literature

The Quark and the Giant Eland (wip2)

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[dA insists this will take 29 minutes to read. but that is only if you read as slowly as their editor types]

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Prologue Things were chaotic on the outer edge of Earth's atmosphere, and the deity of quarks liked it.

When he looked toward what humans called outer space, stars wheeled and plunged through galaxies of shared light and through absolute darkness. Looking back toward Earth, he saw the atmosphere called “the thin blue line” by some humans. It looked that way, through the layers of air called the Earth's sky. It was often a bright and lively place.

There were, in a few areas, glowing banners of light called Aurora Borealis, dancing in shades of green or purple or the invisible colors only deities saw. There was also sunlight, moonlight, starlight, firelight, nature's secret light, and man-made light pollution. Many deities gathered together at that endless time, the present, all of them seeing each other along a certain curve far above the planet; gods and goddesses, dryads, nymphs, quantum gods, tricksters and more. They'd been called by Mother Creator, the oldest, largest and most knowledgeable of them. After all, she was responsible for their existence. Just then she was watching the quark. He looked like a fidget on some unknown horizon to most of the gods. She, however, could see his nearly wild excitement and the keen interest he had in Everything. After all, quarks were Everything.

The Creator cleared her throat. “We can begin now. I ask you all to listen to the quark.”

***** Part One

The quark thought of it.

The group of nature’s deities, called THREAD, every god from the quark to Mother Creator, were gathered together to ask him how he'd save Western Giant Elands, an animal now extinct in three African countries. The elands were “critically endangered” in other countries in Africa, and did not naturally live anywhere else.

Mother Creator was the deity that started THREAD and she was still in charge. No one but the Creator could even see the quark. He was barely there, even for the god of something that was Everywhere. But his idea about the elands was intriguing, to say the least.

THREAD listened as the quark spoke.

“A giant eland antelope is scheduled to die shortly, and we can put its spirit side-by-side with a human spirit in a human body. That should teach humans the loss that will occur if nobody understands that these animals have great spirit and must be saved. I believe humans can be receptive to this. A little crude, maybe, but effective.”

The quark's voice sounded like it was inside the minds of each deity, from naiads to the Mother, and he spoke at length about the giant eland and how he'd put its spirit into a human woman he'd already chosen. The human was due to die shortly as well, but the quark knew Mother Creator could replace the human's spirit, as well as the eland's, into the human body so the spirits of both would live. The human body would come back to life with both human and eland instincts.

Bacchus spoke up then. He always spoke up first since he was always tipsy.

“It's a fine plan, quark. A fine plan. You're in everything on Earth, so you must know what you're doing. Everything, that is, except spirits, eh? I've studied human spirits over a thousand years and they are fickle things. I hope this human can hold her liquor. I've learned human spirits hold up better if they can hold my kind of spirits. Haha!”

Mother Creator smoothly interrupted and called the meeting to order so all could vote on the quark's plan. It was unanimous. The eland spirit would go into a human. Everyone in THREAD stayed nearby to watch the plan unfold.

The giant eland mentioned had just told his small herd to “Run!” He could hear the noise humans made when they approached. Usually, the humans put a small box in front of their faces and did something that touched the eland's spirit, but not his body. Still, danger was the first thing the eland felt when humans were around. His herd ran across the savannah toward a nearby woodland. Though there were only fourteen elands, they sounded like three times as many, they were so large.

This eland's body weighed over twelve hundred pounds, and he was fully mature at twenty-five years old. He was six feet at the shoulder and nine feet long. He had spiraling horns that were four feet long. The eland stood, as majestic as a god, and braced himself to defend his herd from humans.

He kept up his sonorous bark to the largest antelopes in the world, “Run! Run, run, run!”

The humans stopped farther away than usual. The eland's head was raised and ears pricked forward, curious as to why the humans stopped there. It seemed ominous.

The trophy hunter looked through his rifle scope at the giant eland and said, “God, he's beautiful!” then pulled the trigger. He shot the eland through the heart, and the eland dropped where he stood, coughed once and was dead.

His herd kept running, but now they spoke to each other. “The Father is dead! The Father is dead! Oh, the Father is dead!”

Mother Creator took the eland's spirit into her white light and let it rest there as the members of THREAD turned their attentions to the human woman the quark chose. She was a continent and an ocean away from the eland's land.

For a few minutes, she beat the dust out of a rug with a tennis racket. Her name was Connie, and she worked on the old rug with her husband, Jack. They laughed together as the dust rose in clouds from the rug, slung over a clothes line.

Connie said, “With these old rackets, we're just as good as Federer and Nadal.” Jack said, “No. We're better.” Then Connie said, “Something's wrong...” and she collapsed on the sun-bleached grass.

Jack ran to her and called her name, but she was unresponsive. He didn't know CPR and he was very scared. He picked her up, she was so little, and got her in the truck. He drove the three miles to a hospital in a furious hurry.

Once there, Jack carried Connie in and the emergency personnel took a look at Connie and told Jack to wait in the waiting room. They said they'd work on his wife. What they knew was that Connie was DOA and they'd have to use extreme measures to try to make her live again. A nurse interviewed Jack about what happened in the yard and said nobody knew how his wife was or why she fell. She also talked about insurance, which Jack didn't care for, but he knew it was needed. He told the nurse he just wanted to see his wife. Please.

***** THREAD deities knew it was a blood clot that travelled to Connie's brain and killed her so suddenly. Mother Creator took Connie's spirit to her white light space, just like she'd done with the eland. She let Connie rest a minute, too, then carefully placed Connie's spirit back in her body, and also laid the eland's spirit next to Connie's.

***** The doctors and interns who surrounded Connie on her emergency room bed were getting ready to use the defibrillator again when a nurse said, “Look! She's back!” The monitor on Connie had been a flat line and it now showed a large spike followed by rapid smaller ones. Everyone looked at Connie and watched her come back from death. Her eyes fluttered open and she yelled a hoarse, “Run! Run, run, run!” Then she looked around and, in a different tone, asked the nearest doctor where she was and why she was there. The doctor was alarmed by what Connie yelled, but he just told her she was hospitalized because she collapsed and she needed to have some tests done. He told her he'd go talk to her husband, and did she want to see him? “Yes!” Jack came in, wringing Connie's pink sweater in his big hands. His face lit up when he saw her, and both waited impatiently for the doctor to leave. The doctor wanted to talk about tests, but he finally got the message from the two silent people in room and said, “I'll leave you two alone for a while.” The instant he was gone, Jack and Connie started talking at the same time. Jack said, “Okay, you go first. I'm just saying lovey-dovey stuff.” Connie smiled and they held hands while she became very animated. “I think I had one of those out-of-body experiences! You know what I mean?” “Did you float over the hospital bed and see yourself in it?” “No, baby. I saw the white light those people who have that experience talk about. I think I was sort of dead for a little while, and I saw this beautiful white light and went toward it until I woke up here. It was beautiful, Jack! And scary. It was very big and I felt very small.” “Well, you are a foot shorter than I am, and I barely top six feet.” “That's the other thing. Since I woke up here, I've felt as if I'm big. Really big. Powerful. I don't know why, Jack. What do you think?” “Well, if you had that out-of-body experience and you really think you were dead, it would a big relief to wake up and be yourself again. Maybe the relief makes you feel stronger, you know?” “Maybe. I love you. Will you bring me some bottled water, Jack? Hurry back. I don't want you to go now, but I'm so thirsty I could drink a couple of bottles.” Jack returned from the vending machine with two bottled waters. “Enjoy it,” he said. “It cost way too much. But I love you, sweetheart, and I would do anything for you. At least right now.” The couple laughed together. Then Connie drained one bottle of water, and then the next. Jack felt concern nip at his mind. She never drank water like that before. She said, “Oh wow. I never had water that tasted so good. I feel like my big body needs a lot of water. It was really good! Thank you, Jack. Hold my hand again?” “Of course. I'd climb into that bed and hold you tight if I could. You scared me when you fell. I can't imagine life without you! I love you.” Connie closed her eyes, trying to calm down and feel Jack's love. She was aware of it, and of her love for him, but when she closed her eyes, she saw a large grassy plain. She saw animals there, big animals with spirally horns and beautiful coats. Connie somehow felt she should go to them and comfort them for reasons she couldn't fathom. It was easier to open her eyes again, and look at Jack's frank and open face. ***** The quark's voice sounded again in all the minds of the members of THREAD. “Don't forget to see how the eland spirit is doing. He's had a big change, too.” Mother Creator answered the quark. “Don't worry. THREAD will do as we're supposed to do. I chose you to think of this way to save an Earth species because you're an 'up' quark, present in all matter on Earth. You're part of the fundamental forces in everything and that's good. But Bacchus was right. You need more exposure to spirits. Listen and watch.” ***** Connie asked Jack, “Do I seem different to you, honey? I feel different.” “You're the same Connie I've always loved, even if you change after a near-death experience. Just keep telling me how your feel and let me help you.” “I closed my eyes and saw a lot of animals and I felt very close to them. I wanted to talk to them. I wasn't even dreaming. It's like they were there, inside me somehow.” “Hold my hand, Connie, and don't be afraid. You can close your eyes again and not be afraid. I'm here.” Jack was afraid, but would never say so. He made himself strong for Connie. He held her hand when she closed her eyes again and he simply watched her. The giant eland's spirit had woken with a start, still trying to tell his herd to run. But he wasn't a giant eland any more. With trepidation, the eland explored the body his spirit now occupied. It was a human! A female human, quite small, but with a spirit the eland could feel next to his own. The woman had been in the white light, too, and was waking to see many other humans around her. When she raised a hand, the eland marvelled at it's petite size and how it had fingers and thumb, how it was used, how it was so different from his own hooves.

Because it was a shock, the eland concentrated on the woman's spirit rather than her body. Her spirit felt good, like a tiny portion of the Creator. That was what the eland's spirit was, too. The eland joined the woman's spirit, and found a well of strength. He didn't know it was also a reflection of his own spirit. All he knew was that it was comforting and he was sleepy. Elands were often nocturnal animals and it was bright daytime there. The eland spirit dozed for a while. The eland was pulled to full awareness by what the human female did a bit later. After moments of calm, she sat bolt upright in the bed and said, “I've been shot in the heart!” Jack stood and put his hands on her shoulders. She looked at him, confused. “I'm going to get a doctor,” he said. “Do you have heart pains? I'll get a doctor for you.” “No, you don't have to! They'll run tests soon anyway. My heart did hurt for a second, a sharp pain, but it's gone now and I may have dreamed it. Please stay with me, Jack. You calm me down. Something's going on that I don't understand, but I don't need a doctor right now. I need you. I keep seeing these animals in my head. I know I've seen them before. It must've been in one of those old National Geographics.” Jack said, “But, honey...” A nurse came in. “Hi, Mrs. Kellington. It's time to take your vitals again. The doctor ordered a CAT scan for you...” The eland spirit huffed and Connie said, “No!” with more fear than expected. Her spirit and the eland's saw CAT as a pride of lions that once killed a juvenile in the eland's herd. Lions were a giant eland's primary predator, after mankind. Connie knew she wouldn't have that scan or any other tests. She got out of the hospital bed. “I'm leaving now. I feel fine! Where are my clothes?” Jack and the nurse spoke at once, and said same thing. “Are you sure?” The nurse continued. “If you leave now, it will be against medical advice. Your clothes are in that bag, but wait for the doctor...” Connie didn't wait for anyone. She sidestepped Jack's arm, got her clothes and began to change. Jack sighed. He'd seen a determined Connie before and knew she'd get her way.


*****

THREAD watched the human with interest. Humans were the most mysterious thing in this galaxy. They couldn't really say what this human would do. But Bacchus wasn't afraid to lean in and whisper to Connie's spirit. He said, “Have a glass of wine. It'll soothe your mind. Have two glasses and it will soothe your body, too.” Mother Creator hid her smile. She knew Bacchus would whisper that. Mother Creator even had a pretty good idea about what this human would do, but she didn't tell the other deities because they had to draw their own conclusions. The quark was a deity, too, even among the other five flavors of quarks, but he still held his job and kept a neutron together, a neutron essential to everything on Earth. Except spirits. The Creator was pleased the quark was interested in spirits now. She hoped he'd learn a lot. He had high hopes for the eland spirit. Now he'd see a human's more closely. The quark deity resided in a hadron with other quarks. He had low regard for humans, because they hadn't even figured out how to really see him. They only saw the hadron. That was his 'house' and not himself. Except he was in everything. They knew that. This human woman was very responsive to the giant eland's spirit. She was leaving the hospital, signing a paper to leave AMA. The quark could feel the eland spirit's elation as soon as Connie and Jack went outside. The greenery! It almost made the eland hungry, but spirits didn't eat. Or did they? Connie wanted to eat a black plum as soon as she could get one, though she'd never seen one. The quark knew they grew wild in Africa and were an eland's treat. The quark almost liked Connie. Mother Creator was the only one to remember the blood clot, and know it would move again. ***** Interlude

The quark theoretically drummed his trillions of theoretical fingers. He was impatient with this part of the deities' plan to make humans care more about critically endangered animals. It may be needed, but he considered it a waste of time. The quark had started this new idea involving an unfortunately dead Western Giant Eland, also called a Lord Derby antelope, the largest in the world, and a momentarily dead human woman. Mother Creator had agreed to put the endangered eland's spirit into the revived woman, so the woman, Connie, had two spirits inside her now – the eland's and her own. As the quark watched other deities wander around, waiting for Mother Creator and a trophy hunter on Earth decide what to do with the eland remains, the quark thought back to the reason he was a deity himself: the Quark Epoch. He liked to remember how he came into being, a fraction of a slice of a bare bit of a second after the Big Bang. This calmed him. He saw his importance in the world where some deities were forgotten. He was in the very material the universe was made with, and would not die out due to lack of interest, like maybe wood nymphs and water sprites would. Those very deities were now noisily organizing a game with each other to pass the timeless wait. The oldest wood nymph, covered with lichen and mushrooms, declared the rules. “We will each name two musical bands of humans in alphabetical order,” she said. “The names must refer to Earth or Nature, picked from the players of popular music. The nymph or sprite who names the most will win a... well ...maybe a good seat at some venue where this kind of music is played on Earth. Start... now!” Nymph: “Adam and the Ants! The Animals!” Sprite: “That first one is just is silly. Mine are good – Beastie Boys and Buckwheat Zydeco!” Nymph: “Oh, haha...zydeco? Hmph. Counting Crows. Cure.” Sprite: “Deep Purple. Dire Straits.” Nymph: “Eagles, and uh...Earth Wind and Fire!” Sprite: “The Fifth Dimension. Fluke!” The little creatures, so often unseen, were definitely making themselves heard. Many deities made a few bets, and an audience of those from Pele to Neptune watched them now. Nymph: “Green Day! Green Grass, Blue Sky.” Sprite: “Hollies. Howlin' Wolf.” Nymph: “Indigo Girls! Iron Butterfly.” Sprite: “The Jam. Journey.” Nymph: “Killers and Kiss! That's two names, by the way.” Sprite: “Huh, that's interesting. Still, there are these – Lemonheads and Lipps, Inc.” Nymph: “Max Roach. Muddy Waters!” Sprite: “New Riders of the Purple Sage. Nirvana.” Mother Creator whispered to Pele, also known as 'Mountain Mover' among her kind. “I wonder where humans get these ideas,” she said. “Do you think the names are real? Oops, and watch where you put that lava, please!” Pele said nothing but, “The odds are on the nymphs. Wanna bet they win?” The Creator just laughed. She actually already knew the outcome of the game. Nymph: “Oak Ridge Boys. Ohio Players.” Sprite: “Pearl Jam. Pixies.” Nymph: “Oh no, don't call any pixies around here. Too much trouble! And here we have Queen and Quicksilver, and both are good names!” Sprite: “Ram Jam! Rolling Stones!” Nymph: “Scorpions. Smashing Pumpkins.” She laughed nervously. Sprite: “T-Bone Walker! The Turtles.” The quark watched with a mix of disbelief and intense interest. Though he was in everything in the universe, his knowledge of human music was limited so severely he'd never heard any of these names. He didn't place any bets or guess a band name himself. For once, he was ready to watch the next stage of the experiment with the giant eland and the woman. But the nymphs and sprites continued their shouting and milling around. Nymph: “The Undertones! The Unknown.” Sprite: “Velvet Underground! The Verve.” Nymph: “Weather Report! Wild Cherry.” Sprite: “Jimi Hendrix! Styx!” “Wait!” the eldest nymph said. “Those names don't begin with an X! They end with an X. Do you really think that's fair? And how are those names used in Nature? I know humans rarely use 'x' words but we must follow the rules. So, with that in mind, I say – 'X' as in a band in America and 'X' as in a band in Australia! And I think we can agree this is a special circumstance. Right, Mother Creator?” But Mother Creator had no time to answer. A nymph, impatiently interrupting the eldest, yelled, “Yardbirds! Youngbloods!” And a sprite was quick to say, “Ziggy Stardust! Zombies!” The sprites cheered, but again the eldest nymph said, “Wait! Stop! Ziggy Stardust doesn't count. It's not a real band. I mean, really! We must follow rules here!” So the sprites picked up that eldest nymph and carried her around on their non-existent shoulders. She was soaking by the time they put her down. She was also laughing, and so were all the woodland nymphs and water sprites. Whenever they played a game together, it was always difficult to say who won. They began dancing, but Mother Creator, while keeping in step with them, sent a sub-vocal message to all the deities there. “Watch Earth with me now,” she said. “Things are starting to happen and, as you know, there's no telling what a giant eland will do when he loses his head.” ***** Part Two Brilliant ending here. That's what the hunter wanted. But it wasn't happening. The taxidermist had hired a tracker who led them to the herd of elands with little trouble, in exchange for the meat of its body. Apparently, hunger is a great enough motivator to buy the silence of his entire tribe. Loading the severed head seemed to take too long, but again, the taxidermist insisted they would have plenty of time as the local authorities would not be in this area again for a week or more; they simply had too much territory to cover. The hunter found himself sitting around in the savannah for an extra day while the taxidermist did whatever preliminary interior cleaning his kind of people do. The hunter refused to think about what the taxidermist might be scooping out and dumping on the ground. Finally, the “prize” was ready for shipping. The taxidermist had filled the empty space he created with sand, and wrapped the skull, hide, and horns inside plaster casting for the trip across the ocean. A refrigerated truck to transport this rare trophy to the sea for travel would have been considered a lucky break by the hunter, but this was the Savannah, and he was technically poaching, so the taxidermist had produced an old ice truck. The block-and-tackle mounted to the over-head I-beam were undoubtedly used to load the truck with ice. They certainly served well to lift his trophy into the truck. The sheer age of the vehicle worried him every time a bump was hit; would the protection of the casts hold? How long would the ice even last, in this heat? Sure, it was only 350 miles to the coast, but the truck seemed to have a top speed of just faster than a bicycle. Then the taxidermist said (in his broken English), “We are in Kolda now. Time to buy more ice”. The hunter wondered briefly if the irony escaped the taxidermist. There is always the weakest link in any plan. The weak link with smuggling is when you transition to or from land. That's why the hunter didn't fly out or to just leave from a major port city. The truck was to transfer to a smaller boat and meet up with a large freighter heading out from Dakar. It was a flawless plan. He knew this part would go well since he had planned it, and not the taxidermist. Then the ice truck drove across the sand of the beach, onto the board ramp of the small freighter and stopped as the left rear wheels stuck deep into the sand. Some three hours later, truck finally came to a stop on deck. “Yeah, flawless,” the hunter mused sarcastically to himself. ***** THREAD was generally incensed. Everyone of them knew that if the head of the giant eland was allowed to leave, it would never return home. How had this been allowed to happen? Gradually, everyone turned to look at the quark. When he judged more than half of the eyes were staring at him (one never really gets much more than that from beings who are suspicious by nature), he simply said, “What? I got this. My agents are literally everywhere. Trust me.” ***** So it was that the small freighter met up with the larger cargo ship from Dakar in international waters. This was just about exactly when the hunter, for all his careful planning, learned that large cargo vessels do not have their own cranes, and are instead loaded from massive dock-side cranes. This was also just shortly before the freighter and the cargo ship managed to string a single steel cable between them. The I-beam of the ice truck was attached to the frame of the truck, and made an ideal point to support it as it was pulled across the thin cable. Over open water. With no flotation devices. At night. And... ***** Mother Creator said, “Just what are you playing at here, quark? Sinking them all? When I said to make sure the hunter doesn't come back, well, yeah, this works, but it is a little extreme.” The quark replied, “No, they survive crossing on the wire, and the taxidermist has a workshop on the cargo vessel where he does some of his best work. In fact, the hunter begins to suffer from boredom while crossing.” Eventually, however, they arrived at the docks on the other side... ***** ...and by this point, the hunter was expecting things to change in his favor. Every step along the way while overseas had been miserable. He was certain, however, that things would be different now. He was home; in his own country, where people understood him and who he was. Besides, with the taxidermist's job done, all he had to do was meet the shipping company in Baltimore, load the trophy, get home to the Hamptons, and hang it on the wall. The most impressive pair of horns from anywhere, that anyone had. It was “His Turn”, now. Arrogance turned to frustration when the shipping company showed up 12 hours late. Apparently, they had been delayed when delivering building materials. He, on the other hand, had to arrange safe keeping and a room for the night. But, no matter. It was all almost over and then he could tell the story any way he wanted. None of the problems. All about enduring and conquering. Loaded and only 300 miles to go! And it was mostly interstate. And the shipping company didn't ask questions. He was home free. ***** “Quark? This isn't looking good...” ”...wait for it...” ***** As soon as he reached Long Island, the hunter made arrangements for his wife to be gone for several hours. There were many things he needed now that he was back and he didn't want her around asking questions, so he’d asked her to pick up a few things. Since she hadn't answered his second call, he was certain she had gotten the message and would disappear as long as he needed. The delivery truck glided to a stop, light and easy. The rear door opened, two strong men carefully lifted the prize and carried it to the hunter, waiting at side door. And then, they tried the front door. And the back. And through the open windows of the living room. And any other combination of possible ways to transport the mounted head of the giant eland into and through the home of the hunter to be put over his fireplace. But every pathway seemed to be built such that no matter what they tried, things just wouldn't fit. Frustrated, the hunter decided to sit and have a drink he had been wanting since leaving for Africa. ***** Connie seemed to be of two minds. One moment, Jack was speaking to her, and she was calm, rational Connie, like she always was. Then in the next moment, there was a wild look in her eyes; darting back and forth as if on the lookout for, well, something. And there was always the focus, as if she had a mission now. Jack had no idea where she was going, and it's possible she didn't either. But, he knew they belonged together, and she really had been through quite a bit, so he kept up. He didn't ask where they were going when they arrived at the airport. Besides, New York seemed innocent enough. Didn't it? ***** Different possibilities went through the hunter's mind. He could tear down walls and have them built again, but what if he ever moved? He could sell the house now and move now instead. Other dead-ended possibilities began popping up, and he decided to store his prize in the garage until he could figure out what to do. ***** The hunter's wife loved shopping. It was, in fact, the only reason she put up with him; he had plenty of money to support her habit. So, naturally, when he had returned home early and she found he wanted her to go out and buy things, she was all too happy to oblige. Now, what was it he wanted, again? No, matter. She knew how to shop... ***** So, what about the house. It was his, wasn't it? He paid for it. If he wanted to hang a trophy on the wall so he could feel good about himself, whose business was it but his? Certainly, she lived here; but he gave her plenty. Money, clothes, jewelry, a house, prestige; well the house was his, but money... This was about where the hunter was in thought after five bourbons and being awake for 72 hours, and he wasn't slowing down. Neither was his wife. She was done shopping and on her way home with a new friend, Connie, and her husband. He was bound to have a name, too, but that was later. ***** “The same Connie?” Mother Creator said with extra emphasis to make sure the rest of THREAD understood. The quark fidgeted for just a minute, fussing with twisting some gluons in and out of phase, and finally admitted it. “Well, yeah. She and the Giant Eland are now bound spiritually. Forever, probably. So why not her?” There was laughter, moans, groans, crying, and general gnashing of teeth; but it was becoming obvious to THREAD that the quark had had the best of them. He really did know what he was doing, and they approved. They watched as the scene all played out. ***** The hunter's wife parked the car. She, Connie, and Jack all kind of tumbled out and walked right past the mounted head of the Great Eland mounted to a wooden frame and sealed inside Plaster of Paris, and went inside. Well, almost. Connie stopped walking, slowly turned to the cast, and put her hands on it. She could see her hands, the cast, and also see herself from overhead, touching the cast. She was transfixed, immobile. The wife waltzed into the living room to find the mighty hunter muttering to himself about how the walls just seemed to change, and corners moved. Apparently, he had found his way to the bottom of the problem, and his bourbon. Jack? Jack stood in the door for a bit, and took everything in. He couldn't move his wife, and this woman they had met over lunch was in the next room sounding like she was talking to a liquor bottle. Maybe things really had gone too far, he thought. Slowly, he moved toward his wife and tried to escort her out of the garage and maybe call an Uber to a hotel. But she resisted. And finally spoke. “I'm in there,” she said. “I understand now that we are together. Jack, I want to live in Africa. And I want this big white thing to go with us.” Jack absent mindedly said, “Yes, dear. Give me a minute.” ***** “See that? You've broken them. Now what?” said the one skeptic in the crowd. The deity of orangutans stepped forward. “It'll take Mother Creator Herself to fix this...” And even I don't know if it was her, the quark, just some humans working things out on their own, or what. Jack went first...

*****

Jack walked into the living room with the hunter and his wife. She had started on the scotch, apparently trying to catch up after hearing all her husband had to say. “Listen,” Jack said, “my wife hasn't really been well and may not be...” Connie had followed Jack in. The hunter looked at Connie, seeming suddenly sober. “Take it.” he said. “Take it away. It belongs to you. It's yours now, it's you. Take it. Take it home.” He seemed broken. No longer focused on the trophy, the prize. At the same time, he seemed whole, or almost so, in a somewhat different way. Focused on the fact, his new awareness, that he wasn't the center of creation. *****

***** There is no center, no pinnacle, no “winning” in life. There is only playing the game for a while and trying to survive. The purpose of creation is to continue to exist, to create another generation. Every action we take should focus on this, and no more. After all, if we declare someone the “winner” and quit playing, what will we do tomorrow?

collaboration between me and Xlntwtch

deviant art has defiled the llama of old (in 27 ways, including 12 things that can only be done with a crossbow).

the text editor used here has several presets that are all on default, and all wrong for story writing. Sadly, if anyone with any control knew what they were doing, this could be fixed inside an hour; but it has to be done at the server level. blah blah blah.

The Quark and the Giant Eland? It's most likely not done yet; but we thought we should share while we take a break. The last bit is just preachy right now, but it's the remaining theme I want to work into part 2.
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xlntwtch's avatar

It hurts to see the formatting ruined at one stroke of dA counter-literature code. May they boil all night long.

It will be fixed and shared tomorrow, I believe. This is a travesty that I find hard to let go. May they lie in :poo:

maxnort's avatar

I've manually set it up to read correctly. I'm sure I've missed stuff.


I've studied the problems with the dA text editor, and used trial-and-error...

I now know way too much now about what editor they are using; and where the controls to resolve the issues are. and it just makes me angrier...

xlntwtch's avatar

I tried to bring it over to my page tonight, and selected the prologue first, and it didn't bring the formatting even from you to my page. I'll try once more (with Ctr A) and see, but have no hope.


EDIT: It did not work. There are no blank lines, no formatting such as seen here. It looks like I have to add my own sometime tomorrow; maybe you have a tip for how to do that? This is :poo: