The making of a prophet

Other stories

This is an extract from a science fiction – fantasy book I am writing, right now. It’s well into the story, so a few things may be puzzling, but I think it does make sense by itself. Let me know, either way.

Xeel-Mother

Relaxed in her hometere, Xeel-Mother sent the wish to join with the other truthseers of her galaxy. They formed the Mind, and her Mind sent a request for contact to that much larger Mind, the joining of the truthseers of a huge number of galaxies. She couldn’t even imagine how many.

The Higher Power spoke to the Mind, as always without words, so she experienced the meaning within. “All life forms need a truthseer.”

The greater Mind separated, leaving her with “only” the truthseers of her galaxy, perhaps billions of them. She sent a thought to them all: “Seek life forms who do not have a truthseer as yet.”

Trusting the Higher Power, she allowed her mind to roam without control…

Fifth planet of yellow dwarf, ESO 510-R13 spiral galaxy

Shoeets awoke, deep in his burrow, to see water dripping off the roof and walls. He stretched his long, flexible body after the hibernation. At last, for the second time in his life, the world was approaching God. Eagerly he licked up the water, then very, very cautiously slithered toward the entrance, sealed with a thick plug.

He listened, and just as well. He could hear faint scratching sounds above. Terror gripped him as he imagined the attacker as old enough to be twice his size, experienced, the winner of many battles. He’d need to think about how this enemy found his lair. He’d have to be better at camouflage next autumn, in the unlikely event that he lived that long.

But he blessed Mother. Before letting him and his siblings face the dangers of life, she had emphasized the family secret: dig an alcove beside the entrance. So, now he squeezed into his alcove and waited, holding his spear with two of his three tentacles.

The stealthy sounds didn’t get any louder, but a few clumps of soil and small rocks fell past him, then the attacker’s spear plunged down. Shoeets grabbed it with his free tentacle and pulled hard. The attacker fell, right onto the point of his waiting spear. It entered his mouth and went right through, purple blood spurting.

To his surprise, this fellow was only slightly larger, probably three years old. Shoeets freed his spear, and pushed the still-wriggling body aside to grab the other one. Having a second weapon was treasure.

Very cautiously he slithered outside, leaving the burrow to his dying enemy, and welcome.

In God’s light, purple plants already covered everything, and he fancied he could see them grow. Every sense alert, he grazed steadily until he was full.

He knew there was a small river to the north, and cautiously, always cautiously, he moved that way, carrying his two spears in a tentacle. The river was flowing well, and what would soon be tall, bushy trees already rose about twice the thickness of his body. He changed his skin color to exactly match their lighter purple, and wound himself among them while drinking.

Hunger and thirst satisfied, now it was time for a female. Last year, he’d mated with Raeel three times. Hoping the big old female was still alive, he slithered that way, and soon smelt her invitation.
Sounds of battle became increasingly obvious as he approached.

Shouts, grunts, thuds both disturbed and excited him, then there was a scream, cut short.

He reached the top of the slight rise, and peeked over. One male lay still, multiple wounds still leaking blood, while two others were attacking a third. But, for one, the attack was a feint: at the last moment, his spear plunged into one of the tentacles of the other attacker. This one dropped his weapon, and the previous lone male stabbed him just behind the head, through into the ground. Before he could free his weapon, though, the other one thrust his spear into his mouth. It clearly pierced his brain.

The victor was not even wounded, and much bigger than Shoeets. Facing the other way at the moment, he reared up and gave a victory roar.

Shoeets did something completely new and unheard of. He also reared up, raising one of his spears above his head with two tentacles, and hurled it into the other’s back. He then rushed forward, and thrust the second spear into the other male’s throat.

He didn’t bother with a victory roar. Why invite trouble?

Raeel said, from the mouth of her burrow, “Congratulations, little boy.”

“Little, yes, but growing. Want some fun?”

She laughed as they descended into the warm, female-scented darkness. He rubbed against her body, which was twice the thickness and one-and-a-half times the length of his. She was also a survivor. Last year, he’d seen her defeat and kill three other females, two while defending her young, one when attacking another’s.

Drunk on her scent, he wound around her, and eagerly they coupled. When she was sated, she idly said, “Your children turned into fine young people. I hope they survive. But that was a great trick, throwing a spear!”

“Thank you. I had two, and wasn’t going to rush at a champion like that big fellow. Only, a full-length spear is awkward. I’m thinking of an improvement.”

“I’m starving after our exercise,” Raeel said, and started toward the entrance.

He followed, also hungry. They skirted the four dead bodies, and cropped the plants, Shoeets watching, listening and smelling in every direction, carrying his weapons in one tentacle each.

Emergency! A flyer plunged from the low-lying cloud, swooping for Raeel! Shoeets didn’t know how, but he was instantly beside her, thrusting up with a spear, stabbing one of the animal’s four wings.

Big multi-toothed mouth agape, it shrilled with fury, and flapped off, the spear falling to the ground.

“Shoeets, you’re amazing. Thank you! I thought I was dead meat then!” She was panting with terror and shock. “I’ve had enough of outside.”

“Don’t you need some water?”

“I’ve got several half-shells of brifruit full of it inside. Saved it from last year.”

What a good trick, he thought. I must remember that. He said goodbye, and, ever cautious, slithered off toward the river again.

By evening, the vegetation near the river was thick enough to hide him well. Trouble was, of course, it hid other males, and predators too, and most males were larger than him.

He kept thinking about making it easier to throw a spear. In the morning, he found an outcropping of sharp flint, and used it to cut his second spear in two. Then he spent the second half of the day sharpening the point of the half-spear that needed that, in between eating and drinking, despite occasionally smelling female invitations, and hearing the sounds of other males fighting. Let them kill each other off!

Just before finding a hiding spot to sleep in, he saw a movement. A male was moving toward the river. Shoeets snuck up behind him, noting several wounds. No doubt, this fellow was thirsty after a mating. Well, it’d be his last one. He grasped one of his half-spears in two tentacles, reared up, and hurled true.

He returned to the flint outcrop, and instead of sleeping, used half the night to cut his new, third spear in two, under the light of the many stars. In the morning, again he sharpened the point that needed it. He now had the problem of carrying four half-spears and a full-length one. So, he hid three of them, and taking one half-spear and the long one with him, went seeking a solution while grazing.

God was well beyond the center of the sky when he saw a large holber nest. It was a solidly woven, long web with one end closed off, colored exactly to match the foliage it was anchored to. Perfect, with his new trick, he could now kill the poisonous animal inside without being bitten.

Lying as far from the nest as he could, he tapped on the closed end with his spear. The nest stirred. Shoeets tapped again.

The holber emerged awfully fast, on its many long, multi-jointed legs. Its body was larger than Shoeets’ head.

He reared, and hurled his half-spear through the holber’s body, nailing it to the ground. Then he felt his tentacles shaking. He hadn’t realized how scary this was until now.

He paused a moment, listening and smelling, but everything seemed safe. He peeked inside the nest. It was empty, so he unraveled the lines holding it to the vegetation, and fashioned these lines into a harness. His half-spear nicely fitted inside, and he used one line to pull the opening almost closed around it. He positioned the new bag onto his back, handy for a tentacle to snatch the weapon.

Time to find another female.

Four days later, he’d killed five other males, used his new weapons to successfully defend himself from a large wroff, and mated twice more. At the end of the day, he found a safe-seeming nest in the elevated fork of a riverside tree, now tall and thick with leaves, and settled for sleep. Looking up between the leaves as they gently moved in a slight breeze, he admired the many stars twinkling above. The myths said, they were holes in a solid barrier, and the light was God’s light shining through, but Shoeets doubted this. If that was true, why did God hide to the west and come out again to the east?

He had a dream, if it was a dream. A warm feeling of safety, comfort, and being held close came to him. He’d never experienced anything like this. The closest was his memory of cracking his eggshell, then having Mother lick him clean. As this amazing feeling intensified, a bright brown person stood in front of him, although he was high up in the tree, and there was nothing to stand on. This person looked completely different from any animal Shoeets had ever seen or heard of. It had six muscular legs, a forwardly protruding head on a stalk, two very large, partly folded wings, and a long tail that flicked side to side. This being wore various coverings over parts of its body, something like Shoeets’ spear harness.

Its mouth had big, sharp teeth, visible as it spoke, but the wonderful feeling of being cherished obviously came from it, so Shoeets was not frightened.

The being’s words were incomprehensible sounds, but, surprisingly, Shoeets also received the meaning within his mind. It was saying, “God has selected you to be the truthseer of your kind.”

“Who are you? What’s happening?”

“My name is Xeel-Mother, and I’ll be the mother of your spirit. I am the truthseer of my kind. I live on a world that’s very different from yours, very far away.”

“But… is there another world? I’ve never…”

“I am being given knowledge about your beliefs. Now, your people need to be ready for the truth. Look at those stars. Every one of them is a great glowing globe like the one you call God, only they’re so far away they seem mere dots. And what you call the world is one of seven smaller globes that go round and round your God. Each time your world does one circle, it goes such a long way out that even the air you breathe freezes. Then it comes in, and everything warms up. And your world spins around also, and that’s why you have days and nights.”

“And… and you’re on a world that makes circles around another God?”

“Yes.”

“I’m dreaming this.”

Loving amusement came back. “No. I’m talking with you by using power I’ll teach you to use also. What you call God is a part of God, true. But there is a lot more to God. Everything that is, which is a lot more than your kind have imagined, is God. And even more. Everything that is can only be because God thinks of it.”

Shoeets felt completely confused.

The brown being again sent amusement. “Think of the Higher Power, of God, as life energy. All that lives is a part of God. And It is always One, but has different parts with different tasks. My life energy’s task at the moment is to teach your life energy. Yours is to understand, and later to become the truthseer of your people. Your body, what you think of as yourself, is only a home for the real you, and the same is true for every living being. So, when you kill another male, or any animal, or even a plant, you’re cutting a piece of life energy from its home. So, all killing is wrong.”

“But… but… all life is killing on my world.”

“Yes. That’s why your people need a truthseer, to teach them to do it differently.”

Oh, to be free of constant fear! What a wonderful idea! But it was impossible, of course. He explained, “When we wake up, males must battle each other to be able to couple with a female. The earlier in the season we can do that, the more chance our children have of growing to a size that’ll survive in the next year. And females must battle each other to give their children the best chance of survival. If a female manages to kill the children of other females, then they won’t grow up to kill hers. And each female has as many eggs as possible, from as many males as possible, to give them more of a chance.”

“That’s your reality now. It must change, because God wills it so.”

“How?”

That feeling of being cared for, cherished and protected grew. Shoeets felt himself squirming from pleasure. It was far more wonderful than a coupling.

Xeel-Mother said, “What you’re feeling is the effect of Love. That means, whatever you are, whatever you’ve done in the past, whatever you will do in the future, I’m as a mother to you. And I need to apply this attitude to all parts of God, therefore to every living being. This is the essence of God. At the moment, I’m the focus of such a huge number of truthseers that you can’t even imagine the number. We’re combining our being into One. We are now inviting you to be part of us. Welcome.”

Instantly, Shoeets grew. Oh, his body stayed the same, but within it, around, it, attached to it, he was HUGE. He felt larger than the world, larger than God, as large as what his teacher said Everything was. He was aware of being One with Xeel-Mother, and uncountable numbers of others, each unimaginably different, each on a different world, but all showering him with this Love.

And he focused his mind, this combined Mind, onto all the people of his kind. All the males he had feared and wanted to kill, even the ones many years older, were his precious children. All the females were not objects for mating, but his children also. And the many animals that hunted his kind, and the plants he ate, were there for him to cherish and protect.

“Thank you, oh, thank you,” he thought, knowing he didn’t need to say anything aloud, and felt this Love increase even more.

Xeel-Mother said, “You’re worthy of your role. I’ll teach you one other thing about the way things are. It is something I also learned from other truthseers. If you completely, truly and deeply believe something, it will be true. Know that it has happened, and it does. Now, design the reality you want for your people, and we shall empower you to make it so.”

About Dr Bob Rich

I am a professional grandfather. My main motivation is to transform society to create a sustainable world in which my grandchildren and their grandchildren in perpetuity can have a life, and a life worth living. This means reversing environmental idiocy that's now threatening us with extinction, and replacing culture of greed and conflict with one of compassion and cooperation.
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4 Responses to The making of a prophet

  1. Dr Bob Rich says:

    Thank you for your thoughtful response, Margaret.
    This is Chapter 23 of the 4th volume of a series, so a couple of your questions are because you haven’t seen the previous.
    Xeel-Mother is certainly a person. That does not mean “human,” but any individual who is self-aware, sentient, and with the ability for moral judgment. On earth, this makes probably all mammals, cephalopods and several species of birds people, on the available research evidence.
    Xeel-Mother is the prophet of a species who have long ago spread from their home planet to three neighbouring ones, so they call their society the “Four Planets.” That’s considerably more technologically advanced than we are.
    I’ll see if I can rewrite the battle among the multiple males and make it clearer. Thank you for the feedback.
    Most of us are unable to do certain things because under the surface we believe that we cannot. But think of the placebo effect. I give you an injection, and your pain goes away, because you believe it should. But actually, I injected sterile saline. Belief determines reality.
    Have a look at http://bobswriting.com/bill/ability.html to see a list of indicators of The Ability.

    🙂
    Bob

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Margaret Goodman says:

    Bob,

    Your Bobbing Around posts always make me think. My guess is that what Xeel-Mother says to Shoeets is a statement of your enlightened view of the universe.

    Three niggling comments.

    Your account of the battle of the two males confused me. I am still not certain who the victor was.

    Your use of the word “person” to describe Xeel-Mother did not sound right to me. I would have preferred “being” or “animal”.

    I got confused by “If you completely, truly and deeply believe something, it will be true. Know that it has happened, and it does.”

    Amazed by your creativity and wisdom, Margaret Goodman

    On Thu, Mar 22, 2018 at 9:37 AM, Bobbing Around wrote:

    > Dr Bob Rich posted: “Other stories This is an extract from a science > fiction – fantasy book I am writing, right now. It’s well into the story, > so a few things may be puzzling, but I think it does make sense by itself. > Let me know, either way. Xeel-Mother Relaxed in her homet” >

    Like

  3. pendantry says:

    I agree; this piece can stand alone, if it needs to 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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