The Magician meets The Pretender at the Cocktail Party of the Furies

Constance met him at the door
reminding him to remove his sandals
She took his cloak and asked for his staff
The Magician used sleight of hand to sequester the
staff in a hidden pocket
Said he’d be naked without it
Constance smiled
the leaves in her hair undulating in the breeze

Sabote turned to regard the new arrival
and immediately slipped on her “Oh, its only you . .
.†face
The Magician pulled a rabbit out of her ear
everyone laughed

Anxi reprimanded her sister
reminding her that they were civilized and as such
Were required by code and custom to welcome all
invited guests
The tentacles that covered her torso enfolded the
Magician
He extracted himself by offering her
a tiny ornate box of candy he had pulled out of the
air

Horrence clapped and made the most annoying noises
She tried to grab him by the nape but succeeded in
only grasping his shoulder
Dangling him from her pincer she held him up for all
to see
The Magician waved to them

Manjag the Metamystic Metaphysician ~ an Introduction

But First
an Introduction

Current speculation has it that Manjag Entaphulus was born in far Caleiberiera
Or The Eastern Land of Xundenda in the year of the Gloam
There is even some conjecture that he might have roots in the Land of Blue Ginger
All of this is hearsay and idle speculation of course
because there are no records

The records do show that he achieved high marks in Metaphysics
in the ivy encrusted halls of Herseck DeKammers
And while he was not first in his class
He was graduated with honors in the study of Metamysticism
from Tuzeca
The title of his Thesis:
“Its Not So Much About Learning the Truth,
Its About Proving Yourself Right”
A Tome that caused a bit of a stir
It is a matter of record the faculty were divided in their evaluation
Some claiming it was an inspired work of biting sarcasm
Others cited the documented facts as irrefutable proof
Unable to resolve the issue of the document’s intent
They decided to award him an advanced degree and rid the campus of him

It is generally said by those who knew him
that Manjag had the unnerving habit of
Transmuting Reality into Metaphor
and Metaphor into Reality
He was known to twist Light out of Darkness
Conjure songs out of memories
songs filled words dark and true
In addition the Magician had a small talent
for making up the most marvelous lies
And his lies
like all really good lies
Had at their nucleus a kernel of profound Truth
In some ways his lies were more akin to the underlying Truth of the Universe
than most of the facts of everyday life

To the best of the records
He never tried to pass any of his lies off as truth
But with a man such as this
one can never be absolutely certain

The Invitation

Manjag the Metamystic Metaphysician
Decides to attend the Cocktail Party for the Furies

He fingers
The ivory inlayed invitation
Properly appointed in silver trim
And sealed with the most exotic sealing wax
It must have materialized in the earthen tureen
in the surge of the Night
Now no one knows just exactly how such invitations are wont to appear
unexpected and unheralded
But everyone knows
That only those invited
May attend the Cocktail Party for the Furies

Manjag never attends such parties
Often finding himself instead
In distant and curious places
walking beneath the cathedrals of scarlet and amber in the woods
or sailing the unseen currents in the skies
But he has heard the tales
We’ve all heard the tales . . .
And it can only be guessed why he decided to go

But what to wear . . .
What to say
What to carry in the pockets
or leave in the Chest of Many Wonders
Whether to go hungry or satisfied
Should one conform to the customs
Or try new ways . . .

We’ve all heard the tales . . .

Few have ever survived such parties
And those who have
Are never quite returned the same
And you just have to wonder why
Only those invited
May attend the Cocktail Party for the Furies

geisha of the gods

there are those who say
she was given many fine gifts

the gift of eyes
the gift of face
the gift of walk

and when the toad woman came
and took her away to Heaven
there was much talk

geisha Xi chen did not know how it happened
that she had been spirited to this high place
to this Heaven
by Meiceni the toad woman
all that she could remember was a flash of lightning
and a clap of thunder

and now how was she to act
for the people of this place?
they did not even seem to notice her
and they were in fact
all manner of strange being . . .
Heaven is a place of Strange Beings

some strong and beautiful
some haggard and deformed
some beastly
some . . . beyond description
some almost human . . .

chen sought out a temple
for there were many
and found the old man Wu Lei

‘young one
what is it that troubles you?’

‘master
why have i been brought here?
am i a whore of the gods?’

he laughed
it was a simple and heart warming laugh
‘Xi chen
many would consider it a reward to be brought here . . .’

‘master
i serve no purpose here . . .’

‘Xi chen
consider this plum blossom . . .
what is it function?’

‘master
it is the sex of the tree
it makes the children . . . ‘

‘excuse me young one
but you are thinking in the old way
here the tree grows because it is a thing of beauty
and that is it purpose . . .’

‘master
then i am a thing . . .
an object for display?’

‘as i said
consider this plum blossom
is it beautiful because of the artful arrangement of physical grains?
or is there something more
something deeper?’

‘master?”

‘chen
beauty is not a chance aggregate of mud
it is within the soul of the blossom
that the beauty burgeons . . .
and you
young one are not beautiful
because of your many fine gifts
the gift of eyes
the gift of face
the gift of walk
you are beautiful because your soul is beautiful . . .’

‘master
how should i act
in this place?’

‘oh dear geisha
i would never presume to tell one so young . . .
but i would offer this
and this alone
in all your dealings be what you are inside
how can this ever be the wrong action?’

Nova Mythos

Under a velvet sky of jet, ablaze with a billion silver stars, a man and a woman sat facing a campfire. Britt scooped a handful of sand and watched it slip through his fingers. The wind played with the sand as it struck the ground, making it dance.
“The sun will be up soon,” he offered.
“Tell me a story,” Mora said, her voice soft as reeds in a stream.
“Once there were four guys in the desert. Four turbulent and troubled individuals. One was named Reason, another named Magic, the third named Poetry, and the last one named Art,” Britt began.
“All men, no women?”
“All right three men and a woman . . . named Art. That’s short for Artilina. They were regents in their own right and owned many things of great beauty and worth, yet they were unhappy. They had come to the desert to forget the future and deny the past. The man called Reason had concluded that he was disconnected from everything else in the universe. Magic had become dark and filled with dark visions of pain, blood and decay. Poetry had become a diseased lover, perverted beyond recognition. Art had become disfigured in a war and could no longer bring herself to think of anything but her own despair.”
“Heavy overtones there . . .”
“I’m making it up as I go along,” Britt replied.
“That’s what frightens me,” Mora said with just the hint of a grin.
“Well they traveled for seven days without incident. On the eighth day they met a young man full in his prime,” Britt said.
“What was he wearing?” Mora asked.
“A loin cloth,” Britt answered.
“You wish . . .”
“Hush a minute, this is my story. Well Magic spoke first saying in a loud voice ‘I am death and life, how do you greet me?’, and the man replied ‘I embrace you.’ Wrathful with the man’s response Magic grew wings and talons and attacked the man. The man ducked and slapped at the thing that attacked him. In the battle the man lost his right eye, but finally he managed a grip on Magic’s throat. He pulled Magic up to his face and looked deep – with his remaining eye – into the eyes of Magic, only to find that there was nothing really there.
Next Poetry came up to him and said ‘I am your lover and your disease, how do you greet me?’, and the man replied ‘I dance with you.’
Poetry began the dance. He rippled and flowed in the sun and the man kept step. Often it seemed that Poetry would outreach the man, but then the man would pull from some inner oceanic soul and keep the step. The two blurred into one form and it was hard to tell one from the other. In time Poetry gave out and fell dead on the sand. The dance had badly hurt the man and he could barely stand.
Art came to the man and looked up at him with fearful eyes ‘How will you greet me?’, she asked. The man did not answer. “Will you not speak to me?” she cried out but the man felt he had no business with Art and so she died in hopeless despair.
Upon seeing their lifeless forms, the man, stricken with guilt, sought to flee. He feared that Reason would exact punishment on him for his part in the demise of Magic, Poetry and Art. He feared that he deserved it.
The man, half hobbling, ran and Reason ran after him. Despite the man’s injuries, they ran for a full day and a full night. Finally, unable to run any farther, the man stopped and turned to face Reason. ‘What have you to fear,’ asked Reason, ‘for I have brought you the things that you will need.’ Reason gave the man a new mechanical eye to replace the one destroyed by Magic. Reason gave the man a new knee joint that worked almost as well as the old one but the man still walked with a noticeable limp. Then Reason gave the man a heart augment device that would keep his blood rich and flowing. This did not keep the man from feeling guilt; but it kept the guilt from killing him.
The man took all these things and set off to wander the world. In fact, he wanders the world even now . . .”
There was a moment’s silence filled with the hissing flicker dance of the fire.
“What’s his name?” Mora asked.
Britt leaned back, his eyes dancing in the flickering fire light. “You tell me,” He said.