Aphelion Issue 224, Volume 21
December 2017 / January 2018
 
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The Next Turtle

by Charles E.J. Moulton





My chair skidded across the linoleum floor. It sounded like a Ferrari as I ejected from it. The chair tumbled and fell and bounced four times before stopping, producing echoes inside the walls of the spacious kitchen.

I listened to the silence, acutely aware of any sounds I could hear, the dripping faucet providing the one solitary static interruption.

The fear of hearing a strange voice coming from nowhere, somewhere, anywhere, inside my head, had me freeze into statuesque Rodin-like immobility. Lot's wife in the Bible's Genesis 19 must've felt exactly like this when she was turned into a pillar of salt. That's what you get from looking back at Sodom, I thought to myself. I had done no such thing. Then again, I had spent the last two morning hours eating and drinking myself silly. I turned back to the four unwashed pots and pans of a bachelor's mess. I gazed at the few grains of scrambled eggs I had not yet devoured for which my stomach made grumbling noises. I knew what a messy scene this actually was. Me. Here. A half-eaten bowl filled with wheat flakes and milk on the table. Beercans everywhere. The bitter scent of ten Marlboro cigarettes flooded my flat with a fog of sweet and sour nicotine.

Maybe there was divine punishment, after all.

I remembered my seventh grade English Composition teacher and how he asked us to listen to the silence in order to receive literary inspiration. This silence was indeed compact and filled to the brim with intensity. I felt like thanking my teacher for that memory, although this situation left little to be thankful for.

I swung my head back towards the hallway, backing up against the sink, fumbling for the handle of the cutlery drawer, feeling for a knife, any knife.

If an uninvited guest had slipped in, he would certainly come through the kitchen door and not the window. I listened for steps, the creaking of the floor in the hallway, voices. Fear made my left eyelid twitch, as I looked into the emptiness, the Warhol replica of Marilyn Monroe, hanging next to the door, winking at me with horrific sensuality.

I growled once at the picture, my angry voice probably sounding like a crazy wail to anyone outside on the stairs.

The voice in my head was a baritone.

Friendly. Honest. Slow.

"Is anyone there?" the voice asked me.

"Who are you?" I bellowed.

"Dhsadaf," the voice answered. "Dhsadaf Tjhrkiht Jherjdfu." At once, I felt like I was in the hands of a true madman and I got even more scared, feeling like the words I heard could actually be a spell of some kind. A magic chant, in order to turn me into a frog. What would a frog be called in the strange language he spoke? Menhvklbgmjng?

"I have a knife," I shouted, the loudness of my voice making me feel even worse than I already did. I swung the retrieved breadknife to and fro around the untidy kitchen, jabbing at nothing, it seemed, making me feel like some victim in a Tobe Hooper horror movie.

I realized, then and there, that the voice was not inside my flat, but in my head.

"Where are you?" I added.

The voice waited, stalled, contemplated the response to my question for a moment.

"Where are you?" the voice answered back.

If there ever was a golden silence, this silence wasn't it.

This silence was eerie, disturbing, haunting.

The smells of a thousand culinary delights oozed into my nostrils. The walls of my bachelor's apartment darkened with every cigarette I had smoked. I realized I had a new guest in my flat, living inside my head.

I heard, on the other side of whatever place this seemed to be, clicks and bleeps and the dialling of switches. The creature spoke to me now. He cleared his throat a couple of times, hummed, stuttered and waited. This made me nervous and edgy. The sound of the dripping of my broken faucet had now, in my brain, disintegrated into oblivion. I saw it drip, of course, but I could hardly hear it. What I in my sound and sane mind did hear, however, thundered like a hurricane. It all seemed like a conspiracy. Like the New World Order, like bugged flats and political murder.

I tried to hear beyond the dripping faucet, beyond the cars driving by outside my window, in order to find out who or what spoke to me at the other end of that bleeping and dialling of switches, but the big question wasn't actually who this was, but how this was possible? I had no idea whether this situation came from the crazy mind of an unemployed actor drinking three beers before ten in the morning, or from a genius who somehow had attracted the wilfulness of an extra-dimensional tourist.

God, I was crazy. The fact that I heard a loud, bodiless voice speaking to me in my head, told me that I was. Feeling panic rising from my kneecaps to the centre of my chest, I swung that stupid knife from side to side. I must've looked like a madman. Unshaved and unshowered, full of beer and all kinds of food at ten in the morning, I frothed at the mouth, pounding the cupboards with the heels of my feet.

I screamed, running into the hallway, lifting my fist and slamming it against Marilyn's nose and giving the picture a dent. It made her look like Mr. Magoo.

"Leave me alone!" I shouted. "For the love of God, let me be!"

"Hey," the voice screamed back. "I need your help."

"Tell me what you want," I said quietly. "I have to get on with my life."

What a joke. Who was I kidding? Get on with what? Dawling over my wheat flakes? Waiting to get snubbed by another agent?

"I mean you no harm. I'll just tell you what my problem is. If you can help me, I'll be happy. If you cannot, I will go away. Is that a deal?"

"I don't know," I mumbled. "I have a bad feeling about this."

"I am not here to hurt you or to take anything away from you," the voice answered. "My world is just in trouble and I think you are the only one that can help me."

"I can help you?"

I felt as if I was going to calm down, at least a little bit. My heartbeat slowed down and my knife lowered itself almost involuntarily. I figured that if this man, whoever he was, really meant harm – well, then he would've appeared already and killed me. Instead, he spoke to me in a calm fashion and I chose to believe him.

"Yes," he said, sympathetically. I almost heard him smile, if such a thing were possible. "You can. I think you can, anyway."

My hand twitched involuntarily. In one of these fits, the knife fell. It made a very odd clanging sound, but I ignored it and left it laying there on the kitchen floor. As I slumped down in my chair, I was sweating cold bullets.

"All right," I answered back.

I took a long look at the three empty cans of beer I had gushed down for breakfast and all the other stuff that lay about. It was a wonder I remained so thin. Angus Davenport, the actor, spent all his unemployment money and social welfare on food completely devoid of nourishment. Okay, that seemed clear to me, but was this turning me into a nutcase?

"What kind of help can I offer you?" I insisted, walking up to the sink and leaning against it. I felt like I was talking on the phone to someone, maybe because this voice reverberated in my head quite prominently. I involuntarily held up my hand to my ear. I laughed at this ludicrous silliness, closing my eyes, doing my best now to remain calm.

"Ishbspaya," the creature said, sort of in a daze, clicking on whatever machine he managed at the moment. "Ishbspaya."

"Is that your name?"

"No," the voice said. "It's the name of my world. My name is Dhsadaf."

"There is no place in this world called Ishbspaya."

"There is," the voice said, calmly. "It is a beautiful place with luscious brown fields, high mountains, deep canyons, beautiful cities with exquisite architecture."

"What can I do to help you? You're still not telling me."

"Our world is disintegrating and I am calling to you for help. Mother Nature's attacks upon our world are increasing in number. If we don't do something about this soon, there won't be much of our world left to enjoy. You see, our world has never been fully explored. The people are afraid of what they will find when they look beyond the deep rim," the voice insisted, completely oblivious to the fact that the world beyond the deep rim of my existence started tumbling into the deepest ravine I had ever seen. "My countrymen are perfectly happy with the land they have. I can't blame them for it, really. It is truly a beautiful place. I have to repeat this. Deep brown canyons, high brown mountains, vast brown fields, sunsets of the most amazing intensity. It is a place where all people are free to go where they want, choose which occupation they desire. As long as they keep away from beyond the deep rim."

I wandered out of the kitchen into the hallway again, now without punching Marilyn's Magoo-like nose. Now, her seductive smile looked sad. "Let me guess," I continued, wandering down my hallway into the living room, "you went to the deep rim."

"Yes," he said.

"I discovered amazing things there," the voice said, now sounding a bit like Howard Carter when he discovered Tutankhamun. "Skies full of weird faces, moving objects, floating debris in that white sea and beyond it strange objects. Higher up, even, a large hanging object with a very, very strange luminous ball in the middle."

"Okay," I said, setting myself down on my brown livingroom couch. "All of that is cool to start with, but this has got to be leading somewhere. I feel like I am in a Franz Kafka-novel. This is beginning to sound like the adventures of Josef K."

"Who is Josef K.?"

"Oh, yeah," I said, tiredly. "I forgot. You're not from around here."

The momentary silence gave my guest the urge to introduce himself.

"I am head of the scientific division of the university here. I don't know for how long. People are losing faith in me since I told them about you."

"Am I dangerous?"

"You are a legend, uhm ... well, I would say that you are a cult phenomenon. What is your name again?"

"Angus," I filled in. "Angus Davenport. You are full of shit, Dhsadaf. First you tell me that I am legend and then you don't know my name?"

"For years, some of us here have been suspecting that the tidal waves and the raining of red-brown sand on our country have other reasons that just simple straightforward global warming."

"You have global warming, too?"

"It seems we have a lot in common," Dhsadaf mused. "The fact remains that some of us are suspecting foul play."

"In what way?"

"Many years ago our world was suddenly blinded by a very bright light. Nobody knew from whence this light came. Regardless, the fact that our people had only lived in darkness for so many years made science and technology blossom in a way you can't imagine. People started building houses, communicating. Our society progressed to the point where people had to decide if they wanted to close themselves in or evolve."

"Don't beat about the bush, Dhsadaf," I said, quietly, my impatience bubbling like a sleeping volcano under a mudpit. "I want facts, not an analysis. You owe my that much after scaring the bejeezes outta me."

The cars outside my house now seemed louder than they had a minute ago. I inspected how the cars drove by my apartment, the drivers inside them living their lives, oblivious to the ongoing dilemma of a young artist.

"Where do I come in, Dhsadaf? What do I have to do with all this? After all, you could be only, as an author of ours named Charles Dickens once said, a bit of undigested beef or an underdone potato."

"I told you about the red-brown sand, didn't I?"

"Yes?"

"Well, it rained for three consecutive years. Schools closed down, cities were destroyed and people died by the millions. Ishbspaya was flooded, over five years ago. When tsunamis threatened to destroy our entire civilization, I started building this machine."

"The machine you were fiddling with just now?" I inquired.

"Yes, Angus," he answered, truthfully. "It is a Supra-Reality-Detecting-Sensorium."

"A what?"

"A machine that detects parallel realities."

"How did you manage to build something like that?" I asked, closing the balcony door and walking back to the couch.

"That's unimportant, Angus," Dhsadaf said. "I drove out to the rim, to the white sea. Looking up, I thought I saw a face. It was a huge face, gigantic, leaning over me like a humongous demon. I was so startled that I drove back to my house rightaway and swore to destroy my machine and forget the whole damn thing."

"What made you change your mind?"

"I had a dream," he said, now getting really excited.

"What was it about?"

Dhsadaf waited, laughed cynically and stuttered for a moment before speaking. All the while, I felt ready to go back out and jump off the balcony. Half-drunk, smoked out, unshaved and useless, my brain retaliated against itself. I had no choice, however, but to listen. This voice would not go away.

"My world sank into a hole of fire and everybody died. That is when I realized who you are."

Uh-oh. Now, this was it. My heart jumped a notch up my throat.

"What do you mean 'who I am'?"

In a second I would be close to falling down on my couch, unconscious, blubbering, tongue sticking out, spitting froth.

"Talk to me, Dhsadaf," I cried. "I am going crazy."

I felt cold sweat running down my back, actually feeling quite jittery.

"My suspicion is that our world exists as a microscopic speck of dust on some artefact in your world, probably in your living quarters. We might be a microbe on your food. In which case, one second in your time might be a year in ours, but my machine is building a bridge between that time gap."

"I beg your pardon?"

"I assume you are in your living quarters."

"Yes, Dhsadaf, I am," I filled in.

"Where were you when I contacted you?" Dhsadaf asked.

"In my kitchen," I said. "I spent the last hour eating everything left over in my house."

"Go back there now," Dhsadaf said, ignoring the fact that I had been eating for the past hour. Perhaps that was normal in his world. Or maybe more was at stake here.

"What?"

"Go back there now," he repeated. "I believe we are a particle on one of your food leftovers. If we can find that leftover, you have to seal that thing and build us a new home."

My senses now seemed heightened in some way. Every smell was more intense, even my sweat, the smell of my unshowered body, or the pepper I had put in my scrambled eggs. It wasn't that these smells bothered me. I had just heard that somewhere in the source of these smells lay the origin of another world. A hard thing to swallow, pardon the pun, even if it was fascinating. My own apartment now no longer had the flair of a loser's in patientia autem tantibus. Now, it was the place where a possible world resided. I don't know if it was the beer or the food or the fact that I hadn't had a job for months, but I had a mission. Not only getting a role or landing a commercial, impressing an agent or sucking up to some damn executive producer. I was about to save a world.

I ran into the kitchen, inspected pots and pans, lifting plates and throwing the damn washrag from the sink onto the floor. I even took the raisin bran and slammed it against the wall. The package with a funny lion on it smashed against the wall. Raisins and wheat flakes went flying across the kitchen. I sensed Dhsadaf actually wondering what I was doing on the other end of that dimensional wormhole.

The bran, however, gave me the necessary hint.

I stood there, dumbfounded, realizing what the hell I had been missing althrough this conversation. A white sea. He had said that his land was surrounded by a white sea, had he not? His land. He had described it as brown, right?

"Dhsadaf?" I whispered, my voice tainted with a pinch of sweet-sour wit.

"Yes?"

Dhsadaf's suspicious voice had lost its inspired quality. His entire persona projected apprehension. No matter. I had the answer. He would change.

Slowly, but surely, I walked up to my bowl of milk and raisin bran.

I sat down, looking at the one lonely flake that swam in the middle of the bowl, far away from the other flakes. Larger and more well designed, somehow, I could well imagine a world imbedded in that speck of rye.

"You're not gonna believe this, but I found your world," I chuckled.

"Really," Dhsadaf laughed, proving me right. "Where is it?"

"On a big flake in the middle of my breakfast food," I giggled, not quite believing what I was saying. This unreal situation had the atmosphere of an odd episode of The Twilight Zone. And yet, I trusted it. Crazy shit, I told myself, but I trusted it.

On the other hand, I thought, actors are nuts.

"So, what do we do now?" Dhsadaf asked.

"I fear that if I lift you out of the bowl like this ... well, your world will be far worse off than before," I mumbled. "I mean, when I sprayed cinnamon on my bran ..."

I looked at the sprinkles on the raisins.

"Well, you yourself said that thousands died when ..."

"We seem to have a different time perception than you," Dhsadaf said, again pushing buttons and bleeping on his machine. "As I pointed out ..."

I bent over now, really urging him to stop the bleeping, as if my movement could be sensed by him. "Will that actually make a difference?"

"Well," he said. "I think our communication can actually heal the gap between us. Somehow, I think, we will never notice it."

"How can you say that?"

I looked over at the flake, now just an inch away from my nose.

"Can you see me?"

"What?" Dhsadaf responded, suspiciously. "Are you looking at the bowl now?"

"Yes," I said. "Well, can you?"

I heard Dhsadaf walking around, obviously leaving his machine to look out the window. The floor, by the sound of his footsteps, had a strange soft quality. His voice mumbled something in the distance and I gathered that his machine was hooked to some microphone. Quick steps scurried toward the machine again and Dhsadaf sat down, by the sound of it.

"The sky is dark, it is night. I have no idea. I can't see any face up there. In fact, nobody ever has, unless he goes to the deep rim over by the white sea ... uuh ... your milk," he blubbered. "But I think, we should go ahead with this. If our world really rests on your ... breakfast thing ... flake ... or whatever you call it ... then we really have to remove it or it will ... will ... will ..."

"What?" I spat, growing impatient.

"Well, it will grow soft and our world will sink."

"That's probably true. You know," I added, feeling really brilliant about getting such fantastic ideas, "I could find a little box and put some leaves and flowers and other things ... just to expand your civilization a tad."

Dhsadaf started crying. Actually, I wasn't sure if he cried or laughed. "That would be absolutely fantastic, but ... Angus?"

I stood up, out of my chair, getting ready to prepare for my operation. I felt like a surgeon. A brain surgeon. Now, I heard the fear in his voice. I, too, feared for Dhsadaf's life. What if I failed? What if I just simply destroyed their civilization? Maybe, I sucked as a brain surgeon. Maybe I would be the cause of an apocalypse and not a miracle.

"Yes?"

"Be careful."

"I will."

For the first time in my life, or at least in a long time, I felt like I had a real mission. I had the chance to save a whole world. If one second of my time equalled a year in their time, that still left me with the incredible mystery of how we actually could be talking to each other. Be that as it may, I guessed that our communication sort of repaired that. Maybe, it could even stabilize the tumbling of the world as I carried it to another place.

In complete silence, I searched my cupboards and closets for a fitting Tupperware box with a see-through lid. I found huge ones with red lids, blue ones with no lids and midsize ones with pointy lids. The smallest one I could find really had the perfect size. I smiled. Oh, man, how I smiled. I looked like a cartoon character. Not too big and not to small.

Before actually filling the tiny box, I rummaged through my cutlery drawer for a piece of green birthday wrapper I had put under the holder just to brighten the dreary thing up. It was not paper, but a sort of saran wrap or similar to aluminium foil. That made it really fitting. After all, filling the thing up with flora and fauna would have to be accompanied with some green colour. I scurried through the flat, collecting bits of flowers and working to get the whole thing look fantastic. The flake would eventually rest on a creation of my own, made of small green ribbons, scotch tape and some other stuff. The flake would rest perfectly on this, while simultaneously being able to rest half on the water. I got so caught up in the whole thing that I forgot about Dhsadaf.

"Dhsadaf?"

Nothing but a terrible silence answered my uttered inquiry.

Had I actually destroyed his world just by running around?

But I had not even touched the flake, needless to say the bowl itself.

I had found a friend. Now, I had lost a friend. My only friend.

Nausea bubbled up from my belly and hit my head. I felt my heart beating faster then ever. I couldn't control my breathing anymore, I couldn't control the nervous twitch of my left eyelid. Maybe I felt so bad because I now had overcome my fears of the unknown, not even knowing who my strange friend was or even where he really came from.

I must've sat there in the kitchen for over an hour, just listening to the silence, hoping to hear a sound from my old friend Dhsadaf. I have no idea what triggered me to go ahead with the whole thing. I think I did it, well, because Dhsadaf had been a friend in need. Had his world been suddenly destroyed? Had I accidentally bumped the table and killed him by bumping a raisin into the milk? Whatever the reason was, soon the wheat flake rested in a Tupperware box that even I would have loved to live in.

I could not say a word for the remainder of the day.

I couldn't even yawn.

Strange thing, though. I showered, I shaved, I cleaned up the flat. The kitchen had never ever looked so spick and span. I didn't need music or other means of muzak to do it. In fact, it was evening before I sat in my perfect kitchen. Silent and depressed, music from The Planets by Gustav Holst spinning on the stereo, I nibbled on some chips, drinking Bordeaux, unable to do anything real. Eventually, I left the kitchen and fell asleep in front of the television. I'm not sure, but I think that there was a rerun of Moonbase Alpha with Martin Landau when I fell asleep.

I dreamt of aliens dancing on wheat flakes.

When I woke up the next morning, my head had a hundred little trolls drilling holes into my skull. Some people would call that a hangover.

I stood up, still in the clothes I put on yesterday afternoon, and was just about to enter the kitchen. That was when heard a bleeping noise, a click and somebody clearing a throat.

I stopped right by the Marilyn Monroe painting, turned around and looked at the dent that now crowned her pretty, plastic framed and plastic covered nose. The one hole that had destroyed the plastic now gave the whole picture a beat-up, raped quality.

"Hello?"

It took a while for me to realize, or think I realized, that I really had gone crazy.

I went back to the kitchen, getting ready to toss the damn contents of the Tupperware landscape into the wastebasket, but then I heard a female voice.

"Angus Davenport?"

A woman blew twice into a microphone of some sort, sounding like a radio announcer in some cheap second rate late night show. Her insecurity had its own tenderness to it and I replied with an equally warm tenderness. I didn't feel crazy anymore.

"Yes?"

"Oh, thank God I found you," she spoke. "You are the one that created our world for us? You are the creator of our paradise?"

I stuttered, waiting for a second, not really knowing what to say to this woman.

"Has this anything to do with ... my friend Dhsadaf?"

The woman chuckled once or twice. It was a sad laugh.

"Dhsadaf was my grandfather," she said. "He lost contact with you back when he was young. We had all heard the stories about that conversation, of course."

"What stories?" I asked, walking over to the little box and looking down at it, resting by the kitchen window.

I tried to imagine that box being the home of a little world.

I couldn't, even if it probably was true.

"Well, the stories of how our world became so wonderful," the girl said. "We heard about how many problems we had over here before you added so much vegetation and so much colour. We never knew that there were so many colours in the world before you created this."

Now, I leaned over even closer to look at the box. Actually, my faith began to grow. I believed to see an entire world having evolved in there. Maybe it was just my imagination, but I was almost sure I saw people waving at me, dancing.

"Anyway," the girl said. "My grandfather was always sad that his machine broke down right before you put the flake in the box."

"You mean, he told you about that?"

"Yes, Angus," the girl said. "After that happened, everyone started believing in you. You became a God. There are temples built in your name now, and now ..."

The girl cried.

I couldn't believe it.

Temples? For me? The unemployed actor that couldn't get a gig to save his ass?

"How did you manage to fix the machine?"

"My brother managed to get it going," she said. "Unfortunately, grandpa never got to experience it. He died before Iuduz fixed this thing."

"Iuduz?"

"My brother."

"And you are?"

"Gjufa," she said, slowly, a sweetness to her voice.

"Hello, Gjufa," I answered. "Nice to talk to you."

"Hi," she responded, softly.

Something amazing happened to me at that moment.

I looked into the box, imagined seeing all these creatures waving, heard this girl speaking to me of religious ceremonies performed in my name. Then, I looked up at the skies and saw how black clouds began forming in the skies.

"Can we contact you if we need you?" the girl asked, carefully. "I mean, we might need yo, even though there is a time difference between our worlds."

"Sure," I said, actually falling in a bit in love with Gjufa.

It was then that I realized I hadn't really listened to what she had said. At least not for the last two sentences.

"Help," I responded, retrieving the subconscious memory. "I would be happy to. What's your last name?"

My voice drifted off into a dreamy void. I spoke, but I didn't listen to what I was saying. I looked up at the sky, remembered the many tsunamis, hurricanes, volcanoes and floods. A terrifying thought hit me.

My God, I thought to myself, my sweat-drops feeling like bullets of cold air kicking my groin, we might be a speck of dust on the wheat flake in another world.

"My full name is Gjufa Iwafewuza," the girl said. "It means Pretty One. This machine translates badly into your language I'm afraid. We are still working on that."

As I walked out upon my balcony, watching the storm forming the black clouds of oblivion into a dark mess, I made a decision.

That January, I gave up acting.

After not getting an audition for six months, it got tedious.

I still remember Gjufa Iwafewuza. She is long gone by now, but her grandchildren and great-children often contact me. As I sit and listen to the lectures at the university, I work on my diagrams. You see, I want to collect cash to build a Supra-Reality-Detecting-Sensorium. That's why I am working to complete my Master of Science degree.

There are more storms out there in our own world now and the first segment of my machine is already completed, standing in the attic of my new house.

I believe that I can change our reality with the help of whoever is up there, turning this world into the kind of paradise I created for Gjufa Iwafewuza. So, accordingly, I often look up at the skies, trying to see that distant face in a cloud.

I know there is a very real and very spiritual God, inside us, outside of us. He binds us together, speaks to us through our emotions. I also know that our energy is eternal and that we come here again and again, reincarnating into new bodies in that endless cycle of endless life.

But I also know that, while Dhsadaf's world rests on the wheat flake of my world, our world might be resting on a flower on a field in another universe.

It sort of reminds me of the ancient legend of the spiritual advisor who came to calm down the existential mind of a great and very worried king.

"What does the world rest on, o wise old man? Tell me," cried the king. "I have to know this."

"The world rests on the back of a turtle," said the wise old man, smiling.

"But what does that turtle rest on?" said the king.

"Don't worry, your majesty," said the wise old man. "It's turtles all the way down."

I am hoping to find the next turtle. Or, at least, the next average Joe sitting by his kitchen table staring into his breakfast bowl.

"It's a sad thing, really," Dr. Armstrong said, as he watched Angus in his corner of the day room. "He's one of our most exemplary patients, but every time we take that Tupperware box of his away to be cleaned, he raises hell."

"Can't you just leave his box alone?", the writer asked. "After all, a wheat flake with some Scotch tape and a wilted flower or two aren't exactly a menace to public health."

"That's the strange thing," Armstrong mused. "We have tried everything we can think of, but there's some kind of growth on every wheat flake he puts in there. The bigger it grows, the calmer he gets, but the more upset he is when we take it away."

As the writer took his leave, and rode home from the asylum, Angus' story kept running through his mind. "It would be quite something," he thought, "if that 'growth' happened to be entire cities of Dhsadaf's progeny..."

His eyes were on the road, so he couldn't see the vague contours of the smiling face in the clouds behind him.


THE END


2014 Charles E.J. Moulton

Bio: Mr. Moulton grew up in a trilingual and artistic family and spent his childhood on stage. He played his first role at age 11 and has since then acted and sung in over 100 stage productions. His publication credits include horror stories for SNM Magazine and Aphelion, historical articles for Socrates and Skirmish and literary fiction for Idea Gems and Pill Hill Press. Mr. Moulton enjoys versatile creativity, is married and has a daughter.

E-mail: Charles E.J. Moulton

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