“A dim grayish light is in the distance. Maybe it is coming from a remote streetlight, maybe from a reflection of light on water. Squinting makes it possible to see that the heart of the light is more intense, and around it there is an aura, beams of light spattered and spreading everywhere. But since it is in the distance it is hard to see the details…”
After severe accidents, we talk about “memory loss”, as though the many details our memory holds are erased - but the fundamental human framework of thought and experience is still there, intact.
The protagonist of ‘Aura’ undergoes an accident from which surfaces a primeval, almost primitive, human consciousness: sounds, smells, natural phenomena, they are his vehicles for perceiving the surrounding. His family members attempt to revive old memories of their mutual past, unaware that he now lingers in a different mode of consciousness, unknown to them. Unintentionally they drive him to an abyss.
‘Aura’ is the last novella in Five Selves
, published by Holland House Books.