Confessions of an Eccentric Old Man by Sholder Greye

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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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sholdergreye.yarrowpaisley.comSholder Greye lived, died, was resurrected, and may proceed through these cycles again, with no particular allegiance to temporal order, as the whim of his Creator dictates.His Creator is Yarrow Paisley, who lives, has not died, will not be resurrected, and for whom none of these events represents a "cycle," unless considered within the greater context of the "Natural Order."December 5, 1995 was the date on which a text file entitled "The Mad Philosopher: Confessions of an Eccentric Old Man," was uploaded to, copyrighted to Sholder Greye but free for distribution and sale by all, as long as attribution remained with the author. Well before the "Creative Commons," Sholder Greye pioneered the frontier of alternative "Intellectual Property" models.In the intervening time, several ebooks were produced from that text by others, even made available for sale; and when the Internet Archive absorbed, the text became available there. When the Kindle was released, Yarrow Paisley adapted a special edition for it, and that version was also uploaded to the Internet Archive. All e-editions, other than the Kindle edition, are free for download: links are available at the author's website.And now, of course, with the advent of viable Print-on-Demand technology, Sholder Greye has been resurrected yet again, and his work is now obtainable in the more durable print medium.
Published December 5, 1995 by Paisley PanMedia. 164 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

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