Out Towards the Edge


” He brushed the page, but there was nothing there. He rubbed his eyes, but it still didn’t go away. In fact, it was even more curious, because he could still see it when his eyes were closed.

And it was slowly getting bigger. It wasn’t a spot anymore, it was a line: a curved line, like a loosely scribbled letter C, and it was sparkling and flickering in a zig-zag pattern of blacks and whites and silvers.

Asta said ‘What is it?’

‘Can you see it?’

‘I can feel something. What can you see?’

He described it s well as he could. ‘And what can you feel ?’ he added.

‘Something strange like a sort of far-off feeling… As if we’re a long way apart and I can see for miles and everything’s very clear and calm… I’m not afraid of anything, just calm… What’s it doing now?’

‘Just getting bigger. I can see past it now. It’s getting closer and I can see the words on the page and everything through the middle of it. It’s making me feel dizzy, a bit. If I try and look at it directly it slides away. It’s about this big now.’ He held out his left hand with the thumb and forefinger curved round, indicating the gap between them to be about as long as the thumb itself.

‘ Are we going blind?’ said Asta.

‘I don’t think so,’cause I can see perfectly well trough it. It’s just getting closer and bigger, but sort of sliding out of the way too, out towards the edge… As if it’s just going to float past and behind my head.’

They sat in the quiet little room, in the warm lamplight, and waited until the sparkling line had drifted closer and closer to the edge of his vision and eventually just beyond it, and then was gone. Altogether, from beginning to end, the experience lasted about twenty minutes.”

“The Book of Dust-Vol.I” – Philip Pullman