Download e-book for kindle: A Man Divided by Olaf Stapledon

By Olaf Stapledon

ISBN-10: 0195030877

ISBN-13: 9780195030877

A unique via Olaf Stapledon

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Extra resources for A Man Divided

Example text

The infant ignores the query. Instead, he asks in his thin, reedy voice, if the woman does not know her name, can she tell him other things. Whence came she? How did she reach the ship Ofuna? The woman draws a breath, deeply. Hands in her lap, she speaks. There was—blackness. Blackness and cold. She and another, she tells, yellow and black. She was not then a woman, nor yet a man, but somehow both. The other would have destroyed her, she tells the Miroku. It too was neither woman nor man, but as she was then both, the black one was neither.

She can hear the water flowing. She can see its surface faintly by the dancing lights it reflects from the sky. The sky itself is still dark, star-patterned. The moon has set, the woods from which she had come are still. The air barely stirs. Farther up the bank from her the land grows higher, its features lost in gloom. The water itself flows onward, making soft sounds to itself as it moves. She scans its surface for any glowing red dots, but there are none to be seen. The stranger is still standing with his face upraised.

Silently. Her ears detect only the sounds of movement, her own slippers connecting carefully with each flat riser, the soft swishing sound of her kimono and breeches, gradually drying now, and the hissing of her breath. The sounds of the Aizen: his flame-red silk-bound armor creaking with each step, his kogake foot armor clanking with each stride, his own breath pumping in and out more slowly and more heavily than that of the Kishimo. And again, through the soft sounds of movement, Kishimo hears or almost hears the low sounds of distant trumpets, distant voices, distant drums.

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A Man Divided by Olaf Stapledon

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