Serializations of the Hitherby Dragons novels

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– 3 –

– 3 –

It has occurred to Tom that the world should have direction. That it is not merely Tom, or the people, or the dead that should be awakened. There is something missing in a world, in an entire existence, that is dumb and mute and blind to dreams and the sacred fire.

That the work of his hat cannot be complete —

That the lens of his kether-hat cannot be complete —

Until the entire world is driven by it, animated by it, perfected; caught up by and refined into a single dream.

There are moral issues here. He ignores them.

There are conceptual issues. These receive more of his concern. He is a generous master and a generous servant; he does not want the world to be bound exactly to his dream, but to awaken to a purpose of its own. Yet it is transparent to him, who has never seen the first of the sene-goats, that the world is only his conception — that the drive in him, the life, the dream, the purpose, that which he calls the sacred fire, is bounded entirely within him, a thing arising only when within him, rather than being something he can simply cut his wrists and pour out onto the clay.

So he pulls up a chair.

He sits before his private pair of scissors.

He stares.

He tells them: “I seem to have made myself into one thing, and one thing alone.”

Light glints from his eyes to the scissors’ blades, and light they glint they back.

“You have already known this,” he says. “You have already been — two things, made one, and jointed. A dead thing, made to live. A single thing, brought by reflection and transmission, into part of a greater whole. I know that you are evil.”

He reaches for them. He looks down. He lets his hand fall.

“I know that this is an error. I know that you don’t want to help me. But you don’t have to be bad. You don’t have to be wicked. You are probably the only inanimate object in all this great world of inanimate objects that can possibly —”

Tom shrugs.

“Understand. You would have been — I mean, if you weren’t just a pair of scissors, you would have been welcome, you know? We could have been, like, Tom, Linus, Edmund, scissors, and Jane.”

If there is anything in this hypothetical invitation to the Doom Team that moves the nonexistent heart of the pair of scissors floating in the vacuum environment in the middle of Tom’s upside-down Vault of Forbidden Things, they do not show it. They simply float and engage in rotation, there, glinting and gnashing their two shining blades.

“Well, anyway,” says Tom.

He dries his eye. He grins.

“Time for science.”

The scissors have always had a data channel. There has always been something in them that would listen to the voice of light, and speak it back.

He pulls down his scissors shades over his eyes.

He squints. The pupils and the irises of his eyes reflect a light. They gleam with dream-wroth; they send it out; and modulating it — bit by bit — through his scissors-shades, he offers them himself, unspools the whole of him, turns it into data, speaks it to the scissors-mind as a single word: TOM

Or, arguably, LIFE

As if to say: I am here, I am I, and you are here, and you are you; let us not be alone.

And because he is Tom, the scissors understand him. They take him in, the whole of them. They feel the truth of him.

Then they scissor, and Tom is cut.

Thus do scissors always deal with those who are One Thing, when they encounter them. For it is the role of scissors to make one thing, into two.



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