Sidher The Truck Driver
The movement of waste casts a spell in the language of the land
The paths waste treads day in and day out
The movement of land speaks to the underneath
The land responds with new life
Beings shaped to the form of decay
How many times had they traced that path, carrying an amalgamation of underneath in the clutch of a steel container?
The driver, whose name is Sidher, taps their fingers against the dashboard.
With each retraced path, a familiar utterance released.
Sidher was in a fine mood that day. They were thirty minutes ahead of schedule and the sun’s rays curled around the polarised windshield of their truck. Tree’s leaved reflected off of tower blocks. Sidher rolled through a hybrid forest on London’s fringes.
Miles passed before minutes.
Sidher recognised a sign to a stop up ahead. They had used it before when they were running ahead of schedule. A marker for good times.
After a mile or so they pulled off into the bunker and parked their truck as far from the service station café as they could manage. They didn’t want the smell to ruin anyone elses rest from the road. The layby was familiar to Sidher, used often by truck drivers on the way out of London. Off to the side of the stop was a wooden fence that led to an open field which banked down towards a stream.
Sidher passed through the fence into pastoral fields, sheep roaming and mushrooms dotted about the place. They came to rest on the trunk of a felled oak, dozing off slightly with an orange haze behind their eyes.
When they awoke the place seemed different, the plants seemed to glimmer and their reflections on Sidher’s work coat forced Sidher into a squint
Sidher could feel that something had changed. Intrigued yet fearful, sidhur got down low to inspect the peculiar reflections
Distant at first, but slowly becoming louder, a voice danced into the field from below.
“just one for me, and I’ll have something for you”
Sidher frowned, perplexed at the noises. They glanced left and right, checking for someone close by
The sound was definitely from underneath, it vibrated the ground Sidhers knees rested on
“just one for me, and I’ll have something for you”
Sidher stared down at the earth
“are you speaking to me?”
Sidher was suddenly 1 foot tall and an earthen body was emerging from the thistles. Stout and cheerful, lacking a mouth but definitely saying something faintly that Sidher could recognise
“will you take me Sidher?”
“take you where? Who are you?”
“I thought you might know, the spell you are casting is so strong I had assumed it was carried out by a conscious practitioner. I need to help the dawn of the new Si, you know them, I can see them in the load you carry, I need to go where you’re going”
“you want a ride?”
“a ride, yes”
“you didn’t answer who you were. I’ll give a ride to anyone who needs it but please tell me who you are first
“I did not answer for it might be tricky to explain… my community have not spoken to many people from your realm for a long long time..”
Sidher let this information sink in.
The conversation paused as a bee buzzed overhead. Sidher had to clasp their hands to their ears to soften the noise. Standing at a fraction of the size of a strand of wild grass as Sidher was, the bee was enormous.
The being Sidher was talking to, an earth spirit or something similar extended themselves up to the bee. In seconds they grew an arm, all fibrous tendrils and sinews of vegetation. Out of the arm emerged a hand with an open palm, offering up an engraved stone to the bee. They spoke briefly, the bee and the spirit, in a language totally unrecognisable to Sidher. Then the bee touched the stone and it morphed into a red light that spread across the grasses.
The spirit brought their hand back into themselves and turned to face Sidher.
“please, take me to your vehicle and I will explain”
Sidher stepped back and looked around them, thoughts rushing through their head. Even if they could take this spirit with them they were now only as tall as the grass!
Sidher felt faint
When Sidher came to they were more or less the size that they’d started at that day.
“I apologise Sidher, I thought that you’d know more about the magic you’re a part of, being so embedded in the casting of the spell. I have started along the wrong vein, let me try again. “
“The mound that your load is helping to create, each and every day you drive it to the site, is a place where beings like me dwell. Immortals was what your people used to call them, or the Fae or the Aos Sí. These new beings are quite like me in that they inhabit my domain, the domain you’ve seen today, but they’re new. New immortals… And they dwell in a messy blend of earth from everywhen and where. Such a mess that there’s few solid hooks for guidance down there, and many paths to get lost through.”
Sidher nodded, still shocked but understanding well.
“Please take me there Sidher, they’ll need my help.
“ I will. But on one condition… I want access to your realm, I want to know the spell I cast”
“you have to be careful what you wish for, what you’ve seen today is pretty and fine, but these new immortals won’t be in a good way”
“I understand and its still my condition”
Sidher was a caring person, and couldn’t live with the knowledge that there was pain around them, in their truck each working day. They stood firm until the spirit made a movement that was undoubtably affirmative.
“very well, and how will I move you to my truck?”
“you’ll have to dig the land around me, but once you do that I’ll have to leave you. My consciousness waivers out of the soil…”
In the truck, Sidher set off in silence but it didn’t take long to get loud. And loud it got. A plastic twisting and stretching, amplified throughout their truck’s cabin. At first Sidher thought the truck was surely finished and screeched to a halt at the side of the road to check the engine. But the engine was in tact, and even when it was off the noise continued.
Soon it dawned on Sidher was the noise was…
They walked to the back of the truck and opened up the mechanical rear to haze of contortions. They stumbled back and bent over, before pressing the shut button.
Time to get rid of this load. Sidher ran to the cabin and pulled back into the road.
Sidher switched on their speakers that they had installed to keep them awake on long, dark journeys. Set the loud, the speakers pumped out a bass pattern The bass cut through the noises that were coming from out the rear of the truck. Sidher drove on.
Over the coming months Sidher learned to soothe the unborn immortals in their truck. Music was a temporary remedy as Sidher got them to the dump.
Later, Sidher would take up a job at the dump to be closer to the immortals. The place stunk and their partner was not happy with Sidher’s decision, but they needed to be closer to the immortals, since no one else would…