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Sunday, July 23, 2023

Strata 9, the Book of Immersion, Lust and Loins (Limerence)

Limerence is a uniquely human phenomenon that new lovers, or potential lovers may experience. It usually lasts eighteen months in new relationships and is not uniquely sexual.
Limerence is a state of mind (not solely romantic) that typically includes intrusive, sometimes melancholic thoughts, deep yearning or tragic concerns for the object of one's affection. It may be confused with love and often humans find themselves addicted to these feelings and can easily be overwhelmed by adoration for another.
Limerence cannot be turned on and off like a machine. It can come from nowhere and disappear without logic. The experience of this sensory state is inspiring, connective, disruptive, even excruciating, and yet it continues to mark the human trajectory of existence through time and place.

Renyke thinks for a moment then says

'Ok, I will swap my coat but not until we get to the *edge,'

Shabra smiles and nods.

'OK, *dundeal Mr. Renyke Man. We go tonight when the dark takes. Safer see.'


The group is in an enclosure flanked by half-deconstructed concrete walls. There are large metal containers lying around with shrubbery and foliage trying to make a stand against the manmade environment.

Tumbleweed plays in the soft wind searching for a home.
Flex kicks some redundant ashes by an upturned metal water tank.

'I can make us a fire,' he says excitedly.

Maybeline scurries around searching for food and sniffing the air.

She smells something, danger is afoot.

Flex is armed with a pocket of lighters.
He wears a brightly coloured patchwork gaberdine style overcoat with inside pockets that have everything a nomad would need. He has small pieces of mechanical paraphernalia, vintage innards from antique items, little motors. He even has motherboards and old PC parts.

‘Do you take this stuff everywhere you go?’ asks Renyke.

‘Yes sir-ee, some days man’dun gotta make swapsie-trade.
Everything has a use in the Zones brother.'

Renyke began to pace, ’Shabra is taking her time,’ he said standing near the opening of the enclosure.

‘She’ll come, she is huntin’ tis all my friend. You got attached already?’

Renyke stared at Flex a moment.

‘We need that ride," he said.

Then he checked the OS whose signal was intermittent.

'.......What are the signs of being attracted to somebody?'

The OS took a moment to compile a response……..

……Do you mean In humans Renyke?

'……yes, yes, of course ‘humans’, Renyke replied.'

The OS continued
…..nervousness around the subject of the attraction
…..extended thoughts about the subject
…..obsessive thoughts beyond normal curiosity about the subject
…..insomnia due to obsessive considerations of the subject
…..anxiety over possible outcomes of imaginary scenarios involving the subject
…..a desire to touch the intimate parts of the subject
…..dreams about the subject
…..fantasy building scenarios between the human and the subject
…..being overly concerned about….

‘Enough,’ said Renyke.

Finally Shabra returned.
She carried two dead animals in her belt and washed a wide glinting blade under the water that flows from a broken pipe behind the container.

‘This water’s good. We can fill up the tanks and flask before we go.’

The new acquaintances are relaxed and considering preparing for the short but dangerous car journey to the Edge.

Shabra checked the vehicle mechanics, the doors and metal buttresses worked in perfect synch and there were six exhausts. She filled the water kegs and put them in the boot.

‘Where is the vehicle from?’ Asked Renyke.

‘I built it. answered Shabra, from scratch. Well, I had several wrecks and put my beaut together.
Me n her, we like lovers. She drives me crazy with her vibes.’

Shabra looked at Renyke parting her lips into a wry smile. They were oily from the fat of the meal.

She winked through long dark lashes.

Suddenly there is a distant high pitched sound, like a siren or swarm. It seems to be getting louder when Flex and Shabra grab Renyke, throwing him into the vehicle.

Seconds later they were surrounded by a marauding mass of screaming children. some were made of broken body parts with human faces, others were small walking babies with burnt skin. Some had extra limbs and even two heads. They were crying and screeching, banging toy drums and chanting verses.

to be continued

2023 Sarnia de la Mare / Tale Teller Club

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