I was conceived 5 miles above the Sahara and my first thoughts were recorded on an airline vomit bag. By the time we landed at Yundum International airport I was 555 words old, though I lost 168 of those on the return journey. I had been preconceived as a short story, then lay in a drawer in an untidy room for years until I was reborn as the prologue to a book. Last night I was carried into a room full of writers and listened to poetry about puzzles, love and loss. There was a story about a mechanical fairy. I knew she was a sister because she too had been constructed. The humans in the room were tribal writers, and I witnessed a cake ceremony. A large soft square object, a cake, was placed before an elder. This man took a knife and ritually slaughtered the cake which then was taken from him and butchered into pieces. While this process was carried out a psalm or praise song was performed by every voice
These pieces were then shrouded in paper – good paper which could have been used for writing, creating beings kin to me and the fairy – the shrouded slices were delivered reverentially to the tribe’s people who devoured them so that not a morsel remained. The paper shrouds were crumpled and discarded. In all my 657 words I have never before seen such a sight. I fear for my life, and that of the fairy. We characters are frail creatures.