Hello, dragon fans. The author is busy trying to write a blurb for The Fire Ascending. Not easy, as the book is still unfinished. While he's puzzling over that, I thought you might like to see a few outtakes from Fire World. Some of you may not have read the book yet, but you'll get the flavour of it from these three extracts that didn't make it into the finished manuscript.
The first one takes place in the librarium, where Mr Henry is lecturing David about the nature of the universe and the world they live in. Notice he calls it Ki:mera. The author was halfway through the book when we decided that the society described in FW should be called something different. At that point, I wrote the word Co:pern:ica on my pad.
He circled the word KI:MERA. He then proceeded to draw several arrowed lines curving away from the circle. Each arrowhead he labelled with a word from the lecture he now began to give. It went something like this:
In the beginning, the nature of REALITY was a mystery… blah blah blah… scientists puzzled by ATOMIC STRUCTURE… blah blah blah… so much apparent SPACE in the physical world… blah blah blah… interest in DARK ENERGY… blah blah blah… unknown FORCES binding universe together… blah blah blah… controlled experiments with PARTICLE ACCELERATORS… blah blah blah… TIME VARIANCES coupled with heightened spatial AWARENESS… blah blah blah… disruption of PERSONAL SPACE-TIME CONTINUUM… blah blah blah… fundamental nature of MATTER explained… blah blah blah… relationship between THOUGHT and LIGHT identified in spin of 2 197… blah blah blah… rapid evolution in PERCEPTION… blah blah blah… ability to IMAGINEER… blah blah blah… MULTIDIMENSIONAL probabilities understood … blah blah blah… LIFE IS CONSCIOUSNESS… blah blah blah… and CONSCIOUSNESS is KI:MERA (underlined twice).
“Did you get all that, boy?”
“Umm?” went David, who’d practically fallen asleep.
Mr Henry pointed to the chart, which was nothing now but a mass of circles, lines and poorly-scrawled words. “Our shared consciousness binds the world together. All that we see is created by thought, except that which was created by the Higher.”
And Counsellor Strømberg has some things to say about the firebirds, when he's showing Rosa The Book of Agawin:
"To understand what I’m talking about you have to know something of your past, Rosa.” He put the glossy book aside and opened the other, though not at any particular page. When Rosa cast her gaze across it, all she saw was a pattern of ink marks. They made no sense to her. She saw the awe in Mr Henry’s eyes however and knew she was on the cusp of great wisdom. So she placed her hands in her lap and waited. And this is what counsellor Strømberg said: “When our fain evolved, it was like an immense explosion, a sudden giant leap in the development of consciousness. The effect of it went three ways. First, within us. Those of us that kept our physical structure discovered the ability to imagineer, to create form from our thoughts and make all that we desired, even children, within a vast and virtually unlimited Design. Secondly, there was that part of us that no longer saw the need for physical form and became pure Fain. These beings are said to exist in a mode of elevated consciousness that we refer to as The Higher. Theirs is a deeply spiritual continuum which is said to be evolving even further and exploring the structural nature of the universe. Those with physical form can still reach this state. And then there is the third part of the equation, the puzzle that Mr Henry and I believe has its resolution in the librarium.” He ran his hand over the pattern of marks. “The smallest part of the then-shared consciousness of Ki:mera evolved into firebirds. No one knows why this is, but I’m convinced it has something to do with the imprint of dragons I’ve observed in children. This book, we believe, holds the truth."
And finally, the author wrote several passages of bickering between the twin Aunts, Primrose and Petunia. The piece of dialogue below very nearly made it into the book. Until next time. Happy reading. Hrrr!
So it came to pass that as early as the fifth day of life without David, Rosa began to notice a change.
It started mildly enough. One morning Aunt Petunia was fastening her hair when she paused and said, “My dear, you have my clip.” She was referring to the long, needle-like pin which the Aunts always used to hold their hair in a bun at their neck.
“I think not,” said Aunt Primrose, who had finished her bun barely half a minute earlier, entirely without fuss.
“Then what is this?” said Petunia. And in a remarkable show of spite, she reached over to her twin and pulled out a pin.
Aunt Primrose gasped. Her cheek turned a delicate shade of maroon. “How dare you?” she screeched, making her (very) carefully prepared bun wobble. She immediately put her hands to her neck to support it. And there, would you believe it, she found there was a pin.
Aunt Petunia smirked in triumph. “There, I was right you see. You had two in, my dear. A strange mistake. But I will accept your apology.”
Aunt Primrose narrowed her gaze. “Oh, so what is this?” she demanded. And she did no more than reach out and pull yet another pin from Aunt Petunia’s bun.
“But that makes…three pins,” Aunt Petunia said. “That can’t be right. How can that be right?”
“Does it matter that you’ve got a spare?” asked Rosa. She’d been watching this develop from across the room. And now what a sight to see: two Aunts with their hair as ragged as hers.
“You,” they said together, turning on her.
“What?” said Rosa, frightened by the anger rising in their eyes.
“You are playing a game,” Aunt Primrose said.
“A game of pins,” Petunia added.
“We can play pins,” said Primrose darkly.
“Wait. You’re forgetting something,” Rosa said boldly, before either could turn their thoughts to motion. “I can’t imagineer.”
The twins twitched.
“That’s right,” said Petunia.
“Then where has the extra one come from?” said Primrose.
There was a pause. Then they cried, “Our boxes!” And both of them dived towards the trinket boxes in which they kept earrings and other forms of jewellery.
“Hhh!” gasped Primrose. “Gone! Stolen!”
Petunia’s gasp was greater still. “Broken! My spare pin is broken!”
“What...” said Rosa. “...is going on?”