I’ve lived in the caves so long, I don’t remember a time when it wasn’t dark. Sniff. My old friends were in the gloom with me, fishing and singing, fair and unfair. Sniff. We did not have enough food. So sometimes we used to come to the village to borrow the farmers’ crop. Yum. Sniff. The last time I stayed on. The farmers were so nice. I made new friends. The villagers love me. I work as everything. Bondager, castrator, cotter, ditcher, dry stone waller, granger, haybinder, hind, and especially jakes-farmer. They gave me my magic button, so they can always call me. It’s on my arm. The always laugh when I am around because they like me so much. Sniff. I remind them of the good times. Sniff. Come and have fun with me. Sniff.
The earliest memory is a vision of the anger of the half-orc / she-banshee.
I’m not fond of this lot, but my mind’s eye is full of their exploits.
I honestly cannot sit in meditation without having to sit through their endless debates. Shilly-shally, willy-nilly, willy-wally, blah-dee-blah.
There was a fat one, and his friend the half-orckette with the dog in tow. They roamed the north lands, and got frightened in a marsh. Too many mosquitoes: ehe ehe ehe. They drifted into an abandoned village, only populated by triffids and zombies, and so they freaked, squeaked and gibbered until a druid gave them the refuge of teleportation.
Now in the big city, the fat one evaporated, and the (‘arf) woman became my neighbour. She was haunted for a while, and saved by the pharmacist. Later the pharmacist adopted a child that sulked. Apparently she had been a street kid, and some shmuck had decided to pluck her from the gutter and deliver her to this good soul ‘cos the shmuck had better things to do.
Anyway, I’ve never been baking so many cakes to so little effect. The woman orc / neighbour made a deal with a squiddly-squat hideously chatty writer and haunted the ruined pub at the end of the yard with her stinking pork bellies and her bacon. The place was abandoned, and also occupied by a ghost, not-so-friendly but willing to re-open the premises. And then another fat one came, and started to tend the bar. He was kidnapped, and then he returned. At least he made me a meal when I showed up, and cleaned after me. In the basement, the neighbours kept a tear in the wall with some magic oozing out, and at some point some sharks. But that’s too much of a digression.
And so, after some saving of teenagers and some of my timely farts, more people came to disturb my dreams. There was a little woman, not willing to give her twat at any cost, but flaunting the damn thing at the four winds, and there was a even littler megalomaniac that played with her feelings, and won. He was the least likable and the most fake of the lot.
Then there was a miniature half-person that could not sing for shit, a member of a circus gang that has since left the city. He fucked off, but not before embarassing himself a few times. He had an owl that died in a dungeon, where the weary lot found a large toad and a library, and a fountain of a defaced goddess. The blood flowed, and they befriended a cat person. After the half person fucked off, there was a hiatus, and in his place there came another fat one (he also fucked off pretty soon, but not before trying, and failing, to be brave), and another half-person. This last one half-person, a monk, stayed, and kicked some ass. There was a druid who died, and then his twin brother showed up. Don’t remember the druid doing much other than maybe turning into a tiger, and perhaps shilly-shallying some more.
In the midst of this coming and going, I continued to bake, fart, and cake the toilet with my artsy-fartsy art. I left a big dump in the pub (oopsie, I never admitted to that). I think the megalomaniac died, or rather was killed by the orckette at some point, and then he came back, courtesy of the lady of the city. This is a good one, a magick lady who lately lost her powers. Now she wants her mummy.
I spent my days in the city half-naked and half-alive. Drinking myself into oblivion, and then some more. I fucking hate them all. There’s no point in anything.
My mind is haunted by these people. Wherever I go, they seem to follow me. Now I am hidden from my deepest fears. We’re together in some shithole village ‘cos the kickass-dumbass decided to burn the city, and the treasure they were seeking has been mucus’d to ashes.
I try to keep a straight face when they speak, but my guilt and anger haunt me, I can’t remember much before the recent times. Flashes, is all. I know the curse of lineage is strong in my life, and ancestry is a demonic joke.
Other people in my life are a russian thief, a german-swedish vendor of any garbage with religious underpinnings and at some point there was this posh english half dork that has somehow disappeared. And there has been plenty of monstruous coming and going, for example a many-eyes thing, and a rich lady with the police in her pockets.
Bombs have been set off (multiple times) outside my window. People, many people have died. I gots to burn a few shits myself with my wall of fire tricksy. The police have come and gone, and now the city is in the (one) hand of a wizard trying to cleanse it of a recently returned proto-god that really just wants to see the world bum out.
I think that should cover it for now. I really don’t want to open my eyes. I fear some horrible thing will happen soon.
The green flame that burns in my eyes burns in your backside. You’d think you’d be free of pain once powerful and magic-weaving. Not so. Pain doubles as an older sorcerer, an older liar. I’m not ripe yet – though – in spite of my three hundred and sixty years: I’ve been thirty-six for three hundred and twenty-four years. What a tiresome existential drag to carry on for this long. My tiefling muvver had been an entertainer, and now that she’s fertilizing daffodils I carry her skull around. That amuses me. The demon that begot me is still raping and pillaging, down in the abyss. His suffering is endless, all that eating and murdering must be exhausting. Bless him.
I grew up among actors, singers and other such charlatans. My mother used to have artistic pretentions, and she used to smear everything with colour. Hence, my apparel remains motley, like a double-sheep that doubles as wolf. She used to paint the sky purple, and that’s the definition of crazy. Some of the vampires in our troupe thought me a trick or two. And I still cherish the values they taught me. Manipulation, deceit, honesty, thievery. Of course, honesty is the world’s biggest lie. But also, this is very much not That. Clearly it’s not enough to sit and watch the world burn, one has to really enjoy it in order for anything to mean something. When something burns, it transcends into something meaningful. Oh yes, I forgot to say that I am a pyromaniac.
My friends have betrayed me at the best of times. There was a drug-dealer, a useless wimp, and there was a double-crossing mentor. And of course I’ve had a few rumbles and a few tumbles, but Love hasn’t, thankfully, stuck. Instead I am left, in our later age, sliding and slithering around in search of meaning, wondering whether my father’s choices, the lying demon’s choices, were the correct ones.
Yes, of course, his lies made me suffer, and I tried for many years to have him love me. He was busy, raping and killing other tiefling women. That’s his thing. He did teach me to tell good lies, and to tell liars from truth-mongers, and that of course is my core skill.
The shadows and the wild manifestations of Evil in its surging are my element, but there is nothing preventing from enjoying the ease of city life, though I do prefer vacationing inside volcanoes and the among the ruins of ancient civilizations.
In this latter day of my existence I am looking for peace, and hopefully it’ll come soon in one form or another. I’d welcome death, but then again I can always make new friends, and even better, make new enemies to spice up the emptiness that is my life.
And of course, for a liar, honesty is essential. Fear is also important. It’s what keeps us in check when the temptation to go overboard is too strong. What is a liar, you ask? The truth can be so easily bent. It’s as flexible as spring rain. It’s very upsetting that we have to lie to get by. Truth in fact is so very exhausting. It’s such a limited resource. It must be used sparingly.
The blue over the horizon indicates that my time is soon up. Scuttling along the land like a wood louse I await judgment, having avoided it so long. Denial can be a religion, too. Or at least a credo.
If the giants were ever to come back, they’d have to deal with the stream of fear that clogs the sewers of the city. Drain the swamp, so to speak. From the comfort of my mansion in the Alley, I can observe the little people going about their business. My nose seems to run every time some deeply repressed emotion has a chance to run riot, or at least, drip, drip. A little poison in the gutter rivulet that is my body. The latter, of course, aches, and my soul is old. Shit, the mind has let slip one or two half-truths too many.
“A summer’s day will seem an hour but short”
I like living at Hermann’s palazzo, better than living underground in the frost-laden forests in my country. All I need is a bottle of little water, a slice of bread, and a slice of lard. Don’t try to come between a halfling of the steppe and his drink. I’m a friendly guy of sorts, but people have trouble understanding my sense of humour. It’s because of my deep, deep soul. It’s painted with the colours of the hard freeze, but my spirit is full of fire. You should hear my jokes, and my love poems. I will deliver them to you with great passion while we partake in a session of lard-eating and little water-drinking fun. What I love best in life is food, and a good fight. Declaiming the virtues of Alexandr Sergeevic, and staring into the fire with a bellyful of alcohol. I’m not one to judge. Of course I prefer my people, the halflings. But anyone is welcome as long as they treat me with respect and eat and drink with me. Of course, I don’t mind buying, because I am a respectable fellow. My pockets are deep, but the money is scarce. Good thing my good friend Hermann is paying the bills for everything else. I am not a gambler, but in a gamble, I like to bet. I am a drinker, and I will sink your half-orcs under the table with no effort. When the time comes and we need to fight, I’ll jump in, belly forth and give them hell, because I am not afraid. Except, of course, of running out of little water.
We keep a tidy business in this corrupt town. Do come in and help yourselves to the canapes. People must eat, even in times of war. And in such times, people will still need a bit of panache. I’m not just talking about premium vegetables. We believe that everyone deserves to eat well, no matter the enterprise and the creed. I’ve got a shining on the drinks, too. We generally prefer a more refined taste, but our chefs work tirelessly to please all philosophies of food.
Why choose Hermann Gray’s All Manners of Exotic Taste? For starters, we don’t judge. Then, there is a great choice of everything, and all the free food! Did I mention the delivery options? Be prepared to be blown away by our telekinesis system. On our premises, you can rest on our couches or enjoy an afternoon at our fish spa. And while your toes are being nibbled at, you can sit at ease and let your mind wander while enjoying a slice of our delicious Frosty Bite Cake TM. Please don’t forget to drop by at our shop in Virgin Square for a taste of timelessness.
C : ‘I love him whose soul is deep as he is wounded, and whom a trifle can destroy. He is glad to cross the bridge.’
A : ‘ My Kingdom is attained by righteousness. Let not any man seek to please the many liars for they make all the Righteous foes to me.’
C : ‘Oh, come off it.’
A : ‘I am in the eternal struggle with the Evil spirit, I shall have you know.’
C : ‘I am in the eternal struggle to get my daily portion of good food.’
A : ‘Of course you mean the spiritual food to combat Bad Thought, the Lie and the Pride.’
C : ‘I mean my tuna fish. The perennial conflict between reason and intuition of the matter, that’s null and void. And so is mysticism.’
A : ‘What of the ground of ultimate reality?’
C :’That’s well after the last bus stop, and I do not take public transport. Cats don’t leg it, either. Your friend Wagner claimed the function of the artist is to bring the unconscious to the conscious by symbols.’
A : ‘I doubt he used those very words. They probably had not been invented. Like you, for example, you’re a cat yet to be invented. From what I understand, you claim Egyptian ancestry.’
C : ‘My true name is Bastet, and I was never made to wander. I may just patrol my neighbourhood when I feel like it. Take a shit here and there. I have many names, and I cause others to wonder. I cause others to wander.’
A : Vedic, Avestam, Mycenean generally absent. Given Proto Indo-European Truth found in Sanskrit and later Greek, we assume a connection. Who did you cause to wander, perhaps an endlessly cunning man?’
C : ‘ v’hotzeiti, v’hitzalti, v’ga’alti, v’lakahti. Those took out, rescued, redeemed and taken to God, the One.’
A : ‘What is Evil, then, in such circumstances?’
C : ‘How can God the One murder the innocent? Why take the lives of children? ‘
A : ‘After his death, my prophet Zoroaster saw his work undone. He taken out many words and symbols, many animals and legends from the lost context. His religion was immaterial, impermanent, based on meditation, fasting and understanding the unconscious. His followers could not relate to the Understanding, so they made a tale, a narrative out of Knowledge. Knowledge is passed on. Understanding cannot possibly be passed on. It is non-verbal.’
C : ‘After Zoroaster, Siddharta, the prophets of monotheism, the symbols were back in.’
A : ‘Moses…’
C : ‘All these chaps had vision, or just hallucinate?’
A : ‘My prophet is better than yours, kitty cat.’
The creature learnt nothing;
the story-well was left to dry,
all was forgotten by the mind,
for it was haunted by a wraith.
Then the gates slammed shut.
Teeming like orange flies, the
words that were left flew away.
the costly devices of the imitative scene-painter
A : Ask me a question. The prison of the soul has been created. It is formed, again and again, early in age, in every semi-conscious monkey that walks straight.
C : Only the fearless can cross the fire and not be incinerated.
A : That alone should be enough to filter truth-seekers from blind animals in the cave. And yet, what we have as Gods is a grapple bucket of thrill-seekers.
C : As a proto-God, imprisoned, alone with the sky far beneath under the world, my breath is decaying together with my ancestor’s will to power. By proxy, I am unchanged. His fury is compressed into an element which can melt humanity. The fission of my cat-patience can, too, bring about the end of the world.
A : The bitterness of Uranus is the bitterness of spiteful emotion, where your one true love has betrayed you, and your children have taken your joy and your false pride.
C : This, along with a river of poison is enough to destroy what’s good in us. The prison of the soul is built with such walls. All the stories told and retold, imagined and staged, are false, however vividly portrayed.
A : After all, there is still hope. Secret spiritual messages are revealed to Sufi poets.
C : In a conflict of a world, we need more spirit-tolerance, not less. All the scholarship amounts to an empty tomb.
A : As I am an ancient God, I find it hard to keep my ego in check. I am plagued with visions of hatred and fear. Nearly all I have left in this cosmos is a litany of foolishness.
C : You cannot expect to push on just as is, all these coincidences are not to be pursued. It does not matter what vision you might have had. There seems to have been a time in the distant past when you could be quiet in diverse manners and diverse places.
A : There at least was a possibility for Truth. God does not speak in diverse manners in diverse places now. Humans are scattered, the Gods are scattered, all that remains is the pantomime of the winds of doom.
C : I dare not ask about the father of the holy country, India.
A : There is a fundamental misunderstanding about one’s dharma. How does one know how to perform the rightful action? What defines it? The Hindus of today sees their actions as justified by the righteousness of murder. Arjuna’s doubt and Krishna’s call are all used as lawyer-words. Non-attachment as a spiritual duty is derided.
C : Quite right.
A : In Parsi-Gujarati “hambandagi”, bondedness together. It embodies the sense of spiritual pursuit of goodness which is not a means to an end. It leads to harmony and cooperation.
C : Hambandagi, then as another Bapu from Gujarat might have understood and practiced.
A : Do not engage in violence, or ultimately, violence will win. I am paraphrasing.
C : Tolerance is not easy when you are being persecuted. Should you not fight back? Isn’t this precisely like Arjuna’s doubt and resolution?
A : No, it is not. Arjuna’s resolution is not to literally fight, but to engage in spiritual non-attachment, and accepting the part you are given in the fray.
C : Hence the confusion. Doesn’t one fight in the fray? What about all those confused birds in conference, seeking a king, a mono-thematic God? Were they not fooled into submission? I doubt, therefore I am.
A : I don’t doubt that you do. As a God, I have to believe. It is my job from the start.
C : But believe in what? In yourself? Ahura-Mazdah, the wise? In fighting Angra Mainyu? Who says he’s Angra-bad? Who sent Loki to the underworld? Or Uranus? Or Lucifer, Asmodeus?
A : All the false lights. Reflected light bounces off planets, wandering in the sky we aimlessly misunderstand the ancients and take the planets for stars. No fire burns in planets, they shine by proxy.
C : Surely, there is fire in their core.
A : And yet, no fire on their surface. They live by leeching a multiverse of particles.
C : Tell me, why the dualism? What makes you the father of the good thought?
A : Old Persian texts maintain the central antithesis between that which is true and straight, and that which is a lie and crooked. “Perform no Zurah, no crooked behaviour to either rich or poor. Do not be quick to anger. Keep your temper, through the power of manah-thought.
C : So, we should all worship… you?
A : I am not the God, merely a God. If I were crucified, hung from my feet like Odinn before me, I might see beyond all this haze of words.
wandering spirit rising
white paint versus black ash
the neck pain is real
the giddy heights of limitlessness
above the clouds breathless beyond death
Ratatorsk is coming for us
The wisdom of Socrates
C : I certainly don’t believe that we already know everything. I am pretty sure that you know nothing.
A : How can I know nothing ? I am God.
C : Do you claim to be the only God, the One ?
A : Well, I wouldn’t go as far as saying that. Yet, those miss-believers that still believe the old religion…
C : What of them ? Are you going to eat them ? Fry them ? Boil them ?
A : They’re warned.
C : Let’s find the mouse of the matter.
A : I feel I am not as Good as Odinn. I can’ever spell his name for one thing.
C : Not your average run of the mill Pazuzu. Wasn’t Odinn both evil and good ? One eyed and all that ?
A : I sometimes ask myself: ‘Who am I, as a God?’ The answer : ‘I am a strong supporter of the righteous.’
C : There we go again with right and wrong. Who cares ? So there are some with rings of power. Surely Andvari’s curse applies to them too. And if not, not! Why all this begging, and guilt. I want to eat a mouse, I skin it. I go ahead and do it.
A : Is there a question ?
C : Is there ever an answer ? From you, or anyone ?
A : Surely, there must be something that we have done that is worth telling. Creating this world for example.
C : Geez, I wouldn’t ever want to take credit for this mess.
A : But who are you, cat ? Have you sat cross-legged on your way back from the desert, besieged by demons ?
C : That would be beneath me. But I know others who did those things. There’s nothing to be gained from navel-gazing.
A : That’s madness.
C : Not at all. Come meet my grandmother, Hel. She will tell you what’s what.
Churn the ocean
Steal the pot
Eternal life, my foot.
Demons every where
Evil is ill
It exists between silences and behind the eyes of your neighbours.
God is invoked, but revoked. The Iron Door is bent out of shape, its mechanic rings are spinning.
There’s no safe space, no formula, no litany, no succession
Athena is my witness, Artemis was my name.
If you think you are not good enough, join the moot.
A : A tapestry of pheasants, a conferences of doubters. A varied agony at the throat. Molasses of piano-stricken dialogues, riddled with root canals. I’m not the perfect Wagnerite. I am not the sound of some broken dream. Come and collect my nightmares, and you will see. They’re on offer. Discounted. I am lion that bites the flaccid buttocks of False Truth, and a friend to Asia and Europa alike.