a working of character
Gary Baker, (date unknown, sometime within the last few years)
Bright light; blinding, searing. An intense ripple of electric pain, so great that it seemed to drive toward insanity, until that blessed moment of sure-to-be emptiness.
Then something changed.
A slim, faded blur of green wisped across and then gone. Curiosity peaked and then came the tantalizing rub and tug of flesh on bone, of liquid within the flesh morphing it's shape just slightly enough to turn the skeletal fragments housed within. Then the glidingly easy, lubricated sensation of that bone turning on cushioned cartilage.
...and the green blur appeared again.
Focusing on the green enabled more, and the painful white existence became numb. The green began to grow, sharpening and gaining contrast with itself, forming new shades and slashes of darker tones interspersed like stones in the sand.
Continuing still, the blur dissapated into shards with shadows generating the darker hues while spots of glimmering light generated brighter tones. As if in response, the green region grew, reaching the sides of the visible white expanse where it then sharpened until it became visibly soft.
At first the green appeared fur-like, but with second thoughts coming from an unseen zone of being, came the notion of grass. The green shards were grass.
But what was this 'grass', really? And how was this known? Surely knowing such would be impossible to something nonexistent, yet sensation overrode doubt and existence, too, was known... though not how.
The thoughts crept out more, touching the place where the bone and flesh sensations had emanated, in that far-off point in space, and found a sturdy, unseen force in the way. The force had a cushioned quality, with the idea of connectivity to something larger, though displaced by invisible fog, and hinted at a more in-depth force of being than was currently known.
In shock and curiosity both, the thoughts felt onward, driven by a greed to have as much of this knowing as possible before it slipped away again. They imagined five-pronged appendages with more of this amazingly addicting bone and flesh feel, though why five was not yet known, where each struck out from two larger lengths and everything within cognition was contained within a slightly oily, slightly dry, not very sticky but not gripless surface. The thoughts imagined eight of these as small projections containing an overwhelmingly greater number of points where they could relish in the sensation of flesh and bone turning and pivoting with the help of oily cartilage. Somehow, from those same thoughts came another realization that these chaotic instruments were known as hands, and that these hands had four fingers each with an opposing thumb off to the side.
The hands returned to the point of origin to find the same feeling as before, only now more intensely felt through comprehendable fingertips and fleshy muscular pressure. The fingers pressed and prodded, all at the thoughts command, creating the image of moving liquid within the fleshy origin, so near to the wonderous lumescent green and yet so very far away.
The thought came to find the end to this new idea, and through unspoke commands the fingers once again slid away, deep into space beyond the origin, finding more bony structures beneath more flesh and padding. An Array of bumps caused by long, horizontal-but-curved bones beneath more flesh, then quickly faded beneath separate mounds of piled flesh ever-so-slightly more padded to the touch than the other fleshy regions thus far explored.
Continuing still, the fingers relayed signals of more beyond as the flesh dropped away in a deeper curve than that which had started these mounds, until once again bony flesh came to pass. A series of ripple-like bones beneath a thinner layer of flesh slid beneath the exploration and ultimately gave way to an unexpected flaw. The fingers paused, hesitating as they found themselves without command whilst the thoughts tried to comprehend why it was the bone had suddenly gone away, replaced by a full region of space where only flesh could be found. Worried, the thoughts sent the fingers out again, frantically seeking a return of these lovely structures of bone.
It was then that the smallest of the fingers, a twin of the smallest on the other hand, dipped into a sudden divot. The thoughts reeled, both ecstatic at such a find and terrified that this was the beginning of the end, that from here on there would be no further space to traverse into. So they made up for it by sending all fingers at once to push and shove their way over and into this tiny point, discovering a short drop ended with more crevaces than there were fingers, all smaller than the thoughts could imagine as being possible, yet there they all were, held together by a tiny mound at the cratorial center.
After much deliberation, the thoughts became coherent enough to send the fingers out further, to seek out more of these elusive nuances. Continuing, the fingers reached an unknown substance further below the lone divot, where tiny spindles of corrosive fibers splayed out with no intended direction, as though this form of chaos was normal.
But why? Why enable chaos on a perfect existence? Curioser still, what would the spindles of fiber be intended for? And by whom?
The thoughts grew ravagingly more greedy to find out the answers, and pushed the fingers further, pressing into what could only be imagined as wiry grass that grew from the flesh beneath, where they finally reached a sharp decline. On the sides of the fiberous expanse the flesh moved onward without delay, yet within the area of the fibers the flesh fell away dramatically. Pressing onward to sate a curiosity of their own, the fingers delved into a point where both the flesh and the innermost fibers felt warm and wonderfully moist. Further on this warm flesh then became folded and rippled, and more moisture seemed to appear the longer the fingers pressed onward.
The thoughts became ecstatic again, decidedly knowing that this point in space was where the flesh originated from. There was no other explanation for it. They revisited the divot above and came to a similar conclusion, though chose instead that this was an older point in existence, one that had been used for it's course and had simply became outdated in time. Further review brought the thoughts back to the mounds, where flesh seemed to be stored, kept within reach until the need for growth became tangible and in one swift move the thoughts declared this space to be known with truth.
There was an unmistakable doubt lingering within the thoughts, like an echo hailed against a cavernous wall, but the more important matter of discovering where it all ended still remained. Returning to the origin point above, the fingers responded to this matter by moving in the opposite direction with renewed vigor.
First came the sharp incline of incredibly bony flesh followed by an ever-so-slight decline with more flesh deposits beyond. Pressing with all ten appendages, the fingers found several openings to more moisture, the largest and closest to the sharp incline resembling a horizontal version of the opening beyond the fibers below. Above this existed two smaller twin openings on another sharp incline, and two more beyond that.
Moving further, the fingers reached over the two latest openings and the thoughts could only watch as the glowingly trance-like grass became obscured by deep shadowy blurs of darkness.
Instinctively the fingers drew away quickly to keep the grass within view, but curiostiy peaked again and the thoughts turned the structure of bone and flesh to move the fingers back into view below the image of the grass. Once again the shadows hovered there, moving when the thoughts commanded the fingers to, and faded into clarity with the prolonged exposure. The light dimmed slightly as the shadowy fingers came into reality, declaratively seen through the oval holes above the point of origin, and the thoughts chose to know that these figures were the very fingers that they controlled. Of this, there was no doubt.
Then came the details, so many wonderful details. The fingers were pale, but not too pale, the thoughts somehow knew, but more pale than they lighter grass tones. Over the places of cartilage, creases were visible in the outermost layerof pale flesh, as if merely there to remind of the magic-like structures within. They all seemed to hint of more and, sure enough, as the fingers flexed toward the ovals that enabled vision, a new texture could be seen hiding on the back of the fingertips, seemingly made of a glossy flesh that drove into the first joint of each appendage.
The grass flickered slightly and the thoughts pulled their new-found gaze toward it once more, to see a tiny figure resting where one had not been previously. The figure wasn't anything like that which the fingers had explored. Instead of a patch of fibers, the new figure was covered completely in white and muddy brown red splotches. The figure stood on all four limbs with it's head tilted to the side, curiously.
What is this? The thoughts wondered, coelescing into one lone voice with all the vigor of much-needed comprehension, while pushing into lower limbs of it's own extending below the fiber-covered opening and swung them aside like larger fingers. Something touched the limbs where the vision could see them end with five more digits per limb and when the voice within tried to understand what it had been, something exploded in the space between the two figures. A painfully loud bellow of a high-pitched yelp seemed to emanate from the four-legged figure in the grass and instantly the hands reached for the sides of the voice's own head, as if this could block out the sound.
Unfortunately, however, upon clapping to the head the hands created loud 'pop' sounds of flesh hitting bony flesh again, followed by a painful ache within the voice's head, swimming around the source of the thoughts with pulsing irritation and a 'ping' that eventually gave way to an endless high-pitched ringing.
As cognition returned, the fingers suddenly became aware of more fibers, less coarse than those down below, but more greater in number and apparent length. Following the ends of these fibers, the fingers reached across and over the ovals of vision once more, pulling the long strands of pale whitened-tan fibers into view. These fibers seemed to draw in the perfection of the existence beyond them to display it all with glittering realism.
Entranced, the fingers reached up and meshed into the sheer immensity of how truly thick these fibers clustered around the origin of thought. Again the fingers brought these forward so it could gaze at what the unheard voice kept hinting at as being hair, and pure joy rushed in, starting within the inner thoughts until it reached out and drew into the flesh of the head. Muscles tugged at the sides of the horizontal opening and ecstatic joy overflowed the thoughts into a twitch that reached through all points, explored and unexplored alike, ending in a sudden exhalation of air through the horizontal opening that sounded like a toned-down version of that which had come from the figure in the grass.
Suddenly the voice declared itself a figure and witnessed in awe as the mind-generated thoughts began to connect pieces together with a knowledge of unknown origin; recalling folds of flesh between it's lower limbs, the mounds of flesh above the divot and the intensely long hair, to bring the notion of womanhood into being. With this in mind, the figure reached out to an intangible sound somehow already known: she.
She reached out again, concentrating on what to call the figure in the grass, coming up with only 'it'. Frustrated, she pushed harder, delving into the expanse of knowledge contained within her thoughts, focusing on the figure to bring clarity. Finally she hit her first clue: she was nearly bare of the fibers known as hair, whereas the other was covered entirely. Somehow this meant the other wasn't a figure at all, but a... thing? Yes. But no, it was something else... a... creature? Yes! That was it.
'She,' she mouthed, 'it.' Her face contorted the muscles to somehow give her more clarity in thought and then brighened suddenly. 'Cre – ture' she mouthed, then pushed harder with an exhalation of breath like something hinted at from the back of her mind, while instictually contourting the muscles within her neck. “Cr – ea – t – sur.” No, that wasn't quite right. “Cr – ea – jur.” Still not right. “Cr – ee – ch – ur.”
Another wave of ecstacy pulsed through her body and she knew she'd gotten it right. “Cr – ee – ch – ur,” she exclaimed, “cree – chur.” With excitement as her fuel, she finally pushed to speak it faster “cree – chur, creechur! Creature!” The low-toned yelping sound came back again with more joy that she couldn't help but release and she began to scream with this sound that her mind told her was known as laughter.
As she let the convulsions of amusement roll through her, her mind began to wander, stuck on the idea of all this knowledge coming so very fast. What was this knowledge? How did it know these things? And why was a four-legged being known as a creature? For now it didn't matter as all existence of her body, the grass and the fluffy creature before her exhaled in an outrageous fit of pure wonder and joyous laughter.
“Creature!” She yelled, “it! She! Grass!”
The fit continued even as she stood from her seated position in the still-white expanse and took her first step toward the grass. The step pushed the feeling of tiny, sharp, loose stones and dirt into her mind, where the feeling seemed painful as there hadn't been any just moments ago. Still laughing, she took another step with slightly wobbly balance and then another and another and another, each time she came ever-closer to the furry creature in the grass.
When she was only a step away from the grass, she turned to see how far she'd come by this new sensation of walking and saw that where she'd stepped was no longer white, but a deep brown and black with dark grey stones scattered within each footprint. Amazed, she knelt and put her palm to the ground and felt the stinging sharp roughness of the stones and the smooth, silky feel of the soil.
Then the sound of the creature panting brought her attention over and as she turned to it, she grabbed a handful of the soil. Moving toward the creature again, she slowly set her foot down into the grass, sure that the sharpness of it all would cut her wide open – but as she pushed her toes down first, they seemed to slide into the soft, hair-like tufts of greenery. In awe, she nearly let go of the soil, until she concentrated hard enough to keep it in her fist as she knelt to touch the blades of grass with her free hand. Her fingers pushed into the grass much like they had in her hair – now hanging around her neck to barely touch the back of her grass-covered hand.
The excitement returned, and she convulsed with laughter again, causing her to fall over and let go of the soil. Her right shoulder hit first, landing easily into the lush fur-like foliage with a soft 'shush' sound, followed closely by her back as she rolled to laugh hysterically at the sensation. Feeling the energy of the moment, the creature ran with small leaps until it landed beside her and shoved it's soft head into her hands.
Smiling broader, she grabbed the small figure and hugged it closely, gently stroking it's fur. With tears in her eyes, she repeated “creature” over and over while it wriggled within her arms.