Saturday, 25 June 2016
'The Discovery' by Bart Van Goethem
Bha-aal studied the substance that encapsulated him up to his chest. It was bluish, almost transparent. He couldn't move freely in it, like when he walked the earth. The substance created a resistance for his limbs, but not an unpleasant one. In fact, he felt good in it, refreshed. This surprised him, because in his experience, things you didn't know usually got you killed.
He cupped the substance in his hands. How strange. Like nothing is there, but still it is there. Then he turned around to his tribe, standing on the shore. Bha-aal lifted his hands in the air, showing this new, exciting thing he discovered. The members of his tribe nodded and grunted approvingly. And then it happened: Bha-aal closed his hands and the substance splashed his face. Confused he stared at his palms. The substance was gone. Again he cupped his hands and filled the space with the nothingness. Again he closed his hands and again the substance escaped his grasp. He looked back at his tribe, who were shaking their heads in disbelief.
Now Bha-aal just stood there. The substance was all around him, as far as he could see. Should he take a few steps forward? He had already come this far. What could go wrong? In a bold move, Bha-aal didn't walk, but instead he plunged his head in the substance, eyes wide open. It was the most amazing thing he had ever seen. Scaly, colourful creatures were gliding past him, green plants covered a sandy bottom. Bha-aal was so amazed he forgot to breathe. And when he finally did, the substance filled his mouth, shooting down his windpipe, choking his lungs. Bha-aal emerged from the substance, coughing violently. He stumbled backwards, falling into it again. His instincts kicked in and as soon as he reemerged, he raced to the shore. In panic, his tribe took a few steps back, not sure whether to help Bha-aal or not touch him at all. He gestured he'd be fine. Then he decided to try again tomorrow, but with Na-Nuhl. Though he didn't tell him yet.
(published on a writer group’s blog: The Angry Hourglass)