Showing posts from August, 2017

The Half Shaman in Space: Who dies, who lives?

In which Jeb is armed and the author posts to a schedule. The laptop is ailing again and the doctor will want to take it away. 
The ground tremors violently.
All of us in the mass shout alarm. Bodies smack wetly against the stones. Bones crack like snapping sticks. We scream and cry.
Hardly heard, the machine-sounds stop.
“Quiet!” Uncle Puma shouts.
When he has a miserable kind of quiet, he says in an ordinary voice, “What’s that sound?”
The silence is so silent it roars in my ears. Then? 
Scritch. Scritch. The sound seems to come from below the now sickly slanting disk.
What the noise sounds like … I concentrate … someone in the gap between the cliffs and what seems now to be the high edge of the slope, is trying to light a candle with a fire-lighter.
I stop breathing to hear better.
A small and hesitant light flicks large orangey shadows onto the cliff walls. The shadows are blobs with negative landscape-like waists where the dark mass interrupting them is the low grassy profile of the disk.

The Half Shaman in Space: The Attrition

In which both the alien entity and Kosi Lionhair have their say and Jeb realizes what is needed for all her people to survive ... 
I’m almost level with the thing on the ledge. The life-suit sags as if it really just is an old woman. The tunic is the same tinge of gray as Ardrey’s hair still plaited around her head skin.
The life-suit flexes and fills until an Amazon warrior from one of my mother’s stories stands across from us. She/Kosi/it puts Ardrey’s hands around her mouth as if preparing to foghorn its message.
Not really necessary. Silence blankets the grassy slope.
The Amazon opens her mouth, starts to talk. No pink inside her mouth.
The voice cracks and crackles. I hear disparate sounds like chirruping and crackling and tearing and the grinding caused by wind-blown sand in old sprockets.
It seems that the entity realizes its message isn’t reaching us. It stops.
Behind me, I hear the ghostly sound of teeth grinding. “Stop that,” I say without turning. “You’ll ruin your teeth.”
There is…

The Half Shaman in Space: Learning the Animated Skin

After a two-week interlude due to the author having to battle the flu, Jeb is back on track.
People climbing down are staying in the area near the creek. Soon … I count twenty and multiply … nearly three hundred people will throng the creek banks. I get a joke ready about what will happen if I have to stand in the water too long when I get down there. I might melt?
“When will we hunt?” says the Kosi-entity in Arley’s animated skin.
Is it her or is it the eater who encircles my wrist with Arley’s strong old fingers?
I’m afraid to pull away. Scared I’ll pull her over. Petrified of what will jump loose if she falls. We survey the grassy slope with all the hundreds of people cluttering its middle lower half.
What will we hunt?” I say. I hope Kosi at least realises that the people below are not to be thought of as prey. Will it make a difference?
Someone in the suit laughs with girlish glee and releases my wrist to twirl on the spot. Does Kosi know that the suit’s eyes are dim and old and only …