Hello again! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading the first episode of this speculative series, Spectrum. If you haven’t I’d advise that you read it first here, then come and continue with the second episode. Let’s follow Mansa as she goes and comes between these two worlds, perhaps, we’ll find ourselves in one of them.
I have had to create certain words for this story and these are their meanings:
Spectrum Dictionary- A special dictionary for defining words created for this work (lol)
S/he – A non-gendered nominative pronoun (could be read as either she or he)
Himer- A non-gendered objective pronoun (to make reading easier, you could just read the first syllable and you’re good to go.)
Hisher- A non-gendered possessive pronoun (you could just read one syllable)
Nonfirma- an intangible body that souls live in, which is in essence, themselves (I know, it’s confusing, lol).
D leave your comments below and let’s have an interactive time writing and reading this.
From a distant place within her, she heard, ‘I was beginning to fear you would be late. The ceremony is about to begin.’
“Let’s join the others at the dike,” s/he said with a timbre that seemed oddly familiar.
Mansa was at someplace different and she knew it. Far ahead of her was waves and waves of knee length grass, like some eternal moor. The blades swayed like a waving flag, only slower. It changed colours with its direction and seemed to be in tandem with some music it made of itself. She turned to look at who was speaking and felt herself glide. It shook her. She thought to bend to see if she had really glided on her feet. She never bent her head, for as she thought, she saw. Well, not exactly that she had no legs, but that there were no flesh and blood trunks that she knew and used. In their place was something, something corporeal, and it flowed like an aurora. She became aware at that instant that she had no body, that she felt without touching, and saw without looking.
Before she could sort out the knots in her mind, the voice came over again.
‘‘I’m quite sad that we would have to find each other when we get to earth. I wonder why they would not let us be together from the beginning as we have been here. It seems like it is a strange world, that place. Here, come,’ s/he said drawing near Mansa, but she could not see. ‘We must get close to the others, the Krasomanfo just summoned all of us.” S/he glided towards Mansa and settled peace on her.
“It is quite unnerving to know that ours will be the next cohort after them, don’t you think so?’’ s/he asked.
Mansa did not know if she was to respond and if she were, how. She felt lost but at the same time, it looked to her as if she had never belonged to any place as much as this place. s/he called out to her in ways she could not put words to. It seemed to her that the words she knew were inadequate, incapable even, of communicating what she saw and felt.
“Hey, you’ve been quite,’’ the voice came again, with a tinge of curiosity.
She sought to see who it was that had been speaking to her all this while and then she saw *himer. The person looked like a firework display. It was dazzling the way hisher colours flew about and came back in formation. It startled her to think that she had been by himer all the while but had not seen how s/he was until she sought to know. She settled.
“Huh? Oh, I was just thinking,” she finally managed to say, unsure of how she sounded, of how it sounded.
“Yes, I know you’ve been thinking. I had wanted to intrude but I know you do not really like that so…”
“Oh, oh ok. Thanks for not barging in then.” Mansa had never felt so naked in her life.
The voice stopped coming over, but she could hear a gentle hum from himer. Like the sounds of hisher breath were a symphony, some innate song. She knew they were gliding together because she felt heavier and she felt directed. She let herself be and felt its peace, the peace it brought.
They entered what seemed like a thick fog, and her colours and the colours of the person with the voice mellowed into some surreal white, like what was the fog. She began to hear a song in her, a polyphonic symphony. She knew at that moment what the cohort was, and that she was with her cohort, or rather in it. A little distance across from where they suspended, there was another white mass, another cohort and at the centre of it, there was a gentle green glow that seemed to swell with the rise of the symphony that came from the cohort. There were many other cohorts, the more she sought, the more she saw.
Then s/he came. The Krasomafo levitated gently from the waterfall they stood before and suspended in front of the cohorts briefly. S/he settled love on the cohorts as s/he went by. When s/he got to Mansa’s cohort, she tried to see the expanse of the Krasomafo and she felt a nudge.
An entirely new voice came over, “Hoh, until you can see the universe from where you are, in its entirety, you cannot see the Krasomafo for all s/he is. For one, the Krasomafo is three persons in one, that is something.” The voice settled embarrassment on her.
“Oh,” Mansa said. Then she remembered what the first voice had said, that it didn’t listen in on her thoughts, though it had wanted to.
“I just think it’s exciting that we get to see different aspects of the Krasomafo every time. Like, two cohorts back, the Krasomafo was all water, with all that lives in water.” The voice did something close to a giggle and settled joy on Mansa.
Mansa was beginning to make sense of all this, it was vaguely familiar, this place, and it looked in many ways like with some other place she knew. She was still searching herself when the first voice came over.
“Shh, stop thinking and listen now, the Krasomafo is about to give them their farewell message.”
S/he had barely finished speaking when there was the sound of thunder, a rushing wind, crackling fire and finally, a still small voice that they all heard within.
They suspended quietly and listened to the Krasomafo, the soul sender. S/he told the cohort many things of what they were to expect.
You will lose this nonfirma once you arrive on earth, and get a body for living on earth.
“The soul is not gendered,’ he said, ‘but you will live in a body and that would determine which gender you could live as.”
He also said that in that body, they could not move about so freely, or become one mass with another, or listen in on each other’s thoughts. He said that they would have to do new things, like work and eat and sleep. Those were strange to them. Those were words they had never heard. No one did any of those things where souls lived.
He said that they would not move together as a gleaming white mass in their cohort as they were created by Odomankoma. They would be separated by space, time, beliefs and language. Then he added that they would each belong to a new kind of cohort, a family, he called it, but not all of them would be in that cohort for long, or even know the members that belonged to it.
“You are all going to a place they call earth. It is indeed a beautiful world, that place. But it is also a horrible place. Many soul cohorts have rendered it in different ways. Yours will too. We have come to expect it, sadly. Now listen to me carefully. Bury this in the depths of your souls and let it guide you on your journeys. You will each travel different paths. You will have interconnected but separate destinies. You will have unique capabilities and timings. And finally, remember this when you go, that you were complete at creation, perfect. But on earth, you will have to fit yourselves together. You will find your pieces in music, in art, in literature and even in food and sometimes, very rarely, in people. You will have to create. Well, I made you like me so you have to create something before you return, and in the process, in creating, you will find your completeness and your perfection as I made you. In creating, you find yourself as you were created. You will…”
Mansa felt someone hunker down on her, roll her over and lift her up by her arms. The person’s whisper was soft and distant. Rough fingers rested on her temples for a little while and then she heard ‘She dey breath’. In the next instant, Mansa’s eyes flew open and she sat ramrod straight. She felt her face, she was no more asomatous, she had a body, a hard tangible fleshy body.
‘What happened here?’ She asked.
‘Well, we don know oo, madam. We jos dey make wonna routine rounds wey we make for handover. We hear big sound wey echeck like crash for the archives inside.’ It was the day shift security guard, Adamu, and the night shift guard Oboy. They always spoke Pidgin English, it was their ideal sociolect.
‘What’s the time?’ Mansa asked.
‘Madam, echeck like 4:57 pm, madam,’ they replied.
‘Help me up,’ she said reaching out her arms. She stood and dusted her skirt. She said her thanks and walked out of the archives very confused. She went straight to her office, trashed the tissue paper soaked with soursop juice, got her handbag and stepped into the elevator.
She bent into her car and turned on the ignition…
…to be continued