After The Meaningful Exchange

‘When did you move into this place?’

Such an obvious question – but one to which the answer seems to buckle on approach. He looks at the person like their form is merely the suggestion of shape like a star that exploded whose light was just arriving in the room. He studied the Brownian Motion of the dust particles through the mind organised shape before him.

He believed that it was in this place that they first took the technology that they liked to call Super-positional Influence Writing, and they built a Metaphor Engine. You might look at it and see a field full of butterflies, but it was so much more – chaotic generative iteration system strung on a narrative net that would present as an emergent node of something larger that was being pushed out into the world.

He moved from one room to the next and he felt the imagistic representational framework morph in a fluid dreamlike manner; this was the first place where an interior territory of imagination was pulled from ideational space into the physical universe, and its narrative component, when triggered by the intrusion of consciousness into the localspace rewrote the laws of physics to suit the story.

‘What is your name?’

‘Lob.’

‘Lob?’

‘Yes.’

‘That name sounds familiar.’

‘You ever read any Edward Thomas?’

‘I may have.’

‘I escaped from his poem into the world.’

‘During The Meaningful Exchange?’

‘Yes, I was born at the center of the blast, where the earth cratered, and a bomb, exploding where reality cracked, had to become something else.’

‘You’re the bomb, aren’t you?”

‘Was.’

‘OK, so what is this place?’

‘They call it The Metaphor House.’

‘What’s it built from?’

‘It’s heart is a Shelley poem, and its shell is made from a book called Gormenghast.’

Interesting.’

‘And who are you?’

‘Well, Lob, if you are the beginning, I am the end. They call me The King Of Full Stop.’

‘End of The Metaphor House?’

‘End of it all. That’s where I live. That’s where you live. The point after all the streets are filled with grey ash.’

The streets are filled with grey ash?’

‘They are, and maybe you burned them down. Someone wrote something like that.’

‘Many people wrote something like that.’

‘Just because it’s a cliche it doesn’t mean it can’t be a metaphor.’

‘No, it doesn’t.’

And the house fell down.

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