Due to a shipping problem, my author’s copies of my novel, The Child Eater only just arrived. (Sort of like what happened with the copies of The Burning Serpent–see below, “Hermes Retrograde”)
Just earlier today I received a review of the deck and shared it here and on FB, in particular a comment I liked about the structure of time in the book. When I opened the box I opened it at random to one of my favorite passages, where Matyas, one of the two heroes, has a visionary experience. I thought I might want to share it here, but I would need to find it in the Word file, for easy copying. Well, I opened the file, moved the bar down to somewhere in the middle–and there it was! Not close by, the exact same passage, and in both cases right at the beginning.
Here’s the passage:
Far from driving him away from Florian, however, the strange experience seemed to intensify his urge to understand her more elaborate teachings, as if to prove to himself, he had not abandoned her. He continued to read the same passages over and over, now in both the tower and the library, as if they might change by where you read them.
And then one afternoon, after all that study, he was standing in the courtyard, with his arms full of wood, when someone said something about the Moon caught on Veil’s tower. He looked up, and yes, the crescent Moon appeared on its side right above the tower. He stared and stared it, remembering a passage in Florian, one of those he’d never understood, how “the Moon sings its horns on the Gate of Stone.”
Suddenly Veil’s tower lit up with color, colors he had never seen before, all up and down the stones, every one a different color. Veil’s tower wasn’t made of stone at all, it rose on color after color, singing colors, harmonies never heard before because they were never possible until this moment, until Matyas could see them and hear them.
He stared at the sky and saw that it went on and on, layer and layer of impossible colors that had never existed, and then he held his hands and they were made of color and song. He looked down at the blazing sticks of color that lay at his feet, and then the ground itself, and he realized that what had seemed like solid dirt and stone now revealed itself as vast lattices and harmonies of color, reds beyond red and blues hidden inside blue, all of them singing to each other, singing to Matyas, singing in Matyas, singing in the world, in every face. This was the song the Kallistocha had sung, hidden in the dark colorless trees, trapped there by the warriors of Heaven, yet still able to sing.
Matyas held up his hands, fingers spread wide, and color and song flowed over the courtyard, and the statues, the stone lions, were revealed as glory upon glory. Color poured from his fingers and his eyes directly into the open mouths of all the wavery shimmery forms that gathered round him. He was teaching now, giving truth, and didn’t even know it at first, until he detected, beyond the figures sitting in the dirt, Lukhanan and Berias and Lord Olan, the only ones who had not surrendered their fixed forms to shifting harmonies of music and color. Only, now Olan slid away from the other two, and sat down, and instantly all his rigidity dissolved into brightness. Matyas laughed, and the sky rippled out through the spheres of the planets, and they were not shells surrounding the dead Earth but songs and shouts, calling to each other in layers and layers of harmonic color.
He saw lights amid the lights. Bright sharp dots that hovered between the pillars, that fitted themselves among the listeners. The Splendor had come—not to help him, or protect him, but to listen. To learn.
Matyas had no idea how long it all lasted, for what he saw and heard changed time as well, so that instead of a steady flow it swirled and rose and fell and turned back on itself and flared up and died down.