September 01, 2008

Let the Word Take Me p.32

They would understand, if he could tell his own Tale truly.

"Let the sacred Word take me," he said.

He had forgotten the low, insinuating sound of the Mouth, but at once it arose in hundreds of keening voices, singing in his body and penetrating his head. He waited for it to recede.

It continued.

This wasn't right – before, with the others, it had disappeared immediately. Did he have to say something? His ears were ringing; his heart began to hammer in panic. There was something – he'd remembered it a moment ago – God, what did he have to say to make it stop?

Allayo was looking at him, all golden eyes and emerald scales, beautiful and alien. She had said the words – but she would not prompt him now. She was whistling along with the others.

Through the waves of sound he fought to find his way back in, to put himself in her place, standing on the rock. But then a different vision slipped into his mind. He stood amidst a gathering of Gariniki with all the leaf-green planet beneath his feet, while before him the throat of the nebula opened on a river of light that filled him, poured forth from his mouth and illuminated all of them.

He opened his eyes, and found the words:

"The People gather in the House of Leaves before the Mouth; the Word flows through the gathering, and I can speak."

***

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