In the knowledge of what the glacial water provided, I readied a fossil dust package to boil in the river water. I was tired, but I was too excited to stop. Luke tried to dissuade me but of course I had to know. I could see the fear in his eyes, not a fear that I would die or be injured, but a fear that I was losing myself – that I was somehow falling apart. There was pity in the expression that he wore, but there was understanding too. He helped me with the fire to boil to pot and watched over me as I again reached back across time.
Again the rush was slow to come, crawling up and then spreading out. Then the open vastness of history soared up over me and pulled me into its embrace. I felt the rippling waves of the centuries grumbling beneath me, washing past in a sludge of things known. I could feel it, below me, and I could feel the strands of possibility all around me, untamed, places hanging in between time, unused, never ventured. I hadn’t noticed them the first time was there. I hadn’t been calm enough to recognise their presence when I was in that place before. They seemed to sense me too, quivering and vibrating with the excitement of being noticed. I smiled at their childishness and felt a pang of pity for them but before I could register a will to acknowledge them I was moving further again, deeper into the mists. My previous experience with the fossil water had only been a shade of the blustering monopoly of the senses which I had submitted myself to when I used the glacial water. I felt the movement of my own lifetime all the way back to birth in a booming echo that slowed the closer that I got to it. I could taste it, as one tastes an piece of fruit, but its flavour was a sensation of the mind, a great blasting intent held just out of reach by a strength that was absolute. And yet I felt no fear, I was serene under the value of the glacial water. I could sense things on a deeper level because I was relaxed. It was so beautiful. So true. But then, of course, life crashed in on top of me as I awoke to Luke’s confounded expression. He had been watching me squirm and writhe in some kind of pleasure, blurting out indiscernible grunts.
Once I had reassured Luke I fell into a depression which lasted for days. To battle it I allowed myself to think about what blends of river water and blood and fossil and meteorite dust I could concoct. The thought of mixing my blood with the water peaked my interest, but I was exhausted in body and spirit for several days before I ventured to create a new mixture. Luke was great, he nursed me and never judged me. I think he knew what drove me even though I never said it and he never asked. He just kept helping me and helping me.
As soon as I was able I took water from the river and drained some of my blood and made a potent fuel. I had been preparing myself for days, contemplating how I had grown from a certain and determined man to a humbled creature plagued by the power I had witnessed. I was thankful for the life I had lived and although it made me feel ashamed because of the suffering my family and I had endured I was also proud that I had seen and done things that no person could ever lay claim to. I was privy to a brilliance that was beyond me, and as such, I felt bound to explore that which I alone could access. I knew that it was dangerous, and I didn’t want to die, but I had made my peace with the probability that I may never return from one of my journeys. And so, under Luke watching over me, I let the serum into me and then took the Blood Water with closed eyes and an open soul.
To be continued…
© Stephen Fahey