MS Found in a Pneumatic Cylinder

Alan P. Scott - Fictions

wicked wish of the west

My Dear Jack:

I am so sorry to have heard about your demotion. The Ministry of Disinformation has finally allowed me to communicate with you again, but only on condition that I tell you absolutely nothing that's true. All Cretans are liars, saith Epimenides, but all liars are not Cretans - nor are they cretins. Nor creationists, for that matter, though I may be being redundant with that last. But I am no con from Crete (further deponent saith not); they have no hold over me that I did not give them willingly, all open and above board - I tore their paper tigers into snarling shreds, and sent them running off to their beds without their suppers. Truth, beauty - you may find scraps of either herein enclosed.

Silly of you to ask if you could have some of what I'd been smoking; you know as well as I that the Ministry is a smoke-free environment. Well, I did suck the tailpipe of the Yellow Submarine, without remoras. Remorse, um. You see, Jack, I have been in a reflective state of late, and I don't mean the Land of a Thousand Lakes. There's no smoke, but many mirrors, in the house of our fathers.

I licked mercury from the back of the glass, hoping to see it through. That and an ounce of sulfur will put you well on the way to the mirror lands yourself, you know - the third eye sees the stone behind itself when you look there prepared in that way, with proper attention to the hermetic arts.

I have become my own evil twin from the mirror lands - you see, I see, I see myself as others see me. The only difference between me and a madman is that a madman runs for office, and that every now and then they let the madman out to run around the yard howling at what's that stone caught up there in the trees?

Perhaps I'm wishing for the wrong wings. I broke a mirror in the mirror lands and gained seven years' good luck thereby, but lost the respect of my evil compatriots, too. Without them I am totipotent, but only in reverse - if I will it, it does not occur.

It's all just words, Jack, a protean jigsaw puzzle to be assembled at not-quite-random. We are all Humpty-Dumpty, all the words in the world our abject slaves, meaning nothing without our gaze to make them meaningful. Jah him say, I am de word. So take, eat, in remembrance of Me.

I open the lightning valves. Out fly the sparks.

See also: Together, Apart: MS Found in a Klein Bottle.

©1999, Alan P. Scott. All rights reserved.

This document was last updated August 11, 2000.

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