Moving Forwards part 17

The Spiral rose up slowly, stretched and slithered over to Rodger. He noticed that it now had its own flute around its neck.

‘What, are you alright now?’

The Spiral stretched and gurgled and pointed to the sun.

‘I’ll take that as a yes,’ said Rodger, ‘can you get your friend up?’ he pointed to the other mermaid. Even though the Spiral had a flute as well, he still thought of the other one as the Flute Bearer. ‘We have to hurry to the machine,’ he pointed the way that he wanted to go.

The Spiral slithered over to the Flute Bearer and tickled it with its tail. The Flute Bearer jumped up and threw itself at the Spiral gurgling.

‘Argh,’ Rodger stepped close to them, ‘we don’t have time for that,’ he grabbed the Spiral by the wrist and strode down the path dragging it along. The Spiral gurgled and resisted at first, but after a while it seemed to get his meaning and it slithered along beside him without him having to drag it.

Rodger felt bad about being such a killjoy, but he would feel worse if he missed the machine. He just had to get inside before the next jump.

Rodger made sure they kept a fast pace most of that day, but even so when night came, they had only just passed the spot where he slept the second night. Rodger wanted to press on, but the mermaids pointed very insistently to the water. When they came up with seaweed again, Rodger stopped them before they could throw it over him.

‘Do you really think that’s necessary?’ He pushed the Spiral away gently. The Spiral made a very convincing buzzing sound and Rodger let them arrange the cold seaweed camouflage.

The next day was not as cloudless as the previous, but it was still warm. When they reached the end of the islands, the hole in the sky was very clear. Rodger pointed it out to the mermaids with a laugh. It was all right, he was going to make it. The mermaids did not seem thrilled.

Rodger pointed to their flutes, to the nearest tree, to himself, to the hole in the sky. The mermaids stared at him. He went to the beach at one end of the island and drew in the sand.

First himself as a stick figure then a mermaid as a snake tail with the body of a stick figure. He added the hole in the sky and drew Frederick in the hole. Then he drew one of the trees in its curled state. He pointed to the Spiral’s flute and drew the tree with its branches stretched towards the sky. Then he pointed to himself and drew a stick figure in the branches.

‘You see?’ he said, ‘I just need you to bring one of these trees.’ Rodger pointed to the trees. The mermaids gurgled and gestured to each other.

‘Please,’ said Rodger.

The Spiral turned to him and made the buzzing sound.

‘I know, but it’s very important.’ Rodger stabbed at the drawing of the hole in the sky with one finger. The mermaids gurgled some more, their gestures became faster. Then the Spiral took the flute from its neck and put it to its lips. The Flute Bearer yanked the flute away while gurgling and gesticulating violently. The Spiral tried to grab it back, but the Flute Bearer held it out of reach.



read part one here:

Leave a comment


  1. Having not started from the beginning please give a physical description of what the Spiral is and looks like.

  2. Ever onward. Good stuff.


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