The radiative Evita ran off with Adamstown, and Proteus plans to knit himself a striped woolen outfit to win her back. Proteus speaks with lights (which coalesced to form both Evita and Adamstown) and, starting at the beginning of the manufacturing process, he said the word “sheep” over and over before falling asleep. Of limited relevance, when he said “lightbulb,” his companion Archie swallowed the resultant glowing shape.
Proteus was awoken by nocturnal rustles, roars, and yawns,
but not a single bleat.
We must return to the ironsand beach,
he advised his mute and mildly feathered companion,
that is where the creatures shape themselves.*
Proteus arrived in time to see the final sheep departing,
the incandescent stragglers of the flock—
the Arietids rising, dwindling to star points
on their journey to the woolen constellation, Aries.
Do you think you might say “lightbulb” again?
Archie asked, I’m feeling a little peckish.
His mouth was gaping open,
evincing careless dental hygiene,
but Proteus was speechless,
so to speak.
Archie might have been an ancient bird,
but he was no Jurassic fool.
We must be logical, my friend.
Now that your creative light’s
inside me, I speak with sounds,
like Adamstown and Evita.
And you can be with her again,
your beloved stranger,
the incompatible lifeform
you only recently met.
But before I tell you how,
we must come to an arrangement.
* ironsand contains magnetite, the magnetic fields of which confined and coalesced the ionized particles of Proteus’ emanations.