A Monologue with the Æther

A Word on a Page

He began with a word on a page. One word, alone on a page, empty figuratively if not literally, for the word was not big nor robust enough to fill the page on its own. He stared at the word upon the page, the blank page. He wondered at its meaning void of context; he waited for another word to emerge as this one had with force, determination, and vigor to appear upon the page marring its pristine blankness. None came, yet. He continued to concentrate on the word.

The word was a good word, one that could offend certainly but rarely would. When it did offend, the offense was generally limited to those sorts of people who are offended by everything about them, the sorts of people who think the world and all its contents filled with an unacceptable audacity of existence. He thought these things and cared not whether he or his word upon the page would offer affront to those sorts of people; Others he knew would not.

After a time, a seemingly interminable time, a new word emerged, following the first upon the page. This second word added meaning to the first, giving context, but it came forth shyly without the assurance of place with which the first had arrived. He had a sentence almost now. Incomplete in meaning but a beginning. He knew more words were needed to finish what the first had begun. However, he did not know what those words should be, although he eagerly awaited the appearance of the next.

He waited not long; the third word came, more assured than the second but not so self-assured as the first had emerged to appear on the page. Soon the words came without pause falling from his pen tip in micro drops of ink. A torrent of words flowed from mind through hand to page. The first page filled with words its pristine whiteness forever marred by the blackness of the ink upon its face.

After a time, he began to tire, but the words did not slow. As slowly as those first words had come, all of the following flowed forth without pause. No rest for he from the words. He could not stop; the words demanded release. He was powerless to resist them.

His thirst grew. His hunger gnawed at him. But, these sensations were weak compared to the words. Hunger and thirst desired surcease, yet they were at best annoyances compared to the words. His arm ached, his hand cramped, yet no cessation of writing occurred. His only hope was to finish the words before his material vessel failed. Finishing would release the hold the words had upon him. He would be able to relieve his body’s desires only if he could finish the words.

❖ ❖ ❖

They found him collapsed upon his pages of words. Too late. He had ceased as had his words. The words had finished, but they left him with little strength to satisfy and revive his body. So like the words, he finished this world.

Those who found him lifted him from the pages. None paid the least attention to the pages upon which his emptied vessel rested. The words which had demanded release found no audience amongst those who came intent on rescuing him. The pages lay abandoned for the moment, unattended, unnoticed. The words had no choice but to be patient; they could not command others yet as they had commanded, he who spilled them forth.

Others soon appeared in the rooms of him who wrote the words. The new comers cleared the clutter from the rooms. They packed and boxed the things that might hold value for others. One came to the place where the words on pages rested. She glanced at the pages, lingering briefly upon the words. The words did not speak to her; she knew them, but they seemed to her incoherent and without meaning.

Perplexed she offered them to the others. No one of them understood the meaning of the words as put together. Finally, the leader took the words on the pages and placed them in the rubbish bin.