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Tijuana Suspension Artists - Chapter 8

Tijuana Suspension Artists - Chapter 8

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Published by Gary Gunter
I'm deliberately publishing these out of order - this chapter introduces Athansius - the immortal psychic and his meeting with the enigmatic Chaz, beginning with one of his memories from what really occured at the council of Nicea...
I'm deliberately publishing these out of order - this chapter introduces Athansius - the immortal psychic and his meeting with the enigmatic Chaz, beginning with one of his memories from what really occured at the council of Nicea...

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Published by: Gary Gunter on Jun 25, 2010
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06/24/2010

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Chapter 8
In 325, a council convened at Nicaea under the pretense of authoring a unifyingcreed for all of Christendom, but really to go over the minutiae of an even moreimportant text making the rounds entitled “Naked Ran The Lemming”, to which suchattention was paid that the noble minds gathered to create Christian dogma forgot allabout their claimed intention, a problem quickly remedied by Athanasius of Alexandria
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,who cobbled together a bit of nonsense about “Three Being One”, an idea that had moretruth to it than any of the others present could ever fathom. Athanasius was politicallysavvy – he knew the pagans would except this mamby-pamby spiritual idea of a Holyspirit, the Orthodox just loved the old Testament Father, and the remaining hedonistsamong them could really groove on the idea of some other poor sap dying for all the latenight orgies and occasional virgin sacrifice that tended to blotch the record of anyonewho was remotely interesting. Yes, the people themselves were easy enough to dupe, butthe way Athanasius slipped in some legitimate prophecy that came to be the foundationof religious doctrine and snowed almost all the great minds of his generation, well thatwas just art. It was the kind of art that was his favorite, the kind that points a rudeupturned finger at the unsuspecting audience and makes them pay for the privelege. Thathe knew the shape and fate of Destiny and The Universe, and that he instead opted tokeep it secret and lead the needy masses over a cliff into the abyss was just his way of accenting the gesture with a wet and noisy raspberry.Thus the title,
 Naked Ran the Lemming 
.In the dark of a cellar, the man called Athanasius ran his fingers over a blank  parchment page, his fingers gently grazing the crackling paper, a smile fixed on his faceas if he were reading a beloved old classic, relishing each battle, mourning each death,chuckling at the wacky chaps who postured as if they had a clue what they were in for,and as always, dreading the outcome which he had read a thousand times and which heknew to be inevitable. Even in the cellar’s grotesque shadows, he could see the shape of things to come.A flash of brilliant blue lit the dark room, the walls echoed with a shrill ring, androlling his eyes Athanasius reached for his cell phone and answered, “Magic Eye
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A man that looked curiously like St. Germaine.
 
Psychics, Palm and Tarot card readings by appointment, how can I help you?”A ganja-seasoned voice drawled, “Oh, hey man, I got an image of what looks likeHunter S. Thompson at the bottom of my tea-cup – do you do tea-leaves?”Athanasius’ shoulders sagged as he pondered (not for the first time) that, as acareer in the psychic slash visionary field goes, this was pretty much rock bottom. Hesighed, for he had seen the Rorschach
 
effect many times; most recently with a hornyskater who saw an image of Scarlett Johansson in the gooey trails left at the bottom of hismacaroni and cheese.
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Gently rolling up the parchment and snatching his copy of “People” magazine, Athanasius leaned back in his chair, affected his best genericEastern-European accent, and said “A great and troubled man who’s nature resemblesyour own,” with the resignation of a man who understood that while the phony psychicracket was pretty lousy, it still beat the pants off delivering pizzas for minimum wage or that year he spent collecting plague bodies in Italy. He still had trouble eating lasagnaafter that.Athansius, knowing for a fact that the world was going to end shortly, could have just hung up on the idiot with the sage advice to put his head between his legs and kisshis ass goodbye, but he had a few hours to go before The Big Finale kicked off, so hedecided to have a little fun with him first.“Although, seeing Hunter at this juncture indicates problems with your groinchakra,” he said, successfully surpressing a smirk. He imagined a pot-addled dorm ratwith dreadlocks concernedly thrusting his hand down the front of his cargo pants andrubbing his nutsack with the same concerned expression a bomb squad newbie wouldwear as he worried over whether or not to cut the red wire or the green.“That blows man – I was hoping to nail this chick before the world ends today,”said the stoned voice, a voice that until now Athanasius assumed was any other mark.Shocked suddenly from his boredom, Athanasius leaned forward, fumbled withthe phone, dropped it to the floor, yanked it up by the cord, pressed it to his ear, andasked, “Who is this?”“I’m Chaz, man,” he said, matter of factly, as if this was supposed to meansomething to him, “and I see things from the smoke, you know, but, I guess I was looking
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Curiously, the same bowl of macaroni and cheese that would later end up on the receiving end of Jack’shand upon surprisedly awakening next to a dead nun.
 
for a second opinion, ‘cuz I’m never wrong, but I just – I mean the whole thing is aboutto blow apart and I thought, you know, you might know something about it, right BigA?”Athanasius wasn’t sure which disturbed him more; that a total stranger seemed toknow an unsettling amount about him, or that this same pothead managed to discover ancient and well protected secrets of The Universe swirling forth from the bowl of his bong. He had not run into another legitimate seer for at least a dozen years, the last one being a chicken farmer in Missouri whose range was limited to exactly predicting theweather. While a neat trick, technology had made the chicken farmer somewhat obsolete,and Athanasius had languished for years in the knowledge that he was a man apart in theworld until this strange damn call.“I’ve seen all the signs man,” Chaz continued, “bees dying in record numbers,allied forces holing up in Megiddo, the white Buffalo being born in Wyoming – butsomething isn’t right – there’s a wild card somewhere and I can’t put my finger on it – and then I saw Hunter S. Thompson in my mushroom tea.”Athanasius blanched as it dawned on him that if this Chaz guy could interpret allthe doomsday signs after spotting what was very probably a questionable likeness of adoped up journalist at the bottom of a cup of loose leaf oolong, then he might be speakingwith a Master. Masters always gave him a headache. Or rather, the only other one he had personally ever encountered gave him a headache.
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His name was Josh, a mute kid thatcould see through ten dimensions and went mad trying to paint it on the side of a barn inthe middle of nowhere. What had made him so obnoxious was his lunatic need to silentlyrepeat rather harmless questions in anagrams that Athanasius had to decipher by readinglips, as when the simple inquiry “What’s all this?” was answered “That wall’s his. Hastwall this? Has that wills.”Infuriating.Athansius inhaled deeply, exhaled, and waited for a fresh burst of lunacy.“See, I’m an organic medium – I can see the future through plants, animals,weather patterns – but weed tends to work the best, at least for really detailed stuff, youknow, like a nun getting stabbed as the lynch-pin that will pull our reality apart – but I
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Masters, in addition to being exceptionally powerful, were also exceedingly rare and in a note of interestto nobody but other seers, especially fond of very strange eyewear.

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