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Becoming: Pyre has an angry confrontation with someone in a restaurant
Posted by Douglas, Nov 23, 2008. 1632 views. ID = 2042


Posted by Douglas, Nov 23, 2008. 1632 views. ID = 2042
This post was written in 49 minutes.
I've been trying to think of a word to use instead of "un-manifested" to describe what happens when a Kindle stops manifesting. I don't want to use the word "disappear" because - as I mention in the story, the Kindle don't really disappear, they just become unnoticeable to humans.

It's also a passive process - manifesting is something they do, but when they're done manifesting, they don't do anything to become unnoticeable - they simply stop manifesting.

If that makes sense.

I finally decided to use the word "obscured." If anyone has better ideas, I'd love to hear them. :)
This post has been awarded 15 stars by 3 readers.
This post is Part 12 of a writing series titled Kindle.

On the fourth day of what any human would have referred to as a whirlwind romance (though Pyre would not have conceived of it in those terms), Becca invited him to join her for supper at her favorite little Italian place.

By now, Pyre had trained himself into perpetual manifestation; his hands no longer trembled, he no longer needed to lock himself in a bathroom stall, he barely needed to think about manifesting, and he had completely lost his sense of self-consciousness. It was becoming as easy for him as breathing.

The real challenge, Pyre thought, was going to be sitting at this little diner and pretending that he'd never been there before. It wouldn't do for Becca to find out that he'd been stalking her for more than three weeks, and had sat many times in this place watching her eat.

Even that, he realized, was going to be easier than he thought. Though he'd been here before, he'd never really noticed anything. The candles on the tables, the pictures on the walls, the powerful smells of fresh baked bread, olive oil, and tomato sauce, all blended together - these were all things that, less than a week ago, Pyre would not have noticed. He sat at their booth and stared with delight at all the things he'd never really seen before, and breathed deeply of all the scents that had never penetrated far enough into his consciousness to grab his attention.

Becca was in the middle of telling him about the prelim she'd come close to failing in her business administration class, when a shrill, angry voice blurted, drowning Becca's story for just a moment, "Are you out of your freaking mind?"

Startled, Pyre turned to find a skinny old man with a beaked nose and pale blue eyes standing at the end of the table glaring at him. Pyre stared back, perplexed and irritated. It wasn't until Becca stopped her story and said, "Are you okay, Duncan?" that he realized she couldn't see or hear the old man at all.


"Uh," he said, "Excuse me. I need to visit the rest room. I'll be right back."

He didn't even turn to see if the old man was following him; if Herald was here to talk to him, then Herald would follow him to the ends of the earth to deliver his message. Pyre entered the bathroom, and then, three seconds later, the door slammed loudly behind him.

Pyre obscured himself, and turned to face the messenger of the Muses. "What are you doing here, Herald?" Herald no longer held a solid form; he still looked like an old man with a beaked nose and blue eyes, but he was fuzzy around the edges, as though he was manifesting as a vapor. Pyre blinked a couple times, and Herald looked solid again.

"I have a message for you, from Polly."

"I know, I know," Pyre said. "I only have three more days."

"That's not the message."

"Then what?"

"The message is," he paused, then his voice took on a shrill and angry tone as he shouted, "Are you out of your freaking mind?"

Pyre stood there silent for ten seconds, then quietly said, "They know what I'm doing?"

"Hello! Pyre, they're gods. Of course they know what you're doing. And believe me, they're none too happy about it. Fraternizing with a project?"

"It was your idea," Pyre replied angrily and defensively.

"Oh, yeah. Blame it on me. I never said you should do it. I just said it would be helpful if we could." Then he repeated, "Are you out of your freaking mind?"

"Okay, I've got the message, Herald. You can stop saying that. I've got things under control here. I've almost got her figured out. I'm close. I know it. Just a few more days, and..." he paused and squinted at Polimnia's messenger; Herald was fading in and out of that odd vaporous state.

"What is your problem, Pyre? What are you looking..." Herald stopped in mid sentence, as startled realization appeared in his misty blue eyes. "You can't see me, can you? I'm fading out." His voice had the shocked glee of a child who catches his big brother doing something naughty, and can't wait to tell his mom and dad. "So, what is it? Am I gone completely? Or just a blurry haze?"

Pyre said nothing.

"You know what this means, don't you, Pyre?" Herald laughed. "You're becoming."


"Human. You keep up at this rate, and you'll stop being Kindle altogether. Human. The life of a human, my friend, is not a life you want. So what is it? Did she get to you? Are you..." his eyes widened with surprise. "Are you falling in love, Pyre? Is that it? "

Pyre looked at him as though he had just said something obscene. "Don't be stupid, Herald."

"Then what? Maybe it's just the smell of olive oil making you giddy?"

"I'm just trying to do my job."

"Uh huh. Is that what I'm supposed to tell Polly when I go back? You're 'just doing your job?'"

"Tell her whatever you want. But tell her that in three more days, I'll have this..." he paused, realizing that he was about to say woman. "This...project...figured out."

Herald's vaporous form shook with silent laughter, which Pyre found disconcerting; he'd never seen laughing fog before. Then Herald stopped laughing long enough to say, "In three days? I think not. At the rate you're going, in two days you'll be fully human."

And then he was gone.

Copyright 2008 Douglas. All rights reserved. has been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work. For permission to reprint this item, please contact the author.

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This post has been awarded 15 stars by 3 readers.
This post is Part 12 of a writing series titled Kindle. The next part of this series can be found here: Third Day.


Nov 23, 2008
This is getting sooooo great.
Way to go.
Its hard to keep my interest, but I could read a thousand pages about this! hehe.
   ~Posted by misssnoots, Nov 23, 2008

Nov 23, 2008
Thank you - that's very kind! :)
   ~Posted by Douglas, Nov 23, 2008

Michael Pratt
Nov 23, 2008
What about masked or cloaked
   ~Posted by Michael Pratt, Nov 23, 2008

Nov 23, 2008
Those are good possibilities. Thanks!
   ~Posted by Douglas, Nov 23, 2008

Sylvan Sylph
Nov 23, 2008
I think of the word fading. He fades from people's consciousness.

I'm enjoying the story by the way. The latest plot twist is interesting.
   ~Posted by Sylvan Sylph, Nov 23, 2008

Dec 2, 2008
I thought of fading too, but perhaps that happens too slowly?
Then I thought of;
His manifesting ended as Pyre turned to face.....
   ~Posted by Scribbler, Dec 2, 2008

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