Soon, the chorus of smoke rings thundered all across the lands with ecstatic gusto, as the caterpillar had been chiefing for quite some time. PJ remembered his pleasure dome idea and found that the harmony of the smoke rings was so heavenly that they allowed significant increases in neural activity if he was thinking about peaceful and pleasant thoughts, to the point that he was able to clearly see the mechanics behind his carapace work.
"Dear child," began the caterpillar slowly, "whatever is it that is on your mind with such a pleasant smile accompanying?"
It took a moment for PJ to come out of his thoughts to put together the disjointed words of the caterpillar and respond, but when he did it was like someone let floodgates open at the architectural design dam. He went on and on seventy different ways about how to construct the pleasure dome and the significance of using a turtle shell and what all the colors would mean and how to help heal the world with it for what should have taken days to explain, however, he was so elated that it took nary more of 3 minutes to get most of it out of his speedy mouth with hands waving all about.
"Dearest child!" exclaimed the caterpillar, "Please molest my hearing devices naught with these unpleasant rates of speech and gibbering voice inflections! This Leno is dank and I just wish to chill! Please, just sit back and watch the clouds apass or play my 360 or something, just settle thy ass down!"
But PJ would have none of it, for he knew he was on an important mission and had no time for the caterpillar's 360. Off he went into the great unknown for the next vital component in his pleasure dome...
Last Edit: Jun 18, 2010 5:33:21 GMT -5 by Guest - Back to Top
"Direction." PJ said aloud. "I need to know the direction to where the pleasure dome will be constructed." Something was stinging the palm of his hand. PJ looked at his hand and saw a splinter. Thinking back, he remembered worrying about the sharp hairs on the caterpillar as they shook hands goodbye. One of the creature's hairs must've broken off and lodged in his palm?
PJ looked at the splinter invading the palm of his hand. It appeared to be hollow, and was buried quite deep. He used the fingernails of his other hand to try and work the artifact free. After a little while and a lot of grimacing, PJ held the splinter and examined it. It was indeed hollow and almost 1/2" long. He rubbed the small drop of blood oozing from his injured palm against his pant leg. Then, PJ got an idea...
Knowing blood contained iron, PJ squeezed more blood from his injured palm and pooled it in the inside of the turtle shell. He continued until he had a small pool of ruby colored, iron rich blood. (He thought about his pleasure dome plans, but they were drawn with permanent marker and should be safe.) He removed the shell from around his neck, and set it on a rock to dry in the sun.
After an hour or so, the blood had dried to a shiny red scab tightly adhering to the underside of the turtle shell. PJ found an appropriately shaped small stone, and used it as a pestle to break and grind the scab into a fine powder.
Next, PJ took the hollow caterpillar hair and slowly worked the powdered blood into the hollow. When he thought it was sufficiently packed, he took the fingernail of his pinky and worked a small amount of wax from his ear. He used the wax to seal the open end of the splinter. PJ used the turtle shell to dip some clean water from one of the many puddles he'd seen close by. PJ set the turtle shell on a stone and dropped the splinter into the middle of the water bound by the shell. Ripples propagated their way outward from the splinter, reflected off the sides of the carapace back inwards, then back out again... After a few seconds the ripples cancelled each other out, and the surface became calm. As he hoped, the splinter slowly oriented itself with the magnetic lines of force generated by our planet. By noting the progress of the sun across the sky, PJ determined which end of the splinter pointed north.
Thinking about it, PJ decided to travel due south. Ancients believed the world rode on the back of a turtle, but PJ's view of the world was inverted, and oriented to the *inside* of a turtle shell. Everything had to be done backwards.
PJ knew that he may have to travel for many days before reaching the spot where the pleasure dome was to be erected. He intuitively knew that when he reached the correct spot he would know it. If he continued traveling in a southerly direction, he knew that he would get there.
PJ realized that for the first time in what seemed like weeks (how long had it really been?) he was alone. After all of the sensory stimulation as of late, it was a welcome feeling. Yet, he could not help but feel a twinge of regret that he had no mythical creatures in his company.
He was overcome with fatigue and knew that he must get rested for the trip. He saw an inviting spot under a willow tree next to a rushing stream. He decided to lie down and take a brief nap before continuing his journey. So many questions - how would he find food, water, and corn....but right now he needed sleep. He had faith that his mission to build the pleasure dome was such a noble one that all of his needs would be met in some way.
So, with the brook singing its lullaby, PJ dozed in the shade of the willow...
Seemingly seamless in journeying from the strange mythical land to a wild and erratic dreamstate, PJ's rest was benevolently whispered into a much-needed and very deep sleep by the pleasant and relaxing breeze, rhythmic sound of the babbling waters, and cooling shade of the wisened old willow. Somewhere in the back of his mind, PJ knew that he was dreaming, but it was all so real and his mind was so at ease that he did not think, even once, about his consciousness, his mission, or anything but the vivid images and senses his mind was subjecting him to.
He found himself lost in many related and seemingly unrelated series of dreams, most of which he would never think to try to recall while awake. He saw fantastic lands, kind creatures, beautiful women; all of his senses were strongly petitioned for pleasure, almost as if by some greater force. Nothing at all about his dreams had any element of nightmare to them and his mind, body and spirit became more relaxed than it had ever been.
He awoke peacefully, to the sound of strange and exotic birds chirping throughout the willow tree, and to the sound of magnificent and otherworldly fish jumping upstream.
Somehow, he felt the magical nature of the lands had even nourished him fully while he slept and he no longer was in need or even want for anything. Upon thinking this, it almost felt as though the willow was smiling upon him.
He felt himself legendarily empowered with a calm determination as he slowly sat up, and he began to recall what seemed to be very, very important parts of his dream relating to his mission...
Last Edit: Jun 18, 2010 18:50:26 GMT -5 by Guest - Back to Top
As he sat PJ yawned and stretched. He didn't feel quite awake enough yet to stand up, so he continued to sit and look around. Before taking his much earned sleep, PJ had made note of the landmarks; the mountain ridges and peaks, the roll of the land, the direction in which the brook flowed. He knew without reconstructing his makeshift compass the direction to take.
He would follow the brook downstream along a narrow but widening valley. The mountain ridges bordering and defining the valley were steep. Twin blue serrated edges cut into the pink of the morning sky. Most of the valley was still in misty shadow, the sun still too sleepy to rise above the eastern ridge. Wait... Had he slept the whole night? The earth and sun told him it was early morning, but how long had he slept? Not that it was an important question, except the answer completely eluded PJ.
PJ took in a big share of the morning air, smelling and tasting it. The air was damp, cool. He could smell moist soil. There was faint spice in the air; the barest hint of sandalwood, just on the edge of being detectable, probably a fragrant weed or grass growing brookside. This was air he could live with. This was air that could sustain a happy life. He took another deep breath, and felt another urgent, pressing need... He had to piss something awful.
All the plans in his head and all the adventures before him would have to wait. He stood up, opened his pants, put one hand against the willow tree, and leaned into a lengthy piss. Relief splashed onto the sandy dirt as PJ tilted his head back and gave a soft groan.
Nearing the finish of his morning business, PJ looked down at the puddle sinking into the sand. What the hell? Small sunlit crescents dotted the ground. PJ zipped his pants, backed up a step, and dropped to one knee. Wherever the dappled sunlight fell onto soil a crescent appeared, dozens of them, like bright crescent moons. PJ tried to look up at the sun just rising above the mountain ridge, but he could only see bright flashes as sunlight pinholed through the foliage.
PJ walked over to where he saw sunlight falling onto a large patch of open ground. At the same time he noticed the sky was not as bright as it had been several minutes before. Turning towards the sun and wincing from the brightness, he was astonished to see it wasn't round?! It seemed to have horns?! PJ used his hand to shield his eyes from the brightness, but the oddness of this compelled him to try and see more.
There was a shadow moving downward across the face of the rising sun. The bright crescent was growing thinner as the shadow consumed it. PJ suddenly realized he was watching a solar eclipse; the dark side of the moon extending its shadow onto the face of the earth where he stood. PJ had witnessed only one or two solar eclipses in his life, and never one so early in the day as far as he could remember.
PJ felt caught in the clockwork of the cosmos. He had awoken with a resolute direction and purpose, but he stumbled at the starting gun by a cosmic alignment of heavenly bodies and circumstance. The morning grew dark and cold as the sun fell into total eclipse. But, he knew the sun would come up from behind the dark side of the moon again, eventually, maybe?
Experience told him the sun will not remain hijacked by an eclipsing dark moon forever. Planets, moons and stars will continue to orbit, occult, transit and eclipse, partially or totally 'til kingdom come. PJ stared at the ring of fire dancing around the dark circle in the sky. Unnoticed by him, the ants at his feet continued their business, unaware of him, and oblivious to the moon and stars.
In awe of the celestial events he was witnessing, PJ’s dropped his attention from the ring of fire in the sky to the dark forest surrounding him. He was thirsty so he walked slowly back to the brook. Unnoticed to him, a small ant was hitching a ride on his shoe. PJ again kneeled on one knee, rinsed his hands in the brook, cupped them and brought a drink to his lips. The water was cool and refreshing. He repeated the action several times until his thirst was completely quenched.
The forest around him began to brighten, and he guessed the sun was emerging from eclipse. Looking across the brook, on a slight rise or knoll, under a tree, an angular form caught PJ’s eye. The form had a kind of geometric shape and relative brightness that contrasted from the darker, twisted shapes of the forest framing the object. It rested heavily on the ground, anchored, whatever it was. PJ squinted, concentrating his focus on the object. It seemed out of place. The sharpness of the edges and smoothness of the faces was unnatural. It looked manmade.
A realization hit PJ with a slight shock. Was he looking at a gravestone? He stood up and started to cross the shallow stream. His first step slipped off a slick, water-covered stone, but he caught himself and continued crossing using careful, steady steps. The ant that had been on his shoe was now riding the currents downstream. Stepping onto the opposite sandy bank, PJ studied the object. It sure looked like a headstone.
Slowly, PJ approached the object. Scanning the ground around and near the stone, no other stones were visible. Relative to the rest of the forest, the ground around the object seemed more tended, but not manicured. Approaching closer, PJ could see there was something carved or etched into the face; pictures maybe? And, letters. He walked closer until he stood looking down at the front of the stone.
PJ tried to make sense of the carved pictures and letters. At the top was something resembling a three-leaf clover. Near and immediately beneath the clover was “2010.” At the bottom was something that looked like a pair of shoes. PJ guessed whoever was buried here must be Irish, as signified by the clover. He also guessed the single date must mean this was the grave of a child who died in his or her 1st year. And, the shoes are empty, unfilled, with no one left to fill them. The child must’ve been the last chance to carry on the family name? But, this was just a guess.
In large, capitalized Times New Roman, the center of the inscription said, “CARPEDM01.” This didn’t make any sense at all to PJ, so he continued to stare and analyze… Then, he thought he might have it figured out. This was the grave of Ed Carp, who died in his 1st month of life. PJ looked around the grave for more clues and saw nothing. PJ made the sign of the cross on his forehead, chest and shoulders out of respect, turned, and started downstream. He wondered why this child was buried alone in the woods, and a slow sadness began to well up in him.
After a few slow steps PJ turned around to look at the gravestone again. He felt someone was looking at him. From this angle a small cluster of chicory flowers could be seen growing behind the grave. The flowers were cornflower blue, enchantingly brilliant and bright. PJ knew they were a weed, and probably sprung up naturally as a result of the gravesite being largely unattended.
The blue color made an impression in his consciousness. The blue was an intensity that caught his attention. Although totally natural, they seemed out of place, made to grab attention. The arrangement of flowers, stems and background formed a smiling face, with two of the brightest, most perfect flowers forming the eyes of the face. The flowers looked at PJ as if begging a reaction. PJ tilted his head and let the image sink in.
PJ imagined a spirit was entering through the roots of the plant, following the networking maze of roots inward, then upward through the stem and outward along the branching stems. It was a spirit that shone through the impossibly blue flowers. PJ had no idea who rested here, but he could see his spirit beaming out of those blue flowers. He could actually feel the flowers radiating; not heat, not warmth exactly. They radiated friendliness.