Here is a scene sketch I put together for you this evening. Enjoy, and thank you for reading.
I saw a young girl in the center of Tulan Square just before midnight. She had black horse hair, knotted into braids on either side of her round olive face. Her eyes flashed silver in the light of the street vendors and their carts. She held what looked like the black leather bible that you can get at Giffords for twenty bucks—the one fashioned with gold filagree inlays and red gem stones—that stuck out a foot on either side of the girl. The cobble road was wet-grey from the Nascorne rime that’s slicked the streets for weeks.
The girl held the book at arm’s length with elbows slightly bent and I could see by her fluttering lips she was reading from it. It was an odd thing, reading a fancy book in weather like that, but then again, you would have to be blind not to have seen this was no ordinary book. Even so, my proclivity for all things strange and exciting, the sight of the pair glued me to the spot.
But now I depart from the comfortable realm of earthly reality into dizzying insanity… But bear with me; I’ll tell it how it appeared to me; you will determine its truth.
I noticed that the evening shoppers, in their heavy wool coats and fat fur hats, did not seem to take any notice of the girl whatsoever. They flowed around her sides effortlessly then reunited behind her. But that was not all. The frost itself would not touch the girl. It hung in the air around her and stuck to the people like cobwebs, but did not touch her. Moisture danced and tumbled along her silhouette like river water does off the back of crocodiles when they growl.
She looked into my eyes then and I could not tear my eyes from her’s. I wanted to walk on, I knew there was nothing more about this vibrating girl that I needed to see. But I could not stir.
Her reading grew loud enough to hear over the metal clinking of utensils on grills and the late night buzz of the city folk. It grew so loud that the honking horns and street drummers no longer existed. Her voice was low and gurgling and the language sounded to me like Ogni, or Purtére, but it was not.
The next moment, a bubble of white light inflated from the pages of the book and expanded so fast and bright that I thought the girl had blown us up like my grandfather in Nagasaki. But as soon as it burst out, it was gone, and when I saw the girl again, the book was no longer in her hands, but floating a foot above them, held aloft by a golden mist. She was screaming the words now, screeching like hot steam through a kettle.
And then all at once she was gone.
Image courtesy of oldtownpaul.