The Goatmen of Aguirra is one of my favorite stories and, based on comments, popular among my readers (thankee!). It appears in my self-published Tales Told ‘Round Celestial Campfires, as an individual ebook The Goatmen of Aguirra: A Tale Told ‘Round Celestial Campfires, and was serialized in Piker Press in 2019.
I’m sharing it here because a friend is having some challenges using 1st Person POV, and The Goatmen of Aguirra uses 1st Person POV throughout.
Hope you enjoy.
The Goatmen of Aguirra (Part 10)
845015:2200 – Tenku has returned. There is another billy with him, a young one just starting his horns, and not Gomer. They assume the talking positions, not including me. Tenku asks this other Goatman, “Where are you?”
“The Theisen … ” and a bark. Perhaps I would learn more if I didn’t rely on the damned translator. “Tenku has asked me to be with him and Journeyer. Gomer agrees this will help us know Journeyer and where he is, as Journeyer, we believe, is lost.
“We sit with the sisters and children of Hepob…”
This new billy’s recitation continued for fully forty minutes, at which time Gomer came over.
Before continuing note his reference to “The Theisen.” This seems odd to me as he did not smell of Wa’asis and I thought such was necessary for communication with “The Theisen” to begin.
Most disturbing to me was what he said as he came to the end of his speech; “…and there are some fallen stones. The Old Ones, placed without asking by the others from – ” the untranslatable word again “– those who dwell in the home who wants to be a rock.”
The young billy got up and Gomer took his place. Tenku asked, “Where are you?”
Gomer started, “As Shika said and…”
His recitation of where he is took days longer, even starting as it did from where the other Goatman left off and continuing far down the Towers, across the Altiplano and ranging over the continent.
The missing third leg of the triangle. I believe I have it. The oral history is truly rich and greatly diversified, everyone in the village has their own. They define where they are by their experience, starting at their immediate present, continuing throughout their personal histories and including racial histories when it is relevant to their personal recounting. Gomer, for example, recited a story about a Goatman called ‘Denihé’. From what he said, I suspect Denihé might be the Goatman I and I alone perceived when the others stood outside the Blind and Sanders dispatched the Rumbler. If not that, then Denihé is the creature who I became in that dream.
It is fascinating, this concept. To define your existence by your experience. Perhaps I was mistaken in thinking these creatures have names so much as they have icononyms, a single sound which acts as an arrow to a racial or cultural memory of their entire existence. It may explain why they laugh at ‘Goat Man’. The name denies them half their experience. To them, “history” is by its very nature an individual’s song.
I wonder what they made of “My name is Gordon Banks.”? Has that simple statement, denied of cultural references and identity, defined our interactions since?
Tenku sits facing me. There is black root in his hand.
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