Silent Hallucination

misguided matter, innocent puppet

silent hallucination
Rusty Angel
Never seen a bluer sky
A large cross bird was looking at Richard and Richard was looking at a large cross bird. Richarwas looking at the bird as if it was the most extraordinary thing he had ever seen in his life, and the bird was looking at Richard as if defying him to find its beak even remotely funny.

Once it had satisfied itself that Richard did not intend to laugh, the bird regarded him instead with a sort of grim irritable tolerance and wondered if he was just going to stand there or actually do something useful and feed it. It padded a couple of steps back and a couple of steps to the side and then just a single step forward again, on great waddling yellow feet. It then looked at him again, impatiently, and squarked an impatient squark.

The bird then bent forward and scraped its great absurd red beak across the ground as if to give Richard the idea that this might be a good area to look for things to give it to eat.

‘It eats the nuts of the calvaria tree,’ called out Reg to Richard.

The big bird looked sharply up at Reg in annoyance, as if to say that it was perfectly clear to any idiot what it ate. It then looked back at Richard once more and stuck its head on one side as if it had suddenly been struck by the thought that perhaps it was an idiot it had to deal with, and that it might need to reconsider its strategy accordingly.

‘There are one or two on the ground behind you,’ called Reg softly.

In a trance of astonishment Richard turned awkwardly and saw one or two large nuts lying on the ground. He bent and picked one up, glancing up at Reg, who gave him a reassuring nod.

Tentatively Richard held the thing out to the bird, which leant forward and pecked it sharply from between his fingers. Then, because Richard’s hand was still stretched out, the bird knocked it irritably aside with its beak.

Once Richard had withdrawn to a respectful distance, it stretched its neck up, closed its large yellow eyes and seemed to gargle gracelessly as it shook the nut down its neck into its maw.

It appeared then to be at least partially satisfied. Whereas before it had been a cross dodo, it was at least now a cross, fed dodo, which was probably about as much as it could hope for in this life.

It made a slow, waddling, on-the-spot turn and padded back into the forest whence it had come, as if defying Richard to find the little tuft of curly feathers stuck up on top of its backside even remotely funny.

‘I only come to look,’ said Reg in a small voice, and glancing at him Dirk was discomfited to see that the old man’s eyes were brimming with tears which he quickly brushed away. ‘Really, it is not for me to interfere–’

Richard came scurrying breathlessly up to them.

‘Was that a dodo?’ he exclaimed.

‘Yes,’ said Reg, ‘one of only three left at this time. The year is 1676. They will all be dead within four years, and after that no one will ever see them again. Come,’ he said, ‘let us go.’ -- Douglas Adams, "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency"
"In the moment when I truly understand my enemy, understand him well enough to defeat him, then in that very moment I also love him. I think it’s impossible to really understand somebody, what they want, what they believe, and not love them the way they love themselves. And then, in that very moment when I love them.... I destroy them."
-- Orson Scott Card, "Ender's Game"

"Some people turn sad awfully young. No special reason, it seems, but they seem almost to be born that way. They bruise easier, tire faster, cry quicker, remember longer and, as I say, get sadder younger than anyone else in the world. I know, for I'm one of them."
-- Ray Bradbury, "Dandelion Wine"

She felt very young; at the same time unspeakably aged. She sliced like a knife through everything; at the same time was outside, looking on... far out to sea and alone; she always had the feeling that it was very, very dangerous to live even one day.
-- Virginia Woolf, "Mrs Dalloway"

And because Sherlock Holmes is a great man - and I think one day, if we're very, very lucky, he might even be a good one. -- Inspector Lestrade, written by Steven Moffat, in "Sherlock"

His followers called him Mahasamatman and said he was a god. He preferred to drop the Maha- and the -atman, however, and called himself Sam. He never claimed to be a god. But then, he never claimed not to be a god. Circumstances being what they were, neither admission could be of any benefit.
-- Roger Zelazny, "Lord Of Light"

"What can the harvest hope for, if not for the care of the Reaper Man?"
-- Terry Pratchett, "Reaper Man"

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
-- Charles Dickens, "A Tale of Two Cities"

The first Mobile, is one is sent, must be warned that unless he is very self-assured, or senite, his pride will suffer. A man wants his virility regarded, a woman wants her femininity appreciated, however indirect and subtle the indications of regard and appreciation. On Winter they will not exist. One is respected and judged only as a human being. It is an appalling experience.
-- Ursula K. LeGuin, "Left Hand of Darkness"

One day, Annabel saw the sun and moon in the sky at the same time. The sight filled her with a terror which entirely consumed her and did not leave her until the night closed in catastrophe for she had no instinct for self-preservation if she was confronted by ambiguities.
-- Angela Carter, "Love"

He scarcely saw his parents. When Christopher was small, he was terrified that he would meet Papa out walking in the Park one day and not recognize him.
-- Diana Wynne Jones, "The Lives of Christopher Chant"
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