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TWO PORTRAITS

Two portraits hung in a large European museum.  One portrait was of a beautiful young maiden with long locks of strawberry red hair.  The other portrait portrayed a strapping young lad in uniform.  Different artists painted the portraits during different centuries.  And, ostensibly, the individuals in the paintings were perfectly made up.

The portraits were hung opposite from one another in a large hallway.  They had been placed there for many years.  Possibly over a century.  One would find it difficult to perceive, and even difficult to imagine that the individuals in the portraits, in fact, developed quite a liking for one another.  After all, the young man was a dashing hero and the young maiden fair and easy on the eyes.  And it was almost serendipitous that they should be placed directly across from one another allowing them to flirt endlessly.

One day, a large rumbling shook the building.  A horrid thunder from outside persisted for days thereafter.  Several items and artifacts in the museum came crashing down, but the portraits managed to remain in place.  It wasn’t long before men in uniform came storming through the hallways.  The curator of the museum was taken under arrest as the soldiers gathered the items from the museum.

The two lovers looked at one another, but instead of smiles, they indeed had expressions of concern.  They were terrified, knowing not where they would be taken.  The portraits suddenly caught the attention of the general and a foot soldier.

“Look at this darling young gal.  Ain’t she a treasure?  Who do you suppose was the artist?” asked the foot soldier.

“Undoubtedly a man with exceptional taste for women.  Go on then, grab her and I’ll take the bloke in uniform here.”

The portraits were piled up with the other portraits in the museum and taken to some grim storage room in the industrial district.  Fate, however, had it so that when the portraits were placed about, the two lovers were not only laid next to one another, but facing one another as well.  One could only imagine how delighted they were by this strange grace of fortune.

The war went on for years.  Several of the buildings nearby were destroyed and demolished.  The museum was being used as headquarters for the generals of the invading army.  Eventually, the museum, too, was destroyed.  The two lovers, however, paid little attention to the surrounding circumstances.  They were simply enamored with one another in their own imaginary world.

Decades had passed and the war had come to a halt.  But the city was in ruins.  It would be another decade before things were somewhat back to normal.  Several years later, a man, who was buying the old building, had stumbled upon the portraits in a dusty old room.  He separated them out and placed them all for auction.  The lovers were terrified, yet again.

The young lad was the first to go.  He was auctioned off to a little old woman who had never bought artwork in her life.  But she was wealthy and spent a small fortune on the piece.  The young woman, incidentally, was next to go.  She was sold for an exorbitant amount to an old fellow who, as the maiden in the portrait noticed, looked quite familiar.  In fact, he was the same man ~ the young foot soldier ~ who had taken her from the wall in the museum so many years ago.  He had, in fact, remembered her this whole time and was startled to find that she was being auctioned off.  Unlike the lady who had bought the portrait of the young man, the old foot soldier was somewhat of an art collector.  Throughout the years, he had managed to gain some fortune by working as a state official.  He, however, no longer worked, but spent his time collecting beautiful works of art.

“You, my dear, are my most beautiful prize.  But you do look a bit different from what I remember.  You look sad.  The years must have been difficult for you as well.”

She missed her lover very much.  They had not been apart from one another for centuries.  And now, alas, she was alone with this friendly old man.

Many years later, the man had died and his things, too, were auctioned off.  This time, a young American fellow had purchased the sad young damsel and brought her back to Manhattan.  As it turns out, he was a curator of a rather large museum that had many artifacts of European art, literature, and warfare.  He managed to trace back some of the items lost during times of war and was happy to find that the young lady was still alive, as it were.

He personally hung her up in a large corridor.  He stood back momentarily to marvel at her beauty and briskly walked off.  As he turned to leave, she was able to see the opposite wall.  There was a lovely portrait hung there.  It was painted several centuries ago.  It portrayed a dashing young lad in uniform.

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In the future, the world will be ruled by King Xulu. His reign will last hundreds of years, and although his physical essence will whither in time, his influence will increase in strength. The people of Earth will be entirely under his rule and know little outside of their small existence – one which is dedicated entirely to King Xulu’s Empire.

Although the King maintains absolute authority, power is partitioned throughout a small number of his closest minions. One very significant minion is the Empire’s Executioner, simply referred to as The Executioner. This tale is about a particularly momentous time in The Executioner’s life.

Originally from New Europe, The Executioner was raised comfortably, having inherited a lofty family estate. He joined the King’s Services for several years where he made all his important acquaintances. This is about the time when he had a very interesting and unexpected visit with the Under Lord, the ruler of all dark forces on earth and beyond.

The Under Lord came with a very tempting proposition. He noticed an exceptionally strong nature in The Executioner, and so he offered him a high position in the afterlife, one which would require extraordinary strength. And to test The Executioner’s strength, he would give him a position in the Ruling Empire where his strength would be tested every day – where he would have to make decisions ruthlessly, with no remorse at all. If he were to allow his weaknesses to interfere with his duties, not only would the Under Lord take back his offer, but The Executioner would be stripped from this reality and forced into the most miserable afterlife imaginable. It would not be enough to just terminate a condemned victim, and so the Under Lord’s final condition was that The Executioner would meet with every one of his victims for three hours on the eve of their departure.

The Executioner without much hesitation agreed to the conditions. The following week, by virtue of unseen forces, he was appointed the position of Empire’s Executioner by the highest authorities. For decades, The Executioner conducted all of King Xulu’s demands with absolute obedience.

GUSTOFF’S MEETING

A man is condemned to death and awaits his day of departure in a tiny, cramped dungeon cell with oily walls and a filthy, stained mattress.  The Executioner meets with the man on the eve of his fateful death. The Executioner as is his custom, enjoys to be more intimately acquainted with his victims before processing them.

They exchange a bit of small talk and philosophize some. The Executioner is an exceptionally bright fellow – well read and sharp on his wits. The condemned are often dim and sheepish – petty criminals of the proletariat; murders in fits of passion and brash in most regards.

This man, however, is brilliant – educated, well tempered, but ostensibly not as smart as he could have been, considering his circumstances. Several hours prior to his meeting with The Executioner, the man was condemned for a series of crimes of a higher magnitude; specifically, a conviction of Defaming the Empire.

As he spoke with his Executioner, he never rose his voice and spoke with integrity, omitting all crude language.

“Yesterday evening, I met with today’s victim – an older man who, for years, had watched the condemned being executed publicly. A hungry peasant, he stole goods for himself and his family and was caught, condemned, and sentenced to death. I listened to his entire story: his love for family and admiration of those in society who can afford to live decently and honestly. The man didn’t seem to understand that decency is pervaded by exceptional actors. I also noticed – and this is certainly not uncommon – that he was attempting to flatter me in hopes that I would relinquish the sentence. As the man spoke, I suddenly realized that I actually knew him. For years, he heckled the condemned, sheepishly judging them; and now, he, himself, was being put to death by the same system he supported. You see, from an early age, I was gifted with a good – some would say photographic – memory. It is not uncommon for me to meet with men and women who I have previously observed within the crowds of spectators on Execution Day.”

“Why is it,” Gustoff asked, “that you utilize such crude methods to process your victims?”

“Crude? That is a highly objective word to use. This charade you are witnessing is all an experiment. It’s an ongoing experiment to see what methods elicit the most notable reaction in the public – the most effective and painful methods.”

“Methods of what?”

“Ah yes. Well, most immediately, the methods of torture. But the sub context, as you were probably alluding to, is the collective punishment that the human population is currently experiencing.”

“Punishment for what?”

“For having the audacity to come here expecting to get off easily! You see, I pay particularly close attention to the victim’s closest relations: parents, siblings, children, but especially the spouses. I like to take note on whether the individuals appear heart-broken or comforted knowing that the condemned is finally relieved from their earthly burdens. The condemned men and women aren’t always run-of-the-mill criminals. Some are murderers, rapists, and occasionally we’ll encounter a stately official – a politician – facing the highest judgment.”

Gustoff remained silent.

The Executioner noticed this and started.  “Have you children?”

“I should expect that a man of your intellectual caliber would have memorized the report on my famelial background.  Am I wrong?”  The Executioner shrugged.  “Then, with all due respect, why bother with such trivial discourse?”

The Executioner, without hesitation, dryly recited Gustoff’s entire record with startling accuracy and confidence.  “You see,” he continued, “this exercise is by no means trivial.  It is quite deliberate actually.  I enjoy nothing more than hearing the words drip from the tongues of the condemned.  It makes this exercise much more interesting.”

“Well, you may, then, be delighted to know that your report excluded one crucial detail.”

“Oh?  A discrepancy?”

“Yes.  I happen to be an orator of the ancient folk tradition.”

“Ah, a storyteller!”

“Yes.  And one of the few remaining.”

“And I assure you, Gustoff, there will be fewer still.”

“Quite so.”

“Well then, storyteller, tell me a tale.”

Gustoff sat still, entertaining the thought that had he been a free man, he would have kept such notions a secret.  But The Executioner appeared to be quite amused and eager to hear a good tale.  Seeing this enthusiasm, Gustoff leaned forward and started.

THE TALE OF SHAILA AND WHITE FEATHER

“Many years ago,” Gustoff explains, “there was a little bird who’s parents named him White Feather for the distinguished feather on his head. At a young age, he looked quite ordinary. Nothing very outstanding.  However, White Feather did  have great ambition.  His life would forever change the first time he saw Shaila. He absolutely fell in love with little Shaila, who was the most beautiful bird in the entire flock. Everybody did their best to impress her, though she was seldom interested in anybody. It seemed that she would only fall for the best of the best. Little White Feather decided then and there that he would do everything he possibly could to gain Shaila’s affection, and so he collected every charming item to contribute to his plumes, and so, over the years, he became the most lavishly ornamented bird in the flock. He managed to gain the attention of virtually everybody and became known as the most flamboyant bird around. His ego became very apparent, and he strut and flew anywhere and everywhere with exceptional pride.  Over the years, he managed to build such a reputation as quite a suitable mate; but despite his efforts, Shaila never took much interest in him. She seemed to never notice him in the least. But little White Feather was cursed by his ambitions and did everything in his power to be all the more impressive, but to no avail.

“One day, the wisest of all birds, The Great Black Bird, who had been observing little White Feather for some time, confronted our flamboyant friend. He warned White Feather, telling him that by putting himself on such a lavish display will prove to be perilous in the end and that humility is the highest virtue of the wise.

“White Feather heard this and grew very peevish and told The Great Black Bird that he was a fool, and quite jealous of his beauty.  ‘I’m a work of art, whereas you, sir, are just a boring black bird.’ The Great Black Bird was not offended, but felt pity for the young buffoon and said, ‘I assure you, White Feather, that you will soon meet your doom.’  But White Feather turned his back and flew off to the company of his fancy.

“It wasn’t long before White Feather could hardly be referred to as that, for there was hardly a white feather on his body.  He was as colorful as the rainbow, and quite proud and full of pomp.  The others grew weary by his self-important display.  And Shaila was all the least impressed by him.  But this fact did not bother White Feather any more, for his gregarious decoration was no longer intended to impress others; but rather to impress is own ego.

“As he was fully satisfied in his self, he no longer served any purpose to the flock, and the Gods of the Universe seemingly decided to act on this.  One day, while heading South as the migrating birds do, White Feather insisted on leading the tribe.  The other birds were neutral to the notion of leadership and permitted him in his wish.  It wasn’t before they reached the Southernmost point of North America when they encountered a formidable foe.  A man who collected the feathers of rare and exotic birds spotted White Feather amongst the other birds and grew very excited, indeed.  Within seconds, the man fired a deadly shot, piercing White Feather’s heart; and on the way down, in the midst of losing consciousness, White Feather thought to himself how much he wished that he had listened to The Great Black Bird’s advice.”

“Ha!” The Executioner exclaimed.  “Now you see what happens when you don’t listen to the wise – you face the firing squad.”

“Quite so.”

“Did you share this tale with your children?”

“Yes.  In their early years.”

“Bold man, you are.  They could have repeated this to others, and the authorities would have traced it straight back to you.  You’re quite the risk-taker.”

“Nobody’s childhood is complete without the valuable lessons in fairytales.  It was a risk worth taking.”

“Well, have you other stories that you would like to share?”

“More than you could imagine.”

“Then, I beg you, go on.”

DEVIL’S CANNON

“Before the turn of the last century, a great civilization thrived on what was then referred to as Valentines Island.  Fifty-thousand people lived throughout the kingdom and engaged in all forms of spiritual and cultural practices; most notably, their annual carnival that occurred during the Spring Equinox.  The ceremony was held in respect to the Gods of Fertility, who made the fields rich for the year’s harvest.

“Now, this tale is about the wealthiest man on Valentines Island, who went by the name Ailiani Sylbaris.  He was the greatest magistrate in all the land.  Considered a King by some, he was often consulted for various municipal policies and progress.  Some even came to him for emotional and financial guidance.  Most importantly, he was responsible for funding education on the island, for he felt a deep responsibility for cultivating a glorious future.

“One year, the island was struck by a severe drought.  Alas, the fields produced a meager harvest and many people went hungry and starved.  Some blamed themselves for not being more zealous in their homage to the Gods of Fertility.  Others blamed the magistrate, Ailiani.  They claimed that he ignored the Gods and, by being the most powerful man throughout the land, he would have more strength in summoning the celestial forces.  The people soon plotted against him and sought to have him condemned to the dungeons.

“A great meeting was called throughout the land and everybody put forth testimony against Ailiani, including his own wife and children.  A mob subsequently stormed his home, shackled and dragged him to the far side of the island where he would live out the rest of his life.  The people rejoiced. His estate was so large that upon being reclaimed, it was redistributed amongst the people, making everyone exceptionally rich.  They began to import food from the mainlands.  Few people worked and everybody lived rather comfortably for a period of time.  Nobody spoke of Ailiani and soon, he became a faint memory.  When they did mention his name, they ridiculed him for being a foolish and insolent man who deserved his formidable fate.

“Years would pass before a thundering roar shook the Earth and darkened the Heavens. Devil’s Cannon, the largest volcano on the island, began to smoke severely. The people of Valentines Island grew frantic. They attempted to gather their belongings and head to the shores. Few made it to the docks, and before they could embark to the safety of sea, Devil’s Cannon erupted, shooting ash and flaming hot boulders high into the atmosphere. A pyroclastic flow of simmering black air swept the land shortly thereafter, killing everybody instantly.

“Ailiani was having breakfast when he felt the Earth quake. Hot gas quickly reached Ailiani’s cell and entered through tiny vents towards the front of the dungeon. He scrambled to stuff sheets into the holes, but it was too hot, and so he curled up towards the back of his cell. In a moment, everything grew silent. It was all over. Ailiani was burned severely over his back and shoulders, but there was absolutely no damage to his clothing. A few days had passed before a rescue team arrived on Valentines Island. They found the entire city flattened and not a single survivor. They thought all was doomed until they searched the dungeons where they found Ailiani badly burnt, but alive.

“Some years passed. Ailiani recovered and was invited to join the circus, where he became known as ‘The Incredible Ailiani Sylbaris ~ the Betrayed King of Valentine; who was Condemned to a Life in Prison; who became the One & Only Survivor of Devil’s Cannon; who, through the Confines of his Dungeon, was Kept Safe from Volcanic Catastrophe!'”

Gustoff, at these last words, remained silent and stared off, seemingly lost in his mind.

“Well,” The Executioner said, interrupted the uncomfortable silence.  “That is a fascinating story, and I must admit, the first time I have heard it.  But I am sorry to say that you, Gustoff, will not be as fortunate as Monsieur Sylbaris.”

“Quite so,” Gustoff replied calmly.

The Executioner reached through his coat and produced a watch.  It clicked for a few seconds and he exhaled grimly.  “It is nearly time for me to be off.  Must get rest for tomorrow.”

“Yes.  But before you go, I have a very short tale to share with you – one which I think you will find particularly amusing.  Consider it my final word of the evening.”

THE MORTICIAN’S PARADE

“A charming mountain town high in the Continental United States was home to a particular mortician who, with seldom an extra shilling, struggled to get by.  Being a mortician, he could not simply summon his clientele, as he was obliged to wait for his ‘customers’ to Wander the Elysian Fields.”

The Executioner looked confused and interjected.  “The Elysian Fields?”

“Surely you must be acquainted with mythology, sir?”

“Keep in mind, Gustoff, mythology is devious and misleading.  You are amongst few who are acquainted with such matters.  That being said, enlighten me.”

“Well then.  The Elysian Fields encompasses an area in the Under World thought to be the final resting place for the heroic and the virtuous.”

“I see.  The fields of the dead.”

“Precisely.  May I continue?”  The Exectioner nodded, permitting Gustoff to carry on.

“Well then.  People in the town were mostly young and healthy – hard laborers with high hopes in shaping the future of their new nation.  And so the Mortician was quite out of work.

“This was not always so.  At some point in the past, the early settlers of the town had grown old and sickly.  The youth, additionally, were often falling ill, and the Mortician was in constant demand.  Until one day, a young doctor, fresh from the modern medical academy, ventured to work in town, curing the sick and frail with simple and affective remedies.

“The Mortician grew bitter and envious of the young physician’s success.  And so he reckoned to cast a spell throughout the land so that he could gain wealth at everyone’s expense.  Soon, a shipment of goods arrived in town bringing with it a mysterious disease that affected many of the town folk.  The first to be afflicted, oddly enough, was the young doctor.  As it turns out, it was a horrific sickness that brought one to death within two days, and so the young man died shortly thereafter.  Upon hearing this news, the Mortician rejoiced knowing that his incantation worked.

“And so, the Mortician prepared the doctor for burial and paraded his casket through the Main Street which lead to the town’s cemetery.  The town folk looked on silently, wondering what sort of wickedness would cause such a phenomenon to occur.  It wasn’t long before more people fell victim to the ravenous fury of the mysterious illness.  Nobody was safe.  And so the Mortician grew very rich very quick.  With his riches came an exceptional amount of pride and he soon became known as one of the wealthiest men in town.

“The Mortician paraded the corpse of each victim through town as hoards of mourners stood and watched.  Despite the vapid suffering, he seemed to be impervious – almost satisfied – by such unfortunate circumstances.  So many people died that it soon became impractical to parade each and every corpse through town, and so the victims were being buried in mass graves with no ceremony whatsoever.

“The Mortician’s estate became increasingly lavish as he grew more and more sinister.  Until one day, during supper, he noticed that he had no appetite.  As he walked the stairs to his bedroom, he grew faint, light-headed and collapsed, tumbling town each step, breaking several ribs.  There were no physicians remaining in town, and so he helplessly made his way to bed where he would remain in agony for the following two days.

“A week had passed until the survivors of the plague noticed that no more victims were being brought to the town’s cemetery.  And so they concluded that the plague had claimed its final victims and was finally over.  They also noticed that the Mortician had been absent and when they paid him a visit, found his corpse rotting in his bed.

“And thus, the town folk happily paraded the final corpse to the cemetery.”

The Executioner, throughout Gustoff’s story, acknowledged that the foregoing tales were told with intention.  They were being addressed to The Executioner as an allegory to his life.  And, thus, he calmly interjected, doing his best to conceal his indignation.  “That is a charming story, and I am truly amused.  But I assure you, Gustoff, that I will not be paraded to the cemetery like your Mortician anytime soon.  My mission on Earth has yet to be complete.”

Gustoff was not surprised by his Executioner’s keen discernment and responded calmly.  “You are playing with treachery, my friend, and you will someday meet a very similar fate.”

“That may be so, Gustoff.  But after tomorrow, I will enjoy a warm evening meal, make merry in the company of my loved ones, and watch the sun set, whereas you, sir, will not.  I bid you goodnight.”

EPILOGUE

The following day, Gustoff was executed, swiftly and severely.  The crowds cheered and roared, revering the Gods of the Empire, as well as The Executioner’s impeccable performance.  He made it a point to end Gustoff’s life in a brutal fashion, and with absolutely no remorse, The Executioner returned to his study.  It was late afternoon, and he was scheduled to meet with his next victim; but before long, he heard the wooden floorboards growling as they parted, giving way to a large, smoldering cavity.  The Under Lord rose slowly from the fiery hole and spoke to The Executioner in a grave tone:

“Today you have completed your most challenging task: Killing the Honorable Wise Man.  And you did so without any hesitation, and for that, I commend you, sir.”  Although he was given praise, The Executioner appeared terrified by The Under Lord’s presence, for something truly sinister was at hand.  He felt as if he were on the brink of a new transition – one that he, perhaps, was not yet prepared for.  He considered his final words to Gustoff: that he would continue living, enjoying the company of loved ones, and watch the setting sun.  The sun, however, was still high, and he felt somewhat ashamed of his hasty swagger.

“Many years ago,” The Under Lord continued, “I gave you my word that upon completion of your examination, you would be given the highest honor: Royal Executioner of the Under World.  Well, my wicked man, you have satisfied my wishes.  And thus, the time has come!  Kneel to me, Executioner.”

As The Executioner kneeled, The Under Lord recited a series of incantations in a most peculiar dialect.  The Executioner was then asked to rise.  He was swiftly impaled through the chest by The Under Lords enormous forefinger, and brought screaming to the fiery depths of the Under World, where he would remain Royal Executioner for all eternity.

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High in the Heavens, comfortable in his throne, Lord Zurianie sat scrolling through a particular segment of his Book of Greatness, analyzing events that would soon unfold.  He would, in his distraction, and as a force of habit, skim his fingers through his white and remarkably distinguished beard.  Being so long, it occasionally intertwined resulting in a rather unkempt aesthetic—very un-lordly, indeed.  In the midst of his reverie, he felt a presence approaching his domain.

“Who goes there?” he asked in his deep, mighty voice that thundered through the universe like three hundred million supernovas.  When there was no response, he became belligerent.  “Who dare enter my dominion?” he shouted.

“Must you yell?”  The man’s voice thundered in the same vein, causing the Yapila galaxy to shift off its axis.  This resulted in magnificent devastation, though neither Zurianie nor this mysterious entity would be too concerned, seeing as they had no hand in Yapila’s existence.  “It is just I,” the intruder continued.  “Lord Vumanor.”

“Ah!  Lord Vumanor, creator of Muchuqua, the seventy-fourth universe in the Brantu realm!  Please, do reveal yourself!  It has been ages!”

In the distance, through a thick screen of mist, dust, and the Elements of Actuality, Lord Vumanor approached.  He, thought Zurianie, had not changed at all since his last visit.  His beard was so long that it became difficult to distinguish its continual growth.  He looked well, being amongst the second generation of his kind.

“Ages!” Zurianie again exclaimed.  He did not pay much attention to the ramifications of his excitement, though they were utterly devastating; like a man who constructed some devise and, through negligence, accidentally set his creation alight.  Vumanor’s expression and essence reflected similar excitement, though, as was his tendency, he maintained his solemn demeanor.

“Yes, I must admit that I have longed for our thoughtful discourse.  You do have the most brilliant views.”

“If my views are brilliant, it is only due to my mentor, Yarara, who you, unfortunately, had not had the chance of meeting yet.  A magnificent Lord with magnificent creation!  You must request a talk with him soon.  It is well worth the torment.  He will put your every notion into question and tear a hole through your entire essence, so to speak.  Then he will allow you to recreate yourself.  It’s a remarkable experience and you will emerge with the wisdom of three eternities!”

Lord Vumanor remained silent, nodding in acknowledgment.  After seventeen years, he spoke.

“I must say, Zurianie, your humility far supersedes that of most Lords.  I admire you greatly.  Tell me, what exploits have you recently donated your energy to?”  As he asked this, he paid particular attention to the book in the Lord’s grasp.

“Ah, yes.  I call this the Book of Greatness.  I have cataloged my each creation, thought, endeavor, and such, including a timeline of events that starts at the beginning and courses all the way to the end, which, as you know, does not exist; yet, at least.”

Vumanor’s expression was attentive, reflecting a desire to hear more of his colleague’s work.  Zurianie satiated this want.

“Before your most welcoming visit, I was pondering the lineage of a particular life-form on my life-planet, Quershi.  Like other dimensions, containing incalculable existence, it is my only world with life on it.  Excuse me!”  At this moment, Zurianie placed his hand on his forehead as if to remedy a pain of some sort.  He stood up from his throne and paced about as he continued.  “Vumanor!  Vumanor!  I apologize for debasing your wisdom.  As much as I attempt to exist in humility, I occasionally overstep boundaries!  There is little reason for me to illuminate any corridors for you.  You have achieved great wonders already!  Such greatness can only be accompanied by contemporaneous wisdom!  Please forgive me!  You forgive me?  Good.  I knew you would!  This life-form is soon coming to its end.  It is a funny little creature, seemingly redundant; pointless; clumsy!  In reality, I created it out of sheer boredom!  But it plays a very important role.  A balance of sorts to the remaining life on that little world.  Its extinction, if you will, has great consequences: the extinction of countless other creatures.  It is a nutritional source for many, you understand.  I’m sure you’ve already studied Quershi in the Book of  She-Bang.  It’s well documented, as you might already know.  I can see your thought.  You knew this already!  You are probably familiar with the cascade of extinction that will soon follow.  You do?  Ha!  A magnificent spectacle, really.  I am waiting in anticipation for the moment to arrive.  It has been 256,985 years now; but it seems that excitement can make even ten thousand years last forever!  Wait!  Hush!  Listen!”

Both Lords stood silent, not moving lest they should cause any disturbance.  A tiny sound could be heard emanating through the Seventh Wave Frequency.  Vumanor produced a magnificent smile.

“Your people are singing praise!”  He felt delighted to have come at such a wonderful moment.  “They must adore you!”

“Ah, yes!”  He ran to his throne and picked up the Book of Greatness and turned it to page 9,335,098,123 and read in silence.  “Brilliant!  Year 4,234,233: I gave them a new world leader; one they have been praying for so diligently.  It has been eons now, living under oppressive rule.  Liberty!  Ha!  They all fight for liberty, don’t they?  Now they believe they finally have liberty!  But wait, Vumanor, wait!  This one will turn out to be a real monster!  Ten thousand years of oppression will shortly follow.  They are so foolish sometimes, throwing all of their little hopes and little dreams into the most absurd little things!  Leaders!  Ha!”

Vumanor was entranced and still smiling.  “Intriguing.  Their music.  What a fantastic creation.  Seems like every planet has some form of music.  My life-planet Poruma has the most magnificent music.  I sometimes sit for ages, reading out of my Book of Muchuqua and listen to their music.  It is usually secular, however.  I am delighted to hear such magnificently pious music coming from your people!  They really are rather talented.  There is so much talent in every universe!  But it really works both ways.  Doesn’t it?  There are some horrendous songs being sung on Poruma.  Mostly modern music.  Ghastly voice.  Ghastly rhythm.  Ghastly words.  I will soon destroy Poruma.  The people there have no taste anymore.  They once did.  Magnificent work.  Brilliant artistry!  You must see their sacred murals and songs!  Fabulous.  Even the secular work had its flair.  But now, it’s all rubbish.  Of course, some are still keeping the old art alive.  But they are few and far between; little following or respect, really.  The vast majority is concerned mostly with the modern, and despicable forms.  It was all deliberate, actually.  I do fancy them very much.  Great, hospitable people, by and large.  Occasionally decrepit; lying, cheating, murdering and so on.  So I designed the terrible art forms to give me a good reason to destroy Poruma.  Otherwise, I would, out of my sheer admiration for their music, keep them in existence for nineteen eternities, which far supersedes my initial plan.”

“That’s really quite fascinating!  Vumanor, you are brilliant, indeed.  I cannot forgive myself for speaking down to you.  But you already forgave me.  I don’t, though.  It’s a brilliant design you have.  I suppose my design is actually quite inferior to yours.  See, I usually play games with my creations.  And I derive great enjoyment from such games.  For instance, I sometimes put a man or woman to ruin, and wait to see if they still hold high regard for me, their creator.  I find it utterly hysterical when their faith and praise amplifies after such circumstances!  Foolish, foolish people.  Their insatiable desire to find meaning.  Their insatiable desire to seek truth.  Ha!  If only they knew that truth has its many forms—forms they will never in their entire existence become acquainted with!”

Lord Zurianie began to laugh hysterically, as if he admired his own treachery.  Vumanor remained silent and was not amused by Zurianie’s behavior.  Soon the latter grew silent and somewhat bitter by his colleague’s judgment.

“You chastise me.”

“Nay.”

“Your thoughts, I can see some of them.  You think I am wicked.  Don’t you?”

“We are all wicked as much as we are good.”

“This is making sense now.  You did not come out of longing to pay me, Lord Zurianie, creator of Quazanta, the twenty-third realm of Babakaka, a visit.  Such yearning was not the source of your visit, was it?”

“No.”  He remained silent for 542,245 years.  “It really is rather strange,” Vumanor said as he finally broke the silence.

“What is it?”

“Well, the other millennia, I was sitting in silent ennui.  I hadn’t spoken to any of our colleagues for ages.  During this time, my thoughts became intolerable.  I was filled with a form of anguish that I had never before experienced.”

“What in the three thousand universes are you speaking of?”

“Zurianie.  Tell me: how far back can you remember?”

“What has that to do with anything?”

“Please, Lord!  Humor me!”

“Well then!”  Zurianie was beginning to consult his Book of Greatness.

“No, Zurianie!  From memory, only!

“Right, right.  Well, I do recall the last meal I’ve had.”

“How long ago was this?”

“Well, it was just in the last millennia, actually.”

“Tell me, what did you eat exactly?”

“A galactic omelet or sorts: a couple stars—Xenitia and Tanairu, both of which were scheduled to die; garnished with the dust of the Blythian solar system.  A delicious meal!  A little recipe I picked up from Lord God, the maker of Heaven and Earth!  He’s quite the gourmand, actually!  A great fellow with a great sense of humor.  You should see his life-planet and the dominant life-form on it.  Hilarious!  A magnificently stupid creature!  Violent and with horrible tastes, much like the tastes of the creatures on your planet, Poruma.  So tell me, Vumanor, why would you ask me such a seemingly irrelevant question?”

“It is by no means irrelevant.  It is perfectly pertinent to this discussion.  It is what brought me here in the first place.”  He stopped speaking for a time.  He appeared to be humiliated by his own devise.  Zurianie, a busy Lord, grew impatient.

“What is it then?  You are not being explicit and I am growing weary of your excessive continence!”

“What’s the point?”

“Come again?”

“What’s the point of it all?”

“Of what?”

“This!”  He began flailing his arms around, and accidentally smashed into a nebula that was soon to become a great star system.

“Vumanor!  Control yourself!  Have you gone mad?”

“I do apologize!  You must understand that I have been exercising great strength in subduing my hysteria.  I simply do not see the point of our toiling.”

“Well then.  Is that what has been causing you great anguish?  A lack of meaning?  You’re just like my little Quershians: silly; flippant; occasionally insolent; utterly ignorant.”

“Your contempt is, I feel, unwarranted.”

“What do you expect with your asinine inquiries?  Sympathy?”

“Answers.”

“Well!”

“Have you no remarks other than scorn?  No advice, perhaps?”

“Read the Book of She-Bang again.  You have obviously allowed its teachings to escape your memory.  And all this time, I thought you were clever!  Ha!”

“I am well versed in the She-Bang.  It is not a question of memory; it’s a question of truth.”

“Truth?”

“Yes!  The truth behind the She-Bang!”

“You dare question the She-Bang?”  He said this quietly, as if someone were to hear his statement.

“Well.  Zurianie, you must understand that the reason I came here is to have my concerns relinquished.  I wanted some advise.”

“You really must consult Lord Yarara.  You have much to learn in the ways of Actuality!  Here, I will tell you how to approach him, for he is notoriously inhospitable.”

And thus, Lord Zurianie provided Lord Vumanor with a detailed direction to Lord Yarara’s domain.  During this time, Zurianie was thinking of how foolish his old friend was being.  Vumanor could sense these thoughts and was feeling especially humiliated, which brought him further towards a place of self-doubt.  After a somewhat cold parting with his friend, Vumanor ventured forth to meet with the great Yarara.  His anxiety was suffocating and he felt very small in the grand realms of Actuality.  In fact, he felt rather despondent, feeling that perhaps everything was futile.  He, nevertheless, hoped Yarara would help him overcome his current miseries.

As he entered the ambiguous boundaries of Yarara’s domain, he felt a remarkably powerful essence.  As he moved through the empty space of this strange universe, he felt an increasing degree of resistance in his motion.  It was the same feeling that one would experience while trudging through a highly viscous liquid; or moving against a strong current of wind.  Though, being a vacuum, the only substance that could create such a force was the Ninth Essence of Actuality—the energy that commands everything, of which Yarara had in great abundance.  As the strength of this force grew to a plateau, Vumanor heard a loud, rumbling exclamation, with a strength that nearly dissolved him into his original elements.

“Foolish inquirer!  You dare consult the great Yarara, Lord of the mighty Ascetanic Universe, creator of the Quiquishaw realm!  I knew you were coming since the beginning of Actuality!  You needn’t explicate your concerns!  Your lack of confidence stinks of the putrid waste of all physical beings!  Sheer excrement!  You are a disgrace to the Kingdom of She-Bang!”

Vumanor understood through Zurianie’s instructions that Yarara would attempt to discourage visitors from stepping forth towards the heart of his universe.  In reality, Vumanor was at the margins of Quiquishaw and had quite a distance to travel before even catching sight of Lord Yarara.  He was a mighty Lord and existed before Vumanor’s generation came to being.  His wisdom was accumulated over twenty-seven eternities, which is a daunting degree of insight.

“Ha!” Yarara ejaculated.  “You continue your journey!  Persistent failure, I see.  Very well!  I will see you in 321,555,429 years!”  This was the time it would take for Vumanor to reach Yarara’s territory.  It would provide the former with ample time to collect his thoughts, inquiries, and perhaps even arrive at a conclusion on his own, allowing him to return without ever needing to trouble Lord Yarara whatsoever.  This, however, would not be the case, and he was determined to have his questions answered.  After great struggle, battling universal expansion, and the overwhelming cosmic forces of this Lord’s reality, he finally reached a portion where all became still and inanimate, as if the galactic storms have come to a halt entirely.  He moved through with great caution, for he heard that Yarara was a devastating prankster and remarkably mean-spirited, deriving great pleasure from inflicting pain unto others.  Then, breaking the silence of nothingness, Yarara came shooting from a thick cloud of universal dust and delivered a swift blow to Vumanor’s chest with his staff and continued to bludgeon his face with his other fist for a period of seventy-five years.  When he was through with the torment, Yarara stood firm and laughed hysterically, causing a good portion of his universe to shift and shatter from the mighty vibrations of his voice.  Vumanor, prostrate for a moment, felt humiliated, yet ambitious.  He knew this peculiar entity would help guide him through his uncertainties.  He looked up at his superior in subservience.

“You have no anger.  Ha!  I can sense that in you.  You are a good semideus being!  You know your place in the Actuality!  You know I am much wiser and you know to respect the wise!”  He said this as he put his mighty foot on Vumanor, who laid down in a bundle of galactic dust.  Yarara began grinding his heel into Vumanor’s chest, inflicting great paint unto him.  “Your questions are utterly absurd!  I had written in my Book of Illustriousness that you would come for guidance under the suggestion of Lord Zurianie, who I mentored eons past.  You have much to learn.  For now, you are naught but a petty imbecile.”

“I, Lord Yarara, accept your criticism for I know your wisdom is infinite; though, I would be much obliged if you—”

“—skipped the ceremonial torment?  You needn’t say a word, fool!  It is all calculated!  You wonder how I became so great.  I have achieved completion with my deep understanding of the Book of She-Bang!  I understand you question its authority!”

Vumanor quietly nodded accordingly.

“Insolence!  Disrespectful cad!  A real universal schlub, you are!  A pitiful deity.  I’m amazed that you even manage to be clever in your creations!  Ha!  An anomaly, indeed!  Let me demonstrate my regard for you.”  As he said this, he removed his foot from Vumanor’s chest as if to release him from his restraint.  Then, as Vumanor began to feel a sense of warmth from Lord Yarara, the latter delivered a mighty kick to his subject’s side, which projected him an incalculable distance.  As he was reaching the margins of the inner domain, Yarara summoned him back with his keen Ninth Essence of Actuality.  When they were reunited, Yarara shouted close to Vumanor’s ears, causing great pain.

“Childlike fool!  Questions are reserved for the weak—those who cannot arrive at their own conclusions!  So, being pathetic and boorish, you come to me, the mighty Yarara!  Good!  You show me how strong I truly am!  You show me my own superiority!  Ha!”

Vumanor was beginning to grow weary and impatient with this arrogant display.  Perhaps, he began to think, this mean-spirited fiend uses bruit force to distract from his lack of knowledge.

“You question my wisdom!  Ha!  I can see your every thought!”

“Do you blame me?  We have been engaged in this ceremony of yours for nearly four-hundred-thousand years and you have yet to answer my question or provide me with any guidance whatsoever!”

“Well then!  You want my guidance?”

“Yes.”

“Then let me guide you to the answer.”  He picked Vumanor up by the neck and swiftly moved through a brilliantly empty portion of universe towards the true heart of his realm.  Upon their arrival, Vumanor noticed a large throne, much like that of Zurianie.  On it sat a spool of thread, fabric, and two rather large books.  One was titled the Book of Illustriousness.  The other simply read She-Bang.  The latter was enormous.  He could not imagine how Yarara could even read the book without exercising a great deal of strength.  He then noticed that the adjacent fabric was in the shape of tiny undergarments.  Yarara was much less aggressive than before and said few words.  One would almost sense a hint of embarrassment in his essence.  He quickly grabbed the thread and undergarments to stow elsewhere.

“A skill I picked up from God, the creator of Heaven and Earth.  He’s very masterful, you know, talented in many arts.  He got me into crochet, also.  So,” he abruptly said, changing the subject, “this is your answer.”  He grabbed both books off the seat of his throne and handed them to Vumanor.  “The She-Bang, of which you already read, though continue to scrutinize; and this, my notes on the She-Bang meticulously written in my Book of Illustriousness.”

Vumanor was silent as he looked over Yarara’s notes.  His handwriting was awful, and barely legible.  The mighty god stood silently and somewhat nervously as he watched Vumanor glance at the document.

“Does there seem to be a problem?”

“Well,” Vumanor said without removing his eyes from the pages.  “I can hardly make sense of your penmanship.”

“Here,” he said defensively as he yanked the book from the other’s hands.  “Give it to me.”  He held it open, cleared his throat, and, while squinting, read the first line.  “‘The glorious She-Bang provides the most logical explanation of Actuality in a most concise and elegant manner: What is, IS.  What is not, IS NOT.’  Well,” he said, slamming the book shut, “there you have it!  You can go now.”  He was beginning to walk to his throne when he turned around slightly and noticed that Vumanor stood in the same place as before.

“Well?” he said peevishly.  “What more do you want?”

“I want to know who created you?  Who created me?”

“Bah!  That’s absurd!  We, we, we simply came into existence from the Essence of Actuality.  The Essence of Actuality!”  He said this nearly triumphantly.

“How so?”

“You persistent fool!  You inconvenience me and have the nerve to perpetuate your foolishness!  All the answers are in the She-Bang!”  He set his own book down on the throne and briskly turned to the page in the She-Bang that he was referring to and read aloud.  “‘…and from it came the proverb: thou art to create…’  Hold on a moment, that’s not it.”  He nervously flipped through a few million pages, until reaching the desired line.  “Ah-ha!  Here: ‘…and then the first beings were formed from the eternal essence.  This became the first class; the first order; the first generation of creators.  The second class was begotten further on, resulting in the semideus; the second generation.’  You see!  That’s you, Lord Vumanor!  The second generation!  My generation was created first, which is why my wisdom is so superior to yours!  And there you have it.  Your inquisitions emanate from your inferiority!  Ha!”

“Who wrote that, exactly?”

“The Council of the Wise who derived their wisdom from the original elements!  Have you never read the She-Bang’s preface?”

“Of course I have.”

“Then, I am preaching to the choir, as they say.  What is it?  You don’t look satisfied.   Your expression reflects your lack of wisdom.  Your desire to be guided.  Your weakness.”

“Don’t you ever question anything in the text whatsoever?”

Yarara yelled with thundering might: “Not in the least!  What has been foretold, is!  What has been written, IS.  And vice-versa, of course.”

“That makes no sense and does not explain the meaning of our existence and toiling.”

Yarara blurted out the most horrifying laughter with a shriek that nearly encroached into the neighboring universe, which would have been catastrophic, setting the balance of Actuality into disequilibrium.  “You are beyond my help!  You are far more foolish than I expected!  Too much for my hands!  That is not to undermine my credibility, of course.  It simply means that, although I am of the first order, I cannot manage to penetrate through your thick, narrow-minded, asinine thoughts.  I cannot, for some reason, come to any terms with you!  In most instances, I would simply eradicate you altogether; however, it is against She-Bang doctrine to eradicate lordly subordinates.  A shame, really.  I would erase you from all existence in an instant!  And I would do so with great pleasure.  So, before I change my mind, here is who you must consult.  She was on the Council of the Wise, who compiled the Book of She-Bang.  Her name is Haramantura.”

Yarara then gave Vumanor explicit instructions—far more definite than his mentoring, which frustrated Vumanor, whose beard was now enormous, reflecting the time he had spent seeking truth.  He was now beginning to gain a great deal of confidence, knowing now that he was not alone in his ignorance, and that those around him were just as foolish, if not worse than he was, for they not only knew little of the truth, they treated those who sought truth with scorn.  He thus continued on his voyage and sought Haramantura who was said to be much more jovial than most first generation entities.

As Vumanor ventured across innumerable galaxies, various realms and dimensions, he finally approached the dwelling place of Goddess Haramantura.  He could sense her warmth and presence from a considerable distance.  She was one of the few Goddesses of Love.  She, incidentally, was said to be mentored by Lord God, the creator of Heaven and Earth, but that is beside the point.  Over 700,000 years had passed until she spoke, but when she did, Lord Vumanor instantaneously succumbed to her soft and delicate voice.

“You are right on time, Lord Vumanor.”  She laughed a little when she said this.

He could not quite see her.  “Where are you?” he asked, quite dumbfounded.

“I am but everywhere.  And some would say that I am nowhere.”  She said this and giggled.  “Don’t’ be so serious, Vumanor.  I know why you’ve come.  You really are very serious.  It’s rather enduring, really.  I studied your inquiries now for 3,423,864,978,213 years.  They are very complex, Vumanor!  And I cannot help but wonder how you arrived at such a, shall we say, interesting state of mind?”  She giggled uncontrollably while saying this.  Vumanor remained silent for a moment, wondering how and why this entity came to be so incredibly delightful.

“Well, Goddess Haramantura, after great analysis of the Book of She-Bang, I decided that the book, in fact, explains very little of our existence.”

“You will be pleased to know, Vumanor—and I say this because you are evidently one who greatly enjoys inquiry—my responses to your delightful questions will leave you in a perpetual state of inquiry; more so than you are now!  But—and you will someday realize this—many of your questions would have actually been answered in the process.”

“How do you mean?”

“Well, sweetie, you have wondered why the innumerable creators of the innumerable realms and dimensions exist at all in the first place.  Well, I would tell you that, in fact, they do not exist whatsoever!  Which means that your questions never existed, and, furthermore, my current response is, in reality, some sort of fluke, in the grand scheme of things, of which—and you will quite enjoy this—don’t really exist either!”

“Come again?”

The grand scheme of things!  There is no grand scheme for there are no things!”  Haramantura laughed and found this peculiarity quite amusing.

“That’s absurd.”

“Look around you, Lord Vumanor.”

“Yes?”

“Well?  What do you see?”

“Galactic matter.  Energy.  What are you getting at?”

“What is it all composed of, Lord Vumanor?”

“The Essence of Actuality, of course.”

“And what does that mean, Vumanor?”

“I don’t exactly know.”

“Well, let me explain it all to you.”  As she was preparing to deliver her explanation, Lord Vumanor felt warmth surround him as if he were being caressed by a loving mother of sorts.  “The Essence of Actuality is all composed of the same substance.  The differentiation of everything around you is due to proportions—that is, one substance, say Krumantu, which lights up every star in my universe, is made up of fewer particles than Borura, which is what most life on my life-planet consists of.  And, to take this explanation further, the substance that makes up Krumantu and Borura, among other things, can be broken down to smaller substances—building blocks, if you will.  Now—and this is most pertinent to my explanation—those blocks are made up of smaller blocks, and so on and so forth.  This stretches on and on, and it really would be rather tiresome for me to delve into such matters in full detail.  So, to be concise, I will tell you that eventually, at the smallest scale possible, everything vanishes!  Which means that nothing truly exists, including both you and I!”

“But that makes no sense.”

“Though, it makes a whole universe of sense!  Ha!”

Lord Vumanor grew weary and somewhat disillusioned with Haramantura’s wisdom, or lack there of.  Haramantura caught wind of this sentiment.

“You find me rather absurd, don’t you?”

“Yes.”

“In fact, it all really is absurd, but concurrently, it is not absurd, for designating something as absurd can only be done under the condition that the subject in question exists, which, as we have just now discussed, is quite impossible, for nothing exists whatsoever!”

“Your explanations are fruitless.”

“But more profound than anything you have yet heard!”

“What is the cause of all this?  Who created you?  Who created me?”

“Nothing did, for creation assumes that there once existed a creator, and, as you now know, nothing truly exists and therefore deems a grand creator utterly superfluous!”  She did not stop giggling after this last statement.

“But that makes no sense!  It’s not even in accordance with the Book of She-Bang!”  She did not respond but continued giggling.  “All you do is laugh and spout out senseless pros!  I did not come here to be laughed at!  And, to be honest, I don’t think any of you actually know what you are talking about!  Not you, Haramantura, not Zurianie, and especially not Yarara!”  She virtually ignored his scathing remarks.  He decided to leave and return, unsatisfied to his domain.  “Fools,” he said to himself as he ventured on his journey.  “They are all fools.”

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THE SHAMANIC JOURNALS

The following document is a continuous and ever-changing log of metaphysical interactions held through a hand-crafted Ouija board. The information procured through these means are hereby published in a purely objective format, with excluded or modified names for confidentiality:

COMMUNICATION BETWEEN ROSALINE
& AN ENTITY REFERRED TO AS “BIRD”

Tuesday December 7, 2010 at approximately 10 pm

Session began with a brief, yet heartfelt prayer of protection, expressing that the Inquirers would be shielded from any ill-fate imposed by the Entities Present.  This was followed by an oral summoning by Inquirers to rouse any Entities Present, which took place for approximately three minutes, shortly thereafter followed by movement on the planchet.

I: Possible date of departure from the physical realm
Ep: 1919
I: (NOTE: To verify the response, the Inquirers asked the entity to specify it’s age)
EP: 101
I: Favorite music?
EP: Beethoven
I: Were you male or female?
EP: Neither male nor female
I: What is your favorite aspect of the afterlife?
EP: Maker

After approximately one half-hour, the entity began to make statements without Inquirer’s instigation:

EP: Best friend be bad
strength (went to Ordovich’s image on the Ouija board)
friend Best. Got good catch (NOTE: Could have meant that either Rosaline was a good catch for Ordovich or vice versa).
I: (after several moments of inactivity) Who do you love?
EP: Cant remember
I: What was the nature of your profession?
EP: Trinidad ostrich egg

Thereafter, the Inquirers did a bit of research to find information on a possible connection between ostrich ranching and Trinidad, an island chain located in the Southern-most portion of the Caribbean. No information could be found.

After another bout of inactivity, Bird began to communicate:

EP: Open the fridge…pine nut put tea oat meal dessert (NOTE: incidentally, each item listed was contained within the cupboard)
I: Do you have any advise for us regarding the near future?
EP: Stay far North
I: Howcome?
EP: Cant answer
I: What was your full name?
EP: Tom Gregut

The entity continually spelled out “A BIRD” giving us reason to believe that it no longer assumed any preexisting names.

I: Is magic real?
EP: Real is fickle

Once again, it made random statements:

EP: Best friend special … Master of Earth
I: What do you call the Master of Earth?
EP: TEAR IPSTGUGIADEF S UGEEF GH

After asking the entity to repeat the response, it coniuted to give us unintelligable answers: TEAR FGARST STRENGTH. The repetition of the initial four letters, TEAR, is an interesting point to consider. The following communication was quite unintelligable and prolonged, lasting approximately a half hour, deep into the evening:

EP: tag are hu
are rbssh (NOTE: Rubbish perhaps?)
cadessaanda
open A gottago
did I rest automatically

The latter statement is another point to consider. We suspected that perhaps we awoke the Entity Present from some unknown state, confusing it to an extent.

EP: Get I cen efotegeeft
get horsie (NOTE: the entity was referring an antique musical snow globe encasing a white merri-go-round horse)
get purse
I: What purse?
EP: On record player
babfiiia
bible
get bible (NOTE: the Entity Present was referring to an antique bible on the living-room table: The Holy Bible, Containing the Old & New Testaments, Oxford, Printed at the University Press, London, 1804)
I: What’s on top of the bible on the table?
EP: necklace and lighter
I: What is the name written within the opening page of the bible? (NOTE: an engraving “D & P Smith” was stamped on the inside cover of the book, with “July 9 1889” written by hand beneath).
EP: behind fam
his name is
gehe or gi lm t
gikawop
tide rise time is limited (NOTE: perhaps the Entity Present was referring to some future circumstance)

The Entity Present appeared to be somewhat dilerious and unable to answere certain inquiries, including the name contained within the book. Thus, after several moments, the Inquirers shifted the subject.

I: Where will you be going?
EP: I get to go high
I: Where do you go?
EP: I get to go high
gilllllllllllllllll i live on far away land
first tip

The planchet moved towards the image of Ordovich on the board, though communication seised to make sense, and thus was terminated.

COMMUNICATION BETWEEN AMAN RAH, ROSALINE,
KLINGLER, KLARXONOV,
& AN UNIDENTIFIED ENTITY PRESENT

Monday December 20, 2010 in between 1:30 and 3 am

I: What is your gender?
EP: W (presumably for “Woman”)
I: When did you die?
EP: 1938
not dead (NOTE: although the Entity Present specified some date of departure, it insisted it was not dead, suggesting that perhaps in the afterlife, one does not necessarily die, but continues to live, though in a different form.
I: Do you live amongst us?
EP: Yes
I: Were you born in the United States?
EP: No
I: Did you die in the United States?
EP: No
I: What is your name? What do you want to be referred to as?
EP: NK (NOTE: no name was specified, though, it wanted to be referred to NK, which could have been its initials)
I: Do you have friends where you are?
EP: Yes
I: Do you have any suggestions for us for our lifetime?
EP: Move altogether (NOTE: the meaning of this response was unclear. We suspected that, perhaps, the Entity Present was suggesting for us to move in together, and be immersed in each other’s realities)
I: Why should we move together? (NOTE: the Entity Present did not respond, and thus, the Inquirers asked if it suggested a physical move to avoid the affects of a natural disaster
EP: Yes
I: Where should we move?

The Entity Present did not specify where to move to, and refused to give advise as to why it was wise to move. Thus, after several moments of stagnation, the discussion shifted to a new topic.

I: What did you like most about Earth?
EP: Feet
I: What did it like least?
EP: Jirm
I: Would you join other entities in communication with us?
EP: No
I: What sort of music did you listen to?
EP: Juju

The Entity Present repeatedly went to the letters J and U, to an excited extent. Then Entity Present continually referred to the number 6 and thereafter communicated a list of figures that produced interesting results upon electronic research:

EP: Kej 5 (NOTE: When inserting the figures into YouTube, a video came up depicting a child of 5 months in a crib, who happened to be named Julian)

We suspected that the word “Juju” was referring to the boy named Julian. The child was Phillipino. The Inquirers asked if the reference had anything to do with Rosaline, who has roots in the Asian nations. The Entity Present claimed that there was indeed an association.

EP: More (NOTE: The entity continaually referred to the number 6)
nk 6
nap time
znmnzy2
dafm
technically
tunts 6
late

At approximately 3 am, we decided that the communication was going nowhere. Perhaps it was due to the Inquirers, who were lacking in energy. We suspected that the Entity Present required a great deal of participation from the Inquirers to yield adequate communication. Thus, the communication was terminated.

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DEATHBED

The woman was lying prostrate as the young man walked in.  He was nervous and emotionally uneasy as he noticed that she was asleep.  Her face was emaciated and pale.  She appeared as if she were due to pass at any moment.  As he stood looking over her in silence, she suddenly came to, as if somebody told her she had company.  Opening her glossy eyes, she smiled and he returned the gesture.  The smiles were artificial—the kind that alleviates the guilt that one would have otherwise felt if they had behaved in gloom or cruelty.

“Hello, dear.”

“Hello.”

“What brings you here?”  They both laughed flippantly.  The young man was suddenly moved by a tremendous amount of sympathy.  The old woman, holding on to her last moment of glory, remained somewhat marooned on a thin line of sewing thread.

“Have you had company today?”

“Rebecca.”  She took in a deep breath.  “I’m tired.  I don’t have much longer, you know.”

He remained silent.  The sight was pitiful; the hopelessness of it.  The overbearing presence of death filled him with sorrow.  He wanted to feel emotional; to show this woman how troubled he felt about her state; the loss he would experience.  He looked at her and produced a genuine expression of gloom, and tried his best to fulfill his role—to mourn; to comfort.

“I love you.”

Then she spoke.

“I love you, too; but I don’t agree with anything, anything you do.  I’m very disappointed.  But that’s the natural order of life.”  She said this as if to underplay her conviction.

He remained silent and was struck by a flood of emotional dormancy.  He felt absolutely no pity, as if what she had said produced an instantaneous shift of disposition.  He was simply afraid of taking what this sickly old woman had to say seriously.  Even worse, he was worried that he would lose his temper during such an inopportune moment.  And he could scarcely recall a time when this woman felt any differently.

She had her eyes closed for a period of time and looked as if she had stopped breathing.  Her skin, as the young man noticed, was pale and dreadfully wrinkled.  Her head and face looked like a large, gray raisin.  He began to think of other things; distract his mind from the insult.  He ventured to consider his taste for raisins.  He never quite cared for them much.  With the exception of oatmeal cookies, he thought they were rather appalling.  It was something about the flavor; or perhaps the tiny residual grains that lodged themselves in his teeth.

She opened her eyes and looked at him.  Her lips were parted as if she could not conjure the strength to keep them closed.  She slowly lifted her hand towards his.  He grasped her fingers; comforting her.  He noticed how soft and cold her fingers felt.  She whispered something nearly inaudible.

“You…could have…done…better.”  Her face reflected deep anguish as she said this, and before the young man could let the words percolate through his heart, she stopped breathing and her entire body relaxed into some sort of jelly.  He stood there in silence, holding onto her lifeless fingers.  The young man noticed how the skin of this old, battered corpse—particularly its lips—looked dry.  His heart felt empty.  He began to consider the viscosity of jelly.  A bizarre; translucent substance.  Appetizing.  He began to consider his taste for tapioca pudding.

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A STROLL THROUGH LIFE
December 22nd, 2009

Penstrokes

The earth moves incessantly.  A sharp gust of wind slices through the leaves of the willow trees, each one bordering the pathway of a lonely, cobble street.  The horizon slowly swallows the sun as the sky turns a deep and brilliant shade of crimson.  Soft violins and piano keys strip away all psychological burdens from my soul.  Dazzling rays of color spill from every flower.  Birds perform a symphony and I am the only spectator; alone in my whimsical mind.  The wooden houses stand still.  Luscious grass engulfs each empty world.  The melancholy existence we all share perpetually moves me.  Listening to Gymnopédie No. 1 – while each velvety note reaches deep into my chest, thrashing out every bit of idealism I hold dear – reality becomes comfortable.  Painless Liberation.  It’s what the Gods of the Universe designed for us.

CELEBRATION
December 28th, 2008

Celebrate the dead—the lives they have lived; the struggles they’ve led.  Then celebrate the living, too.

Yet, some now will somehow bundle their brow and shower their cheek over lives never lived.  Though, hinges to doors that lead to nowhere are rife with use.  And the wanderer ponders a possibility: if they had traveled a different path, the aftermath may have made them laugh in lieu of their wrath.  Instead, one must learn from the dead and living alike, for despite our perspective, our selective minds doth strike a blinding blow.  Ergo, let us live life to its fullest extent and learn from the lessons Life so generously lent.

Then celebrate the dead—the lives they have lived; the struggles they’ve led.  Then celebrate the living, too.

CHINA’S LAST WHORE
December 2nd, 2009

The headlines bore: “China’s last whore…”

How glorious!  We won the last war.  Romantic republican gore.  The day the last tree was sucked from the floor; when the last river’s been dammed from the shore.

Spectacular!  The last mind’s within the washer; the sky displays its final star.  Smoke stack seduction of the galactic mar.

China’s last whore.  A day to celebrate.  Fornicate!  And then, depending on when, abstain.  Refrain.  O, how exciting!  “Satisfy your cerebrum with the sweltering sensation of celebratory celibacy!”

China’s last whore: a day to eat.  ThanksTaking.  Masticating a feast.

Then we will sing!  “Do unto others as they do unto you.”  Then kill a few.

China’s last whore was a mother of men.  They will kill and kill again.  Composers of music; bringers of end.

Success!  Manage the mess. A standardized test.  Global governments are triumphant.  Vanquish the quest.

China’s last whore: a thing of folklore; two thousand years toward nevermore.  Where men dominate a homogenous fate.  Where culture is scraped from the soiled slate.

A new world order!  With seasons of treason in tales of yore.

Catholics crucify.  Muslims mutilate.  Lawmen lie.  Pacifists incarcerate.

China’s last whore means I am a bird.  A beak to be bust; never be heard.  Wings will whither while within a tomb.  We walk so gallantly towards our doom.

I KNOW A WOMAN
December 2nd, 2009

I know of a woman with wisdom in a seldom-spoken form.  I, thankful and torn, see truth obscured by fear.  With the end drawing near, reflections become clear: desperation and depression; a life of repression…

Her father neglects; though, now he is dead, his seed lives on.

Her mother abused and infused her with disquietude; a mold that rudely protrudes through time.

Her husband, a cad; deadbeat of a dad.  Now embittered as I; with a view that is skewed, for love, in her eye, was never alive.

Today she beats one redundant rhythm on the drummer’s doldrums.   Working hard with no play.  The pay brings dismay.  Endures the day to day despondence.

I look at the smile she scarcely reveals.  Will she ever be young?  Will she ever be young?  Was this woman once young?

BITTER IRONIES
December 28th, 2008

Life is little more than a culmination of bitter ironies.  The more one has suffered, the more one has lived.  The benevolent suffer; the malevolent suck.  Though, they carry with them the burden of blame for making life so bitterly ironic.

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On September 13, 1837, Bobby Roberts of the Rockford Gazette interviewed Redgrass singer and composer, the Black River Bandit, uncovering the most remarkable facts heretofore gathered about the ominous musician.

“The room was thick with cigar smoke,” as Roberts later recalls the gathering, “and the Bandit would smoothly sip on his wine which was as red as the greasy bandana around his neck.  He wore his famous Red Army cap with presumable pride and maintained a jovial and remarkably sincere demeanor.”

“Intriguingly enough,” he concludes, “I could never get over his terrifying eyes.  They pierced through me like skewers of skepticism.”

The following constitutes the first portion of a series of interviews by Mr. Roberts.

BR: Good day, sir.

tBRB:  Yes, indeed.

BR:  I suppose the most suitable inquiry for me to begin with would be in regards to your name.  Where did you contrive your title?

**The Bandit was reluctant to answer at first, but then, complied accordingly.

tBRB: It began when I lived in Saudi Arabia.  I drove a camel at that time.  His name was King Solomon.  You see, they don’t have motorized vehicles in the Arab nations.  I don’t actually believe they have motorized vehicles anywhere, yet.

So, it was a fateful day at the market place.  I was buying tomatoes.  I picked out about seven, I believe.  The clerk never gave me a receipt.  They don’t have computers, as you may well know.  And the cad was too lazy to write one out.

As I was walking out, some stooge thought it would be funny to yell out “thief!”  I was only beginning to turn around when, before I knew it, I was smothered by a dozen burley Arabs, pounding me into meat pudding.

The next day, the judge condemned me to death, but only after public amputation of my extremities.  This, as a side note, was the same week when a bolt of lightning from the Heavens bludgeoned the Nile River, killing every fish in the world!  The fish began to decay turning the river black.

So, I was sitting in my dungeon, praying to the Lord.  “Lord,” said I, “get me out of this rotten mess!”  The room was dark as a moonless night, save a tiny crack in the brick wall.  The light coming through it began the glow so brightly that I could not see—temporary blindness, as it were.  The entire dungeon began to rumble like thunder, when, all of a sudden, the wall exploded!  King Solomon, my camel, jumped through the hole and just stood there, dignified, and such.

You see, I hadn’t showered for months and I smelled like hamburgers.  King Solomon loved hamburgers and he could smell me from miles away.  He, however, thought I was food and was seemingly disappointed when he saw me sitting there, in the nude.  They don’t clothe you in Arab dungeons, by the way.

I jumped on his back and we rode off towards the sunset horizon.  Before we made it, however, gunshots rang behind us.  The entire Saudi Arabian army was on our tail like flies on excrement.

I heard a loud thud and noticed that one of the goons fired a rocket at us.  Luckily enough, all of my guns were still on King Solomon’s saddle.  I turned around and shot the missile.  It exploded and killed approximately 38.3 of their soldiers.

An earthquake suddenly ripped the earth in half, creating a rather large canyon between the Arabian army and us.  We then rode off into the sunset, as planned.

I went into hiding in a cave with King Solomon for about 25 years, during which time I was wanted by every branch of world government, and every lonely lady on every continent.  The papers hailed me as the notorious “Black River Bandit: Savagely Dangerous; Remarkably Pale.”  I later heard that somebody shot a photo of me escaping in the nude.  The original photograph sold for 17 dollars, which was a lot of money at that time.

BR: Every source for the past 59 years grills you as a “Communist Menace.”  What is your history, if any, with the communist movement?

**The Bandit, at this point, grimaced so intensely that Mr. Roberts began urinating in his skibbies, out of fear.

tBRB: I don’t often disclose such information.  But I like you—not sexually, mind you.  So about 32 years ago, I sailed alongside the great fishermen of the Sea Gale Company.  We traveled all over the world in seven years.  A typhoon, one day, figured it was time to put a plug on our good spirits and smashed our ship into floating toothpicks.  I was sinking unconsciously towards the great blue grave when I was snagged by a 30 foot sea turtle, who was, in fact, heading towards the island archipelago of “Gui Gui”.  They haven’t been discovered yet, which is why you may not be familiar with the name.  I came up with it myself.

Whilst stranded on the island, I ate nothing but 30 foot sea turtle, which lasted me many years.

As you could imagine, I became quite bored and employed my time through a number of endeavors.  I toiled with wooden beams and built a gliding device that transported me across canyons, like some sort of pterodactyl.  But I don’t really feel like discussing my innovations at this point.

A year into my stay on Gui Gui, the cloudy heavens parted with a remarkable gust of wind.  It smelled like aftershave and garlic.  And then a voice thundered: “Men will speak of a ‘Good Book’ in words of self-righteous piety.  Listen not to their voices, for theirs is the sound of excrement.  Thus, my child, I demand of you: speaketh in unfaltering truths.  Write a new testament to the glory!”

I could not believe it!  The Heavens smelled just like my grandfather.  And I loved my grandfather!

So I began writing—writing insatiably!  Voraciously!  Rapaciously!  After 49 thousand pages, I decided it was time to christen the book.  It would have to be something powerful.  Something memorable.  Something profound!  I called it The Manifesto of the Communist Beach Party.

As soon as I titled the book, a Bald Eagle came roaring through the sky, and I suddenly felt warm inside.  I was subsequently saved by the United States Navy, who were, to my fortune, scouting the island as a possible nuclear testing site.

Back in the United States, I consulted a publisher who denied my book, saying it was “completely gay.”  I actually thought it was quite a serious piece rather than a happy one; though, my weakened spirits were thoroughly crushed by his poor review.

Oddly enough, a gypsy fortune teller later informed me—in bed—that I had provided the rubric for a world-changing, revolutionary pamphlet that would be written by a fat, bearded man some 30 years in the future.  I laughed hysterically at her asinine prognosis and took my money back.  I did, however, pay her for the amusing prediction.

Since then, I have renounced any affiliation with The Manifesto of the Communist Beach Party.

**This concludes Part I of “A Saucerful of Truth”.

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