“If you must blink, do it now. Pay careful attention to everything you see and hear, no matter how unusual it may seem. And please be warned, if you fidget, if you look away, if you forget any part of what I tell you, even for an instant, then our hero will surely perish.”
-Kubo and The Two Strings
‘Hello! is anyone out there? hello! hello!’ The quiet was loud.
A squirmish, a rustle, something came into being.
‘Oh! hey there, little fellow. You…’ silence and analyzation, ‘You… are different. Quiet queer that I have ever seen.’
‘Oh,’ squeamishly it sighed, frantically looking around with bewildered eyes, tears welled up in an overwhelming sensation and realization of being, ‘I am…’ it fumbled, its voice shuddered, ‘I am…’ it tried once again but couldn’t find the right word, it didn’t know a lot of words yet. It was frustrating and overpowering, ‘I am…’
‘Oh, little fellow! Don’t worry, we will figure it out. I always figure it out,’ It said with a false sense of pride, It knew nothing beyond Itself. As far as It could go, It knew nothing but Itself, there was nothing but Itself. It was for the first time that It had found another creature, so majestically different. ‘Where do you come from?’ It asked humbly, It felt an immense adoration, an immense love for The Little Creature.
‘I was…’ its tone squealed, it looked around, bamboozled to find nothing. ‘Where are you?’
‘Oh, I am all around you,’ It flaunted Itself, danced around and smiled. It had always wanted to do that, there was no one there before to see.
The Little Creature tried hard to look around only to be left frustrated, ‘I cannot see you,’ it said meekly, afraid why it can’t see It.
‘Hmm,’ It replied with a great concern, as if It was contemplating. It pretended that It knew why, though It too had never seen Itself. It was just aware of its existence but It did not know “the why” and It never cared to think much about it. It wasn’t worth it. It was for the first time that It had seen something, otherwise, it was just a feeling of the presence of others. It would touch the Others, form their shape inside of Its head. The Others will always ask It to let them work, they were busy creating something. ‘We will see to it,’ It replied after a long thought of nothing.
There was a long silence. ‘Who made me?’ The Little Creature asked after a long pause.
‘I guess that would be The Others,’ It replied, ‘but where are they? I cannot see them. They were working right before you were there.’ It felt around but The Others were not there. ‘Good riddance,’ It said without any concern in its tone, ‘they were queer. Always busy. Never had time to play with me,’ then It paused for a long moment and began again, ‘they never could anyway. They could not feel me they said. Queer things.’
‘But I can feel you,’ The Little Creature replied, this time its voice beamed, a feeling of understanding something, recognizing something, elated it, ‘You are…’ it tried to find the words to say, the struggle was immense, how it could find the right word to say. ‘You are…’ it tried to think really hard but the word won’t come. It remembered something, something that was there before it. What was it? ‘You are…’
‘Oh,’ It replied in amazement, ‘You are very very queer.’
The Little Creature shrank, It called The Others queer and did not like them. Queer was the wrong word. The Little Creature was intimidated.
‘Oh no, no,’ It replied all of a sudden, ‘you are a good queer, unlike them, The Others.’
‘Oh,’ The Little Creature replied, somewhat convinced of it.
‘So, well,’ It took a good look at the little creature. ‘What should we call you? you must have a name. Do you remember your name?’
‘I…’ The Little Creature struggled again. The Little Creature remembered, there was something. The Little Creature could hear the talks, long gone talks, something that was there before it. The Little Creature tried to remember, ‘I am…’ it was frustrating, what was it that The Little Creature had to remember, ‘The Others, where are they?’ The little Creature asked impatiently.
‘How am I supposed to know. They were right there where you are, and then they just disappeared before you came,’ It replied and started to hum something, something It always hummed. It did not have lots of care. It just enjoyed Itself.
The Little Creature listened to It for a while and learned the pattern, after a little try, The Little Creature started to hum too, but its humming was different. The Little Creature’s humming was loud and exactly opposite of Its humming. Instead of creeping, adulating tones, The Little Creature’s humming was fierce, a monotone so majestic.
‘Queer,’ It said in bewilderment, ‘Where did you learn to do that?’
‘From you,’ The Little Creature giggled.
‘Queer, queer,’ It said, ‘I never do that.’
‘Why cannot I see you?’ The Little Creature asked with the utmost affection.
‘I do not know,’ It tried to hide its fake pride of omniscience.
‘But you said you always figure something out,’ The Little Creature said.
‘Oh you ask a lot of questions,’ It said haughtily and tried to look away. As soon as It did so, it could see nothing but feel. It moved away, further and further and further, but It was still around the little creature. ‘Oh, did I have to be so big!’ it cursed.
‘But I cannot see you. How big are you?’ asked The Little Creature.
‘Oh, this one I can tell,’ It thought for a while, ‘I am…’ It tried to find the words but there were none, ‘I am…’ it was frustrating, It always thought that It knew the answer to this, so iI never really thought about it. How big was It? ‘I am…’
‘I guess we both do not know anything about ourselves,’ The Little Creature said pulling its face down. An overwhelming sadness came over it.
‘I do,’ It declared once again with a false pride. But then It couldn’t help but be moved by The Little Creature’s plight. It could not see The Little Creature sad. It felt a turbulence inside of It. ‘Oh, Oh, Oh,’ It said with a great affection, ‘do not be sad Little Creature,’ It thought of how It could cheer The Little Creature up. It thought of showing Its dance, The Others always asked It to dance whenever they felt frustrated in creating whatever they were creating. After a little show of dancing, The Others would be very happy and would go back to their work. But The Little Creature was not creating anything, dancing was not going to make The Little Creaturee cheery, It thought.
‘Where are The Others?’ The Little Creature could not hold its tears up and bawled. As it bawled, something around it appeared to both of them. The queerest thing. The thing looked like the little creature but was not it. The Little Creature stopped bawling and the thing disappeared.
‘What was that?’ The Little Creature asked in awe.
‘The Others, I suppose,’ It said, ‘but quite not like them. Queer, very queer.’
‘How do you know?’
‘I know everything,’ It said pulling Its pride together. ‘I have touched them always, I knew them, but they are very little now. I wonder what happened to them.’
‘They made me?’ The Little Creature gaped at it.
‘Quite so,’ It replied. ‘Can you do it again?’ It asked.
The Little Creature nodded and tried to bawl again but this time there was no bawling, a loud humming like the one The Little Creature made before and it became more of itself. And this time it was permanent. Both of them looked around in awe. The Others were there, they were always there, but in a very little measure now. They appeared as if they were becoming like The Little Creature. But their other side was just like It.
‘The Others, they look like you and me,’ It said in a grave astonishment.
‘What are they doing?’ asked The Little Creature.
‘They are dancing, I taught them how to,’ It replied, ‘look at you, all this while you had been dancing too.’
The Little Creature looked at itself for the first time. The Little Creature looked Majestic. The Little Creature was dancing too. ‘Do you dance too?’ it asked happily.
‘Always,’ It replied and danced faster than any of them. As It danced, The Others shook a little bit and started to turn into something like The Little Creature even faster than before.
Seeing it, both of them danced and danced. Making it go faster and faster and faster. There was a joy that they shared.
‘So you are The Others,’ It said as It relaxed.
‘I guess I am The Others,’ The Little Creature looked at itself, ‘But I am different.’
‘Oh yes, yes, you are,’ It said, ‘Definitely,’ and then It looked at the turning Others.
‘I am…’ said The Little Creature, struggling to find the right word. It was in its head, it knew what it was. The Little Creature remembered something, something that was there before it, ‘I am…’ what was it? It’s something very queer The Little Creature thought. What it was, what The Others were saying before. Yes, The Others were saying something when it was The Others. ‘I am… Light,’ it remembered. Finally, it remembered.
‘Oh,’ It said, still looking at The turning Others.
‘You are the Darkness,’ said The Little Creature, the Light. It had remembered finally.
‘Is it what they called me, The Others, when you were them before?’ It asked, the Darkness asked.
‘Yes, I remember this much only. They never talked really much,’ replied The Little Creature, the Light. ‘Where did the Others come from?’
‘They were always inside of me,’ It said, the Darkness said, with a pride, but this time it was pure, elated pride.
‘Where did you come from?’ asked The Little Creature, the Light.
‘Oh queer, queer, queer,’ it snided, ‘You ask so many questions.’
‘Do not worry, you will figure it out,’ said the Light, ‘you will always be there to figure it out.’
Far across, in between them, the turning Others were forming an amalgamation of both of them on one another, to one another. There was a coexistence now. ‘We are together now,’ said the Light, ‘We will call it a silhouette.’
‘What do you mean by silhouette?’ Asked the Darkness.
‘Oh, queer, queer queer…’ said the Light…