The Pulse: BC

The Baulomorphs Get It On 

Matthew’s story about the sands of time was interrupted by a knock on the door.

He remembered that it was time to go to the Baulomorph party. He grabbed his swimsuit and hurried to the door. Baulixia was standing against the light blue wall, wearing a bikini that was transclucent and speckled with golden sparkles. She told him to hurry up, the party was starting in five minutes.

As they walked along the light blue corridor, she told him that they had permission to cross the temporary sky tunnel to the main building. The blue corridor became a blue tunnel, and they turned left into a violet tunnel with all sorts of swirling and darting shadows on the circular walls and ceiling. He heard pounding and sawing but couldn’t make out anything clearly. After crossing this tunnel they entered a large open hall, where they were welcomed by an enromous pink cube with a dozen arms. Matthew had seen pictures of Baulians on the Link, but meeting one was quite another thing. It looked about ten feet tall and had arms sprouting from all over its body. It spoke to them in a rarified English accent, as if Prince Philip had blown up into the shape of a rectangle, his ears finally free to take the directions they always wanted. Matthew felt like he was in a Lewis Carroll poem, and ought to look out for a frumious Bandersnatch or perhaps a pirate band of slithy toves. He expected to see mome raths and other strange beasts outgrabing out of dark wood and into the humid blue air.

The Jabberwock, -with eyes of flame,Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,And burbled as it came! (Wikimedia Commons -  Internet Archive Book Images )

The Jabberwock, -with eyes of flame,Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,And burbled as it came! (Wikimedia Commons - Internet Archive Book Images)

John Tenniel, from Wikimedia,  Internet Archive Book Images

John Tenniel, from Wikimedia, Internet Archive Book Images

Baulixia talked to the cube in what reminded Matthew of the reverb on a Hendrix guitar, harmonized with the oscillations of a basss violin. The sound was syncopated with what sounded like the tinkling of tiny cymbals and the tapping of tiny snare drums. Beneath these sounds was a complex, rich, flowing current of sound — like that of a hundred xylophones. It reminded Matthew of the Indonesian music of the gamalan, or the symphonies of Zanzibar, multiplied tenfold in tangent and variation.

Matthew was so enchanted by these rhythms and fluid sounds that Baulixia had to take him by the arm and lead him away. She took him down a wide corridor on the left side of the hall. The hall was perhaps 200 metres high and the corridor was at least 80 metres high.

They went through a large door on the right of the corridor and entered a humid room which was about 50 metres high and about the size of two olympic swimming pools placed side by side. A circular waterway dominated the room, with four bridges leading to a central area. People were already jumping on and off the little boats and floating devices that slowly circled in the bright torquoise water. On the outside of the circular river there were little beaches and eating stations with bar-b-q corn kebabs, french fries, rice pilafs, and all sorts of vegetables which the Baulians had converted into hamburgers, steaks, and other ‘meat’ dishes that seemed to make the humans happy. In the middle of the room was The Great Island, which Baulixia said offered snacks, drinks, and intoxicants. There were also a few small private rooms which were — by strict law — absolutely private. She assured Matthew that they were free to do in these rooms whatever they wanted to do. She took him by the hand and said that they could get to these rooms more directly if they went over one of the bridges.

——

Next: On the Golden Hill

Back to Top

The Pulse: Table of Contents - Chart of Contents - Characters - Glossary - Maps