A Familiar Tale (so this be short

)
On the floor huddled in a corner, pressed up against cold cold tiles the little girl cries. She is gasping in short bursts, her body held in silent contortion, every ounce of energy devoted to overcoming the overwhelming sensation within her. Her tears are small comfort to a heart that is unable to feel anything but a slow burning pain. Her stomach churns once more; she is a cocoon latched firmly to the cold cold tiles. Pity her? She doesn’t seem to seek it. Help her? She only asks for more cold tiles. Love her? She asks for a moment of silence, a moment alone if you’d please. The tip of a finger breaks free of clenched knuckles and points toward the door; clearly, she needs no one. One wonders what is running through this girl’s mind as she slowly releases her cramped muscles and slides to the floor at dawn, lying in a crumpled mess a foot away from the toilet, wrapped in the soft towel she managed to pull down – her single comfort for the sleep that follows. Is she dreaming?

Is she perhaps finally facing the invisible beast that held her in his arms? Face down on the cold cold tiles...

The Metal head versus the Nine year old

Dear reader, a true account for your reading pleasure. Here I am on holiday at my uncle’s home, wasting my time as most people do – watching TV and avoiding the incessant chatter of my nine-year-old cousin who sits beside me. This girl-child has a particular habit of criticizing my habits and tastes (in her imaginary world, I am a child; her equal despite our obvious eleven year age difference.). So here we were on a night like any other and I, finding nothing suitable to watch on the cable decide to take in a half hour of hard metal – Uranium was on; not a bad time to catch up on some new metal bands perhaps? Wrong...I forgot about the presence of the nine year old by my side. ‘Ugh, Jay! Do we have to? This music is terrible...my god that guy is SO ugly!’

This being her comment against the current music video playing: Frantic by Metallica. Now ordinarily I just ignore her comments and nod my head (a tactic I learnt in high school to deal with teachers) till she gets frustrated and leaves me alone – but this was Metallica for Christ’s sake! I give her my best glare... ‘You know who you remind me of?’ She’s ecstatic that I’m actually responding to her for once.

‘Who?’ ‘That girl; Daria’s sister...the really annoying empty-headed one...you just passed judgment on one of my favorite bands without even giving them a chance! You called the singer ugly! Is that the way to judge music?’ She looks at me as if I’m truly an oddity.

‘Well! I am SO not like Daria’s sister; she’s ugly and stupid - and I don’t like this singer. He cant sing at all, and he’s screaming like a girl.’ ‘Hey! That’s a very masculine scream! You know what, you’re too young for this music...You’ll understand it when you’re older, if you’re lucky.’ ‘Well I wouldn’t want to...They’re ugly, their music is SO annoying and why are they so angry anyway?’ ‘They are angry at all the things that are bad in this world. They get angry at things like unnecessary pain. They’re good guys, really...’ ‘Well, they’re causing pain to me. I mean Hello! Their style, ugh and their music, so loud! You just like them because they have long hair like yours. I really don’t like this music Jay; c’mon, can we please change it?’ ‘Hair length has nothing to do with this! I like my hair long because it feels good when I brush it okay? Now tell me, what kind of music do you like?’ Maybe if I listen to her side of it, I’ll be able to help this poor child appreciate the art of metal. ‘I like Britney Spears and Lizzy McGuire’

‘God those two suck! They’re all about the image don’t you understand! Their music is manufactured. There is nothing real about it. They sing about things like love and crap without even having experienced any of it. Heavy metal artists such as these guys are trying to show you real life. True it’s a narrow part of life; mostly they make music about struggle, pain, strife and hate or the loss of love, but its real topics that touch their hearts. The music is loud, grim, heavy and fast to express all this and...well...listen to it! It’s got magnificent rhythms and just sheer energy! Now, can you really say this music is bad? Does the way they look Really affect their song? I mean, tell me, would their music sound different if you had your eyes closed? And beyond all this; what gives you the right to judge them so harshly?’

She ponders this last question... ‘Well...’

She spends a few more moments thinking all this over and states after due deliberation, ‘Well. I can do a cartwheel better than anyone else.’ And to prove it, she does a cartwheel.

Isabella’s Eyes

Jahanzaib Haque

Bedtime

‘And that dear children, was the end of the hobgoblin. He was vanquished forevermore by the brave knight. Now remember always little ones, act as the knight did and show no fear in your moment of terror, and you too will always have a happy ending.’ A tremendous silence followed as all the little faces huddled closer still, the memory of the hobgoblin fresh in their tainted minds. She smiles at them gracefully and dismisses them. ‘Go children. It’s far past bedtime. God knows what nurse will say if she finds out.’ The children (the older ones braving the shadows first) march out in single-file toward their rooms, their candles waving in the air, causing a riot of shadows to dance along the hallway. Silence and darkness issue forth as the last footfall dies away...Yet there is a distinct hollow tapping coming from the deserted hallway below...Perhaps - it sounds like someone is trying the door-handle? Could it be? A sudden chilling flash of terror at the thought (the image of the hobgoblin’s hawked nose - carrying a carcass in his hands). Could she hear it? Maybe it was her imagination. It was a dark and stormy night after all. Perhaps the sounds were coming from elsewhere.

The tapping continued steadily...

She would have to investigate. Down the dark hallway, past the silent murals on the wall - the cheerful faces grinning down at her seemed crazed; jeering her on with mad delight. Around the banister and down the spiral staircase and across the cold hard marble leading to the heavyset oak door. The knocking recedes and dies off as she approaches.

‘Is anyone there?’

Lightning followed by a tremendous roll of thunder. Maybe she missed a reply? ‘I said, is anyone there? Do you need help?’ The door handle in the flash of lightning. Someone; some thing on the other side is trying the handle once more. Why won’t they answer? ‘Please. Tell me your name. What do you want?’ ‘Horace. I’m expected.’ A sigh of relief. She unlocks the door in an almost eager rush and throws it wide open. ‘Do come in sir. I’m so sorry. I’m new here you see; started work just yesterday. The head nurse, she told me you tend to have strange hours, and in this storm I hardly expected...What do you want exactly? I wasn’t told specifically. Is there anything I can do to help?’ He is short and looks rather dimwitted. A toad with charcoal eyes and lopsided lips. He stares at her mutely and they share a moment of silence in the darkness... ‘You’re a little young to be working here methinks...Almost took you for one of them...’

His voice is harsh and excessively aggressive; the creeping feeling of something being amiss rises in her again. He continues... ‘Fair enough, fair enough...Fetch me two of the little ones and one of the larger ones. They’re to be relocated...a newer institution.’ ‘Well, surely I can’t just choose them? What about the Head Nurse? Don’t you have any papers? Documents? Which children are to be displaced? Why would they need to be moved?’

He stares at her grumpily, his vacant eyes staring deep into hers...

‘I just follow orders. Two little ones and one older one. Now hurry up, fetch them. No need to pack their things or dress them up. It’s only a short distance to where they’re going and they’ll be taken care of.’

She is shocked. The thought of letting even one of the children, her children be taken to an unknown destination in the care of this man was beyond her. She musters up all her determination and squares her jaw in defense... ‘I’m sorry. Without permission from the Head Nurse, I can’t let you have the children. You’ll have to speak to her yourself. Tomorrow.’ ‘I need the children today.’

‘You can’t have them.’ He advances with his arm raised as if to strike her yet something in her expression makes him stop. He leers at her in the darkness. ‘Have it your way then. Perhaps it’s for the best. You’ll be fired in an instant; in an instant...' Hesitation; that’s all he needed.

'Well hurry along then. Go get the children, choose whichever ones you like.' Climbing the stairs in twos, rushing to the children’s rooms; ignoring the empty faces in the bright paintings watching her silently. ‘Sara, Anita, come with me please. Keep your voices low dears, its time for you to go. Angie, you come with me too dearest.’

There is fear in their sleepy eyes as they cross the darkened hallway, their white robes reflecting the lightning’s dance...

‘This nice man is here to take you to a new and much nicer place. You’ll have a terrific time there, I promise.’ Anita’s beseeching eyes catch her guardian’s.

‘I want to stay here. Please can we stay here miss? Till tomorrow at least...I’m afraid.’ A momentary glance over at the silent figure brooding in the darkness. His impatience is intimidating - his eyes glare back. ‘There there dears. Don’t worry. I’ll make sure you’re safe and kept well there. I’ll come and see you myself soon! Don’t worry little one, I promise everything’s going to be fine.’

The others are satisfied and their bleak faces light up in the surrounding darkness. He advances for them as they exchange hugs and good-byes... ‘Goodnight.’ They march out into the wailing wind - the storm has moved off into the distance now. The silhouettes wave to her once more before disappearing into the waiting van... ‘Goodnight. Goodbye. Goodbye...’

Trying to sleep is hard. Uneasiness in the air. Unsaid thoughts hang steadily in the air as the hours drift by. She is upset and disturbed, but why? Something was very wrong with that meeting. She would talk to the head nurse tomorrow. That man - he wasn’t right. Nothing made sense. Why? Why... Sleep overcoming while nightmares continue.

Talk, Talk, Talk...

‘You don’t understand do you. Get my drift, and I’ll say this only once more. Mr. Horace is hired by the administrators themselves to take care of these poor children while they are transferred to the new institution. His visits are infrequent so just bear with the man, else your time here will be extremely short indeed. The last one...’ The head nurse leans over the desk, her ample bosom heaving with the movement.

‘The last one. Yes she left really fast. Disappeared in a matter of one week. Wouldn’t want that happening to you now would we? Have a cigarette.’

Lighting a cigarette now. Relieving the nervous tension in that room. Sweet, sweet tobacco rushing down her throat. ‘Well. I understand. It was just so unusual - the lateness of the hour; his shabby clothes; he dint even have a list of children’s names, you know that? He asked me to pick them for him...’ She leans forward once more and emits a soft whisper, her fingers slowly raking the dark mahogany desk... ‘Well. I suggest the next time he asks you to do something, you do it. We don’t need you to be leaving us so soon do we? Think of the poor dears. They’re dying. They need you to give them some measure of comfort in these last few months. Take care of the children and leave other matters be; there’s a good girl...’

End of the interview and still that sensation of unease lurks in the corner of her mind. Exiting the office and climbing the stairs once more. The children must be waiting for her to eat lunch with them. The head nurse was right though. She was here to help the

children through this final ordeal. They were all dying of various terminal illnesses and their families had abandoned them to this terrible end; cold and alone in an institution for the dying. She had to be strong for them... She had to be strong and ignore the nagging sensation of fear lurking at the back of her mind...

(If shot on film, nurse enters kitchen and sits down to a full table and slowly children start disappearing from the shot till final shot of just the little ones left)

A MONTH PASSES...

The afternoon sun filters in from the slit-like windows lining the length of the kitchen. The children are gathered around her once more; lunch is being devoured with vigor. An unusual silence hangs over the children today. Kate and Timmy were taken yesterday; the last of the elder children. She had chosen to send off more and more of the elder ones first, feeling they would be able to cope better with a transfer. Secretly she knew she let the elder ones go because she loved the little ones best. It might have been a mistake on her part; the rowdiness of the elder children was sorely missed as the silence mounted in the kitchen. Outside, a raven called... ‘Yes Isabella?’ The timid eight-year-old lowers her raised arm and brushes the merest wisp of a dark ringlet out of her eyes before speaking softly. ‘We’re all alone now aren’t we? Mommy doesn’t care. Daddy never even noticed - and now they’ve built a new place and taken away most of us.’

The other children nod in agreement, their faces full of desperate appeals for understanding - something only an adult can give them - something she must give them. The darkness gathers outside as the sun sets... ‘Well. My loves, my dearest ones, come closer to me and I’ll try and explain things for you.’ They pick up their chairs with careful reverence, making sure they make no noise as they slowly advance and sit in a semi-circle around her. All eyes focus with earnest upon their hope...

‘Children, I don’t want you to be frightened, but I must tell you the truth now. I...I’m afraid I may have done a terrible thing in letting your friends leave you. It’s not right and I know you feel it too. My poor little ones, I’ll do all I can to rectify the situation right away! Don’t you worry now, I’ll...I’ll figure something out.’

The uncertainty rings a bell and their faces are filled with anxiety once again. Isabella raises her hand once more... ‘We want to know, please, who’ll be going next?’ Time to make a decision... ‘Well. This is what we’ll do...gather around closer dears, even the walls have ears sometimes...’

Several days later...

Silence...and then from deep within her dream, she hears the familiar knocking on the door. Hurry! Hurry! It has to happen today!

She jumps out of bed and rushes down dark, narrow passages; the knocking growing louder and louder with each hurried step. The children... 'Isabella, quick! Come with me. Anne you too! Victor, you remember don’t you dearest? I'm not here. I'm seriously ill and you children are all alone for tonight. Please Victor, do your best dearest, and don’t be afraid...' Changing now. A hood over the top completes the disguise. The children all eye her anxiously.

'What if something should go wrong? What if...What if he knows you're pretending to be one of us?' Isabella’s mouth trembles as she whispers; the whites of her eyes reflecting in the scattered moonlight as they scramble downstairs... 'Darling, hush! I'll handle that if it happens. Now hush, we're here.'

The empty hallway stretches out in front - her hood limits her vision to the cold white marble floor. The door handle squeaks as Victor opens the door... 'She’s not here'

Shuffling; the toad is inside. He’s nearby, staring at the children - staring at her; gauging the situation. 'Where would she happen to be then little boy?'

He is advancing; striding into the hall! Victor... 'She’s not here. She’s very ill - very, very ill. She was rushed off after dinner. She’s so ill sir; they left us all alone. The head nurse, she said a substitute would be coming but no one came. We're all alone sir - here they are; she told us you were coming, so here they are.' The charcoal eyes are burning into the hood, examining the children offered to him...

Grunting, followed by silence. Could it be? Does he know? Does he suspect? 'We're ready to go sir' Isabella darling, speaks up in a terrified high-pitch. The toad's presence moves towards the door once more. He passes by, his shoulder brushing against hers. Calm the beating heart...

'Fine. Suits me just fine. Alright you three, follow me - into the van.'

As the journey nears its end

The silence at the back of the van is claustrophobic in proportion. The four white faces stare at each other in silence as they head out over bumpy side roads towards an unknown destination. Three stray dogs smelling their fear pad alongside the van as silent companions... ‘Open the gates!’

Clanking chains and the sound of rusty bolts being drawn back – they enter an empty courtyard. The van stops in front of the main building that rises before them like a giant slice of obsidian. What’s that smell? ‘Alright you...lets move. Out!’ The toad is silhouetted in the dark beckoning towards the open door, his eyes glistening with a strange lust...

‘Come children. Stay close to me...’ A hurried whisper in the dark as they exit the van; the children cling to her in fear as they enter the silent building. ‘Where are the lights?’ A club smashes into her neck and she loses consciousness. The children!

Waking up

Clouded vision clearing up. Objects swim into focus in the gathering darkness – slowly, a scene unfolds in flickering candlelight... She is tied to a chair, her mouth! It’s gagged. The children? Where are they? Who are these shadows approaching the middle of this dark cavern? The Toad approaches leading the guests, his body bowed over in reverence...

‘Your Excellencies, today we have for you here a truly, truly unique flavor. Whilst presenting you our regular spectacle of events, we have for your viewing pleasure, a new theme! Voyeurism, at its best as you are all gazed upon by one of the children herself!’ His short speech is greeted by a smattering of applause as the audience gathers in a small circle around the chair. They fling off their dark robes and stand in a silent naked circle, waiting for the next move. The Toad approaches...

He has Isabelle naked and unconscious under his arms. Her tiny female form is flung to the ground and carefully spread-eagled. The toad injects her in the arm with a ready syringe. There is silence as all stare down at the glistening white body reflecting the candlelight... She gasps and opens her eyes! The audience retreats towards the shadows and then approaches slowly, incredulously; consumed with desire to see it through...

Isabella is weak and barely able to move; the drugs coursing through her veins leave her with fairly little impression of her role in this affair. Isabella! There is nothing she can do to change anything...

One of the men approaches the Toad and a whispered conversation ends on a positive note. Money exchanges hands and the two approach the silent, listless child. The audience presses in closer for a better look. ‘A rare treat; your Excellencies are in luck, for tonight we have a very special show lined up indeed!’ The toad cups Isabella’s face in his hands and gazes deep into her vacant eyes. They glimmer with the slightest recognition; the slightest notion of fear. The naked stranger goes down on her body and holds it firmly. A knife! The toad has pulled a knife out of his pocket. The audience is beside itself in silent tension as their sweaty bodies cling to their neighbor’s. A few of the men begin to fondle their growing erections...

With a single, swift movement, the Toad punctures one of Isabella’s baby-blue eyes. She screams despite the drugs and her body convulses; held down by the weight of the naked man on top of her. The audience moans noticeably - some of the women go down on all fours to gaze at her from closer; like animals. Isabella’s screams die quickly in the surrounding darkness. Her body shivers now, as if from some unseen presence. Her other eye stares out in desperation; looking for hope. She sees her protector tied to a chair and their eyes meet. They are both helpless. Her body stops protesting. The toad backs away, fading into the darkness. The naked man stands and gazes down at Isabella’s soft flesh – at her eye-socket now filled with blood. He approaches her, straddling her body so his genitals rest on her mouth. The audience is writhing with sexual frenzy as members begin to climax. The musky scent of cum permeates... He stares down into her eye and she looks into his. She pleads as he lusts for her pleas; his penis stirs and grows erect. The overwhelming need for insertion stirs. He shifts into a comfortable squatting position, aims carefully and at the right moment in mid-plea, rams his penis deep into Isabella’s empty eye-socket.

She gasps, her mouth widening in a silent scream. Her eyes reflect the horror; the disbelief as he thrusts again, penetrating deeper, his blood-engorged penis dripping red. The audience screams in throes of ecstasy.

Isabella’s eye finds her protector one last time before focusing on her aggressor. His eyes are closed, his lips parted ever-so-slightly in an expression of pure orgasmic lust. He continues to fuck the socket; penetrating the brain repeatedly and turning it to mush with a steady rhythm which continues, long after her body quits breathing; long after her eye stops seeing. The audience is calmer now; Climax has been achieved. They relax and wait for the show to go on. The toad reappears from the darkness... ‘Your Excellencies well done! What a performance! What an effort on the part of all! We are so proud to be hosting such a willing audience! And now for your viewing pleasure, a taste of something quite new! Bring in the bed!’ Three miserable ghostly creatures faintly resembling dwarves drag away the bloody corpse and bring back a bed out of the darkness... ‘Bring her over here.’ The chair is lifted and she is brought in front of the Toad. He tears her clothes with aggressive abandon, groping her soft flesh with glee. He whispers...

‘Not such a good idea was it missy? Not such a good idea at all. Well, no matter – they’ll pay handsomely for you.’ Her eyes widen in fear; pupils dilating. The Toad grins and faces his grotesque audience... ‘As for our feature attraction, our voyeur whom I’m sure you’ll find much delightful! Ladies especially, this one is for you!’

Stabbing – drugs pumping through veins, running through the heart, running through the brain, slowing down sensation. A lurch. Ropes binding limbs down; the domed ceiling comes into view – spread-eagled on the bed. A voice is speaking as someone toys with her flesh...

‘Come closer your Excellencies, come closer! Feast upon this spectacle!’ Fear, and then pain, as a blade slides into her hips – into her thighs – under her ribs – across her nipples. The audience moans and lunges forward in unison. Shadows cloud her vision as men masturbate over her while women suck blood from the wounds on her body. The outpouring of sweat, blood and cum disguise the tears which slide out of the now-vacant eyes. Death is a slow process as her blood is drained repeatedly, every sacred drop being licked and teased out of her bleeding orifices; even off the cold, hard floor. Soon though, vision blurs and the horror subsides. Faces fade away and darkness consumes all...

The End

‘Will she ever come back?’ A sigh – the same question is always on their lips... ‘I don’t know little ones. Don’t let it trouble you so.’ ‘What happened to Isabella? And the others? They said they would come back...’ Lips are trembling – the fear on their faces is apparent. She turns to face them huddled in a dark corner of their nursery room... ‘There’s nothing to fear children. Nurse has gone on leave and I’m here to take her place. Don’t fret so, I promise to do all she did and more – now please, will you all come out of the corner?’ A single voice whispers in the darkness, ‘Nurse...are we going to die?’

She shudders at the thought – the question was unexpected though understandable; this was a hospice after all...

In God’s Hands
Jahanzaib Haque

‘Silicon shaping the future. What a strange concept – technology relying on handfuls of sand. Though that’s simplifying matters a little. Microchips you see, are silicon, and silicon is THE ESSENTIAL component of what we know as sand...sand you see...we need more of it’

Fingers digging deep into the moist sand of an empty beach; it’s a grey day. ‘You think we can make it on a handful of sand? How far ahead does that put us over the average Joe who’s lacking in sand?’ A Pause, ‘does dust count you think?’ A far harder question. I ponder this query in silence, my gaze drifting over the ebbing horizon which seems to release silent emanations to the soul. I wonder what the words are. She takes a drag on her cigarette – sexy yet infinitely casual; things are good.

‘So who are you anyway? I can’t thank you for the free joints without getting your name first...’ We had been on the beach for a while. She and I had come separately to different beach huts. We met on a common plain – a large sandy dune facing the ocean; the perfect spot for a smoke. She had been there before me so I offered her drugs to make up for the invasion of privacy. Now, she wanted my name – why not? We exchange names and look out towards the horizon; each silently gauging the person anew – a rose by any other name would seem very strange indeed; for one who knows a rose. I like her name though. It’s just like her personality; casual yet rather unrelentingly sexy. She judges my name positively too – her shoulders lean in towards mine for the rest of the conversation. Her eyes look deep... ‘Come home with me’ Awkward silence... ‘I’ll smoke you out...it’s the least I can do...you’ve totally made my beach trip’

Acceptance.

‘Oh, sure...Do you want to head out now? The sun left us hours ago; there might even be a storm later...’ We leave. I follow her car for perhaps an hour with an empty mind. Things pass on the side of the road and bleak colors follow behind. Perhaps that was a dog lying on his back in the gutter – road kill. Perhaps not; my mind gives very inaccurate representations of time flying by.

She lives in an apartment by herself. Obviously mommy and daddy have been footing the bill – there is wealth in a million unspoken forms lying everywhere waiting to be trodden on or broken. Maybe I’ll rob her later. Tsk tsk, such a strange mind…

‘You have a beautiful home...Its lush...is that a word? I seem to have heard it before’ A quick smile and the slightest squint. She finds me cute and amusing I suppose. ‘Thanks. I dint do much here though; sure you can tell in a second. It’s mostly my mom’s touch-ups and my daddy’s taste. It’s livable though – I grew out of resenting my parents a couple of years back; suits me fine.’ A lot smarter than I thought; but then again, that’s what I find all the time. People are exceptionally smart on an individual level – I wonder if she suspects how I feel about her. I feel a blush coming on... ‘Could I use the bathroom?’ That was unexpected; she stares at me with silent contemplation... ‘Sure. Straight through that door and to your right.’

Exit.

White tiles. Her bathroom is meticulously neat and clean; I felt terrible about the few drops of piss which landed outside the safe zone. Perhaps a tissue could take care of that – perhaps I should go through her cabinets... Everything neatly arranged to a form of military precision; I was afraid to touch anything lest I should make my presence known. I couldn’t resist snatching up a pair of black panties out of her laundry pile though – to serve as a memento of sorts; no one would miss them, especially not her. No - she would think of that pair of missing panties and get turned on by the thought of where they ended up. Eroticism. Masturbation. A quick job. A stress-reliever more than anything else. Taken too much time; should get out there before she gets suspicious... Exit.

She’s changed. A delicate blue top; it does wonders for her shapely figure; so fragile – any man would want to hold her. Should I dare? ‘Let’s dance...I love this song...’

She is totally charmed by my quirky request... ‘Sure. C’mere...’ She clings to me as Robert Plant echoes a song on lost love. It is like a dream moving in reality; a strange and transcendent form of inertia. The sun has set though, and darkness spreads... ‘Well, do you want to roll or should I do the honors?’

We break apart and my heart cringes; missing her physical presence, already...She moves to the vacant sofa and I follow... ‘You do realize...I don’t do this all the time’ She is working on autopilot; her hands carefully working with the tobacco and hash – the joint will be ready soon, may as well play the conversation game...

‘Uhuh’ She gazes into me again... ‘You’ve gone rather quiet since the beach...are you okay?’ Was that a beseeching tone? She obviously wants this to be a little more comfortable than it’s turning out.

‘I’m fine...no, actually, honestly, I’m not okay...I’ve been thinking. Look, I know i'm an oddball, but you’re just so...you’re an ideal and its driving me crazy. I think maybe, I’m in love...with you’ Silence as she licks the joint all over (so it burns slower and lasts longer, clever thing). She’s done. A quick flick of the lighter and a harsh drag later, she turns towards me – sliding her legs under her as she flows; god she looks beautiful. What will she say... ‘Well’ More silence as she passes me the joint. She hands me the purple ashtray. I can feel her mind thinking and her heart pumping to solve the crisis. I play with the joint expertly in my fingers. She is far too busy talking to me...

‘That’s really flattering. I, I kinda like you too, in some way – you appeal to me.’ I pass her the joint. She doesn’t notice any change. She doesn’t notice I haven’t smoked any of it. A sigh of relief escapes me... ‘Hah. I see you think that’s rather strange. That’s okay. I bet you’re thinking that if I knew the real you, I would shudder and back away...Well, I’ve known you perhaps five hours now and you make me feel...special...and that’s all that matters, in the end yknow...In the end...’

Her eyes are gazing deep into mine and I feel the surge of passion pumping in her; her iris dilates ever so slightly. This is going to be interesting. I wonder if she noticed me lacing the joint with a little concoction of my own... ‘Well...since we both stand on the same plain. I say we resolve this without the messy problems. It irkes me terribly when a problem arises and it wont go away – stays in your mind and haunts you yknow...You and I should be bound together in simplistic glory. Not involved in this terrible terrible place. Not here; not in this apartment. Why should we remain trapped? Shaking and trembling like rats in a corner unable to flee, its terrible to see – so strange oftentimes I wonder to myself...You look strange – are you okay?’

She is trembling now... ‘Lay down on this sofa. You’ll feel a little better.’

I move her limp body into a comfortable slump. She is absolutely still now; her eyes express everything in their glassy stare – I level with her... ‘Now where was I? Ah yes. Its so strange, it makes me wonder...I’ve seen it many times you know, but never, never experienced it. Its my own creation – call it a designer drug if you must, but its not very marketable. Even the tiniest dose seems to result in a form of permanent paralysis...Used beyond this tiny dose, it kills... Do you want to know how much I used on you?’

The same glossy stare. Her iris shifts forms – she is trying desperately to look away; to move. Pity... ‘You’re not going to die.’ Silence. She blinks...thats happened before...Words forming slowly... ‘Please...Save me.’

Typical... ‘Save you? You sweet, sweet thing; I am the one who gave you the dose...there is no savior here’ A reply? I must lean in closer as she whispers... ‘Please...’

‘Come now...I know there is no pain involved – just a slow loss of feeling. Is that what is upsetting you? Arent you the least bit curious as to why I would do this?’

‘Please...’ She is beginning to annoy me. So typical. Just like the others...

‘Tell me you want to know why, and I’ll help you...’ She blinks. A minute passes as she hovers between emptiness... ‘Please...’ Her incessant rambling leaves me no choice. I loosen her belt and pull her pants down to her knees; flipping her over gracefully. Rape; I tend to be brutal... I come inside her within minutes; she had been dry and the friction helped...

I pull her wrecked body into a more comfortable posture again but I will have to remember to be careful in future – her left leg is broken and refuses to lay on the sofa with the rest of her body; its disturbing... ‘Well...Will you ask me why?’ Silence.

‘Ask me why.’ Silence. She is breathing. Her eyes are fixed on mine; quivering ever so slightly... ‘Ask me why.’ Did her lips tremble. A minute goes by. Are her lips trembling? Is she trying to say something? Why is this so difficult? Why doesn’t she ask me?

‘Why...Ask me why. I know you’re thinking it – now SAY IT. I WANT YOU TO SAY IT. Why hide it? I KNOW YOURE THINKING IT. NOW SAY IT. SAY IT...’

Her eyes look strange. A single tear makes a soft trail down her soft cheeks, pausing at her lips... ‘You disgust me. Here I find my ideal and she cannot even bring herself to ask the one question which would have made all this worthwhile. Worse, she hides it – on purpose. To hurt me. Your type – you never question. You never want me to be satisfied do you? If you would only ask me why, I would tell you and everything would be alright and we would both reach a joyful conclusion wouldn’t we? But no... You don’t want to ask me why I would do this. You PURPOSELY hold the question away from me. Fine. Have it your way. My knife is in my hand once more and I wield it like an expert; ive had many occasions to practice this fine art – removing a person’s eyes is a delicate task. Its almost an art form and only a true master can claim to have held a human pupil in his palm... ‘Now open your mouth.’ An inane comment; her jaw hangs loose and I pry it open with little effort. I force the remaining dose down her throat and sit her up in an upright position. She is still breathing... ‘You only had to ask why, and all this would have been worthwhile. Now...Its a useless act – such a waste. Always such a waste. Why...’ I squeeze her limp hands, held closely in mine. The rise and fall of her chest grows slow. I hit her in the face with her pretty purple ashtray. It causes more blood to spill; very little real damage. Never mind, she can die on her own; I’ve done enough for her as it is... Exit.

THE END

afterword (By the author)

Based loosely around a comment by Zain shariq upon the condition of the mind of a rapist. I raised the point that rapists probably feel guilt-ridden about their actions but Zain vehemently argued against this idea – in his opinion, a rapist is one who does not feel remorse for his action – hence, this story...Also partially inspired by Portishead, Thievery Corporation, Projeckt Gothic (a compilation CD) Kate, Farah, Stephen King, H. P. Lovecraft, years of pornographic research and the concept, the ideal; God.

Class observations (PHILOSOPHY – discussion of Nietzsche):

Professor: concentrates in bringing out a debate within the class. Person 1: Stares at his book with intense understanding. The book is closed.

Person 2: Is drawing slow, regular circle diagrams into his journal. Person 3: Is focused entirely on the class discussion (or lack thereof). He sits leaning forward with pouting lips, ready to release a tirade on his point of view. He is unsatisfied. Person 4: Is embarrassed at the lack of discussion. The repetitive silence is weighing down upon him. He is slowly wilting in his chair – his hand across his brow.

Person 5: Is stretched out and partially asleep. Person 6: Doesn’t belong here. His mind is outside playing in the sun as his eyes and body lean towards the open window. Person 7: Chews His pen; staring out with glazed eyes. The smell of stale cigarettes comes off him strongly. Person 8: Observes the class and scribbles into his journal.

Person 9: Has a map of the US in front of her. She carefully colors in the various states using her green and yellow markers. She is trying to be fair in her distribution of either color. Person 10: Is looking into the journal of scribbling person 8. He is shocked at the large number of notes forming here. Person 11: Feels pity for person 19. Her pretty hair and doe eyes reflect her gentle character.

Person 12: Is carefully examining person 11’s tanned legs. Person 13: Is frustrated at his inability to speak out on a topic he has focused his studies on for the last 2 years. His arms are crossed and he broods silently; staring at the floor.

Person 14: Examines his fingernails. Stretches out and examines his toenails. He is mildly upset about his right foot. Person 15: Is the smartest kid in class; sitting in a relaxed pose with full awareness of the disjointed class discussion, the weather outside and person 8 observing him. Person 16: Crosses and re-crosses her legs as she adjust to the spring shorts she hasn’t worn in the last 6 months. She calls most of the class discussion to herself, talking nonsense but attracting attention to her outfit anyway.

Person 17: Is hiding behind the two stronger personalities (15 and 16) in front of her in hopes of being invisible. She is very shy and inhibited. Person 18: Is clueless in general but enjoys raising ignorant questions. She is half the reason the class discussion is dead. Person 19: Stands facing the class in a heightened state of embarrassment. He has failed to lead the discussion and he feels shunned from the class (and society as a whole) – an utter loser. Grasping the podium tightly with both hands is all that is keeping him from crying, running or collapsing. He may commit suicide at some point in life.

The painting [an existential play/short film with some meaning]

Scene 1:

Darkness. The sound of a cigarette being lit. A ruffling of cloth and a pair of feet appear. The room in the background is semi-trashed, painting utensils litter the ground. Canvases lean against a distant wall. The wall is blank and contains a door in the middle. In one corner rests a lone mattress, obviously been slept in. In the other corner sits a beat-down sofa. Light enters from a window toward the left. The feet move slowly back till a man is visible till his shoulders. The cigarette drops from his hand. Moment of silence. He moves forward and lifts the painting and places it up high so it overlooks the entire room. He steps a few paces back, picks the cigarette and takes a deep drag and stumbles back towards his mattress. A phone is located and he begins to dial hurriedly.
Painter: it’s me. Stuff was great, but that not why I’m calling... *Fade with sounds of a conversation* Scene 2: Two faces stare up at the painting. The painter lights a new cigarette whilst his grubby friend removes his dark shades and stares in momentary awe at the painting before him. They both move back and face each other, trying to avoid what is infront of them. Painter: told you. *Takes a drag* its insane. Ludicrous. Its not my work, cant be man. Grubby friend: be logical. This has to be your painting. The question is, how did you achieve it...and more importantly *stares hard at the painting with obvious hostility* what does it all mean? Painter: Too much coke? Little Squeaky Dogs? Who knows. It’s a trip, but not really. *Pause* last night was a blast. The stuff kept me going for hours...I blanked *a nervous note enters his voice* I don’t know what I’ve done. I need to know. Grubby friend: its obvious isn’t it? *Stares hard at the painting* The damn thing doesn’t stand for anything. Simply the work of a crazed mind on drugs. *Grudgingly* Its good

though...makes me wonder...I should stop dealing to people who cant keep a grip on reality. Lighten up man, that looks like a bad trip. No point in fretting over all that doesn’t even exist. The world's a bad enough place as it is. Get out; go find a real job dammit. You're pushing the limits as it is.

Painter: You don’t get it do you? .... *Laughs bitterly and starts prancing about room* its not you I need. You lack the essence man, drug dealings taken it all out of you.... Forgotten what it’s all about. *Mumbles* tuned in, I need someone who’s tuned in...*Keeps pacing* Grubby Friend: *putting shades on and backing off to mattress* gotta face reality man, life isn’t about, that *points finger at painting* no more. Never was come to think of it *moves right up to painting...buncha kids think we know what we're doing. Ive been in the real world! *Points hard again with shaking finger* sure as hell isn’t that. What are we fighting for anyway? I don’t see it. The cold cash in my hand says much more than this here. So you made something pretty, so what? Am I the one who owns a Chevy or you? It’s useless. *Shrugs and moves back to mattress* c'mere. I roll one up for old time’s sake, this ones on me. Chill damn you! You’ve got me on edge. Why dontchu call that chick of yours...*reaches for crumpled photograph lying next to mattress* sweet piece of ass you’ve got there..Call her up.... She’ll know what the hell it’s all about...Hell she claims to know everything related to you…

*Fade with conversation* Scene 3: The same room. Smoky, with less light entering through window. A singular girl’s face is pressed up to the painting. She backs off and stares intently and then covers her face with her hands. The painter comes up behind her and holds her around the waist. A second girl sits with Grubby friend smoking a joint and fiddling with the settings on a stereo system she brought along. Soft ambient music [planet caravan – Black Sabbath] floats through the room as the painter pulls his girlfriend towards the painting and kisses her gently.

Painter: I love you Girlfriend: and I you.... *Kiss again and then turn towards painting, hugging each other* babe it scares me, its so beautiful.... Its, its you...everything inside of you.... Ive seen it all before, when you kiss me...when you hold me...its pure sensation, carnal, raw, controlled, tense...its love.... *Turns to him* you love me don’t you? *Pause* say it. Painter: I love you *breaks hold of her and goes to smoke joint* Girlfriend: *presses in closer* yes, I see it all. *Laughs* its so simple honey.... Why did you sound so upset on the phone babe...its just you *look of doubt* talking to me, through your work. I always wanted you to make me something beautiful which was all about us, and this is definitely It.. This is mine *smiles to herself* all mine. *Backs off* ... So beautiful, what do you think we should call it? It must have a name.

Grubby friend: I think the man here deserves to call it what he likes...personally I think it partially belongs to me, my drugs you know, that’s what made it. Annoying Girl: *finally looks up from fiddling with her stereo system – soundtrack changes [Golgotha Tenement Blues – Machines of loving grace] * Call it Brainwave patterns of a Schizophrantic Hyperbeing. Painter: *sullenly* yeah? *Takes a drag* why?

Annoying girl: cause that’s all it is. Like this music *turns volume up on techno* Listen carefully. A pattern. Just like that *jumps and moves to painting dancing slowly* Its not hard understanding this. You took drugs, you slept, whatever. It’s all about neuron connections in your brain. Hell think about it. There’s nothing but this big ol' brain. The moment science figures out what the hell we can do with it running on full potential presto! *Snaps fingers at painting* we'll all have one of these in our living room. *Pause, sound of a lighter* its beautiful though.... I wish I knew how.... I’m sure I know why.... *Presses up close* I must know why, its all so easy if one looks at it objectively *moment of fear...I quite like it...*pause*

*backs off and takes the joint being passed around* Its not yours though, you do realize.... It belongs to all humanity really.... Jung would be proud of you. *knock on the door – music turned off. Annoying girl goes to the door and opens it partially*

Annoying girl: Well! I suppose you would be perfect for this job… come in, come in, see what you can make of it… *fade with conversation* Scene 4: A new girl is staring blankly into the painting. She is dressed in robes and is obviously a bastard-child left over from the hippie generation, sporting a peace medallion and flowers in her hair. White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane plays in the background.

Hippie chick: This is what we’ve been waiting for… a sign, a sign from the soul within us crying out to be understood… *smiles and spreads her arms backing off* at last the world will understand the true nature of the human spirit. Its all about harmony, peace… live and let live… and its sooo psychedelic! Someone pass me a joint *grubby friend helps her out* Groovy! That’s the word…. Its so, so unfashionable! *moves close to the painting* It’s a rebellion against all that I hate… this stupid filthy world which just doesn’t understand what it needs… well this’ll show it! After all, isn’t the world about not conforming? Isn’t that what’s really cool? *turns to the others* *snaps angrily* well! Don’t you all see it? Hmm? Let me guess, your stupid little minds filled with your own mundane experiences tried to figure it out and failed miserably hmm?

Annoying girl: well actually we all have it figured out… just wanted to see whether you saw it… too bad you’re way off mark… *aside* damn hippie.

Hippie chick: Figured out! I’m sure I’m sure… I know exactically what it is… its individuality… freedom… different, apart from the masses who are in truth, loathsome if you knew them

Grubby friend: *aside* and I’m sure you know all of us of course…

Hippie chick: *glaring* of course I know all of you! I’m in this room aren’t I? *turns back to painting* my darling will know what to do with this….it must be seen…

*fade with conversation as hippie chick moves to telephone*

Scene 5: Older man wearing a trenchcoat, sporting a beard and a cigar in his mouth stares intently at the painting holding hippie chick around waist. The rest stand at a distance in silence. All outside light is gone. A yellow ceiling light casts shadows downward upon the small crowd. No music plays. Older man: its exciting yes…very unique…. Don’t think there’s ever been anything like this since the Mona Lisa…. Damned if I can see a smile in this one though…it’ll be a sensation! Controversy! It’s got the raw passion of a mad bohemian *kisses hippie chick* love you darling, but go smoke a joint or something, I’m busy here…*hippie chick walks back to mattress, turns on Bob Dylan*

*waves absentmindedly at her* Peace, and all that…where was I? Ah yes; the raw passion of a mad bohemian yet instilled with the subtleness of Socratic logic! You shall have people raving to see it. Money, wealth…there’s a lot of money in this boy! Good job! We can declare it to be… Something abstract… yes I rather like that title…. Something abstract… Keep it absolutely vague so no one knows what the hell is going on. They’ll pay money for it I warrant. *Winks at the painting*

Painter: yes, yes! Money fame and glory but tell me, what do you think it means? Older Man: Means? You fool! Who cares what it means…*gets close* probably nothing. It means you can have a penthouse instead of this dump. Move up in life a little yknow…*melancholy* what else are we living for? Damn nuisance is life without the dough to live it…*backs up* There’s money in it I tell you…. Have a cigar *cigar is promptly taken and grubby friend begins to roll it* Hire me as an agent and you’ll see…we can reach the top together…but perhaps we need a little more insanity. Gotta have the right type of people, the right type of parties if you’re going to make it big…let me see if I can round up some people…. Annoying girl: ill get the phone! *music stops*

Girlfriend: ooh! A party! A party to celebrate! *Hugs painter who seems lost* It’ll be great honey…a celebration for you and me! And the painting! Grubby Friend: Let’s see…. Wonder if I have enough on me for all this *scrounges in pockets* *Fade with conversation* Scene 6: Music is kicking [I dont like the drugs – Marilyn Manson] and the room has four new occupants. Three men and one woman dressed in bizarre party outfits are sharing drinks among all. Near the sofa, Grubby friend and Older man are sharing lines of coke taken off a magazine. First Man: Here here! Pass out the shots, pass out the shots! Ain’t no fun till we’re trashed! Female: a toast! I call a toast! What the hell should we toast to?

Older Man: *standing up* a toast to the marmalade! My, I should sell that line to someone…it has potential! *Laughter, absurdities*

Painter: *subdued, turns to painting as does whole crowd except grubby friend and older man who lie on couch – break in music as CD ends* A toast to the unimaginable and the imagined…*they drink* what say we give this painting one more shot

First Man: Another shot! Great idea if there ever was one. Cmon fill up, don’t be chicken shit about it. Aright, now I propose a toast. *Goes up to the painting* A toast to good times! *rave music turned low comes on [Let the music take control – Darude] * That’s what it’s all about. *They drink* You had a good time before you made it and you’re having a good time now! Hell that’s what life is all about! The good times! So let’s make em happen eh! Another round *glasses filled*

Painter: But please, doesn’t anyone see it like I do, or am I wrong? What’s it all about? It’s confusing. Change the music someone, it’s throbbing in my brain. Annoying Girl: I have just the thing. *Goes to stereo system and changes track [Voodoo People – Prodigy]* A toast to the music and the madness! A toast! Let’s toast these brains and see if we can find the answer! *They drink, some of the crowd starts dancing in the back* Painter: What’s going on dammit? I demand an answer! Older Man: don’t we all! Don’t we all! Here, let me at that! *Painting is lifted and placed on the ground. The ceiling light glares down on it. Shadows of mad dancing people above*

5 endings to play:

1: The party turns wild and the painting is deliberately destroyed with gobs of paint thrown by the drunken mob. The End.

2: The party turns wild and paint and canvases are thrown about till fade. Next morning, the painter wakes up to find a second canvas next to the first painting. He unveils it and backs up, absolutely mute. The End.
3: The party turns wild and paint and canvases are thrown about till fade. Next morning, the painter wakes up to find a second canvas next to the first painting. He unveils it and backs up in terror to the phone and starts dialing. Another Fade, leading into final sequence of a crowd of people staring intently into both paintings. The End. 4: The party turns wild and goes insanely out of hand, leading to an accidental fire resulting from a cigarette cast upon the painting itself. The End. 5: The party goes insane and the room is shown from a different angle, reflecting upon the drunken mob and the painting, which is: A: a mirror reflection. B: a blank canvas. C: a silent/still audience watching the drunken mob. The End.

Pendulum Sessions (A True Account)

Dear reader, these are accounts of a number of sessions I have had with my pendulum. This is my attempt to lay bare the practices I have used, the answers I have received and will hopefully serve as a model for others as curious as me. Through my example I hope to enlighten my reader and also provide ample information so one practicing this science may not be harmed by it. The pendulum is a strange device, which I must proceed to explain before you may continue reading this journal.
The pendulum consists of an object (preferably a small one) attached to a length of string or cord (the length is variable – whatever is comfortable) upon which it can swing freely. This contraption is held gently between the thumb and the forefinger, popularly held at arms length from the body. When this device is held in such a way, it tends to sway gently to and fro with relative ease. If one watches carefully, one is able to predict its swinging movement. Beyond this, one can actually cause the pendulum to swing in whichever direction they desire. Now this is all very interesting, especially for one such as I; fascinated by any phenomenon on this Earth. I had heard many a rumor about the powers of the pendulum. I had heard of stories of pendulums being used by mystics, by occult members, by psychologists, by all forms of humanity and my interest was instantly aroused. I made myself a pendulum out of a plastic button (metal being avoided for its ability to pick up stray radio waves/radiations) and a length of string (my preferred length being several inches, though I hung the pendulum from a four inch length). I began playing with this device and soon I found myself in one of the most fascinating studies I have had to date. The experiences are related below in a series of sessions, but first, a little explanation of the methodology I used. The pendulum was held at an arms distance from my body (sometimes with my elbow supported upon my knee for comfort) and allowed to swing freely for a while. I would

then use commands to change the direction of the swing (using simple commands such as: Swing left to right or swing in a clockwise circle). Once I was assured I had full command of the pendulum, I would begin by asking it to show me how it would like to answer questions. The procedure is as follows:

Q: Show me how you will represent the ‘Yes’ answer Q: Show me how you will represent the ‘No’ answer Q: Show me how you will represent the ‘I don’t know’ answer Q: Show me how you will represent the ‘I wont tell’ answer

For each question, the pendulum would swing in a certain manner (this took practice and much concentration to achieve – don’t be frustrated if it does not work the first few times) and these movements I would record as a diagram (though I soon learnt to read its movements by heart). My pendulum always gave the same readings. I have presented these in the diagram below (Note: This can be different for all people and I assume it can change at any time).

I would often perform a series of tests to measure the accuracy of the pendulum for any given session. This would be done by a simple ratio analysis of the pendulum’s performance at a number of games I invented for this purpose. There are many variations I used in testing, but the most popular game I played was a guessing game. I would write the numbers ‘1’ ‘2’ ‘3’ and ‘4’ onto separate pieces of paper – fold these pieces so they were exactly identical and then draw them out of a bag and ask the pendulum the following question(s):

Q: Is the number 1 written inside this piece of paper? Q: Is the number 2 written inside this piece of paper? Q: Is the number 3 written inside this piece of paper? Q: Is the number 4 written inside this piece of paper?

I would ask it all four possibilities and note down the answer it deemed correct for each piece of paper. The results? Strange. The pendulum would perform poorly if the number 4 were used (it almost never guessed it right or would refuse to answer). If ‘1’ ‘2’ and ‘3’ were used, I got accuracies ranging from 85-100% on 20 tries. Also, if the game were played too often or if I asked too many repeat questions (I might sound crazy here) the pendulum would take offense and start delivering wrong answers or would simply refuse to answer. This state could easily be determined by asking: Q: Are you angry at me? Q: Are you lying? It seems that the pendulum took offense to repeat questions which seemed to suggest it was wrong. The pendulum also seemed to take offense at being asked questions it considered unimportant (such as playing number guessing games). Lesson: have faith in your pendulum. That was the totality of the methodology I employed to learn the set of information I have below. I have divided the journal into segments based upon topics covered in certain sessions. I have excluded a number of sessions which contain information of a sensitive or dangerous nature though I have included one such session at the end of this journal. It was the final session I ever performed and you shall soon read why – but that is for later. I have also excluded unimportant data and repeat questions or questions leading to bigger answers (most sessions were much longer than what is presented here). Read these sessions with an open mind – I shall explore my own theories on the workings of this strange subject at the end of this journal.

First session (involving test questions):
(Pendulum accuracy at 90%)

Is my name Jahanzaib Haque? Yes

Is my name Satan? No Do you know how old I am?

Yes Am I 18 years old? No Am I 19 years old?

No Am I 20 years old? Yes Do you know my mom’s name? Yes

Does her name begin with an F? No Does her name begin with an R? No

Does her name begin with an S?

No Does her name begin with a T? Yes

Second session (Regarding relationships)
(Pendulum accuracy at 85%)

Does (name removed) still love me? Yes Will we ever get back together?

No Does (name removed) love me? No Are you telling the truth?

Yes Will me and (name removed) be together for 2 years? No Will me and (name removed) be together for 1 year?

No Will me and (name removed) be together for 6 months?

Yes

Session 3 (regarding Death):
(Pendulum accuracy at 100%)

Do you know when I will die? Yes Will I live to be 80?

Yes Will I live to be 90? No Will I live to be 85?

Yes Will I live to be 86? Yes Will I live to be 87?

No Will I live to be exactly 86?

Yes Do you know when Abu will die? Yes Will he die in the next 10 years? Yes

Will he die in the next 5 years? Yes Will he die in 2004? No

Will he die in 2005? Yes Will he die in January 2005? No Will he die in February 2005?

No

Will he die in March 2005? No

Will he die in April 2005? No Will he die in May 2005? No Will he die in June 2005?

No Will he die in July 2005? Yes

Session 4 (regarding the future):
(Pendulum accuracy at 90%)

Will I ever get married? Yes Do you know who I’ll marry?

Yes Can you tell me her name? No

Why not? Won’t tell Will I live a happy life? Yes

Will I have kids? Yes Do you know how many kids I will have? Yes Will I have one child?

No Will I have two children? Yes Will I have three children?

No

So I’ll have two children? No Are you lying to me?

Yes Is it because I’m asking repeat questions? Yes I’ll try not to

Yes

Session 5 (regarding past life):
(Pendulum accuracy at 90%)

Do people have past lives? Yes Did I have a past life?

Yes I led (1,2,3,4) past lives? Yes

Was I human in all four past lives? Won’t tell Can you tell me about my first past life?

No Can you tell me about my second past life? No Can you tell me about my third past life?

Yes Can you tell me about my fourth past life? Yes Was my last life in the 20th century? Yes

Was I a male? Yes Was I famous? No

Do you know where I lived my life?

Yes Was I in Asia? No

Was I in the Americas? No Was I in Africa? No

Was I in Europe? No Was I in Australia? Yes Was I a native of Australia?

Yes Was I an Aborigine? Yes Did I know magic?

Yes

Can you spell my previous life’s name out? Yes Did the first letter of my name begin with an (A, B, etc.)?

Ekhrihe Thank you

Session 6 (communication):
(Pendulum accuracy at 85%)

Is (name removed) happy right now?

Yes Is she thinking of me? No Is she awake? Yes

Can you communicate with her? Yes Can you send her a message from me?

Yes Can you tell her I love her very much? Yes

Can you keep repeating that message for the next five minutes? Yes Are you relaying that message right now? Yes Has she received the message?

Yes Thank you

Session 7 (the one that went wrong):
(Pendulum accuracy at 100%)

Are you moving because of my hands unnoticeable movements?

Yes Are you a part of my mind speaking to me? Yes If you are just a part of mind, can you be accurate in all answers?

Don’t know Will I ever attain nirvana?

Yes Will I ever understand god? Won’t tell Are you god in some form? Don’t know

Are you a spirit? Won’t tell Are you an angel? Don’t know

Are you part of a collective consciousness? Yes/don’t know (it was confused between the two answers) Is there a spirit world? Yes Can you communicate with that spirit world?

Yes

Is there a spirit in this room right now? Yes Can I talk to it through you?

Yes Will it reply through you? Yes Does the spirit want to talk to me?

Yes Is the spirit happy? Wont tell/no (it was confused, switching between both answers) Is the spirit a ghost of someone who died? Won’t tell

Does the spirit or ghost need help? Yes/wont tell (confusion...it never happens this much) Is there really a spirit here? No

Are you lying to me?

Yes Are you angry at me for asking silly questions? Yes

Are you still in contact with the spirit? Yes Are you that spirit? Yes

Are you evil? Yes Dear reader, at this point a number of things happened simultaneously. I was deep in this session alone at five in the morning in a small room lit by a single lamp. The pendulum answered yes and my spine chilled and all the hairs on my body stood on my end, I was experiencing sheer terror which none have ever felt. The knowledge that I was no longer alone – that I was facing a spirit with evil intentions with no knowledge of how to escape this terror caused a paralysis of my body, of my mind (I tensed up so badly I cramped my thigh muscle), and then the curtains billowed out with enormous gusto, yet the windows were sealed shut and the room had no draft. In horror I looked up and saw my face in the mirror facing me. It was not my own – I could not recognize it...

I grabbed the pendulum and started praying to a god I had long forgotten and neglected. I talked to it once more in the throes of a panic attack:

Please leave me alone. I meant no harm. I did not know I was doing something beyond my understanding.

Yes Will the spirit in this room please leave me, in the name of god. Please...

Yes Thank you, thank you, thank you...

Conclusion:
That dear reader is the end of my recorded sessions. These sessions are true and real as are the dangers that haunt the mind. My actions in the final session were exceedingly dangerous and I am happy I had the sense to turn to god (whether he worked a miracle or whether the thought of a protector freed my mind of its breakdown does not matter). I was one step from a total breakdown of my mental faculties, which I am sure is what happened to the numerous cases of hysteria resulting from people playing around with Ouija boards. DO NOT MAKE LIGHT OF WHAT I HAVE RELAYED TO YOU HERE. DO NOT TRY ANYTHING YOU HAVE NO KNOWLEDGE OF, AT THE RISK OF YOUR SANITY. These sessions I give to you as a gift so you yourself may explore further this strange mystery – the pendulum and its powers. What do I make of it all? Will any of those predictions come true? I do not know, I do not judge anything lightly; I will wait and see. Does it really know anything about relationships? I do know that its answers made me question my relationships. Was that really a description of my past life or was that my mind speaking to itself – creating an incredible imaginary experience for itself to enjoy? Did the pendulum really communicate to (name removed) with my message of love? I phoned her some hours later and the first thing she said was how much she had been thinking about me all day long (particularly when she was out shopping, when the message was sent). Coincidence? Perhaps.

Does the pendulum have a connection to a greater human consciousness from where it derives its answers (a totally Jung-like concept)? Maybe? Is the pendulum merely an extension of the body that holds it? Shivering and quivering in patterns relayed by the brain through the hands? I think so, but does that mean its answers were created in the brain? In the mind? I am positive I was not consciously directing its movements...so what was? My subconscious? If so, the pendulum’s answers are really telling us about ourselves and the way we think...what implications does that have? How can that be used for positive – for good? Lastly, is the pendulum actually a connection to another world of forms and shapes? A parallel dimension full of beings we do not understand? Is it a link to god and the angels? Is it perhaps a link to far worse? Was there actually an evil spirit beside me that fateful night where I quit this practice? Why did the curtains billow out? Some say my extreme fear caused a form of unconscious psychokinetic energy which acted upon the curtains...can I believe them? and what of the face in the mirror, the image that still haunts me? Are the answers all truly in the pendulum? Yes/No/I don’t know/I wont tell. Experiment dear reader, and find out for yourselves...

ENTWINED DREAMSCAPES

Romeo and Juliet will never be together. The screen goes dark. A soft click in the darkness.

And now the question remains, so what?

So what?

You are a being of the dawning century. You are what you have chosen to be; an embodiment of the time – made of the past, shaping the future, right now.

Romanticism died some time ago, all its remnants having been captured into the moment, then caste aside as trash in the form of those old books we all harbor with loathing till finally cast off into a flaming end. A more fitting demise could not have been achieved, as Romanticism died following its own philosophy

It’s better to burn out, than fade away.

This is the new century, bursting out of its little bud, still unsure of what it looks like, always questioning its own existence. The very flower of which you are a drop of dew collected in its center.

All this does not strike you deeply though. You are busy constructing a story to please yourself:

ONCE UPON A TIME, THERE WAS A PRINCE

Let me first introduce myself as I feel I look. I know I am at a sensitive age; where all the world seems to revolve around my actions, yet conflicting with my thoughts. Perhaps I am sixteen; a youth pretending to act non-chalant while he stands in line, waiting for his ticket. The hot sun shines down on my outstretched palms. I see I am thin to the point of disappearing altogether. The length of the arm suggests a good height, and though I cannot see it, I can feel the gentle breeze rustle my long hair before passing by my deep brown eyes. My nose itches but I cant reach it. The mundane actions of life seem irrelevant at this moment in time. Infact, time itself seems irrelevant – lost somewhere, all alone with someone else controlling it; bending it to his will. I recognize the creator in myself, as I recognize the fact that this is a love story. Infact, that is the sole reason I include myself in this slow-moving line of strangers. I do it for love, though I don’t know it yet, just feel it. My parents call out. I see their silent lips form words, so I approach them to take my ticket.

We enter through the gates and join the general throng. A second line appears, this one leading into a gargantuan, mammoth-sized house made entirely of glass. Already the few people inside turn to stare out at me in mute amazement and awe. A man in military costume (one of the workers?) hands me some pamphlets; all blank and useless except for a map, which starts to form as I look down upon it.

THE PRINCE’S CASTLE

I enter and arch my neck upwards, feeling weightless and dizzy. Child-like sensations of exhilaration stream through my senses as I take in the vast seethrough cavern in which I stand. There are multiple stories rising from the center of the outer perimeter, all captured in a golden haze of false lighting and sunshine. There are shops. Thousands of them lined up along the bottom layers, attracting stray wanderers with bold colors and shocking displays of material goods. There is an amusement park on second level, with its distinctive bright-red carousel, which tears its way through all the floors, almost touching the ceiling through which the sun shines down steadily. I was happy. I am happy, and I was warm, as I am warm now. I could feel it like it was unfolding before me, this very minute. I see my parents head for the giant escalator between the connecting floors.

“Meet us on level three for lunch!”

That was my mother, I think. My little sister follows them.

Alone at last among a sea of similar happy faces. This was the moment to create something special. So I walk over to the ice-cream man and ask for a flavor which is best described as a soft sensation on my tongue. It is delicious. Incredible! I see my translucent reflection dancing for joy in the walls around me. In the domed ceiling above, I walk upon my head as just another happy person,

eating ice cream amongst other happy strangers, when quite suddenly, the strangers divide into two. The nameless faces take on names. These are people I know! I’ve seen that gap-toothed boy before (was he in my school?). I get smiles from acquaintances and respond likewise. A friend pats me on the back and climbs onto the escalator heading for level two: The Realm of Chaos – odd name for an amusement park, but no matter. At the moment, the sun still shines and my love is yet to be found. I follow my friend into Chaos, and instantly lose him and myself in a fantasyland of many conflicting themes. There is a morbid sense of humor in everything around me. Here I see a Mickey-Go-Die ride (a mouse cart ride, which avoids mousetraps till the last one, which snaps the cart in half). I ignore that one for the moment. I see a Jedi-Knight-Saber-Fight arena (everyone is dressed up as Darth Vader because he is strongest). I puzzle at the pointlessness of making Luke Skywalker Sabers. They all lie in an abandoned heap on the ground. The flashing, jousting, blocking, stabbing, dancing red glow makes me walk away as I search for a happier place to be. I see no sense in the rides and games. Infact, I am deeply disturbed; but let me ignore that fact, it is too early and this is an easy way of passing time. I know where I have to go. Level three for lunch, but still I spend some time on the floor below, delaying the inevitable. You see, I see where my story is heading, and yet, I don’t want it to get there too fast. I want to recognize the inevitable first. Accept it before I reach it. Time passes as I stand, doing nothing, watching something running in circles of a very large diameter. That was a fun exercise, but the gentle tugging in my mind has increased to near-blows. I climb onto the escalator once more and get off on Level Three. The map changes as I drop to my knees, in the clutches of vertigo.

IN THE COURT...

I stand up and face the giant food court before me. Hundreds of tables line its surface. Happy families are chatting in a general hum of goodwill. The air is warmer here as the sun glares down through the glass ceiling. The false lighting of solid gold draws back, allowing real colors to surge forth into the surrounding vision. My family waves to me, and I run up to them, grinning from ear to ear at the sheer splendor of this place. We talk and laugh, discussing unimportant matters as I focus my mind to look down upon us from the ceiling above. It was at this very moment of familiar joy that I find my gaze drifting towards one sitting a few tables to my left.

It is She.

Everything melts away into a milky haze of gold as I force her image to turn to look at me.

She does.

We fall for a very long distance, in love with each other.

I stumble as I get up, feeling the world come back into focus. I sense time speeding up but I cannot help that change, as my heart races at the chance finding of my one, true love.

I see my hand beckoning to her, asking her to come with me; drawing her forward (I know of a private place). Her eyes gaze into mine and then look downward at the table before her – unsure and slightly afraid to answer this known stranger’s calling. Let me describe her as she was, reflected in my eyes. The first thing is always the eyes. I wrote a poem once. It went like so:

I saw it as in a dream. Great pools of limpid water, amidst the blood red streams.

Entranced and enraptured, I dove forth into her eyes. A chilling wave overcame me, I was lost in shining light.

Upon opening my eyes, a numbing fear arose, for I was looking deep within her, into a heaven of solid gold.

Such wonders had I never seen as surrounded me, within my reach. Yet this was all illusion I escaped, swam away to the distant beach.

Gasping for breath, I emerged. I turned away, yet sighed, for I knew there was to be no escape from those soul-tormenting eyes

This time I will not swim away. She is a part of me. A creature of fine beauty and grace and all things good.

And she comforts me. And she loves me.

She loves me! I can feel the incessant throbbing of her heart in my own as she excuses herself from her table and joins me on the escalator heading downstairs. She speaks to me and I reply. We exchange words, which do not matter, for she is smiling at me, her eyes shining. I feel my eyes smiling back at her as we both emerge on the ground floor, enveloped in a silken hue of two lovers, newly met. I find an exit infront of us, a last-minute addition to the original design. We are in a Control Room where numerous men in military uniform seem to be monitoring and controlling the environment in the Glasshouse.

“You there! Halt!”

I take her hand (the single bead of sweat in her palm strangely enticing) and we run the length of the room and bust out into the shining light, reflecting off the little brook running between the trees of a most beautiful Japanese garden. As often is the case, the naughty children lose the angry adult as we run across the crystal clear water, giggling as we dodge between the winding trees and come to hide behind an ancient moss-covered wall, quite forgotten by the engineers of the Glass wonder which lies behind us. Once more, the map changes before the story progresses.

THE GARDEN OF EDEN

We lie down in the soft, shaded grass that grew around us, spreading itself to make a comfortable bed. She does not speak, but waits with bated breath. This I cannot endure. I caress her form, and with a sigh of gentle protest and silent desire, she melts into my frame, returning my caress with moist lips and trembling hands.

We made love there, for perhaps an hour.

The sun sank into the clouds, which greeted it with a splash of color; Pink and Blue and Gold, each string of color fighting the other for its chance to make our ecstasy more complete than the last.

She sleeps, cradled in my arms. She smiles in her dream, while I think deeply, in mine.

A tear escapes my eye, lying there in the shade of the wall, gazing out at the setting sun. I know this has been done before – and as I gently stroke my lover’s back, I whisper to the wind,

“Come what may...it was worth it”

A SUBTLE CHANGE...

I shudder. Cold before the chilly evening breeze comes upon us. I take her by the hand. I kiss her brow, and then we sneak back inside the golden building, now shining with a dimmer shade of yellow – no longer reflecting the sun. The escalator ride is too short for our clasped hands as time finally begins to unravel at a faster pace than I can control. In a moment, I am once more looking down upon myself, and the bustling crowd gathered on Level Three. The food tables have cleared considerably, but people still mill about talking of nothing to one another. I sit with my family while my soul sits beside my beloved, three tables to my left. Time passes in varying circles of conversations of differing lengths. There is no reason in them as there is no reason in listening to them, for my ears are far away, listening to my dream calling for me.

She stands, and the world erupts.

LIKE A LONG, DORMANT VOLCANO

It erupts again (what is happening?) the floor shakes, and rises with the impact of unseen forces. The glass dome above groans under pressure from the brittle glass. I call her to me. She I must save. My mind speeds up and the number of explosions increase. We grasp each other in terror, she screaming in shock as part of level three collapses and falls into the Realm of Chaos below. People die and blood stains.

Outside!

The Japanese Garden. Now.

We run, I holding her hand, she holding onto a crying child left behind in the panic to escape.

The escalator. The door. Enter the Control Room. Why are these men smiling? Why are they so calm? They eye me with grim blankness and then return to their business. How do I not know these men? Too many questions unanswered as time begins its steady race against my mind. With my lover in my arms and the weeping child trailing after, we seek refuge in the darkest corner of paradise; behind the moss-covered wall. She is crying in my arms, holding me and begging me to make everything okay. I have no answer as we crouch low – pressed up against the wall. The floodlights shine out and we see horror working, in slow motion.

BETWEEN MY TREMBLING KNEES

I see the first plane coming. It is ancient; a fighter plane from World War II hurtling out of the inky-black sky.

They are burning.

They have no wings! How can you fly without wings?

Their pilots scream soundlessly as they smash into the wasteland which forms our horizon – beyond the outer walls of the Glasshouse. The map changes.

It is like watching fireworks falling from The sky. My brain feels numb. I wish to escape! I don’t want to die! I want my darling to be with me forever!

Please don’t let this be our end! Please! Please...

A plane goes careening into the startled brook. Fire and a bloody corpse leap forth, encased in their solid wall of screaming metal.

We are doomed. I cannot save her. All I can do is watch the sky in silent fear of the moment. Her tears fall and make a trail on my arm as she clings to me, frightened.

It comes at last.

Directly above me, a shining light signaling our end – it is growing brighter – and larger. I force my will and cry out for justice and for a very brief pause; the slightest delay in the lifting of a pen – the plane turns and smashes infront of us, in the darkened wasteland of my nightmare:

The borders of my being, Surrounded in varying shades of superficiality, cry out at the monotone of color once perceived to be, something beautiful. Something precious.

Now lost in a disturbing haze of Acrylic Grey, in which I see, a despairing lack of silver.

All lost. I feel myself coming undone. I pass out.

BACK INSIDE, WITH NO CONTROL IN THE CONTROL ROOM

“Seal all the exits”

A sneer and a twirl of a moustache. The Creator stands in the Control Room, satisfied with the pain and panic and fear and paranoia he has created. The Glasshouse is sealed, and all the people, once well known, once well loved, scream in unison, as the planes continue falling.

“Release the Gas”

Valves turn in the Control Room. The sudden hissing and the stench of death consume the beloved, as they scream and scream – their faces visible; pressed up against the glass. Their expressions of horror and disbelief start to merge into one as the Gas takes its effect.

Skin melts, eyes pop out of their sockets till it seems the Glasshouse is a singular body of molten gore, still pressing, still screaming for mercy; for a way out. The Creator stands beside the glass, facing the mass of dying human flesh, a manic gleam in his eye. He laughs.

“Sir please...can we not kill them faster? Please sir, let me go to the toilet sir, I feel sick...I can’t take it anymore”

Vomit.

“This is how I want it – and that is what I wanted you to say. For this shall be a fitting end indeed”

Having said that, the Creator (once a school teacher?) turns a second valve and laughs once more as the Gas enters the Control Room, and everyone dies, and everything grows still.

Except I, who lie on this smoldering patch of grass, comforting and soothing my precious.

A DYING DREAM IN COLORLESS FRAGMENTS

She is crying in fitful bursts and I have to be strong for her. I force myself to imagine a future where we can be happy. Alone by the sea perhaps.

Dreams fade as dreams enter. We have a crying child with us and a chilling silence calling us back to the Glasshouse. I get to my feet and we walk hand in hand across the emptiness that once held paradise. There is no color anymore. Just varying shades of Grey. Nothing moves except my racing mind absorbing the image of familiar faces plastered to the walls of the house, in the grips of death. That outstretched palm which once raked at the glass is my mother’s (I recognize her ring). Those tear-stained eyes crushed under a footfall are my little sisters. All dead. All gone.

Empty space where once a heart stood still in remembering love.

Darkness spreads in a place where all emotion leads to pain leads to cutting loose

the bonds of feeling leads to a loss of everything, eventually.

I feel nothing but the sadness of my lover beside me. I am a hollow man waiting to be blown away. It is inevitable.

Time moves in frames as we walk between the narrow passage from the garden to the main gate. The world is empty outside. The child has run away – or perhaps he still crouches beside the glass wall, searching for his love residing somewhere within the decaying human flesh.

Another fragment. I am at the gate, sensing myself disappearing. I kiss she that I once knew and tell her to wait for me.

A third frame. I stand before the wastelands, with the Glasshouse to my back. I gaze into the Grey sky – then look down at my failed attempt to save us – the plane that missed.

A gunshot.

I see the sky once more, though this time dark blood slowly fills my vision. It was the guard who chased us in the garden. He got me, they always do.

As I lie here dying, a final prayer escapes my lips – the lips I never saw.

“Run...Run away my love. I did not mean it to be this way my love, but run now. Far Far away, where I may yet find you...again”

A plastic bag floats infront of your vision and then disappears.

You are unsatisfied with your work. It is too harsh a reminder to remain forever within this drifting existence you call life, sometimes.

Romanticism is dead and died some time ago. It was too painful anyway - and the rewards are surely always plagued with anguish; a necessary suffering. Another spasm rakes your body. Fear of that Fear, unfelt.

What a horrible situation.

You are a drop of dew, bravely facing the rising sun – protected in your safe cocoon; the flower which is betraying you in its brilliance. Its petals unfold and you truly understand the meaning of what you yourself created through your gentle nourishment.

There comes the point in your life where you fear dying, a quiver running through your body. You are going to die. The sun’s light shall soon enter your blooming flower, destroying you and your kind in a slow evaporation – watching you fade away in the blowing wind.

Your mouth feels dry and you break out into a sweat from the resulting heat. What was that they once said? Something about the difference between burning and fading – it was a philosophical debate you did not hear because it never happened; merely playing itself out in your mind, in your dreams.

Now is the time to ponder – just for a minute. The minutest detail must make sense before you can proceed.

Time passes and you make up your mind to dwell in a second story, a greater improvement on a larger theme. You must tread with caution you decide, as you shuffle through blank sheets. Perhaps this time you can create something greater than yourself and your time. Something universal, and deeply involving. Perhaps that will save you from the rising heat that plagues your tripping mind.

A new story begins:

The Grey dawn lifts off the ground and hides itself in the surrounding forest as the sun rears its radiant head. Morning approaches with many promises of a great day ahead.

The little town is awakening too, as the night creatures take a final sigh and crouch deeper into their beds.

The noise of your mother bossing the servants in preparing breakfast wakens you.

Blanket.

Pillow in the crook of an arm.

Skin feels softest in the morning you think, stroking your outstretched leg dangling over the side of the bed. You tend to roll while sleeping. Its annoying for anyone who happens to be sharing your bed with you at the time - but right now, you're alone and time seems to drift, both slowly and gently.

You smile. Saturday. You're sure of it. Father must be home; explaining you mother's presence in the kitchen below. Soon she'll come bursting through, into your room and your sister's.

"Wake up child. I see your eyelids flickering so don’t try fooling me. You are awake"

So you are awake now. Oftentimes you have managed to sleep an extra hour or so by merely denying its existence.

Your mother's declaration denies you that luxury, so you sit up and start acting, more by practice than true feeling; this setting being so familiar you can almost breathe in the timeless smell of a thousand stories following a similar path.

Feet into slippers. Pad across the wooden floor. Avoid the creaky board - keep going.

Cold shower.

You love cold showers because they shock you. The icy stream of water cuts down your back like a sharp razorblade, following your spine to its base. The sensation is exhilarating. Goosebumps break out over your skin. Delicious, almost orgasmic.

Warm towel. Hair drying as you brush it hastily. A quick glance in the mirror just to clear the fog of last night. Who are you? Where are you?

In your bathroom. In your little house; your parents run a bar downstairs - the only one in town. Your sister is younger than you, a real darling. At age fifteen she’s already quite sexy; though she suffers from teenage angst, as most teenagers do. Its quite becoming, particularly its apparent lack of direction.

What was the question? How the mind wanders! Where is determined yet who remains. A tough question you puzzle over, biting at your lower lip while gazing at your searching reflection. Good looking, yes, but that’s not enough for the mind to be satisfied with. Intelligent. You must be if you are able to perceive so many levels to your existence.

It is too early for these little mind games. Perhaps later. Perhaps never. Why bother about something as inconsequential as who you really are. Its breakfast time and your family awaits you downstairs.

You skip down the battle-worn stairs, remembering past occasions of a makebelieve war you waged with your little sister. There is the cracked step where you fought and died, an accident which never took place again (to lose against one's younger sibling is an embarrassment).

They all stare at you as you take your place, by the window, against the wall, so you may have a grand view of the village that lies all around the little hill your house is located on. The dust is rising on the street outside as you empty your plate far too fast for your disapproving mother. The day is chugging along at a solid pace, calling you outdoors to meet it.

"Don't be too late today. You know your father hates it when you come home at odd hours."

"Don’t worry mother. I shall try my hardest to choose an even hour to be home by. Would six do?"

A smirk and a mock-threat from your doting mother. A sidelong wink from your dad. They love you. You always get your way. Quite the man of the house in your own way.

"Goodbye! Goodbye!"

You leave your house behind in a fading haze of golden-brown dust. You dash down empty streets, a half-eaten slice of toast in your hand.

Today feels different from yesterday and something new always intrigues you. What will happen next? What could happen next you ask the warm and gentle wind which runs through your long, silken hair.

“Hi”

Your bestest friend in the whole world joins you as you stroll aimlessly towards a very peculiar beginning.

“Hey”

Short greetings are always best. You seem to communicate better without words anyway. You talk to his mind and he responds in a colorful display of language, far more intriguing than the spoken word, which merely dies with the blowing wind. Here you two can design speech in many dimensions and varying shades of expression.

“Why do we walk towards the old clearing in the forest?”

His tone is interlaced with quiet amusement and warm-brown shades of distant memories, as he recalls the years spent playing in that same clearing towards which you two head.

You stay silent, preferring to dwell in your surroundings.

You are at the bottom of the final crossroad of this tiny town, your home. Beyond this, the lone highway winds through the forest till it disappears into a fog of infinite direction. Perhaps it leads to Rome. At least, that is the more popular myth, no townsman having ever traveled that far.

There is something strange about today. It hangs in the air. The slow, pressing sensation of the inevitable drowning in the shining sun.

A friendly wave from another friend across the street. She walks with her elder brother (you know him too) across the street, heading towards the Saturday market; a weekly affair of lively and colorful proportions.

You wave back and almost trip forward into the ground which rises to meet you. A slap on the back. A little too hard because of your apparent lack of attention to the ongoing plot.

The chase is on, you behind him, yelling bright-red curses at the top of a flowing volcano of abuse. He grins and outruns you, dodging between the undergrowth, around the gathering tree trunks, over the little stream, through the rocky cavern and out into the little clearing in which you played as children.

You catch up and sock him one in the stomach, your fist clenched as your dad taught you once. He goes down hard into the underbrush of dry leaves and soft fern. You stand over him grinning and gasping simultaneously; the run had been far longer than your fragile stamina could take.

“Victory in mine!”

Your eyes laugh at his expression of defeat as you straddle his fallen body and kiss him deeply. You love this gentle creature that massages your tongue with his.

Warm shades of gold and brown drift about in a slow circular motion around your two bodies; insulation against the dream-like, other-worldly quality of the life you had just been leading minutes ago. Nothing seems more real than the moment. Everything fades; drifting into a false reality of pen on paper - but this moment hangs longer in the minds of the dreamer. You.

A gentle tune of the rippling stream serenades you as you lie on your back and stare up at the partial sky; the trees forming the rest of your vision.

“I’m tired of living here. This place...It has the gentle grace of a timeless landscape – but its lacking in actual moments of severity. I’ve been to far greater places than this. I’ve lived far more exciting lives. I can feel it in my soul. I can feel it in my dream as I kiss you. Though just briefly. Oh how I wish I could escape to the greater life! Don’t you?”

Silence, as the hazy wind of midday picks up your searching vibes and scatters them over the deep-green grass.

“I don’t know if Id like to go to a place which is different. It’s so stable here. Comfortable in its familiarity; like an old book which you can pick up and dwell in forever. Would you really like the words to differ? the plot to break down into fragmentary moments of sudden changes and deep shards of emotion?”

“Yes”

Another silence. There is something different in the sunlight which surrounds you. Its warm glow is fading as it touches your skin, sending a slight chill along the side of your body.

“Surely you jest. What is wrong with a simple setting of love and familiarity?”

You sense alienation and rejection in the stubborn blue rings of his tone.

“Surely you wouldn’t want us all to disappear? Your family. Me? The Town? This forest of dreams? This valley of constant warmth? Or is this just about me... Maybe you don’t want me anymore”

That cuts deep into your soul and sends towering waves of remorse shuddering through your body. You curl yourself deeper into his body, pulling his arm around your stomach in a flow of affection.

“I love you. Don’t say that. Its not you... its just everything which needs to be tuned to change. I love you – but yes, I wish everything would change for once and give me something new, even unfamiliar and strange, just so I could feel myself shaping my world rather than following this infinite and meticulously planned existence. I don’t want to go home and live the life I have to lead. I wish to walk off the pages and out of the dream, into boundless leaps of reality.”

You did it. You finally voiced that which had been clinging to your heart for the past few years, many pages ago.

You wake up, as if from a long and restful sleep. There is a Grey mist around you as you raise yourself up. You are on the lone highway heading onward to Anywhere, where Any-thing happens.

Loss.

A surge of tears in your eyes, blurring the foggy vision of the void which surrounds you everywhere. Shadows of the lost are your only company on this sad journey forward.

Where is your love? Who held you in the purest embrace of warmth and admiration. How the world has softly faded... lost in a solid Grey of the drifting mind and its inconsistent thoughts.

You can almost make out the empty village that was once your well-loved home. Haunting images (are they real?) leap out of you, at you. People are hiding out

there in the gathering darkness – waiting for your next move. You control the game now. So what do you do next?

You leave.

A rapid decline into the darkened street of a big city – another anonymous anomaly of rapid expansion in a world driven by an unnatural hunger for possession. You are part of the virus; standing under a naked bulb, emerging from the last remnants of the unnatural fog.

You sense activity behind the walls of buildings that stretch beyond the darkness of the ever-present night. You stare up in wonder. Who knows what lies above and beyond these decaying skyscrapers?

A flash of neonlights – both red and green. A deep bass roar emanating from the basement of the monolith you stand next to. You can feel waves of heat and pure erotic sound coming out of the sewers below. Apparently, there is a party going on somewhere.

“S’cuse me missy...”

You spin on your heels; your father’s training in a past life helping you to pin this strange little man, who gags under your hold.

“I means no harm! I means no harm! You wanted to join the party dintcha? Well heres I am to show you the way!”

He is a midget. A mutant of sorts, with a single eye and lizard skin. He is obviously very poor too; his clothes bearing signs of the wear and tear of a harder life. His singular, glazed eye pleads with you to release him.

You let him go and he races away on his pudgy little legs, bursting through a doorway leading downward. Its odd you hadn’t noticed it earlier, but perhaps it had never been there till a moment ago.

You follow the strange man at your own leisurely pace, trying to get a grip of all that surrounds you. The dank smell of something alive and rotting in a dark corner. The image of you in a shattered glass pane, reflecting the light of the fire burning bright in a solitary trash heap. The sound of musical ecstasy in all forms of electronic glory - faded yet soon to be experienced.

Are you having fun yet? It’s hard to tell. Indeed, the environment is a shocking transition for you, but not enough. Exchanging a utopian past for an indefinable future happens often enough. Perhaps the party will determine whether you are truly enjoying yourself or not.

With that in mind, you step bravely forth into the depths of uncertainty.

The entrance leads down a narrow staircase of countless steps. There are neonguides here, swirling and drifting with the rise and fall of the music, sending you deeper and deeper. Past the Pillar of lights (now defaced by graffiti of equal brilliance), around the family of sleeping rats and beyond the Rest room, you plunge into a world both hauntingly familiar, yet unknown.

The first thing you perceive is that the fog which surrounds you now is actually a layer of smoke, trapped deep within this lair of sin.

There are a host of creatures in this subterranean nightmare, dancing with their arms askew, their eyes closed and their lips parted in partial prayer to the deejay, who is God.

There are junkies with sunken eyelids and vacant stares; twitching uncontrollably with the steady rhythm, the incessant beat, the astronomical sound which emanates from all around you.

The music reaches out and touches your startled mind, allowing you to roam freely around the cavern in a daze of pure and mighty images, enhanced by a blinding lightshow of tremendous color and frenetic energy. The ever-constant reach for ecstasy and its denial are the theme of the party this night.

You drift over to a junkie crouched in a shaded-red patch of light. He winks at you with a familiar gleam in his eye. Perhaps you’ve seen him somewhere. Perhaps he was the one who let you in. Nevermind - his drugs are potent and quick and that’s all that matters as your body trembles and your lips quiver in a silent prayer for the music to never end.

Sex is in the air as a thousand minds climax in frenzied orgasms of emotion. There is a man in your arms; a stranger who explores your body with the mindless passion of an addict. You caress him too, sharing in sensations you did not dream possible.

Back to the now-smiling junkie. Ah. That was far more potent than last time. His jaw is breaking and falling from his face onto the dance floor, inviting you out once more. You follow the gleaming Grin, enthralled by violent delights of your world’s distortion.

It talks to you when you are both alone in the center of a swirling mob of frantic limbs and thrashing heads. The music has changed, darker in tone and fearful in its intensity.

“It’s been three days now missy...haven’t had enough yet?”

Three days? It can’t be! Your mind cannot comprehend such a leap in time, yet your body cries out in piteous tones at its bitter abuse. He is right, and despite the drugs, a soft whimper escapes your ashen lips. Where did the story go? What has happened?

The same Grin, a new sentence. Concentrate. The words begin to form.

“Another week missy? Is that what I heard you say? Well I daresay you could hold out that long...but anymore and I fear, yes indeed I fear you shall have to sell yourself to me”

Your eyes cry out for pity, for understanding, for release. There is none. All you hear is yourself speaking out over the gnawing call of the droning music.

“It’s a deal”

Time has gone by, but how much? Everything is swirling in disjointed haunting images of a place you can no longer feel. The music is gone. There is just an empty void of silence greeting your ears as you stare out in horror at the faces captured in throes of ecstasy around you.

You are in chains. There is a bed here. The Grin greets you with a Smile. More drugs, pumping through your veins and jolting your mind again and again and again in a cycle of slow decay.

There are men around you. Women gaze at you. Your eye catches a bloodstain on the sheet. Another fragment enters the silence. You think you are screaming as you are bled hourly by strangers who play with your flesh.

Dying now. You are afraid of dying. You cannot even wipe away the silent tear of fear which slides down your weary skin. They took off your limbs ages ago.

More drugs warping your ability to feel. Feeling is all that was left in this body you once claimed was yours, now discarded as you step back in horror at what you see there. Your fate was not the beauteous one it set out to be. It should not have ended like this you cry, as the Grin returns with an eager client who carefully extracts your eyes, your once beautiful eyes, one by one.

The end.

You are unsatisfied.

You wanted so much more than this.

You wanted a dream to hold onto and cherish. To look at and love. To feel the warmth emanating from within its pages.

You’ve had it all but you want more. Far more than this. Why should your life end on this same note, ventured upon by so many dreamers like yourself. Why cant the story go on beyond the birth of love, its loss and the tragedy afterwards. It is far too common and far too sad to see everything end in this way once more.

The truth is, you love yourself and you love your dreams, no matter how absurd they are. You cannot give them up merely because that’s the way things seem. Even now your mind cries out; forming its own images of the possible futures of your life.

You are not dead. You are alive and whole once more, breathing in the soft perfume of the surrounding forest. This is a place where the sun never sets and the song never ends. This is a place where everything is true and clings to your body in rapture, entranced by the innocence of such an extraordinary being.

You know who you are now. Two lifetimes and countless thoughts and a myriad of images have shaped your being, your essential presence.

You are who you wanted to be all along. Free sailing through the vast sky, which echoes the songs of the infinite. A bold smile and laughter bubble forth and merge within the purple haze of ambient sound.

Your thought merely drift towards love and there he is sailing towards you, afloat on the air; weightless, yet made of substance you long to touch. To hold. To own once more. It has been far too long.

The two lovers are in each other’s arms once more. Romeo and Juliet escape and sail away to join the stars in their heavenly orbit. The story has transcended its own grandeur, becoming something which you alone control; designing the web of reality through the ideal. For you have always been one who lives in dreams.

The sky is suddenly very bright. The heat is making you faint now.

What has happened?

Redemption is demanded for all your efforts.

Please...Please...I dont want to dry up and fade away!

Its not fair!

What do you want!?

Acceptance.

It slaps you in the face as you break out into the most joyful smile, which courses through your body and pours out into your life like a soft-radiant golden stream.

The Sun is a part of you and you are the Sun - forever willing to shine on as that golden mirror; reflecting yourself.

Thirteen Pages

Short story by Jahanzaib Haque

(Portions of ‘The Necronomicon’ by Simon used in this work)

They must have done something new to this place... Its changed in such subtle yet obvious ways...The purple for example; her idea?

‘I like it’ Smooth...flowed like the truth, if not better. Lying is an easy task for me; a necessary thing for this tale I tell you now... ‘I knew you’d like it’ A sidelong look from under darkened eyelids and a soft smile, makes it all worth it. We stroll out to the balcony. Our old friend joins us.

‘How’re you two doing this wonderful evening?’ Rhetoric; that’s okay, I can play the game for hours at a time... ‘We’re good, we’re good...and how’ve you been? Still busy slogging away at the Ouija board?' He’s big on magic – we all are I suppose; explains the purple ceiling. ‘Hell no! I’m sick of that waste of time...I’m onto something much bigger...much bigger this time’ He’s giving me that sidelong look; I sigh out loud and cut the story shorter.

‘What would you like us to do this time?’ ‘Its simple...its so simple! I cant believe I didn’t think of doing this earlier – look!’ He’s pulling out sheet after sheet of printed-paper; perhaps as many as two hundred tucked into the back of his pants – he’s obviously tremendously excited about something... ‘See...I never really gave up on that Ouija board...’

He never really gives up on anything; just leaves it, neglects it, abuses it and eventually forgets to see it die away. ‘I was busy browsing online to find a more effective way of contacting the spirits...I thought maybe my fingers are too heavy or something y’know?’ He always finds fault in himself – that’s okay, that’s where we come in; my exceptional ego and her obvious calm determination are the only reasons he has gotten this far in the first place...He sets it up, we knock it down for him.

‘...And then I found this link which talked about this book! And look, they had a downloadable version...its, it’s the Necronomicon...’ His eyes are ever so slightly paranoid and his lips quiver as they pronounce the words. His enthusiasm is overwhelming. I need a cigarette.

*Flame – smoke - drag* ‘So you have the Necronomicon eh? Great, so do thousands of other geeks trolling through obscure occult websites online *drag* not being rude or anything, could be an awesome read – but tell me this, what makes you so special? Are you the chosen one out of countless others to crack its hidden secrets?’ She’s calmly observing the conversation with a hint of a smile on her ashen lips...I love it when she’s silent...I fantasize what she’s thinking... ‘Well...I do have one advantage the other guys don’t...I’ve Actually pulled together all the materials needed for the rituals...bet hardly any of them got that far...all I need is to actually do one of them...’ His voice is trailing off – I want to put him at ease before he has the chance to feel embarrassed (what are friends for?)

‘Sure I’ll check it out...leave it with me and I’ll get on it tonight...two hundred pages...if it’s a good read I might even give one of those rituals a shot before dawn breaks...’
All done, formalities dropped, we relax in our chairs sipping cheap wine, smoking cigarettes and discussing the merits of letting your child play adventure games on the computer...Harmless? Yes. Beneficial? Somewhat – My own experience leads me to believe there’s nothing like a visual representation of a story to teach one to use the imagination – to learn to draw out their own version of the scene that lies before them...Is there a well-defined plot? Is it linear? Will this be a dashing tale of romance or a tale of terror in the realm of the haunting? Most importantly, who’s the hero here? Me?

Always.

*Flame – smoke - drag* Silence once more. Eerie in the surrounding darkness. Lovemakings taken a lot out of her – she isn’t even interested in taking a drag. Her soft steady breathing tells me I’m alone in the darkness, my burning cigarette being my only guide in this morbid wonderland. The purple ceiling is oppressing. I cant see it but I can feel its weight on my shoulders, sitting there silently brooding, waiting for the next move.

Guess I could start on his book – he was so very eager, I could give it a shot I suppose. Don’t get me wrong, I thrive in morbid works filled with foreboding and that ominous presence, always watching, always two steps behind. The Necronomicon, ancient book of the dead – containing secrets not meant for the eyes of man. The legend, the myth the all powerful printed in times new roman on white sheets of paper – at least he could have changed the font to century gothic.

I’m all equipped and ready to dive in head first – cigarettes close at hand and a lamp sending dying rays of soft gold out into the surrounding inky black stillness...The book

already grips me with its notorious aura as my mind fills in the gaps of silent dread the white sheets could never do justice to. It begins...

This is the Book of the Dead, the Book of the Black Earth, that I have writ down at the peril of my life, exactly as I received it, on the planes of the IGIGI, the cruel celestial spirits from beyond the Wanderers of the Wastes. Let all who read this book be warned thereby that the habitation of men are seen and surveyed by that Ancient Race of gods and demons from a time before time, and that they seek revenge for that forgotten battle that took place somewhere in the Cosmos and rent the Worlds in the days before the creation of Man, when the Elder Gods walked the Spaces, the race of MARDUK, as he is known to the Chaldeans, and of ENKI our MASTER, the Lord of Magicians. Know, then, that I have trod all the Zones of the Gods, and also the places of the Azonei, and have descended unto the foul places of Death and Eternal Thirst, which may be reached through the Gate of GANZIR, which was built in UR, in the days before Babylon was. Know, too, that I have spoken with all manner of spirit and daemon, whose names are no longer known in the societies of Man, or were never known. And the seals of some of these are writ herein; yet others I must take with me when I leave you. ANU have mercy on my soul!

I have seen the Unknown Lands, that no map has ever charted. I have lived in the deserts and the wastelands, and spoken with demons and the souls of slaughtered men, and of women who have died in childbirth, victims of the she-fiend LAMMASHTA. I have traveled beneath the Seas, in search of the Palace of Our Master, and found the stone of monuments of vanquished civilisations, and deciphered the writings of some of these; while still others remain mysteries to any man who lives. And these civilisations were destroyed because of the knowledge contained in this book. I have traveled among the stars, and trembled before the Gods. I have, at last, found the formulae by which I passed the Gate ARZIR, and passed into the forbidden realms of the foul IGIGI. I have raised demons, and the dead. I have summoned the ghosts of my ancestors to real and visible appearance on the tops of temples built to reach the stars, and built to touch the nethermost cavities of HADES. I have wrestled with the Black Magician, AZAG-THOTH, in vain, and fled to the Earth by calling upon INANNA and her brother MARDUK, Lord of the double-headed AXE. I have raised armies against the Lands of the East, by summoning the hordes of fiends I have made subject unto me, and so doing found NGAA, the God of the heathens, who breathes flame and roars like a thousand thunders. I have found fear.

The shadows grow longer, deeper and denser and the maddened cackle of a woman, perhaps very far away in an apartment below ours chills me...There is a sense of evil in the air I’ve never felt before...This text is real and it is alive in my hands – my mind is in flames as I continue to read at fever-pitch.

This is the Book of Entrance to the Seven Zones above the Earth, which Zones were known to the Chaldeans, and to the ancient races that preceded them among the lost

temples of UR. Know that these Zones are governed by the celestial spirits, and that passage may be had by the Priest through those lands that border on the Unzoned Wastes beyond. Know that, when Walking thus through the Sea of Spheres, he should leave his Watcher behind that It may guard his body and his property, lest he be slain unawares and must wander throughout eternity among the dark spaces between Stars, or else be devoured by the wrathful IGIGI that dwell beyond...

She stirs and nestles into my body, trying to cradle my arm but my body resists – A cold sweat runs down my spine and all measures of comfort or even recognition of a world around me is lost. I am lost. I must complete the book...

My books have lost light, and settle upon their shelves like animals fallen asleep, or dead. I am sickened by what voices I hear now, as though the voices of my family, left behind me so many years ago, that is impossible to conceive that they are about. Did I not understand of their untimely, unnatural death? Can the demons who wait Without take on so viciously the human voices of my parents? My brother? My sister? AVAUNT THEE! That this Book were an amulet, a Seal of Protection! That my ink were the ink of Gods and not of Men! But I must write hastily, and if thou cannot read nor understand this writing, perhaps it is sign enough for thee of the strength and power of the demons that be, in these times and in these places, and is surely a warning to thee to have a care and not to invoke carelessly, but cautiously, and not, under any circumstances, seek carelessly to open that Gate to the Outside, for thou can never know the Seasons of Times of the Ancient Ones, even though thou can tell their Seasons upon the Earth by the rules I have already instructed thee to compute; for their Times and Seasons Outside run uneven and strange to our minds, for are they not the Computors of All Time? Did they not set Time in its Place? It were not enough that the Elder Gods (have mercy on Thy servant!) set the Wanderers to mark their spaces, for such spaces as existed were the work of the Ancient Ones. Were no Sun to shine, were SHAMMASH never born, would not the years pass by, as quickly?

Seek ever to keep the Outside Gate closed and sealed, by the instructions I have given thee, by the Seals and the Names herein. Seek ever to hold back the Powers of the Cults of the ancient Worship, that they might not grow strong on their blood, and on their sacrifice. By their wounds shall ye know them, and by their smell, for they are not born as men, but in some other fashion; by some corruption of seed or spirit that has given them other properties than those we are familiar with. And they like the Dark Places best; for their God is a Worm. IA! SHADDUYA IA! BARRA! BARRA! IA KANPA! IA KANPA!

ISHNIGARRAB! IA! NNGI IA! IA! The Stars grow dim in their places, and the Moon pales before me, as though a Veil were blown across its flame. Dog-faced demons approach the circumference of my sanctuary. Strange lines appear carved on my door and walls, and the light from the Windows grows increasing dim. A wind has risen. The Dark Waters stir. This is the Book of the Servant of the Gods . . .

The wind is stirring and the softest glow of the on-coming day is creeping into the shadowy corners of my mind. I have been consumed and set free and now I have a decision to make...This is the reality: whether this book is a fraud, whether this book is truth, whether I can truly reach the golden gates of knowledge and whether I lose my mind in the attainment of secrets not of this world, I must make one attempt...
A solitary crow sits silently, acknowledging my decision with a glassy stare... Just one attempt... She shivers; in her dreams the monster is near...

He’s here again. I try not to show my excitement but I have been waiting all day for his inevitable clambering over our balcony...My aura is in angry knots of orange-red flames just waiting to explode... ‘You read it dint you...’ Rhetoric...No time for the correct response... Of course I read it! Its phenomenal...so strange...it had me panicking in a dark, tiny corner. I was trapped between the demons at my back and the overwhelming darkness in front of me...I have felt fear before but never a book; not in this way...I need to learn more... He’s smiling smugly, knowing full well I would react like this; we are friends after all. She seems somewhat disinterested though – as always faintly amused at how things play out in my mind. I can’t blame her for the gentle dig... ‘I have a plan...Its all here you see...’

He has his own copy; obviously more involved in this than I gave him credit for. ‘Its Marduk we’re after...With a name like that, and his history...If we could get through his gate...wow...we wouldn’t need anymore’ The prince of darkness – somewhat a satanic symbol yet all powerful, his myth is engaging and always, always drawing you deep into the pit from which the curious mind cant escape...we sit down to plot our way through the myriad landscape of images and words forming the ritual...I am afraid yet the sense of fear is exciting – I can almost sense the unseen lurking beside me in the growing gloom of a dying day. We read...

The God of Jupiter is the Lord of Magicians, MARDUK KURIOS of the Double-headed Axe. MARDUK was born of our Father, ENKI, to do battle against the forces of the Ancient Ones, and he won a powerful fight, subduing the armies of Evil and putting the Queen of the Ancient Ones beneath his foot. That Serpent is dead, but dreams. MARDUK was bestowed Fifty Names and Powers by the Council of the Elder Gods, which Powers he retains to this day. His colour is Purple. His Essence is in the material tin, and in brass. His Gate is the Sixth that you will come upon as you follow the rituals that follow. His Step on the Ladder of Lights in Purple. This is his Seal, which you must engrave on a plate of tin or of brass, when Jupiter is strong in the heavens, while making special invocation to ENKI Our Master. This shall be wrought as the others, and wrapped in pure silk and lain away until the time for its use. Know that MARDUK appears as a mighty warrior with a long beard and a flaming disk in his hands. He carries a bow and a quiver of arrows, and treads about the heavens keeping the Watch. Take care to summon his assistance in only the most terrible of circumstances, for his might is powerful and his anger fierce. When thou hast need of the power of the star Jupiter, call instead one of the appropriate Powers listed within these pages, and they will surely come. The Number of Marduk is Ten and this is his Seal:

‘We must call upon him, mustn’t we?’
He is in awe and his jaw quivers just slightly...he has brought all the tools necessary but as usual, he is backing down from the truth standing before us – someone has to perform the ritual. Am I too involved? I always ask myself that question...Is this perhaps too inane, or is this strange compulsion part of a necessary process...Guess it all depends on how one views the subject at hand – she smiles at me, encouraging me to devote myself to a seemingly simple task; after all, I’ve done worse...

Tin or brass? Strange symbols and a simple chant later – nothing happens. They both stare at me, waiting for a sign...nothing. ‘Marduk arise’ Silence in the surrounding air as the sun sets slowly, leaving trails of purple and gold strewn across the sky. ‘Well...it was a bunch of crap after all.’

*Flame – smoke - drag* Appear nonchalant, appear nonchalant – don’t let the disappointment consume...Its not such a big deal, didn’t expect much in the first place, did I? Did I? ‘Where did the magic go?’ ‘I don’t know...I did everything precisely as it said...no gate; no tea and a bit of conversation with a deity either’ Silence. Time passes.

Midnight and sleep is consuming me. Dreams...

A voice is calling me...down in that cavern...strange – Ive been here before but never seen that entrance... Strolling with unease, a queasy sensation in my stomach and a deep bass roar in my ears; tremors of power all consuming. Flashing gold...a solitary symbol, I must touch it...the frame appears and I step through the gate, into the realm of Marduk, he is with me, whispering in my ear. He tells me many secrets for he is adept at listening to human emotion (we are a part of him). He tells me of the emptiness in my heart and he tells me of the fulfillment of tragedy. He tells me all about the man next door and the old lady bent over double cackling to herself on a park bench at dawn. He leaves no space; his knowledge is unforgiving and relentless in its completeness – I am sinking, I am sinking... Powerless in this haunting maze...it is a labyrinth of a single shade of purple. There is no escape on either side...sitting, listening...screaming silently as the lyrical feats of the unknown fill me with a dread never felt before...please let me out of my mind...please...

She cradles me and soothes me. In her arms I am a terrified child faced by that nightmare which lingers in the memory till death, till death do us part...maybe...please...

I can’t escape my imagination. Its like a flesh wound which gushes blood yet doesn’t kill, just nauseates. Or perhaps I can’t escape the reality which exists – I know too much and my mind cries out for mercy...wherever I turn I see truth? And it is in the shape of monsters – haunting me, following me; they are at my heels.

The nightmare...Its implications...I am old now yet I still remember. I was given knowledge which unfolded truth for me in all its forms. The truth is something we take for granted as merely existing – yet I am plagued by it. In the trees I hear the silent roar of hatred; in the motionless gaze of an animal I see its pity, its loathing, I see it tremble too. In my friend I see something I hate – something neither human nor monster; a misfit of sorts roaming the world in its attempt to spread disease. In my lover I see where I went wrong, and all my mistakes haunt me in that soft smiling frame.

Alone...hiding...must escape everything...cannot face the images, the knowing sensation of feeling...a strait jacket, a leash and a hood...like a dog, like a dog with its eyes gouged out... Life is too too long. I’m sorry...but it must pass to you...

http://www.lovecraft.ru/texts/necro/simon_eng/

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