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By Ika
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"... a world where grins hang about without the cat" (Michel Foucault)

A quicksharp bite on his elbow. Blake opened his eyes and saw leaves. A half-second of pointed pressure on the inside of his knee. A quick finger in his hair, on his face.



A human-sized lizard face was looking at him, a face very close to his which filled up the whole of his vison. Small quick movements as it spoke. A staccato voice.

"It is hard to come to oneness. But so soon... Now is not the time to surrender oneness. Wake! Move!"

Blake blinked at it.

"Movement is life," it added anxiously. "Oneness is life. To be alone."

Movement was what had got him here in the first place. Moving too fast. He wanted to stop moving, that was the whole point, to hobble himself.

"Your oneness is new. Zil saw you come to oneness. Now you must move!"

The lizard thing darted away: a single jump. It looked at him, ticking its head back and forth like a clock, from the bushes. "Come," it said.

He had nothing better to do. He followed it.

Its fingers quick on his ankle; its tongue wet for a shocking second on his forehead. The touches were sharp with quick unrecognizable pleasure, coming from nowhere, going nowhere. Pleasure jumped between his skin and Zil's and back again in parcelled moments. When Zil moved again Blake followed the pleasure.

Zil's crest unfolding. Blake's cock hardening.

"Aloneness is to be learnt. Not to surrender it, but it can be broken and mended. Zil and the new oneness will exchange in oneness until the new oneness is strong enough."

A bite on his nose. Blake was undressing one-handed, the other hand landing little touches on Zil's electrifying skin, here, there. A hand on buttocks, a finger between them, a quick tongue touching a shoulder then a foot. If anyone had been watching them they would have looked like a kaleidoscope, or like shapes under a stroboscopic light: bodies in a pattern reconfigured with every touch, held for a second, broken.

The spread crest between lips. Taste of aniseed and salt. Feather of the back of a wrist against balls, swift stroke, a fingernail. Taste of earth. Tightening cock. Quivering crest. Itchy heat behind a knee. Wetness left behind and cooling on a fingertip. Tightening stomach. Earth under bare feet: earth shifting. A falling leaf on a shoulder. Smell of water and smoke. Sound of wind. Sound of a voice.

"Learn your oneness."

Zil had gone, but something had happened to the new oneness: not new any more. It moved with the host and against it, following movement underfoot, overhead, following smells and sounds. Skin prickling where it touched tree, leaf, ground; exchange of oneness in treeskin, skinleaf, treeground made a path for the oneness to run. Wind in nostrils, wind in ears, breath of oneness in and through. With the host and against it. Skin prickling a shape for the oneness out of the air. Bracelet dropping onto earth onto leaves. Feet moving the oneness over earth over leaves over homing beacon which shatters.

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