Mystères élémentaires Nº 3

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If interested, music in the background as this one emerged: Ravel’s Rapsodie Espagnole. Jerome Moross’ score for the movie The Big Country (one of the few westerns I’d recommend, perhaps because the film is rooted in Aristotelian concepts of the good life, as opposed to comic-book snippets of pseudo-masculinity). Besides, Moross was a student of Copland. Need I say more? More: The music possesses a rare mathematical purity (re Bach, Handel) and is as emotionally satisfying as the film’s story, which makes it priceless in my book. Jean Simmons and Charlton Heston are good, but I think this was one of Peck’s best, after Mockingbird.

Anyway, here’s the third part of the mystery, about fifteen pages so a short read. More coming, but as I said the other day, things will be moving much more slowly over the next few weeks.


Mystères élémentaires Nº 3

Courir de la lune pendant que la terre brûle


From the opium of custom
To the ledges of extremes
Don’t believe it till you’ve held it
Life is seldom what it seems
But lay your heart upon the table
And in the shuffling of dreams
Remember who on earth you are…

Closer to Believing       ELP Works Vol. 1 (Greg Lake, Pete Sinfield)



Part I: Excerpt from Christine Mannon’s journal

I normally put the day’s date at the top of these entries, but in truth I have no idea what day this is, or even, for that matter, where I am.

She looked up from her desk, looked out her living room windows at the bare limbs and fog that defined this place. She felt restless, like a caged animal – penned in with little room to  move, so she looked down at her journal and resumed writing…as if words were the only place left to roam.

The boy, the pianist I met the last time I was ‘here’ said it was January, 1944, a time which troubles me more than any other. Six months before the liberation of Paris, my city – January 1944 was also the year of my mother’s rebirth, the year she and an uncle escaped from the train carrying the last remnants of my family to Auschwitz.

She looked up at one of the small pictures she kept on her desk, a picture purportedly taken inside the camp around the day of her family’s arrival. Before those last remnants were selected to take a short walk, the usual excuse being a mandatory delousing shower before being assigned barracks. They were, of course, gassed – being Jews, there were few options. Either worked to death, or gassed. But behind door number three, as her American students were fond of saying, there was the ‘escape from the train’ option.

Mannon Myst

Her uncle found a weak, rotted timber in a corner of the rail car, and he’d managed to not only pry it loose, but to make a hole large enough to crawl through. They were being transported from France to Poland by way of Holland and Germany, and several people managed to slip free in a Belgian forest when their train pulled onto a siding to let a passing troop transport by. About forty people escaped in those few moments, but her parents were not among them. Fishermen smuggled her across the channel a few weeks later, and she spent a year in England before returning home, what was left of home, anyway.

Because there was no home to go back to. She had no parents, no family but her uncle, and he had plans for New York after the war and had already disappeared, so she ended up assigned to a refuge agency that sent her to Palestine. She remained, however, a French citizen, and as soon as she was able, after she graduated college, she returned to her to the city she would always call home and she continued her studies – in the sociology of evil. She wrote a bestseller on the banality of Hitler and the ‘Final Solution’ – and achieved a kind of academic stardom in the aftermath, yet she remained, at heart, an academic.

And that is the one part of my life that troubles me still. Would I have walked quietly to my death? Would I have believed the lies and walked into the night? I look at this picture and wonder…what would I be thinking in those last minutes of my life. By 1944 everyone knew what happened in those showers. I look at these children and I wonder… 

Mannon Myst 1.1

I am, I know, a poor creature of the classroom. A person of thought, not action, and I see this tendency as the central failure of not only my life but liberalism. We are thinkers, not doers, yet all too often the ‘man of action’ simply ignores the fruits of intellect on his way to our ruin. We never progress beyond a certain point, we evolve within fixed limits, because intellect can never overcome the obstacles placed in our path by forceful, willful ignorance.

That has always troubled me. This failure of the intellect to overcome brute strength in times of unrest. Like the two have been mutually exclusive. Yet not in Israel. The Final Solution, if I must call it that, presented such a discontinuity, such a total break with the past, that Jewish intellect has been wedded to brute animal force in a way the earth has rarely, perhaps never seen before.

What troubles me now are the conflicting reports of resistance in Warsaw’s ghettos before Heydrich’s solution could be implemented. There was an organized resistance, that much is certain, yet of course the so-called academic class never seemed to rally behind this resistance. We academics, and I say ‘we’ advisedly, preferred to sit it out. To study, to analyze…to rationalize away a horror so unimaginable that inaction was the only outcome possible. And in the West today, I see the same process at work. Our willingness to enslave, to look away, to resist the very idea that evil exists. I feel as though we have not learned one rotten lesson history had to offer.

So, today Work Sets You Free once again, yet today the people are enslaved by lust for things. Does it really matter, I wonder, who our masters are – when we hand over freedom so easily?

Mannon Myst 2

She looked out the window at the fog again, and thought of the so-called ‘fog of war’ that had enraptured the world after 911. The War on Terror was everything now, after Paris and Berlin, an endless war that would engulf everything.

Things happening so quickly you can’t get ahead of them, events taking on a life of their own, with all prior reasoning is jettisoned as forceful new circumstances emerge. The Final Solution was not like that, not even a little, as even academics took part in planning murder on that vast, industrial scale. Slow, deliberate, methodical murder. No resistance to the idea. Even the clergy stood by, even the Vatican. Why? Was anti-semitism so deeply rooted that even morality died? And now, the further away these events become, the easier it is to deny they ever happened. 

Our new war is not like that. It eats away at the underbelly of our softest tissues, and we seem powerless to question motives any longer. A brown man drives through a crowd and we bomb a city in Syria. People die. We have become revenge, lost in perpetual motions of of murder and more murder, and no one asks why anymore.

What is this flaw in humanity? This willingness to embrace evil? It was not simply a German phenomenon in the 1940s. No, the same evil occurred in France, in Poland, in the Ukraine and Belarus, and especially in Russia. We’ve seen it in America with the way their blacks are partitioned off and set aside, the way indigenous peoples were slaughtered, and again, in Australia, with the aborigines slaughtered. It is almost never ending; the ethnic divisions we manufacture…our ability to create ‘others’ anew, for our hate to focus upon. 

So, is it that we cannot endure without hate? Is hate so vital to our existence we cannot turn away from our lust for blood?

She went to the kitchen, put on water for tea then realized the packaging looked familiar. She picked up the box and looked it over, saw the manufacturers address on the back, along with it’s URL, and the sight rattled her. Someone was taking great pains to convince her she was in wartime Paris, yet here, with something so simple, they had slipped up – and she wondered why? And who was this Werner, she thought? The Gestapo officer?  Every time I step outside there he is, like he’s been waiting for me.


‘And I’ve not heard a neighbor stir, or smelled a meal being prepared. Why not?’

“Why not?” she said as she turned and looked around the room. Almost perfect, she saw, yet there were differences. The windows were larger in this place, the ceilings a little lower

She went to her closet and put on an overcoat and walked down the stairs to the entry, and she looked out the narrow window into the fog, then opened the door and stepped into the mist.

“Ah, Frau Mannon,” Werner said, coming out of the fog in an instant.

She ignored him and walked off into the mist, and she heard him speak into a microphone, then run to catch up with her.

“What do you think you are doing?” he asked. Then: “Stop!”

She turned and looked at the man, really looked into his eyes, then she shook her head, bunched her fist and slammed it into the man’s neck.

He went down like a sack of bricks, coughing and gasping for air, then she turned and started running down the Rue Drevet – but she soon stopped, disoriented. ‘This is a hill,’ she thought. ‘I should be almost out of control, running down a hill.’ She put a hand out, felt the way ahead as if she was groping her way through sudden blindness, and a minute later she felt something impossibly cold and smooth – and solid – in her way. She stepped close, saw what looked like smooth white plastic – coated with condensation – and she followed it to the right for a few minutes. The surface did not change; she did not run into another building or even a car parked.

“This cannot be…”

No, and wherever she was, it was a place completely without sound. No urban noises at all, no people talking nor a dog barking. Not a car, not an airplane overhead – nothing beyond the shuddering loneliness of her own beating heart.

Then she heard him coming up behind her, still coughing a little and she turned to him, now very angry. “Just who do you think you…”

She saw ‘Werner,’ and then the little creature by his side, and she fell away from the sight of such things, backwards, into the fog.

Part II

Rehn and Rob Jeffries led the girls, on foot this time, back up the mountain and into the snow. They’d just spent a week at the Jeffries ranch, and it had taken the girls several days to come to terms with their new surroundings, yet Rehn found the time instructive.

He had not yet come of age in his old existence, had not been mated yet, but he knew – as did everyone in his village – that the chief had his eye on him. Still, that had hardly mattered to him; there were too many other important things to learn before taking a wife. He had watched boys a little older than himself fall under the spell of one girl or another, and he had looked on as these boys became more and more concerned with having sex than doing the other things that needed to be done to ensure the village’s survival. His father had, more or less, imbued Rehn with the idea that women were certainly nice in one regard, but to see them in that way only was a distraction. Life was not so simple, he said. Nor is life so free of danger.

“The village, not one of us,” his father told him one day, “can not survive without women, just as the village cannot survive without what men do, but to lose yourself to the grip of lust is to fail both yourself and the village.”

So he spent time, long stretches of time, alone with each girl – as if this was one of the most important choices he had to make here.

The girl he had noticed right away, the girl who had been sizing him up, was easily the prettiest, but he could tell she was also manipulative and self-centered. She expressed little desire to work or help out around the Jeffries place, and the room she shared with another girl was sloppy and unkempt, yet she had sized up the situation immediately. Rehn would be chief of the village, and she wanted to be in on the action. She watched Rehn watching her then started doing more, enough to not call so much attention to her sloth, anyway.

Her name was Zanna, and after only a few hours with her Rehn was uncomfortable. She was an opportunist, Rob’s father said, what he called a ‘Gold Digger,’ and wherever these girl went, trouble followed.

The remaining girls were simpler, but one of them, Tatakotay, was odd beyond description. Her features were plain, her face broad and flat, her frame large too, yet she was strong, almost as strong as he. Her hips were broad, too, something his mother once told him made child-birth less difficult, but that gave her the appearance of being larger than she was. She was cheerful when she worked, yet there was order around her, in the work she did around the Jeffries house and the in way she kept her belongings. When he spent an afternoon with her he found her very easy to talk to and her cheerfulness infectious. He was happy for the first time since he’d left to hunt the black cat, and despite her plain looks he felt a stirring in his loins that he hadn’t around Zanna.

The Other was around, of course, during all this, and Rehn knew his reactions were being observed, almost measured, yet that did not bother him at all. Indeed, after the sun went down he and Rob would go outside and look up at the stars, at a star in Orion.

“How far away is this place I will go?” he asked.

“Very far. The light you see now, right here, right now, left that star 550,000 days ago. Funny, too, as that’s about the same time you were born. The Other’s brought you about the same number of days forward through time.”

“Is that coincidence?”

“I don’t know, Rehn.”

“What do you know about them?”

“Very little. They appear to be scientists of some kind, but other times I think they’re more like engineers. They’re building something, with us, but I really don’t know much beyond that.”

“Do you know where they come from?”

“No, I don’t,” Rob said, telling Rehn the lie he’d been told to tell so many times before.

Now he looked at the way ahead, across a vast snowfield to the high cabin. Clouds were moving in, a light snow had just started falling and he turned, looked at the girls following. Heads bent down, trudging along painfully one step at a time, Zanna appeared angry – while Tatakotay still seemed cheerful, almost happy to be up here seeing something new, and he sighed, thought about the elder Jeffries description of girls like Zanna. Gold Diggers. How descriptive, but was it so? Zanna’s attractiveness was happiness in and of itself, was it not? Yet how much misery would attend that happiness?

When his thoughts drifted this way he thought of his mother. Happy, cheerful, always willing to pitch-in and get things done – very much like Tatakotay – yet she was a beautiful woman, too. Tatakotay was not, and Zanna was – and it was as simple as that. Going to someplace strange like Rigel, what would be of more importance: beauty or diligence?

He staggered to a stop under the weight of sudden vision. A howling wilderness too vast to describe, the sun a distant pinpoint at midday – the result of an eccentric orbit, he heard a voice telling him. Two hundred days of howling wind and snow, then not one hundred days of sunlight almost too hot to endure.

The meaning of the vision was clear: who do you want by your side? The choice will soon be upon you, so what kind of person will best help you survive?

And he knew just then, in that moment, that these girls weren’t accidental or random choices. They were a test, one of a series. Was he really the one to lead this new colony, or would his choices lead to another dead end?

He turned and looked at Tatakotay, asked her to come up and walk with him, and soon they walked ahead again – together.

He did not see the look in Zanna’s eye just then. The murderous intent that replaced her seething anger – yet both emotions were soon replaced by a more nuanced, calculating look.

beluga eye

Part III 

She looked out the window as the helicopter approached the tiny settlement, the sun just now slipping into the dawn sky, and she saw large, jagged peaks all around the small city. The helicopter began a rapid descent, then settled on a large landing area beside a hospital, and people rushed to open the aircraft’s door then get them inside.

Her husband was blue now, but his heart was still beating, if just barely, and she walked behind the people carrying him to the closest building. She saw, oddly enough, dozens of reporters waiting as she walked inside, but she was taken past the throng to a small emergency room.

“I am not ill,” she said to the first physician who came to see her, “but I am a physician, if I can be of any help.”

The woman looked her over carefully and shook her head a few times. “Something is not adding up,” she said when the first lab works came back. “Your white counts are…”

“I have cancer.”


“Please, don’t spend anymore time on me. And, may I help?”

“No, it’s not necessary…we are adequately staffed. Do you have anyone else here?”

“My husband, Robert Edsel. I came in with him on the first helicopter. He’s been in and out of arrest. There wasn’t a defib in the raft…”

“Let me go check on his condition. I’ll be right back.”

Which turned out to be more like three hours, but by that time Norma had been moved to a waiting area outside the ER, and she was looking at a satellite newscast on the TV. A story about a man who had been rescued by a beluga two days before, about a man who lost his boat in a storm south of here, and how the whale had helped the man to the harbor, then disappeared. The first reports of the cruise ship disaster were still pouring in, and word that more belugas were involved in the rescue was sending shockwaves around the world.

Animals, whales? Deliberately helping humans on the verge of death, at sea?

What was this all about?

She heard someone come into the waiting room while she listened, then looked up and saw her ER physician, and she knew by the look in the girl’s eyes that Bob was gone.

“I’m sorry,” the girl said. “We tried…”

She looked away, then stood and went to a window and looked over the barren landscape.

“What kind of cancer do you have?” she heard the girl ask.

“Hmm? Me? Oh, pancreatic.”



“I’m so sorry.”

“It’s odd, you know? I didn’t want to be the one to leave first, to leave him alone, and now here we are – I will not. Yet now I have to face this alone. Tell me, do you think that selfish?”

“I don’t know how I would respond if this was happening to me,” the girl said, “but I would not like to pass by myself.”

“One of those whales helped me to the raft,” Norma said.


“The belugas. There are dozens of them out there, helping people to the rafts. One of them talked to me.”

“Talked? What did it say?”

“Love. It said the word love, yet it meant ‘Love’ as an article, as in ‘is there someone you love out there.’ Like it wanted to know if he could help find Bob.”

“Come with me,” the girl said, and she led Norma through the hospital, to a room on the second floor, and she knocked on the door once, gently, then stuck her head inside the room.

“Bob, are you awake?”

He was. He and his son were watching the sunrise beyond the mountains, and he looked at the physician who had helped him in the ER two days ago.

“Dr Mortensen? How are you?”

“Fine, Bob. I wonder…have you been watching television this morning?”


“Please, turn it to CNN.”

His son did, and they watched the unfolding drama taking place at sea, then Bob turned to her.

“What’s happened?”

“I have a woman with me, she’s just arrived from the scene, and she too was rescued by a beluga.”

“She what?”

“She’s just lost her husband, but I think she needs to talk to you.”

“Of course. Yes, please send her up.”

“Well, she’s with me now. May she come in?”

“Yes, certainly.”

Norma walked in, recognized the man from the news reports; he was the man rescued by the beluga two days ago, and he was not alone. “Your name is Bob,” she asked straight away.


“That’s my husbands name.”

“I’m sorry.”

“It just happened.”


“Our ship hit ice and capsized, whales helped us to the rafts. Very deliberately helped us. Is that what happened to you?”

“I don’t know if anything was deliberate or simply accidental…”

“Did it speak to you?”

“The whale? Yes. And it’s a he, by the way. The one who helped me was, anyway.”

“There are dozens of them now. All of them helping.”

He shook his head, looked at his son. “What do you think now, Jim. That I’m making all this stuff up?”

“I saw what I saw, Dad. Not the things you experienced. Not the things this lady just experienced.”

“Look,” Norma said, “you two need to talk and I’ve got to go see what I need to do downstairs, but would you mind if I came back and talked with you again later?”

“I’ll be right here,” he said, a little too cheerfully.


She walked back to the ER and found her husband, went and stood by his side, held his hand, then another physician came and coughed to get her attention.

“Do you need the room now?” she asked.

“Yes, if you don’t mind. Another helicopter is coming now, and there are several severe cases of exposure.”

“I understand. Who do I need to talk to about arrangements?”

“Follow me, please…”

When she finished she walked back to Bob’s room, a little unnerved he had the same name as her husband, and she knocked on the door, went in when she heard his ‘come on in.’ She saw he was sitting up now, watching TV, looking at images of dozens of white whales helping people into rafts. Some images were from helicopters overhead, some from people in rafts using phones, but all recording the same surreal scene.

“I wonder why this is happening now?” he said, his voice full of wonder. “After all we’ve done to them.”

“I don’t know.”

“I think it comes back to the idea: was my meeting deliberate or some sort of accident.”

“What? How could it have been arranged?”

“I don’t know. But why the sudden change?”

“I don’t know. Maybe this pod ran into you, felt something in the experience then ran across us. A learned response, I guess. The one you were with…did you teach it any words?”

“Yes. Why?”

“Love, perhaps?”

“How did you know?”

“I think the one who rescued me must be the one who pulled you to land.”

“This is surreal,” he said. “Oh, I took a picture of him,” he said, holding up his phone.

She looked at the dim, grainy shot taken in the night, and shook her head. “May be him, but there’s usually some kind of explanation for something like this.”

“If you don’t mind me asking, what happened to your husband?”

“Hypothermia, circulatory collapse, cardiac arrest.”

“Oh. Are you a scientist of some sort?”


“Ah.” He looked away, looked out the window, drifted there for a while.

“Why are they keeping you here?”

“Hmm? Oh, my lab work was screwy, they ran a bunch of tests.”

“What did they find?”


“Pancreatic, by any chance?”

“Yes. Why?”

“I was diagnosed a few weeks ago. Pancreatic, stage 3.”

“Me too.”

She shook her head. “That just doesn’t make since. The odds are frightfully small that we’d…”

“Yes. That’s an odd coincidence, isn’t it. Like maybe he spotted us through something our cancer emits.”

“Some dogs can ‘smell’ cancer,” she said, almost in a whisper.


She nodded her head. “Yup. Prostate, testicular, ovarian, cervical.”

“Cancers located in the groin?”


“Do whales smell? I mean, like the way a dog can scent out things?”

“I doubt it, but things like blood emit certain distinct electromagnetic patterns in water, and those signals can travel pretty far underwater.”

“And belugas have some kind of hypersensitive sonar, don’t they.”

“Could be something similar to an ultrasound, I suppose,” she said as ideas ran through her scientist’s mind, “but they’d have to know normal from abnormal for that to work.”

“Unless this is working on an instinctual level, you know, like ‘I see something bad here.’”

“Well, I doubt we’ll ever know one way or another. I do know one thing…I’m not ever getting near the ocean ever again.”

“I know what you mean. My sailing days over over…too much big stuff floating around out there. The Atlantic has become one huge dumping ground.”


“Yeah. Sailing up from Norfolk to Montauk Point, took me two days to sail around this mound of garbage floating on the surface. I mean huge, like seventy miles long. Lots of medical waste, stuff too toxic for landfills. Looks like it had been hauled offshore and simply dumped out there, and so there I was, surrounded by billions of flies – in the middle of the ocean. It was surreal.”

“Any idea where it came from…the garbage, I mean?”

“Good ole New Jack City. I saw addresses on envelopes, on shipping boxes, all from New York.”

“Still the most corrupt city in the world,” she sighed. “Things never change.”

“Yeah, you know the funniest part? Out there, like a hundred miles offshore, I’m sailing by these hills of garbage and a periscope pops up out of the water, right there in the middle of the garbage field. Russian submarine, hiding under our garbage, probably heard me on sonar and wondered what I was, so he had to come take a look. Sitting out there with their missiles aimed at our cities, using our garbage as camouflage. Man, that’s irony. Bet that skipper was having a big laugh that day.”

“Kind of sad, I think.”

“How’re you doing?” he asked, his meaning clear.

“I still can’t believe he’s gone, the whole thing, but when I first looked at that cruise ship I told Bob the thing looked unstable. How can something so top-heavy…”

“I know. It’s like they put huge apartment complexes on top of barges to make those things. Ten or more decks above the waterline. Those ships rely on stabilizers in rough weather to keep an even keel. I wonder what happens when the stabilizers fail.”

“Not my problem. I’m flying home tomorrow, and like I said, I’ll never see the ocean again.”

“Yeah, you know, since they told me about the cancer I feel liberated. Like there’s nothing to be afraid of anymore. If death is the last big adventure, as in he last thing I’ll experience, well, I’m not so sure I want to hang up my spurs just yet.”

“Oh, what will you do? Go bungee-jumping?”

“Yeah, that’s right up there with skydiving – without a parachute.” They both laughed, then looked at one another. “Ya know, I’m not real sure yet, but I’ve been sitting here thinking about it for a day or so now. Maybe go somewhere I’ve never been before, someplace real far away, then just get out and walk. Not to see things, but to meet people, talk to…”

“Are you thinking about India, someplace like that?”

“Place doesn’t matter so much, I guess. India, Mexico or even someplace really primitive, like Kansas. Just someplace new, ya know. Someplace I’ve never been before. A back road in Oklahoma or a trail in Kenya. Doesn’t matter much, I reckon, just breathe the air and talk to folks. That’s all.”

“Where did you grow up?” she asked.

“Seattle. Studied architecture in Wisconsin, practiced in Chicago. My wife, Rebecca and I, we were going to cut the cord and sail away, then she got sick…”


“Yes, that’s right. Invasive ductile carcinoma, or words to that effect. She fought the good fight, went down swinging. I ran away after that, thought I might as well run off and die somewhere, so of course I loaded the boat down with every conceivable rescue device known to man…”

She laughed again. “No sane person really wants to die, I guess, but even so, that’s kind of funny.”

“I justified it, ya know, saying I didn’t want my son to worry if I just disappeared.”

“Not knowing. That would be brutal. So, where were you going to go?”

“I was going to wander around Greenland, then work my way back to New England. Nova Scotia, that thing. Get to Maine in time to watch the turning leaves in autumn. I figured by then I’d have a good idea of what I could do on the boat…”

“So, now you’re going to do the same thing, only…”

“Yeah. All I’ll need is a really good pair of walking shoes, maybe a phone.”

“I think I’d go to France, walk the Pyrenees into Spain.”

“Oh? Why?”

She grinned. “The food.”

He grinned too. “Ya know, I’ve not been hungry in the least.”

“Give it a week. That’ll change.”

“The voice of experience?”

“Oh, yeah. I’d kill for a whole lobster right about now.”

“Drawn butter, corn on the cob?”

“Oh, man…don’t get me started.”

He turned serious, looked away for a moment, gathered his thoughts, then he turned back to her: “I’ve been having a weird dream. Twice now, the same thing. I’m swimming with a pod of those whales and I look up, see a ringed planet, something like Saturn…”

“And other planets in orbit around it,” she said. “Then all of us are looking up into the sky, looking up at that planet…” They looked at one another, then she gasped, tried to catch her breath as implications rolled over her.

“I think I saw you there, too,” he said. “Swimming by my side. Our side…” then more images began flooding into view, images of a vast sea under a strange, ringed planet. Belugas everywhere, just as confused as they were, then the sight of ship of some sort, behind a golden veil. He felt vertiginous tides then, felt completely disoriented, like his mind was one place and his body somewhere else. No ‘here’ and ‘there’ – he was in both places at once. He wanted to hold onto the bed, feel the reality of the hospital room in Greenland, but his hands felt cool water within the texture of the sheets.

“Oh dear God,” he heard Norma say.

“Where are you?” he shouted.

“In the water, that planet is overhead.”

“The planet? What colors do you see?”

“Pale blues, white bands with reddish swirls. It’s like there are a billion hurricanes on the surface…”

“That’s what I see…can you see me – in the hospital room?”

“No. All I see is…”

“Me too. What about your hands. What do you feel?”

“Water,” she cried. “What is going on!?”

“Follow the sound of my voice, swim to me…” he heard her pushing through the water, coming close… “that’s it, keep on coming, it sounds like you’re just a few feet away, that’s it, a little more…”

And when he felt her hand touch his in a blinding flash they were back in the hospital room, but she screamed now, a full throated scream as real awareness flooded into consciousness.

They heard nurses outside the room running down the corridor, then they saw the door open and a half a dozen people rush in – then they stopped, looked up at the ceiling. One nurse looked up at them both, now plastered to the ceiling with sea water pouring from their naked bodies, and she screamed as she ran from the room.

A physician walked into the room and looked up at them, then shook his head. “Some people will do anything to get attention,” he scoffed as he turned and walked away.

“Can you move?” he asked.

“No, and I don’t want to, either.”

“I see your point. I wonder what happens next?”

“I hope you aren’t asking me?”

(c) 2017 adrian leverkühn | abw |

7 thoughts on “Mystères élémentaires Nº 3

  1. Thank you for the musical suggestions. Seiji Ozawa and the Boston Symphony Orchestra were lovely in the background. I’m slowly becoming a fan of YouTube. Almost as much as I am a fan of your writing.
    Help me, if you have a moment, to understand where the young ladies came from? Were they also brought there by the Other? Do they work at the Ranch? I may have to go back to no. 02 to see what I may have missed.


      • Found it, thanks. Going back to the fragment then to 02 caught me up on several bits and pieces I had not retained. Bringing the girls must have been in a larger ship if the description of cramped space is accurate. The time line is fluid. Given the ability of the Other to slip back and forth at will they could have made the decision to go find female companions 500 years from now, not necessarily at the same time. The only important part is at what point they are inserted relative to the education of Rah/Rhen and the voyage to their next adventure.
        Are the walk abouts from the apartment into the fog, meeting the ever present Werner, meant to be reminiscent of the Truman Story?


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