002. Match

Where was the dragon? It was a damp spell – that was what they called it, and it not only dampened his enthusiasm, it also seemed to dampen his perceptual abilities. He tried reaching out, but it was like dabbling his fingers in an ocean of white noise.

Sometimes he found his perception slipped forward in time, and he was an old man sat in The Burn Outs Bar, talking to the barkeep about the dragon. The barkeep told him that there was a myth about how every sunset and sunrise threw a reflection of the dragon into the sky to show that he owned the world.

‘Ah, but the world truly owns him,’ Skein heard himself saying ‘For, did I not fashion it so?’

And the barkeep would laugh – the kind of laugh that he would unpack every time an old drunk would sit down at his bar and talk a load of nonsensical crap. Moments like this laid bare for him, how people in this world might move from being shiny magic individuals towards being the slow grey things, burdened with mundanity, who shuffled up and off the mortal coil.

The golden butterfly sat next to him made him think of Britten, and he wondered. He wondered how deeply wrapped L’undone was in London. Was it a step through the mirror, or was it some other more laborious method one had to employ to dig down into the subtext?

For a moment time eddied around him in a swirl like the uncoiling spring in a rusty broken clock that had just given up the ghost. Parts still worked. A small broken ticking in the guts still promising something. It was not something he felt that would be easily delivered. He recoiled from it. His reach pulled back inside him, and the flower of the hidden London retracted into a small lie of a scribbled haiku on the back of a fortune from a cookie that was sliding along the exit strategy of a line of water that was going to disintegrate into individual drops as it feel through the stale air of the buried Victorian architecture that was the throat of the sewer.

He thought he heard a bird call, a low bass sound, then a high trilling; and then a detuned radio. The universe started rolling forward again. He struck a match – send his own little bit of magic out there into the world.

001. Blurred Blurb

He was not sure at what point he became his mask. Was it that day that he stood there at the mirror and started looking for the seam in his face? He would sometimes write a note and he was not sure if the language he knew and spoke in and communicated in was a liberating thing or a set of shackles. Box reality up in definitions, and nail down the permutations in Thesaurus.

There were many threads woven into him – this was why he had chosen the epithet Skein. He had hung out with some Mummers during the period of his life when he had chosen to forsake speaking, and the expressiveness of the mask and the scripted action seemed to be more in line with where his head was at. Mummers led to Maskers, and he soon found himself attuned to some perceptually buried carnivale that was actually occurring all the time, but which seemed to deposit itself in the caesuras people were pausing the world with.

A kingdom built in the data-buffering capability of a world halting and switching of its perception for barely noticeable increments. He thought of it as some kind of palimpsest, an impression on the sheet underneath the canvas where the world was drawn.

She stepped towards him, hand outstretched, notepad in hand, like she recognised him. He looked at her and the way that he eyes fired up every few nanoseconds, and the way her hair seemed to sculpt new realities with each movement, and part of him wanted to talk to he, even if the root of the action was in mistaken identity. Instead he held his finger to his lips, and pointed to the sign they had erected in this bar in honour of him: Do Not Speak To The Librarian.

Could I, he wondered, composite a world from the noises that I have experienced through the day, and never have to say anything? Sure, why not? He didn’t want to write but he wasn’t blocked. He didn’t want to speak, despite having plenty to say. He knew it would pass, but for the moment he glorying in it. Build peace from quiet.

When he started writing he worried at how much change he might actually be able to bring. His typewriter was probably vibrating. His pen was itching like a ghost limb. The space around him was pregnant with possibilities.

000. At The Narrative Edge

Tardigrade tumblers at the narrative edge. If ideational space were the vessel, it would be limitless, stories poured in that can never touch the edge.

Informational fluid gathered on the edge of the leaf; the tree is waiting to become the book. The Binder steps forward and runs his finger along that edge, lifts his finger to his lips and tastes that first line; feeds it to a storylion dismounting from the superpositional state to gather narrative fuel.

Time is told in circles here, dropping stones into mirrors and watching the ripples expand outwards to thicken the tree, unless a stress point is hit and the mirror cracks, and the tree falls, down through a forest of clapping hands into a soft floor of silence.

A rioter, on the first storey. He sits there and looks out of the window. Staring at the when-dough, a writer on his first story. He drinks his thirst story from the mirror glass; lions fluid in formation walk through his imagination. Lines: fluid information. He swallows, feels the fire in his gut. His imagination burns, and the silence of the forest is consumed.

He births a dragon in this moment. Thus burning whirled. This burning world. AIM he was called – Ardenti In Mundo. A dragon born in story that would take flight in his story in history – out through the cold ruins of space, through the endless acreage of time.

He appears as an ember. An amber. An urge to remember. A solidity collected together from scattered images, and he tells people that he is a man. And for a time he is a man – he is a man come to burn down the world.

That writer, his name Coran Andress, opened up a book and fell in. He had heard he might write himself a trapdoor; that he could change everything with his words. He popped a lie-berry in his mouth and he leapt, ribbons of tattered poetry floating behind him like snagged lines of smoke, a parachute of stories, and down through iterations he fell, skeins of time, until he arrived in a lie he might tell himself. I am Skein he would say, and before they could remark, he had talked up a storm and fell into the shadows become a raven wing and flown away as a dream.