Mac cleared his throat, opened his Miscellanea 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 stopped reading. He turned to Inteachán.
‘Every civilisation has its own names for spirits and faeries and demons and balrogs and wights. Here we have always tended to use the word ‘Fomhóire.’’
‘We have always known them this way but I now know them as another – the NotBeSpeak.’
‘But what are they?’ asked Inteachán. ‘I don’t understand.’
Mac smiled again.
‘How could you?’ he said kindly. ‘They are Everything and Nothing at once. All and Nought together.’
‘Every infection needs a host,’ said Mac, ‘and the NotBeSpeak need the biggest host of all; the world.’
‘How do we stop them?’ asked Inteachán.
‘How do you stop them,’ Mac corrected her. ‘I am old and my days of fighting inter-dimensional demons intent upon cataclysm are long gone.’
‘How do I stop them?’
‘They can only be stopped by preventing them from taking their final form.’
Mac smiled sadly.
‘If we know what final form they wish to take then that is how we can stop them.’
‘But, I am only now beginning to understand what form their final form will take.’
It was growing dark outside. Inteachán pulled the curtains over the window. In the orange glow of the lamp Mac looked even more ancient than normal. Inteachán sat down on the small footstool in front of the fire.
‘What are the What-Be-Speak?’ she asked.
‘Not ‘What,” Mac replied, ‘but Why.’
He looked into the distance.
‘I have spent my whole adult life searching for an answer to that question. I am no closer to the answer now than I was when I started.’
He blew his nose vigorously.
‘In fact, I’m probably further away today than I have ever been.’
Everyone said that it was a gas leak that caused the explosion that destroyed No. 23 Wolseley Close but Inteachán and Professor Mac an Bhaird know better.
‘Do you remember hearing anything just before the explosion?’ asked Mac. ‘Think carefully.’
‘I think I remember a sighing sound,’ replied Inteachán. ‘Like a sigh that got louder and started to scream.’
‘‘Fomhóire,’ Mac said softly. ‘The NotBeSpeak.’
‘The What-be-Speak?’ said Inteachán.
‘They walk among us,’ replied Mac. ‘Since the start of Time and even before.’
It was Professor Mac an Bhaird who heard Inteachán sobbing late on that awful evening.
Who left his door open in case she needed someone. Who woke to find Inteachán curled up asleep at the end of his narrow bed. Who smiled and didn’t speak. Who allowed Inteachán to just sit. Until she was ready to talk.
‘You may call me Mac,’ he said kindly.
Now they talk all the time.
The Eleventh Film XVI
It was a four month voyage and nothing was seen on the way.
The world was as it had always been.
Only it was empty now.
Great swathes of white pinned to the planet’s surface by the heaviest silence the world had ever known.
She passed the time by finding words for the views that she saw.
Each entry in her notebook brought her closer to the source.
She knew that final word from before.
The Eleventh Film XV
In previous times of doubt and despair the world has always sought solace in the written word, hoping to discern a truth among the millions of symbols and ciphers and syllables.
And so slumberous stories emerged through dreams about a library long-lost to the world. A place where the answers to the world’s final question might still be found.
She was the world’s last lexicographist and so she was chosen to lead the expedition.
The hunt for the site began. There was nothing to lose and there was the possibility, however small, that there still might be a way out of all this.
As the years passed the world lost hope that the library would ever be found. The lexicographer entered her eightieth decade.
A broken office block standing sullen on the edge of a vast ice field coughed-up an old map of the inlands and the library’s resting place was eventually uncovered.
The Eleventh Film XIII
And so the world begged. Like the world’s last radio show. A montage of lips, mouths and eyes. The sounds of no hope.
We are very sorry.
Isn’t there someone who can stop this?
Queríamos envejecer juntos.
Who is in charge ‘round here?
I can’t find my mammy.
Je ne veux pas mourir.
Can we talk about this?
Are you’s all angels like?
What did we do to deserve this?’
Are you kind-of like aliens?
How dare you!
Please don’t do this to us.
My wife died this morning.
We’re not afraid.
I think my parents are still alive.
Et absterget Deus omnem lacrimam ab oculis eorum. Mors ultra non erit neque luctus neque clamor neque dolor erit ultra quae prima abierunt.
I refuse to say anything.
And then she died.
I have always been ultra-compliant with my taxes.
… for my Bible tells me so …
Is this an advert?
And no one helped him, he just lay dead in the street.
Isn’t this illegal?
So this is what the Rapture is really like?
How long have I got?
Say goodbye, children.
Did I miss the referendum?
Quanto àqueles que rejeitam a fé, eu os castigarei com terrível agonia neste mundo e no Além, nem terão ninguém para ajudar.
What happens if we all say no?
You absolute bastards.
But she was too young …
If only I had told him earlier.
If anyone is listening, please do something. Tell the world what is happening here.
Ég er svo ein.
When you walk through a storm …
I don’t have any shoes.
She meant the world to me.
After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.
I need a drink.
I am so so scared.
She was only a wee thing.
Is this gonna hurt?
Has anyone seen my brother?
What happens next?
Bonvolu, ni petegas vin. Bonvolu forigi la infanon. Ni feliĉe mortos, sed ne ŝin, bonvolu ne!