What is truth? I asked her, and my guide shook her head. The short plaits of her hair rippled, and the copper rings which hung therefrom clanked together with a sound like battle, persisting long after her motion stopped.
That is a bad question, she told me. She said that when I used a word like “truth” I was already limiting its meaning, because I must have thought I knew what the word meant, to use it. The Jelly God does not like bad questions.
Why am I here? I asked her, and she shook her head again, this time more insistently. A tiny furor of battle rose from her head. Why, she responded, should the Jelly God care about you or your dismal purposes? You are a speck to Yomno, as are we all.
Why is Yomno here? I asked her, and she laughed and threw back her head when she laughed and all at once the sounds of battle ceased, as the copper rings fell together into smooth flat stacks. It is not given to us to be told the secrets of the Lord, she said, and smiled gently at my ignorance.
What should I ask, then? For I was impatient, and growing annoyed. What is it that I might want to know, that Yomno might want to tell me?
Wisdom, she told me, quick enough I knew that she had been waiting for the question. Beg the Jelly God for wisdom, and the strength to see with clarity. For those who see with cloudless eyes are beloved to Yomno, they who have the power to know themselves and their own selves unadorned with madness.
So I nodded, and my guide cut words praising Yomno into my flesh, and I did not pass out, and my guide poured seawater over my wounds, and I did not pass out, and my guide took the smallest finger of my right hand into her mouth, and bit down, and tore from me a single knucklebone, and I did not pass out.
You are ready, she said.
SOME TIME LATER
It is blurry. It just happened, and already my memory fades like a dream’s. I remember I started out in the coracle, but then I was floating in the water, or over the water, and under me the sea churned like a great spoon was stirring it, and then I saw the spoon, for it was Yomno.
Not that Yomno was anything like a spoon.
And when I saw Yomno, I understood. I understand, now, why the world is the way it is. I understand that this is Yomno’s world, and we inhabit it, and some of us, some part of all of us, is Interloper. And that we are a prison for the Interloper, and that Mally Ninetoes, the butcher’s daughter, would have married me if I’d asked. And so many other things I learned. They’re fading now, but I remember, I think the most important parts. I remember that the Silver Marquess is coming, and I remember what I must tell her, and I remember the Six Sages. I remember everything important.
— From the private diaries of Zully the Liar