Norman Allan
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Art and Fiction


Chapter Eleven:

Solstice, two years Before Concert, in a clearing in the Roaratuni forest. By the twilight light and the glow of the lantern-bug and the star-fly Christopher lit a fire. He heaped dried nirvanaleaf onto the flames. Nirvanaleaf grew everywhere. Chris used it as kindling. He liked the smell. Turning to unpack his provisions, Chris discovered that he was down to his last sachet of instant wholefood! Chris stared at the empty tuck-bag. He knew it was time to start for home.

Chris frowned through dinner. Finishing, he toked his habitual bed-time pipe and turned to his bed roll. "No," he thought. "No need for an early night tonight." "Zakeri," said Chris aloud, "our search, for now, is over. Tomorrow we start for England. We must celebrate." They embraced.

Christopher set up his sounds. Though he had taken the time to make comprehensive recordings of the local fauna, since his arrival in Africa he had not allowed himself the leisure to listen for pleasure. Now he took out the tweezers to extract from his treasured '67 collection the Jefferson Airplane chip. He slotted the chip into the Sony and turned up the full 80 watts of Plastic Fantastic.

Zak and he danced crazy in the moonlight.

The Airplane tape finished. Chris put on the Stone's 'Satanic Majesties', and rested against a trunk. "'What a night," he thought. "This, indeed, is whereitsat."

The music had just come round to "She's a Rainbow" when two butterflies flew into the clearing. A strange and wonderful thing is the butterfly Deofilus transcendentia.

The butterflies were not very big. Their wings had a span of about four inches and they were about three inches long. One of the butterflies, which in the instant of perception Christopher knew to know itself as Elenor, had wings of dancing rainbow fire. The other, whom Chris knew to be Isador, was brightly dayglow patterned, with eye-spots blazing like cat's eyes on each of his four wings. Now Chris found himself reverberating with a certain "mother, I'm home" kind of bliss. A sense of just rightness percolated in his soul.

Isador and Elenor were sunshine. Living light rained from their wings as they danced together, twined, made love. And Chris, who so far watched with awe, was now completely blown and elsewhere sent for the luminous dust which rains from the wings of the courting Deofilus butterfly is the most potent psychic modulator. On the biochemical plane it is composed for the most part of C.M.D. - Catalytic Mind Dust: on an "informational level" it is a "program" that tunes the "mind" to function at "higher realms". Words fail…

Deofilus courts to music, and it was music which drew Isador and Elenor to Chris. They obviously liked the vintage Rock for the next day when Chris and Zak set off for home, they followed.

Chapter Twelve