When the bees returned they came in geometrical groups. It took scientists years to understand the logograms, and subsequently develop a device for cross-communication.
They got goosebumps as they rounded the long, narrow chasm. To their left they could hear water. To their right they could feel the sparks. A little farther and they would be out of range. They dragged the sled behind them, the metal chassis against the gravel grumbling and shaking. These ingredients were in demand. The lapis. The infant in the vessel. Scales from the serpent. A twig from the tree. These things would bring a good price. Then they were overwhelmed by the the smell of sulfur. They quickened their pace. Behind them there was a shriek from a bird. As they pulled the sled faster the crackle and pop of the small rocks under them became a hiss of urgency. It was forbidden to be here. The trade was risky, but they'd never been caught, it was too terrible to think about. Concentrate on getting back, he yelled. Under this sky they appeared vibrant, striated with energy, tendrils of life were illuminated from them. Ignore it, he warned. They couldn't stop, even if there was temptation, there was a threat of transformation, absorption into the chaos. They wouldn't be the first to become lost. The traps they'd placed, some a long time ago, had been painstakingly positioned. Not all of these had been fruitful, but enough to make this difficult journey worthwhile. Ahead, they were close, the ground became sand and the sled was easily pulled. Close, he said, so close keep focused.
The bark on the trees illuminated as waves of sound pummeled the camp. The brutal orchestration of the sonic weapon was garish and out of touch.
Man with a Movie Camera (Dziga Vertov, 1929)
“When you’ve mastered the art of it everything else will seem like a slow motion car crash,” she said.
Instructions were relayed via a sequence of short, explosive and toxic gastrointestinal events.
When he spoke it sounded like it was through a cardboard tube. I'm not entirely here, he complained. Well, you do sound far away, they said. He tried yelling, for effect, as an experiment. They chuckled. See? he said. The captain calmly suggested this could be a real problem. What if this happens to all of us, he asked, sternly. Of course, they said, apologetically. It's some time-space distortion perhaps, he said. They tittered when he said it, so far away. What else do you feel? they asked. As if I could drown, he said, but I'm not afraid. I feel like life is a book whose pages I'm flipping through too quickly, afraid of reaching the end, but also of the beginning, he said. There is a reflection of me that I don't understand, and I know I never will, he said. These are very specific symptoms, they replied. If you put me into the chamber be sure to put both of me, he said. Both of you? they asked. I am an echo, from two places, from both of me. I am a consequence, he said. A consequence of what? they asked. Decay. Fearlessness. He said.
Rain speckled the windshield. They changed out of jumpsuits and into formal wear as efficiently as they could.
FERNWEH by jlillard
I now know the ambiguous feeling of the German word, fernweh; a word with no equivalent in the English language. When broken down, fernweh literally translates to, “farsickness,” and is often unsatisfyingly paraphrased as, “an ache for distant places.” Despite the translational shortcomings, and whether explained in German or English, the word remains difficult to grasp, perhaps because the feeling fernweh aims to describe is inherently ungraspable.