INTO THE WORLD OF THOMAS A. MYNER

DAY ONE

My husband stared at the familiar object in disbelief.

“Honey?” I asked, approaching him from behind. “What are you doing?”

“Something seems off about this lamp,” he said, without looking back at me. He was looking at the standing lamp that sat next to the couch in our living room. “Did you move it?” he asked.

Continue reading “INTO THE WORLD OF THOMAS A. MYNER”

YOU CAN’T BEAT A COOL GLASS OF WATER

I have a sneaking suspicion that someone has been electrolyzing my water. Whenever I take a sip from the remarkably tall glass that sits permanently by my side, I am struck with a peculiar sensation. As the water pools around my tongue, and pervades into the farthest reaches of my mouth basin, a singular emotion overcomes me: electricity. Electricity flows in and through my soul, and I become as a vector for a mystical, psychomatic current.

Like many of you, I like my water to be made of a few essential elements. I like a mix hydrogen and oxygen, primarily – preferably a 2:1 hydrogen-oxygen ratio, if possible. Of course, one must have the metals; I could not bear for a second to be without my precious metals! Zinc, magnesium, iron, tungsten, silver, nickel, copper, rhodesium – any or all of these will do. Once, I had a glass of water that was simply hydrogen, oxygen, and a single mole of barium. Now that was a trip!

I use the water I drink in various ways. For the most part, I choose to absorb the water into my body through the tissue of my large intestine. This is a controversial method, I know – let me just say in my defense that I have done extensive research and experimentation in this particular field, and have found that this method works best for me. I am fully open to the possibility that other methods might work better for other organisms! I believe in freedom, in this particular respect. I will stand up, shout, yell, scream, and even squeal in defense of this particular right, if it comes down to it. Thankfully, most sensible governments have had the good sense to avoid creating cumbersome legislation regarding this particular point. Unfortunately, given the state of our Earth, one worries that it is simply a matter of time.

My friend and colleague, Santiago of Cabrille, chooses mostly to breathe in water vapour that he keeps in a specialized room in the dungeon of his miraculous castle. This is an interesting quirk of his – of course, one can never say too much about the Spanish. I have spent time in this chamber of his, and I must say that I found the sensation of breathing in water vapour at such a rate to be highly disagreeable. Highly disagreeable! However, as I have just been saying, I would give up my right arm in order to protect his right to do this very thing. But I would give up my left to defend my right to say: A curious way to ingest water, if I do say so myself!

Another friend of mine, who I must avoid naming due to certain difficulties with his local government – never before have I seen such a foul collection of miscreants! although this is besides the point – this friend of mine stands in the rain and soaks up water through his skin. I said to him once, that it may be more convenient to go swimming in a lake or pond and soak up the water that way, without having to wait for rain. What a chewing out I got for that idle comment! He said – in a very reasonable fashion, all told – that soaking up water in a pond is the equivalent to ingesting water orally via a fire hose. Now imagine that!

Everybody needs water. This much I have been told, and it being true in my case, have chosen to believe. Water is a fundamental component of the living world. It is in our cells! Our cells! Well, you can’t get much better than that!

Oh ha ha ha, ha ha ha ha , oh we love water here, where I am! Oh ho ho, yes we do, yes sirree! We’re crazy about it, ha ha, absolutely mad I tell you. Oh ho ho, ha ha, true water fiends, you could call us, ha ha, in our household! In this household! Ha ha, yes, absolutely yes, water is something we hold dear.

Legends of Love and Luck – Chapter Five

A mysterious ship appeared on the water, approaching the docks of Green Capital. It was of a curious hexagonal design, and sailed under a flag unknown to any of the spotters at the port authority.

Legends of Love and Luck is a collaborative epic novel composed by Balckwell and Hoober, for publication on the Soup Web Zone. It is inspired by Classical Chinese Novels such as Journey to the WestRomance of the Three Kingdoms, and Bandits of the Water-Margin. Odd-numbered chapters will be composed by Balckwell, and even-numbered chapters by Hoober. We hope you enjoy the result.

Captain Shufflepuck Sails Into Town / Saint Stunk Discovers a Hullabaloo

A mysterious ship appeared on the water, approaching the docks of Green Capital. It was of a curious hexagonal design, and sailed under a flag unknown to any of the spotters at the port authority. A rowboat was sent out to reconnoitre with it in order to discover its origin as well as its purpose. In the rowboat was River Thrushing and his sister, Steam Wasping. They attached their boat to the mysterious ship. A ladder was thrown down, and they climbed aboard.

A man was awaiting them at the top, arms akimbo. This was Captain Shufflepuck. He was a burly man with perpetually sunburned pale skin. He wore a purple cap atop his head, an eyepatch over his left eye, and a great, grey, rugged coat. Beneath his misshapen moustache was a wide mouth bent into a cruel grin. River Thrushing and Steam Wasping approached him cautiously.

“My friends!” Captain Shufflepuck yelled in a booming voice, his arms spread out wide, “Welcome aboard! This is my ship, the Heophisotpopehles!”

“A fine ship, this Heophisotpopehles,” River Thrushing said, gazing around at the piles of multicoloured cloth strewn around the deck. “And where is it you are sailing from, Captain…”

“Shufflepuck! I have sailed all around the Iron Sea, my friends. Where I am from, even I can not say. Perhaps I was born of the sea! Alas, it does oft treat me as a mother may. One day scolding me, the next day providing a comforting embrace. Ah, the sea, it is my home, my mistress, my mother, my father, ah…” His words drifted away as he stared out into the great ocean.

“Just write the Isle of Ayle,” River Thrushing whispered to Steam Wasping, whose pen was wavering over the empty space next to “Origin” on a large form. “Well, Captain,” he said in a louder voice towards Shufflepuck, “what brings you to the Green Capital? Unfortunately, we can not let you dock without certain permissions, which in order to be granted require certain information…”

“My friend! I have been invited here! Were you not informed?”

“It seems not.” River Thrushing glanced at his sister, and then back at Shufflepuck. “Who was it that invited you?”

“Ah… It was a man wearing one glove too large for him, and one too small. He slouched before me, and told me, in a faint whisper, that my presence was required in the Green Capital. Of course, this was a few years ago now! I have been a little busy, ha ha!” Captain Shufflepuck’s laughter was so vigorous that it pushed him backwards a few feet.

“That sounds like Mr. Chimney…” Steam Wasping whispered.

“It does.” said River Thrushing. “And where did you meet this man?”

“It was in a dream, my friend! I remember it well. I was sailing into a land full of beautiful mermaids. They were calling to me from their rocks, and I remember that I was halfway through removing my breeches, when the man appeared before me. ‘Ah,’ I said to him, ‘We have not met before! Are you here to join in the festivities?’ He shook his head, and that was when he whispered his invitation. Of course, the dream fell apart from there, and try as I might, I have not been able to navigate my mind palace back to that delightful dream again since! Ah, but once I do my friends, once I do…”

River Thrushing cut him off. “Well, Captain, I would confirm this information with Mr. Chimney himself, but unfortunately he is out of town right now.”

“Curse my luck!” Captain Shufflepuck guffawed. “It is just like me to show up at in the right place at the wrong time! Alas, I will park my ship wherever is convenient and wait. My crew will appreciate the shore leave!” He looked around the ship, excited. The deck was entirely devoid of any crew. “And how long will I be waiting for our esteemed friend?”

“It will be within a week’s time,” River Thrushing replied. Steam Wasping opened her mouth to speak, but he nudged her with his elbow. “For the time being, you may park your ship in the dock, but unfortunately, none of your crew members will be able to disembark until we receive the proper authorization.”

“Hmm… the lads will not be happy,” said Shufflepuck, shaking his head, “but it is unavoidable. We have been at sea for many months now; one more week is but a short time to wait.”

“I am glad you understand,” said River Thrushing. “We will be off now. A pilot will be here shortly to direct your ship to a suitable docking location.” With that, River Thrushing and Steam Wasping descended the ladder and rowed back to shore.

“A queer fellow,” River Thrushing said, once they were out of earshot.

“It is not beyond Mr. Chimney’s power to employ dream summons,” said Steam Wasping. “But I wonder why he would summon such a man as that. It seems that whatever task he invited him to do would be irrelevant by now, though…”

“Perhaps he knew it would take him this long,” River Thrushing wondered aloud. “It could be that Mr. Chimney meant for him to arrive at exactly this time.”

“Do you really think so? Curious…”

“I’m just thinking out loud,” said River Thrushing. “With the recent troubles and Mr. Chimney’s disappearance, I’ve been having to think much more than usual. Perhaps I’m growing paranoid.”

“Perhaps…”

They reached the shore in silence.

    *       *       *

As Saint Stunk forded the ancient dying river of Oxun, she could percieve the disctinct smells of village life. She altered her course towards the smells, hoping to find some hospitality on this long, lonely trip. As she approached a small forest village, Boddhisatva Green Onion descended from the sky on a cloud.

“Take care, Saint Stunk!” she cried. “There is disaster in this village. I fear that a demon has hidden itself among the villagers, and is sowing great disharmony. The famous Wa Hu school of martial arts has split asunder, and its disciples are on the verge of a battle that could destroy the entire village.”

Saint Stunk nodded. “Thank you Green Onion for your gracious warning. I will be careful.”

The village was shrouded in a dense forest. Before Saint Stunk entered, she sat patiently on a stump nearby and attuned her hyper-sensitive ears to the sounds. She heard a dastardly sort of music emanating from the East, and a menacing sort of music emanating from the West. These were the chants of the newly rivalling Wa and Hu schools. The two sets of music were converging in the town square.

Saint Stunk knew of the Wa Hu school. It had been founded by Mah Ryo in ancient times. The discipline was based around impeccably timed jumps. The masters of the practice employed a flurry of dives, leaps, and flips in order to attain a favourable position against their adversaries.

When the music halted, Saint Stunk sat up and entered the village. The two factions were lined up in the village square, arranged in two long lines facing each other. The Wa clan was led by Jin Ryo, the latest in the long Ryo line. The Hu clan was led by Frivolous Jenga, who stood eight-feet tall and three inches. Jin Ryo was famous for his speed, his jumps launching him many feet into the air with no perceptible wind-up or warning. Frivolous Jenga used his long legs for powerful jumps that sent him soaring to the tops of the highest trees, from which he performed death-defying diving attacks that could crush boulders.

When Saint Stunk arrived, the two were exchanging bitter words. Saint Stunk leaned against the railing of a balcony where two older men watched the stand-off. “Not a great time to arrive in town,” one of them said.

“Seems like good timing to me,” Saint Stunk replied. She reached into her tunic and brought out a blank piece of paper. On the piece of paper, she wrote an elaborate character that neither man recognized.

Calmly, she approached Jin Ryo and Ferocious Jenga. They ceased their quibbling, and looked at her in stunned silence. She placed herself equidistant between the two combatants. Placing the paper on the ground, she whispered a single word. The paper was then picked up by a gust of wind, and sailed towards the forest. It was caught in mid-air by a phoenix, which had appeared seemingly out of nowhere. The phoenix circled the rivalling clans several times as every member stared up in awe. Then, it landed on Saint Stunk’s shoulder.

Ferocious Jenga was the first to speak. “What brings you here, Saint Stunk? This dispute is a private affair of the Wa Hu school.”

“I am not here to get in the way of any dispute,” Saint Stunk replied. “I am simply passing through on my way to the Green Capital.”

“In that case, you will find a graceful welcome at the local inn,” said Ferocious Jenga. “It is but a little ways up the street.”

“Thank you.” Saint Stunk began to walk away, phoenix still on her shoulder.

“Wait!” The squeaky voice belonged to Jin Ryo. “That phoenix… what is its significance?”

“Oh, this old thing?” Saint Stunk stroked the phoenix’s head, causing it to let out a small squawk. “Just a companion of mine.” She turned her back on the fight, and continued walking away.

Jin Ryo and Ferocious Jenga looked at each other. All of a sudden, a terrifying scream was unleashed from someone in the town square. The skin on said person’s face began to burn, dripping off their face and landing in puddles on the floor, revealing a grotesque demonic countenance underneath. The burned demon fell on their knees, writhing in pain, while their body bulged and squished, transmogrifying into a bestial shape.

But who was it? Read on to find out.

All Good in the Hood?

The Imp is away! Today, she starts a full-time job Saving the World (in her own way), and so I must once more contend with the feeling of Being Alone. The Imp has been home for over six months now, ever since her university transitioned to online courses only. I have become used to her constant presence. Now, I must rediscover the world of myself. I am beginning by writing an essay:

“All Good In The Hood? An Exploration of my Current Mental State”
09212020

I have recently become unable to sleep for more than one hour at a time. My nights are a series of intermittent checkings of a clock. 1:30, 2:30, 3:30, 4:30… Each time I wake, I rewind my audiobook to where it left off and settle back to sleep. I am awake enough to remember that I awoke, and nothing more.

It used to be that I would wake up once or twice in the middle of the night in order to urinate. My body is wholly unwilling to store such vile liquids within itself for long periods of time; eight hours without releasing them is simply beyond its capabilities. Recently, I have made an attempt not to hydrate my body at all for up to 2 hours before bed. I still wake up, but I do not urinate. I wake up more, in fact. Who is to say what is the deal with things such as this?

This morning The Imp had to rise at 6:40am, which, for her, is remarkably early. Thankfully, her nerves (it is her first day, after all) propelled her out of bed ten minutes prior, and the alarms did naught but wake me out of my semi-slumber. When she left, I was so overcome with my feeling of freedom, that I too jumped out of bed, and proceeded to throw my morning out of a window.

Ah, these windows, there are too many of them! It seems I can not pass one without throwing a day or two out of it. Just where does the time go? Before I knew it, noon had reared its beautiful head, and I was struck with the desire to nap. And that I did. When I awoke with clear eyes, I saw that my destiny today (since my multiple attempts to start work on my novel were met with little success) was to clean house. A few hours later, here I am, sitting in the living room (the office seems so stuffy when I am alone in such a large apartment), watching every surface in the house gleam with cleanliness. What a feeling! And I did the laundry to boot.

So, is all good in the hood? A man happened to ask me this just the other day. This man works at the liquor store around the corner from my produce store. He passed my co-worker and I, who were deep in our first conversation in over a year (I am naturally shy), and spoke those four words: “All good in the hood?” Naturally, I responded with: “what?” He repeated his question. I said, “I don’t know dude, it’s fine.” By the time I finished this reply, the man had already walked away. I turned to my co-worker, and finished the thought I had begun before the interruption: “It’s probably best to just not pay attention to anything.”

I have banished the world from my thoughts; you may yell and scream all you like, but you can not reach me now. I am secluded in a mind palace. I built this mind palace because every time I approach the world, I am thrust back in astonishment at my inability to understand its workings. Every time I am online, I am saying, “Who are these people? What are they talking about?” Of course, I know the contents of current events; I am no fool. I know the historical context too, more often than not. However, understanding events and histories does me no good, because I simply do not understand people. Perhaps it is my interest in history that has made me unable to absorb myself in the present day. In any case, I understand, before you go and tell me, that this is my own failing.

I created my current mindset in self-defence. It is almost a built-in antidepressant. For the future, I felt fear, and for the past, I felt shame. For the present, I felt disdain. In order to rid myself of these negative feelings, I endeavoured to eradicate feelings of any sort, at least to the extent that such is possible. I have opinions, but they exist behind qualifications and hesitations so deep that I rarely express them even to myself. I have emotional reactions, but they are limited to the world that directly affects me. I feel anger only when I am not understood. I feel sadness only when I become aimless. I feel happiness only when the source of my happiness is right in front of my eyes. I can not concern myself with the happenings of other sides of the Earth, or even other sides of the city.

I used to idolize monkhood and any semblance of asceticism. Nowadays, I have grown more skeptical. I think I have come as far as I can go when it comes to renouncing the world. It is time, I think, for me to return. That is why I am writing again. I have a hope that my novels will save the world, in their own way. I have a hope that my work at the produce store is a benefit to Earth. I smile at people. I ask them how they are doing. For some of them, I am the only person that day who will greet them with a smile. It is the absolute least I can do. Hey, you can do it too, if you feel like it.

I argue often with The Imp about science and fiction (although rarely about science fiction). These arguments generally revolve around my skepticism about the ability of scientific progress to save the world. Oftentimes, she is correct. I am simply difficult. I refuse to believe in progress, and I refuse to believe in value. I refuse to believe in much of anything, to be honest. I believe in fiction, but what the nature of this belief is, I can not say.

I appreciate science only when it is aesthetically appealing to me. I think there are hard limits to where scientific research ceases to be helpful; when I say this, I am referring to its applicability to human happiness (to use a word I dislike). Can science help make our lives better? It can certainly extend our lives; it can limit our pain and our suffering (in certain respects); it can free us from certain burdens. However, I always have the feeling that the more we learn, the more new ways we find to be miserable, and the more we lose those connections to the beauty of Earth that can eradicate this misery. My thoughts on this subject sound pedestrian; in truth, they are not fully formed. One day, perhaps, I will find an opportunity to explore this topic more thoroughly (the question still remains: would it be worth it?)

What I appreciate most about science is that it can provide us with new avenues of thought. My life is simply a quest for interesting thoughts. When I happen on one, I swallow it up. I digest it slowly. Much later, I exude this thought in the form of a piece of writing. By the time I write it, I have often forgotten where the thought came from, or that I ever ingested it at all. It seems to come out of my own brain. A clever trick, that.

In other news, there was a day last week in which I was actually busy, a rarity in a lifestyle such as mine. As it turns out, much of this business came to naught, and that which did not come to naught came to very little at all. Alas, a man must make his day’s pay, which I did, although I could have done without much of the worry it entailed. I am a worrier at heart; I simply can not help it, and no matter how trivial a task, a looming deadline is sure to send me into fits of despair. I do not work well with time constraints; in fact, I would often prefer if time did not exist at all. What is the use of knowing the time? Ah, for a man such as I, time is no matter. Unfortunately, many of the people with money to give away in exchange for labour do not feel the same way. It is just another way in which I must compromise with the world.

By the way, this morning as I ate my breakfast, a gamut of birds congregated on the trees outside my window. There were chickadees, juncos, starlings, finches, the requisite crows, and even my good friend, the Northern Flicker. There was even a species of bird that I could not idenfity, even with flipping through the pages of my bird book twice over. Ah, even without a name, its song was just as sweet.

In opposition to our expectations, birds were relatively scarce around our house during the summer. Perhaps this is because food is more plentiful, so they find the time to wander around non-human-infested environments. As the fall and winter approach, their reliance on bird feeders and the like might increase, prompting a return to the city. This is simply my hypothesis. At any rate, it was a joy to see them all back again.

So, is all good in the hood? Well, now that I’ve sat here and thought about it all, I would say that yes, in fact, all is good in the hood. The birds are singing, the house is clean, the laundry is done, the sun is shining, and The Imp is saving the world. And I am here, where I belong, saving the world in my own way.

Coming Across a Carb Sacrifice

Several weeks ago, while the imp and I were on our regular walk, we came across a suspicious collection of materials piled on the sidewalk. As we grew nearer, the pile became clearer; ‘Ah,’ we said, ‘Another carb sacrifice.’

I don’t know if carb sacrifices are common where you are. Around here, you see them every now and again. In recent years, the trend is more towards indoor carb offerings, but there are still the traditionalists who stick firmly to the belief that the only place for a proper carb sacrifice is on the sidewalk outside your home.

This particular carb sacrifice that we came across was a real smorgasbord: cereal, bread, dry pasta, grains. It covered it all. They must be in a lot of trouble; either that, or they have very lofty aspirations. We wondered, the imp and I, at what god or gods this particular carb offering was directed towards. You used to be able to tell for sure – Po’ssef was really the only carb god in town. Nowadays, with the spread of the internet, a lot of heresies of varying degreees have gained popularity. For example, followers of the Biggums cult deny the place of bread in a carb offering – they consider it a bit too Catholic, I suppose.

If you’re looking to learn about the origins and etiquette of carb sacrifices, I would reccomend “Carbohydratical Offerings: A Survey of the West Coast Varieties” by Biggum Wiggum (no relation to the Biggums cult.) The main thing to keep in mind if you’d like to start offering at home is to clear your house of any rats, ants, or any pest of that sort. It can cause a real headache. Sacrifices performed outside are better for this reason, but then you face the possibility of an outright Crow Congregation, which you will want to avoid for reasons you might suspect. It used to be common knowledge how to avoid such a disaster, but unfortunately the techniques have been for the most part lost to time, and can only be found in certain hard-to-come-upon resource materials.

I am no more than a passing amateur when it comes to such scholarship. All I know, I have overheard while behind various fences, or in various bushes. I was behind these fences and in these bushes for very different reasons, but that’s the beauty of secret hiding places, you never come away empty-handed.

great screaming

O, I am perched back atop my mountain, and I am ready to begin my screaming! Aaaaaaahhhhh!!!

You thought I was gone! You thought you could destroy me! I’ve had my sixth cup of soju – I am invincible! Ah, here comes the seventh… I am invisible! Just try seeing me now!!

O, you dirty Earth, you sad Earth, you despicable pile of dirt and worms. You make me sick. You make me ill. I’m so sick and ill! All that’s good lies in the depths of the ocean – well, so be it. Keep it down there. Hide it away from me – I don’t care. It means nothing to me. I don’t need any of it.

I’ve got a balcony! I can sit on my balcony and that’s no problem for anyone. Do you have a problem with it? Beat it, buster! Get away from my balcony! And stop dumping garbage in our garbage bin! Find somewhere else! The whole god damn Earth is a garbage bin! Throw it anywhere! Just leave it in your house! Your house is full of stinking fish – I know, I’ve seen it in my mind. I’ve imagined it. You can’t hide it from me.

Oh, you dislike the way you must line up, you dislike the way you must form a queue, you dislike that there are rules that govern the way we interact with each other, oh, oh, oh no, oh I don’t care! All I want to say is (,and I want to say this to everyone on Earth): Get out of my way! I don’t ask for much. I spend most of my time very far away from anyone, but when I do come out of my grotto, when I do venture into the Earth, I just ask that you don’t walk directly into me for no reason! Aaaghh the Earth is so big! It’s so big and you walked Right into me! O you make me sick, you are a monster – you will perish one day and the worms and dogs will eat your bones!

Your SHIRT says calvin klein JEANS. Why does your SHIRT say “JEANS” on it!? You have had your SOUL eaten by the evil devil Satan! He has consumed you… you see a shirt that says JEANS on it and you think… ah calvin, he has not led me astray before, you say that, but really, you’ve never even worn calvin klein jeans… you just have the shirt! And you expect me to LIVE in the same CONTINENT as you!? Get real, dude! Get real! Better yet, take fake!

Ah they’re trying to turn the lights off on me, they’re trying to leave me in the dark, they’re trying to make it such that I can not even see the keyboard that I clack upon, oh these miserable villains think that I, a man who has become unto a God, can not survive without the precious electric light that they shine upon themselves, that they use in a futile attempt to illuminate their demons, oh they think that they can kill me with darkness… well, I just turned the light back on! I could live without it… but I don’t want to! I’ve turned it back on!

The Five Biomes You Meet In Heaven

The wind was gusting for it was a gusty day, and Gus was, to put it frankly, disgusted.

The wind was gusting for it was a gusty day, and Gus was, to put it frankly, disgusted. He had set out on his walk in the hopes of discovering where the road led to, and yet he had been on the road for many an hour and the road had failed to lead anywhere. The road in question was the road he lived on; it was the road on which his house had been built. Gus had built the house, and on the top of the house he had placed a large weathervane, in order to know which way the wind was blowing.

Gus’ hair was blowing this way and that. The wind was blustering, it was gustering, and Gus was mustering all his strength to continue forward. In the sky, the wind was calmer, as Gus could tell by observing the movement of the clouds, which passed across the horizon in an orderly manner. Gus often wondered of the clouds, but his wonderings had been fixed lately on an incomprehensible idea involving flying plankton. He had tried to explain it once, to George, at the local convenience store, but George had not quite understood, and Gus had found that the more he explained, the less he had understood himself, and so he gave up, and from then on had decided to keep such ideas inside of his own mind.

Gus was flustered, and the mustard he had spilled on his new shirt make it look as if the shirt had rustered. He had been in a rush to get out that morning; he had known not how far his road would lead him. He had woken up with a start from a dream involving a cold toad, and had heard the road calling in its usual mode.

When Gus reached the end of the road, he found where it had been leading. It scared him, but only a little, and not in the way he had expected. He was on top of a mountain, and looking down, he could see the town of New Rock, Arkansansas. ‘New Rock!’ he exclaimed, in a whisper. It was the town where he had grown up.

Gus rolled down the mountain, crawled through the forest, and strolled his way into town. It was all exactly as he had remembered it, except until this moment, he had not remembered it all. On a crosswalk he recognized Lily Watson, now seventy years old and leaning on a crooked cane. Lily, when young, had worn frilly dresses, and made silly jokes. Now, the dress she wore looked as if she had lay down on a carpet, and upon standing up again had accidentally taken it with her.

The movie theatre still stood, but it was now a cannabis store. The church still stood, but it was now Presbyterian, whereas when he was young it had been Episcopalian. The trees still stood, but now they leaned over a little, and as he ventured into town, he realized that a few of them were laying down. And his old house, where he had grown up – that still stood too, although they had put a door on the garage, and painted the whole house brown, whereas it used to be green. Gus stood for a long time in front of this house. He sang a brief song, and turned around to head home.

Gog and Magog Go To Market

Any man who has ever built a sandcastle understands the ancient fear that is exemplified in the figures (or figure) of Gog and Magog. What we create is impermanent – be that buildings, towns, cities, civilizations, cultures. Gog and Magog lurk behind every wall – sometimes they are impossible to miss, other times they are invisible. Continue reading “Gog and Magog Go To Market”