Kurt was not wrong. We have seen more remarkable events in Nadada, but the sandstorm revealed yet another facet of how you travel in this place.
Closing the door of my cottage for the last time was by far my saddest moment on this journey. This building, the garden, even the cups and saucers may not exist by tomorrow. Someone may build them again, but there is no guarantee I will even return to Picabia. The monkeys bowed when we departed, and I am sure The Butter Mouse bowed back.
The Kandinsky sat in a field big enough for a football match. Without any tracks to sit on, the train that had looked so majestic on our arrival was like a toy. Much like the monkeys, one of the staff nodded to me on my way in. Pretty embarrassing, as I am a member of staff myself. They are extra polite at the moment, as most of the commuters got off in Lozowick. We now have a ship full of tourists. Which I suppose I am part of as well.
Back in my cabin, I stared through the window at the trees, and the rolling hills beyond. Although I missed the cottage, the best part of this trip is that constant ‘airport taking off’ reaction, where for a while you do not need to worry about the problems on the ground, and can focus only on the the coming adventure.
This time the noise of change was like a big zip going all the way down. The view outside of window whooshed to sky blue, and I craned out of the window to view our transformation. The Kandinsky had become a thin, cog like circle, with long beams of metal stretching out to a disc at the centre. With this our cabin has shot up with the structure a good fifty foot into the air. The bottom slice of metal sank into the field, cutting the grass into a muddy line.
This design refused to reveal if we would rocket across the surface, fly through the sky, or tunnel underground. How that would work in the relation to the surface I have no idea. For a while we stood unmoving, a strange sculpture in rural countryside.
The first grains of sand blew in on a light wind. They vanished amongst the blades of grass. Any nearby monkeys scattered. The gusts continued, and in a slow war of attrition, the sand piled up in molehill like piles.
With a wailing tune the wind built into a sandstorm, blasting against my window. With a groan our giant cog whirred into motion, turning the divot in the grass into a trench. The whistling, blasting clanking combined into the roar of a monster, and sand consumed the world outside.
The storm is still wild, whipping around the ship. The Butter Mouse and I are safe in our cabin, the only real discomfort a blocked up nose thanks to the air pressure changing. We are still travelling, even if we are not going anywhere. In Nadada, the desert does the journey for you.
My last view of Picabia.