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Chap 23: Hello

Strangers meeting for the first time,
The collision of worlds
Like collapsing wave functions.
Which relationship will emerge
From the infinite possibilities?
How you doin’? Or
We’re from the government
And we’re here to help!
– Mad Erik

When I write a story …

When I write a story it seems to emerge from the fog at the end of the lane like an old house. It’s a magical house in a magical mist, windows appear and disappear like the scraps of description I’d like to include. The chimney which one moment is on the left moves to the other end of the house as the breeze of creation stirs the clouds. Does it have a porch? Or are those just old yew trees? Should I add a garage or a stable. Another writer might prefer blueprints before beginning to build, but I prefer scribbling a rough outline on a napkin and then editing it as I go along.

I stand on the front lawn a while wondering who lives here. Even though unfinished, the house seems occupied. What characters would inhabit such a place? They have a dog. I saw it disappear around the end of the porch. I check the mailbox, doing my research. They subscribe to some interesting magazines. Three people live here. Good. More than that and my story would be as crowded as a boarding house.

Ready to begin writing, I walk up to the steps, climb onto the porch, and ring the bell. The door opens and three figures await in the hallway. Others hide in the shadows of doorways and on the stairs, my supporting characters. They let me in and introduce themselves.

I wander around the house as the characters open doors and show me the rooms in which they live. I see the rugs on the floors, the wallpaper on the walls, and the personal treasures on the shelves of the bookcases. Like an overbearing mother-in-law I change the decor to what I deem more suitable. The characters never complain.

Through the kitchen window I can see a garden in the back of the house, the ending of the story. The leaves of the plants are glistening with dew. But I don’t know how to find the back door, so I begin rearranging the rooms as if they were furniture. Chapters get shuffled. Story threads get rewoven. I open closet doors. I descend into the cellar. I look for burglars in the attic. The female character shows me her bedroom, but I do not go in. My editor would not like it.

We all meet again in the hallway, and the back door is in sight. I see the ending of the story. The neighbors across the garden are well known to me. I built their house last year. My characters walk out into the garden I designed as metaphysical mystery and mingle with each other, while I sit in my rocking chair on the back porch drinking my lemonade, brushing shreds of typos and passive voice off my clothes.

To the left of the garden, behind the hedges, the morning sunshine reflects off the windows of another house.

Chap 17: Paradox and Avatar

What if you could travel along the spine of a fractal curve?
At each moment, you diminish in size proportionally
As does the world around you
So that you never even notice the change.
Then, at the point of no return, like Alice after eating a bite of cake,
You grasp another tendril and begin to grow larger and larger
Until you find yourself in a totally different place.
– Mad Erik

Chap 16: The Nest

An Angel watched the Devils dance
Round the fires fueled by lies
Casting shadows to blind the eyes
Making music to fan the fury
Guilt had distracted the rational from its purpose
Effort would now be wasted on trivialities
As another prison door closes.
– Mad Erik

Chap 15: One New Star

Inside, the confused screams of the latest prisoner
Are finally heard by the nearest neighbors,
Who have been awaiting fresh meat.
While Outside, the raging hopes and dreams
Splash silently into the sea of souls,
And are ignored by he who put them there … HackerBoy.
– Mad Erik