Telling Tales 148
Just Before the Harvest
There are holes in the earth and more of them than you know. You think I’m speaking of the rabbit’s warren or the bear’s den. Maybe you think I’m talking about a cave or a mineshaft, if you’re inclined to include the acts that you have wrought. If you’ve got some imagination and you’re thinking of me, you’d include a volcano. Well, of course, you know what a volcano is. You get around. But a lot of the people here, they’ve never heard of a mountain that explodes with ash and molten stone. They’d think you’d gone mad, or in your case, that you were simply lying again.
Like you do.
The holes that I’m talking about aren’t any of those. They’re all around you, beneath you and beside you. They are the spaces between the parts that you think of as solid. Why, if I had half a mind, I could slip out of here right now and into one of these cracks in the stone below me. I could slip in and out of a tree. You could think of it as a shortcut from one part of the world to another. You could think of it as a shortcut from one world to another.
I suppose your Irina found one of those. A well, you say? Plausible.
You and your story about Kareliya and the rules there. There are rules everywhere but it would be a mistake to think that they govern everyone equally. Apparently some of your rules are that you can hear ropes and shovels talk in some worlds and not in others. It’s probably the same with animals, isn’t it? Some places they talk and some they don’t.
You and I don’t share the same rules. I can hear them talking no matter where I am. You’re not missing out on much. They’re not much smarter than you are and their conversation isn’t any better.
Now take you and this room for example. There are two doors – holes – one by which your landlord has left, and the other, the fair Irina. There’s the staircase leading to the rooms above. You could go through any of these, but if you go through the first, the man’s likely to rip your throat out. The second, and Irina will brain you with a shovel. Upstairs, where you’ve got no room and no legitimate business, you’ll be taken for a thief and I’d like to see your quick tongue get out of that jam before they string you up.
My point is that just because there are millions of holes around you, you can’t simply go willy-nilly through any one of them. Some are easier than others and there are always – always – consequences. There’s no free ride here. Everything comes with a price.
Business. Prices. Heh.
Me getting here, me sitting nice and comfy in this hearth, that’s because I felt like taking a risk and I jumped. A leap of faith, if you will. One thing led to another, as things tend to do.
Yes, I could simply slip back, back down the rabbit hole (or at least, a different rabbit hole) but I haven’t even addressed my first set of conditions. What would I be saddled with if I went back and doubled up on my obligations?
My point is this. You get what you pay for. You reap what you sow. You reap the whirlwind.