Hermes Pillar - Tall Tales

Previously - [The White Ball]

II

The pillar stands 14m high, a marble white obelisk, shining brilliant in the morning sun. Hermes stands beside it, half its size. Upon his head his petasos is a golden beacon relaying the news of the day, hour, or latest up to the minute scandal. The karykeion hangs loosely between hand and shoulder. He is a vision of beauty and arrogance who aggressively taps his left sandaled foot when he's impatient. A bad trait he picked up from his impetuous sisters.

For months I practiced sendings through the aethers. My white ball in a mood - flowing temperamentally.  Some days I could plant my feet, roll my eyes wide, gird my teeth, and set the ball in motion with an immediate response. The rapturous tingle of recognition and acknowledgement. Each day a little farther, a little deeper. Other days I would send the white ball to catch the winds of whatever came what may, and the connection would fizzle into a profound sense of disconnect. A heavy obfuscating fog of outside separated, alone.

Either divine inspiration or a dying gasp of anticipation set my ball on fire today. It roared into life on its own, summoned to the top of Hermes’ pillar. I ran behind it until I stood agog at the feet of Hermes, out of breath and frightened. He was brooding, as usual. His eyes sullen and sunken from too much cavorting - overindulgent, mischievous, drunken licentiousness. In this state was there a chance he was going to miss my white ball steamrolling towards the pillar festooned with sparkles and a subsonic whistle? No movement yet, except for occasional blinking of half open eyes and the copious yawns of an insomniac hedonist.

My mentor taught me that if you can balance your ball on the tip of the pillar in a 'Just so' fashion every difficult connection evaporates. Your white ball becomes a conduit that lets you speak with all things. Hermes was on guard for such connections as they interfered with his broadcasts. You could attempt a game of cat and mouse trying to sneak your white ball past him. A dangerous game with seductive results. To establish the deeper connection. To speak with the universe of things. Magic. Everyone knew that even half asleep Hermes could sense tomfoolery.

I reached out to the white ball but there was only a faint connection, it had its own agenda. It reached the tip, balanced itself carefully, quavered, and sighed. It was in this exhalation that I could feel the first whispers of 10,000 beings coursing through my every fiber. It was an exquisite delirious sensation of living sliding inside. Completely blinded by the connection I missed Hermes opening one eye, taking a step backward, and swinging his karykeion…  WHACK.
Disconnected.
Shattered.

My white ball went flying off the tip of the pillar and into the sunshine, if I didn’t rein it in now it would be lost for weeks. I reached out with every fiber of my being and willed it back to my hand.  Hermes ducked as it boomeranged back to me like a missile.   The white ball settled into me trembling with laughter.

“WHO… DARE… YOU? TO INTERFERE WITH MY PILLAR!”

Subscribe to Of Wonder and Wander

Sign up now to get access to the library of members-only issues.
Jamie Larson
Subscribe