There was a light to the earth, a fire, a waving blaze that spread over the very depths of everything. People saw it, and they wondered. Some whimpered, others stepped to it to embrace that which they did not understand. No one understood. But those that stepped to it, what they learnt fled through them, heated them. Some fled with terror, some wanted more. So soon, it became a dangerous thing; for those who did not learn were ignorant, and those who learnt were arrogant. And in the end, no one knew what was better.
"Arthur, eat quickly."
The small boy rose his eyes with the spoon constantly moving between his mouth and the bowl. He had thought he was eating quick enough, but looking down he found his bowl barely half-empty. He mustn't have been taking much with each spoonful. He paid careful attention and flurried the rest into his mouth.
"Mum can you sign this for me?" He thrust the permission note into her face.
"I was wondering when you'd show me this. David gave his to his mother last week." She signed with a sigh. "You must be more on top of things."
The boy walked slowly to the bus stop. His bag is light, there's not much he needs for school, the teachers don't trust them to take any of their books home. He knew if he took it off he could swing the bag easily in his hand.
"Have you gotten that note signed yet?"
Arthur reached into his bag and pulls out the permission slip to show David. "Mum was so annoyed I got it signed so late she didn't read it."
"Just like planned," the other boy said.
They sat on the bus.
Arthur stared at the slip. They were going to the museum, a seemingly harmless place unless the dinosaurs came to life. But that was where his dad worked.
His mum, the year before, and taken him to the theme park when the museum trip had come up. She had let him have a burger, and a milkshake on the way home. But this year he wanted to go to the museum. He wouldn't recognize his father if he saw him, he just wanted to see secrets museum's held.
He handed in the note and three days later he was on the bus to the museum.
"Do you think there'll be astronauts," a boy behind him was asking someone.
He wanted to turn and laugh, but he stopped when he realised he didn't know how far a museum would reach.
"Fran stop waving out the window, you too Katie. Remember you're representing you're school."
They stepped into the museum and left their bags in a bin set aside for their school. There was another school there that day.
They followed a guide through the rooms, seeing relics and listening to information.
"The Ancient Egyptians would take all the organs out of a person and put them in jars."
"You know I'm related to Captain Cook," a girl was whispering.
He turned. "I am too."
The girl frowned, "you can't be."
Another boy decided it was his turn to chime in. "Everyone's related to Captain Cook, Galileo was."
"Galileo was Greek."
"No he wasn't, he was English, like Captain Cook." The boy retorted.
"Then why doesn't he have an English name, like Gilbert, or Henry."
"Because only boring people are named that."
"My Dad's name is Henry, he works here." They had been walking and had stopped at the prehistoric mammals he had remembered something.
I'm just going away for a couple of months, to Africa, but I'll be back before you can say mammoth.
"I didn't know that," the girl was saying.
But he had nothing more to say on the matter, he knew nothing more.
In twenty years, the boy will still of not seen his father again. But he will remember that day, when he was left with no words, because he couldn't remember the colour of his father's hair, nor why he had never said the word mammoth. And he didn't say it then either. He wanted the truth, but he wasn't sure where the truth could be found.
Throughout earth it was spread, accepted by some, and feared by others. It feasted like fire does, growing and growing and growing. Those that could keep it contained, relished in what it brought. Those that fled would never know how far it could of reached. And those that accepted it was there, that could smell it but not see it, they wondered what it was, but had no desire to know. The boy, he was all of these. He kept his memories contained, but did not let them grow, nor did he want to. But he would always remember that day, and how in that moment, he felt curious, at everything and everyone. Except his father, who the fire of curiosity did not recognize.