As I told you, it occurred to them that I might be an engineer. You know the rest, don't you?" "Yes," answered Benita softly. "I know the rest." Then they plunged into the reeds and were obliged to stop talking, since they must walk in single file. Presently Benita looked up and saw that she was under the thorn which grew in the cleft of the rock. Also, with some trouble she found the bunch of reeds that she had bent down, to mark the inconspicuous hole through which she had crept, and by it her lantern. It seemed weeks since she had left it there. "Now," she said, "light your candles, and if you see a crocodile, please shoot." XXIV THE TRUE GOLD "Let me go first," said Robert. "No," answered Benita. "I know the way; but please do watch for that horrible crocodile." Then she knelt down and crept into the hole, while after her came Robert, and after him the two Zulus, who protested that they were not ant-bears to burrow under ground. Lifting the lantern she searched the cave, and as she could see no signs of the crocodile, walked on boldly to where the stair began. "Be quick," she whispered to Robert, for in that place it seemed natural to speak low. "My father is above and near his death. I am dreadfully afraid lest we should be too late." So they toiled up the endless steps, a very strange procession, for the two Zulus, bold men enough outside, were shaking with fright, till at length Benita clambered out of the trap door on to the floor of the treasure chamber, and turned to help Robert, whose lameness made him somewhat slow and awkward. "What's all that?" he asked, pointing to the hide sacks, while they waited for the two scared Kaffirs to join them. "Oh!" she answered indifferently, "gold, I believe. Look, there is some of it on
I like to think that just reading this engages some primal mental switch to, I don't know, sell my household gold, or assassinate a political figure, or whatever. Some sort of semiotic, micro-fictional prion. It's the barebones of meaning, the infinitesimal and therefore most basic and pure evil, the smallest symbolic amino acids, just complicated enough to reproduce themselves, and shut-down the system they've infected.
I don't know what to make of the subject matter. But if other hypno-triggers from SF are any indication, it is probably post-colonial, and somewhat related to voodoo.
The real question is, if I published this as micro-fiction, would I be guilty of plagerism? Or is the involuntary replication of unconscious mind triggers considered fair use?