The finidreni (/ˈfɪnɪdɹɛni/) is a stranger no larger than an adult human hand, with four small and rounded tendrils, two longer, red-hand-tipped appendages, and a smiling, toothless mouth. Its flesh is light in color and exceptionally greasy when exposed to air, but maintains an almost sponge-like composition when within the confines of the finidreni's smooth and soft skin. It possesses only a single structure of coiled or spiraling intestinal tubing within its body, which starts at a point just between the eyes and continues to past its midsection; hollow and pristine, these organs, like its flesh, lack odor altogether.
"How can we account for its responses to this physical world? I raised the match up to the air and watched it flit right by, and in its wake the flame extinguished itself, ashamed to have ever hoped to lay itself upon this little imp. (…) Under no circumstance &emdash; dare I say &emdash; can I imagine such a fast-moving catastrophe (catastrophic, of course, in its sheer perfection of form! Catastrophic for my own psyche, to think that even at the height of my own physicality I could ever hope to compete!) interjecting with any substance that would bring it harm; if such a reaction exists &emdash; no, please, my sides are still hurting from that last round. We'll stop now, if you please." Feng Su Hao. Brakes: The Story of One and Another, p iii (opening dedication).
The finidreni's voice is high-pitched and childlike, and it speaks through a simple language formed through experimentation and repetition, the phonetic palette varying between individuals. Still, speech tends to be restricted to moments of particularly exquisite happiness, with squeals and giggles accounting for the majority of the finidreni's frequent expulsions.
The finidreni is most prevalent in hot or arid climates, finding a home within high-ceilinged rooms, near undecorated walls, or beneath rarely-touched ceilings held high with long columns.
"Not homes, not shops, not warehouses, nor factories; no, these were not where it made itself a home for itself. But facilities &emdash; water treatment, electrical power plants, even the odd nuclear loomers &emdash; these were the only places I saw any sort of recurrence, though to assume those aforementioned places were off-limits, well, again &emdash; I can't help but stifle a chuckle. Yes, it was everywhere." Noguerra, Aleix. Woes of Language, epilogue insert
The finidreni starts off very small, and travels in loops during this formative stage (during which it lacks any characteristic effects). It takes only a few hours to reach full size, and which point it becomes fully erratic in its wandering.
Just slower than a songbird and far more haphazard, the puckish finidreni moves with a flickering playfulness, its explorations fanciful but rapid, with this stranger never staying in the same location for anything more than a brief and infrequent circumlocution.
A finidreni's range can cover hundreds of square miles, if not more, and its paths can reach up to thirty miles per day.
It does not interact with objects aside from poles or tubular shapes, which it circles or passes through in a dizzying series of spins, its interest held by everything and nothing all at once.
The finidreni's presence causes a sense of intense joy and euphoria. While near the finidreni, a sensitive's problems seem not to matter, all pain seems bearable, and every detail in the world causes a sense of either deep reverence or delight.
Despite this exceptionally beneficial effect, the finidreni itself displays no interest in sensitives except to avoid them. It moves too quickly to be caught or even pursued, and, despite its lackadaisical nature, remains shrewd in the face of traps, dead-ends, nets, or weapons, never approaching these objects by more than fifty feet.
Upon encountering a sensitive, the finidreni does not return to the location in which the encounter took place.
"Her whole life had been leading up to this moment, she'd convinced herself in that very instant. All those long wanders through hallways longer than her own-guts, every night spent shaking 'pon bare mattress, every mouthful gargled salt-grey water no, no, it had meant so much, this was a pleasure 'bove all else! She opened her mouth &emdash; too tempting was the inclination to scream out exaltations and decree the virtues of this-all until her vocal cords they shredded up themselves to leather. No bible thick enough! No gospel large enough! And so on, so on, a momentary gasp that stretched from ear to ear and birth-memory to that present time.
It flickered through the window and forever gone, it did remain. She died penniless; a martyr to a cause unseen, and so her body became rolled in carpet and dumped out into the harbor, victim'd by those who knew little of her plight." Marion F. Gentry. I Walked with Armitage, 978
Although the finidreni tends to manifest only sparsely, thus making interactions exceptionally unlikely, encounters between individuals are only improbable.
"So high above me, the rafters vaulting up, a cathedral of kinds, one, and then another; a circling, no decrease in their speed. From so far below, I felt only a faint kind of gold-warm feeling beneath my skin, and it was enough to give a hint; suppressed by each other, was it enough to say that of them? Assumptions on my end. As they continued this slow circling, so too the circle tightened, and their movements become something automatic, identical each time, caught in a loop. I did not feel the warmth any longer, and watched only until the light through the windows lost its beams and the cement walls turned grey." Tages, S. Washington at its Knees (The Matherdom), line 3-12
When two finidreni meet, the stability of each drops to negligible levels.
"I made my way up the building's rafters (a slow climb made slower by the hand, that you have to remember, was still healing), a rickety-swing from ladder to ledge and onto the roof itself (never mind the clatter of those shingles, I have better places to be, sights to see!) and then I was there, peering into the same vault, and how that spot upon which I'd stood earlier now seemed an antworthy place.
They were still there, of course, not one inch to the right or the left or up or down. But now they had a sickening kind of rot around their eyes; and there was no hint of any good-rush in my stomach, though I will clarify that the coldness in my gut was not forced there by them, but rather stirred out from whatever bad thoughts I was still carrying from (the events between).
So caught up in this brief recollection that I did not pay any mind to how that rot did keep on spreading out. And I reached my hand out, and they became as rags that fell to dust and nothing hit the ground." Tages, S. Washington at its Knees (The Rickswing), line 2-14
The finidreni exhibits no signs of aging, and dies instead with a sudden softening of form, its slack body drifting downward like a fallen leaf. There, its corpse persists, retaining some warmth in its features, but disintegrating to impossibly-fine powder upon being touched by a sensitive, unmourned by both members of its own kind and those whom it seems placed here to exalt.