Come November, from The Book of Pat

The soft muzzled cough brought Alice back from being lost in her usual daydreams.
It had been months since she had walked freely about the streets. Even longer since the blind run through the dark forests of another world.
If this insane self-imposed quarantine had to continue for very much longer, Alice was going to leap back through into the brightly lit hall beyond. Once there she was more than willing to try her luck at some other random doorway.
“What then?” muttered the low voice of the sage.
Alice could tell he was talking more to himself than to her.
Alice replied anyway, “Anywhere but here.”

The look of the old mages floor length beard partially muzzled by a soft swath of mask looked ridiculous. The rope ties for the ears could not reach so Alice had helped him braid the ends into the facial hair just beneath the cheeks.
The effect gave the ancient librarian a hipster grunge look.
The ink stained hands of the sage had been hard at work rubbing his face again. Either an allergy from the ink that now tinted his nose or from the dreaded Covid virus had been making the elderly gentleman wheeze and cough. He had coughed enough times that Alice had demanded the face covering.
The sage grumpily complied just to silence her complaining.
The whole request struck him funny since it came from a woman wearing no clothes at all…

The doorman had been busy hanging invisible signs about the hall. Each had been hung so that an individual entering could see them with little effort. He was certain when the complaint department was called he would be found blameless in the spread of such ignorance. Each entry had been clearly marked with a request for a mandatory fourteen day quarantine, and each infectious destination properly marked.
The Gatekeeper had even replaced his usual Welcome mat with one that read, “Masks Required”.
“Yes”, he thought, “in a reality of inexistence the flattened curve wasn’t going to catch him in another surge, hoax or not.”

Pat sat watching the falling leaves. The peace autumn brought was a welcome change from the dry hot days of summer. Still the thought to lay naked in those golden rays made his pulse quicken with youthful memories.

“The seasons change with the turn of a word,” he whispered to the quiet room. Though there was a large crowd, no one heard him.

Pat was aware that the sentence could be thought of as political, as well as environmental.
Opinions were changing. Impatient populations desperate for a miracle.
Come November another four years of greatness would be chosen. Hopefully one that meant the destruction of a party founded in racism. If not then things weren’t going to look too good for the home front.
It had been bad enough that this man-made virus was unleashed by corrupt policies of the criminal elite in the attempt of a one-world-order coup.
To have to suffer under the heavy-handed tactics of the cosmopolitan could lead to an actual armageddon between good and evil…

Pat watched the falling leaves. The beauty was not wasted on him. The mix of yellows and reds drifting down. Sometimes in soft spirals, sometimes in a direct glide. Individual leaves and groups all randomly blowing about with a kaleidoscope of color.
None of the meaning was missed.
Everything had a purpose;
Pat just had his own preference in how things should end.

All this change from the green leaves of one tree. Nothing was ever missed…

Sound

Reverberation
A high pitch mixing at the upper spectrum of a ringing chime
Sharp tones of metal on metal cutting away through bone and brain
Screams of pain changing over into images of lightening bolts and razor thin daggers
My eyes turn to liquidized jelly
They melt under the constant agony of pulses spuming forth from now empty sockets
The only escape is being walled into a casket six feet down insulated by the solid earth
Until the volume of gnashing and gnawing grows
Louder than before a chorus of beetles and worm devour flesh
In this one last sanctuary of hell the spirit unable to find release from the torment succumbs

Daydreams and School work

Alice sat distracted. A nuthatch was slowly making its way down the trunk of a nearby sapling. It’s funny head-first hopping reminded her of the her own first moments leaping through worlds. As nauseating an experience it had been, Alice was secretly hoping to get the opportunity to do it again. The only thing that was holding her back was the how and when.
Alice had gathered from the many frequent visits of disembodied voices that the portal from here to there ( where something she never knew) was always opening and closing. To use it, one simply needed to be determined and fully willing to accept the next outcome. The concept of outcome being as close to exactly what the event actually meant.
Alice couldn’t quite understand that piece of information either.
She just took it to mean 1+1=2 but to get to four the possibilities increased as well as the path. Everyone understands 2+2, or 1+1+1+1, or 1+1+2, and even 1+3. But doing the possible backwards or even not at all could cause a bit of stress. 0+4, 5-1, and so on into infinite realms could get a person marooned, even completely gone from before, during, and after. As insane as that sounded, Alice was not yet willing to prove anyone’s theorem’s just yet.
Why did everything have to involve math…

Alice could bring herself to accept that it had only been three days. What she couldn’t believe in was the constant transition of the garden outside.
She vaguely remembered the first time looking out of the window. The season had been late spring. The butterflies and hummingbirds fluttering amongst the many wildflowers and well planted rows of perennials. Annuals like irises taking over where daffodil and hyacinth had earlier flowered but now becoming just green leaves and dying stalks.
With later glances outside, Alice noted the crepe myrtles had begun to bloom with deep purples and reds. Their many branched arms spreading outward casting a welcomed shadow from the hot blazing sun.

And today as she gazed upwards in a daydream daze of building castles in the sky, Alice’s distracted eyes watched as oak and maple leaves began drifting down from leaf clogged gutters. The browned yellows and crimson reds slowly sailing down, down, down carpeting the flower beds.
Alice even noticed amongst the brown blades of overgrown grasses the aster and goldenrod turning to seed. The planting of daylilies she must have confused for irises being nothing but withered yellow and brown mulch piles beside dried stalks of gladiolas.

No. Though she was not a naturalist or expert at gardening, Alice knew the changing seasons without the need of flocking geese or migrant fish swimming up stream. Without a doubt, and without need of the old sage explaining things, Alice knew she was sitting in the middle of 0+1 or something very close to it.

Across the room the sage let out a humourous chortle.

To Alice the old man always seemed to take great interest and enjoyment during her most confused moments. It’s was almost like he knew her mind, and saw all the outcomes before she did, and thought her ignorant.

The Echoing Footsteps

Words had become unwelcome aliens to him. During the long, lonesome days of summer verbal expression was of little importance. Even the occasional jotting of notes and poetry had all but disappeared from the watcher’s daily habit.

The absence of human company had begun to void all progress socially made in the early spring months. The warming heat and longer days allowed the once tight knit group of vagabonds to expand out into newer territories. Though beneficial for the group it only drew Pat deeper into isolation mentally and physically. Soon the weak feelings of trust, compassion, and fellowship would all be forgotten. Replaced by an insane anger and hate for the world as a whole.

Change was what the watcher hated most. Wether it was the sun, the season, a simple object out of place, any altering to the system was to be avoided. Only hunger and the need of shelter could drive him back into society, and force a change to the routine.

If only they knew or understood the danger. The thing they felt most at ease with had died a very long time ago. That person had laid buried in some shallow grave for more than two decades, a victim of some forgotten war. The only protection he could give to them and himself was a wall of apathy. Any attempt to break through would almost certainly unleashing the daemons within.

Enoch knew first hand what now walked the earth. The thin cloak of flesh and bone did little to conceal the seething hate and rage boiling within. It is to Enoch that the watcher often thought of. Not since the desecration of Babel, the rise of the Sumer and Olmec ziggurat, and the cataclysmic drift of landmasses had the host of legions been at peace with what he was.

Ah the good old days. Before Moses and his big ten, and the writing of the lesser others, “Pat” had beta tested every one of them with a few still in need of repeating.

How had the worm turned. Robbed of the freedom of the æther. Imprisoned to never touch the quintessence. Left to lay dormant beneath the ever increasing weight of invisible chains. The punishment was fair enough. The watcher knew he was given a very lenient sentence. After all eternity and infinity were going to be a very long wait anywhere he could be placed. This bit of community service on Ki wasn’t without it’s pleasures. The irony was because of those pleasures he was being chastised…

Pat sat waiting.

The clock on the wall had long since died, and now forever marked it’s death at one twenty-three.

It was post meridiem. The watcher knew because he had watched that last hesitant movement on August 5th as he had witnessed the first energetic second back on June 3rd one and two-thirds year ago. The time then was five seventeen post meridiem.

The uselessness of keeping “time” was as pointless as having two heads attached to one heart. When the “time” came both would get there at the same moment.

(Somewhere a small chuckle could be heard. Though the sage only wrote the story as it unfolded a turn of a phrase by his own hand could make him still giggle.)

(Old men often laugh at their own jokes while the rest of the world looks puzzled. – editor note by the author)

Left undisturbed the clock on the wall would never grow old, never change. Though the dust of ages piles up upon it face, and the corrosion of the batteries spreads to eat away within. The clock would never know or feel the changing hour

Pat was very much the same. Forever stuck at one twenty-three p.m. Physically corrupted, mentally deranged, but for the spirit always the same. Time had stopped. The movie that he saw was forever set on a loop. The actors in it always moving along, developing their character, then when the plot line needed a twist a new star would appear as the older one faded from scene.

It mattered little. The movie was set upon a continuous loop. The stage would reset, the actors would take their marks, and somewhere stage right a voice would be heard saying “Action”.

Improve.

As many loops and layers of film and tape were to be used, a good actor could always improve his skill. In that one hope both the author and watcher had learned to count upon. They both had witnessed enough footage left behind in the cutting room floor.

Even now Pat knew it was time to splice, exit stage left, and in the following drop of the curtains listen to the sounds from behind the props.

Echoing footsteps upon a wooden stage.

Wednesday of the fifth month, the one hundredth forty-second day, year two thousand nineteen a.d. of the Book of Pat

The traveller gazed up at the midday sky. Overhead two blazing suns burned down to earth. This was the first time he had ever seen such an event in his lengthy lifetime. For the traveller to acknowledge that fact was a scary thing. He had thought he’d seen it all. Now here he was stranded in a reality of time that quite honestly looked to be the end for his career and the rest of creation.

The only intelligent voice in his head was uttering the word fuck, fuck, fuck. At the moment all the other voices seemed in agreement.

Fuck.

After an eternity of quietly contemplating the situation one of the voices pointed out that as the earth rotated only the larger of the two orbs seemed to move in the arc. The other seemed to become more of an oddly formed orb which reflected more than it seemed to be burning. A few other voices began to chime in with agreement, and after a lengthy discussion it was agreed that fact was true.

“So we’re good then?”asked the traveller.

“No.”said the leading authoritative voice. “It’s probably a massive meteoroid. Even the fact that there still isn’t a visible smoke trail may mean it’s further above the stratosphere than it looks. We are screwed.”

The sound of sneakers running away on smooth concrete and then the loud slamming of a metal door was what Pat heard first.

It was a familiar but funny sound to hear over the speaker system. It reminded him of his high school days and the loud racket one could hear over the public announcement system will the principal was going over the days events. Those were the glory years for sure.

On this occasion though, Pat was a good twenty years older, and working in a tower miles away from the originator of the sound. As a joke Pat was buzzed up on the speaker. A familiar voice on the other end began a rant that unless privy to the joke itself would sound very offensive to the receiving party. The joke would have been hilarious to Pat, but as fate often intervenes it was not Pat that first answered the call… It was Pat’s boss

After a three sentence rant of blasphemy and expletives Pat’s boss began shouting expletives back and yelling “Who is this!” back over the speaker.

The only reply was “If you don’t know mother-fucker”, and the sounds of tennis shoes running on concrete right before the slamming of a door.

Pat tried not to laugh. He knew that the anger would soon enough be turned towards him.

“Do you know who that asshole was?” the boss asked.

With the straightest face Pat could muster, “No sir. I’ve never heard that voice before.”

Alice slowly slide through the small sized opening. At first what she thought to be only a thin gap she had discovered to be a hinged door. With a little coaxing the portal could easily be made to open out wider.

Alice thought how odd to have a door hidden inside a tree. Even odder was the fact she knew it couldn’t have been there before. The door opened into an immense room with vaulted ceilings that the tree she had sheltered in could not have held.

Cautiously Alice looked out into the room. Fully aware of the funny old man that even at this moment was busy wolfing down strawberry treats and having some sort of discussion with the thin air about him. Perhaps if she kept in the shadows and used the massive stacks of books between the two of them as cover the old man wouldn’t realize she was in the room. By the way the food was being consumed Alice knew speed was going to be of the utter most importance.

The doorman was partially surprised. It wasn’t a frequent thing to see the sage away from his writing. It was even less frequent that the sage would share a tasty strawberry glazed donut. Later the gatekeeper would blame those events and the sudden sugar rush as the reason he was surprised for a third time.

Even as Alice stretched out into the room she realized something wasn’t right. Where shelves of books and piles of scrolls should have been there was suddenly nothing.

Nothing was actually not quite right. There was a brilliant white, a worn mat, and a strangely uniformed man eating a pink colored pastry that at the moment was shedding rainbow colored sprinkles about the area.

Both Alice and the doorman stared blankly at each other. Neither seemed to know exactly what to do at that moment.

Alice was the first to take action. In a dead run Alice leaped past the uniformed man and on into the doorway behind him.

As quickly as she had come the trespasser disappeared into the next. In all his lifetime the gatekeeper never had this happen to him. He was pretty positive the Author would already know. What that meant wouldn’t become clear for a great while.

“Oh well”, he thought.

The gatekeeper scarffed down the last of his donut. There was going to be a long wait until the next one…

The twenty-fourth day of the year twenty nineteen anno Domini… in the Book of Pat.

Every day is a new day, and every day was just the same as the one which proceeded today. And as always everything made perfect sense but only if you chose not to sweat the finer points and details. If you did decided to be one of “Those”, and fell into the dangerous trap of actually thinking then insanity would soon follow. So in the linear line of time (time being abstract; a line being a curve with zero radius; zero being undefined) all things end as they began. This story being a poor documentary on events leading up to that very beginning, and will only make sense in its ending. That is where this story begins… at its ending but only after. Don’t worry, you’ll eventually know something of what I talk of, just be patient and you will see.

A wise man once said that life meant forever and that is a mighty long time. Well since that time he’s gone on another kind of elevator ride but even today those words ring true.

Life has it’s own energy. Try as you might to snuff it out, life will always find a way. As the arrow of time moves on life will always begin again even if it has to kill itself to do it.

“Here I pause”, so says the sage. “The black ink runs, staining fingers and page. Letters written, soft words spoken, all take time to settle in upon the fresh medium of paper and mind. As said before there really is no need to hurry. We all find our way back to the beginning in the end.”

A feathery pen lays perched upon it’s rest, and the stopper is securely placed upon the ink well. Atop the desk a powdered page lays waiting to join another… and an old man sleeps slouched in his chair if for but the moment.

#the sage, #the book of Pat, #wakeful dream, #entropy, #time, #philosophy