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The Book of Rivers

By Peter Machen All Rights Reserved ©

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Chapter 1 - First Light

The mountain stared back at him, just as it had every morning since that first day that he'd arrived at this strange house in this remote part of the country. It wasn't a huge step for him to imagine that mountains had consciousness - in fact it made perfect sense to him. But this mountain, this huge stack of rocks and structure and atoms and mass and timelessness and weight seemed to look inside of him, like a lover that knew you too well to not love you, like a mother, like a god.

His eyes still bleary with sleep, his mind still crystalising its awareness of the new day, he looked up at the sky, its brilliant blue fading into the depth of infinity. A few hours earlier, he had walked out under this sky, although it was different then, littered with silver stars that shone down on his body, a delicate blue light touching his naked skin. There was a toilet in the cottage but he liked to piss outside, letting the golden arc come from within him and connect him to the earth.

He had done this since he was a child. Now that he was older, there were more layers to it. He understood that the content of his piss - his urine - was good for the soil, part of a cycle that connected him to the planet. But there was more to it than that, more than facts, more than reason or causation. The sheer pleasure, the chemical sensation that flowed upwards from his urethra through his bladder into his brain and made his ears feel like they were breathing, the shadowy night, the crisp air, the hint of light coming from the horizon where the sun was waiting, moving ever forward into the future, the new day that held the fate and destiny of all things in its non-existent hands. Pissing into possibility, half-asleep, a half-lit world overflowing with beauty.

At that moment - when he was pissing - the planet was not quite earth, it was more than that. It was an entire universe that stretched to the endless ends of time and space. It was a universe that loved him, that knew all his weaknesses and dark secrets and unspeakable sins and violations, and loved him still.

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