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Section 1


From the original Mellifluan, part of a new volume called, "Stories to cheer us up."

"The worst people are convinced that what they see, is what we must all be seeing. If however, you start seeing things no-one else does, you're likely just mad."

That's a proverb I've spent most of my life trying to disprove.

I am not an inventor and I am not a scientist, though lately I am beginning to wonder. Principally I have been an artist, and a lover of fruit wine. I have lived a life of dishevelment, but I have my uses; as a drum for my friends to beat me for example. I told them to stop - the sounds my body made when hit with hands and sticks weren't interesting enough for them to carry on - but it turned out they wanted my money and booze. Bottoms to them. I'm in a better place now, living beside the sead, watching the birds breaking their bum-eggs over horrified tourists. I don't belong here either, but at least it's nice.

Anyway, what I wanted to write about was how much I've enjoyed living, and how I thought I might die soon. Of belly-rot, or by my friends finding me and beating me so hard my head comes off. But before all that, I have a contribution to make. Artists everywhere will love me for it, women will love me for it.

I have found a new colour, and I'm going to call it "breen". Wonderful breen!


Section 2

Breen is a colour I discovered after a very long night. It was four in the morning, maybe five, and I had missed the last skyship home, but I was happy to stretch out for forty winks on the platform of the skyway. I was pleased to find it cleaner there, and less refuse-strewn, than the floor of my apartment. I was tipsy too, that helped. I'd sold a painting, and I'd spent the proceeds as if it were my last night on Foundation. The money was completely gone on wine, and as the sun began to rise, my venter felt ready to vent. As I lay on my side, desperately hoping to recover. I looked across the platform and into the dawn cloud. It was there that I saw it; a new colour.

I may be naughty, but I never lie. I saw what I saw, don't tell me I didn't.

I haven't seen breen since. I tried to mix it of course - I tried for months. But there's nothing in my paint tin like it. I remember the week after that glorious night, finally waking up from my nightmares. I kneaded a figure eight of bread, and turned on the radio. An old song came on and it made me think of my lost loves. Not loaves, loves. All thirty-six of 'em. I had some fruit wine. Then I took the bread out of the oven, but it was too soon, and the inside was raw. I threw it in the bin, and the whole process somehow reminded me of breen. I was lucky, if the bread hadn't gone bad I might have forgotten breen. Wonderful breen!


Section 3

So I think it was around the time I belched in the copper kettle, and an echo rattled around the copper tubes blowing the nightguards eardrums, that I was finally evicted from the factory. The guard and I are still on good terms, so it's fine. I just can't have any more of their wine. I've moved on to the Gariet factory now, and I can tell you that their wine drinks like pig slurry, but that their security is negligible.

Obviously, I hoped the factory was my ticket back to the land of breen. I even tried drinking until four or five in the morning, lying out on the same skyway platform at what I thought was the same angle. But I just couldn't quite remember what that colour was like! It was off the musical scale, it tasted salty and prickly like a sandal thing, but at the same time not. It felt like desiccated goldfish to the touch, but dreary and aimless too, you know?

I decided I needed to be more practical. I am so useless about practical. I can't even remember where I get my paints from. Then one day there was a big party. I didn't have a paper invite as such, but I heard the noise. I went to complain, but the music and the company were wonderful, so I stayed. Then I got talking to this man about my new colour, breen. Celery-face was wearing an aquaponics suit, and I'm not sure whether it was hired for the party, or for some genuine undertaking. I think perhaps the latter, because at one point he used the hose to hoover up a stray piece of goo that was stuck to his sleeve.


Section 4

When I asked him why he would do such a thing, he gave the cryptic reply, "nothing is as satisfying as food you've grown yourself." I had immediately taken a liking to him. But when he got talking about breen, he became even more enchanting.

"I know!" he said, "I have seen it myself!" he said, "in the Mitochondriae!"

"Oh..!" I said, nodding sagely. I had finally found someone as queer as me.

"I feel like we could talk about this for hours, Benoit," he said.

It was getting rowdy, so we went outside to stargaze, hoping for some inspiration. He looked like a stick of celery, with leafy hair, and a sallow face. He was really quite green. I asked him a question I'd never asked anyone before. I said, "do you think anyone else has seen breen?" He looked at his watch, then back at me. He said he had to go. I was already feeling gin-wobbly, so I just let him.

For a long time I was worried I wouldn't see him again. In a way, that night had been more exciting than the act of discovering breen itself. It felt like part of a bigger movement, a great revolution. I had found a fellow breenite, and life was wonderful. Wonderful breen!


Section 5

When I asked him why he would do such a thing, he gave the cryptic reply, "nothing is as satisfying as food you've grown yourself."
I had immediately taken a liking to him. But when he got talking about breen, he became even more enchanting.
"I know!" he said, I have seen it myself!" he said, "in the Mitochondriae!"
"Oh..!" I said, nodding sagely. I had finally found someone as queer as me.
"I feel like we could talk about this for hours, Benoit," he said.

It was getting rowdy, so we went outside to stargaze, hoping for some inspiration. He looked like a stick of celery, with leafy hair, and a sallow face. He was really quite green.
I asked him a question I'd never asked anyone before. I said, "do you think anyone else has seen breen?"
He looked at his watch, then back at me. He said he had to go. I was already feeling gin-wobbly, so I just let him.

For a long time I was worried I wouldn't see him again. In a way, that night had been more exciting than the act of discovering breen itself. It felt like part of a bigger movement, a great revolution. I had found a fellow breenite, and life was wonderful. Wonderful breen!


Section 6

I thought he was joking, but his face seemed grave. I don't know why, but tears came to my eyes. He sat down across the axle of his deckchair, and looked out to sea. I turned and sobbed, trudging my way slowly back up the beach. I was hoping he'd call for me to wait, but he didn't. The sand felt so ho , but the world and its people so cold.

Then, a lifeline, a tap on the shoulder and I spun 'round, thinking it would be Scatch, but instead it was his lady-friend.

"It's my fault," she said, "please don't cry. I never wanted anyone to cry." Then she herself began to weep.

"You don't believe him do you? You don't believe in breen," I said, and by now, we were both in tears. Hers seemed just as earnest as mine, I checked.

"I don't...know," she said, looking back at Scatch, whose solemn vigil over the waves was unbreakable.

"Don't worry," I said, "don't worry about me, look after you. That's the important thing. Look after Scatch, he needs you now.

I'm pretty sure I said some other good stuff that sounded right too. I got out of the sun as quick as I could and off or a good glug of fruit wine.

Something must have happened, because a week (I think it was) later, Scatch came around to my accommodations, and we spent a pleasant evening talking about breen. He said the lady had decided to move on, but that he didn't mind. He said breen was more important, and that he couldn't let me feel like I was searching alone.

Sometimes we are destined for things. Wonderful breen!


Section 7 MISSING


Section 8

I remained unconvinced. That night at the skyship station, when I came back to myself, I was sure that if I ever saw breen again I'd know it immediately. This rock in Scatch's hand gave me a more uncertain feeling, as if the colour of the stone were the wrong word, when the right one was on the tip of my tongue.

"I don't know," I said again, less sure, "perhaps it is close to this, but not quite. I mean, isn't this more green than breen?"

Scatch looked at the stone again for a few moments, before lowering his weedy celery arm to his side, and closing a white-knuckled fist around it.

"Oh Benoit, what do we do if this isn't breen?"

His voice wavered. His yellow-green face, normally so buoyant, had plummeted through the clouds.

"Don't fret Scatch. We are looking for breen, but we may never find it. That's the beauty you see, the discovery itself is the byplay, the journey the main event."

"No!" said Scatch, who was shaking now.

"We can't seek answers where we can't be sure an answer exists."

"NO BENOIT! NO! All we ever do is seek breen, that's all I am anymore. I cannot... I cannot!"

Scatch unwound his arm and let loose the pebble of Atlas across the studio. It skimmed though my tin of paints, dispersing indigo and vermillion as if a bullet rupturing the hide of a beast, before bursting through a neat hole in the window pane.


Section 9 MISSING


Section 10

I was enjoying a complimentary fruit wine and gazing through the viewing glass out to the clouds, when luck swung in my direction like a favourably big pendulum. There was a clatter of silver trays and foodstuffs, and appalled noises from the other passengers.

"Get off me devil's wind!"

That guttural blare could only be Hamesh. I bubbled with anticipation, but had to remain calm. I looked around casually, and to my exhilaration, saw the old master. He was even bigger than I remember him, and as sweet as ever in addressing the hapless waiter, whose cutleries lay spangled across the foot-lit deck.

"If you touch me again lad, I'll touch you. Very firmly in the Ogballs."

The waiter knocked aside, Hamesh came striding towards the viewing glass, looking out on Foundation and muttering angrily under his breath. I watched, and waited for the prime moment.

I imagined the Bellowes must have thought his appointment a coup - they offer him passage to whichever port he desires, and in return his mere presence makes the cruise a sell-out. But how they would then come to regret it; caging themselves in with the beast, watching powerless as he shreds the furniture, and knocks the stuffing out of the crew. Setting trepidation aside, I reached up to the giant and tapped him on the shoulder.


Section 11 MISSING


Section 12 MISSING


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