A dying alchemist's memoir. Having lived for centuries, pursuing the truth of all things through half-baked whimsical notions, conceding nothing, progressing not a whit toward his goal, he walks proudly into whatever shall come with nary a glance over his shoulder.
. . . I found myself joining a caravan of performers who roamed the countryside and put on shows to dazzle the simple sensibilities of the common folk. There were two jugglers of firebrands; a swallower of swords; a person who was neither man nor woman, but both, that is, who possessed the appropriate organs of both sexes, and therefore could engage in sexual relations with itself, for the amusement and titillation of all; an acrobat who could also contort himself into positions which defy the typical human form, making himself into creatures that, if one were to come across them in the woods, one might kill to relieve them of their misery -- legs sprouting from heads, arms dangling from crotches, heads emerging from feet and hands; and of course, there were the requisite freaks which all travelling caravans must possess -- the dwarves and abominations and hideous creatures from the wombs of diseased cows, which almost resembled humanity, but which were a horrible, atrocious parody of it.
I joined on as a magician, capable of performing feats of illusion such as making things disappear and sawing people in half. Of course, my brand of magic was quite different from the normal illusionist's. My studies endowed me with the ability actually to perform these miracles without the need of pretend. If I wanted to make something disappear from sight, I merely transported it to some other realm, perhaps a WayStation of Nourishment or an inverted Tower of Discipline. If thou, gentle reader, art familiar with such concepts, perhaps as a member of the Society of Equals, then thou wilt understand the ease with which I could perform such "miracles" and baffle the spectators who wished to divine the mechanism by which I practiced this "illusion." If I wished to cut some person in half, I merely coated the serrated blade of the saw with Elixir of Semintention, and the person's halves would continue to live and operate as if there was another half attached, when in fact there wasn't. It was a simple matter to suture the halves back together, and the person continued life as if he was a whole organism, in fact never knew the difference, when in fact, he was two halves in symbiotic communication with each other, but nevertheless separate. Such tricks were easy enough to manage, and my performance was unilaterally successful. . . .
About Sholder Greye
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Published December 5, 1995
by Paisley PanMedia.
Literature & Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Law & Philosophy.