Ch 10 ~ Whispers from the Sounds in Silence
Some people – the very few who knew him – thought him to be an alien. Not that he looked odd. But he definitely behaved in a manner that some people, the very few who might have known of him at one time (not many people knew of him for any length of time) thought of as from another planet.
He chuckled — not really chuckled…something in between a chuckle and a grimace — in silence. His world was mostly silent because it was what he knew life to be. He had arrived at life — and Earth — from the crushing silence of a black hole. Literally? Perhaps not, but who could really tell, and he most certainly wouldn’t say other than this: there were things beyond the explanations, beyond the strictly-adhered to boundaries of what most people thought of as “know-able.” Not everything could be neatly categorized and cmpactly placed within a box. No. Instead, it was well enough, if one was pressed into it, to say that the slight man was from another place entirely and leave the reference to another planet or a star or a crushing black hole or dark matter or the realm of possibility and reality out of the discussion entirely. He learned long ago that the truth sometimes served only to confuse because often the truth rattled the beliefs of the people hearing it. So he never divulged that truth about where he came from as wildly over the top as that appeared to be. He preferred, instead, to draw as little attention as possible to himself (at least for now) or to his place of Reveal, is how he always thought of it. Reveal. Energy. Power.
And now, dear Forge unwittingly had revealed to him the means by which he could possess even more power and that was all that really mattered to him. Not his life story, not his fuller personhood, or alienhood, whatever the case may be. How or when Forge and he had met was of little importance but it would turn out in the end to be of massively huge consequence, the slight man was absolutely convinced of this. In cocking his head ever so imperceptibly he had focused his attention even more laser like onto the conversation at Forge’s booth and sliced through the endless noise in the restaurant arising from the planet that often offended his sensibilities. Particularly his ears and by extension his mind. He preferred the silence because it was in silence that he heard what he only truly cared to hear: his own voice. That which should dominate, that and that alone, and for no other reason than it simply should. Because that was its purpose. Dominate not the one, but the many. This was the entire basis of his intention, to control thought processes. Beyond that of the one to that of the many.
How about all, to put it more bluntly.
Okay, so listen. The slight woman, I mean, just couldn’t help but look up at this ridiculous character. Yes, that’s what he was to her, a ridiculous character. How to cast a being with no clear background, with no clear presence, no clear relationships into some antagonist role central to moving the story forward without spending any effort whatsoever in developing the villian’s backstory, well, was a ridiculous thing indeed. As she cast her gaze upon his face and considered the uber mysterioso of his birth from a crushing black hole where not even light escapes (but somehow a person did?), she just about barked out an upper cased “ROFL!” and was more than a little bit convinced she was beginning to hear some kind of uber emo-filled swell of heeby jeeby music cruising around her inner ear.
“Cut…or whatever. Yeah. It’s not a movie. I get that. But, um, yeah, just “cut!” Okay, here’s the thing. I know I said I wouldn’t interfer,” Michele said to the tables around her, “But…well…”come on you gotta be kidding me” is all I have to say at this point. She opened her closet and found an animation that contorted her face into something so exaggerated in its attempt to convey incredulousness that it crossed the line from “convincing” and landed squarely in the “freakshow” description.
All discussion in the cafe ceased and everyone stared at Michele, well, that would be me. Okay, so I have their attention, and I have yet again meddled with the writing process by inserting myself into it. Don’t ask me, little novella here, if you have an identity clear and separate from me, the one whose fingers are at the keyboard pounding these characters out into some kind of combination to create words and possibly full sentences, possibly even still a coherent train of thought to thread through the fifty thousand word effort. Oh little Novella you, with your sparkly spanky perky feisty darn right vexing character sets, don’t even ask me that. Because I’m right in the middle of this now, right in the center circle I could fully claim, free and clear, because who’s going to stop me from claiming the center circle in this piece? A row of QWERTY? Or any other row of characters in the general neighborhood of QWERTY? If QWERTY was such a hot shot, wouldn’t it have its own sim for pete’s sake?
“Who is she talking to,” the slight man growled with no small amount of disdain. She had interrupted his line of thought, no matter how obscure, and in his mind, it was an incredibly stupendous series of lines of his thought that she had derailed with her little QWERTY outburst.
“I think she’s deeper in this process, deeper in this story, almost as deep as the process itself, frankly,” Miles Thomas offered, the pen twirling slowly between his fingertips. He was particularly found of QWERTY and eyed me carefully with kind eyes that opened up to the world in a generous and gentle magnificence while they lay tucked underneathe layers of red hair. I think he thinks I’m going to knock the little QWERTY buttons all out of whack, maybe upset the entire keyboard, rattle its cage and turn it on its head.
“Well. Well, yes. Indeed,” Miles confirmed, somehow hearing my thought which was an odd turnabout, even I had to admit, “and I’d really rather that you didn’t.”
I stood then, after deactivating the contorted animation. I simply stood and said with no small amount of exasperation while staring at the slight man, “What IS he trying to do? What IS he getting at? He’s here. Why? How DOES he move this story forward? What IS this story about?”
They all looked at me and blinked. After several long seconds, the entire restaurant looked at me then muttered nearly in unison, “don’t you know?”
I bugged my eyes. “Clearly not.”
“Oh,” Pat answered, “I can answer this one. Yeah, no sweat. Because I’ve been reading it already online …yes, yes,” she nodded her head as if sighing heavily as she spoke, “yes, I’ve been reading it online…yes, yes, from online access that I arrived at via a freakin mechanism In The Back of My Eye, yes already.”
“Yes, we know that part already,” I said. “And???”
“Oh…easy peasy. It’s about control. You know that whole “motive is total control” thing?”
Okay, I couldn’t help but sigh as I slumped back into the booth, but carefully watched the napkin with the concentric circles even though the other half of me wanted to just crumble the flimsy paper up. What a story outline. A pictograph. How did I think a picture could be worth a thousand words but really how could I think the picture could be worth fifty thousand words even.
“Yes,” I said somewhat quietly, with some amount of resignation. “But control over what, dear friends, because it won’t do for me to be fighting with you lovely characters. So I ask again, calmly, quietly, openly, in friendship…total control over what and why?”
NaNoWriMos total word count this chapter: 1,320; total word count todate (not including this notation) this chapter: 13,500.