Adder Ladies & the Dawn of Ra 13
“So you’re here.” Ram’s father greets the young shaman as he steps into the parlour. Ram’yana closes the door to his childhood bedroom - where the Lady Racheal slumbers in exhausted satiation – as quietly as he can, while his father’s deep bass baritone rumbles through the building. “Ah… you’re not alone…”
The older man has borne many names in his various existences, through the bright and dark checkerboard years of the Twentieth Century. Most of his (now deceased) family knew him as ‘Ganeck’, while the name that was publicly assigned to him in the country of his birth was ‘Genius’ - pronounced with a ‘g’ as in ‘garrulous’.
The name he was known by among the ancient people of his extended tribe was ‘Gedalia’, and the name on his long-vanished birth certificate had been ‘Gustav’. His perspicacious father – Ram’s venerable grandfather - had been fairly certain that the belligerent nation of post-World War I Germany would soon invade their bucolic territory. He’d bestowed a suitable official name on his only son – one which he believed would help the boy fit in with the impending wave of conquering Aryans; ‘Gustav’ had fit the bill.
Genius’ father wasn’t merely paranoid, and his accurate prediction required little precognitive ability. An invading force had arrived every couple of decades for a millennium, and the land of his birth had acquired new borders and become part of a new nation or empire in almost every generation.
The country within whose temporary fictitious territory Genius had been born had only claimed his home town a few years before his birth, at the conclusion of ‘the war to end all wars’ (as it was known for the next two decades, until a new generation was old enough to be sent into the insatiable military meat grinder). Genius’s father had been born in the same location, but back then - in the late Nineteenth Century - the town had been part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Genius’ grandfather had lived within the imaginary borders of still another temporary nation, as had his father before him.
When the last surviving handful of Ram’s once burgeoning paternal line made their way to the Great Southland of Oz, the village of Ganek’s/Genius’s/Gedalia’s/Gus’s ancestors was claimed by the Soviet Union - whose held nominal title over the region for the next couple of decades. Today, of course, the town dwells in another nation entirely.
Borders have always been nothing more than arbitrary lines drawn on the living landscape, and this salutary fact is particularly evident to those who inhabit the lands around the eastern European territory to the north of the Transylvanian Massif. For a thousand years, Genius’ family had been concealed within the river valleys that extended away into the mountainous distance to the south of the old
The name of the town where Ram’s father had been born boasted a sibilant name; a shortened version of an onomatopoeic phrase that means ‘the place where the Mongols beheaded everyone’. The nasty-sounding word is redolent of a sword’s sharpened edge being dragged through skin and bone. The town isn’t far from the modern-day eternal disaster zone of Chernobyl, which blanketed the area in ineradicable nuclear fallout a few decades after the family finally left the
The Centraxian high priest’s family had dwelt in the town for a long time, as measured by the customary short-term view of the modern era; Ram’s paternal ancestors had arrived at the isolated valley a millennium before their descendants departed it. After following a branch of the old
Genius survived and escaped a life sentence in the wasteland concentration camps of the Siberian gulags; his father was sentenced to life imprisonment in the snowy wastes and mosquito-infested tropical swamps on two occasions – once by the Imperial Tsar’s secret police and a second time by Stalin’s KGB. The genocidal Man of Steel’s tally of murders made even Hitler’s obscenities seem small by comparison, and the Russians literally lost their collective minds when Joe Ishkavilli’s executioners killed anyone intelligent enough to protest against his crimes (Stalin was another man with many names). Ram’s grandfather Shrule had been a student activist in
In the aftermath of the Revolution the Bolsheviks had freed the young publisher before his twentieth birthday - but a generation later the Man of Steel’s agents had sent Genius’s father back to the concentration camps, along with his entire family - reasoning that anyone capable of criticising the Tsar of All the Russias was a dangerously unpredictable wild card who could easily become an affront to any authority.
The KGB decided that anyone who was related to such an uncontrollable menace might be similarly dangerous, and scattered Shrule’s entire family across the wildly differing terrain of the Siberian wilderness, imprisoning them all in various far-flung work camps. Genius’ mother – a kindergarten headmistress - had been forced to dig potatoes from permafrost using only rocks and her bare hands, while her husband and son were sent to typhoid-riddled camps with particularly low survival rates. They were subsequently carted from one extreme location to another every couple of months, regularly being shifted through temperatures that ranged from thirty degrees Fahrenheit below zero to a hundred and twenty above.
Most of Genius’s extended family perished in the ice or mosquito-infested tropical swamps, and almost all who escaped the Man of Steel were crushed under the jackboots of Hitler’s nation of brainwashed ‘supermen’. Young Genius had been fifteen when the family was arrested, and had been fortuitously taken under the wing of a camp doctor. He managed to survive by helping all the other victims of history, who died in their thousands around him; a no doubt triumphal history replete with marching band soundtrack, written by the partial victors in an endlessly cruel unnecessary game.
“Despite everything,” Genius has said more than once with a faint air of apology, “I suppose I should thank Stalin – after all, if he hadn’t sent us to the camps the Nazis would surely have finished us off. The camps were the only places we could be safe from Hitler.
“But I really love Americans,” Genius is just as often wont to declare. “Not the government, of course, but the American people; you have to remember that
When many kids look under their parents’ beds they find girly magazines; the publications that Ram’yana had found under his parents’ old sprung bedframe were filled with stark black and white images of emaciated living skeletons, and showed huge heaps of asexual naked bodies lying beside or within muddy trenches. The publications were testimonies to the grisly excesses of the European death camps and Genius had made only the barest attempt to secure them from the view of his curious children. The young shaman had found other types of magazines as well, and tended to concentrate on the colourful pictures of healthy smiling females, rather than the necrotic monochrome war shots; yet the gruesome images of sundered lives occasionally appeared to populate the bedroom walls of his childhood nights thereafter.
Terror is the preferred tool of all dynastic despots, religious fanatics and petit tyrants. In the Cold War times a hydrogen bomb could detonate above you at any moment – or so everyone was entrained to believe - and death was a dark shape that lingered just out of everyone’s peripheral vision, a constant handmaiden that could never be fully forgotten. Ram’s childhood was filled with portents of global death, variously declaiming nuclear war, new poisons in the food chain, ubiquitous industrial toxins, air pollution and a host of other terrors as harbingers of the ever-coming End Times. Fortunately, hope springs eternal, and his childish nocturnal dreamings slowly became filled with more enticing and healthy fantasias from the other magazines - which his school friends had freer access to – and from the artfully decorated delectable forms displayed all around him in the swinging ’60s and sexy ’70s.
Seven years beyond the cusp of those tumultuous psychedelic decades, the young shaman meets with his father in Genius’s ice-cold brick house. His grandfather Shrule dwells in peaceful retirement in a nearby beachside suburb of the
In an encapsulated microcosm of his family’s long, long history, Ram’s grandparents have seen many empires rise, fall, and be forgotten by short-sighted successors - who follow in the doomed and damning footsteps of temporary feudal tyrants. His grandfather has witnessed times when books were set aflame and seen many cities torched - and watched his family be burned up in the all too personal firestorm created by his own writings and activities. When he and his wife arrived on the ancient dreaming continent with a boatload of fellow refugees, all they were interested in was hard work and a better future. Like many who managed to make their way to the new nation of Oz, they realized that the old world and the ancient ways of their ancestors had failed them spectacularly, and were pleasantly surprised to find freedom, equality and hope in the youthful antipodean democracy – a newly independent nation that’s younger than Ram’s grandfather.
Almost everyone living in the great southern land had originally come to the island continent because it was the furthest place from wherever or whatever they or their family were very deliberately leaving behind. Oz is a remote sanctuary and refuge that’s chock-full of refugees of all hues and creeds - but the survivors of the original inhabitants of the country have only recently been freed from local concentration camps, and officiously been declared to be human beings by the sanctimonious invaders.
Until a decade before the evening when Ram’yana and Genius are conversing in the ochre-red house, the Aboriginal people who once foraged and hunted in the wetlands where the stolid structure now stands were officially designated as ‘wildlife’, and forcibly incarcerated in ‘Missions’ operated by pedophile priests and racist beurocracies.
Just as in the feud-torn ancestral homeland of the Philistines, the Israelites and the Canaanites, the modern Land of Oz was stolen from previous indigenous occupants by an invading nation of Red-coated warriors, who used bayonet-tipped lead shot weaponry to ‘subdue’ and ‘pacify’ the locals. Their imperial British masters employed diseases, poisons and all the mechanisms of mass murder to subdue the local indigenes, before moving on to more orderly and effective means of genocide.
After a hundred thousand years of relative peace in a ‘separate creation’, GOD had arrived in the Great Southland with Guns, Oil and Drugs. An unrivalled harmony of millennial peace in
The original people of Oz now dwell in isolated rural pockets and suburban fastnesses in the vast stolen country, a proud nation of many tribes who have never signed away nor ceded their land with a treaty of any kind; unbeknownst to the purblind Eurosurper invaders, the indigenous people rightly consider themselves to be still engaged in a war that’s lasted for two centuries. Many clans and tribes keep as entirely to themselves as possible, and most avoid the racist authorities, corrupted judiciaries and hypocritical laws of their oppressors wherever possible.
As the Australian Aborigines often observe, “What goes around comes around” – a far more subtle and deeply penetrative invocation than a plethora of equally meaningful but vapid-sounding pleas, such as “Do unto others,” or “May the circle be unbroken”. The recurring cycle that is the rutted history of Humanity’s ‘progress’ seems all but unbroachable in its blind repetitive march – yet when the wheel finally shifts on its axis it doesn’t shatter, but spirals onto a new plane of reiteration. With their multi-millennial perspective, the Aborigines know that the world regularly changes in ways unimaginable to their oppressors; they understand many meanings within the words to the modern song that goes, ‘don’t speak too soon, for the wheel’s still in spin’.
Some Aborigines speak of the British with sentiments reminiscent of Genius’s backhand compliment to Stalin; if the hordes of Mad King George hadn’t invaded the southern continent when they did, the fouler French, more sinister Spanish or downright destructive Dutch rulers might have all fought over the sacred landscape forever. As many educated Aboriginal people were aware, all the other Eurosurper cutthroats and their imperialist missionaries often meted out even harsher treatment on their colonial indigenes than their sanctimonious English oppressors.
As things stand, the only real war ever fought on the great dreaming continent has been the undying unacknowledged struggle between the Aboriginal people and the immigrant wage-slaves that the British Crown brought to a place they called a ‘separate creation’. The Empire discovered a vast, remote and completely unsullied Eden populated by utterly unknown animals, plants and spiritually adept venerable ancients who lived like happy children - and deemed the idyllic newfound utopia eminently suitable as a continental prison.
Sigh. Yet if British law hadn’t prevailed at the end of the Second World War, Ram’s father may well have not have been allowed into the country, and would never have met the shaman prince’s part-Aboriginal mother - and Ram’yana and his few surviving relatives might well not exist, and you certainly wouldn’t be reading this footnote in the Book of Life.
Such is the state of the direct descendants of biblical Aaron and his half-brother Moshe - the prince known as Dhutmose in the Egyptian court of the day (a princely character that you may know by the name of Moses) - and their half-brother the Heretic Naphuria, who is known today as Akhenaton or Amenophis IV. They all inherited many traits and talents from their illustrious and notorious father, the tyrannical Egyptian potentate coyly referred to in the babbling Bible as the Pharaoh of the Exodus - who is referred to by the nom-de-plume ‘Amram’ in the Talmud.
Unbeknownst to most who peruse the mosaic assemblages of fact and fiction known as ancient histories and religious texts, the trans-incarnate Tyrant who fathered the famous princes of lore was known to the Hebrews as Shishak – the living symbol of the Great House, immortal personification of the ‘Old Worm’, the Father of The Fall whose will was truly absolute. The Old Worm had been the multi-incarnate survivor of an ancient extra-solar cataclysm, and was easily capable of ruling most of the mammalian denizens of planet Earth; he was the prototype feudal emperor.
The Old Worm’s all-seeing eye inhabited the capstones of pyramidal societies that girdled the world before Moshe and Akhnaton, before Lucifer-Venus became the Morning Star – in the time of the ‘earlier heaven’, which prevailed until the Sun stood still for Joshua – and the Emperor’s will was absolute wherever the pyramid structures and caste systems remained. Even though much of the antediluvian ice age global empire had decayed, been lost, destroyed or diluted, the primary tool of the Old Worm had always been the use of ‘higher’, more focused consciousness to dominate the half-awake minds of domesticated primates.
Even without access to the now-useless technological aids to global power and communication (which had lost their function with the tilting of the planetary axis), the Old Worm Saros ensured his will was still communicated to and through surviving dynasties and priesthoods all around the globe. He controlled the last remnants of the first planetary empire - which had held most of the inhabitable regions of the world in thrall through the last long glaciation, via the multifaceted lens of a truly trans-local consciousness that transcended, guided and dominated the two-dimensional echoes of lesser mortal minds.
He was the Egyptian Pharaoh known to the Greeks as Typhon, and the same two syllables served as his signature in ancient
The Tyrant is referred to as Amenophis III by thoroughly confused generations of modern archaeologists, who struggle to decipher the occluded histories and lineages of an occult family of priestly nobles, persecuted alchemists and hereditary magicians. Another oft-used title for the first King of Kings is Rex Mundi – that old dragon-serpent Satan, the King of the World.
Immanuel Velikovsky and others have been vilified for pointing out that the events partially portrayed within Exodus took place in a different era than popularly supposed. Even harder to fathom for those immersed in confected textbook histories, the solar system only stabilised into its current configuration around the time of the ‘mythical’ birth of Rome (circa 687 BCE), when the alteration of the old world was completed in the climax of a series of cosmically inspired conflagrations.*
These events have been deemed too disturbing and potentially far too demoralising for religiously hypnotised modern wage slaves to be exposed to; most have been hidden behind veils of codified jargon and cultish text by dogmatic self-appointed custodians, and all competing testimony and evidence has been burned by equally fanatical pyromaniacs. Like the malleable future, history isn’t what it used to be.
After they departed Egypt, Ram’s ancestors became the ‘sacred’ bloodline entrusted with the care and transportation of the multifaceted apparatus known today as the Ark of the Covenant – the porters, operators and custodians of the huge gold-lined oaken Leyden jar and the specialised items and alchemic substances it contained. As ordained by Moshe, the populous tribe of Levite priests was exhorted to keep the tents of Ram’s small ancestral clan of high priests and the sacred tabernacle close by their own encampment, so that they could keep an eye on the Holy of Holies – and a closer eye on the bloodline of the secretive inner priesthood of magicians.
The hidden Thirteenth Tribe of the Hebrews had a tendency to be unpredictable, and the elders of the other tribes believed that they needed to be guarded from their own wandering ways and adventurous proclivities. The true antecedents of the Kohanim were well known but rarely mentioned among the multicultural tribes of the Exodus, and Moshe’s heavily accented and regal Egyptian way of speaking were subsequently passed off as a ‘speech impediment’ in a holy writ lie - which is still believed three millennia later in this brave new world, at the dawn of a blindingly bright new millennium.
The true nature of the deathless Tyrant who gave his name to the Great Comet (and departed with it after a thousand centuries of unbreakable Imperial rule) is rarely considered in the cynical worldviews of today’s materialistic insectile technocracies – but legions of his unwitting uber-great grandchildren can be easily recognised at the heights of today’s pyramidal, class-conscious and caste-riven hierarchical societies. Even in so-called egalitarian democracies, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer – and dynasties of interbreeding families prevail, ensuring that the old ‘sir’ names endure and flourish.
It’s easy to recognise the true children of the Tyrant Set-Typhon, whatever their race or publicly avowed credo; their provenance is evidenced by their propensity for dynastic control of economies and technologies, a yen for racial purity, a desire for ongoing social stasis based around the economic breeding-unit of the family, and a love of secretive Orders, regimentally dictatorial education systems and rigid class structures. They still skim all the cream and pluck the best fruits of everyone else’s labours from the summit of an ongoing global pyramid scam, and they persist within every race, tribe and nation on Earth - still dreaming the tyrannical dreams of the Old Worm who sleeps in the apple of their unopened eyes.
After the Second World War crunched to a conclusion, Genius had been a stateless citizen in the hands of the Soviets; while his parents had Russian passports, he didn’t even possess a forged identity card. Those who possessed passports were released after the end of the war, but when the KGB discovered Genius’ linguistic talents he was briefly put to work as a translator. His parents made representations in
When Ram’s father finally escaped the Russians he managed to find his parents in the ruins of
The conquering New World Orderlies were keen to compete with a greatly diminished
Genius had been keen to avoid recapitulating the errors of history and managed to avoid those who would have pulled down his trousers - and sent him to a new purgatory in the hate-filled desecrated land from which his ancestors had so willfully escaped. He jumped on the first boat that wasn’t going to Palestine; the steamer happened to he headed for distant Oz, a place only vaguely familiar from geography lessons that had been prematurely concluded one perfect sunny spring day, with the invasion of his Russian ‘liberators’.
Now Ram’s father occupies a comfortable reclining seat in his ice-cold house on the far side of the Earth, whither he fled to escape to the strife and struggles of three long blood-soaked millennia. After his years in
“Long see no time,” Ram’yana replies as he buttons his shirt. “We opened a bottle of wine…”
“So I see,” Genius observes. He voice is so preternaturally deep and loud that his normal speech sounds like a bear-like roar to those unaccustomed to his heavily accented tones. English is the seventh language he’s found it necessary to learn and his pronunciation is still catching up with his vocabulary. “We?”
“Ah.” Genius makes an effort to lower the volume of his voice. “I’m glad you came; you read the note?” Ram’yana nods and sits on the long black lounge, crossing his legs beneath the portrait of a green-skinned Asiatic woman. “So I don’t have to see her for a couple of days?” he asks with a hopeful lilt.
“Your probation officer says you have to get a job – a full-time job.” The words resonate between them with distinctly enunciated gravitas, as heavy as the legally binding judicial decree that they represent. Ram’yana stares at the piano while he desperately juggles rotating possibilities with his dextrous forebrain. “That shouldn’t be hard.”
His father leans back into his chair. “What did the Public Service have to say?” Along with many of their fellow Centraxians and other ‘underemployed’ associates, Ram’yana and the Lady Racheal had been recently coerced to attend a mandatory voluntary examination, to see if they could be slotted into a niche or cranny in the vast governmental beurocracy. Ill-fitting spherical cogs in the clutches of a very square machine, they’d had no difficulty with the rudimentary two hour examination – but they both knew that their freewheeling demeanours, disobedient lifestyles, political affiliations and wild appearances would ensure that they were blacklisted as untrustworthy activist hippies. Besides, they hadn’t filled in the word ‘Catholic’ in the box marked ‘Religion’ - and the Public Service took a dim view of those who wrote the word ‘Wicca’ or ‘magic’ in its stead. Ram’yana meets his father’s identical emerald gaze. “They never got back to me.”
“Neither did your probation officer; until now. She says they can put you away if you’re not fully employed – you know it’s a condition of the bond.” Genius leans forward and reaches for a broadsheet newspaper that lies atop the debris on the coffee table. “Here,” he says. “You can take a look at the employment section.” Ram’yana accepts the thick wad of paper with a definite air of reluctance. “Or if you prefer,” his father suggests, “you can come and work with me – as I told you when you were arrested.”
His son stares at the older version of himself across the abyss of a generation; despite the obvious differences created by age and extraordinary experiences, they’re so alike the resemblance is almost clonal. “At the drug company?” He smiles at his father, suspecting Genius must be joking. “How could I work there, after my bust?”
Genius takes the front section of the
“And I’d have to wear a suit…”
“No – just a tie. And a white collar.”
Ram’s eyes rove the cluttered room. “But I already have three part-time jobs…”
Genius interrupts his son’s dissembling self-defense. “They don’t qualify as full-time work.” It doesn’t take long for Ram’s father to convince him to talk to the boss; he can always apply for more suitably interesting jobs in the coming weeks, but the terms of his probation have already been stretched somewhat by the slow-turning wheels of beurocracy, and Ram’yana knows that the leeway afforded him has all but reached its limits.
He can certainly use the money; maintaining his harbourside apartment is chewing through his meagre resources at an alarming rate, now that the Lady Racheal has moved into her own separate creation. How can I tell the court? Ram’yana asks himself - inwardly referring not to the legal entity, but to the tribe of his Centraxian peers. The job’s in a drug company!
Kookaburras laugh at his concerns as the sun strives to rise above the layered smog of the
Other kids examine an assortment of new items that have been added to the little park since Ram’yana first began coming here, in the endless days of his bygone infancy. Small modernistic effigies of horses sway back and forth atop sturdy steel springs, and a sandpit has been installed beside the well-worn steel cubes of a Jungle Gym. New wooden seats have been fixed to the swings, and the old rusty bubbler has been replaced with a stainless steel version that actually works.
The playground is the familiar setting of many of the princely shaman’s dreams. Ever since he was a babe in arms he’s had many adventures with many different people in the little sandstone-walled park on the high hill. The playground has slowly evolved and become more elaborate as he’s grown, and the bare grass sward – which originally boasted a single pair of swings - has become more diversified in its entertainments, and the small stone pathway has been added to over the years, slowly lengthening into a serpentine walkway.
The bright blue sky is reflected in the waters of the
The young shaman’s eyes flutter as he hovers betwixt worlds. While he cuddles and soothes his distraught Lady atop the highest hill, he simultaneously lies snug in the carnal embrace of the beautiful young witch, and his legs dangle over the edge of the slim single cot in his childhood bedroom while her limbs enfold his slender frame.
When he attempts to shift his weight from her belly and breasts on the narrow mattress, he realizes Racheal’s skin has become adhered to his by a slick layer of intermingling perspiration. “We were going t’have a boy…” Her words slur from her lips in a barely discernible murmur, and at first Ram’s unsure that he’s heard them at all. He examines her face in the faint illumination which filters through the scrolling blind that covers the tall window, and Racheal appears to be fast asleep. She squirms beneath him as she continues their dream conversation, and whilst Ram’yana slips between the interpenetrating plenums his tumescence hardens within her coiling interior. “I’m so sorry…” she mumbles. “I didn’t know… Oh my darling, don’ leave me…”
As the tribal magician fully returns to the location of his supine body, his young woman grips him tightly, enfolding him within slender arms and silken thighs. “Rae,” he whispers into her ear as he strokes her long hair. “Rache… I’ll not leave, my love…” A thick knot swells within Ram’s chest and he attempts to dispel the grief that threatens to wash away his consciousness, damming a stream of tears that would otherwise match his Lady’s. He barely manages to hold back the words; Our son…
The young shaman feels the priestess’s wandering spirit merge with her flesh when her nostrils flare with a deep intake of breath. Her inward muscles clamp around him with autonomic familiarity as her fluttering eyelids pour out the salty tide of her grief. “Ramses,” she whispers through her tears. “Don’t stop.” Racheal sniffles and sighs, and buries her face in his long dark mane. Her fingers slide down his back and cup his buttocks, and she pulls him all the way into her belly as her legs spread wide to receive him. “Please stay with me.”
Ram’yana holds back another stream of thoughtless words as his tongue slides into her ear, while ideas echo sullenly in his waking mind; T’was not I who left, my love. She squeezes him tightly and he begins to move inside his responsive young bride. Their mouths meet in tear-laden salty succour as Racheal’s gasping snivels become breathless lusty cries. The narrow bed squeaks and creaks as the wooden frame twists with every thrust of their teenage bodies, and when the strident sounds of Racheal’s orgasm sets the kookaburras off on another gleeful round, Ram’yana belatedly remembers that his father is presumably sleeping in the next room – alone in his bed, above old photographs of moldering corpses and superannuated young Bunnies.
The young priestess and shaman make slow sticky love beneath models of Spitfires and Zeros in the languorous sultry dimness, and he smothers her cries with deep-throated kisses when she comes and comes again. Half an hour later the lovers are asleep inside each other’s bodies and minds; the day is half over when they finally rouse themselves after yet another extended bout of frenzied lovemaking, and Genius has been gone for hours when they emerge into the shadowy cluttered interior of the chill suburban house.
A humid summery miasma has settled over the
“Aye.” The prince stares at the spot where he buried his childhood companion; a mischievous kelpie named Rusty, whose bones still lie in the sandy soil. “So it seems. I have to speak to the boss, of course – but there shouldn’t be a problem if I tie my hair back.” He can feel Racheal’s laughter swelling before it explodes from her luscious pink mouth. “And ye’ll wear a tie? The Lilliputians are tying thee down with their usual efficient haste, my gullible Gulliver,” she says when she recovers her aplomb. “Tying thee by hair and throat – for starters.”
Ram takes a deep drag and bites back the first reply that enters his head before he breathes smoky words across the pale skin of Racheal’s nude torso. “It’s only a few weeks before my bond will be over. Besides – I hear they need animators over at Crow’s Nest.” Racheal’s eyes shift across an internal landscape as her lover watches her ponder the possibilities; they’ve both been engaged in cartoon animations for over a year – on mainly unpaid pro bono projects for fellow impecunious artists. “And please, my love - don’t tell anyone the job’s in a drug company.”
“Too late, my paranoid prince.” His Lady smirks as she delivers the tidings. “Many in the tribe already believe ye’ll be working with thy father; Wanderer and Kha-Aan have already made jest at thy expense…”
“But how could they know? I’ve only just made up my mind…” Racheal winks at him and her fingers glide along his thigh as she swallows a forkful of yolk before speaking. “I did a reading for them, of course.”
“Wonderful.” Ram’yana falls back into the long grass and stares up through interlaced branches into blue infinity. “Great.”
“’Twas my duty, ’ere they asked. And ‘tis fitting, after all,” Racheal says as she takes the joint from his fingers. “An utterly appropriate position for thee, my love – if a tad unlikely. But will’t leave time for thine other interests – and for me and mine?” Her hand encompasses his scrotum as she eyes him through a plume of smoke.
“’T’will have to,” Ram’yana replies to the sky. “Wilt thou come to the Palace tonight? I could use thy help in the projection booth…” Racheal breaks contact with his swelling flesh, and fingers her studded collar as she takes another puff. “Not tonight, love.” The prince turns onto his side next to a sunken bathtub that serves as a goldfish pond in Genius’s overgrown yard, and climbs up on one elbow as he gazes at his sun-dappled beloved.
“I have to get on with a painting,” she says, staring at the bright orange fish as their snouts nudge through the surface of their chipped enamel universe to taste the world beyond the sky. “So we’ll meet again tomorrow… if thou wilt…” When her eyes flash to his they’re the same colour as the sky reflected in the makeshift pond, and Ram’yana has an uncanny sensation that he’s looking right through the girl as Racheal passes him the diminishing smoke.
“Ain’t it a little smoky in here?” The Marcon’s unmistakable lilt fills the
Nathan the Marcon is particularly sozzled and the odour of whisky sours the ionized atmosphere of the small hand-built chamber he’d helped to construct. “So where’s Kha-Aan tonight, then?” he yells. “He hasn’t brought back those lights yet.”
“Not my bailiwick,” the prince avers. “Thou canst catch him at Fnord Fortress…” Ram’s camaraderie toward the Marcon has cooled and he’s kept his distance from his erstwhile mentor, ever since their violent encounter at the Centraxian Compound - which had ultimately precipitated the young lovers’ flight to a nest of their own on the far side of the harbour.
“”Taint my job to catch him,” Nathan proclaims. “But I keep track of all the wheres and whyfors.” The door swings open and the wily Welshman steps further into the booth to make way for Rendel, who carries a cigar in one hand and a half-drained bottle of imported whiskey in the other. “Come on in,” the Marcon exclaims as he closes the door behind the stumbling playwright. “Make yerself at home! Are we celebrating something?”
“Something or other,” Rendel says as he passes the bottle to the Marcon. “I can’t quite remember right now.” He sports a new haircut and wardrobe; his full-blown afro has been trimmed to within a curly inch of its life while his fulsome beard has become a formal shadow of its former casual form. He wears a carmine Hawaiian shirt covered with grass-skirted hula dancers, plucking ukuleles as they wriggle and dance around his torso. “What’s on next?”
“Monkey Business,” Ram’yana announces as he holds up a round metal can. He passes Rendel the second reel and steps toward the ancilliary projector to check that the film is correctly threaded. “It’s ready to go – J.D.’s supposed to relieve me so I can catch the last ferry.”
“That’s strange,” Rendel says as he squints through the viewing port. “I saw him stepping out with Tamara not ten minutes ago – they said they were going to her place.” Ram’yana sighs and leans back against a wall noggin. The relationship of the
“There ’e goes again, apologising all the time,” Nathan jeers between swigs. “Actually,” Ram says as he rounds on the Marcon, “’Tis thy responsibility!” The older man frowns as he passes the bottle to the young prince. “Don’t ye go heapin’ blame on me! What’s my responsibility?”
“’T’was one of those Mandies thou gave me last week,” Ram sighs. “I gave it to them during that gig when the black light shattered, and they’ve been inseparable again ever since.” He inverts the bottle and guzzles a mouthful before he realises what he’s drinking, and doubles over in a coughing fit when the last of the film reel clatters through the projector’s gate. “He means the fluorescent U.V. tube,” the Marcon informs Rendel; a semi-caustic precision has replaced his usually lax enunciation. “I keep telling people - that’s why you don’t put those fluorescent lights on the floor! Don’t you know about them? When they cut you, you don’t stop bleeding for hours…”
“’T’wasn’t my idea…” Ram’yana begins in an attempt at self-defense. The booth is suddenly filled with white light reflecting from the wall-sized screen of the cinema and he staggers to the second machine, setting it in motion an instant before reaching across to turn off the first projector. “Bravo!” Rendel yells. “The show must go on! Oh yes, now I remember – that’s what I’m celebrating; we’re starting an Event Company.”
“A what?” Nathan asks as he retrieves the bottle from Ram’s hand while the prince stabilises his ragged breath. Rendel fairly beams with pride while mopping perspiration from his brow and face with a white silk handkerchief. “We’re going to stage events and parties – and we’ll be doing a few upper crust gigs and fashion shows on the side; at first. That’s where the money is, after all!”
Nathan takes a long swig. “What – you and LSD Fogg?” the Marcon asks. “No,” the bearded entrepreneur replies. “This is something else. And no more gigs or bands - I intend to pioneer a new party scene – a big party scene. No live musicians; just carefully prearranged recorded music and a few performances by circus people and such. It’s quite the coming thing, I assure you.”
“Oh well,” Nathan opines as the Marx Brothers begin to perform their eternal antics on the large screen. “You were always good at throwin’ parties, I’ll give yer that. An’ yer going to cut into Fogg’s scene; I’m sure he’ll be chuffed!”
“No bands? Ram’yana enquires before the charismatic playwright and showman can react to Nathan’s insightful jibe. Rendel takes the bottle and offers his trademark cigars around as a peace offering. “Too much trouble,” he declares. “Besides – the writing’s on the wall; rock and roll has crashed and burned, and reggae isn’t going to take the world by storm. I suppose you Centraxians think the New Romantics will save the day – but the music scene is on its last legs, and venues are closing down everywhere.” He pauses to clip his cigar and light it with a wooden match before continuing in a meandering torrent.
“I prefer fashion shows – the money’s so much better! And DJs are the new deal – people who have money to spend aren’t interested in sweaty rock and roll gigs, and we’ll be running the bar as well as all the entertainment. We’ll control the door and advertising, and get to supply… all our patrons’ other needs as well.”
Nathan bites the end off his cigar and lights it with a match that he passes to the prince - who blows it out as he pockets his smoke for later. “Now I can see where yer coming from,” the Welshman says as Ram’yana flicks a switch to turn on a small ventilator, clearing the billowing smoke from the booth before it affects the free public screening. “Yer a cunning one, all right. An’ yer don’t even need to rent a real venue, right? Ye just use whatever’s available – hardly any overheads and the licensing cops probably won’t catch on for a while; not soon enough to make a difference, anyway.”
“Hopefully not,” Rendel agrees. “Not until we have enough spare cash to deal with that eventuality, at least. I suppose it’s inevitable.”
Ram’yana lifts the 16mm film reel from the cooling projector and slips it onto one of a pair of manual winding arms fixed onto a narrow wooden bench. He threads the film onto an empty reel and is about to begin rewinding it when his dilemma sinks home. “How am I going to get back across the harbour?” he asks no-one in particular. “I can’t give you a lift tonight,” the Marcon declares. “The ambulance has a flat and I’m staying with Alcyone.”
“Why not come back to my place?” Rendel asks around his cigar. “Racheal said she’d be there this evening. I’ll meet you back there later – come on over after the last reel.” Ram’s head snaps toward the bearded playwright and his eyes burn through Rendel’s new glasses; he spotlights his old friend in the beaming glare of his unalloyed surprise. “Racheal?” the prince breathes, surveying the entrepreneur’s neutral expression while his thoughts race ahead of his heartbeat; She said she’d be painting in her squat… His friend’s clench-toothed visage shifts toward a smirk when he witnesses the younger man’s reaction to his announcement. “You know there’s always a bed for you at my place,” he says with a widening smile. “I really must be going, but first - more whiskey?”
“Don’t mind if I do,” the Marcon intercedes while the young shaman leans against the projector stand in stunned silence. “All this Monkey Business is damned funny.”
A True Story
Images – author’s
Further True Tales from the Prince of Centraxis -
Mandrake & the Magician – Adder Ladies and the Dawn of Ra Part 6 Watching the Watcher – Adder Ladies and the Dawn of Ra Part 7 Promises & Compromises - Adder Ladies & the Dawn of Ra 8 The Invisible Great Divide - Adder Ladies & the Dawn of Ra 9 Circles Within Circles - Adder Ladies & the Dawn of Ra 10 Three Flaming Arrows - Adder Ladies & the Dawn of Ra 11 Round Peg, Square Hole - Adder Ladies & the Dawn of Ra 12 Monkey Business - Adder Ladies & the Dawn of Ra 13
And see -
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