Tag Archives: divination

SERPENT the MILLIONS 097-098

The SerpentThe Millions

The following is a short story that preludes a series of novels entitled HIGHSIX:

Demeter Thorpe spat as he left The Council of Skol. His stomach rumbled. He had already eaten his dinner, two pounds of rare steak with a tall glass of goat milk, but he was ravenous all of a sudden. Anger more than anything controlled his appetite.

He knew ahead of time that they would reject his proposal. Old men didn’t like to listen to reason, especially when it collapsed their foundation of knowledge. Knowing he knew better wasn’t enough. If only it was just his conditions that restricted others from giving him credibility. He was short, four and a half feet tall, fat, 230 pounds, and afflicted with a skin disorder called the gloss that made his skin so pale it was almost translucent.

“Fools upon fools,” he said aloud. So rarely in company of willing listeners, Demeter made habit of speaking to Mamoth. “Mercy, mercy. If I don’t drown in stupidity, Your name be blessed.”

Demeter put on his black wolf skin coat, his black sun hat and his protective indigo tinted shades before leaving the Temple of Skol. He walked down the white marble steps under the stars to the white brick road. His boots clicked against them and though he was used to it, his mind still went to the millions of dead below him. Mothopolis was built with the dead. Their bones were ground and mixed in to the concrete and bricks, ensuring their souls would belong to the cause of The God of Bones forever.

He was staying at the Luture Manor. It was the only friendly connection Demeter had in Mothopolis and each time he came he took board with his once mentor, Elder Finnis Luture. They met when Finnis was just newly crowned a Master of Bones and Demeter was still a child. He taught Demeter the histories and introduced him to the only love he had ever known besides The God of Bones: numbers.

Though he had stayed there with each visit back to Mothopolis, Luture Manor looked as if it had grown each time. There were always six stories, but Demeter counted each time anyway, swearing a seventh had popped up below the indigo roof and reptilian skeletal gargoyles. The gate was locked, due to the hour, but he reached between the bars to unlock it as he always did anyway. The yard seemed longer, but there was no sign of work done to extend the grounds.

When he was finally waddling up the steps, his knee giving him trouble again as well his mouth salivating just thinking of the decanter waiting for him, the front doors opened.

“Saleyah,” said Demeter. “Too kind of you. You weren’t waiting on me were you? It makes me ill just to think of such beauty waiting at the window.”

The girl’s scarred face twisted in to what Demeter had come to hope was a smile, but her disfigurement veiled the girl’s emotion from him and it could have just as well been a grimace.

“I apologize for the hour of my arrival. The Council keeps late hours no doubt. Have you dressed Finnis for bed yet? I was hoping to meet with him before I retire.”

“He -aits hor -ou,” she said. “Hood?”

“No, no, darling, I’ve more than had my fill for the day. I only hope to touch him in sickness as he did me in youth.”

Saleyah took his coat and hat, then bowed and disappeared.

“Beautiful,” said Demeter to Mamoth once Saleyah was out of ear shot and then began the long trip up the steps. He could have taken the lift, but the attendant was no doubt off duty and he had no desire to see anyone else tonight.

By the time Demeter had climbed the stairs and made his way to the back end of the manor to Luture’s door, Saleyah was already opening it from the inside.

“Sweeter every time I see you,” said Demeter. “If you wouldn’t mind, I know I said…” but he trailed off as Saleyah pointed to the table where a thick cut of meat steamed beside a decanter full of the good red. “You are too good to me, dear. One of these days I’m going to sweep you up and take you out of this place. I’ll put a baby in your belly and feed you grapes from the vine. I’ll-”

Hilthy -oy,” said Saleyah letting the door close as she walked away.

Demeter watched her leave. His mouth filled with saliva. “Exquisite.”

Slave mutilation was one of the privileges of becoming a Master of Bones. Each line had their own way of marking their slaves. The Rotsam’s shaved their slave’s heads and removed their ears. The Rexler’s split their slave’s top lip to the nose and bottom lip to the chin. The Modune’s removed their index and ring fingers and the Luture’s burned their slave’s faces. In the case of Saleyah, the fire had taken most of her lips causing her speech impediment.

Demeter locked the door after downing half of the decanter. The warm red filled him deeply and while he no longer felt hunger, he bit in to the perfectly rare steak and chewed with his eyes closed. This life was good, but not his. “One day,” he said to Mamoth. “Sixth of SIX willing.”

He pulled the chair next to Finnis in closer, but before sitting down went back for another bite of the chewy steak, moaning as the juices filled his mouth with each chew. He brought the decanter back to the seat with him and chugged down the hunk of meat, loving the near choking sensation.

“How was it?” asked Demeter for Elder Finnis. “Well, I made it up all the stairs at least. Beat you there now didn’t I?” He took a long pull from the decanter leaving it only a third left.

Elder Finnis Luture could no longer speak. His eyes were open, but he was no longer capable of moving his head to see Demeter.

“Only teasing there. Don’t take offense. You know, if it were up to me I’d have had them wheel you up those steps. A silly rule, no doubt. I’m sure if Mamoth had made it passed his twenties he would have been wheeled up to his seat. One little trip, a misstep even if you did take a knee, not enough if you ask me to earn retirement.”

Demeter took another drink, leaving only a fourth left.

“You’re right. Don’t blame the council. Rules are rules. You live by them, you die by them, you live to die by them, you die to live by them and it’s the only way it should be. You know, all they had to do was listen. No one in Mothopolis listens. It’s a city full of talkers only silent when they eat, drink or think of what next to say.”

Demeter drank again. He swallowed, stared through his indigo shades and then removed them.

Pointing with them, he said, “Someone like you doesn’t get to see it like I have. You sit too high, too comfortable. Here.”

Demeter stepped off the seat and then hopped beside Elder Finnis Luture. The bed tipped with his weight and so Demeter leaned over his carpeted legs.

“Try this,” he said and placed the glasses over the open immobile eyes of Finnis. “There you go. Much better. You see, it makes perfect sense.”

Demeter finished the decanter and tossed it over his shoulder. It clinked against the wood floor, but didn’t break. He pulled the covers back and reached below the old man’s undergarments. He found his penis, withered and thin, and gripped it tightly.

“The Great Lie was a lie. Before The Great Lie, 145326, Sarora, Jokkol and Nithya conspired to make war upon the next reincarnation, employing the Demonks to infiltrate Marrow City and kidnap The High SIX as babes so as to skip the reign of Mamoth as first born, 614532. As the story goes, the Demonks were successful and made it to The Falling Tunnel of Center City, but instead of three girls and three boys there were two girls and four boys. Jokkol had switched sexes. The Demonks consulted their God of Eyes who instructed them to throw Jokkol, Xzicxy and Mamoth into The Falling Tunnel, saving Ethaum instead because the male incarnation of Jokkol was undoubtedly evil. Since that incarnation of The High SIX, the First, Second and Fifth God have locked in the higher birth order for six generations. So The Great Lie was to Jokkol as the histories teach. After the six generations, once Ethaum dies ending our current incarnation of 215463, Mamoth is supposed to return as first in birth order, giving Him a new start as first born, returning to 614532.”

Demeter looked around for his drink, remembered it gone and then pulled viciously at Elder Finnis Luture’s penis, twisting and digging in his nails.

“Lies. All lies. I know the truth because I know the numbers. You see, Sarora had it right. Alliance has to be made, but she couldn’t risk a male ruining her chance to rule. They didn’t throw in three. They threw in four. They got rid of all the males and it’s taken six generations for the cycle to reset. The curse is lifted when Ethaum dies.”

Demeter unclenched his fingers from Finnis when he noticed they were wet. He inspected his hand and wiped away the blood on the quilt. He took his shades back and Elder Luture’s eyes were closed. He hopped off the bed and leaned over with his lips to his once mentor’s ear.

“I’ve seen The Serpent and I know what to do. I thank Mamoth for every moment you spend in pain. May your life be long and intolerable .”

Demeter shoved the rest of the steak into his mouth and left to his quarters, anxious to taste more of Luture’s good deep red.

The God of Teeth 084-090

The Soul of Teeth

“The God of Teeth is the only god within the HIGHSIX that acts how he believes. If something is funny, you laugh. Any problem is to be met with a grin. If you are never serious, how can anyone else be taken seriously?”

The Six of Teeth

“The Fourth God is a liar. Those loyal to him cannot be trusted. Those that have gone to the Orange Land come back with lies or don’t come back at all. I am the only exception. I have been to the SouthWest of SIX and know it first hand. Listen so that you might be saved.”

The Five of Teeth

“There is a castle once you pass the ghost towns that the Orange people destroyed. They call them that for the pollen of the virral flower they cover their bodies with. The castle is made of bones and the rode to it is made of teeth. There is no sense in how this came to be, but sense holds little ground among followers of The God of Teeth. All that matters when you meet the true Orangies is whether or not you can make them laugh.”

The Four of Teeth

“I entered their castle a prisoner until I was put before the holder of the Orange Throne. He was a man, toothless, covered in that orange pollen and I had heard the legend, but didn’t believe until I saw it. The Orange Throne was not as I’d imagined it to be. It was far worse.”

The Three of Teeth

“Limbs made up the structure of the seat that the Orange Man sat on. JOKKOL was long dead and it was clear that this rugged man, skin orange, teeth gone, hair in long dreads and fingernails that touched the floor, was only sitting in his god’s stead. When he spoke, it was with fierce nonsense and I knew then what was necessary of me.”

The Two of Teeth

“I took out my dagger and held it above my head as I yelled the name of their god and then bowed as I placed the tip to the root of my gums. I used my palm as a hammer, ridding my mind and instincts of second thoughts.”

The Null of Teeth

“I have no teeth, but I have life, and now I know what true laughter really is: sustenance.”

The God of Eyes 077-083

 The Null of Eyes

“Not everyone gets the epiphany.”

 The Two of Eyes

“Just so you know, you’re being lied to. The Land of The SIX is not what it seems.”

 The Three of Eyes

“The Council of Skol runs Center CIty and the majority of SIX. They do this through minerals, monetizing the very land you sleep on .The same land that was here long before you and will be right there, for as long as the world is, after you.”

 The Four of Eyes

“Everything you see is controlled. There are curses worked in to every message you get from the world around you. Pretty soon, SIX will all be waste. Our planet’s small circle of land is habitable only temporarily.”

The Five of Eyes

“There is no way to stop the Council of Skol because they control everything. Like puppets on strings, everything you see becomes clearer of sense when you take a step back. That is what Only Mountain is like. A drawing framed in close that allows you only a fraction of the information necessary to discern it. With each zoom out of the frame, a new epiphany is made.”

The Six of Eyes

“If you think you know the history of SIX than you are wrong. No one can know the unknowable. All that is available to the historian is a collection of accounts it must trust. Without trust for history’s authors, one has no use for ‘fact’ driven education. The truth is, facts simply can’t exist. People are just not meant to really know because we are built fallible, victims to our own perceptions.”

The Soul of Eyes

“Perception is just like a ghost, unreliable and intangible.”

 

The God of Ears 063-069

 The Null of Ears

“I hate nothing more than a person that insists on being listened to.”

 The Two of Ears

“The appearance of family is more important than any person within that family. At any moment this appearance can change and in order to adapt, family member adjustment can be necessary.”

 The Three of Ears

“When I moved to my beach house that bordered the Still Lake, it wasn’t only because I was running. I liked it there, especially when the coagula were as thick as they could get, almost enough to walk on. I could discard the waste that came natural to my profession permanently that way.”

 The Four of Ears

“The stars are important. Most people pay them no mind, but that’s all the better. The fewer people that follow them makes for fewer people that take advantage of them. Everything I do is first allowed by the constellations, which is why my lies will go undiscovered.”

 The Five of Ears

“I killed my first wife when the stars gave no other choice. My second wife helped me bury her while my third kept her and the second’s children inside the house. The second helped me bury the third when she took her own life with medicine on the night the beetle constellation shone bright directly overhead. I took on a fourth and a fifth, but they could not take my seed and so i murdered them together out on the lake, too far out. It wasn’t until I bought my sixth wife that I strangled the second and pushed her body under the floating coagula to conceal her in the lake as well.”

The Six of Ears

“I do my best to stay away from people, but in order to maintain the upper class clientele I prefer, I have to attend a social event every once and a while. Rich people are the only ones that can afford my services. The handshake and bow are necessary to ensure my customers stay happy and send their wives or their friend’s wives in to me and no one else. I don’t know if there are others like me. I’m the only self-proclaimed abortionist I’ve ever met. I drink their wine and I advertise with my most recently cycled in wife on my shoulder smiling, always smiling.”

The Soul of Ears

“Children are an important commodity, much more important than the women that carry them. It’s strange to get paid to remove them, but strange pay is pay all the same.”

The God of Bones 056-062

The Null of Bones

“I will refrain from boring you with numbers though I prefer them. By profession I am a Mathematician. Most will never understand. Numbers are a language and without fluency, no man can know even one of The HIGHSIX.”

The Two of Bones

“I knew before any that the next birthing of The HIGHSIX would not come from one loyal to MAMOTH as was widely believed. The Council of Skol rejected my theory that JOKKOL was next in line as I expected they would. Even those faithful to The Sixth God turned away from my numerical logic. If they had experienced as I had, they would not have needed numbers.”

The Three of Bones

“I traveled in my youth to the Hall of Tongue by mostly boat over the Still Lakes of The God of Ears, down through the Waxing Wetlands and east along the Budded Isle where The God of Tongue speaks. Here I met with a Council of Elders who dressed and spoke in the ways of The Third God, but were secretly aligned with my Sixth. With their allegiance proven we set out to summon our God that he might tell us of his next arrival.”

The Four of Bones

“We summoned MAMOTH in fire and saw The Great Skull of our God, black within the orange flames. MAMOTH was without lower jaw and it wasn’t until The Serpent slithered from below MAMOTH’s teeth and then between his empty eyes that it rested atop the burning bone head. There it spoke a sequence none of us expected. ‘4.3.6.5.1.2’.”

The Five of Bones

“I was confused with why MAMOTH spoke there in the Hanging Jungle of The God of Tongue opposed to Marrow City or the Skol Temple where I gave my annual sacrifice, but it was suggested that the conjoined power of MAMOTH and XZICXY, The Gods of Bone and Tongue, The Sixth and The Third, the purple and the green, was proof of a dark allegiance history had yet to see. In the number sequence The Serpent prophesied The Third and The Sixth were the second and third, leaving The God of Teeth as first of the coming reincarnation.”

The Six of Bones

“When I left The Hall of Tongue I brought nothing but the numbers in my head. The Council of Skol scoffed at my words and those were the last I spoke of them. Instead I did as they would have me, following orders, building wealth and awaiting the death of the last remaining God of The HIGHSIX. It was on the day that ETHAUM died, during his 22 days of mourning, that I left Marrow City for the second time in my life.”

The Soul of Bones

“The HIGHSIX are born as sextuplets. They live their lives, some dying as they go along despite their undoubted Godliness and power. Once all six have died, all six begin the process again, performing the immaculate conception that would bring six babes to birth with each one of them an embodiment of one of The Six Gods, The HIGHSIX. The first out of the womb is the strongest in power and influence, each one a little less from there until the last, but within the sequence there is also a deeper meaning. There are seven hundred and twenty different ways that the HIGHSIX could emerge from their mother. Each position of order for the respective God determines the fate of that God’s faithful followers. With The God of Bones, MAMOTH,  prophesied to come third instead of first, and to be born in the orange lands opposed of our home of Marrow City, I knew I would not return from my travels unless I carried at least one babe in tow.”

The God of Tongue 049-055

The Null of Tongue

“I have never been one to say what I think. I try and the try is always a fail. Words can destroy one who is not careful and careful I’ve never been. Better to grasp forget-ness than incite pertubance.”

The Two of Tongue

“I found love early in life, before my rod knew why it stood for the ladies with perks out from everywhere. Their eyes perked, their hips perked, their cheeks flushed with blood, red and bulged, and those lashes, the long fluttering appendages of their delicate lids were like soft centipedal legs that beckoned me, magnetizing my groin to their mystery conduits.”

The Three of Tongue

“The hope for the love I wanted from the women I wanted incinerated as we grew. They were swept away from my eyes with men of better promises and I myself then found myself promised to The Hall of Tongue where knowledge was all there was and women were nothing but temptresses of the oppressing untrue god. The God of Eyes lived inside each heart of the wicked doves I used to adore and after sailing down The Budded Isle to begin my education, I feared I would never see a feather again. Only scales and tails and venomous ejaculates.”

The Four of Tongue

“The Hall of Tongue was as I expected. No one cared to listen. Everyone was desperate to speak. Even in times where they did let you say your mind, it was only in reprieve for what next they would say. The teachers left no room for question. The assignments were long and arduous. I found solace in the library only. There I would read the scrolls of XZICXY and considered the dead god to be the only worthy mentor.”

The Five of Tongue

“It was on a night of the grinning moon that I followed the Elders out in to the Hanging Jungle. The monotony of endless text had spun my brain in to a state of restless agony and I needed the sound of inhuman life desperately. I kept out of view behind a drooping fern and listened to them chant words I could not understand over the croaks of reptile life everywhere. They spoke to a god I did not know and within my heart I knew them to be enemies of The God of Tongue. Enemies to XZICXY.”

The Six of Tongue

“When the world is so oppressing, so controlled, so infuriatingly deaf to all but their own reassuring tongues, there are only three options. The first was to fight and destroy them all. I, in my youth, dared not. The second was to pay them no mind and continue on as if I knew no better, allowing myself to become one with them and absorb their thoughts into my own so that my mind would find comfortable demise in their back patting. This I would not, for if I had attempted, no doubt my stubborn tongue would have found its way in the end. The third was my only sound option. The third is what I chose. I waited, secretly collecting the complete works of XZICXY before I made my way away from The Hall of Tongue as far as the god it was named for would allow.”

The Soul of Tongue

“I knew not where to go and so i dared not presume to. Instead, I fled. When my eyes were of no use I used my hands to lead me through the endless brush of the jungle. Once my heart knew itself safe I relieved myself of my luggage, the works of my only master. No food, no water, no belongings, just the words of XZICXY. I closed my eyes as I crossed my legs and opened my mouth to speak his words. I was still a boy then, still a slave, and expected nothing from my desperate act of hope. The God of Tongue did not appear, for my eyes were unnecessary. Instead, my lips parted and without control, my humble organ fluttered his speech. It wasn’t until dawn that I could again see and from his words I knew exactly how to prepare for his return.”