Skeinsday, 22 Frost

Earned 26 / Spent 12

Savings 17,191

~      ~      ~      ~      ~      ~

Another union courier agrees to take eight packets at a time and drops one; I pick it up.

The stagecoach can’t make it to the union building, so I run to where it’s stuck on the highway and carry my packets twice as far, for twice as long.

I don’t even feel that I’m good at what I do.  Other couriers run faster, they seem to work harder.  They want to run; they want to run fastest.  But they’re riddled with drakeroot infestation and their feet and legs are petrified wood now, creaking under the non-weight of their lithe bodies, dry and – in a few years – too brittle to stand on.

Sometimes people in Kernel become part of the jungle, as tough they were always supposed to be here.  Built in, ensconced.  The Blue Parliament talks about ‘cementing’ Kernel.  There’s no word more inappropriate for this fertile, wild place that we’ve tried to tame ever since the Displacement.  But cemented is what the others are: grown into the earth, intertwined permanently with the work until they don’t know how to separate themselves from it.  The work becomes the life, the life about the work.

In the end, a courier never stops running.  There’s an old story about the courier who literally ran himself into the ground, where the collossal Earthern Crustaceans carry out their trials of eternal slumber.  In the moisty loamy caverns, with worms trying to find their way into his mouth, the courier tried to speak to those buried gods in order to find his way back to the land above.

“Where do I run?’ he asked, and the massive deities of the Jade Reefs looked at him with sadness, full of their unceasing patience, and pitied him.

Maybe it’s the Disc that makes me think this way.

Sometimes it seems to be moving away from the sun, other times it slides across the heavens like a great manhole cover making a sewer of the universe.

The Disc has been known to grow in the sky, or to shrink to a point.  It glimmered darkly like an inverted star for years, almost forgotten.  Some days it even appears to go behind the sun.  How this can be, nobody knows.  No-one understands it.  They don’t want to talk about it, as though it’s an embarassment or a taboo.  Everyone thinks, “No-one wants to hear what I think about about the Disc.”  They want to pretend it isn’t there.  But it affects more people than we know.

It’s always there.  Some people are more aware of it than others.  I have been aware of it all my life, that dark blot, that blemish.  Sometimes I’m indoors and feel like I can see it, like an eye watching me, right through the wall.

What is the Disc?  Why is it always, always there?

The last time it eclipsed the sun, the Displacement happened.  Nobody wants to talk about that, either.  The birth of Kernel.  The creation of a world.  A wonderful thing.  But we don’t want to think about it – a power that great.  The power to create a whole new place out of nothing.

When people cross over to Kernel, they’re forgotten about.   And likewise, they try to forget about the old world.

Who’d want to remember it?

I could live in Kernel forever.  Until I grow into it.

–RSR

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