This was a fun, sacrilegious piece of writing. The production of a medieval Sci-fi book. I found it very amusing.
These are all first drafts – straight off my keyboard. Rewriting this book is taking me back to the days of yore. I am working from the original manuscript that is typed with my old Remington typewriter. That seems a totally different age now. We’re a world away – and so is this story.
Messny sat quietly in his room. His mind was fixed deeply into a higher plane. First his body went hazy and transparent and then it disappeared altogether, the atoms and molecules dissipating by a rapid diffusion, his mind expanding into infinite discourse.
Nirvana had to be worked for in easy lessons. He had decided that it would be pleasant to have a short vacation. Two minutes passed and his body reappeared, leaching molecules from the air around and reforming itself. As he sat with his eyes shut a big smile spread across his face. It had been a pleasant restorative interlude. He rose lithely from the floor and walked out of the room.
In those two minutes Messny had floated off through the ether with all time and space at his command.
He reformed his body in a hot, lazy town. The heat of the sun was causing the flies to pant. The ground was so parched and burnt that there was no need to build kilns.
Boldly he walked into the village and was immediately surrounded by a group of people. He was prepared in both dress and language and was familiar with the customs.
As soon as they found he could converse in their own dialect they proved to be a friendly bunch, accepting him in as one of theirs. After lengthy greetings were exchanged the first question was always an enquiry as to whether he had eaten or was thirsty. Thirsty necessitated a shot of the local firewater. It did little to quench thirst but after the first few you simply forgot you had ever been thirsty in the first place. As a newcomer he was expected to make the rounds of the village. Not to do so would have seemed rude.
It was quite an event to receive a guest. He was directed to the largest house where food and drink magically appeared and the whole village, complete with kids, dogs and goats attended. Following that it seemed that he was expected to stay with each of the families in turn. It was hard to know how to respond to such kindness. His next months were catered for.
In the cool of the evening the town came to life. They gathered round a fire, passing drinks, marijuana and stories with much laughter. It was a breath of fresh air to have a stranger in their midst and they were eager for his tales. To them his life story was science fiction and pure invention but they lapped it up with gusto and drank many a glass to the ludicrousness of it. He became a fabled story teller. They thought he was hilarious.
In the early morning he joined them in the fields, hoeing, irrigating and tending to the crops. The animals roamed free, goats and chickens scratching a living from the wasteland and scraps.
By the end of the first week he knew the whole village by name and he was fully accepted. There was even talk of the village building him a house. They took him into their confidence, proudly shoeing off their handicraft, their weaving and pottery, sewing and leather-making, encouraging him to try his hand and roaring with laughter at his ineptitude. He learnt that one of them was considered learned, had mastered the arts of reading and writing and was presently writing his own book. He lived alone in the mountains and they promised to take him along some time soon. At the end of the evenings, when the fire had died down and the stars were up in all their glory they regaled him with their tales, myths and stories. The lore of the people that had been passed down through the ages and Messny listened with great interest for it was rich and colourful. Musical instruments would magically appear and they would sing along to the old songs and dance under the moonlight.
Everything was communal. They worked the fields together, repaired houses together, built barns together, ate, drank, danced and made music together. When there was sickness they all did what they could, brought in the shaman from the next village and collected and prepared the herbs. When there was a death they joined together to celebrate the life and its contribution and to console the grieving. When there was a birth or marriage they all shared in the joy and danced and sang until they were exhausted and collapsed.
There was joy at the changing seasons, appreciation of the sun and rain and awareness of their place in its cycle.
Messny found that even the hardest jobs were enjoyable when there was companionship and everybody pitched in. It was easy to fit in and feel part of such a community. He could easily have stayed in such pleasant company for the rest of his life. But he had come for a reason.
So far he had not seen any evidence to support his reason for coming. Despite the similarities to what he had been expecting it did not yet tie in completely. He was beginning to wonder if he had made a mistake and there was a small error in his time or place. There were probably many things that distorted in the course of thousands of years.
At last it was time to go and visit the fabled story writer in the mountains. A small group of them saddled up the asses with provisions and set off in the cool of the early morning before the sun was up.
The home was modest but comfortable and had all the solitude necessary for the task of writing. It enabled the writer to collect their thoughts and arrange them on the page.
Lined up on the writing bench were the completed papyrus scrolls, all laboriously written on with a precise script that was a marvel to behold in itself.
The book was nearly complete and the subject of great pride. Messny was urged to stay a while and read it through. It seemed that the beginning and middle had been mapped out but there was a problem with the ending. Word had gone ahead that Messny was a man of many fabulous tales and might be able to assist. Proudly he handed Messny the scrolls. He had plotted out the outline of the book as well as the plot.
Messny sat down for a few days to read the manuscript. It was one he was already familiar with, though there were a number of parts that were new to him.
While he was there he received the full story. The life of a writer is a solitary one and there were times when that laid heavy on the spirit. This was a rare opportunity to interact, talk and enjoy the time to the sip of wine and fine simple food.
As they sat around in the evening when it was too dark to read Messny was regaled with the whole story.
It seemed that from an early age the writer had always wanted to be a storyteller. His head was full of tales and fantasies that he had been eager to write and preserve. He had travelled far to master the basic skills and come back to the village eager to put his talents to the test.
The whole village was proud of him and, despite the times of hardship, had conspired to enable him to achieve his dream. They had supported him while he wrote.
His one aim in life was to produce a single book of merit. As Messny listened as the outline of the story was explained to him he recognised a kindred spirit. Even though the writer had not heard of the term they were both Science Fiction writers.
The story had come to him in a dream and he had conjured up the main character out of his imagination and experience, though the imagination of the entire village had been deployed to create this work of art. Its scope was beyond that of one man. The book followed the thoughts, ideas and life of the main character as he travelled through the land. He had contrived a series of fabulous anecdotes and saying to bring it to life and make the unbelievable plausible. It was at once a mystical tale of the character’s experience with the infinite coupled with tales of adventure, intrigue and politics. There was much of social significance that had been skilfully woven into the story. His main character was a social revolutionary who set about arousing the masses and performing tricks that left them amazed.
Messny was impressed. There was much skill and imagination deployed in the narrating, much wisdom and plain good story-telling. It was a major work of fiction. The intriguing thing for Messny was to discover that the writer believed the main character was really an alien. Not that he’d heard that term before. He described him as a visitor from other worlds in the sky. He laughed as he told him this. He thought it was highly amusing.
His other major original inspiration had been to split the book up into four different perspectives so that the reader had the story from different angles, through the eyes of four other characters. He thought that was an interesting touch. In his mind it created a more three dimensional character and provided depth. It had not been easy to do either.
In great application of intelligence he had based his book as a sequel to an earlier piece of fiction that had been highly successful. While not a sequel in the usual sense of the word, in that it did not completely follow on, it was conjoined by virtue of the supernatural deity, that had been further elaborated on, providing the continuity. The hope was that admirers of the earlier work would be attracted to follow on to the second. It was a great marketing ploy.
The writer explained that the earlier work had been around for hundreds of years but though many had tried to produce a sequel they had all proved unsuccessfully. He proudly proclaimed that this attempt might just be the one that worked. Messny agreed. He knew it would.
The problem was that having told the tale and reached a point in time the writer could not think of a suitable ending. It was as if he was blocked. The expectations of the entire village were weighing heavy on him. They were all so proud of the bits they had contributed and could not wait to see it properly produced. But he was unable to complete it.
Then Messny had arrived. Perhaps he could provide the stimulus for the missing ingredient?
Messny felt a bit of a fraud. He had the ending. It wasn’t hard really – he’d read it before.
‘How about having the hero rejected and killed?’ he suggested.
He could see that appealed.
‘They could all turn on him and disown him to save their own skins,’ Messny continued. ‘Just as they were nearing the possibility of all the people coming together for a glorious rebellion to overthrow the military and start the revolution you could have them turn him over to the authorities and executed. The revolution never happens and everyone immediately regrets it.’
‘A final twist to the plot,’ Messny added. ‘That always gets them. You could even have him briefly coming back from the dead with the promise of a glorious finale in the future.’
‘I could! I could do that. That is perfect!’
The next day Messny left to return to the village leaving Abraham feverishly scribbling away in a world of his own. As he looked back at the man, and rapidly increasing pile of scrolls, he could not help but wonder if he had done the right thing.
The next day was a feast day and the whole village gathered to give praise to nature for the bounty of the fields. The harvest was in and bountiful. There was no better time to announce that he was leaving. They toasted him, danced, sang and regaled him. He assured them that he would return again.
The next day he waved goodbye and sadly walked off into the wasteland of the desert. When he was out of sight he sat down and prepared to return.
He had achieved what he had set out to do.