Even The Odd Story Is Numberless

The starry-eyed sky-face mooned pitifully at me. There was no doubt in my mind that I was being stalked cosmically — and this was by a creature which, if it had been human, I would have, at all costs, tried to throw off my trail at the first opportunity.

There is nothing worse than someone who seeks sympathy from you for their own plight while still managing to follow you from street to street even as they try to seek further attention beyond their initial attempt to converse on subjects with which you cannot at all sensibly engage. Even worse, when you cold-shoulder them, they continue to hang at a greater distance from you but still visible in pursuit of engaging you in conversation. The very worst, however, is when they give the impression of vanishing (tail between their legs) into the night but you remain aware that they continue to keep you within their sights — surreptitiously — from behind each cold, damp corner.

Even the odd story is numberless. A phrase that kept going around inside my head even while the sky-face was now doing its hidden-by-clouds routine. But I knew it was still there and I sensed that clouds could only veil rather than obliterate me from its persistent pursuing gaze.

A stalker that stalked from the sky was at a decided advantage when compared to a landlocked one. A helicopter I could have handled, especially with the clattering noise it made. Or even a balloon with a basket, a finite and distinct craft as that would have been. But an all-pervading silent sky-wide face was a different ball-game.

I am home now in bed, thank goodness. Odd that I am now beset with an even number of dreams, dreams, two by two, as if entering an ark of dreams, pairs of dreams that I experience as if from outside of them, objectively recognising each pair of dreams as dreams but knowing that at least half of my mind is dreaming them for real — quite unlike the sight of the stalking starry-eyed sky-face that was earlier so tangible and undream-like. Nightmarish without being an actual dream.

The latest pair of dreams involved the old jacket part of my school uniform, then called a blazer. It was from fifty years before and the badge on its front pocket denoted to which of the four School Houses I belonged. I also sensed that I was sitting in a a sort of cone-shaped arena known as Zero.

Zero was, oddly, the only number that was not odd or even and, even, not-odd or not-even, even if once you might have accepted that it wasn’t a number at all, hence essentially numberless….

While these thoughts chased each other through your mind, you felt that the sky-face had become an actual audience of people peering at you over the circular rim of an inverted Cone Zero.

You had rediscovered your school badge, now detached from the blazer, in an envelope: and you were sliding it out into the audience’s view, as if you had travelled back with it from the land-where-lost-things-lived.

All your life, you knew, there had been things you had cherished but sadly lost; other things that had been merely utilitarian and quickly forgotten after losing them; more things that you never had in the first place but they still claimed ownership by you; and a few things, oddly, that even claimed ownership of you. Or permutations of such things, residing in the land where lost things always resided. Like that school badge. And at that thought, you wept uncontrollably.

Come daylight, one by one, two blazing suns rose as usual.


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2 responses to “Even The Odd Story Is Numberless

  1. This is the first of intermittent DFL thingies with a title provided by G.S. Carnivals, of Quirk Classics fame. Please see http://www.ligotti.net/showpost.php?p=86574&postcount=40960

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