A Fiction within a Fiction

Excerpts from The Disappearing Wind by Aiden Taiwo.  Armstrong: Kamaria House, (c) 2801, turnbook edition.

from ‘Chapter I: The Mountain’

“The time was that there was no man could stand atop these peaks. For the wind, you see?” the old man said.  I hated him then.  Hated his age and the smell of him, sweat and cane liquor and the bitter traditional herbs he still rubbed on his skin.  Hated his stories that didn’t end and breath that smelled of rotted teeth.  His very existence was a reminder that there had been a past and that was, at that time, a thought that repelled me…

from ‘Chapter III: Rebellion’

My first lunar was nothing like how I thought it would be.  I had been raised to the belief that the sky-folk were not quite people, that low-gravity made them weak and space made them hollow.  The Church taught that no one born away from the “Soil of Eden” could ever truly be of the “Clay of Adam” and possess a soul.  Like most villages we burned a lunar in effigy every fall for the harvest and hating them was a civic duty, although their ships hadn’t been seen in our skies for centuries and nobody had even seen a lunar in the flesh in living memory.  They were Other, and for that alone they were to be hated.

With such a pedigree of hatred to recommend them how could I do anything but adore the very thought of them, even though I knew no more about them than any of the other ignorant villagers?  We had, I felt, a secret kinship in that hatred.  It was a bond deeper than love or blood.  Love and blood had already both proved false and changeable in the person of my mother, but hate had never yet failed me.  One year I had even starved myself to better resemble them until I discovered that the girls didn’t like that, at an age where that was all that mattered.

Years and miles would separate me from the village when I met my first lunar.  But they had remained with my thoughts, like a fish swimming beneath the waters of a muddy stream, always present but seldom seen.  Until I met Rebellion.

[A cult classic of Recovery-era literature, there has been much debate over the centuries whether or not The Disappearing Wind is part of the end of the Neo-Abandoment writing or part of the contemporaneous Erdvolk Movement.  Regardless, it remains a favorite of disaffected Inner System youths, like Susan Ngn, who has kept a battered old copy under her bunk in every ship she’s served on.]

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