Tuesday, September 1, 2015

the last book I ever read (Mat Johnson's Pym, excerpt fourteen)

from Pym: A Novel by Mat Johnson:

Mr. Sausage Nose didn’t bother with the deck’s stairs, instead grabbing the railing with one hand and launching out into the air as if he could sustain that flight. For a moment there, as he hung above me, he seemed impossibly powerful and graceful, and I knew that, regardless of how much poison he had eaten, my death must be destined to arrive before his did. When he landed, though, stumbling to a stop, I could already see that his invulnerability had left him, that he was diminished. Lurching forward, exposing an awkwardness I had never seen among these creatures, Sausage Nose still managed to get to the small corpse in less time than the fastest human could have. Watching him drag the delicate, now limp body from its sugar-water grave, for the moment, I was overcome with more grief and empathy than fear. Or maybe it was that by this point the fear had become so commonplace in my system that it no longer had the impact it should. Regardless, I couldn’t deny the enormity of what we had done. No creature should have to know the loss of its young. Not even a worm. Not even an evil worm. But when the monster looked up to me, fixed me with those ice blue eyes and gave another scream, this sound beyond the range I knew any man was capable of, my knack for overwhelming fear returned, along with two other thing: the enraged beast and his full attention.

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