The Sand Swimmer
Already there are missing parts. I share the knowledge of the First Transition which the sands pour into my mind every day. It becomes clearer, the connection between us all. Now I have only a few images of them. I see my mother sweeping all of the sand out of the house to stop us all from drifting; my Father in his protective clothing guiding it out of the sea and onto the drying pans; my brother waving goodbye to us when he drifted towards the First Transition. I still see them, hollow eyed; mother crying into fathers shoulder, she was expecting again which allowed them to remain unchanged. It was the way of Portside. I see it clearly even now. Only the houses with children remained untaken by the sand.
Yesterday as I slept between two giant black granite boulders, I dreamt that my left hand had turned into a spider, fingers walking on the ground next to me. My right hand was a huge claw decorated in fine precious metals and stones. I saw countless worlds, jungles, seas, mountains. I swam in the growing deserts and chased the animals from their homes. I felt the hunger. When I woke, the fingers on my left hand were fused together and I had to bite the thin webbed skin between the fingers on the right. Every step of the change makes my heart race with fear. Only immersion in the sand will calm me now. I have vowed only to sleep in its embrace as it continues to take me further away from home.
I had been struggling to recall my name every morning for the last week. Nothing seems important when you are carried in the white dust of oblivion. First Transition had inspected me, its single eye scanning my changing eye colours. I felt none of the fear my father had instilled in me. I brought it fish from the drying pans and it sang to me of certainty. Over the days that followed I knew that I would be alone. No others approached. I was to travel north along the new flow. There were forests beyond the mountains and the sand hungered for them. It promised my doubts would ease as my body became new. All of this was certain; it had happened before and would happen again.
This morning with horror I found I no longer knew my name. I swam around in circles for a time, searching for it but not really aware of what I should be searching for. The sand could not help me; it had removed something and discarded it like the bones of the fish my mother tossed into the flow. All I can picture of her is a hand running through the hair that used to grow on my head. My nose smells the pine forests and pushes me forwards. The sand senses a need for me and makes me sleep. I cannot resist this change. I will become the hunter. Too much is gone. Father had whispered to resist, staying me and when I reached the solid ground to run and keep running and warn others. Father was wrong. The only hope is sand. The only truth is sand. It turns chaos to order. My duty is to hunt and end the chaos.
I am the sand swimmer of the north. I am the first and when the hunting is done, I will become Second Transition. That is all the truth I need.