by Shawn Phillips

Eight - The Birth of the Iron Age



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Creeping in through the rooftops of Oklahoma, the eyes of forgotten gods search in vain for the secret of this world, this prose, this concept you are exploring with your own mind. Perhaps no sense will ever come of this, but that may be because you have not yet taken the path of self discovery. In one word: question.



Unseen waves crashed against an unknown shore.


The cries of seagulls called out to one another.


A voice warbled from alcoholism. "There ain't no one here named Andra, man."

He jolted, his legs flicking a spastic kick, disturbing the settled pile of used newspaper and styrofoam cups around him. Grain's eyes wide, he looked about him. No, this was not the beach. A blur of cars coloured the entrance of the alley, a constant rush of passing noise instigated horns and tires on wet pavement. Wet... he looked upward. The air was filled with a drizzle of Northwest moisture, more shushing noise for his ears. But the voice... he looked around.

The owner of the voice huddled against the opposite wall, thick newspaper draped over his stocking head. Through his greying beard he said "Man, you need to get out of Seattle, man."

Grain stood up, letting his lean body soak up the drizzle. His torn clothing dampened.

"Take any road you like except south," the alcoholic continued. "South is no good. Full of sunshine and smog and plastic. You don't want that, man." He adjusted the newspaper on his head.

As Grain stood there becoming drenched, the moisture passed through the shirt and jeans and boots and dug into his skin, dragging the hue with it. There, in that unnamed alley in Seattle, flesh became stained. The sleeves dripped lavender, tainting his arms on their gravitational path. He reached for his shoulders, and tugged at the wet shirt, pulling it overhead, tainting his hair as well. And there he loomed, like a dark flower sprouting when no other would dare to, thriving on the lack of sun.


He feels the four winds pulling at him to choose a direction. To the south lies California, and in the west the ocean stretches beyond the naked eye. North holds great expanses of frozen earth, and the east would only be backtracking. Disgusted with the state of the world, the south is the last place he wants to be. No hope at all. But that wind pulls the strongest, intensely. And the wind says, "step softly and carry a big broom."


There was the ocean, the other shore hundreds of horizons away. The schizophrenic voice of Emotion, carried on the overcast sky, stretched its fingers from the four corners of the earth towards that lone figure on the shore. Some tugged, pulling this way and that. Some poked, accusationary. And there was one, that managed to cut through the rest. Its lips rested on his right earlobe, and sighed "Who are you?"

"That's easy," he proclaimed. "I'm..." He paused. "I'm... I..." Angry, he yelled to the four winds, "What does it matter who I am? Am I not just a fraction of billions?"

All the fingers, in a singular, mono voice answered him. "Indeed, why should it matter?" But in truth, Emotion told him why it should matter. A divine secret.


In a manufactured warehouse made of an iron frame and aluminum siding in any city exists a man in a white Armani, blonde shoulder-length hair, and a habit of wearing a knowing smile. His cufflinks gleam gold, and you know it's not brass, or even gold plating. His strides are confident, sure, devoid of sound. Tall, but immeasurable.

This manufactured warehouse is without interior walls, just one large room, finished, and furnished with a marble desk in the center of the enclosed expanse. In the white leather chair made of human flesh sits another man in white. Blonde hair, knowing smile, manicured fingernails, he is reclined, leaning back on the metal springs that are white, through and through.

"The bearer has incurred the wrath of Saturn's children."

The seated one nodded, with a upward twitch of the lips. "How unfortunate for him. HE has forseen many more to be against him as he continues his path."

"HE has also forseen that there will be many deaths as he continues his path." The standing one crossed an arm and raised the other in a gesture of contemplation.

"Does this concern you?" The seated one leaned forward onto his elbows, the white suit never creasing.

"No, of course not," the standing one replied, his knowing smile insistent. "I anticipate to see the predictions/premeditations fulfilled."

"The time has come for bitter things, has it not?"

"Praise HE who has shared this reward with us, HIS host."


And another sibling, hidden away, stirred in his sleep.


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