“The Cube. Can you still . . . feel it?” His tone was deliberate, his voice rhythmic. Arta’s mind focused on the word feel, twisting and bending around it like a snake. Could she still feel it? Her breathing was quick but raspy, the way the old woman in the next cottage sounded after walking to the well on a hot summer’s day. Her skin glistened with a sheen of sweat; every hair on her body tingled as if alive. The air in the room moved in patterns, swirling around her, dancing across her skin, electrifying the air with its motion. She could see it. She could hear it! Her gaze floated across the room riding currents of air like a bird in flight, and her breath quickened again. The smashed shards of the clay cube lay on the floor against the far wall, the edges of each piece roughly grooved. Her body trembled. It rode up and down along every ridge, through every groove, along the smooth outer surface of every broken piece. She could almost taste the metallic bitterness of the glaze, and it unnerved her. She could see a pattern in her mind, an interconnected latticework that blazed before her eyes like a written sigil. Every broken piece was in the latticework; every broken piece was the latticework. It was almost throbbing with electricity.
“Arta? Did you hear me? Is the cube still . . . there?” Again, his voice was deliberate, but also touched with a sense of urgency. It was almost as if he was getting excited . . . or anxious.
Arta shook visibly, her body completely enveloped in a whirling cocoon of sensation, of energy twirling around her, a mosaic of motion and color, ecstasy. “Yes, I can feel it,” she said, a slight quiver in her voice.
“Is it one or is it many?”
Arta hesitated a moment as the sensations overwhelmed her. “It is one and it is many,” she said suddenly, certainty dripping from the words as they hung in the air.
The old Tageshiar nodded thoughtfully, rubbing his chin as he did. He stole a quick glance toward Arta’s parents, but then returned to her, leaning in close as he did. He spoke again, this time more softly, more tender almost. His words caressed Arta like strong hands, slowly bringing a sense of calm to the tumult she felt. She heard the echo in her mind like a chant.
“Rebuild it, Arta. Many are one and the one is true. Make it true.”
Andrew D. Devenney
Dublin, Ireland, 2004
© Andrew D. Devenney, 2007