Sunday, 22 April 2012

random ritin'

 - a quick random sample of a bit of book, a bit raw and unedited at the moment, but a taster of the sort of nonsense to be expected. For whatever legal issues might arise, all original characters and character names, place names etc. mentioned in the following text are copyright Jon Brumby/Ian Brumby/Fenris Games, and of their original conceptor(s) where relevant.

                                        Chapter Two: Mum’s the word

Fulto Brim was trying to meditate - a goal made particularly difficult by the cacophony of small chirruping lizards scuttling about in the undergrowth all around him, calling out to locate one another amongst the greenery. The orangutan couldn’t comprehend why the little idiots hadn’t figured out that things would be a lot easier for them if - instead of continually popping their tiny noggins above the low-lying greenery, and then ducking down to make their racket – they simply kept their heads aloft for only a second or two longer, since in that way they would be bound to notice others of their kind doing the exact same thing. Their obvious noise and apparent stupidity were simply not conducive to the achievement of a relaxed attitude, and Fulto knew this especially well because thought-processes that involved the use of words like ‘conducive’ were not very laid-back ones, and  therefore not very likely to lead to any trance-like states of mind. His brain was running like an of instruction-book in an effort to ignore the lizards’ din, but was making itself so busy in the work of words that it couldn’t slow down enough to stop thinking and just get on with things: he was struggling to breathe properly, because he was having to remember to do it in case his head got so busy with everything else that it forgot to deal with the ordinary essentials. The ape was getting dizzy, hot, and angry.

A tiny reptile stuck its little emerald head above the leaves, looked quizzically at the huge orange behemoth in the middle of it's world-view for perhaps as much as a second, disappeared again, and then let out a brief, shrill ‘pirrip’ sort of sound. For Fulto, this was the last straw.

Gritting his teeth and trying to think happy thoughts, the ape placed his palms together, and stretched his long limbs out across the rustling, squeaking sea of greenery before him. Taking deep breaths to calm himself as the noise continued, Fulto swept his arms outwards in a wide semi-circle, flattening out the plants most immediate to him – though he did this in such a way as to ensure none of the slender stems were damaged. He cleared a space across which at least three dozen of the diminutive creatures could now see one another quite clearly: and for a moment or two there was silence, at least within that one small area. Then, in a babbling green rush, they swept towards each other, crashing together in a roiling mess of mating. Unfortunately for Fulto, this meant they were now making even more noise, and the added racket produced as they writhed and wriggled together were not easing things any more quickly towards the attainment of tranquility. He let the plants fall back into place over the lizards’ decadent display, resigning himself to the fact that he’d do better to find another location from which to start his head-travelling.

Fulto stood up, feeling the brush of small bodies around his feet as more of the tiny animals crashed into the space he’d just vacated, and then strode purposefully – but very carefully – out of the little clearing in the forest floor.

The ape spent a short while scouring the immediate area for a suitably secluded spot - also keeping his eyes open for a length of wood that might be of use as a walking-staff - as he could somehow guess that he might have a few miles to cover, once he’d got himself centred and could figure out what he ought to be doing. He’d been having such guesses, and feelings, and hunches, ever since he first appeared in this place, wherever it was,which he’d at first put down to the after-effects of all that dwarf-related oddness - that sort of thing would mess with anybody’s head - it was just…well, weird – though he wasn’t sure where his frame of reference came from to suggest that. And that was weird, too.


It had been while he was on his second night out in the wilds beyond the caverns, and drifting somewhere in that half-life between sleep and consciousness, that he’d heard the Voice.

Her Voice, he corrected himself – for it had definitely seemed female: Fulto assumed of course that he’d dreamt it, though at the time he’d sat bolt upright and wide awake, fearing an enemy was close by; but he’d also felt Her touch, and no-one had been near enough to have laid a hand on him and to have then retreated quickly enough to be beyond his sphere of vision.

It was a caress as soft as a lover’s, and as urgent and purposeful too – but again, surely just part of the dream. He’d remained for several minutes in terrified silence, his ears straining for the slightest sound, his eyes trying desperately to pierce the velvet cloak of the night. But nothing became any more obvious, and there was little to hear besides the whisper of the wind through the leaves of the trees.

Much as he wanted to put all of this down to imagination though, Fulto couldn’t help feeling there was more to it than that – and that the only reason he couldn’t latch onto Her was that his panicked mind was overworking itself trying to figure out what was happening. This had been the reasoning for his current plan to try and reach some sort of meditative state, which would allow him to relax his brain enough to just listen to whatever She might have to say. If, of course, he hadn’t just imagined the whole thing thanks to the slightly fevered state of mind that comes to one who finds himself suddenly in an unknown world that he nevertheless feels he’s been in all along.

In any case, thinking about it certainly wasn’t helping.

At last the orangutan found a likely site for his experiment - a slightly clearer patch of ground that looked as if it could have been almost deliberately set aside for his purpose. He noticed that a large rock lay a little distance away - the top of it a slightly darker colour, and damp-looking, with a short trail of crushed plant-matter leading up to it; he realised that someone or something must have moved or rolled it away from the spot to get at whatever was beneath it – presumably something food-related, like ants, grubs, or what-have-you. Fulto didn’t let his brain dwell for too long on exactly what kind of creature might be capable of having shifted such a weight, since there was no sign of any cave or similar den-entrance where it could be lurking, and for the moment at least no obvious sight or sound of whatever it might be; the ape also assumed that any creature so large and powerful would make quite a noise wherever it went, such that he’d have plenty of warning if it did come back to this little bit of the world.

Satisfied for the time being that he’d be able to proceed without any disturbance, Fulto settled himself upon the bare dirt where the rock had been. Laying his arms palm-downwards along his crossed legs, he relaxed as utterly as he could, his fingertips just touching the ground where his hands drooped at his wrists. He closed his eyes, and began to breathe very deliberately and slowly, emptying his busy skull of everything except the sensation of his contact with the Uurth.

For some considerable time, it seemed as though little was happening other than the passing of seconds, minutes - perhaps even hours: Fulto had lost all concept of temporal restraints, and it seemed as if his entire body had rid itself of feeling, as he was no longer aware of the pressure of his own weight upon the small patch of uurth where he sat. Then, he began to notice a tingling sensation – like the pins-and-needles he’d felt back at the caves when he first became conscious – tickling at his bottom and loins and fingertips, wherever his skin pressed against the dirt. Slightly puzzled, he looked down, then almost fainted as a wave of pleasure flowed into him, a blissful warmth like nothing he’d ever experienced before (though of course he’d had to remind himself later on that since he only seemed to have been around for a couple of days at most, his degree of any kind of experience was pretty limited). A wonderfully bright and somewhat greenish light seemed to surround him and fill his entire being at the same time; and then, the Voice sounded again - soft as a whisper, and yet seeming to pummel into him like the tumult of a storm.

My Child,” She said.

 Fulto felt the warmth again, subtler now though, and it seemed as if he were being held and caressed by protective arms.
“M-Mother?” he stuttered, not daring to open his eyes even to blink away the unbidden tears that had welled up within them.

Some have called me thus, yes,” the Voice continued, stroking the ape with its soft tones. “Others call me sister, daughter, wife – or witch, or woman, lady, or lover. In as much as you are part of me, then I am mother indeed – but father too, for in truth I am none of such physical things - I am neither, yet both, as all things come from me that are such opposites. If ‘mother’ does not suffice, then simply think of me as Uurtha, spirit of the Uurth – this was one of the first names I heard when people still spoke to me.

“Ah, right. I see,” Fulto lied, wondering if this had been such a great idea after all. Things never went well for folks who went around hearing voices. Of course, how he knew that, he wasn’t sure.

Your memories too, are sprung from me,” the Voice interrupted, “they are part of all things that have come and gone before, that are all part of me – eternal truths that are known to all such as you; and your truths too will be passed on when you die, that those who may be next to come shall know them also.

“Eternal truths?” Fulto asked. “What, like not running with scissors, that sort of thing?” The orangutan was getting a bit confused by all this, though mainly he was hoping there wasn’t going to be a test of any sort that might involve having to recite any of what he’d just heard – never mind understand it. The Voice said nothing, although Fulto felt that She might be nodding whatever might pass for Her otherworldly head. Or quite possibly shaking it in disbelief at Her chosen one’s ineptitude.

“Uhm, okay,” the ape resumed, “ – have to admit I don’t like the sound of the dying part very much, I thought I’d only just got here.”

All must die, that is the way of things,” Uurtha responded.

“Well yes, but by that I’m hoping you do mean eventually, yes?” Fulto asked, “…as in, not just right now? This isn’t all leading up to me dropping dead in the middle of nowhere, is it?”

Uurtha seemed to hesitate. “…Yes – eventually…Time is…a difficult thing. Before this part of now it was not something that mattered – things were, and were not, and that was the way of all. But now, time seems to have become…less…than it was.

Fulto was worried. “You’re – running out of time?” he ventured.

Yes. I am dying, and I cannot help myself, and that is why I have called to my children.

“But you said yourself that all things must die – doesn’t that apply to you, too?”

All things that are part of me – but they come back, as knowledge, as memories, as power – ultimately, as returned uurth to provide for the growth of the new. But if I die, I will not return.

The ape thought for a moment. “That sounds pretty bad,” he concluded.

Indeed – for once I perish, all else will die with me.



“…hold on, you just said children, plural,” Fulto remembered. “There are more like me? All of those in the caves, d’you mean? And what was that about power and stuff? Should I be writing this down?”

He fumbled for his knapsack to see if he could find anything to scribble on, discovering a half-chewed and almost blunt pencil, and a torn scrap of parchment with a drawing of a female chimp’s bottom on it that was crude in just about every possible sense of the word. He feigned a look of innocent nonchalance and turned the paper over, licking his pencil-tip and holding it poised above the ‘clean’ side of the sheet.

A ripple of pleasure coursed through the ape’s body, making him feel quite unnecessarily stimulated in several ways that didn’t seem very appropriate while talking to one’s mum – metaphysically speaking - especially if she was also your daughter and sister at the same time. He realised though that this must be Uurtha’s way of laughing, as it felt sort of like a chuckle taken to its absolute extremes, experienced purely as a feeling rather than a sound.

Yes, my child, there are more – for it would be impossible for just one to avert this change, even though of course it can often be the actions of just one that can change the ways and the thinking of many. It may have to be that several of you might serve together, or that your individual actions might serve thus – I only know that it may be because of you all that this might not come to pass. As for the powers, these are such that are within me, and therefore within you all, my children, too – from what I see in the hearts and minds of those whose feet press upon me, this is a thing that might be called …magik. Find it within yourself, and use it wisely.

“Nifty,” Fulto replied, feeling slightly queasy. “So, what you’re saying is, it’s up to us to save the Uurth. That seems like a bit of a big job for someone who only just got here.”

Surely it is only natural for a child, given life and nourishments by its progenitor, to come to care for that parent, when such care is needed, yes? – Or perhaps, better to say that if you care for me, then I will continue in my making of, and care for, all of you...but of course none of you are bound to this calling, you may do as you wish in all things – just know, that if the Created fail, then all will be doomed to chaos and discord.

“Ye-ess,” the ape hesitated, “but it’s not much of a choice, is it?”

Destiny is a selfish bed-mate, certainly,” The Voice agreed.

“Ah-hah. Good to have someone else to blame, isn’t it?” Fulto conceded. He had the impression that the Uurth was trying to look the other way and pretend She hadn’t heard that last bit, although it was hard to be sure, since gestures and body language don’t really show up very well on incorporeal entities. With a sigh the orangutan realised too that when unfathomable beings started going on about other immeasurable forces like luck, fate, and destiny, a bloke had better either like it or lump it.

“…now, where were we?”  Uurtha continued, as if She’d just returned to the conversation from a trip to powder Her ineffable nose in the intangible toilet on whatever passed for Her plane of existence.

“Saving the Uurth from its - erm, Her -  ultimate destruction?” Fulto suggested, asking,
“ – so, how am I going to recognise these other, erm - ” he checked his hurried notes.
“ – these other Created ones? Will they be wearing pink carnations, or should I be expecting a random queue or a carriage-party sometime soon? Or are they just – well, everybody else? There were a lot of other animals in the caves - what if they’ve already chosen to do the other thing instead, I’ll bet there’s plenty of folks would love a bit of chaos and all that every now and then, all them vicarious thrills and - well, y’know – like WOO, DANGER!” He emphasised this by shaking his fists and affecting a peculiar grimace.

You have many questions, my child,” Uurtha stated, though she made no obvious move to answer any of them. Fulto nodded, resigned to his fate. Sort of. He was quite surprised when She decided to continue.

When you hear them, you will know,” She admitted, “And they will know you, too This is part of the great circle of life that binds us all.

Fulto hesitated .“You’re not going to start singing, are you?” he asked, somewhat concerned.

Uurtha seemed a little nonplussed. “I don’t believe so,” She concluded. Fulto looked around furtively even so, just to be sure that weird animals weren’t about to jump out of the bushes and start making oddly musical noises. Of course, he had no idea why he felt such a thing might happen. For a few moments he considered making a list of all the things he wouldn‘t quite be able to put his finger on, but dismissed the idea when he realised it would quite likely become a very long list, and that this would probably happen very quickly.

Some things, he thought – and some thoughts, he added – just are.

Now you’re getting it,” Uurtha responded, without being asked. Fulto nearly jumped out of his skin.

You can read my mind? he wondered, deliberately emphasising the thought, concentrating and trying to visualise the form of the words.

No need to shout, thankyou,” the Voice replied, “ – and yes, I can. After all, they are in fact my thoughts in a way, inasmuch as everything about you is a part of me. In real terms I already know what you’re thinking, even before you do.

The ape’s head was starting to spin. “Okay,” he relented. “So if you already know all of that, can we just skip to the bit at the end? I think I could use a few minutes to take all this on board, if that’s alright.”

Without a word, She agreed. Pretty impressive, considering all the limitations. For a few moments more, Fulto Brim sat alone in the company of Uurtha, the two of them communing together in spite of the fact that the ape was the only one who was really there, at least in existential terms. From wherever he was inside his own head, Fulto was somehow aware of the fact that the ever-jabbering little lizards from the clearing - having followed in his footsteps (as they made little mating meet-ups for them) - had finally fallen silent, and had turned as one to watch him coming to the realisation of his oneness with Nature, their little eyes sparkling like jewels with the wonder of the spectacle. On some small level, the ape realised that he was, quite bizarrely, looking over towards himself from where the lizards were – and that he was somehow utilising their diminutive minds and their hundreds of tiny eyes even as he could use his own, and doing so even while he was otherwise occupied in talking with the Uurth. With this last thought reverberating around inside his head, his brain shut up shop for the day and went home for tea, leaving him to faint back upon the greenery.

The lizards stood quietly, looking nervously around at one another, and uncertain of what had just passed – other than that it had been something akin to a sacred experience for them - that for a few short moments their hurried little brains had become calm, and cool, and focused – and all apparently because of the enormous orange thing lying flat in the dirt just across the way. In whatever miniscule way their tiny minds could conceive of the notion of deity, this creature was without a doubt the god of their revelation.

With what remnants there were of their collective consciousness, they streamed towards the mountainous bulk of their fallen idol, determined to be near him in their awe - but by the time they reached the ape, quick though they moved, their notion of Fulto as anything other than the big orange thing in the forest, had gone. They regarded one another stupidly for a moment or two, and then ducked beneath the greenery and began their noisemaking once more. They were already ferociously busy with their pointless endeavours when the big orange thing suddenly arose again with a peculiar splutter - and as one, the lizards scattered.

From a safe distance, hundreds of tiny eyes watched - without other accompaniment - as the ape blinked in the sunlight; it frowned, placing a long-fingered hand on an apparently unsettled stomach, and then disappeared in a blinding flash of light.

After a short while, the lizards drew close to the spot where the scorched uurth fizzed and popped - and, being able to see each other once again, made full use of the facilities on offer.


  1. ...bit wordy maybe at the mo, we'll see what it comes down to after editing.

  2. Excellent so far! Love all the little clues and teasing of the story! Keep it up, it's going to be great!