For fun and for the sake of motivating myself to revisit and complete this project I am releasing chapters of my book The Stiletto Code introducing The Book of the Siamese Crocodile as part of my blog on a weekly basis.
Previous chapters can be found on this blog - just check out category lists on right panel to catch an early glimpse of this work in progress. A lot of editing would be needed still but in the meantime this may be just what I need to finish it!
Best wishes and hope you enjoy this rough draft!
The Book of the Siamese Crocodile
By Lawrence Clarke Hilton All rights reserved © 2004 De Villiers Hilton Partnership
Her hands had remained elegant in spite of the eighty years she had spent on earth. She stared at the book that had been placed on the small table in front of her.
She closed her eyes and her fingers followed the edges of the deep lines of the pattern that had been engraved in the gold sheet of the cover.
Her eyes flickered beneath the lids until finally she opened them looked down at perfectly symmetrical pattern that had been laid out in black onyx blocks pressed deep into the metal.
In the middle a simple geometric motif of a diagonal square forming the body and four triangles formed the heads and the tails, as if two crocodiles were laid across each other.
She raised her hand and the 12 woman who had gathered in a semi-circle around her feet fell silent.
They quickly knelt at her feet and as they settled she made the sign to the heavens. The cover was heavy and she needed both hands to carefully lift it and lay it down on the table.
She began to read aloud from the book, 'This is the Book Of the Siamese Crocodile. My name is Valerian - I have spent many years translating what follows from that which has been carved into the walls and caves of the mountain upon which I stood for the time of my life and gazed with wonder and puzzled at the shapes that I have been witness to.'
Outside a lion roared from across the broad brown river that rolled and twisted like a python as it flowed past the enormous white dome of the City of Saints Church that had been built on the banks of the river Congo.
The others bowed their heads and mumbled inaudible prayers.
“We, the Amazilli floated on a universe of stars.
The Lion roared again.
She paused and began to read again from the beginning.
“We, the Amazilli floated on a universe of stars.
Our ship had bypassed a million galaxies and then finally stopped for a moment at the red planet.
We, The Amazilly had used every means at our disposal to get to the place that Hugh had created for us in space for to all intents and purposes, it was said to be 'The Paradise.'
As the Amazilli scribe I this write this according to which I have been told and that which I have been witness to, so that our precious cargo should know from where they came and to where they go.
To lose such knowledge would leave them lost and without hope.
And so I write this record - my truth to be told.
Our ship was extraordinarily beautiful. The suns that hung across its masts and bows left a trail of neon rainbows in their wake as we sailed across the galaxies for what seemed to be the longest time.
The lights served not as a warning to others of our presence for as far as we know there were no others - not in this time .
We -The Amazilli - were tall or at least some of them were some of them were. Future accounts would set us as tall as the mountain carved into a table. Others would say we were as tall as the camelhorse whose long neck could reach the highest sweetest leaves. All of which is relative. We all can be giants not matter how big or small.
We had been given an inherent sense of joy and we were able to create our own amusements.
We needed this talent for the voyage we were on had lasted longer than the whole of this time.
Time, as we moved through the millennia at the speed of the light of suns , had slowed and in that instant, moments became eternities as if without end.
On board we carried with us the most precious cargo ever to have been transported in this or any other time.
12 sets of almost identical twins were carried in states of 'to be', present but not yet here until the paradise was ready for their arrival.
We, in orientation as Amazilli - loved.
Hugh or ‘one who travels within’ was this Vacuum's architect and had sent the Amazilli upon this odyssey of delivery.
Hugh had given Hector, our Captain a bejewelled mirror map.
It hung from the wall of the ship's mess so that everyone could see it and know that the long journey would have an end, even if the beginning had been almost forgotten.
It was the most beautiful mirror and set within its perfect reflection were such precious jewels.
A ring of tiny pearls circled the aquamarine. This pattern spiralled outwards and encircled at its centre the most translucent diamonds set apart from a rough golden nugget.
A green blue aquamarine was encircled by a tiny pearl again circling as if both went round the golden orb.
Hugh who travels within had told Hector that Aqua was the paradise.
That day our journey had at last reached the end of this beginning.
"Aqua Ahoy!" The elegant voice of the Amazilli watch yelled out as he spied the glimpse of the blue jewel set against the darkness of the Vacuum.
Below Hernia stretched out her hand and called to her lover and began to ring the bell. Hector immediately rose from his bunk gently waking Rocco his partner.
Lifting his scope he peered out into the Vacuum he immediately recognized the view before him as being the solar system portrayed on the bejewelled mirror map.
He lovingly touched the hand of 'Drew who was breathless with excitement.
The rest of the Amazilli rose almost as one and moved to whatever vantage they could find on the deck. On seeing the perfect symmetry of the system that lay ahead they gave a collective gasp.
Chrys gushed at the beauty of it all, "Hugh! You really have outdone yourself!"
The others clapped and laughed on hearing Chrys' typical understated humour in the face of such cosmic extravagance
Hector gave the order to set course for Aqua.
Slowly the ship turned towards the blue planet that hung so perfectly in space and that had waited so long for them.
A teardrop fell onto the page as the woman paused. The fingers that had just turned the page, quickly wiped the tear away and for the first time since she had begun to read from the book, she looked up at the others.
They were silent, their heads still bowed.
“How long has this been kept from me?” she whispered.
Their heads remained bowed and they remained silent.
All rights reserved © 2004 De Villiers Hilton Partnership