Hard on the Heels of Ink’s Legend (I/I)

And in her last glance in the mirror, as he carries it away, she can see a great tower that is not her tower; and beyond it a sea of surging chaos; and an Ink who is not herself, but somehow possessed of that which is forbidden to her in Hell.

The mirror cracks.
— Ink in Emptiness

“Oops,” Martin says.

His fisted hand goes to his mouth and he stares, half in horror and half in involuntary amusement, as the lens Necessity cracks.

The crack becomes a webwork of cracks, spreading across its surface like marching ants.

The pressure in the chaos swells.


Martin can hear Andhaka screaming. The beast’s voice is audible even though Mrs. Schiff is quiet.

Martin thinks, Andhaka is unsettled and disjoined from her. I should go and offer her stabilizing advice, such as, “Do not throw good money after bad.”

Martin realizes that he is tumbling through the air. He does not like it when his goggles break so he curls in his neck. He does not bother protecting his cheek from a razor-edged shard of history.

The chaos has manifested a cocoon. It would be smart to deal with that but instead he finds himself thinking about how best to use it to tease Jane.

It’s really important to tease Jane in a crisis because she is so hard to freak out under normal conditions.

He hits the ground hard.

He is rolling. His cynicism goggles, darn it all, crack. They let in just the tiniest bit of the real world’s light. It is like a slice of horrible rose in amongst the construction-paper green.

His shoulders hurt.

His hand falls on squirming dust.

He looks up.

Jane has a knife. For a dizzying moment, he imagines her showing him the treatment he had shown Bob—

Such an incredibly funny concept! It’s almost impossible not to laugh, but because he knows that’s the crack in his cynicism at work he bites it down—

And then he realizes that it is a story more than it is a knife. It is a fragment of Necessity and it is tuned to something happening right now, right this moment, somewhere in the world.

He names it. He caresses it on his tongue.

Hard on the Heels of Ink’s Legend.

Time, which he hadn’t even realized quite had stopped, starts up again.

5 thoughts on “Hard on the Heels of Ink’s Legend (I/I)

  1. Oh, it’s (I/I) rather than (1/1) because it’s become history now… how recursive.

    Contents: Also awesome.

    So awesome.

    (Has the previous Jane+knife+cocoon story vanished in the move?)

  2. I think that we’re about to come up on the Jane-plus-knife-plus-cocoon entry again, aren’t we? We’re got the cocoon, Jane, Martin, the knife, even the squirmy bit of chaos-dust that Martin uses to scare Jane all in place. I was guessing that it’d get reposted here.

    “For a dizzying moment, he imagines her showing him the treatment he had shown Bob—”

    That’s very Greek-legendy. There were several stages of Greek legend about the gods in which descendents killed forebears, weren’t there? Bob was sort of Martin’s forebear, because he did (most?) of the work on the firewood world that Martin was born out of. But he only gave Martin the nature/dharma of a firewood boy, Martin had to create the rest himself — which may have been one reason for the ax, if it wasn’t a mercy killing or part of the necessary demolishment of the wogly that Bob was working to hide. Martin would in a sense be Jane’s forebear, as well as her descendent (for she also created the firewood world) because he somehow recreated her out of Jenna.

  3. Oh, yeah, there’s something about this kind of recursion of the scene around the cocoon that’s reminding me of _The Very Hungry Caterpillar_ — you know, first it ate the site, then it ate the message that it was eating the site, etc. But no one seemed to like my revision of _Hamlet_ as _Horton Hears A Who_, so I guess I’m not going to write up that one.

  4. Martin is a trickster god? The temptation of the End of Everything button becomes clear.

  5. Martin’s just an older brother, I think. :)

    (Or, aha, a six year old girl’s idea of what an older brother should be. Which is good, because a realistic 13 year old kid with God-powers would scare the crap out of me.)

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