Vydáno dne 10.05.2011Příběh o pátrání po tom, co se děje za velkou bílou zdí a snad i o pátrání po smyslu života… Povídka nyní doplněna zvukovou nahrávkou samotného autora.
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X-phap sat on the gritty white rock and looked out upon the endless rows of tree-like tubes that surrounded his home and that of everyone else's too. The fat round tubes were bright green and smooth to the touch. They were evenly spaced and lined up in perfect rows. The tubes went on like that in every direction as far as X-phap could see and they were quite tall and impossible to climb.
X-phap sat and listened to the never-ending murmurs. His people called it the "Whispers of God". He had often wondered what they were and where they might originate. The murmurs would come for a period and then be gone, always to return. Then he thought of the Shadowy Death that had destroyed the village not so long ago. He wondered why the gods got angry and sent the shadows to fall from the sky, crushing all below. When he asked his parent about the Shadowy Death he was told that the Death had always come. As far back as anyone could remember the terror had fallen upon their kind. Forewarned by the deafening roar and terrifying sounds, sounds so loud that they sent one to the texture writhing in agony, people could only lie in wait as the impossibly huge things came crashing down. Things so huge they blotted out the sky. No one knew when they would come again, but everyone knew they would eventually. Sometimes they could hear the Shadows crashing down off in the distance, presumably on others of their kind. Others they had never met. Few traveled for it was dangerous to wander among the tubes. The unchanging arrangement of them made it very easy to get lost.
X-phap turned his thoughts to the great white wall. Legend had it that somewhere among the tubes was an immense wall composed of the same white rock that he sat on. The rocks were said to stand as proof that the wall existed, but no one knew of anyone who had found it. Then again no one seemed interested in looking. Most people were obsessed with rituals to the gods that they hoped would spare them the wrath of the Shadows. But not X-phap. He had decided it would be he that would venture into the tubes and find the white wall. All day he had been packing his three stomachs full of texture as fast as his six arms could shovel it into his mouth. He had also filled his front butt with the flaggel juice he had been saving. He had to force down the last swallow as the little flaggel kicked and screamed before it died. And then he set off into the endless rows of tubes.
He walked for over eff-norg passings and still he found nothing. During the dark periods he listened to the sound of silence and enjoyed freedom from fear. The Murmurs and shadows only fell in the bright periods. His journey continued for another eff-norgs worth of periods. Still he found nothing. He was lost as well. Among the perfectly spaced tubes there was no sense of direction. It all looked the same. He felt then he would likely die out in the tubes and was giving up hope. Then he saw the wall.
X-phap grew excited and began to weep. He used his tongue to wipe the tears away from his eight eyes. He ran for the wall. It grew larger and more imposing as he approached. Finally he was there.
The wall was composed of millions of white rocks just like the one X-phap kept at home. It was as tall as the tubes. X-phap was astonished at the sight of it. For one thing, in all his life, he had seen the tubes and the sky but very little else. Just looking at something different blew the small collection of cells serving X-phap as a germ size mind. Also the wall was essentially a great pile of rocks and this afforded X-phap the opportunity to climb it. This would mean he would be the first of his kind to climb as high as the tops of the tubes! He would be able to see what lay beyond the great white wall!
X-phap scaled the wall easily with his six arms. He was dizzy from the excitement of it all. Eventually he reached the summit and upon reaching it sat atop the wall trying to comprehend what he saw.
X-phap was amazed to see that the wall went in a perfectly straight lie in both directions until it intersected with another white wall, which intersected with others forming a rectangle. Within this rectangular wall were the tubes his people lived in. The distance from wall to wall looked to be a million crebnorbs (distance between tubes=1 crebnorb).
X-phap could also see that there were many of these white wall rectangles connected to each other, each containing a field of tubes.
X-phap swooned for it was clear that there was nothing but endless tubes surrounded by mysterious white walls. No escape. So he just sat there for many passings. Life had become meaningless for him now that he had found the one thing that mattered to him.
One bright period, to his horror, the terrible sound that foretold the arrival of the Shadows came. Oh the roar of it! He cowered there on the wall as the noise sent shock-waves of pain through his sensitive hearing apparatus. The wall shook. The awful noises ripped the air. X-phap looked up and screamed. A colossal Shadow had filled the sky above him. But he could see them! The shadows were groups of something...but what...
And then he was smashed into formless paste as the quarterback's left cleat stepped down onto the white chalk-line of scrimmage.
POZOR, některá slova jsou smyšlená, nejedná se o angličtinu (eff-norg, flaggel, crebnorb). Ve slovníku byste je hledali marně.
Slovíčka z tohoto článku si můžete prostudovat a procvičit zde:
Kilgore Trout was an alter ego of a truly great American writer, Kurt Vonnegut Jr. This story is a tribute to both. It was originally published on Marek Vit's Kurt Vonnegut Corner.
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