On The Matter of Asking (a sort of follow up to ‘A Singular Circumstance. One Summer’s Day’) September #BlogBattle-Eschaton

End of Days

Storms whose furies dwarfed the worst of winters past, driving the might of seas up rivers and into the least streams. Lands turbulent, restless as fever haunted sleepers. Mountains in anger threw down rock, snow and ice or hauled up worse from the depths of the earth. Disease flourished in the resultant death. And in the terror came myriad small wars.

For those charged with remaining calm and analytical the evidence led to one plausible conclusion. This in turn begged further examination for this conclusion flew against hard won rational beliefs founded in the sciences and many a mighty machine.  Yet all pointed to lore based on creed of the heart and ephemeral faith . The urgency of the matter compacted what might have otherwise been years of debate into mere days, for the process envisaged was innovative, an appeal to Devine Agencies. Across the breadth of consensus, there was, however, no other option. As one put it.

‘It’s worth a try,’

‘Lady Betrügerin? The Ghost of?’

‘If you likes Custodian Vastberaden. I’m  not fussy. Thanks for recognising me though. A girl likes to have a bit of a reputation. Quite a bit of effort there, getting yourself noticed by us. Took a risk. I could’ve nobbled you without discourse,’

‘It’s a time when risks don’t matter,’

‘I suppose it would be fer you folk, down on the ground there,’

The brief conversation concluded as the mist cleared, and light blue passageway ended with a simple wood arched door. The woman of youthful appearance and three centuries notoriety, knocked with deference, but spoke otherwise.

‘He’s ‘ere Guv’nor,’

‘Thank you Betrügerin,’

Opening the door and with a less than sober gesture of invitation Betrügerin stood to one side allowing the Custodian to pass through.

‘Best of luck with your pitch mate,’ she said and passed back into the mist.

Although the atmosphere of the room seemed clear Vastberaden discerned more mist, of a soft coastal sort, the variance made the task of focusing on the man at the other end of the room, problematic. The only detail The Custodian was certain of, the fellow was tall and studying a map laid out on a table, which might have been bigger than first inspection. Vastberaden supposed there would be challenges to the senses when meeting someone who was arbiter of the fate of the world.

‘Custodian Vastberaden,’ the voice was quite ordinary, paradoxically Vastberaden would have been disappointed if he had been addressed in majestic echoing tones, the business to him would seem to have smacked of ostentation. ‘You did not journey here of your own volition. Sent at the behest of eminent and intelligent people, though you did volunteer,’

No questions,’ thought Vastberaden, ‘It would also be disappointing if he had to ask. He is supposed to have a quite comprehensive knowledge,’

Then there was the silence. Vastberaden concluded he was going to have to do the talking.

‘Correct,’ the fellow said ‘You are here to state the case for Preservation of Your Civilisations’ Status. In the light of evidence to the opposite,’

‘Of course, he can hear my thoughts. But speaking can be more coherent,’

‘After all the study and conclusions based on investigations over the past century. We discovered this link or pathway, and felt a direct approach was the correct thing to do. After all the effort in forging our civilisation, fatalism could not be countenanced,’

There was a sigh.

‘Whereas your response can be considered positive in its level of determination, you must appreciate against the weight of evidence the achievements are outweighed by the mistakes, abuses and of course hubris,’

‘We are aware of the shortcomings. We are not complacent or uncaring. I would also point out that the current amount of suffering of the innocent is comparable to several of our more profligate wars. We struggle to see The Justice, nay even The Example being set by Higher Authority if I may use such a term,’

The figure looked up from the map, Vastberaden discerned emotion, though which one he found he could not make out.

‘You appear not to have perceived the disadvantageous changes you folk are bringing unto the World,’ one hand drifted across the map ‘Here, these are plain to see. For Humanity is not the only concern. Other Life. And Other Dynamics. They have precedence,’ there was a brief neutral gesture for Vastberaden to draw closer. ‘Come closer. You may be able to discern why things are unravelling the way they have been,’

Vastberaden looked down upon a map, whose basic outlines seemed distantly familiar, although total perception was made difficult by the movements and interactions of shapes, some geometric, some reminiscent of clouds or oceans while others tested the senses to comprehend. The Custodian shook his head in bafflement, at this one hand rested lightly on his shoulder, and in a jarring interlude there was a focus, albeit blurred.

Life was a part of The World. A factor which lived under the sway of forces able to sweep lands and oceans clean of it, and yet in its own various dynamics capable of causing those forces to react in ways folk had not expected to react. Many forms found balance and accord, some did not. Humanity appeared to be one such, and thus forged an extreme example of unbalance. Vastberaden considered the panorama and the circumstances unfolding, no the correct word be ‘unravelling’.

He looked up into a face saddened.

‘You understand something of the problem. You folk with such inventiveness and ability have this talent for making things worse,’

‘Aye. This much is obvious. We made great efforts to seek out something which when it was staring us in the face,’

‘There is the irony. Consider your example. In your urge to find a practical and rational answer you did not rely on convoluted recitations, nor some of the more questionable religious practices. You worked on the evidence of activities of my,’ here Vastberaden detected a slight laugh ‘Own band’s extended efforts. Concluded there was a distinct pattern leading to some intelligence beyond your own realms. One combating malevolent people in your fields and cities. Thence was a most dangerous bold strategy of placing your people as potential false targets sought to establish contact,’

‘It cost us several brave folk,’

‘It was unfortunate. Some of my own have not yet, even ever grasped the subtleties of operations against the corrosions. Lady Betrügerin, though as ruthless as any is possessed of a certain whimsy which saved your life, physical. Know this here is an opportunity of insight. We have our own missions against Ignorance, Fear and Intolerance and despite our seeming apparel of celestial power, in the scheme of things are but talented dedicated, small folk. We cannot stop these events you have brought upon yourselves,’

In his career Vastberaden had known many disappointments, some defeats and a fair number of those designated as insurmountable challenges. To avoid shock and dismay he had prepared himself for this endeavour to be one of the latter, mixed with something of the first. Speak calmly, though. Good manners cost nothing.

‘You did, still allow me to have audience. Would you then, by definition have some advice?’

‘There is always advice. This would depend on whether the listener truly wants advice no matter how unpalatable, and not just an alleged solution?’

Vastberaden thought this reasonable. The one facet which had weighed heavily upon him was the notion of making an appeal to a celestial being. After all such folk would not necessarily have the same moral compass, thus what might seem a heartfelt appeal to you could be laughable or worse objectionable to them. And as for advice, well you could listen to as much of it as you wished, then filter through the whole flood looking for gems.

‘I would always listen to advice,’ Vastberaden said, as he often had, for many folk had taken this statement as willingness to wholeheartdly accept what they would say.

The conclave which had debated and finally acquiesced to Vastberaden’s mission walked into the most secret of chambers to discuss and speculate what had, was and might be taking place.  Such was their immersion in the whole venture none of them were truly surprised to find him already seated there. He was quick and economical to advise them he had journeyed to where intended, he had met with someone in authority and had positive news to give them. As was their experience in grave and weighty matters none of them hurried him along, even though a nearby substantial river, had driven by great rains broken its banks, rushed upon and caused the collapse of a castle.

‘There is guidance,’ he said, thoughtfully and told them of the great map and the information thereupon ‘The responsibility lays with everyone.  It is not a spiritual, but a physical matter. The resources of the world cannot be taken granted as servile, it is necessary work with the land, rivers, seas, yea even skies. New disciplines and means have to be learnt, old ones adapted. The great forces once thought to be under control are not, much study is necessary. The work will be hard and long. Everyone must understand, bend their minds and bodies to change,’

The first to speak was a graven military fellow, versed in the ways of war and state security, thus with the shortcomings and weaknesses of territories, rulers, influencers of rulers, those who would be either and of course the mentality of mobs and rumours.

‘This will be a very difficult task, like trying to turn around a great vessel in a narrow shallow when a tide has gripped it,’

‘Indeed,’ agreed Vastberaden, then speaking guardedly added ‘The folk I spoke with can offer some assistance,’

At this a woman appeared at his side, she smiled waved, a cheerful little gesture.

‘Lady Betrügerin,’ she said.

‘The Death Maiden?’ asked a man of theological scholarship and thus rather interested ‘Not legendary then Vastberaden?’

‘I can speak for meself.,’ she snapped ‘Quite real thank you. So is he,’ she pointed to someone turning from a mist to a more discernible figure robed, features hidden by a cowl, and in a thin hand holding aloft a scythe. He was silent. Vastberaden took up the discourse.

‘Those whose representatives you see here, are willing to take some time out from their allotted task purging evil dabblers in demonics, to assist as it were. In expunging those of arguably a more important threat. The ones who will not listen either through greed, ignorance or stubborn intransigence,’

‘Of course we can’t be everywhere at once,’ Lady Betrügerin said and the cowled figure nodded agreement ‘And we can’t go taking everyone of the world. Be a bit drastic. Things are bad enough anyhows.  Only the worst and most loudest, let the others learn. Y’know you can help there, by telling folk the ones taken was smited by Devine Judgement,’

As the cowled figure nodded so did the military man and the theologian; it seemed a reasonable approach the pair thought.

To be fair to the assembly being mortal there was a brief hub-bub, but general agreement.

‘Strange times. But necessary requirements,’ said the current chairman ‘You Custodian Vastberaden must be escorted to and speak with the emperor, in secret of course,’

Vastberaden seemed a smidge abashed and hesitant, Lady Betrügerin sniggered and nudged him.

‘G’wan,’ she enthused ‘Tell ‘em,’

‘I visited him first,’  Vastberaden confessed ‘He was annoyed. Said it would interfere with his gold mining enterprises. He was my first case. He’s gone from this mortal realm,’

Vastberaden rose, out of the chair and into the air with Lady Betrügerin and the cowled figure.

‘Initially I did display great doubt, myself. Then Lady Betrügerin, educated me, as it were. It didn’t hurt at all. Think on it, gentlemen,’ he said.

And left.

A Singular Circumstance. One Summer’s Day (August#BlogBattle- Peculiar)

 

https://bbprompt.com/2022/09/02/september-blogbattle-eschaton/

A Singular Circumstance. One Summer’s Day (August#BlogBattle- Peculiar)

Ware the Maid

        Hochtrabende The Tormentor was despicable. And cared not. He committed beastly acts all in his quest for final approval of The Nameless in Ascendancy and the subsequent bounty.

          This, he calculated would be last required location, another pastoral idyl to be despoiled by heinous cruelty to an innocent. Their suffering the last pieces to be set in place.

          He sat in unholy meditation, savouring hideous memories preparing himself.

 

          Kaltblutig was cruel; to be objective Life had been cruel to him from childhood. He was thus an effective henchman. He reasoned his cruelty was quicker and more efficient than Life’s version, so it was a sort of service. Had he met the right sort of philosopher they would have had interesting conversations. Currently though he was working for a necromancer, arrogant of course, but paid well. 

          Young Anfanger, dithered at his side.

          ‘She’s a looker,’ he giggled nervously ‘Think he’ll let us,’ he would have nudged someone lesser than Kaltblutig, instinct warned him not to ‘Y’know,’

          ‘Not supposed to be anything left to…Y’know,’ came the growl. The veteran looked to the door to the chamber, doubt nagging, he could say why. Only an odd feeling he was on this side of the door.

 

          ‘I am Lady Betrügerin. Youngest child of House Krachen. My father, two brothers, my betrothed and my prospective in-laws all predisposed to violent solutions will visit upon so much woe upon you,’

          Acolyte Glucklos winced. The kidnapped girl was possessed of speech characteristics and a variability of tone which made listening to her somewhat grating, the words ‘and’ and ‘so’ at a pitch and drawl to hurt the ears. Worse, despite being ambushed while walking through a wood, roughly manhandled, then tied to a table in the presence of a hooded man she did not appear a’feared, only annoyed and defiant. Peculiar. 

          And then she giggled

          ‘Why do you wear that silly hood? Are you possessed of a peculiarly shaped nose?’

          The suddenness of the question caused him to respond directly.

          ‘There is nothing wrong with my nose,’

          ‘Says you,’ her nose twitched ‘ I bet messing about with all things which give off these funny smells is causing your nose to grow upwards. That’s it. You have a sticky up nose,’ she giggled again, this time accompanied by an intense stare ‘A piggy-wiggy nose,’ she chirped.

          Glucklos was thrown into confusion. These were not the right responses of a kidnapped maiden. Suddenly he did not know what to do. He was gripped by an urge to rush to his master, Hochtrabende.

 

          Hochtrabende heard not the usual pleading, crying or general distress you would expect from a kidnapped maiden. Only a winsome voice, a protest from his acolyte and… girlish laughter? That was peculiar. Maybe hysteria. Yes, women did get hysterical. He would have her sing a different song. He strode out.

          Finding Glucklos had not laid out the ceremonial knives, nor lit the thick blighted yellow incense. He was in debate with the victim over his nose.

          Hochtrabende roared his disapproval and ordered the acolyte to attend to the preparations.

          ‘And here’s another hood,’ trilled the girl managing to waggle one finger in an accusative gesture ‘What’s your peculiar penalty? Droopy earlobes?’  

          Hochtrabende made to loom over her, malignant eyes glaring through slits. This one had a singular capacity to be annoying. He squeezed her face.

          ‘Cease your babble,’ he snarled ‘You are here to satisfy The Nameless in Ascendancy and bring forth Their Horror upon the world,’

          ‘That was very rude,’ she chided with heavy dignity and a slight sniff ‘And I don’t believe you. You are just some silly inadequate with paid bullies and a deluded fellow,’ she twisted her neck and batted her eyes at Glucklos ‘Poor piggy-wiggy here,’

          ‘There is nothing wrong with my nose,’ repeated Glucklos.

          The irregularity of the situation threw Hochtrabende into another bout of precipitate action.

          ‘This is but a taste of suffering to come in your journey to The Nameless in Ascendancy,’ he rasped drawing a curved blade down her arm, blood seeping from the thin line.

 

          Kaltblutig had much experience of screams. Fear, Rage, Defiance, Confusion, Thrills and so forth. That one was different, as if the door did not matter. Aside from the volume and the highest pitch he’d ever heard, there was an odd quality, he would reckon a warble. A right strangeness. His troubled, thoughtful scowl stifled Young Anfanger’s expectant tittering.  

 

          Unlike Glucklos who had hands to his head, all of Hochtrabende’s resolve was channelled into not wilting under the shriek. When finished the girl scowled

          ‘Well that’s a fine how-do-you-do,’ she wriggled her bloodied arm, muscle blossoming ‘This will not go well for you when my rescuers come,’

          The smugness in her voice was harsh, mocking. Hochtrabende had never encountered such distinctive affrontery, which fuelled his rage beyond his usual cold delight.

          ‘Wretch,’ he spat, unaware his vocabulary was narrowing ‘Know you, I have others in the wood ready to ambush any attempt. You are lost,’

          She stuck her tongue out. He had no response but to assail her other arm.

 

          ‘There’s that warbling scream again,’ Kaltblutig muttered ‘Downright peculiar,’

          By now Young Anfanger, influenced by the elder man, shuffled.

 

          Lady Betrügerin examined both arms, clenching her fists.

          ‘My favourite walking out dress torn and badly stained,’ her voice censorious ‘Whereas I normally avoid the propensities of the male where retribution is involved in this case pinches and punches will be considered,’ she glowered at Acolyte Glucklos ‘As for you  Piggy-Wiggy, there will be a severe nose straightening,’

          Maybe it was the imperturbably assertive voice, perhaps the sense his master was losing authority or mayhap whole unreality of the situation which caused the young man to tear off his hood and pointing to his nose scream into the supposed victim’s face.

          ‘This is a normal nose. An average nose, curse you!’  

          Hochtrabende was about to yell the lad was not supposed to reveal himself however this was hindered by the gasp of surprised outrage of Lady Betrügerin

          ‘Cadet Lord Glucklos. Third Son of House Raffgierig. And your father, Duke Bestechlich titular patron of the Cheese Mongers and Purveyors Guild of  Handelsknoten.  The scandal. He will have to stand down and lose the substantial stipend as they find another noble mascot,’ she tutted. Gluckloss howled and intended to strike at her face but bungled the business, she jinked her neck, he missed and as his palm flew by she savagely nipped his little finger, drawing blood.

          By then Hochtrabende had composed himself. He dragged the youth back to the corner swinging him about to view a table with tomes of evil lore.

          ‘You fool. This girl is either insane or possessed of some latent manifestation. Calm yourself and we will consult the Foul Volumes,’   

 

          In his long career on unpleasant actions Kaltblutig had never known such a bunch of oddness.  Hochtrabende usually indulged in malevolent pretend aloofness. Not ranting Self-preservation told him orders forbidding witness of what went on behind the doors no longer applied. He peered through the usual space twix’d locked door and frame.

          ‘Nah,’ he groaned ‘Don’t turn your backs on her,’

 

          When master and acolyte turned back, their intended victim was sitting up, busily untying the ropes to her legs. She paused to waggle her bloodied hands.

          ‘Blood does so slicken ropes and skin, allowing hands to slip out,’ she explained with an air of domesticity.

          Hochtrabende, in horrified desperation, mind filled with impossible answers to this situation began to chant a plea to his patron, hoping fervour and faith would do in place of sacrifice. Glucklos charged in clumsy scamper waving an ornately curved blade, an inappropriate weapon for the thrust.

          And he was felled by the promised punch to the nose.

 

          Hochtrabende lowered his gaze from the usual upwards chanting pose. The girl was not in front of him.

          ‘Yoo-hoo,’

          She was above, impossibly at ease on no particularly visible perch.

          Her eyes bright, teeth sparkling in a cheerful smile and arms outstretched she swiftly descended.

 

          On seeing the girl slip loose Kaltblutig had exited, only to find outside of the previously abandoned abode bodies or soon to be bodies of the lot Hochtrabende had hired. Waiting were ten men in the very dark green of the dread LifeGuard and adding to the dread two in the night black habits of the Custodians of The Lord God’s Will. One of the LifeGuard pointed at Kaltblutig.

          ‘Ah Master Kaltblutig. Yes. We’ll keep him,’

          For a man steeped in cruelty and its consequences, the words were as good as it got. He surrendered.

 

          He was bound, set against a tree and informed he would be telling the LifeGuard every last detail about long list of his employers, locations and deeds.  Meanwhile the body of Young Anfanger was carelessly hauled out by one LifeGuard. They formed a perimeter at the entrance and the Custodians went in, sometime later they hauled out Glucklos, he was alive though, holding his bloodied nose and babbling protests about its state.

          ‘We’ll be keeping this one,’ a Custodian said to a LifeGuard ‘Regrettably all we found of that wretch Hochtrabende was a pile of ashes. Again too late. These debased amateur meddlers thinking themselves able to deal with unquantifiable forces.

            ‘So our unseen allies, they evaded us. Again,’

            ‘Aye, just those hints of screams, barely audible,’ he patted the dog at his side  

          ‘And the locals will be grateful we tracked and apprehended a group of recently arrived bandits before any harm was done. To them, anyway,’

          The two men shared a brief, cold, knowing laugh.

          Kaltblutig shuddered. 

 

          The return was ever the demanding exercise, and therefore a slow rise from the crouch was best, as always the warmth of the greeting washed over them.

          ‘How good to see you returned intact. Still in the female form,’ the voice was gentle and thoughtful ‘Your preference?’

          ‘I do confess to an ease. I feel a may have been such before my original arrival,’

          ‘Aye, there is a likelihood. To return to current matters. Indications are of a complete cleansing. Can you confirm?’

          ‘The tracking and the luring were quite easy and the clues sufficient for the authorities. The rest fell predictably into place. He was left naught but a pile of ash. The evidence was balanced as directed. Sparse enough to ensure mystery but sufficient to encourage study,’

          ‘Others will be returning from their missions. We will gather and evaluate both progress and influence. This recent trend is most distracting. The misinterpretation of an ancient account elevating some ill-fated and obscure dabbler to the level of an evil deity would be farcical, if there were not the suffering many and promotion of negligible individuals to popular notoriety. It is not be tolerated. I daresay some philosophies would be the basis of condemnation on our methods and goals, and yet when faced with the corrosion and nurturing of such evils what is to be done?’

          The returnee sighed, straightened, then made their way over to a bench from where they could look down upon the world they had just left in all its combinations. As they mused their hair darkened and the clothing took on a more basic appearance, they absently scratched their neck. When they spoke their voice was more of the crowded streets of a city.

          ‘It’s a peculiar old state of affairs an’ no mistake,’      

 

A Matter of Mixed Fortunes (May#BlogBattle-Pastoral)

Pastoral

Lord Preldehal scowled towards Lord Reivod’s construction.

The fellow wishing to break from widowhood and respectable poverty had entered in marriage negotiations with the wealthy mercantile family Beeinflusser, they seeking access into Gentry classes. They made things with sanctioned machines. Reivod had agreed to turn arable lands to something termed by his possible in-laws as Profitable Enterprise. Still in the early stage, all to show was a loss of woodlands, disgruntled farmers and smoke. Preldehal being competent in farm management did not see advantage to the region, only to the pockets of Reivod and his prospective in-laws.

Sanctioned machine? To his mind they skirted questionable areas which meant dabbling with Stommigheid otherwise named Ethereal. Dangerous stuff. Yet you raised such concerns at your own peril attracting the attention of The Custodians of The Lord God’s Word. Accuser and Accused both viewed with equal suspicion.  

But not satisfied to sit back Preldehal utilised his knowledge of the landscapes and his unfocused son. Weltfremd’s latest affectation to idyllic countrysides had been manoeuvred by his father by a gift of woodland, and its modest stream. Preldehal had suggested the stream could be utilised to make a pond. Weltfremd enthused on this venture.  His father was certain there would be minimal success but the resulting diversion of water would impact upon the flow and quality of the River Wichtig, itself vital to the running of Reivod’s machinery; hopefully ruining the profitability.

‘Good friends,’ Weltfremd announced loudly to friends, male to work, female to encourage. ‘To task,’ thus struck a shovel into the ground, while singing a work song. At once, more or less his group joined in. The initial fervour was worthy, however the organisation being based solely on digging a hole irrespective of other factors was not a sound one. The girls as the first careless showers of earth arrived retreated with servants but not so far as they could not observe the group of young males divest their upper clothing. There were giggles, not from the servants who would have to carry everything back again and found the singing irritating. A nearby unseen observer had their own concerns.    

Translator Pastoral ClnMyla was seated in his one comfy chair; one brief interlude of relaxation from supervising his three translators, ensuring the entire community of Lord Preldehal’s had at least nominal adherence to the Word of The Lord God thus avoiding the dyspeptically pedantic attentions of Custodians of the Word.  

‘Sorry to trouble your Interlude,’ the fellow said, back from observing ‘There’s something going on in Draybelle Woods. Not the usual ‘something’, even if it does involve young folk,’ the fellow pulled a face ‘Heir Lord Weltfremd is involved,’ this intelligence resulted in a long fatalistic sigh from the Translator Pastoral.

‘Since, those being one of his father’s own woods, that part would not be surprising. But judging by the troubled look upon your face Marthrik Healme there’d be woe you’re about to tell me. Sit yourself down and partake of the fresh coffee man. Unhappy tales are best told with refreshments,’ The invitation being gratefully received, the man began.

‘At your instructions I was patrolling the lords’ borderlands at the juncture of current potential disputes, when I espied numbers of privileged young with servants in tow by foot, horse or cart heading for Draybelle Woods. There to be greeted by Weltfremd and provisions. The purpose, to dig a pond, which the male part set about. Whether the result will be a pond, a mud hole or a swampy patch I couldn’t say. This was not my main concern,’

‘Enthusiastic young privileged folk with no idea what they are about is always cause for concern. Yours Marthik?’

‘It was the singing,’

‘The singing? I can anticipate the efforts might not be pleasing to the ear, but that would not be the problem now, would it?’

‘They were using tracts from the Second Holy Book, only they were wrongly sung,’       

‘Since we can dispense with the possible sin of being out of tune, there would be more to this yes?’

‘They were not using the officially sanctioned restrained celebrations of The Lord God’s Creation or the tastefully crafted appreciation of His Wonderous Works of Beauty. Not even one of the ten acceptable hymns of Natural Ways,’

ClnMyla often turned a literal deaf ear to the genuinely inadvertent transgressions which could arise when folk got caught up in the optimism and honesty of the one holy book which was about being Happy, within reason. Often a defence presented to his local Court of the Ecclesiastes began with ‘But in the Second Holy Book….’. He had been careful to school Marthrik in this difficult path which suggested the fellow had already sifted the evidence. The Translator Pastoral bade farewell to any chance of further relaxation.

‘And?’ he asked.

‘I reckon they’ve got hold of a proscribed version. However since none of them were dancing about undressed, waving branches or adorned with badly made animal masks it’s possibly accidental and not true heresy,’  

‘Accidental can be worse. Approach softly, we don’t want to alarm them and be setting off natural force,’

For the first time Marthrik looked startled.

‘Force?’ he echoed, twitching.

‘Call it Stommigheid, call it Ethereal. Our Higher Translators Extraordinaire and Council of The Custodian’s Conclave may deny, but there is everywhere a natural smidge of these most evasive of elementals. Even the dullest of us can set this off by a combination of circumstances. Without intentional summonings,’

‘Thank you for seeing me My Lord,’ ClnMyla said in his conversational tone, he had left Marthrik to continue observation ‘I was out on one of my rare constitutional rides, past those lovely Draybelle Woods. It was remarkable to hear your son and his friends singing as they went about some honest work,’

‘Singing?’  Preldehal asked, his concern stilled because of the word ‘remarkable’ was spoken generously.

‘That they were. And from the Second Holy book, itself ,’

He let the words hang, the absence of an immediate response suggested a lordly dither. His worries concerning the potentiality of unpleasantness between Lords Preldehal and Reivod began to solidify.  

‘My Lord. I wonder, do you think it might be of encouragement if I were to present myself there and give a formal blessing. They’re your woods and it would not be fitting to just go tramping in there,’

As ClnMyla anticipated the lord was only to happy to agree, relieved The Ecclesiastes was content with the effort, a defence against any outrage Reivod would raise.  

He reckoned arrival on the second day when enthusiasm would be waning and various aches, concerns about dresses and general discomfiture would be settling in would suit. 

Translator Pastoral ClnMyla was caught off guard at the sight of the lad standing on a rock addressing a captivated gathering of youthful folk and servants, all a lot more dirty than he had expected. Held aloft indeed was copy of The Second Holy Book green edging to the pages.

‘Your mentorship,’ enthused Weltfremd ‘You find us at break from our efforts,’ he gestured to the rather irregular, wide but shallow hole. ‘I have taken the liberty of addressing everyone to lift our spirits,’

‘We have made a little dam,’ a bright eyed muddy young woman joyfully announced ‘To hold and channel the waters,’

At this point as they all broke into a spontaneous song to do with rain, ClnMyla politely took the copy of The Second Holy Book, seemingly to allow Weltfremd to lead the singing. A brief thumbing through the said tome commenced. Deeply worried the Translator Pastoral was as the skies suddenly thickened with rain clouds; surprised he was not. There were Ethereal forces at work.

Breaking up a volatile crowd even a small one in this situation was not wise, lest unforeseen lightening bolts occur. Instead as the first thick rain drops fell ClnMyla tucked the book into the folds of his cloak. He managed to get his hood up before a herald of the deluge arrived. In his dignified but purposeful flight he met Marthrik.

‘Thank Lord God you have left Translator Pastoral,’ he said ‘They built a dam,’

‘I heard,’

‘In the shape of the discouraged symbol of the Generous Otter. It was not a structurally sound or artistically worthwhile representation,’

‘I would have thought the Graven River Badger would have suited better. Anyway let’s away,’ he produced the book ‘Things will calm down, eventually,’

With the torrential rain the intention to produce a steady, directed flow into the hole meant to be a pond of course failed, much water with one or two of the smaller stones burst upon the clearing, to reinforce the celestial inundation. Folk were transported in all directions. By good fortune the hole impeded some of the impetus pitching them only into muddy puddles, although some being cracked in the ankles or shins, hopped about a bit first to end seating in undignified postures. By then the singing had given way to wails, pleas for assistance and as is the mentality of mobs accusations upon Weltfremd, of which some were thrown back at the accusers in forms of handfuls of mud. It appeared the alleged spirit of the Generous Otter was not taken with the image of him as a dam.

Unto River Wichtig the resulting mix flowed  

The rain turned into a steady drizzle which followed the sorry party to the nearest village where irrespective of status they were shoved into a barn, until by various means everyone was transported to their homes, each with a tale to tell.

ClnMyla addressed a perplexed and guilty looking Lord Preldehal.

‘This My Lord, is not a version of The Second Holy Book you should be having about the place. This was crafted by folk who took the message of tending to Nature’s Bounty slightly too far. They meddled with forces not to be meddled with by the well-meaning innocents. Now you’ll not to worry about your son, he will return sadder, whether wiser I cannot say. In the meantime I will be examining your library and you should take arrangements with your sheriff’s office and captain of your retinue to prepare for some minor upsets and spats between families,’

The fuss lasted forty days with some pre-emptive weddings involved. Lord Reivod was amused, particularly as the extra water provided greater industry. His prospective in-laws would be pleased on their inspection.

They arrived with a guildsman of the Mechanicals, experts in machinery and its tenuous link with Ethereal influences. Reivod’s anticipation faded when the fellow returned from inspection shaking his head and sucking breath between his teeth.

‘Got trouble here squire,’ he said, Mechanicals used that term to everyone irrespective of rank ‘You got flowers growing in your pipes, nasty case of Yellow Flag. You been meddling with Ethereal?’

‘The very idea!’ the lord spluttered.

‘Anyways,’ the fellow addressed to the prospective-in-laws ‘I can’t sanction this. Oh dearie no. Not with such infestation,’

Reivod was left with a location filling with Yellow Flag and no prospect of marriage or wealth. Later, thanks to mediation by the genial Translator Pastoral across the border did find consolation in a young widow recently relieved of a choleric farmer.

The Yellow Flag proved to be a popular ornamental plant, while Maybelle Wood became a place of many sought after blooms, which spread. Both men settled their issues and entered into a most profitable floral supply. Weltfremd expunged from polite local society left to acquire status by his unexplainably found talent of dredging distant waterlogged locations. By good happenstance the expected pregnancy within the Reivod household and the surprise one in the established Preldehal marriage led to births of daughter and son, whose amiable relationship over the years resulted in the union of the households.

Custodian of the Word Marthrik Healme renowned for his more philosophical approach was fond of citing this one as an example of The Lord God’s Ways being mysterious and wonderous to behold. Usually said with a wry grin.      

As Legions Before Us. We Will Be Tested

Child victim of War

Foreword: Two previous attempts at this post binned; five days of rehearsing paragraphs in my head before they made it to the page, and I still don’t know if  it is even close to the original intention. The drive would not let me rest though. Bear with me. Encapsulating these aspects of The Human Condition were never destined to be easy.

Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, then Libya, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, Northern Mozambique, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Niger (to name but seven of the approximately twenty plus conflicts in Africa), Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia, (blink and you might miss those two) and now a war in Ukraine which is coming into its eighth year when shorn of the curtain of a fight for independence by minorities was elevated to one which cannot be avoided. These are the sometime headline ones; not the ones packaged into small items on the brutally repressive regimes and the bloody conflicts between communities or criminal gangs.

Ukraine. If we are starkly honest with ourselves, and this is a time to be so, this one takes hold of us by the heart and mind, because those folk and their towns look so very similar to our own. And in the next sentences I walk a literary minefield. Do we notice more because of the colour of their skins. Yes? For the simple reason that familiarity brings a greater degree of emotion. Deep inside lurks the feeling with a myriad of deeper causes ‘That could be me. Us,’  You can’t stop it. No more than someone native to any of the nations above would bitterly think ‘Welcome to our world. You, of The First World,’ Human nature: You might be blessed enough to have the gift of Thinking Before Speaking; dare anyone here claim they have the gift of Perception Before Feeling? You will have to accept, I don’t believe you. No person has that sort of Objectivity. The Invasion of Ukraine, an industrial powered, visceral, savage, unavoidable, twenty-four seven media reminder what has been going on non-stop somewhere, sometime, somehow. For some folk who follow the world news, maybe the last straw. If anyone out there and has been weeping, threshing, howling, shutting down their TV or laptop save for rom-coms, sports feeds, domestic themed shows, or wildlife documentaries….I for one don’t blame you. Just come back to us some time.

And of course there are those issues on your doorstep. Pandemic, voter suppression, job security, rising prices, civil rights, domestic and civic violence, environmental concerns; those for examples. We agonise and rage over what is happening in Ukraine, but we worry about doorstep issues. We even might taste fear over one or more of them, dread them starting to link up, like a series of small forest fires merging into one vast wall of speeding immolation.

A short while back, I wrote about the importance of Hope. A plea to not to give way to despair. In all honesty an easier work to write. This is about the application of Hope. … Firstly we can all Hope, and we can all believe we will sustain the intention in a good way. Until our own Reality comes in; the inescapable truth of a War in The First World. Not just in the fierce imposition of the media, or the stream of consciousness interchanges between others. It comes creeping up on us. Sometimes swirling about us when we planned on going to sleep, or maybe dragging us out of a restless half-place, or maybe hovering there while we go about our daily chores, worse intruding upon our leisure time asking ‘Should you be….’  

You will be tested. I cannot predict how, where or when. I can tell you those myriad of emotions you are feeling are part of rehearsal. Steady yourself for a journey into a Batman’s Gotham City grotesque warping of Doctor Suess’ ‘Oh The Places You’ll Go’. You could already be finding you are wishing one man dead, perhaps joyfully celebrating resistance and shrugging at the sight of dead Russian soldiers, bitterly seeing those in your country who are ‘soft’ on Russia as not just wrong or nuisances but traitors and possibly paid by Moscow. Be prepared to be feeling emotions beyond anger, to find callousness has become part of your prism. You will be drawn in. Conflict and War are most adept at justifying; the shock being you will believe, In This Case, it was right to embrace them. If you ever thought you were angry over something outside of your own personal life, now you are stepping up (or down-depends on your viewpoint) a piece. Beware how you tread; an emotional solution the Ukraine could became your template for problems at home. You might well feel fatigue at some stage, taking comfort when the news slips down the ratings…’Can’t be so bad anymore?’ Really?

Those words disturb you? Do you feel I have stepped too far into incitement, a tabloid rabble-rouser, safe in his age and home? Are you, instead nodding your head and invoking battle criesIf You Want Peace Prepare For War’, ‘Democracies Don’t Start Wars. We Finish Them,’ ‘Justifiable War. It’s In The Bible’ (it’s not actually -Augustine of Hippo might have been the first to write on the subject). Or are you shaking your head and thinking What is he on about? I don’t understand where he is going with this?’. Perhaps you are there gnawing on your lips and saying ‘Well. Yes. But there has to be a better way. There must be. Surely we can’t keep on killing. Can we?’. There we are then. You, me, others; drawn into in a confused internal conflict where principals, ethics we are told about and the ever raw emotions collide, maybe merging in pairs or a trio only to fly apart like some of the more exquisite subatomic particles, or remain in constant antagonism. Whichever; they will plague us with a constant restlessness, even if that be only a far off rumbling of someone else’s storm.

You might cryTested? I did not sign up for this!’ Well sorry soldier, The Human World’s dynamics has the monopoly on this particular conscription, switch on some communication,  step, outside the door. Yep. You’re drafted. Even trying to be detached is some kind of statement. Your only other option is Hermitage while trying to avoid the Media finding out about you and placing you in today’s circus side-show.   

Regrettably there are no test-papers, no Yes/No/Maybe forms to fill in or on-line courses for you to tackle to see if you have passed as an In-Tune Human. (We don’t count social media for this circumstance, there are too many opportunities for pollution by those who wouldn’t even qualify for consideration to try the test; they come from Right, Left and up underneath). Thus you justifiably ask ‘You are telling me an awful lot of grim stuff. Is that all you are dealing in this time. Some Old Testament prophet re-enactments?’ 

Well, maybe. Or look at it this way. This is a journey. The weather is unsettled, make sure you carry an umbrella, a hat, and a shower proof jacket in a back-pack. Ones woven with judgement, perception and reflection. Unsettled weather. Best carry a bottle of cool reason ease the parched feeling brought on by the sudden heatwave of anger. Take opportunities to find yourself some shelter to get out of the extremes; wait for the breaks, indulge yourself in the respite. If you can grasp a short span of calm and understanding, a wish to be charitable or helpful in some positive and constructive way, thus you are coping, you are not destroying. ‘So far so good’; ‘I could have done worse’ ;’I’ll know better next time’  Maybe not the most positive of statements or evaluations, but, in testing times perpetual excellence leads to burn out, or worse Arrogance – the doorway to…..too many bad choices.

To conclude The Testing will not end in the foreseeable future. Your continued, dogged, sanguine efforts to help the victims and stand against oppression mixed with the realisation we are all fated to stumble at times, not living up to expectations; these will be part of the way upwards and outwards. Surviving and then washing away this latest deluge of the dross of Ignorance and Aggression.

Take care of yourselves folks. You are a precious resource.

Lamentation For Someone Who Had No Choice

He was not the first to die this century, west of the border of his Motherland in some scrub land or small town.

He was, however, the first to die on the 24th February 2022 and perhaps someone had told him his duty was to free a land from a Nazis clique in Kyiv.

Maybe he believed it.

Maybe he didn’t want to let his unit down, seem weak.

More likely he was scared of his sergeant and his captain, loud bullying men.

And anyway the only hope he had had was to do as ordered and keep sharp.

Hope ran out though.

He’ll on his way back home, hopefully soon.

For relatives and friends to surrender the pieces to Mother Earth.

He did not have the consolation of knowing he was fighting on.

Musings on an Aftermath of Writing.

Reflective(Allegorical image by the way)

Some of you will be familiar with the opening of this tale.

Commenced I suppose from 2015, maybe, (although there were myriad false starts) and completed end of 2021. A fantasy trilogy written without much respect for the apparent ‘Rules of Writing’. And that was that. Completed.  Like any writer there were all sorts of ideas, whispers of ideas and the like swirling about. The same characters a few years down the line? Maybe the next generation, their children? A few experimental paragraphs suggested; it wasn’t going to work, not now anyhow. The scene was as if I had spent some time with this varied group, recorded these parts of their individual and joint narratives and now a parting of the ways was taking place, all by mutual consent. There was this singular notion any further novels would be intrusive into their lives. The conclusion was almost as if I had indeed strayed upon another fragment of Creation and had been a mere observer. Time for us all to move on.

The obsession to craft three volumes had been, of course unobtrusive. At the time, simply three basic ideas with plots and sub-plots spinning out all weaving into a pattern of cause and effect. The warning how obsessive I had become was the evening I flew into a rage because Kindle would not accept the download of the final cover, normally the solution would have been quite simple, but when Obsession takes hold anything that gets in the way in a foe…right?….Well no, wrong. Toxic.

Anyway, with the whole project completed and ‘Out There’, a calm settled. The urge to read books rather than listen to audio versions returned. An experiment to paint emerged; by numbers I add, because my perception of colours is rather variable; seriously an adult paint-by-numbers is a challenge, with tiny, tiny patches and titchy, titchy numbers therein; fun though and to be worked on at a leisurely pace. Finally there was the focus to stop trying to take up Quantum Mechanics as a serious interest, the maths and the terminology are beyond my capabilities. Back to History reading and in consequence looking into International Relations and the attendant theories. (Yes there are graphs and data but only for those who have made it their Life’s Work or intending to do so, a working knowledge of what is what is sufficient).

Does that mean you have quit writing? Some may ask. No, comes the simple answer. The Muses still flutter around me (or poke me in the back, if thus inclined). The frenetic side has evaporated. There is an idea to work a series of posts from way-back into a neater format and set in the same realms of the trilogy
Aureyborealice, A Fable in Several Parts…Part I

And there is  https://bbprompt.com/

Which supplies a monthly prompt for short stories and is quite a buzz to join as well as read.

There is a weight lifted though, the notion it was all for fun and relaxation was a flaw in perception, I was in deep. Of course being in deep is something a serious writer should be to embrace, but when you start to live with the characters, muttering phrases of possible conversations to yourself, going over and over in your mind situations, not being able to truly focus on anything else other than the day-to-day living and ‘Your Book’. No, maybe not. It maybe necessary for the true professionals with a contract but for the rest of us; the rest of the world needs to come in.

Maybe therein is the true reason why I’ll not be going back there. Even though it was fun at the time.

Writing eh? You love it. You can’t leave it alone. But it is as well to have boundaries.

9/11. Its Other Toxic Fall-out

World Trade Center Attacked

394261 14: A fiery blasts rocks the World Trade Center after being hit by two planes September 11, 2001 in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Forward and Warning: This is a very long post. Nothing about the events of 20 years ago can be encapsulated in mere statements. These are strong views, strongly put. In particularly the last paragraphs. The views are strong because of what has happened to the nation I was once so fond of, and at times might even have emigrated to. I am angry with all those who have pulled her down. In this post I chose one culpable group.

Revisit and Response

We reach the 20th anniversary of the most effective terrorist attack on American Soil. Those of us of adult age or late childhood/teens can remember where we were and the subsequent hours as we drew in the shock and awe of the event. I remember the news seeping into the UK from 2.30 pm onwards; coming out of work at 5pm and noticing the streets of my small town almost empty as if everything had stopped and everyone was watching news feeds, making sure what they heard had actually taken place. A death toll in hundreds upon hundreds? Surely not. But there they were, images of planes crashing into two towers and one managing to strike the pentagon too. A classic surprise attack. Maybe not so much of a shock in the UK, we’d been suffering the smaller scale Irish Republican attacks for years and were aware how much death and damage home trained and resourced folk determined and directed could cause.

Then came the aftershock 400+ emergency services personnel were killed, and another aircraft had been brought down by the passengers’ sacrifices. Both losses enshrined as an heroic acts and maybe the deaths of the emergency personnel resonated deeper, they were rushing in as other rushed away.

There would be other ramifications, trauma through loss, injury or survivor guilt, health issues through the toxic fallout, innocent Muslims or anyone not of white skin attacked. And two large scale military operations taking more lives and with no victory parades at the end.

There is another though, not the first instance but arguably at one the most insidious, most ridiculous and still all pervasive, like a cancer corrupting the body social and politic, spreading its poisons and thus causing similar sicknesses. This being that the events of 9/11 were a conspiracy promulgated by a mix of government, commercial enterprises, Israel (of course- Jews y’see) and the CIA, FBI etc etc.

Now I am not going to wade through the morass of little details, twisted, fabricated, pounced with a morbid glee to suit this inane premise. This is not the place to explain to the most dogged of these folk yet again why they are incorrect. It is a task as pointless as explaining to an adolescent why they should keep their bedroom tidy without being told. There will be drama, excuses, accusations, and storming outs. And why should you have to suffer yet again that annoyance? In the USA you have suffered 4 years of Trump as alleged president you do not need more immaturity.

This is actually a series of direct challenges to these folk to their flawed thinking and in consequence their true motivation, which many of them may not be aware of.

First Assumption.

The US government was involved.

Hostility to the Bush administration was wide and understandable. After the 2000 presidential election’s sojourn through the legal tangles of electoral laws, a lot of folk who did not vote for the winner would feel aggrieved. Now the usual response would be to blame the administration for flaws in security which allowed this to happen. However thanks to the JFK Conspiracy Cottage Industry, Watergate(The one dirty trick which was caught out) and Oliver Stone’s ‘Big Sleep’ take on JFK’s death the ground work was already set for Conspiracy Addicts and Zealots Against Bush to burst into action. Of course there was something ‘fishy’. How could a bunch of men living in caves possibly carry out this act. Never mind that one attack had been semi-successful in 1993. They could not have done it. NO it had to be a government conspiracy, carried out by….

A bunch of White, Educated Americans. Only White Educated Americans could have possibly planned and been ruthless enough to have done this. This line of thinking runs racism in two directions. The first one being that only White folk do evil things as second nature, everyone else had extenuating circumstances; well apart from those in the Far East, because we all know about Fu Man Chu; right?. The second flow of racism is that it is quite impossible for not-white men living in caves to think up such complicated and sophisticated plots. Never mind the times they succeeded since the 1970s, never mind that in one region they beat back the USSR. According the Conspiracy Schools even if they were the trigger men, they were, all right up to the top manipulated by White Americans, because only Whites are this clever. Ironically the only other extremist conspiracy addicts who didn’t buy into this were Nazis, KKK and other like-minded folk, folk who had never even heard of Islam were suddenly experts. So there we are. Buy into Conspiracy by White Governments and you might as well sign up to the odious Jones of Info-Whores. (Of course I did leave out the last resort of all ignorant folk be they right, left, liberal etc, etc, Israel was involved (that’s the polite term for ‘Jews’ these days), which is kind of odd since there are any number of polluted, warped, bastardised versions of Fatwahs around saying its the duty of Muslims to kill Jews)

Second Assumption 

Because I read it in A Book or On Line.

There have always been armchair generals and followers of the Simplistic School of Politics who bandy about words and phrases they have picked up from somewhere which pushed their buttons, without having the faintest genuine idea as to what they are truly talking about. Every subject is replete with the hack authors and their willing followers. The ones I noticed are popular amongst the addict fellowship are for instance  ‘Psi-Op’; ‘False Flag’ ; if you happen to question their own practical experience in such matters they either get very tangential or tell you its obvious and you are either Sheep, Sheeple or a Shill; some of the more inventive will tell you they were told by someone they cannot name, which be fair is a bit of a cop-out, as unverifiable sources are easy to manufacture. For quite some time folk of this ilk have been desperately trying to show how clever, astute, and thus superior they are to the rest of us by ‘knowing something’. Sadly there is so much fiction peddled along these lines, it is understandable it sinks into the conscious, like in the old Westerns where the hero was only shot in the left shoulder and we all believed that was not a serious wound because he kept on shooting (even if he was left-handed). Amongst all this armchair-babble by folk ‘knowledgeable’ in this area there is only one ‘False Flag Psi-Op’ which is possible- That the security services of the USA  set up the Conspiracy Theory networks themselves to detract from any ideas incompetence or complacency played a role in the events of 9/11. This makes as much, in fact even more sense that the stuff swilling around.               

Third Assumption

The Shadowy Cabal 

This is from another set of the myths which are as old as communities, and is a left-over from the time certain folk of a community would hike off somewhere secret to do secret things. These evolved into secret societies, exclusive clubs, higher echelons of belief systems and so on. Naturally those not selected either because of class, lack of resources or not being of the right status would tend to get jealous and feel left out during hard-times; these being more common than good-times, from jealously you get hostility and folklore to support that. Some wishing to elevate themselves of their own status would endeavour to prove they knew about ‘what went on’ , so if you couldn’t be a member of the secret lot, you could least to a member of those who watched the secret lot.

Now it has to be said government tends to take on this veneer. There are decisions made in private, some with good cause (telling enemies of your defence and security plans is not a good idea) and others because it would have been bad politics to let the raw process made public (who knows what the Markets will think, for instance). And that is how it is. Where the system breaks down is when the word ‘Conspiracy’ gets into the accounts; things get overheated. Let’s examine this in the 9/11 spectrum.

So assume a secret cabal of government, financiers, favoured foreigners and throw in a few religious folk decided sending plans into targeted locations in the USA would suit their nefarious purposes. Now those folk will have to draw other folk in, because the thought of a clutch of late middle aged to elderly males doing all the arranging, meetings, placing explosives and falsifying signals etc themselves is pretty hard work and likely for several of them to have coronaries or strokes. Thus in the art of delegation they must bring in other folk who in turn would do the same thing. As this goes down the line the numbers grow exponentially and three figure numbers start to appear. As all these people are presumably not going to go back to hermit-like existences  after the event, they will have personal contacts and the numbers by degrees of separation expand to four figures. This is all very well if we are talking about  The Day The President experimented with transgenderism we can all keep that quiet, right? But any event that killed nearly 3,000 people? Do you honestly think that everyone involved in that is going to keep quiet? That the knowledge would not burrow into their minds and spirits and in the resulting corrosion of guilt or anger at not getting a good enough rewards, thus causing them to give the game away? Not just the one or two beloved by the Conspiracy folk, but whole swathes of them, enough to have every professional and genuine investigative journalist on the trail, every opposition politician asking questions? Do I have to mention Watergate?….Obviously I have to. Coupled to that, such small cabals given to such thoughts and evils are prey to paranoia and rivalries and are not known for United Fronts. No one is big enough not to be thrown under the bus if it suits the rest. The idea that this mythical cabal would cling loyally together does not work. French Revolution, USSR, Nazi Germany, Communist Russia to name but a few with bloody hands were never solid dependable fraternities, many were booted to the wall or knives of some sort were drawn. For this idea to hold water we are at best in Darren Brown, Hollywood or Comic Book territory, at worst the rancid racist works such as The Protocols of Zion.

Overview  Then.  

Whether folk like it or not the guerrilla or the terrorist moves in the shadows, seeking out the opportunities, the weaknesses, the possibilities. As an IRA member once said ‘One Lucky Day’. To survive they live in subterfuge, more aware than most their lives are conditional. Above all they are dedicated. Some may already consider themselves dead, waking to their successful end. You have seen enough examples since 2001, surely.

  It is of comfort for some to think all is controlled by ‘The Government’, the conspiracy addicts feel safer with believing there is ‘a plan’. They would prefer not to think their lives are conditional upon what as in the scheme of things are random events, be they natural or enacted by those who are not part of their society. It is far easier for an American 9/11 Conspiracy Theorist to believe the events of 9th September 2001 were enacted by a government than to hold to the concept that this day they could be shot down by a random gunman, struck by ice falling off of an aircraft wing, hit by lightening, killed in collision with a vehicle which had brake failure, in the wrong place when a tree blew over, or where there was a mud/rock slide, an elevator lift system failed and so on. They would rather have someone remote and unseen to blame. That takes the natural chaos out of Life.   

There Is More To It Than That 

If this was all there was to the 9/11  Conspiracy annoying as it would be I would not trouble to write a post of this length, in fact my comments would probably be limited to a reply to some other post. This is not the case. The principal reason to assail them with basic challenges and at such length is because of The Cause & Effect this particular grouping has had in society as such. John & Robert Kennedy’s assassination were world-wide events, but in the human perception; politicians and leaders get killed from time to time, you are shocked, you grieve and you move on; even if JFK’s death did spawn that cottage industry, nothing else changed. 9/11 by its scope and being seen live; did. To repeat we all know where we were and what we did. To claim that as being false at such length and depth  made The Conspiracy more viable than ever in the 20th/21st century. It settled into the American conscious not just on the Left or Liberal wings but on the Right too. The Right had dallied with this: McCarthy Era, Fluoride in Water, Lyrics in Rock Songs Played Backwards and always that National Government was essentially trying out to take your (ie White) freedoms away. But now it had a bedrock to work with. If 9/11 was a Conspiracy and gosh there was a lot of ‘evidence’, then who knows what else was going on??? The 9/11 Conspiracy had opened the door.  

Sandy Hook was bad enough, but for the parents to be accused of being actors and threatened.

QAnon which once could only have figured in the book by the masters of the satirical and fantastic such as Carl Hiaassen has now become a solid belief system for far, far too many.

The vile, poison of anti-Semitism and its literature of Hate is back and sits comfortably with other Conspiracy works.

A teenager concerned with environmental issues was subject to hideous abuse and accusations of being a front for….. Well apart from World Wide Socialism I could never make out what? The Thunberg-phobes are not renowned for their eloquence or ability to write more than five or six words; ten at tops, then a link to some spurious site

If these were not bad enough a creature of media indulgence with no experience of anything other than questionable property dealings and cult-like following on TV became president not by a popular vote but through a freak of the voting system. Because ‘apparently the whole system was rotten and filled with conspiracies’. This individual then proceeded to court the far-right and break his Oath of Office from day one. When we thought this could not be topped as the 2020 election results came in, what did the spoilt brat of privilege do? Why? He cried Fraud and Conspiracy, and later gathered a rabble to try and storm the Whitehouse. In early years his antics at the election would have damned him to obscurity and ridicule, but in this Age of Conspiracy? No. He had credence amongst the majority of the 70,000,000+ who had voted for him. Thus the toxicity of The Conspiracy nurtured by the 9/11 adherents to this Unholy Cult had its greatest triumph, the acceptable assault on the Democratic process.

The next words are going to seem very harsh indeed. They may even hurt some who have hung on this far while doubting my argument. But I make no apologies. No more than those who support Gun Control will cut any slack for those of the NRA who cling to The Right to Bear Lots of Arms. Gun Control will tell Gun Rights they also have blood on their hands for the random killings

Because if that style of accusation works in one case it works in another.

If you cling to the 9/11 Conspiracy, you are culpable of the spread of the Conspiracy in any form as an argument. In that case you carry some of the weight of Sandy Hook’s aftermath. You must bear a part played in the farce of the 2016 presidential election and the subsequent years. Your brothers and sisters in fantasy and ignorance attacked The Whitehouse and threatened and took lives on the 6th January 2021.

And people are dying of Covid through denial, let us not forget.

Nearly 3,000 people died on the 9th & 10th September 2001, many more lives were wrecked in the aftermath, more would die in Iraq and Afghanistan in the years ahead. In the USA I could not begin to count the death, injuries and intimidations caused by Hate Crime of one sort or another. To repeat you very nearly lost your seat of government and many elected officials on the 6th January 2021.

By your denial of the rational and the factual, by your RPG indulgence as some fearless seeker of The Truth (whatever that might be in the broad sweep of Humanity’s dealings down the ages), you insult those who died, those who suffered and those who worked to seek out the true villains. You do as much as Al-Qaeda could ever have hoped for.

A Lesson Left Unlearnt.

In Western folklore World War II started on 1st September 1939 with the German invasion of Poland. As far as the then British and French Empires were concerned it commenced on the 3rd September 1939 in response to the aforementioned invasion. From a Chinese / Japanese perspective this war started on the 7th June 1937, although military activity had been taking place since September 1931. Before this China had been riven by civil wars and warlords since arguably 1927 although scholars of the region would no doubt move that date back further. While Russia and Japan fought between 1938 to 1939 in a region of North-East China and the communist state of Mongolia. Italy invaded Ethiopia in 1935 and there was a civil war in Spain between 1936 to 1939. Total casualties through military action, deliberate murder, sickness, famine and as in all wars error have been estimated between 70,000,000 to 85,000,000. Think on those last two figures. We can’t be certain what happened to 15,000,000 people. Imagine this ‘Oh. We’re not too sure what happened to most of the folk of New York and London, we found about a million of them though,’ (Bothe have populations in the 8,000,000 region)

Following on from the end of WWII on the 1st September 1945 would follow a series of civil wars, social turmoils and independence struggles which would give rise to more loss of life and misery. And these were the ones taking place between 1945 to 1950. Still in the echoes of WWII. No major victorious power was spared these nor those nations under its sway.

From there on each subsequent decade had its series of major conflicts and minor ones which might have made a fleeting glance somewhere in the record. Some involved large swathes of the populations; others a 1% to 5% of the local population. A child crying is a child crying, a woman raped is a woman raped, dead person is a dead person, whether the perpetrators were security forces, ‘resistance fighters’ or local opportunistic bandits  it’s all the same to the victims and their families.

Some folk would like to make this simple and blame one root cause, that is like trying to catch fog and put it in a bowl. You take aware one cause and we, Humanity will find another. If we did not put down our guns after the events ceasing in 1945 then we are the flaw in the system. Not one government, not one belief system, not one perceived injustice. It is us.

This of course is as old as our history. Each war or conflict  has its own sets of unfinished business. The problem now is whereas as before as long as our numbers were small, the world could indulge our follies. No longer. Our time is running out. The clock started ticking in 1930.   

Memorial Day

Some mildly profane words; borrowed from those who were ‘there’.

They may have volunteered out of patriotism, or for the ‘adventure’. They may have been told by the Government they were ‘required’. They may started out as ‘ordinary’ folk; they may have been ‘screw-ups’; they may have been downright annoying; they may have been ‘nasty pieces of work’; they may have been tough; they may have spent their time being scared or ‘bitching’.

They may have been killed, died of injuries, disease, accident or ‘dumb luck’. They may have survived and lived or are living out the war in a loop.

 

Malmedy MassacreMalmedy December 1944

EyewitnessWWII-03._V389839563_Normandy 1944

‘Somewhere and Somewhen in Korea’Korean War 2

In Vietnam

C rations

 ‘Boy, you sure get offered some shitty choices,’ a Marine once said to me, and I couldn’t help but feel that what he really meant was that you didn’t get offered any at all. Specifically, he was just talking about a couple of C-ration cans, ‘dinner,’ but considering his young life……..Vietnam 1 …….you couldn’t blame him for thinking that if he knew one thing for sure, it was that there was no one anywhere who cared less about what he wanted.…Extract from Michael Herr’s ‘Dispatches’ 

And still it goes on 

21st US Amry 4 21st US Army 721st USA Army 221st USA Army

And for some it never stops

21st US Army 5

No one composes laments quite like the Scots; this songs was written for the 51st (Highland Division) as they left Sicily in 1943- there are several versions song in broad dialects and are difficult to follow without study- this version by the Clancy Brothers was angelized for general consumption. The message is universal for all soldiers leaving a warzone. One mild profanity from the original song and not here here but worth a mention:

‘Poor biddy (bloody) bastards are weary’

Some might feel uncomfortable about what may be seen as a celebration of war. This is no celebration; this is a remembrance for those who witnessed, heard, smelt and felt the weakness of flesh when fed on by metal, flame and explosion.

Normandy (2)

Maybe if all the national cemeteries were like this, there might be less …’next wars’ 

A Summary of a Presidency 2016-2020 (or to be pedantic 2017-2021)

Well, it would appear that the person who occupies the Whitehouse until January 2021 might be beginning to think that maybe he might have lost the 2020 Election. In view of this I thought we might look back upon and encapsulate his tenure with the aid of a musical clip.