The Beginning of War, and the End of Peace
2 Aug 1914,
5th Baden Mounted Jäger Regiment,
Just south of the Alps
It was half past four, and it was quiet. The cocks already growing in the distance, and people whose job was to busy the day, were going about their business: eggs were being moved, and everything was just getting started, all sorts is was being laid out in a old market area. It was just inside the border of France, and the deep Rhine country side, most of the people were just scratching their heads, and breaking for a new day. A day that was unlike any other day, though they wouldn't know it, because in the distance, there wore gray uniforms, that were not a part of the countryside, and did not belong. They were German. Actually, there were several of kinds of German, for they had not been really a language for this. Different houses, different aspects, in every detail, they were not German so much as this and different nationalities who we would not recognize, because in our time they were German, but in our time is not their time.
Their time, there was disarray, and Germany wasn't really a word, but it was an idea that they were for. It was gnawing in the boots, it was thought of the brain, and it had so much to do that people didn't know that it was there. Language, even English, was different. It was ornate, clean, and fresh. We don't speak the same language, even if we think we do, even if we wish.
The other situation was that the Germans, because while the older Germans were really sort of have German, but the younger ones were true Germans, were cold and heartless, and engulfed as set against “liberté, égalité, fraternité”, the order of 1789 in France. The order that would rule the world would be a step, at lease most people thought it would, in one flash, and roaring of feet. It would be either French system of values, or the German system of values, and grip there they would.
But there was a difference, France had decided that it would be a part of the the system, where as Germany would rule the world, alone, or with an ally, Austria, who was half German, and half other things. That would be the difference, because England was both German and French, and it had decided, by whatever means it would do so. It had decided for cold incalculable reasons, that France would be the better partner, not German. Realize, France was both culturally old, and politically old, where as Germany was culturally old, but politically it rested on a framework which was 100 years old, and had grouped itself around the time of 1871, when it finally cleared itself “Germany”, as opposed to the myriad of states, which were referred to as Germany only in the reactive tense that people admitted they didn't really know what they were talking about. It is this point in time, you could refer Germany has “große Deutch”, which was large and vague, or as “petite Deutch” which was stronger and feral, but obviously smaller. It was not clear which one would when, but was pettie which had the upper hand at the moment. It grew in stages, from Prussia, which was the largest back, but only the largest pack, who under one man, the indomitable Bismarck would take center stage, to a run state finally named Germany.
At the same time, Italian group from a large selection of states, to be an empire, though not as great, a flare which said that they could be something, but they would rather just be happy instead, and the thought of as great, only they were really so. These pairs of empires were bridges, to the east, which was different area entirely. What is important, was that Germany and Italy said that they were aligned, but Italy had called feet, that would be corrected, but that is not part of this tale.
What is part of this tale is how Wilheilm II schemed, and plotted, to rule the world, and sweep up gathering morsels in her mouth. He had decided to pick the same group of people, younger than their forefathers, do what could not be done: defeat France and plunder a second time. First time, it had been done, and they thought it would be easier to do so again. They were wrong, in a twist of fate, what they did not understand was that America was going to be the difference, not once again, but twice. But this too, would not be known, if it was just an dream, and France would hold the key, in world war one, thing they call the great war, that saved the day. None of this was known of, neither the terror, or the grief , nor of the vision of a little corporal which would become the second world war. Everyone thought that this would be like the Franco-Prussian war, a little war, design toIs just last a day or a seasoned, they had forgotten what a real war was like. They didn't see that this would be a Napoleonic war, as they had not imagined it to be. Everyone thought it would be swift, but they wouldn't imagine that the Germans, for was Germans who said it in the motion and held on, with design it for the length and breath, and turn it into a clash that had not been seen. They did not understand that it was only Bismarck which had rendered the big war into a smaller one, and he was not around to tell that the clatter and the clamor would be renewed. The war was coming, though no one even notices. And while peace was enjoyed, and enraptured, strange things were coming. Most of all in the timing offices of state, it is really their where it started, that dream which was several generations old, and each time it had been renewed, seeping and seizing group of people, which at this point they did not understand what was going to happen.
Remember, they thought it would be over and done with. That's what everybody thought, after after they thought that their was going to be a war, at all. Except a few people, who were planning on, and they thought it would be a short little war, we have notes to prove it.
So rather than start with the deal, we showed start with just a little before the beginning, and plot with who knew from the beginning, even those who know that it was not going to be a short little war. Germans and the French. The few new early, sometimes as much as 25 years, the many new almost. So if you want to know what happens to the few, you have to go back 20 years, or more. To the many, you have to go back for only a few weeks. To the horde, even after the outbreak is not enough. But breakpoint is when the action starts, when they are is motion. And not is not very much more different, but it is not to go on. Only Joffrey Joffre on the French side new what was going to happen, and botched it all. Not quite, but almost. So we will begin general Joseph Joffrey, before he realized that he is reaching a war of defense, when he still thinks he is running for of offense.
It was just pretty picture, this mountain top of the Alp, just as clearly it was on the French side, not German side, and certainly not the Swiss side, or the Italian side. Indeed you tell inside was not truly the position, there were to many mountain and hills in the way. No, this was definitely the branch side, as only someone who was German would know, driven side rolling up, and the French side rolling down. And he was German, though you would defend to the last as is needed. It was odd, he knew, he was German, but he also knew that German was not his nationality, Baden was. However, they youger are were truly German to the core, head, and in other places which would not be mentioned. The ones not German with their feet, but whole heartedly. Only thought not only though “German”, they invented and breathed to. He watched them hold over for, and realized that they had combined German as a culture with German as a nationality, which he only partially subscribed to. But that was future, no Future, in all of its nominative tents way of being. The cobwebs were not there, in his, though he was trying, their work, cobwebs that is.
There were seven of them, himself included, and there was not yet war on, but it was only just. He knew, and the French new, that this would be an encounter, or just missing the date of border of the encounter. If the hand is friends were going to be the first, let it be glorious, and the same way, if he and his folk were the killing edge, that it be that way, and taste the blood of French folk. They would have to first shots, of course, because they were on the French side, but only the first shots, than they would get swiped in in return. And since last, by this he meant his German army which was being born as we spoke, he had better rifles then did the French. But not better artillery, but that would, be hoped, not be needed, just firearms as of the sort that infantry men possessed.
77s, a terrible thing, were in the hands of the Frenchman, and he knew that they were going to be on the field, but not yet. and were artillery, best the, or anyone, saw in either Army. He pulled up, and scanned through the eye class, and thought he saw something. He wanted to be sure, but that was a luxury that he did have. He was dead before the second glance shot, and only was able to say victory. he took the life, and then taken in return. And the rest of his body was dead as for doornail, lying as a cross might lie. One of his cadets grabbed him up on the snow, not much and it was really snow but just a dusting, but it was enough. And then Cpl. cleared away, leaving only the handsome, recently dead, face.
It was actually very clear with only a few clouds scattering in the sunlight, the French and the Germans, both, were retreating away. Because they were not war, yet. The trees were coniferous, and in that golden field of mourning, they were sparkling. French were running down the court, without rhyme or reason to it, while the Germans, two down in their number, were more punctilious in their motions. It was, as noted, just before the war. It was calm, their were no season of guns, it was almost as if nothing happened, or again the played, one team arriving a little bit before another. Down below the French side seizing the advantage, and then it was gone. Each leader knew that he had made a mistake, and each one had died, in that way living up to the creed. Though he did not know it, the French captain was also dead, shot in the same wave as he was.
It was over, and it would be to marked as a skirmish between French and German forces, which was not part and parcel of the war, the war was going to be about Luxenberg, everything after that was considered the war, and everything before that was considered a skirmish, not part of the actual war itself. This was a little skirmish, nothing more. When the totals were headed up, these few were argued about. Were they, or won't they, part of the honored dead. Where they are, or weren't they, consigned to burial with the others. That the the horror peeled of and over them, and the decision was not made by the higher ups, but by a corporal, who didn't think anything of it. To him, they were war dead, and that was that. And nothing more was to be done about it, until much after the fact. When French and German speakers were quibbling over which dead belonged in which field.
There's only one thing this: Albert Mayer was not dead. He did know how long he had been abandoned, and his head was still woozy.Sliding up, and then down. But the corporal who had pushed him long, decided that this was not going well, and pushed him off so as to gain a firmer footing, after all what difference did it make? The checked the heartbeat, and their was nothing to suggest that his heartbeat would come back after two hours. He dumped him alongside of the road, and strode upwards, this little kernel dump him just decide the road, and caught up with his other friends. But he wasn't, in fact, dead. Though there was very little snow, he got up a dreadful number of hours later, and saw nothing. He was a long way from where he started, and he swore, because it was obvious, to him in any rate, that he'd been dumped on the roadside. First, he checked arms and legs, he knew that his right lower leg was never going To limited strength, indeed he had torn a ligament, maybe two. Their work cuts and bruises as well, but they would matter. He searched down the ligament, and saw that it was not broken. For one moment, he thought he would just crawl back, that was the logical thing to do. But he stood there, and realized while Prussians may have wanted to do things, he didn't want to. Baden was different, he realized he'd done his duty, and it was other people do theirs.
And at that moment, he stopped being Lieut. Albert Mayor, and just started being Bert Mayor, who had some dealings with best. Who knows what Bertie was, he knew that he was not going to go. Albert was done, and ready had returned, he just needed some clothes, and would be ready for anything. He realized up was where the Germans were, and down was where the French were, so either left or right would be better for him. And from his direction right with the wrong direction to take, because that way was to Belgium, and the entire might of two terrible armies, and beleaguered armies that wanted nothing to do with them were hovering around each other. He knew, from experience, if nothing else, that it would be futile to go that way. So he turned left instead, and hoped that he would be one of hundred, even 1000, going back his business, because after all, it was going to be a short war in a way.
Or so they thought.
He did things as any low ranking German officer did things, checked the pockets, both for what was there and what was not, he had tobacco, and schnapps. This was a good thing, but it was bad because that was the only two things he had. Not even a glass, he would have to drink it from the bottle. Then he realized, his corporal wanted to make sure that he would be missing, and presumed dead. Which was all right with him, he was not going to want to do anything anyway. He realized that the Prussians were orderly, matter of fact, and a damn pain neck, where has his Baden, wall very strict up to a certain point, were looser after they had some schnapps, and were bit more expensive. And anyway if he needed to, he could join up again. Though he would see how this would go on, December maybe, maybe cleaning up to February. Then he could get home and explain that he was damaged, healed up, and maybe even started a new life, if he chose. But that was a long way, fervor in fact.
No, first of all to get other clothes, civilian clothes, and dress him self up. Then he could get some clothes from somewhere else but around here, and so on until he looked quite different. Than he would blend in for a few months. But the first few hours on 3rd were the tightest ones, they would make or break this plan. But even that wasn't so bad, because how damaging can be? The was very far from the action, and he knew it. So try your best, and if you don't succeed, then you don't, and he tried nonetheless.
Damn, his had felt like the rush in his head was not bottom out the way it should, he was going to check it out, but not for now. For right now, he would have woke a good long distance so as not to be known about. He waited for along time, until it was truly dark, really truly dark. And then followed the footsteps of cows and sheep, until even he could not tell human from bovine, or ovine, steps. Human was a different story, is the were covered with boots that were unmistakably different from the ones that were civilian, they were military, and anyone could recognize them on site. For nightfall, they would have be ditched, and new ones found.
He shifted left, because movements ahead were not civilian in nature, and while French or German, it was all the same to him. He brushed down and squatted, and looked into the distance, and saw that they were French, probably looking for strugglers. They were careful, and they were green, so green in fact that they marched home around in and couldn't see his face even as they were looking at it, 20 bases so best. Then they marched away, upwards, because the knew somewhere off in the distance, there was a group that was going to buzz down them and slaughter themselves. This was, of course, his group, and others just like him. So he stood, and stared again just to be sure, it was 1 o'clock, and then he lit off in to countryside, off at tangential angle, and hoped against hope that there was nothing left. Then he turned right, more towards the French side then the German, and would see what their was to be seen.
He hoped it would be nothing out the ordinary, and truly peaceful morning and afternoon in front of him.
2 Aug 1914,
Morning glorious morning, day different from every previous day. People were making up to the realization that this day would be different. There was a war on, those most people did not expect it to be very long. There was buzzing, dim growling feeling, in every nook and cranny, in the kitchen, and in the garages, and everything else that you can think of, people buzzing about it. Until there was clamoring noise. This was not the buzzing of later generation, where each family was left to their own devices, no this was upstairs downstairs, and clamoring of many clans. It was a noise that many people would not understand, because they had grown up in little boxes and all were just the same. Instead, there was the chief family, and many subsidiary families, clinging on them, attached by hook or by crook to the chief.
Everyone was decidedly shoddy, in slightly different ways. You have to know, the windows were 14 feet deep on this house, the same way all of the others were in this section of town. They were run down, and badly shoddy for a half of a mile. It had been 1740 or so, give or take 15, when last it was repainted. Back then it was very posh, with merchants and other déclassé but interesting people in the trade class, but gradually they were on the cusp of nothing. This was the city, not in the countryside, it was a very different thing. It was learned three story building, not of red brick, but of cream gray which is not like brick, but of mortar and plaster, the kind that is a shining white that speaks of a gleaming star.
One of these families, in the 22nd arroundisse, was getting up. It was a mother, father who was in Africa, two adorable children - a boy and a girl, who were both the same age – une pettite enfante, that is a baby girl, and a corona of an aunt, who was related to an uncle who had recently died, and who was completely nasty vicious sort of person, who we will get to later. So naturally the mother, and aunt, were full talking away, and not minding who was saying what, they were just talking to themselves, and were minding what the other person was saying. Their were also three people who were not related to in any way, an older men who was outside doing things such as lumber, and other assorted chores, of an outside nature. Then there was little age woman, who is between, and someone younger woman who did the dishes, and baked scrumptious cakes. The youngish girl, was in and out, catching only a glimpse before going back to the background, she caught only every second or third phrase, though she was interested in the conversation, though she didn't understand half of it.
In reality, they were poor, and huddled together, but they had means to survive. Remember, most people in the present day lived on income, but people in the past were not people who had income, but people who had income coming and going out, not people who had money or didn't. And all those people who didn't, obviously these people were on first class, not the second class, there who people who have a grasp which will pay money to live, and there were people who did not have money, not a scrap which is different from not having money but do have a scrap of income left. If you don't believe there is such a difference, it's because you haven't been part of the line which doesn't have income, but can fake it now and again. But the rules were different.
As such most of the food when to young ones bellies, and almost none went to the older people. Not to put too much of a point of things, they were as thin as a rail. Boning was correct word for them, but for all of that, there was a gentility among, the were wasting away, but slowly. The aunt was with away the fastest, she would not hear for very long, a few years at most. Even the children were not very well off, but better than to be expected. Realize there was an abundance of most food from top to bottom, there were however patches of famine which lingered over the land. This family, for example, should really have been down the ladder, and if had been less of a tenacious , every single one of them, the would have been been. But they were tenacious, and were he can have an existence, without a father, so that the children would be well.
For all but the youngest, there was something about them that said they were going to make it, no matter what the cost was. On adults it would be true grit, but on children it is different, kind of fairy tale life expression, that could only be described in other terms. Ogres and other things surrounded them. They could not tell the adults, they could only tell three or four friends which they shared the same worldview, kind of play seriousness that can only described by someone who has shared the experience. It was a new kind of play, every one who will not understand. It was not pleasant, but an eerie dark experience. People who were changed, in some way, would not talk about it, and people who didn't recognize it would think that it is poppycock. They wouldn't allow it to take hold of them, and think are different, and remember nothing in the past. In other words, they don't recognize the change, because it happened before their time. And they don't want to question difference. And moreover, they don't recognize the change has occurred differently, most decidedly not in other people. They want to rub out the differences, even though they clearly exist. For a boy and girl, not only were the changes existing for them, they realized that changes were not there for all of the rest of adults, with possible exception of the grandfather, whose presence they did not know of.
They only talked about it with their friends, and not often with many of those. The only talked about it in abstract, and in cues that only people who had been through would know. Thus while the war was the top most attention for other people, for them it was different. They knew about what would happen as being an abstract, which was different, though a new enough of what they spoke. Their parents saw nothing amiss, and wrote it off to things that were inner mind, rather than things being outer the mind. That he is the difference between outer and inner living people.
Inner living people do not want to share, though some outer living people grasp, in their own way, what is going on. But they think that inner living people live only in the present, which is not true, they know that this magic, if match is the correct word, lives in between these moments, and does not touch the world, the outer living world. So they have a secret, which the outer living people think will be destroyed. It won't be, because it's different in kind, and shape. And they were not telling anyone, and the few who knew couldn't convince many that there was a difference, which is way the few who knew wanted. In other words the inner living people just had to make it so outer living people who knew something was gang up on. Since most people didn't know there was anything wrong, just that they were different, is would take them along themselves known what exactly was the difference.
Think of it as the way homosexuals think about themselves, they knew they were different, but it is only after great distance, and only then in a tangential way, that they know something that other people cannot see, and indeed something that they don't want to know. Us there are a few people who flaunt it, but most not, and most people only know the surface. Really, it's hidden, even to themselves. But it is to those people who are outer living, and aware of it, which is, a very tiny fraction of those people who are outer living and not aware of it, it buzzes, and annoys them, even if they don't know why. But I do, and you should, though you won't, in all probability
But people don't know this, the characters in the novel. This, remember isn't 1914, it in my time is 2014, and the characters won't know anything of premise day, though in one case that I will get to, they have knowledge of a knowledge present day, a rather he will have knowledge, which is different from our own. We are the present day, and getting closer to careening, even more so as we speak of it, ahead of them. And getting more so with every second. Every second more time passes between World War I, and this are present time because, your time of reading this, is not my time of writing this. And it's important, because the characters and I are not in the same timeframe either. But that's another tale which we have spoken of all ready, and I won't speak of it in this little chapter.
Let us call the boy F, and the girl J, for those are not are not the adult names that people call them by, the childless names they call each other. They found them in a book that they had read. It wasn't a very good name, to truth be told, but they had warmed up to it, in every part was different after they had touched it. Until in their hands, it was rye and intense, searches only two people who have lived a book can make it so. So different was it, that adults plotted to be their own handiwork, but they knew better. What is more important, to small puppet presided over the three of them, and told them what to say, as if he were a real character, and maybe he was. What was his name? Call him Peternote, and you won't be far wrong, is not exactly right, but nothing is.
“I want you to tell me a story, if you would. And make it one about the Prince and Princess. But it has to be a new story, nothing old, and I will be to if it is, even just a little bit.” he was very grave as the said this, and you very much mended. J stood and applauded, she also wanted here a story, and very desperately wanted to be about Prince and Princess. Because she knew that the Prince and Princess were half attached to this world, and have way attached to another world. So she knew that this would begin a story that would spin out in into darkness.
“Well” said Peternote, “that will that will have two main it's fresh and new, or its a small deal from the past.”
“Oh, it will have to be new, because when parents an weekend that there is nothing going on with this world, though we all know that not to be true, and we will have two pretend that nothing is wrong. We would have to pretend that nothing is amiss, even though it is a amiss.” J said this matter-of-factly, with most wretchedly dry sense of humor, that people could not understand unless they were small.
“More than fresh, it has to be new. Because this is a new moment, with you ideas, is it possible to layout the new framework, and new ideas? After all, dead implies a lot of things, so does undead. We have to have something extraordinary, which is neither undead, nor the dead. It has to be scary, but scary in a different way. If you know what I mean.”
“All I know what you mean. We have two embark on something completely different, in every respect, from the way glistens, to every little detail of its life from before, to what is going on right now, the way it grips its flesh, not death, nor in fact life, but something in between which will be described as it goes.” With this not he spoke, are puppet with no strings attached. The was haunted in his own way, thoroughly real to his own to characters, but nothing more than a puppet to anyone else.
And they believed in him, absolutely, with out a shred of doubt in their minds. They imagined what they were missing, and were going to find a way to make it so.
So they sat waiting for the tale, and the puppet laid out a number of things, almost as if they were ground rules, though he didn't say anything. It was contact, not verbal that he spoke with, but it was very real none the less. Than he drew cards, and arrange them just so, as if to say that these cards were not important, only in the abstract. They were the gateway to lands unknown and on reachable to the real world.
So Peternote began, after clearing his throat, “ in the beginning, and there was a beginning...” So he began at the beginning, or rather what they knew of the beginning, with strands both forwards and backwards which were, as yet, unresolved.
Then the mama and the aunt came up stairs, and began to dress them. And it would be one more day before they had a chance to play on their own terms, and in their home way.
North of small village
3 Aug 1914
It was cold, though not rainy, and he saw no one about. This was odd, he didn't expect so fast and exit. Down square, which he was in, was desolate and forlorn. In yet not sign of people was in place. The tried the down square, he tried the lonely little town building, which held all of the means for conducting government. Then he checked the pubs, which were only three decades old, built by followers of Paster. He remembered that French drunk wine as much as beer, so he decided to look in the places which served wine, and slabs of what could be called cheese. In none of these places was a single person found. Now it was more than odd, it was Perplexing, as if people had never been here at all. Their was no sign of them.
More than that, there were no cats or dogs. One would have thought there to be one, or two, at the very least. But there was no sign at all, not one. As I said, it was more than just odd, it was perplexing, in the extreme. He still stood for a while, and thought what could be the meaning for all of this. He saw no white linens, or other things, that people have even been in town quite recently. This to was beyond our, in fact beyond perplexing, he didn't know what it was, he drew into himself and thought what it could be, an effect known.
It was as if the town wasn't deserted, but barren and desolate, something strange. No animals, not a cat or dog, let alone a cow, or horse. No goat, or anything else that was hoof, then he looked to the skies, and their was no wind beat either. That again was more than perplexing, he didn't know what it was, crossed the town repeatedly, and saw no sign, not one, of fish or fowl, in addition to hooves or in the little thing, such as a mouse. There is wise more than perplexing, more than an anomaly.
The one thing that drove home on his memory, there were no hoofs prints on floor of any of the places where there would have been had this been once lively town, not one. This meant something was going on, and he would have no what was. Then he realized there were no German armies moving through, which would had happened by now. The clock struck 12, with its ornate goings-on on the bell tower. Obviously someone had designed it from West of the in the land of what was once France, though it was Germany, now. Though many sections of France would have it back if they had their way. He had remembered when and American film musical went through, and he saw things that he had never seen. Their was an orchestra of six pieces to accompany it, and each piece was different. He saw one picture which was totally different, even different than other pieces. While most pieces were vaudeville in nature, very slapstick in nature, this piece was surreal, and with twists and turns. He had seen the French cinematographer, base terribly on bits and piece of the French surrealist, but this was different, even though it was surrealist in nature, it was different because it was firmer, where as the French were imagine things.
What was on odd about it was it was filmed outdoors, where both French and German were filmed inside. The gave the film a huge expands that was truly breathtaking. He remembered one detail, against all the others, the in damsel was holding on to, for dear life in fact, a clock which was not going around, but every which way. Running up the side this, the hero was on foot and trying to catch the damsel in distress only the was holding a , but a knotted plant of some kind. Then he took the potted plant and swung it in to the ground, and with this movement dangled up.
Then he stood and made a large decision, would be, on the one hand, continue to search for signs of people, or would borough in to France, and get away from the bustling, crunching, noisy monster of Army which was coming down on him. For the new that it was. It was obvious to him that all that was to be locked up, and you he knew anything about destruction, the French army would not exist in a short period of time.
When he put it that way, it was obvious, to him, that getting out of the way of German Army, was if not crucial to all of friends, then at least it was crucial to him. So he dropped down to the floor of this little copss had gone up, and went down on floor, winding his way back to the resident flora and if not exactly fauna, through remains of such. He was away from the town and into the brush and what could be called foothills of town, where it was one part orchard, and one part wild. But it was in no cases, civilized, containing even so much as a shack to go between. The was then on his way, passing between fields of branches containing fruits, and not so branches in such which were compressed into fields. These fields were wild and open, and then when it was changed from farmer to farmer it once again was civilized, even if not seem to be such. You see, in the center of his domain, he placed the best part of his fruits, and in a lesser parts of his field he place gourds, and other such routing vegetables, this was to be his family, while the fruits were feed other people. Only occasionally did the engage in the substance of the land for his people, it was a very mighty festival indeed. Most of the time, the family a the roots, and spread out the bounty for others of nourishing grapes from his table. This was different from [outsized] or [though Lane] , which lavished every day, fine wines for itself to eat. This land was barren, unlike the land just to the north.
It was in short a barren country, for the very bounty which was just achingly close, one could in fact tasted, or one could hope to taste it, even if it was an illusion.
Gradually he stopped wondering which part of France he was in, and drove on, meeting his part of destiny. He saw no people, and this was disturbing, but he got used to it, and wondered only fragments of time. Not that he saw people, or at least he thought he did. He saw them around every corner, but only by a glance, when he looked at them, he saw nothing. This became so normal, that he didn't even notice it anymore. But the longer he walked, the more it burned him nonetheless. But gradually it became an ache, so distant from himself that he would recognize.
He saw the opening glory which was burgundy, and all riches that it contained. The saw grapes as large as any that he had ever seen, no strike that larger than the head ever seen. He saw more large gourds then ever, and realized he was walking in a paradise. He saw apples, and other kinds of fruit that he had only dreamed of. He didn't know how far he had gone, but it was at least several kilometers of distance, and then saw something which shook him to his core.
It was a female, slider than a woman, but growing in one, maybe 17 or so, maybe 15. she was paler than any woman he'd ever seen, and that was saying something, because he had seen the Nordic women which were pale as pale was. Or so he thought, until he compared this with anything. He knew right then that she was a ghost, then he shook him self, and thought better of it. But she was truly pale in life of his eyes, and he ran up to her and spoke. Or at least the try to, but no sound came from his mouth at first, just a breathless wind. She moved last little distance and shushed, me thought she was going to kiss him, but no motion came to that. She nuzzled and produced a bird which disappeared from her grasp. She then spoke to him.
“This world is not the one think it is, and you have to make a choice, as to where you want to go. Will you listen to what I have to say, or will you go along your merry way, and stumble in to one of the few who will protect you? There are also many dangers, which reside in this land, which do not occur in the other lands. It is your choice of course, but if I were you, I would at lease listen, before talking.” she was petite, and slender, and she had wild roses in her hair.
He nodded, he still could not speak to her.
“I can see that your not able to speak, that will return, I think. I haven't had the pleasure of speaking to anyone from your part of the world since last I was in the land of living. So if will be the first time I have spoken as one of the undead. Don't worry your not one of my kind, you are still hard of the living, just not part of living as you understand it to be. Nor are going to go back to that living world, instant half to choose what your new life will be from, if you choose to you can become like me, but I wouldn't advise it, there is a transformation which is unpleasant, and it is death. As I said, I wouldn't advise it slightest.”
In this pitter patter of speaking, she was bouncing, and a bit on toward, as she talked about herself. It was different when she spoke of worlds, and so on, where she was cold, and distant. Though he could not speak, he could laugh, and laugh the did. He for the first time that day, was amused at something different about this person, which he knew was more than being undead.
That he was not of this world, he understood, he had not seen one living thing since we got here, but the transformation was not what he had expected. He felt that he was undead himself, but he could see that the differences between them were striking. His skin was glowing, and rich, where as her skin was forboding, and dark, even while it was distinctly white on the inside, there was something about it that was dark, even if he could not see why.
So he smiled, and then grinned, the widest grin he had seen in a long time, though that grin was so wide as to be a record or anything. That was for other things, though it was getting there. Every mile in fact, it got there, so as to be bursting at the seams. Until finally he admitted this was one of the happiest days of his life. Grin became a laugh, and he left at how little he understood of this world, and how little what he used to dream of mattered. He looked over at the woman, the girl, all the same time. Because each moment he looked at her she was both a woman and girl, both. He realized that she was a friend, but not a lover, she was to small, but she was growing at him. After all, he was only 19, not that much older, in fact at a distance, they would not be so noticeable. But at the moment, 15 and 19 were as substantial as it comes. Think about your own life, and who you married, and think about when they were a baby and you were totally grown up, or the reverse, you were a toddler, and they were quite grown up. And yet you bloomed together at just the right time for both of you. He realized he was just a little bit old for, right now, and he was going to get older, where as he suspected she was not going to age at all. She was after all, a ghost, and he, will he know what he was, but it was some kind of living.
He also realized that men, particularly Prussian men, were going to self to rape women in abundance, the were just boys and did not know any better. They would rape women in abundance and cut off breast if they were soiled in some way. He didn't know what kind of soil was involved because he was still a virgin, and he didn't know what kind of soil it was. But it was bad, in you that at least. He realized that he had pondered this while walking, though he had submerged this meditation. It was a dark reminder of how awful his thoughts were, and he could not noticeably subscribed them from is thoughts. Even now they would pop up, even though he tried to suppress them. He ponder on this, and he was going to find a girl, and woo her. He promised them self this, and then he suppressed it, burrowing thoughts down into his deep , deep subconscious.
“Can you talk yet. Your French is exceeding well even though you don't get, you listen very well.” indeed he did this to French, as she said exceedingly well. His mother was reason for this.
“I love you as a big brother would.”
She blushed, and made her words simple, so he would recognize them.
“Thank you, big brother, you have made my day.”
“You can talk, and I can listen, and I can understand even if I can't actually the language as well as you can, it's well enough.”
This time it was her turn to nod, and said nothing.
“You want me to say something don't you.”
“Well yes, now that you mention it. I want here your voice. I haven't heard any voice at all yet and yours is the first one that I will recognize. And soon I will not hear any voices at all, at least I suspect that I won't. I don't actually know, of course, by suspect that it will blissfully unaware for me.”
“You have to tell me watching know about life, death, and things in between. How do you know that stuff. Where are other people. I thought their were other people, but when I looked closely at them the worth gone. As if in a dream.”
“ I can tell you what I know, which was what an older male friend who was twice my age, and add one thing to do, and then he was gone. He said you have to take care of things, an most people do, and than are gone. Some hope us, like me for example, have could great deal to do, before we the decamp. So we go around doing it. But when there is a war on, many more people have so much left to do. That's wear you come in, you're not dead, but alive, and you have many more things to do.”
“ I don't understand, why am I alive, while you are dead?”
“When it is peacetime, most people get things done and go, if they didn't catch up on there things do, so be at, there was plenty time. Only a few people like myself didn't have the time, were mostly younger people. But in wartime, it's different, many people put side their tasks and go war, or our summoned and, well, slaughtered in the orgy of death that is the harbinger that surrounds them. Wartime is that way. Suddenly across the fields they come. Thousands in thousands of them. There really has in one since American, and a bit in in Europe, but not long.”
“ 1856 was the last big war, we tried to limit, that was the idea that Bismarck had, lots little wars, that added up to a big accomplishment.”
“And it could be that way again, but some of the older people, from the Napoleonic wars make a dark prediction, which you can see on faces of living, because even if they don't lesson to the dead, they do in fact listen to them, even if its only dreams that they talk to them.”
“You listen to our war leaders and the face tells them its going to be a bloody massacre, while there words under something in completely different. It depends than on what you listen to, the words which are bold and stirring, or the faces, which tell a different story entirely.”
“We see the faces much more carefully, so that is what we go by, faces are to deceive more then they enlighten us. Remember most people, out here, saw the face that was going to deceive them. And we remember that, almost with crystal clearness.”
He nod, again, this time he could talk, but did not want to. There was something said about this conversation, that elided into words, but was spoken on there faces instead, each one of them seeing the others face and recognizing it as their own. It was loss, which each one felt, and also recognized in the other.
Then the spoke: “ How did you get here? You have said you are different, because you left during peacetime, where as I am a casualty of war. And why are you dead, and I'm not?”
“ that's easy, I'm dead because I want to see all of countries of world, when most of my people were just living in the moment, what they saw was what they saw, and that was it. I wanted to see everything that could be imagined, China, Japan, America, and everything else besides. I even wanted to see South America, if you can believe it. But went I actually died, there was one place that was special.”
“I will tell you, because are journey is the same for a little while.”
“But you will tell me, yes?”
“I will tell you, but promised me not laugh."
“I and German, and do not laugh.” he spoke in a great way, would with merriment which said that he did in fact laugh. But he was going to laugh at where she would and up.
“I think you will, that's good, because promises like that one should be kept, don't you think?”
“Yes, I do think so.”
They skipped away, almost hand in hand, they had decided, without making and actual position, that Paris would be there next stop.
South of the river
In that exact moment in Paris, there was a commotion. Young men wanted to line up, while elderly people, and mothers of that exact age where they were above infancy, were wanting up to get out of Paris, everyone knew that it could be long war, though they were not saying so out loud. Foreigners were getting out, as out as good the gotten. Bread was also very expensive, left alone fish and poultry, and don't get me started on beef, which was skyrocket in price even as we spoke. The lines were changing day by day, minute by minute, until you did not know what price was going be, until you rested your arms on the table. Since children were out of school, though some children were attending summer school, there was a good deal of commotion on the streets, and in other places where children might have played. They were rioting, in a good nature way, because war had not been seen, Paris had not seen were, not in 1871, not in 1815, not since the time of the Directory, way back in 1788. no one really worried except a few people who thought about what it would be like if slaughter occurred, even people who believe in long war, not believe in slaughter in Paris.
Meanwhile in the 22nd at arroundise, upstairs in the the nursery room, it was just dawn because they knew that they were going to be taken outside, almost at first instance, which would not do. F was looking around the crib, and signing.
He was signed because of one thing, Peternote and J were talking very slowly and quietly. Generally this meant he was going to be the odd man out, and that to would not do, he would rather be with J against Peternote, though he and Peternote against J wasn't really bad either. But this was wretched in the extreme, the two of them against him. So after some thought, he pushed his truck, obviously horse drawn truck, and more obviously wood simulated horse drawn truck, around the floor. This morning he decided that the truck was going to be flying, as well as running along. Some days he would just stare to distance, and think about all things could've been doing, what was not. This is what you get on this day, forgetting all of his troubles, finally he lost himself. But it was not to be, because round the bend came J, and of course Peternote, playing a little pantomime as they went, and raising a ruckus. Out of his dream team for rush, then there was J's smiling face, with a nasty grin on its face.
“My dear darling F, could you do something, for me?” there was a bashful look on her face, one that countered extreme forwardness that she could not hide. He knew, and she knew he you, that this was the question which was really on her mind, not in the slightest. He knew three or four moves, but that was not good enough, there was a catch, which eluded his brain power, but he knew that it was out there.
“Don't play with, what is his what is that you want? Then I will say no if you want yes, and yes if you want no, and don't try and tangle everything up, because I will sniff it out, and then will be back to yes no game again.”
“Now what I want to do that? When all of the permutations will sidetrack it?” even though the were four, and a half, they were very clever, clever by thrice again what the average for their ages would tell you. They used large words, though not entirely precisely. However, between the two of them they were matched, and that means that they could be evenly matched. It is that even part that gets you in trouble, because anything that she could do he could do, and the reverse. So they stared at each other, trying to make a better move that he or she wouldn't have come to. But it was plane, this was not going to work. For all your soliloquies, plane little words, though French has a few twists and turns built-in to some lovely, ornate language, which everyone learns so as to make a mess of all language for anyone.
Then Peternote came in to view, and he cleared his throat, and with aplomb announced:
“I have something important to say, as much as I love watching you stare each other down, there is someone who wants to play our game, two someone's in fact. And what's more they don't know that they want to play the game, which is all that much more fun. ”
At first, the younger people want to to cheer, then, you could hear a pin drop on the floor. It was not Peternote, it was the aunt, the aunt who did not recognize Peternote at all, who was watching, and tapping her foot, repeatedly. “You have to come downstairs, now, there are some things to do.” By which she meant family things, where Peternote was not real, and should not be recognized as real. The aunt collected, the boy, and the girl, with girl looking back at Peternote, making sure that he was all right, with girl resigned to her fate. But it was all right at the end, because Peternote wink at her, telling her it would be all right, soon enough. It was cold, absolute, and as rapid as it came. One minute there were three of them, the boy the girl and P, and then the next minute there were the aunt, and two children. Not quite two, not quite three. But Peternote had told J that it would be all right, he would be waiting for them, even if after long time.
As Poincare declared in July of this year France was getting the war that it wanted. Realize in 1914, people didn't think were was going, to happen when actually the war was put in motion. When the war at the top level was going, and people were getting about it as if it may not happen, when in fact it already happened just signing on documents was yet to be done. There is often a disconnect, people at the top know when war is going to start, and people at the bottom no when war is going to end. It was this way this time, the people at the top were maneuvering for position, which is strange because position doesn't matter in a great long war. What matters for short war is getting a grip on the enemy, and what matters long more is how do you avoid defeat. In July, 1866, it was quick and brutal, but enemies with in two of each other, and you could survey most of the damage from one part of land. In August, 1914, there was no such position called, an bodies were rapidly causing alarm, the German position was the fact, bad. But they kept piling up anyway. In for trials trials, to add then two by Germany, which was Prussia and allies for the first two thirds, and to buy France, though they didn't know about last one which was in 1940. and they didn't exactly know how 1914 was going to turn out. But they did know how the Napoleonic came out, and they knew how Bismarck came out. And remember Germany was down one in 1940, and shows truth anyway.
So in 1914, Germany thought it had the advantage, and pressed for another repeat of a decided lopsided 1866, when they had defeated Napoleon the third. It was an annihilation. France on the other hand looked at it differently. They sought as [elane], it was not logical, it was c'est [logic], if that makes any sense. It did some Frenchmen, most importantly Joffre, who was the greatest master of the form. He, and only he could, discern what was to be the answer.
Some things would wait until with stars aligned with each other, and Peternote would be with them again, even if as I said it would be a long time. That will be part of the story which comes after, I promise you, but part of the second pass to come first, and then the third part, with Peternote, will come afterwards, I promise, I deeply promise, it will.
But there are other things to do. And those need to come first.
A, not the, Zeppelin
5 Aug 1914
There had been a break in the overcast, which revealed stars. On board the zeppelin were six men who were going to bomb along the route, and ending up in Belgium, at Limoges. Hard faced captain was unknown to most people, but within the group, he was known as the best, he had survived, and that was rare. In fact, quite rare. There was only a few streaks of light which emerge from the gloom, and he would read them and then determine the results in darkness until he could read when they passed over floodlights. It good only be read as an intense time, to the captain, and most of the crew. What he was asked to do was bomb this place, and get out if possible, there is no sense in saying that was likely.
He broke his first pencil, and rapidly securing and dark manage to find new one, more by feel then anything else. The generals were being exact, which was no way to run this ship. It was more by feel them by exactly calculations, but no general would believe that. They wanted order, and discipline, order discipline were the gods of their little realm. But they weren't because of this world upstairs and beyond the reach of guns and loaded rifles. They were very like in her design, and wisp of life floating in an unholy, but none the less discernible place.
He looked down to where the dirigible mainlines were being severed, realizing that once they were free, he would never see them again. And in fact that was good, he could stand people who stood firmly on the ground, give him men of the aire every single time, he would understand them, and they would understand him, and that was better.
Almost by the he, he felt the weaving back and forwards of zeppelin, flowing in the air, as much as boats float along water. He knew this would be a good flight, better than almost any of them. Must dirigible pilot's wanted to do safe things, attacking nothing and observe everything. But this captain wanted to get in the fray, and he selected men beneath that were the same way. They were heard headed, but like, where as the troops on the ground were heavy handed, and at that point did not understand what the air was for. The looked up, and rather than see trails through shadow that we see, they would see trails that were, to them, ethereal and without cause. And they didn't like them, not one bit. They, in about muttering what tell you that there is no good to be caused by this bombing run, a should instead build machines such as artillery. People in the year new better, only they could see how to get the ground people to realize that this was the future.
Even during war, their were wars between states, and their were other wars which recruited people but were in fact different, and people killed them selves who were otherwise friends. For example, there were people in the air war, which were friends in flight, and then were enemies of the state. This is why everything ,and nothing, are alike.
He guides the ship, not really taking advantage of the many things that he can do, because thou masters of the ship think that it is necessary, it really is. What he needs to do is get a hold of the ship, and rather than force her to do his work, guide the ship so as she and he are one. This is the main point: rather than guide something that is not him to do work, he must merge the ship to be part of the process. Thus his flicking between left and the right, is as much for his knowledge has it is for the ship. He is at peace, when he and the ship are one. Gradually there is no difference, and the the buoys, which control the ship, are in fact one between the them both. Their is rhythm, he checks one thing and another down his list of 35 or so things. Whether the winch is loose, whether it's taught, all things that he wouldn't even recognize as things he has to do, he just does them, and they in turn, as if magic, do themselves, under his guidance.
Then they are truly aloft, with all of the noise below them, and only stars love above them. He said is eye on one of them, a bright star named Antares which settled in to the left, and though not entirely, it was the main sail in his quest for further stars. Beneath them were stars of different kind, man made, but the same stuff in its own way. Stars above, and stars below.
He heard a call from forward in the vessel, it was the third in command, telling him that he was to high in the vessel, and he should shoot for lower if he could. He nodded, to himself if anyone, and corrected his course right thumb pushing up and left hand pushing down. And in less than a minute the third officer cleared him and told him that that was all right, though no words which you or I could understand had been passed between us, just marks as in the old day when Mark Twain passed in two dimensions. Then it was peaceful, with only touching the knobs to adjust. Then he stood very still, and know motion was called for by below or above.
He saw that clouds were moving adrift, and he could see more and more light from below, rather than darkness, it was clearing, and very rapidly so. This meant he would have to be redoubled in his efforts, because men from the ground could easily spot him now that there was little air between them. He would have two be wary, and on guard. This would be the most dangerous part of the flight, and he rattled left and right just to play with them. Remember it is dark where the ship is, and their isn't light that can pierce upwards into darkness.
Then he directed the ship to the point of attack, it was brighter than usual star, only it was on the ground and it shown with lights that were man made, I know I've been saying this repeatedly, but it is important. It was clear, though getting cloudier in darkness ahead. He knew he would have one chance and one chance only to deliver the bombs, and get out of the way. Surprise was the key element of their attack, their were no combat air patrols, it was truly peaceful sky, with all of the bric-a-brac not present. No, not a air patrols, no civilian, no military. He drifted the ship downwards along certain path that had selected in advance. Every minute count, because every minute was one less that people could get away from the bomb blast. Yes, he was evil, not just going through the motions.
But no one from the ground had seen them yet, and that was better than expected.
“Right rudder, and hurry about it.”
The command was abrupt, because if it had failed their would be no turning back. But the right rudder was normalized, though just barely so. He had signed, that was a close one, though only he and the second in command knew it. The other parties on the ship were oblivious to it, and that is the way he wanted it. Somehow that made his responsibility, even though he didn't know what would be killed next, but even so it was still his responsibility. Perhaps because only he knew, if anyone did, when it eventually killed over.
Thus it was with a glee which was warm on the inside, that he traced the crosshairs to a single point, and with that point crossed the two pin theirs together, and walloped them. There was a warm feeling, down to his feet, not unlike fish that had been warmed up, and even fresh and whole. He pondered whether this was part of the death that he felt when ever it had betrayed him. But he decided he would not think about this, there was too much work to be done, too much betrayal to meet out. The killing urge had struck him, and he could not help but listen. Then he gritted his teeth and said blast bombs in two the fury. They are was only minimal damage from a couple of guns which had only glanced, there was no question they had not been hit. In only a few minutes he had expended all of the bombs, and as he did so he was emasculated, totally drained. He was a shell of his former self, getting by without without any compunction, there was no will at all. His ship turned around, so he didn't remember giving the order. And with that there was nothing left to do, but slip away into the darkness. But the darkness was no friend of theirs, it would be cruel them until they got down to the surface.
The build up was long, and torturous, and then there was a short duration of darkness, and then along and weary road back after having done the damage. He knew from the way that absolutely nothing, that each person felt the same way. He raised the rudder, and slipped away, ghostly in to the night. Every one of them fell trained, pencils drooped down from his arm, having done its work. There was no time to waste, the had to get the ship turned around, a course which was designed to cover their tracks, because the immediate bearing was not the correct one, it had been north of the true course.
So it went on to the true course about 20 minutes later, and looked away into the darkness as if nothing had happened. The captain made sure that his course was correct, and they were back in the flow. He hid the ship under the clouds, and disappear into the darkness.
The there was one of wrote pattern, which was almost like noise, but quiet noise. They were swimming through was a shambling mess. He could not see any of the features, or size of that he recognized, every thing was a blur, the clouds were thick, and he could only see details, details that didn't add up. He scratched numbers, though you really could not see them very well. He guessed and flew into blackness, but with holes which resembled something like the ground that he was looking for. He moved the right hand backwards and left hand forwards, hoping against hope that this was the right option, but he didn't know this, but again no one else knew.
He gradually gritted his teeth, and more to him self, so no one else here it. There was ringing in his ears, almost, but not quite, beyond words. It was a high of sound, which only he could help, but inside his head it was interminably allowed, so loud in fact he could barely hear himself otherwise. He then cited pinpoint on the ground, and he knew that this was the place he had to land. Of all the places on ground, he knew that once one. It would be some accomplishment to describe things he did, but basically he was a rider , in a peculiar kind of way. He nuzzled him self and called to the crew to be ready, knowing that they too would do similar kinds of emotions in their particular way to set the course of dirigible, in a few minutes it would be over, and done.
Than back down the ship he screamed was heard, and the captain knew that someone had moved something inexactly, the end if they didn't quash whatever was there, all things would be consumed, and each one would, in his own way, perish, not together, but alone, died alone. Then he knew they were dying, each one of them, he heard distinctly the second officers crying, third officers moaning and weeping, he heard the gunman, deep in the back cursing to himself, over what it knew, it was something which had nothing to do with this. Then it was his turn, to fire back on the back of his leg, right leg has turned out, and burned all the way through and ate at his skin, gnawing and crawling, both above and below, down to his leg, and up to his waist, it was slow because this did mean he was going to die, quite yet. There were things that he wished for, and he knew that among the many people, he was the captain for good reasons. A kaleidoscope of colors, each one picture, or thought, Reminded him that everything would be dark soon, but not yet. Time had stood still, every second lasting a minute, and he timed every second as if it were his last. Then this world was free of him, he realized that he had not seen with his eyes, but imagined the picture instead. Then suddenly he was free, and some very interesting things were occurring, none of them were expected at all. At least by him.
At first he didn't know he was dead, he felt the same way as here lies would have, just lighter and more resonant than before. Then you realized he was looking upwards at the zeppelin crash and burning and him self as falling upwards. He twisted and contorted, he had no control. Then he straightened himself outwards, falling downwards and there was heat on his back, though it didn't quite feel like he bought burning sensation.
It wasn't fair he felt, he had so much to do. And then he realized, he was departing this world quite yet, because he had so much to do, so much to do, and so little time to do it.
But instead of feeling very and degraded, the felt as light as a feather, and as giddy as someone who was five or six, with all things that that entails, the light headedness, which seemed to go on for ever. He was giggling, truly giggling, as if nothing else mattered. He did not know what to make of it, is was as if he were in a trance, and then he saw something which alarmed him: the zeppelin was going down, beneath his feet. He wasn't just feeling has light as a feather, he was a flight as a feather, free to do what he wanted to do, if he only knew what that was. Then he drifted back down, more likely than he thought he could, and drifted, drifted until he was stuck half way up to the ground.
It was an odd feeling, as if you just stood out from their first door, and felt loose across his face. It was as if had dirt pulling over the body, pouring In to every crevice in his body. It seemed crass to him, every poor wanting to be oiled, but instead creased and cramped. Than he felt as if he were climbing with ants, and even felt so, though he found none. But the feeling would wash over him two or three more times, subsiding as it the thing at all had to defined it. Then he stood, with all of his might not devoted to scratching, and looked around getting his bearings. He was on the dirigible, and it was dark, so that he was blinded not from darkness, but from light.
Thus he stood almost motionless, watching the dirigible plummet in two the ground face forward, with everything else distant memory. There were plumes, parading their way up, until they vanished, to be replaced by another set equally and the same though different. There was an ebb and flow to them, they would glance up words, and then tamp down to only rise again. It was almost as if things were in slow motion, and perhaps they were, because he did not know if there was any kind of magic in the way that the preceded perceived things, and that was no minor feat before people had thought of it quite the same way as we do in the 20th century.
Than in the center of the zeppelin, he saw transfigured ways, first of light then of darkness, they were transferred to everything that they touched, and they listened as nothing else did. This was strange and magical, nothing like he, or almost anyone else, could imagine. His eyes were luminescent as he saw the creeping's of light and dark, and the spaces in between fluorescing as if they came in and out of darkness in to light.
There were no stars, though he knew they were out there, someplace. Then the brittle metal shattered and pulsed into the ground, he was almost stopped in his tracks, waiting to see what would happen next. Then piece of the shimmering was aimed straight for him, and he knew that this would be it, though in one part of his brain he realized that it might not be it, because he was not corporate, but many other sections of his brain did not believe it. Then he was consumed, consumed as if nothing could matter, and he was in blackness. As black as night. He thought that would be it, and in the last second set of prayer to God for is many, for he knew he was evil, sins. He prayed to the Virgin Mary, for his little girl, who was pure of all of this, into his wife which new his wickedness and loved him all the same, because she had had in inside of her, laughing as she did so. He glanced at her hair, on the inside, stroking its blonde tenuous structure, Golden in that way which he imagined it to be, though he knew that that was a lie. Then he saw, though this too was lie, that shimmering head of hair which was his wife was fate.
But he gave sleep, and instead he was formed into many threats, on was part of the mountain, one was beside the shore, another one, still another one, was on playing fields, where the dirigibles slept, waiting there turn to be used. He saw the broken up pieces of the ship that had carried him and his crew, and almost all the way back again. But it was almost, and shoots off of him were testament to what could happen. Like he could not do was focus, it seems as if there were a dozen offshoots all vying for his attention. Each one of them was interesting in its own right, each one clamoring for attention, each one breathless in its nature.
It was almost as if the consciousness was rebounded, and no thought could finish before the next thought gave way, gave way to that other place that he was now staring into, but did not know.
Then he caught a group on things, he wanted to know if there were any others of his group, and where they were. This started as a gnawing in is brain, if he had a brain to speak of, and became a consuming obsession. Has he did so, the forms gave way to one, and only one, conscious thought. Gone were the fields, and the mountains, in every other place which was here he was again standing, though not in the same place as before. He realized that he could disassemble his consciousness, and re-assembly, if he knew how he had done it, just now.
But now he was solid, and enraptured in a human form, cloaked in some semblance of his former uniform, though he could tell that it was just a form and not really garments per se. the same thing was true of his boots, they were not really there but just a fashion of themselves. He glanced at all of these things and then girded himself, and took a stride and then another. Soon he w, as walking, grimly and determined, as if he was going to go someplace, and find out which, if any, of his crew were like him, though he doesn't know what to call himself. Clearly he was not human, but he didn't know what he was, phantasm, a ghost, whatever he was he was not dead but not alive yet either.
A grimace was appearing on is face, he was determined to find out what was going on. Through the heather and weight, over taking clover. Their was more than just site, there were feelings, and sound, and even smells that he remembered from his childhood, but all different and yet all the same. He trod towards the wreckage now being put out by human numbers of the tribe. He felt pity upon them, so he could explain why, after all he was dead, or rather half dead, and they were so living, but he could see how they were stressing and straining, clawing for every bit of ground. They were pitiful because each moment the plotting along, 1 foot in front of the other, each moment as before. He wondered why he had never heard this, this place caught in neither the living, or maybe had and just dismissed these fantasies as the ravings of a mad lunatic, or what people talk of when they don't make any more sense. Only he was dropped in this world, and he liked it, adored it, because there were many things he could now do, if only he had the will to do them, because new that there had to be some way for him to affect the living.
The next thing he noticed, was he did not have to look around, he didn't just see with his eyes, but which ever part he looked with, from the bottom of his feet, to wisps of his hair, it was always the same. It was almost as if every part of his body was aware. So thoroughly aware in fact, that it was painful. And that was interesting because he had not experienced pain in this form at all. This was not the pain that he knew from before, it was removed and distant, as a lark calling in the distance. Its sigh, as if it was reaching out to him, but did not think it was anything other than pain, searing pain in fact. It was as if it was another life, conjoined wit h his own, but yet separate from him.
He had to get focused, focused on what he was doing. While the delights and pains were real, and terrorising, he had to get focused on where the crew were, and if would see them at all, because there was no guarantee of that.
So he moved, effortlessly, though haunted by something that was there on the ground, and he could feel it. It was as if it were a shadow, mimicking his movements, copying them, on the ground. He stopped and gestured with his hand, and saw on the ground the same movements, but they were not his in the same way his hand was. It was as if he had a double, doing what he did, only on the ground. A simulacrum, if you will, a double, moving as he moved. Standing where he stood. But he knew that this feeling would not stop, and there were things, now, that had to be attentive to, or he would lose his crew. And he didn't want that, not in the least, and his crew would follow him, to the ends of your if need be. But not if they knew that they were attached to him even beyond the grave. He would push until he had the obedience from them which he required. And then push some more, and then more, and still finally more, until he got what he wanted.
Then he moved effortlessly, and amissed all of the swirling motion induced that some of the swirling motion was through his leg, but bit of it went long his leg, as it was supposed to. Just, mind you, but he could feel this, or he thought he could. So tried to see if this was a reaction, or if it was something out of a dream. He couldn't tell, most of it was hazy. But if it was so, that tiny bit of friction and that he was there, not a dream, then could be solid if only for a moment. This would mean that, even if vaguely, some amount of his presence was corporeal. He really hoped that would be the case. And if it was, that little bit was at least enough to tell him, how ever tenuously pause, that he could have found effects, if only tangentially. Because it would also mean that the being outside could, even if not knowing, could detect his existence.He became still, and decided to test this assertion, right here, right now. But how to do so, because he had no claim, or other such entity, which would allow. So he just had to improvise, and see whether or not it really did join, or not. He stopped, and knelt down as if to get his arms dirty, and that he realized, that that was not going to make a difference, standing or seated, because the wind was going to care, and was going to care. Of blowing of the wind was seamless and imaginaliss, be he standing or sitting up. He was gripped by indecision what to do, and for a moment, he did not know what to do. Then he got a hold of himself, and took him self to task, and got on his original project to find the men of his crew and put them to work, which was going to be a project in itself. Then, and only then, would he pursue more distance projects, including this one, which were further down the line.
So eagerly he stood up, and trod to where the embers of the dirigible were still burning in the night. He noticed that he could see again from any direction, including backwards, and he noticed that there was no difference at all between the viewing, up or down, left, right, up above, or down below, it was all the same to him, even as he was walking. This he caught used to. While in a manner of speaking, he got used to it but there was a nervous tic about it that welled up, so he tried to calm this. Remember, every time he felt something, it was corporeal even though he was. He thought there were two pattern, which never came. It was indeed odd, but he would get used to it, even if it was the last thing he did. There would be order, and he said him self to doing just that, order, order, order, order. He would maintain order, and resolved not to fill in the gaps.
Order, order, order, order, order.
Each motion became synonymous with order, and discipline, and each motion was the same, not close to, the same.
If it was the last thing he did on this world, he would have order and discipline in his motions.
Feet to the front, arms had rested, crisp in order to his legs, stretching as if each step was the first and last. Each them a small step forward, gazing in to the blackness.
Order and discipline.
Until, at last, he became what he had been in life: machine of duty, order, and discipline. Then and only then, would he surround himself with the variety of senses, taking in the view which did not have to necessarily have the vision in his feet. You do not understand how much his vision depended on his eyes, it was unnerving, but he had mastered it.
But couldn't establish the view anywhere but outside the body, however much he tried to do so. He couldn't have order in his feet, and expensiveness in his feet, no matter how much he tried. And he did try all the way up to where stood. At this point other things directed his vision.
He made his body to stop running, and posed a moment to survey this new territory in his new form, because it was after all different. He could see shapes that he knew were not visible to the corporeal eye, and he knew that other shapes which were resonant, to not appear so to him. He guessed that the light that he saw was redder, lacking that crisp clear view of violet which made things as if they were fuzzy, rounded, as if a halo surrounded everything, it was if everything was illuminated.
Ghostly, in fact.
With this did for the scenery was it gave glory where the air around everything a crackle, where the air around it all was surging and ebbing away. Once again the halo effect. He realized this was going to be a feature, at least in lower light. He also felt that the light was piercing him, as much as he was piercing like. As if it stared at him, just as much as he stared at it. He was just beyond the pale, glow that was shimmering just beyond the boundaries of himself. Then he decided to walk in to it. He noticed that even bright light was even to his eyes. This was different, different from how he was use to in a living state, where soot and blackness would crest over his eyes and lead to darkness.
Then he was fading in to blackness, reliving the sprawling that said to him that he was slipping apart. Fade. Blackout. Cut. Words that just had new meaning from cinematography.