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    Reddening, Bob stammered, “Yeah, yes, uh, yeah. Um…”

    Clara squeezed her grandfathers arm reassuringly.  “We’re looking for my friend Nora.” she interrupted, to give him time to compose himself.  Poor dear was easily flustered these days. Turning to Will, “She was hiking over to visit us and should have arrived yesterday and she’d have passed right by here, but her phone seems to be dead.”

    Will had to think quickly. If he could keep them both here with Nora long enough to get the box ~ or better yet, replace the contents with something else. Yes, that was it!  He could take a sack of random stuff to put in the box, and they’d never suspect a thing. He was going to hide the contents in a statue anyway, so he didn’t even need the box.

    Spreading his arms wide in welcome and smiling broadly, he said “This is your lucky day! Come inside and I’ll put the kettle on, Nora’s gone up to take some photos of the old ruin, she’ll be back soon.”

    Bob and Clara relaxed and returned the smile and allowed themselves to be ushered into the kitchen and seated at the table.

    Will lit the gas flame under the soup before filling the kettle with water. They’d be too polite to refuse, if he put a bowl in front of them, and if they didn’t drink it, well then he’d have to resort to plan B.  He put a little pinch of powder from a tiny jar into each cup of  tea; it wouldn’t hurt and would likely make them more biddable.  Then the soup would do the trick.

    Will steered the conversation to pleasant banter about the wildflowers on the way up to the ruins that he’d said Nora was visiting, and the birds that were migrating at this time of year, keeping the topics off anything potentially agitating.  The tea was starting to take effect and Clara and Bob relaxed and enjoyed the conversation.  They sipped the soup without protest, although Bob did grimace a bit at the thought of eating on an agitated stomach. He’d have indigestion for days, but didn’t want to be rude and refuse. He was enjoying the respite from all the vexation,  though, and was quite happy for the moment just to let the man prattle on while he ate the damn soup.

    “Oh, I think Nora must be back! I just heard her voice!” exclaimed Clara.

    Will had heard it too, but he said, “That wasn’t Nora, that was the parrot! It’s a fast leaner, and Nora’s been training it to say things….I tell you what, you stay here and finish your soup, and I’ll go and fetch the parrot.”

    “Parrot? What parrot?” Clara and Bob said in unison.  They both found it inordinately funny and by the time Will had exited the kitchen, locking the door from the outside, they were hooting and wiping the tears of laughter from their cheeks.

    “What the hell was in that tea!” Clara joked, finishing her soup.

    What was Nora doing awake already? Will didn’t have to keep her quiet for long, but he needed to keep her quiet now, just until the soup took effect on the others.

    Either that or find a parrot.


    “I’ll be right back!” Nora told Will, who was stirring a big bubbling pot on the stove. “Need to wash my hands.”

    She had a quick look around the bedroom she’d slept in for her missing phone. Nowhere to be found!  Maybe she could find Will’s phone when he went out to feed the donkey, and call her phone to try and locate it. Damn, that wouldn’t work either. Will had said there was no network here. That would explain why her phone stopped working when she was alone in the dark woods.

    “Smells delicious!” she said brightly, scraping a chair back across the brick floor and seating herself at the kitchen table.

    The home made soup was chock full of vegetables and looked and smelled wonderful, but it had a peculiar acrid aftertaste.  Nora tried to ignore it, taking gulps of wine in between each mouthful to eliminate the bitterness.  She wished it wasn’t soup in a way, so that she’d be able to surreptitiously palm some of it off onto the dogs that were waiting hopefully under the table.  If only Will would leave the room for a minute, but he seemed to be watching her every move.

    “Very tasty, but I can’t manage another mouthful, it’s so filling,” she said, but Will looked so offended that she sighed and carried on eating. He topped up her wine glass.

    By the time Nora had finished the soup, she felt quite nauseous and stood up quickly to head for the bathroom. The room started to spin and she held on to the edge of the table, but it was no good. The spinning didn’t stop and she crashed to the floor, unconscious.

    Smiling with satisfaction, Will stood up and walked around the table to where she lay. Shame he’d had to put her to sleep, really she was quite a nice woman and cute, too, in a funny elfin way.  He’d started to like her.  Plenty of time to get to know her now, anyway. She wouldn’t be going anywhere for awhile.

    He picked her up and carried her to the secret room behind his workshop on the other side of the patio.  The walls and floor were thick stone, and there were no windows.  He laid her on the bench, locked the door, and went back in the house to fetch blankets and bedding and a pile of books for her to read when she came round.  Probably not for a good 24 hours he reckoned, somehow she’d managed to eat all the soup.  He would put much less in the next batch, just enough to keep her docile and sleepy.

    It would only be for a few days, just long enough for him to find that box and move it to a safer location. He’d been entrusted to make sure the contents of the box were preserved for the people in the future, and he was a man of his word.

    If they had listened to him in the first place this would never have happened.  Burying a box was a risk: all kinds of possibilities existed for a buried box to be accidentally unearthed.   He had suggested encasing the contents inside a concrete statue, but they’d ignored him. Well, now was his chance.  He was looking forward to making a new statue.


    In reply to: Tart Wreck Repackage


    The words of the Great Leader Undisputed Gabe were still resonating in the back of Gavin’s mind. The promotion to Operating Tomathetan seemed a great honour on the surface, but it certainly brought its lot of responsibilities with it. And from what he had seen before, it would only add to his current ones.

    Gavin descended the Pealgrim path to the Dark Room where all the sorting happened. Many trails from the many carrot fields combined into one and all led to that central building all painted in black, hence its name.

    A zealous Seed level had recently been put in charge of the re-painting. As there was only black paint in the warehouse he had the genius idea to save the order some money by using only what they already had, and as there was enough paint he covered all the windows, certainly thinking light could damage the crops. Repainting everything was out of the question so they had kept it like that and just added some artificial light to help the workers. Great Leader Undisputed Gabe, had thought it was a nice initiative as now workers could work any hour of the day.

    When Gavin entered the Dark Room, it reeked of carrot and sweat. Members of the cult of all ages were sorting the divine roots by shapes, sizes and thickness. Most of them didn’t know what was the final purpose, innocent minds. All they had was the Sorting Song written by Britta the one legged vestal to help her fellow cultshipers in their work.

    If a carrot is short, not worth the effort
    As a long stalactites, like ice on your tits
    A bar thick as a fist, you’ve just been blissed

    Each verse gave advices about what they were looking for, where to put them after sorting and each team had their own songs that they sang while doing their work with the enthusiasm of cultshipers. Even though the song had been crafted to answer most of the situations in terms of carrot shapes, sizes and thickness, it happened that some would not fit into any categories. And recently, those seem to happen more often than once and the pile of misshapen carrots threaten to exceed that of the others combined.

    “Eugene, Have you found what is the problem?” asked Gavin to their agronomist. His surname was Carrot and he came from noble Irish descent, quite appropriate for his work, thought Gavin. Eugene was skinny with a long neck and he often seemed to abuse the ritual fasting ceremony ending with the consumption of sacred mushroom soup.

    “It’s because of the microscopic snails that infest the crops,” Eugene said. Gavin couldn’t help but notice an accumulation of dried saliva at the corner of his mouth. “They’re carried by bird shit and they are too small to be eaten by our ducks and in the end they cause the carrots to grow random shapes unfit for Odin.”

    Odin, short for Organic Dildo Industry, has been the main source of revenue for the cult. Since the start of the confinement the demand has skyrocketed. Especially appreciated by vegans and nature lovers, it also procured a nice orange tan on the skin after usage.

    “Can’t you find smaller dwarf ducks?”

    “Your Gourdness, microscopic means very tiny, even dwarf ducks wouldn’t be able to eat them unless they eat the carrots.”

    “And that would be a problem,” sighed Gavin. “What is your solution then?”

    “I don’t have one.”

    Gavin raised his hands to the black roof in despair. Did he have to do the jobs of everyone? He needed some fresh eyes and fresh ideas.


    They had to stop to get some rest. Rukshan knew the signs, the song of a black swan, a nesting bear in the forest, cubic clouds… All strange omens not to be taken lightly. He told the others they’d better find shelter somewhere and not spend the night outside.

    As soon had he make the announcement that he saw the relief on their faces. They’d been enthusiastic for half a day, but the monotony of walking got the better of their motivation, especially the kids who were not used to such long journeys out of the cottage’s safety.

    Fortunately they were not far from the Sooricat Inn, a place lost in the woods, it still had four walls, warm food and almost certainly a hot bath. Let’s just hope they’re open, thought the Fae.

    When they arrived, the owner, an old man from Sina, looked at them suspiciously.

    “Ya’ll have your attestation? I can’t believe ya’re all family. Don’t think I’m a fool, ya’re a Fae, and this little fella there, he’s smaller than the children but has a beard. Never saw anything like him,” he said with rumbling r’s pointing at the children and Gorrash with his chin. The dwarf seemed offended but a stern look from Rukshan prevented him from speaking.

    “Anyway,” continued the innkeeper, “I can just sell ya food. Not’ing parsonal. That’s rooles, ya’know with the all stayin’at home thing from Gavernor Leraway, I can not even let ya’in. Ya can buy food and eat it outside if ya want.”

    “Look, it’s almost twilight,” said Rukshan. “We’ve walked the whole day, the children are exhausted.”

    Tak and Nesy showed their best puppy face, risking to make Fox burst into laughter. That seemed to soften the man a little.

    “Oh! I really shouldn’t. I don’t like breaking rooles.”

    “I knew you more daring, Admirable Fuyi,” said a booming voice coming from behind them. They all turned around to see Kumihimo. She was wearing a cloak made of green and yellow gingko leaves, her silvery white hair, almost glowing in the dark, cascading beautifully on her shoulders. A grey cat strode alongside her.

    “Oh! that’s just the donkey, Ronaldo. It got transformed into a cat after walking directly into a trap to get one of those darn carrots. He knew better, don’t pity him. He got what he deserved.” Kumihimo’s rant got a indignant meow, close to a heehaw, from Ronaldo.

    Kumi! I can’t believe it’s ya!” said the innkeeper.

    “You two know each others?” asked Rukshan.

    “It’s a long story,” said the innkeeper, “From when I was serving in Sina’s army, we had conquered the high plateaus. I gave up the title of Admirable when I left the army. After Kumi opened my eyes.” Fuyi’s eyes got wet. “Ah! I’m sure I’ll regret it, but come on in, ya’ll. Let me hear yar story after you taste the soup.”


    Ric was confused as to why he found himself flushed and vaguely excited by Bossy Mam’s sudden and attractive outburst.
    He was so glad the two harpies were off to goat knows where, or they would have tortured him with no end of gossiping.

    Still troubled by the stirring of emotions, he looked around, and almost spilled the cup of over-infused lapsang souchong tea he had prepared. Miss Bossy was the only one to fancy the strong flavour in a way only a former chain smoker could.

    Thankfully, she was still glaring at the window, and while he had no doubt he couldn’t hope to give her the slip for that sort of things, she probably had decided to just let it go.

    He took the chance to run to the archives, and started to dig up all he could on the Doctor.
    Sadly, the documents were few and sparse. Hilda and Connie were not known for their order in keeping records. Their notes looked more like herbariums from a botanist plagued with ADHD. But that probably meant there were lots of overlooked clues.

    He flipped through the dusty pages for a good hour, eyes wet with allergies, and he was about to bring Miss Bossy the sorry pile he had collected when a light bulb lit in his mind.

    How could I miss it!

    He’d never thought about it, but now, a lot of it started to make sense.

    Thinking about how Miss Bossy would probably be pleased by the news, he started to become red again, and hyperventilate.

    Calm down amigo, think about your abuela, and her awful tapas,… thaaat’s it. Crème d’anchovies with pickled strawberries… Jellyfish soufflés with poached snail eggs on rocket salad.

    His mind was rapidly quite sober again.

    Taking the pile of notes, he landed it messily on the desk, almost startling Miss Bossy.

    “Sorry for the interruption, M’am, but I may have found something…”
    “Fine, there’s no need for theatrics, spill it!” Miss Bossy was ever the no-nonsense straight-to-business personality. Some would have called her rude, but they were ignorants, and possibly all dead now.

    “There was a clue, hidden in the trail of Hilda’s collection. I’m not sure how we have missed it.”

    “Ricardooo…” Miss Bossy’s voice was showing a soupçon of annoyance.

    “Yes, pardon me, I’m digressing. Look! Right here!”

    “What? How is it possible? Is that who I think it is?”

    “I think so.”

    They turned around to look across the hall at Sweet Sophie blissfully snoring.

    “I think she was one of her first patient-slash-assistant.”

    “How quaint. But, that explains a lot. Wait a minute. I thought none of his patients were ever found… alive?”

    “Maybe she outsmarted him…”

    They both weren’t too convinced about that. But they knew now old Sweet Sophie was probably unwittingly holding the key to the elusive Doctor.


    Eleri nodded off to sleep after a warming bowl of Alexandria’s mushroom soup, followed by a large goblet of mulberry wine, and woke up to the warmth of the flickering fire her friend had lit while she’d been dozing. They sat in a companionable silence for awhile, and even the little dog was silent. Alexandria smiled encouragingly at Eleri, sensing that she had things on her mind that she wished to share.

    “I had an idea, you see,” Eleri began, as Alexandria topped up her wine goblet, “To do something about Leroway. I fear it may be considered intrusive,” she said with a little frown, “but I expect it will be welcome notwithstanding. Drastic measures are called for.”

    Alexandria nodded in agreement.

    “The thing is, since I had this idea, I’ve remembered something that I’d forgotten. Hasamelis It’s all very well turning people into stone statues, but I must ensure they don’t reanimate, and there was the issue of the vengeful emotions on reanimation. Luckily that damn rampaging reanimated guy never caught up with me, and we don’t know where….”

    “Oh but we do!” interrupted Alexandria.

    “You do?” exclaimed Eleri. “Where is he?”

    “He’s behind you!”

    Eleri slopped wine all over her lap and she jumped up to look behind her. Sure enough, Hasamelis was lurking, thankfully immobile, in the dark corner of the room. Eleri looked at Alexandria enquiringly, “Is he..?”

    “Oh yes, don’t worry. He’s quite rigid and immobile again. We found the spell you see, Yorath and I.” Eleri swallowed a frisson of jealousy as her friend continued, “ Yorath got a clue from you, when you brought the bones home. I provided the missing ingredient by accident, when I spelled Hasamelis wrong.” Alexandria chuckled merrily at the memory. “I jotted down Hamamelis instead and when Yorath saw it he said that was it, the missing ingredient: witch hazel! Witch hazel and ground bones to reverse a reanimation.”

    “I say, well done!” Eleri was impressed. “But how did you administer it?” She could not imagine getting close enough to him, or him being amenable to ingest a potion.

    “We ground the bones up and mixed them with distilled witch hazel and rolled them into little balls, and then catapulted them at him. I’m not very good with my aim, but Lobbocks was brilliant. We had to run like the blazes afterwards though, because it took some time to work, but Hasamelis did start to slow down after a couple of hours. He was heading this way, to your cottage, and eventually came to a standstill right here in this room. We managed to push him into that corner, out of the way.”

    “I wonder..” Eleri was thinking. “If I immobilize Leroway into a statue..”

    Alexandria gasped, and her hand flew to her mouth.

    “If I turn Leroway into a statue, I don’t want him reanimating at all. I wonder if we incorporate the witch hazel and the ground bones into the elerium in the immobilizing process it will prevent any reanimation occurring in the first place?”

    “I think you need to speak to Yorath,” suggested Alexandria. “But where is he?”


    “That is unfortunate,” said Rukshan when Fox told him about the dogs’ answer. They were all gathered around the fire on rough rugs for a last meal before activating the portal. For a moment shadow and light struggled on Rukshan’s face as the flames of the fire licked the woods, making it crack and break. A few sparkles flew upward into the dark starry night.

    Lhamom used the magic metal spoon to serve steaming soup in carved wooden bowls, and Olliver was doing the service.
    When he took his, Fox felt a chilly breeze find its way past his blanket. He shivered, put the bowl on the carpet in front of him and attempted to readjust the yakult wool blanket in a vain attempt to make it windproof. He took back the bowl and took a sip. The dogs barked in the distance. They were impatient to start the hunt. Fox shivered again.

    “I could still serve as bait,” Fox said because he felt it was his fault if the plan failed. “You know, surprise the dogs while they are focused on the Shadow and make it follow me to trap it into the portal after we crossed it.”

    “Don’t be ridiculous,” said Rukshan. “It’s too dangerous. If you try to do that, we could have not one but two problems to solve. And you might get stuck too.”

    Fox tried not to think about the implications of being stuck here, or in between the portals. He looked at Olliver who was looking at his soup as if it was the most important thing in the world.

    Rukshan shook his head. “No. It was a foolish of me to hope those dogs would help us.”

    “What can we do then?” asked Lhamom. They all drank their soup, the silence only broken by the fire cracking and the dogs barking.

    “I can be in several places at once,” said Olliver quickly. Fox held his breath.
    Lhamom and Rukshan looked at the boy.

    “I know,” said Lhamom. “You were so helpful today with the cooking and all.”
    “What do you mean?” asked Rukshan. “Olliver was with me helping me with the sand all day.” He stopped. His face showed sudden understanding. “Oh! Of course,” he said. “The book we burnt. The shard’s power was not only teleportation, but also ubiquity.” Rukshan turned to look at Fox. “You don’t seem surprised.”

    Fox shrugged, making his blanket slip off of his shoulders slightly. Before he answered he adjusted it back quickly before the warmth he had accumulated could vanish into the night. “Well I saw him… I mean them. How do you think I came out of the negotiation alive? I can not teleport! I don’t even know what my powers are, or if I have any now that the shards have gone.”

    “Grace and miracles,” said Rukshan with a grin.
    A strange cristalline noise rang to Fox’s hears.
    “What? Oh! Yes. Well, that explains it then,” he said, feeling a mix of grumpiness and contentment. He finished his soup and was about to leave the comfort of his blanket to take some stew when Lhamom took the bowl from his hands. She gave him a good serving and gave him back his bowl.

    “What is it about shards and powers?” she asked.
    Fox, Rukshan and Olliver looked at each other.
    “It’s…” started Fox.
    “It’s a long story,” cut Rukshan.

    “Don’t make as if I said nothing important,” said Olliver.
    The red of the flames enhances his angry look, thought Fox.
    “I can be at two places, even more, at once. I can still be the bait and go back home with you at the same time.”

    A dog barked impatiently.

    “Yes,” said Fox.
    “I’m not sure it’s a good idea,” said Rukshan, concern on his face.
    “Why? I’m not a boy anymore, if that’s what it’s all about. I can do it. I already did it this afternoon.”
    “Well this afternoon was nice and cosy, wasn’t it? You had plenty of light, and yes you helped Fox escape from the dogs, so you can certainly do it. But what about the Shadow spirit. We have no idea what it is, or what it can do to you. And what will happen if one of you get killed?”

    Once again, they fell silent. There was a dog bark and that strange cristalline noise again. It sounded closer.
    “What’s that noise?” asked Olliver. Fox suddenly realised the strange noise had nothing to do with the sound of miracles, but it was a real noise in the real world.
    “What noise?” asked Lhamom. “And what are you all talking about, shards and powers and ubiquity?”
    “I can hear it too,” said Fox. “I’ve heard it before, but thought it was just me.”

    The noise happened again, this time sounding a lot like metallic ropes snapping on ice.
    Fox wriggled his nose. There was the smell of an animal and of a human.
    “I think someone is coming,” he said, sniffing the cold air. “A donkey and a human.”

    It was not too long before they saw an odd woman riding a donkey. She was playing a lyre made of ice, the strings of which had a faint glow. The woman was smiling like she was having the best adventure of her life.
    “Hi guys. I came to help you. You didn’t think I would remain forgotten in my cave, did you?”

    Kumihimo! Ronaldo!” said Lhamom, standing up.


    “You see,” Godfrey pointed out with the rolled paper “Finnley’s got a point here.”
    “And what point pray you say?” Liz’ looked outraged at the lack of encouragements.

    “Oh, I don’t know, I just said that to grab your attention for a minute.” Godfrey smiled from the corner of his mouth.

    Liz’ could not think of something to say, suddenly noticing with amazing details the tense silence, and the small gathered crowd of people looking at her in a mix of face expressions. A scene from her last hospitalisation came back to her, and the horror of trying to seem sane and not utter anything strange to those so-called experts, who were gauging her sanity like hyenas laughing around a tentfull of human snacks.

    “You have my full attention.” she heard herself say unexpectedly.

    “That’s really the first step in rehabilitation” the doctor opined with a pleased smile.

    “Did, did I relapse again?”

    “What are you talking about Liz’?” Godfrey was back looking at her with concern in his eyes. She had never noticed his eyes before. Only the furry moustaches above them.

    “I think I got lost in the story’s threads again…” Liz’ felt like a little girl being berated by the teacher again, and by her mother for not standing for herself.
    “Yeah, it’s a bit of a dumpster…” Haki said snarkily, to which Liz quickly replied mentally “go away, you’re just a character, I fired you many threads ago.”

    Liz’, you have that vacant expression again, Liz’!” Godfrey was waving at her face.
    “Stop DOING that, you old coot! What’s wrong with all of you!”

    Felicity took a reprieve from her observation post ogling the gardener’s backside, on the guise of bird-watching, and snickered “told you it wasn’t going to go anywhere.”

    “Hold on” Godfrey stopped her in a conciliatory tone. “your attitude isn’t really helping Felicity. And Liz sharing her dream recall is a good thing, honestly, we could all do with a bit of getting in touch with our magical self.”

    “Oh, I’ve had enough of this loads of bollocks” Felicity said, and she packed and left for good.

    “That was a bit abrupt ending, but I like it” opined Godfrey at second reading. “Actually like it better than the version where she jumps through the window, probably pushed by the maid she criticized about the hair in the pea soup.”

    “That’s about as magical as I can muster for now, Godfrey, give me time.” Liz smiled relieved that the mummy ordeal was behind her. “Fuck murmality” she smiled impishly, “let’s start a new fantasy thread.”

    “With dragons in it?” Godfrey’s eyes were beaming.

    “Oh, you and your damned dragons…”


    Liz adjusted her reclining chair and lit another cigarette. Idly, she contemplated getting up to make another cup of tea, but was not thus far compelled to take the necessary action. There were advantages and disadvantages to locking the others in the cellar to work on her anthology. She had to make her own tea, it was true, but the unaccustomed peace was worth it ~ so far, anyway. Glancing out of the window, she noticed the lawns were in need of mowing and the herbaceous borders needed dead heading, but it was still green and pretty, if a trifle unkempt, and the birds still sang in the branches of the plum tree. “Blubbit, blubbit, blubbit,” they seemed to be calling, with the occasional “peakle!” shreik.

    “Can’t get the staff to stick around and mow the grass these days,” the thought popped into her head, which reminded her of something else, something a wise man had once said about certain types of gardeners. “Great at planting the seeds, not so reliable about finishing the weeding, though.”

    A loud rumble like approaching thunder roused Liz from her thoughtful reverie. She was hungry. “I wonder if Finnley had the decency to leave some Peasland soup in the freezer?”


    The early morning sea mist was evaporating as Fanella strolled around the village picking up dog shit. She reminded herself to fully appreciate the damp coolness, before the scorching summer sun enveloped them in a bone warming blanket, and then reminded herself to appreciate the bone warming effects of the full sun later. As she retraced her steps she noted how differently everything looked on a return journey, how piles of dog shit had escaped her notice while going one way, but were obvious on the way back. It reminded her of something she’d read recently in one of the books that Lisa insisted she read to improve her English ~ A Field Guide To Getting Lost . Hah! Had there been a cruel irony in that choice of book? Fanella had felt lost ever since she arrived in 2020. But according to the book, getting lost wasn’t a bad thing, not at all.

    To be lost is to be fully present, and to be fully present is to be capable of being in uncertainty and mystery.

    Fanella sighed. All sounds very philosophical, but I’m still stuck in the wrong time zone.
    Another passage from the book popped into her head:

    We treat desire as a problem to be solved, address what desire is for and focus on that something and how to acquire it rather than on the nature and the sensation of desire, though often it is the desire between us and the object of desire that fills the space in between with the blue of longing.

    Fanella gazed up at the sky ~ the blue of longing was taking over, as the white wisps of clouds dispersed.

    The people thrown into other cultures go through something of the anguish of the butterfly, whose body must disintegrate and reform more than once in its life cycle…. how often the early stages of change or cure may mimic deterioration. Cut a chrysalis open, and you will find a rotting caterpillar. What you will never find is that mythical creature, half caterpillar, half butterfly….No, the process of transformation consists almost entirely of decay.

    Charming, Fanella thought, just bloody charming. Rotting soup of change, that just about sums it up. No wonder I wake up every morning with my bones feeling like mush.


    The Pointy Hat surge had been resurrected in Spain, a premature re-enactment of an elaborate ritual of the religious past. Premature because the ritual wasn’t quite in the past yet, but was hovering on the shoreline of past ritual and future re-enactment. The overall energy of the surge was difficult to categorize, and a challenge to divert ~ if indeed, a diversion was necessary.

    Mari Fe was wary of creating another fiasco like the Three Kings Parade, and had not announced any detiled plans, or any details, either. She trusted that should a surge diversion team be required, a surge diversion team would appear; and sure enough, the Wordblade had answered her call. Mari Fe was aware of the false flag propaganda about the Wordblade, and the deliberate rumour that the Surge Team was looking for him, but she secretly admired his alphabet slaughtering ways and radical approach.

    As the letters of the alphabet came straggling in from the battlefields of the south, Mari Fe welcomed them, and gave them all soup, urging them to rest. She warned them that they may be called on during the weekend, if the premature retro rituals got out of hand.


    The taser was a long range and when Mari Fe threw it away, it inadvertantly triggered the mechanism. The waiter was at that moment bringing a big plate of very hot soup to the table near Elza’s and was shocked. His body was shaken and Elza watched the soup making an odd design before splashing upon the table just behind her. She took advantage of the confusion to sneak out of the restaurant without paying the bill.


    Madam Li contemplated the pill-like translucent object glowing bright red which could barely fit in the palm of her delicate hand.
    People usually said that you could try and hide your age as well as possible on your face, but that hands didn’t lie. Hers actually were still a young woman’s fine delicate and smooth work-of-art.
    The snow had stopped immediately, leaving the weather in the Pudding area as it used to be: a pale mist of polluted fog, thus returning Shanghai to its normal weather patterns. The rote was there in her hand, full of the last surge’s energy, a tempting promise of uncontrollable power, but she had seen far too much power struggle and horrors to be really tempted by it.

    Ed’s demise had taken her by surprise. Although she did look young, it was her heart who really betrayed her. She hated people leaving her, and she would have expected Ed to survive her own death. It was the first time she was considering ever so briefly the thought of retiring. Of course, she still would need to find a replacement at her post, but China was full of eager potentials, that wouldn’t take too long.
    Putting the rote in the diplomatic case, her gaze trailed on the invitation, still on the table. She wasn’t ashamed to admit her first thought went to the cleaning lady who had been careful to dust all around it, without moving it an inch off the glass table top.
    Spain just came as an afterthought, already having lost its appeal as soon as summoned.

    Wrapping herself in her white fur coat, she called for a taxi. She would be just in time for the ice festival in Harbin with a warm dog legs’ soup and some yak butter tea.


    The pop-corn rain usually laid a crunchy crusty yellow blanket on the lands of Peasland, a mild contrast with the pea-green tint of the lands in the season of Spea’ing.
    In late Summer, New Peasland’s weather used to be the season of subs-tractors, big-wheeled vehicles which harvested the blown up corn of the fields, one of the rare alternatives to pea soup and marmite. Sadly, with all the blubbits around, hardly a few popcorns were left for the noble people of Peasland to eat, spread in muddied pools tainted of blubbits poohs.

    “This has to cease!” Pee Stoll muttered after another raucous gurgling of his belly. The great portal of Nibabuz was a few days walk, and they would need all their strength to get there. Blessed was his dear Penelope, who’s been gleaning the few edible popcorn from the last shower and was feeding their heads on the mantelpiece.


    A non exhaustive list of Ancient Channeled Recipes

    • Glukenitch kebabs
    • Borgulm tart (also known as the Snoot’s tart)
    • Flynn and chips
    • Langoat Crumble
    • Horny Goatweed and Spam soup
    • Reindeer Pee Sorbet

    Norm! NORM!!” Sue Flay shouted. “We’re filming the garden scene now, where are you?”

    But Norm was nowhere to be found. He’d stumbled upon an unexpected problem while filming T’Eggy & Phlynn with Sue Flay ~ a problem too embarrassing to mention, and one he could hardly keep a secret, given the nature of the P Movie. He’d managed to excuse himself during the last scene, feigning illness, but what if it happened again today?

    “You’re focusing on what you don’t want again, Norm.” The voice made him jump. He’d thought he was alone in the treehouse, he thought no-one would find him hiding there in the leafy depths of the spinney, high up in the foliage. He looked around, wondering where the voice was coming from.

    “You haven’t generated me physical, Norm, but you can if you wish” the voice said.

    “How do I do that?” asked Norm.

    “Allow, that’s all” the voice replied.

    “Oh what rubbish!” Norm said in an agitated whisper. “What stupid advice!”

    “Ha ha ha! As you wish, my friend” replied the voice, sounding rather amused.

    “If you hadn’t just given me such stupid advice I might have felt more inclined to ask you for some advice about this awful problem” Norm whispered crossly.

    “Are you asking me for advice or not?”

    “Well if you’ve got anything USEFUL to say, then say it!”

    “If you go down to the garden today,
    You’re sure to have a surprise.
    There’s a herb growing there and you don’t have to pay,
    It’s growing in front of your eyes.
    The magic you see is everywhere
    It never runs out of stock
    Go down to the garden, if you dare….”

    “I asked you for advice, not a daft bloody poem!” Norm hissed.

    “You wish to be hard as a rock?”

    YES!” spat Norm in frustration, blushing furiously. What’s the friggen garden got to do with it?”

    “There’s a herb in the garden called Horny Goat

    “Oh PulEASE…..” Norm rolled his eyes.

    “Horny Goat Weed will do the trick.
    And straighten up your droopy…”

    ENOUGH! Good Grief, I get the message. What am I supposed to DO with it, roll in it? Eat it? Smoke it?”

    “It matters not, my friend. That’s the magic of it all. You can choose any method”

    “Are you sure about this?” asked Norm, who was willing to try anything at this point. “How do I know I can trust you?”

    “Ha ha ha! Trust youSELF, Norm!”

    “Who are you anyway?” Norm asked suspiciously.

    But the voice chuckled and faded, leaving Norm in a quandary in the treehouse.

    “Oh bugger it, I may as well give it a go. I can’t stay here forever, and anyway, I’ve run out of cigarettes.”

    Norm climbed down the tree and marched over to the the film crew.

    “Oh THERE you are Norm!” Sue came rushing up to him. “What perfect timing, we’re breaking for lunch.” She gave Norm a spontaneous hug. She really was rather nice, Norm thought, smiling at her.

    “Would you like some soup? We put lots of fresh herbs in it from the garden.”


    “My yellow is fine and dandy”
    Said green hued sickly Mandy
    “You’re mad to suggest
    A yellow sick fest”
    Said sickly green hued Mandy.


    That wasn’t one of your finest, dear, said Tina disparagingly.
    Becky sighed. I need to find a Limerick support group.

    Mandy felt better at once
    “I feel better than I have in months.
    You may be mad,
    And that is sad!
    But now I fancy some lunch.”


    These are special Kuzhebarian Healing Limericks you know, Becky said a trifle huffily. Nobody appreciates my limericks.

    Mr X is making some rice.
    It’ll be ready in just a trice;
    All soupy and wet,
    She’ll feel better I bet
    In a trice, at a modest price.


    “You tried”, she said with a smirk
    “But I doubt if it will work”

    Tina interrupted: “You tried she said with a sigh”

    Becky sighed. I was hoping you’d smirk dear, she said to Tina. The word smirk is on my ’100 things challenge’ list.
    Tina rolled her eyes and Becky continued:

    “But the poppy is making me high!
    So thanks for that!
    I’ll eat my hat.”
    She said, “Now I’m starting to fly!”


    Mandy flies off down the street,
    Smiling gaily at all she meets
    “I’m high, I can fly!”
    She said with a sigh
    Of joyous delight. How sweet!


    Mongloose had a moment of doubt
    “I fear she is still in a prout.
    But one never does know
    How these healing rhymes flow
    Before long she’ll be up and about.”

    :yahoo_idk: :heart:


    But what the heck is he doing? He’s not gonna puke into my car! Armando was giving short anxious looks at the rear having finally noticed where the frogging sound was coming from.
    Oh, no… Al is very professional Tina was giggling. You know, he’s a top consultant on health issues. He’d tell you that better than me, I’m just a cosemotologist, but he knows what he does
    Oh really? Armando sounded interested
    Indeed… Al started
    Cosemotologist? interrupted Armando, almost flying over a wild goose crossing the path of the car.
    Yes answered Tina, batting a few eyelashes in the process.
    It has to do with this new thing, like using emotions as make-up?
    Yes, sure. It’s pretty effective for black spots, for instance, I’m not telling that for you of course. Here’s my card, if you’re interested in some private consultation. I also do sebum-blotches analysis, all you have to do is apply your face on a sheet of paper…

    Oh, wasn’t that mean, Tina? although Sam was finding the discussion hilarious, he knew Armando was quite ticklish on his appearance.

    And what’s the use of his swelling and frog sounds then? asked Armando, in a subtle attempt to move the focus of attention away from him
    Mmm… I’m still experimenting, but it’s an alteration of some of our common digesting bacterias, to have us efficiently process some of the new foods. But as I see it, the process of adaptation of these new bacterias may have some unpleasant side effects of swelling. Fortunately, I’ve found some old beat in the MuSoundeum that seems to help dissipate the swelling effects… I suppose the singer is still alive now… Perhaps you even know her, she was called Britta Toothpicks

    Good grief, here it is! Armando was visibly very relieved to have the rooftop of their destination on sight. He started to descend abruptly, making Chump bark at the slight air decompression, and in a matter of minutes, at the sound of frogs and Britta Toothpicks’ beats, they had all landed safely on top of the River Soup Restaurant and Salsad a new hype all-you-can-eat restaurant, where people would sit on boats and scoop their food out of the soup-river.


    In reply to: Synchronicity


    Sir Edmund Hilary died today (11/1 2008). Sir Edmund is a famous and well loved Kiwi, known mostly for conquering Mt Everest with the Sherpa guide, Tenzing (in May 1953 when he was 33). Within NZ his death is a big thing, he is like people’s hero, and their friend. :yahoo_rose:

    Mount Everest, world’s hightest mountain, is 8,850 metres high. It rises a few millimetres each year due to geological forces. Mount Everest was named after Sir George Everest, the surveyor-general of India who was the first to produce detailed maps of the Indian subcontinent including the Himalayas

    When I first heard that he had died, a voice in my head said “he was 88”, although I was not aware of knowing his age. Anyway yes he was 88.

    Well , also this morning I was walking along thinking about the nature of synchs. I looked at a car number plate. It said HONEY B (honey bee). I thought well that’s unusual, but it’s not a synch is it? yet sort of knew somehow it was going to be, Tracy and I talked about it later. What about BRB I thought, that would be a good synch. The very next car was BRB.

    Anyway just now I learned that Sir Ed was a Honey Bee-Keeper.

    oh another synch! welll he was the only living NZer to be on a money note – on the $5 note – FUN number :face-grin: He was fun, he achieved great things, and humanitarian things, but for fun, because he loved it.

    A 2.3-metre (7.5 ft) bronze statue of Sir Ed was installed outside The Hermitage hotel at Mt Cook village, New Zealand, in 2003. :face-wink:

    a few quotes:

    • “We knocked the bastard off” – announcing he and Tensing had reached Everest’s summit to life-long friend George Lowe
    • “I thought, ‘well Ed, me boy, we’ve done it’.” – on reaching the Polar Plateau after leading the first vehicles overland in Antarctica to the South Pole (in 1957) and wondering “whether I was heading in the right direction”.

    (hahha i am watching a doco about his life as I write this, they just said that after reaching the summit and hugging, and leaving some chocolate and a cross for the gods, that ……… after a quick pee, they went down for some hot soup ahahhah pea soup synch :yahoo_straight_face:)

    Like the old abbot Hrih Chokyam Lin’potshee, Sir Ed loved the mountains and went “higher than anyone had ever been on the top of the mountains” Hrih, Eric’s comment

    wow i just noticed the new quote of the day well it is about India Louise and Hilarion Wrick. Hillary’s first wife, Louise, and daughter, died in 1975 in a plane crash on the way to India. They were just talking about it on the documentary, and how profoundly it affected Sir Ed’s life, when I noticed the new quote.

    —Just flow with the story my little one, don’t hold on too much, or you will find it too difficult, and you will stop to find fun in it. ~ Lord Hilarion Wrick



    In reply to: Scrying the Word Cloud


    A cloud-assisted demented rewrite, just for fun…


    SOME mean rather weird beings… THE brotherHOOD OF magic NEEDED TO SEND Elikozoe INTO A space Craft TO CARE FOR THE boy WHO felt six motherSHIPS COMING IN HIS dreams.

    DURING THESE moments easily FORGOTTEN, SOME others young legends WERE sent Aside TO answer AND bounce WITH alone aspects THAT wondered HOW TO keep focused.

    THE trees WERE laughing “yeah!” THEY SAID, AS Anita FELT cold AMONG THE roseS randomLY SCATTERED.
    SOME told HER ABOUT love, AS SHE asked WHETHER dragons REALLY seemed LIKE nothing ELSE SHE HAD SEEN BEFORE.

    Chris turned wondering ABOUT nature THESE days WHEN everyone, Elizabeth INCLUDED, KEPT thinking WHAT THEIR hair looked LIKE FROM behind.

    DEEP inside, SOME help began slightly TO COME TO THE lady AS SOON AS THE dark cloud HAD taken HER TO sleep. THE truth IN particular WAS LIKE A friend WITH purple COLOURS AND A skull IN HIS HAND, WHO sat WAITING FOR HER.
    “let HOPE COME, despite whatever FATE bringS TO THE door! YOU must wait SOMETIMES, AS factS follow!”

    Nice Tina WAS caught floating ON THE STREAM, AND moving ALONG IN A green jogGING GEAR WAS Joe, BOTH full OF IDEAS THAT gave THEIR friends AN experience NEWLY created. BUT THEY needed magpieS AND tried FOR THESE creatureS INSERTION TO work.

    FOR Arona, ALL WAS happening ON Earth LIKE SOME important dream. IT WAS LIKE dancing IN A real play, WITH THE sea NEARBY.
    A series OF dog-EARED BOOKS WERE NEARLY outside, AND deep INSIDE, SHE KNEW THE novelS WERE close TO surface OUR dimension, WITH HER head looking BEYOND, AS perhaps Yurick WOULD AGREE.
    HIS heart often sounds interesting, BUT OF ALL THE ones SHE liked, IT SHOULD BE herself.
    THE Duane SHALL BE rememberED, SHE thought, IN DUE times…

    WITH THE goat, Anna suddenly giveS THE blue busy spiders SOME NEW reality, AND Kay IS getting hot. SHE HAD forgotten THAT handS COULD BE making names, AND SHOUTING HER CreEd, THE voice OF THE girl SAID IT matterED THAT THE story became shouted IN THE sky.
    Eric WAS ENduring Sanso WHO loved THE sandY BEACHES.


    CLAD IN teal, SHE WAS waiting FOR HIS parents’ words TO HAVE moved AND TO BE connected. Franiel HAD FELT within HIMSELF four OLD fatherS’ ADVICES, AND HAD AGREED TO TALK TO Salome’S face AND ANSWER HER call THAT HAD APPEARED quickly UPON THE wall AND HAD BEEN wandering OVER HIS bed.
    HE careD FOR THE past, AND THAT VISION WAS telling. IN THE morning, HE SAW IT AS A gift, SHINING IN SOME DISTANT island, LIKE A moviNG presence.

    Yann VowED TO FIND HIS WAY IN THE soup OF linkS, AND FIND THE OLD godS’ energy THAT kept THE planetS MOVING.
    HE heard SOMETHING, A FUGACIOUS moment following HIS ADMIRING OF THE beautiful weather, UNDER THE Glistening sun. A SINGLE dragon’S hands COULD nurse POTENT writing abIlITIeS, AND soon WOULD open GREAT awareNESS OF joy AND moveMENTS AND music WHICH WOULD MAKE HIM laugh OF ALL THAT HE WAS creating WITHIN THIS focus.

    Tracy FEELS away OF THE action. IT seems QUITE human… NOTHING IS white DURING twilight, SHE noticed, AND FELT given TO understand.
    AS MRS Bellamy, SHE WOULD HAVE stopPED LONG ago, HAD NOT come THAT powerful mummy.
    WITH Georges startING TO APPEAR, worry BECOMES quietNESS FOR Jib, AND crystal-CLEARNESS FOR Sam.
    MANY years AHEAD IN A GALAXY far-AWAY, ANOTHER Dory IS named AND readS ABOUT DR Bronklehampton’s WORKS.
    HAVING TAKING leaveS, AND BEING gone FOR ALL, OLD Hrih DELVES INTO THE skulls AND HIS eyes SEE A next hope IN A book.
    MovementS HAPPEN FOR Claudio already… THE world woke UP IN surprise.
    A known sense OF TIMESPACE-travel APPEARS IN THE commentS, AS seen THROUGH light.

    Akita’S body AND mind started TO ACT LIKE A saint AND FEEL strange under THE change.
    “TO danGER, bugger!” WAS HIS decision NO longer… HE FELT warm… Towards THE worlds treeS, askING HIMSELF IF IT WAS A game, HE SAW TWO male children PLAYING against EACH OTHER.
    THEY managed TO show HIM THAT THE Murtuane WAS familiar.
    THE whole air WAS speaking. IT sort OF opened ITSELF SO THAT HE knew later OF THAT SPECIAL room OF TIME AND SPACE, AND HAD THE WIND AGAIN BRUSH HIS skin similar TO WHEN HE WAS seeing home IN HIS HEAD.

    Felicity IN THE BEDlam SAW half-formS, COUNTING three OF THEM, INCLUDING Gustav IN THE saloon, AND Becky WHO WAS THINKING SHE WAS AGAIN IN THE wrong PLACE: A monastery!
    SHE’D RATHER HAVE yourself BE A star, AND HERSELF BE HERE TO MAKE THE FUN postS AND playing lost.

    Eight powers smiled: true saying!
    THE sisters focuses IN THEIR caveS HAD SOME fine land TO PLAY WITH.
    Apparently sound WAS key once, BUT THE VOICES IN THE night speak UNCEASINGLY, AND TO write SOME great stories, SPEAK strongLY. THEY seem TO BE feeling yesterday SOME perfect movements…

    THE marmoset HAD FOUND A family, AND funny wordS TO process. IT laughed short GIGGLES
    AS FOR myself, SAID THE cat TO Floyd, I’D create A party-LIKE life, WHERE I DO AS I please, AND LET paper WORK AND feelINGS AND desireS AND tryING AND tellING TO monkey.

    IN THE FLOWING water, “aum” SOUNDS RIPPLED IN A huge dear dance beginning TO REFLECT himself IN images. HE sighed AS HIS attention GOT INVOLVED IN THE trip AND HE remembered…
    ON THE beach, obviously AWARE OF THE synchRONICITIES, THE creatures wanted TO CLAP THUNDEROUS applauseS.
    LIVING THE dead GUYS’ ideaS…

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