Note: kaleidoscope is an extract from my first (and abandoned) novel: Journey. I decided to use it at the start of the fifth draft of my novel Eternity.


A kaleidoscope of colours. Eternal dreamstate. A shining fluorescent grid transposed over a black void. A murmur shakes the grid and an entire universe is disturbed. The universe collapses into a spiral over the void and there is darkness.

And now dark clouds blanket the evening sky and rain gently falls into muddy puddles on cobble-stone streets lit by oil lamps and the light of a bright crescent moon. Men wearing tail-suits, waistcoats, top hats and monocles walk the streets and puff plumes of smoke from their pipes. Little well-dressed children muddy their clothes and clamber around women in ballooning puffy dresses and petticoats. A man pulls a rabbit from a hat before a crowd of startled onlookers. In a theatre, women wearing heavy make-up dance in corsets and other women sip champagne. Thunder booms and lightning cracks the ground, and then all the people are caricatures.


I am alone on the street and it is dark.

I am afraid.

Entities flicker in the shadows.

I can see the street magician, and the fine-dressed women and the children, but all around them dance little red furry goblins. The goblins wear wicked smiles and they wave their spindly fingers over and through the caricatures, and some of the goblins lose their heads and others lose their limbs, and then space loses proportion and the world begins to fall apart.

I lie naked on my back, pinned to the ground in the desert. The sun blazes high in a blood-red-sky. Swirling flashes of coloured-cloud whisper into being and float and flash past my paralysed body. Now there are rattlesnakes. Now there are fluorescent self-transforming devils. Now the red puppet goblins return with their soft spiky hair and their big white eyes. The red puppet goblins point up into the sky and I can see the whole of the Milky Way Galaxy spinning around a central vortex.

Finally, I stand at the summit of a great waterfall of immense gushing power. I am afraid, but I know what I have to do. I let myself fall into the water, to be annihilated.

Alexander Toums