But also my interview with Nick Antosca went up at Monkeybicycle.
Only two more for the weekly series, and next week is sort of open, which isn’t ideal, but that’s the way it is. I have a few interviews in the works, so there’s no real fear here.
Things are getting wild with the novel and I just wandered over the 9k mark. It was meant to be more noirish, but I guess this is my kind of noir. Another detectiveless detective novel with a bunch of narrators, but things are getting pretty crazy, and I’ve drifted further and further into science fiction and fantasy the more I write. And so though this is meant for Broken River Books, it may be an awful fit there, but only time will tell, and it’ll only matter if I finish this by next week. Hoping to hit 12k before I go to sleep, which is very doable. Chelsea’s coming over soon, so I won’t be doing any more work until she sleeps.
It’s exciting though and I’m sort of just letting the ideas spill out. The best part is inventing mythologies/religions to contextualise a civilisation’s culture that doesn’t exist, and so I’m dreaming up all kinds of things.
Just finished this chapter, which is either an insane ramble or a factual exploration into what it means to be one of these odd tiny men.
Dust. It all comes back to Dust but it’s not really dust, or at least not the way we think of it. Everyone wonders how they remained hidden so long and why they only just emerged into existence. Trust me, it has little to do with Park and everything to do with Dust.
Park only appears important because she took the pictures and because they ate her, possibly alive, and made a carnival of the grotesquerie. But Park was brought there. Summoned. I know, I know, but bear with me, because this is important. More important than anything else you’ve probably heard. Have you even talked to the childfuckers? You won’t believe it and no one wants to admit it, but they know more about the niños than anyone else. You don’t live right along with them for that long in an intimate fashion without learning some things. And these are the kind of things the Growers would love to know about.
Dust is sacred and it’s everywhere in Antiguoniño, That’s not what they call it, by the way. They call where they live Life and everything else Nothing. This is fundamental to understanding them but the anthros are more concerned with contextualising them within our world. To them our world doesn’t exist. It’s also why they probably had no problem killing Park, and why they don’t trust us. Their word for us is a slur and though it means foreigner or alien, it’s more akin to calling me a chink or you a spic. They’re not trying to pull us into the context of their reality–they’re trying to banish us. That’s something Park didn’t realise, and also what the childfuckers don’t realise. But I guarantee you, all of those women will be dead within a couple of years, maybe even just a couple of months. They may not be eaten, but it’ll be something horrifying like that. But we’re not simply other to them, we’re nothing. We’re nothing from the nothingness that surrounds their world.
To them, the world is a cycle and their lives repeat endlessly. All of this happened before and it will happen again, and their shaman tattoo their lives onto their backs when they create their masks. Spirals represent the course of life. Circles represent the course of nature and existence. The masks identify them and separate them but also bring them all as one. And all of this comes from the Dust, which is the very soil that nourishes the Tree. They are Dust and we are all Dust. The Tree exists because of Dust and Dust birthed it into the world a hundred million years ago, long before humanity ever had a notion of existing.
The Dust lives and it sings. We can’t hear it but they can but it calls us too, though we don’t know or realise. That’s why Park found it, and that’s why so many haven’t. It’s not enough to just run into the desert chasing dreams. You have to be called or you won’t arrive. We don’t know anything about the Dust except that it exists and it covers everything. Most people you talk to won’t realise the significance of this since the world we now live in is full of crumbling buildings and broken roads and there’s dust and smog and dirt everywhere, but it’s important that the Dust covers every inch of their world.
Old stories exist about the naval of the world, the cradle of humanity. I’m not saying this is that naval, but it may be the heart, the heart hidden in the wild desolation of history.
Dust is their god. The anthros believe they have a host of gods and that this create their culture, but really it’s the single god with a billion aspects covering every inch of the world. Before they create their masks and accept the Dust permanently into their skin, they have names. Every child niño has a name, but when they create their mask and accept the Dust, they give up their name. Only when they lose their name do they begin to live.
That’s another thing that separates us. Because we carry our names as badges of honor they consider us less than nothing. We are the nothing from the nothingness carrying all that is nothing with us. That’s why they’re stealing from us. It’s to mock us. They’re teaching us a lesson about possessions. We’re so obsessed and blind with what we have and own that we can’t even see them for what they are.
They’re not a solution or a utopia. They don’t belong to us and they don’t want to be a part of our nothingness.
I think the Dust, though, is something quantum mechanical. It’s like magic and it’s infused deep into every cell of their world. It gives them life and also every part of their world. Their relationship with the wolves, their relationship with their environment, their relationship with one another–it all comes down to Dust. It gives them the ability to create new life, which is how they procreate.
All of this is speculation, granted, but it makes sense if you just keep following me down this rabbit hole.
There’s an old story but there’s never any time to tell it. It has to do with the Dream that is existence and the Tree that connects all realities. But this Dust is that Dream made real. The Dream of the Dreamers shapes all of this, and all other universes that whirl round just past reality’s veneer, and there are billions of universes just on the otherside of this dimension. Imagine reality to be like a six sided die. This die is our reality and the six dimension belonging to it. But if we turn this die over, there’s another die, and another die, and an endless number of dies, each with their own dimensions to their own realities. The niños–again, this is our term and they just refer to themselves as Us–aren’t necessarily from this reality, but they’re also not necessarily from another. This tree isn’t necessarily from ours or another’s either. On every habitable planet on every reality there is a Tree like this and it connects us and binds us all together, into one knotted multiverse and the world of the niños is more of a transitional place. It’s a home between worlds, between realities. It’s why you can’t see that Tree until you’re almost running into their home world. A tree that high should be visible for kilometers and we definitely should have known about i sometime through history, especially when we ruled the skies and space. But no one saw it then because it didn’t exist then and it didn’t exist then because the Dust didn’t call us. Do you see what I’m trying to say?
This place, Paradiso, Antiguoniño, whatever you want to call it, it’s not for us and we only appear because the Dust lets us. And though the niños accept our intrusion into their reality, they do it only because the Dust wants us there. Why it wants us there–who knows? What’s important is that it’s allowing us there.
But so what do we do with this quantum magic Dust?
We do nothing! That’s the whole thing. We’re not there to possess or to change things. We’re there for some purpose greater than any one humans could dream up.
But the Dust reacts to us. It reacts to all life and it transforms it. The wolves were born from this Dust. People don’t remember but when the Moon broke and fell to earth, it created a Lunar Desert which became a Lunar Forest and from that Forest came the wolves. A new breed, but the same breed as the niño lupine. A cataclysm brought us together across universes, across realities, and it took the dissolution of all that we are to bring us to the Dust that was calling us so long. It may mean that the dust of the Moon is our future. We’re not there to steal, you see. We’re there to understand. When we finally figure it out, when the Dust gives us whatever it wants to give us or when it uses us however it wants to use us, the world of the niños will disappear and we’ll be left with our own Dust. Our Dust that came from the Moon.
I know this all sounds crazy, but just you wait. The world is changing and it’s ready to grow. It may even be what Ming and the Growers need to understand about this world. They want to make us biofreaks, but all they need to do to reunite us with earth is to figure out where our Dust is and what we can do with it.
It’s the Dream crystallised into our reality. It’s our Dream, if only we learn to grab it.