Departures – Manjag and the Pretender

They left in clear sight but no one saw them leave
They walked across the fields
Walked across flower dappled meadows
and oceans of golden wheat

And when they had walked a day and a half
They came to the coast

As her foot hit the sand of the beach
The Pretender turned and regarded the Magician
His eyes had taken the hue of the Sea
and his beard had become the grey of winter skies

“Which way?”
“My ship has a mind of its own and there is really no
way to know.”
“Oh what a lazy captain, that you let your ship steer
itself.”
“It is not a style I would suggest for everyone
but it has worked well for me.”
“How shall we call this ship?”
“It comes when it comes, perhaps patience is . . . ”
“Where’s the boat?”
“There.”

And sure enough
Just cresting the horizon
A tiny cyan ship coursed toward them against the tide

“Does it have a name?”
“It is called the Heart.”

The ship was such that it was sometimes difficult to
make out at a distance
It could easily be mistaken for a graceful sea bird
It’s billowing sails could be clouds . . .

It moved onto the beach and sailed the sand to their feet
The Magician offered his hand and the Pretender
boarded the Heart of the Magician

Initial Contact

The Cocktail Parties of the Furies always have
the most interesting music
And the décor . . .

The invited guests sashay through fantastic landscapes

Awash in the brilliant colors of Midnight
The low dull thudding of the Infrareds
the shark toothed ultra violets
They eat the most peculiar things
and are encouraged to wear very strange hats

The Magician is holding an azure drink
filled with twinkling stars
Off to his right
The Pretender glides through shadow and shade
Her gown
a whisp of gossamer
a hint of feather and down
She seldom turns to look face on
But has seen everything in the room
She seldom stops to talk at length
but had spoken to each and every person there

If you’re lucky you might catch
The grace of a hand involved in a perfect gesture
the hint of a smile
The lilt of her voice

She flows through the room like water
And congeals where the Magician converses with a
werewolf
The Magician is visibly unsettled by the beautiful
woman
suddenly standing before him

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?’