must follow," the woman says in a calm voice. The man stops and looks back at her. "Follow your questions, make him talk." She comes beside me, standing above me. A face drawn inward like a sequence into a body that glows warmth and light, her intense spectacle makes me want to tell her anything and I do. "My name is Kaura," I say. She stops me. She puts her hands on my lips. She looks deep into my eyes. "Better look here," she says to the man at her back. She looks at me. "My name is Steneker," she says, her dialect changing, matching mine and she smiles. She looks at her back. "That man is Mayden." She peers deep into me. "Do not be surprised I speak like you, do not be alarmed if the sound of my voice changes and I begin to sound like you, I am trying to prove you are innocent so we can set you free. I do not want anything bad to happen to you. This man with me, this Mayden, he is a bad man. He will cut your skin off if you do not talk. That is what he does, it's what he is known for, you probably know, you have probably heard, you have heard it from Jachimon himself have you not? If you are an oranger you just better tell me so we can do the right thing and you won't have to go through that. Okay? No? Nothing here for me you say. You better give it away old man. No one just appears on the mountains and climbs down a government wall. Are you telling me you are a lost soul who woke up in a cave? An ancient warrior? A maneche? This will not fly old man, this will not fly at all. I have to let you go. Sorry, I have done the best I can," she says to the man at her back and turns away and leaves. The man advances, peering into me with crazed eyes. He presses something in his wrist upon a steel bracelet that electrifies and gives off a strange noise. The walls seem to move in, changing colours, now swirls and sudden images appearing in severe colours

and quickly moving, sped to a pace beyond reason, and violent snarls and sudden smears of blood and stain and feces and disgusting porn and all upon the sheets of my eyes that he gouges open and makes me count with him as he slices away skin from my arms and of the smooth parts of my shoulder joint he collects a piece of bone for himself that he says he will keep with the rest of them and he taunts me and tells me he knows I will never speak and that I am a liar, and this makes him angry and he throws his knives aside and punches me in the head and spits and speaks wrath and I barely understand his last words, and I float and life floats and I drift away to another dream and perhaps something I can finally fathom and accept without the greatest pain.

This completes Book One of the Swiss Orange Project

Andorra Daily News


COVER STORY

First Tech-Free Law Passed in Rogue State of Magaree

FREE NEWS Daily The first official state bill

A StateState-Wide Day of Celebration In Magaree

banning technology has been passed in the rogue state of Magaree by a unanimous decision made by the states leading council. The passing of this law comes only six months after the official founding of Magaree as a separate state-nation from the Andorra-TAS coalition. Theres nothing we can do, Supreme Melechar said this morning at his daily press junket. We can hope for the best, these people are giving up a lot and putting themselves, their families in danger. Supreme Melachar has been opposed to the ban since the idea was formulated five years ago when Magaree was a village of only three hundred in population. Since then Magaree has become an asylum for opponents of Technological Movement. It began as a safe-haven for antisocials and mischief-makers who opposed technology and needed a place to hide away. In the last year Magaree has become a retreat for creatureform enthusiasts who can no longer legally use their ability in most technologically enabled regions. Over the last five years the population of Magaree has soared from 383 to 4,613, an increase of 1200 percent.

The Magareen Council has released a written statement that declares today a state-wide day of celebration and welcomes the world to follow its lead in the abandonment of technology and all the woes it has created for our planet. It derides the pollution and greed of those seeking endless gains and control of the people by deluding their free will with laser light shows and shiny toys. An official stance on the technological ban has yet to be declared by the TAS. Supreme Melachar repeated once again this morning that the TAS is a peaceful organization with peaceful goals and will not be antagonized by the Magaree into a game of dirty words. The Council of War has, however, been put on medium-alert towards Magaree as is the standard for all opponents of the world government. This is the first time any nation or state has openly opposed the Andorran ruling party for the last sixty-seven years. The ban on technology is the first set-back in the seventy-year Six Phase Plan created by former Ageless Lord Melachar Prime, the greatgrandfather of current Supreme Lord Melachar. Next week marks the eighth year of Phase Six of the techo-socio strategy developed by Ageless Lord Melachar Prime one-hundred years ago. The

plan established technology as a means to create world stability and is currently in its last year of implementation, which makes the next six months the most important ever in the eyes of Supreme Melachar. Its taken almost seven decades, Supreme Melachar said in closing this morning. An idea born in the days of our forefathers is soon to be realized. It is on the shoulders of our great species that I I stand before you today and say I will let nothing stop us from getting to the finish line. Phase Six will be completed on schedule and without disruption. Representatives from the eight remaining outside states could not be reached for comment on the developments in Magaree. The Magareen Council did however elude to their relationships with other seers of the badness and blindness coming over the world, our brothers in the silent resistance. The statement from the Council ended, this is not a war and can only become one if they want it to. The Magareen Council could not be reached for further comment as the state has removed all frequency conductors within a thousand miles of the deep-forest settlement. A posted letter has been sent by carrier on behalf of the Andorran-TAS Governing Body inviting the leaders of the

Magareen state to meet with them in person to discuss future plans and possible peace treaties. The Governing Body expects a slow response since it is Magareen policy to return official correspondence in person, which will require a three week journey by air or sea in creature form for a Magareen messenger. Despite the fact the messenger would be committing Code-18 of the One World Code of Conduct the illegal use of creatureform - the Governing Body is open to any action that will speed the process along. When asked if he believed Magaree was under any influence of the Swiss Orange, Supreme Melahcar replied, this has nothing to do with them.

NEXT - GOVERNMENT SEEKS RETRIBUTION ON SWISS ORANGE DEFACEMENT

NEXT LORD MELACHAR PREPARES FOR BIGGEST ACCOUNCEMENT OF TENURE

www.swissorange.com
Copyright 2012 A Day Of Imagination Publishing Corporation
ISBN 978-0-9917513-1-0

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