Urban Space - Chapter 10

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Jord pressed his back to the sacred stone. Its roughness was comforting. He pulled the hood over his head and almost cried out in shock as his newly lighted world went black.

Then there was a flicker and it came back, but this time there was blue symbols and lines over the sides of his vision. As he moved his head from side to side the view of the world changed but the lines and symbols stayed static.

Jord may have been blind, and he couldn’t read, but he wasn’t dumb. He almost instantly guessed that the hood contained a display that was superimposing over this vision, and then he realised that probably the coat was providing the vision too. Deciding to test the theory he slid the coat hood off and once again experienced the momentary disconcerting blackness and flicker as the image settled. Sitting forward he slid the coat down over his arms. As it came free his world went black and this time there was no flicker. He was still blind.

But as has slipped his arms back into the coat and his vision was restored, he knew that now he had a piece of technology that could counter his handicap.

Slipping the hood back up again he hunched back against the stone and looked down at the coat once more. He noticed as he moved his head around the superimposed images and lines seemed to change slightly. Looking down at the coat he noticed that it looked different from when he had observed it for the first time. Taking the hood off he looked down at the coat with ‘normal’ vision. It appeared like any other coat. Buttons, zips and piping along the seams. Coloured patches, breathable inserts under the arms and a couple of pockets. Nothing abnormal.

Putting the hood back on again Jord looked back at the coat. This time as he looked at the raised emblem over his left breast on the coat the display changed slightly. He noticed that a little circle of hieroglyph images on the right hand side rotated and one in particular stood out. Looking at the pocket over his heart he saw that the images rotated to a little picture that flashed slightly. As he watched it suddenly bloomed into an image filling all his vision. The background seemed to fade away. As he looked he felt the tingling in his arms again and then suddenly when he looked down the coat seemed have turned a shimmery blue colour.

From a distance he heard Arutha say “The Whitefaces have gone. You can come out now.” Arutha stumped around the side of the stone and then looked at Jord in a puzzled way. ”Where have you gone boy?” he said. You were right here; don’t say the stone has swallowed you again?”

Jord went to say something, puzzled as he was as to why Arutha seemed to be looking right through him at the stone. But Arutha walked off before he could speak. He got to his feet and walked around the side of the stone. Arutha was standing there talking quietly to Lena and Marick. Neither of them even glanced at him as he walked up.

“You would think that you are the blind one Arutha,” he said. “I was right where you left me.”

The three adults completely ignored him; it was as if he was invisible and unable to be heard? The thought struck him, maybe he was, and maybe the coat was making him invisible the same way it made him see. He looked at the image over his heart again and it seemed to fade away.

Arutha jumped with a start to see him standing there. “There you are boy; you gave me a fright sneaking up like that.”

Lena and Marick just stared in awe and seemed to Jord as they were on the verge of dropping to their knees in front of him. He turned to Arutha and asked, “So what am I supposed to do? It’s all very well having a prophecy made about you, if that’s true, but how does that change things? We still live here in the meeting place surrounded by Whitefaces who only visit us when they want us to work for them. The rest of the time we may as well be invisible.” As he spoke the word ’invisible’ the small image flashed up on the right hand side of his vision, but not large. It was ready for him to activate, but he chose not to look at it surmising that this would activate the invisibility function. He didn’t want to scare the adults any more.

“I am hungry” he said. “Do you have any food paper?”

Lena dug into her pocket and hauled out a wad of paper notes. “Take some of these,” she said. “They will get you food from the Whitefaces.”

Jord pocketed the paper and turned to walk off.

“Do you want to me to come with you boy?” Marick asked uncertainly. It sounded like he was almost in awe of Jord.

Jord shook his head and said “No. I shan’t be long.”

He walked towards the entry way, went through and off out of sight from the 3 adults. They stood gazing after him for a while, each lost in their own thoughts.

Finally Arutha broke the silence.

“We had better arrange from him to and see the elders.”

“Yes” said Lena. Marick just nodded as if he was fearful of voicing his thoughts out loud.