Chapter 6

Written by: Suraya Dewing

He faded into an iridescent haze.

She wanted to call him back. “I’m human too, even now,” she tried to cry out but words were hard lumps choking her.

Emily stared at where he stood, willing him back. Yes, she’d be human if that meant this peculiar world would stop spinning around her in this dizzying way.

Desperate for something firm to hold onto, she grabbed the pole from which she had descended with one hand and rubbed the four spheres in her pocket with the other. The old man in red appeared, shimmering. Only he now looked like the boy with green eyes just younger.

As she tried to place where she had seen him, he launched into a rendition of Hallelujah in a high-pitched counter tenor voice.

So what am I meant to do now?

He stopped and roared with laughter.

You already know.

Just as he finished the song, the familiar old man smell blew around her like a wild wind. It was so strong her feet lifted from the ground making her spin, spin, spin. Her purple shoes flashed before her eyes. She tried to catch them but they seem to dodge her clutching hand and landed in the hands of the green eyed boy. As he held them, he grew older, his hair became thin and his skin tracked by age.

Emily could feel herself flying.

She closed her eyes and cried out for Layla.

Tell me what I need to learn.

“No,” Layla’s voice came back to her. “You are stage three. You are alone…to learn.”

Emily puzzled over what she might have to learn and as she wondered this, the wind dropped her, ‘plop’ on the floor. Her purple shoes were back on her feet. The old man pedalled past on a uni-cycle with the old man smell clinging to him like a polluted cloud.

She began to regret referring to him in that way.

The lesson?

The man stopped to stare at her. His gaze was so intense, fear twisted through her. “We can always choose how people appear,” he said.

He took out the Silver Sphere and spun it on his forefinger. It hopped from one finger to another and with each hop the man took on a new identity…first the old man, then the boy, then the girl and then the man by the river. As she looked closely at each one, she saw they were identical except for their clothes and age. As this realisation dawned on her, they all loudly laughed.

When the Silver Sphere reached the last finger, it revolved wildly, flinging out colours that wound around the man by the river and then slipped into the back of his neck. As it did, he sent her an enigmatic smile….half sad, half resigned and gradually faded away.

But as he did, he metamorphosed into a young woman. She also smelt like an old man and she knew her next task was to deliver a Silver Sphere to her.

Comments

'We can always choose how people appear.'

I just love this. It has opened up an entire new, fantastic thread to this story.
And the lesson? Another perfectly scripted avenue for the next serial writers to take.

My favourite? The last bit beginning with : 'He took out the Silver Sphere and spun it on his forefinger' right until its questioning end. Simply great.
Oh brilliant as always, Suraya, it opens up new possibilities. And leaves the next author with more strings to pull.
Thank you both of you. It was fun to write...much to my surprise! I decided to let myself go where ever my mind took me and Cirque du soliel came to mind. It was great fun to write and I learnt....some times to lose control is to gain control.
Suraya, this is brilliant! This serial has taken the most amazing twists and turns, and has developed in such clever, astounding ways! I simply love it. Your writing is so captivating - I re-read several times like an addict to get that feeling of my head spinning again and again together with Emily as this enormous, busy and confusing world takes her on continuous whirlwinds of the imagination...or not? Hehehe :)
Thanks Anna. I really enjoyed playing with the images and letting them spin.