Terminal Transit, Book I, ‘The Song of the NotBeSpeak,’ Verse 5
‘Your father told me that he had uncovered something so terrible that it meant the end of all existence as we know and understand it,’ said Mac as he rummaged among the folders on the top shelf. Mac pulled an envelope from the folder, opened it and pulled out a single sheet of paper.
‘Here it is,’ he said to himself.
Mac slipped his glasses on and started reading.
‘The NotBeSpeak will not be spoken of. They are the space between the words. Not the words themselves. The pause before the sentence. The sigh that follows. The NotBeSpeak are ancient. Timeless. Dangerous. Alien. The NotBeSpeak are shapeless. Always shifting. Drifting outside of definition. Beyond boundaries. The NotBeSpeak are not evil. This is not a word for them. No words really are. The NotBeSpeak need shape now. They need form to form their dismal plan. The NotBeSpeak seek a host. Like a vacuum needs a vessel to empty. Blood needs a wound to drain. Darkness needs a light to extinguish.’
Mac stopped reading. Inteachán shivered as she thought about her father writing this crazy-sounding stuff. What was he talking about?
‘But what does it all mean?’ she asked Mac. ‘I really don’t understand.’
Mac smiled and put the piece of paper back into the envelope. He then put the envelope back in the folder and the folder back on the shelf. He walked stiffly back to his armchair and slowly sat down. He looked at Inteachán.
‘Here’s what I think I know,’ he said hesitantly. ‘Or what I think I think, if you see what I mean.’
Inteachán waited quietly for Mac to carry on. He duly did.
‘Every infection needs a host and the NotBeSpeak need the biggest host of all, the world.’
Inteachán looked confused.
‘Blood, and wounds and infections,’ she said. ‘What are you talking about?’
‘I have absolutely no real idea,’ said Mac truthfully, ‘not even the slightest notion but I do not doubt the cataclysmic severity of your father’s discovery. If it is true that the NotBeSpeak do exist it would then follow logically that they are looking for a form that will allow them to engage with the world.’
Mac smiled sadly.
‘If we knew anything about this likely form then we might have some idea of how they could be stopped.’
Mac paused and Inteachán shivered again.
‘But, I have no idea what form this likely form will take.’
Mac coughed. The shadows cast from the fire leapt around the room. A spurt of gas curled from a coal and hissed its dying pyrolysic breath for a tiny moment before vanishing forever. Mac readjusted the blanket on his knees. Inteachán was still very upset and began to cry loudly. With no thought to comforting the child, Mac continued.
‘Every civilisation has its own names for spirits and faeries and demons and balrogs and wights. In this country we have always tended to use the word ‘Fomhóire.’’
‘We have always known them this way but, and thanks to your father, I now know them as another – the NotBeSpeak.’
‘But what are they?’ asked Inteachán. ‘I still don’t get it.’
She really didn’t understand anything that was going on. All she knew was that her father had killed her mother and tried to kill her because ‘They’ told him to. That didn’t make any sense.
‘How could you ever understand?’ said Mac kindly.
He cleared his throat, picked up a section of his Miscellanea which lay nearby and started reading.
‘Fomhóire means ‘from the sea’ and is the name given to the divine powers, or gods of night, death and cold. The Fomhóire were misshapen and were believed to have the heads of goats and bulls. They also were believed to have only one leg and one arm each, and these grew out of the middle of their chests. The Fomhóire were the ancestors of the evil faeries and, according to legend, of all misshapen persons. The giants and leprechauns are also said to belong to the Fomhóire.’
Mac looked up.
‘This is the standard history, so to speak, the approved version that we peddle to tourists and schoolchildren when we speak so fondly of our quaint customs and traditions and superstitions.’
Mac paused somewhat dramatically, as if he was back in the lecture hall after all these long years.
‘But what if these tales and creatures and histories and versions stemmed from a different source, one far more foreign and outside and clearly much less quaint and more deadly?’
Mac looked at Inteachán and the flames from the fire caused his eyes to shine momentarily.
‘One not attributable to the life and legend of this planet in anyway whatsoever?’
Later that evening, and with Inteachán thankfully finally asleep, Mac sat in his chair and watched the fire die down to almost nothing. He remained deep in thought for what seemed like the longest time and then he looked out into the night that now gripped the world and began to speak.
‘Listen’, he said fearfully. ‘I need to speak to all of you out there about a matter of great urgency.’
He looked out into the expectant darkness.
‘I am a dying man and I need to tell you some really important things straightaway. Otherwise the events you are about to witness will make very little sense.’
‘If I tell you all everything now then I won’t have to go through everything ever again. I just don’t have enough time to keep repeating myself.’
Mac started to look worried.
‘Inteachán’s father stumbled upon a plan to destroy the entire country and, indeed, the world. I have absolutely no idea how he came about this knowledge, as he was certainly very secretive towards the end, perhaps afraid that my knowing would place me in danger as well.’
Mac exhaled ruefully.
‘From what little information I was able to glean from him, this terrible plot has always been in existence – hence my thoughts on the Fomhóire – but the very recent and extremely well-documented man-made disasters endured by Ireland’s economy have created certain metaphysical and, indeed, metaphorical conditions by which the architects of this terrible plot have been able to revive their dreadful ambitions. Or had their ambitions revived for them? As you can hear, I am still not totally clear.’
Mac looked out into the darkness.
‘I fear that I may not ever know everything but I do know enough to know that it is now time for you all to find out about the NotBeSpeak.’
He picked up the folder.
‘Here is the final ‘research’ paper written by Inteachán’s father. I didn’t want to alarm her earlier but it doesn’t make pretty reading.’
‘Clearly, the poor man’s discovery caused him to lose his mind.’
‘See for yourself.’