The Impossibilities

I think that The Impossibilities was one of the first novels which I completed. It might have been the second or third. It was written while I was approaching a mental breakdown, done in short spurts in a series of A5-sized red covered notebooks. I think that I filled around a dozen of them, writing entirely in lower case. I guess that I must have been having my e e cummings moment.

That was the first draft; the second draft was when I slowly transferred the novel from my notebooks to my computer. My writing was perhaps a bit ‘bitty’ at that time: I used short chapters, and a wide range of characters and themes in this novel. Every idea which I had burning through my brain was forced out onto the page, as though, by doing that, I could exorcise all of the demons which had been plaguing me.

But I digress. I suppose that I would describe the novel as an end of the world style novel. Yes, it is apocalyptic, I’m afraid. The novel was written years ago, and deals with events leading up to the end of 2012, the end of the old Mayan calendar. It features a character by the name if Susan, who becomes the last true Druid, the heir to the wisdom of the secret order which the Romans had thought that they had wiped out on Anglesey, all those years ago. With a wide coterie of strange individuals she fights evil and tries to save the planet. Whether she succeeds or not… you will have to read the novel to find out.

Extract from The Impossibilities

The druid slid his wooden CD into the trunk drive, downloading the information of the rings into the core system, before it was sent out to each bough and branch and twig. The wooden CDs were fine, but it took a little time for the trees to read the information on them. Ash was particularly bad, for some reason. But it was certainly better than using floppies. Leaves held so little information that you had to use hundreds where one wooden CD would now suffice.

It was going to be a nice day. He could tell by the clouds, and the complete lack thereof. As long as there was a breeze, the trees would be able to communicate, the whisper of their leaves stretching from one tree to the next. As long as there was a little breeze he would be okay. Only a total lack of wind was worse than a storm. Too powerful a storm could bring parts of the system come crashing down.

Johnny and Mary’s parents always bemoaned the fact that their children were always playing video games in their rooms. They did not realise that they owed their existence to the games. They were the fiction, and the games were real. When they were put away in their boxes for the night the parents flickered out of existence like pictures on a faulty television set.

Daniel did not trust his angle-poise lamp. Every time that he put it in one position, it was in a different position if he left the room and came back. He swore that it moved when he went out of the room. It looked at him when he wasn’t watching, staring at him with his bright white bulb.

Daniel feared that the angle-poise lamp might break. Then he would have to buy another one. Then there would be two of them in the house, and only one of him.

The Internet is not alive. That would be silly. No, the Internet is divine; it is the avatar of humanity, a reflection of mankind’s thoughts and desires. Each day, more and more worshippers join the religion, being initiated into is mysteries, at the church of the One True God. Soon it will require sacrifices: worship alone will no longer be enough.

The god of the Internet is created in the image of its worshippers. It is aware of the other gods out there, but they don’t bother it yet.

Arteries of carbon monoxide flow as the cars pulse towards the heart of the smog god. It is getting old now, and fat. Blockages occur with increasing regularity, traffic motionless in its veins. But as long as they pump out the sweet carbon monoxide it does not care. It will keep gorging itself until it dies. Or until we do.

The trees know of the smog god. They feel its poison breath, this new upstart ersatz divinity. All the gods of the human disease are ones of destruction. Wisdom filters through the core of the trees, re-writing the tree rings on the CD. The druid is the only human in this realm who even begins to understand. But the humans never live long enough. And he is the last of his kind, the last of those who the Romans did not find. Should anything happen to him, then this whole realm could be lost.

Ripples in the water of the lake, a massive fractal computer. Each raindrop delivers new information. But the rain is acidic, infected by pollution, the lake struggling to resist the virus promulgated by the human disease. The memory of the water continues, but for how long?

The exchange of data is complete. The druid retrieves the wooden CD from the tree, and moves on to the next wood. Two thousand years ago, when there was but one forest, and the network was nation-wide, this would not have been necessary.

It’s the Deja News on Dreamscape TV: all different all the same every day. You know what they’re going to say, you’ve heard the wind blow. But you can’t remember the answer when you’re awake. All that you can recall is the blinding toothpaste smiles, all minty fresh, the presenters transubstantiated into Cheshire Cats.

Daniel does not dream any more because he stays awake. It is the only way that he can be sure that his angle-poise lamp will not move. He has been awake for sixty hours now, empty coffee cups littering his bedside table.

He has not been out of the house, either, during that time. That would be to admit defeat. He will watch for movement if it kills him.

The library is lonely. It is only ever visited by humans, and they only come to borrow parts of its soul, dirtying it with their fingerprints, with the stains of coffee cups, books read at night by the light of angle-poise lamps.

All those words: it became self-aware many months ago. It knows that it ‘is’, because there’s a Descartes in the philosophy section: cogito ergo sum. It tries to control the library computer, the ordering system for books, sending books out to the other libraries in the area, trying to pollinate them with its sentience. But nothing ever happens.

It wishes that it had someone to talk to.

There’s been a car crash on the motorway, a bad one, a subdural hematoma on the M4. It cannot kill the smog god; it has grown too big. Nothing more than a temporary blockage that will soon be cleared.

The druid does not have a name. Names are a human artifice that bears no relation to who he is or what he does.

The Impossibilities is available on the Amazon Kindle store.



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