The Visitor (44) 

The Visitor (44)

The Third Room
by Des Lewis

Lorg and Ed entered the third room and before them in a 1970’s style room sat the shape of the author himself. Des Lewis smiled at them as he scrawled, and, as they left the room for the fourth, continued writing these words & ‘The Visitor’ is evidently nearing its inevitable end perhaps frightening conclusion.

The Fourth Room
by John ‘Monty’ Cheese

To pass from the tight form of a carven ornament in some South London shack to the very cosmos itself, limitless and unlimiting; to pass from the hard and knotty beauty of shaped onyx to the battlefield of the turning and formulating stars; from the aesthetic intricacy and finite essence of a twisty broochpiece to the astrological egoterica of uncounted and unaccountable solar systems; from the hideousness and tautness of some necro-amulet to the cosmogonic fevers of the many skies - is a journey of such short duration that the heroic pair’s passing from room to room would seem eternity. But... and I repeat, but, as the door of the fourth room opened before them, the journey was forgotten since the cosmos itself, limitless and unlimiting, seemed to be before them. Stretched out below, beside and above, were stars and deep night. Fluttering their very clothes were apparent starwinds and seeming planet-shifts. However, this was doubtless some earthmade planetarium, some immodest attempt to conjure up the cosmos for our bewildered pair.

They stood in reverential awe of this vastness, not realising its synthetic nature nor the ‘camera obscura’ operator behind the flimsy canvas on which the stars were so realistically painted. The hyacinth show was about to begin.

At first a distant speck could be seen, slowly getting bigger and bigger. A beauteous buzzer? A cantankerous form of bumble-beery? Cantankerous is the right word, for the speck grew into a floating mongrel Dog with a bowery tail and a pair of large-bladed scissors that made an awful snicker-snacker, a truculent snip-snap. He looked angry as his paws beat time within the loops of metal. His woof was, however, light and silly! He floated past the staring spectators - not even deigning to give them a glance.

Next, there came an image of the world, an earth metaphor, a carven image of our globe bobbing along the vortices and schisms of space. It appeared to be tied to the strange Dog’s bowery tail and followed him like an ungainly balloon. Next, bobbed along the three crosses of Golgotha each with a symbol pinned upon it (the cardinal squid, the fixed brooch and the mutable puppet Lorg Dagg himself, all in blasphemous effigy). Finally, came a boatload of Harchwee merchants singing a dreamy song. Dagg and Alpo rubbed their eyes in disbelief as the trinity passed along in almost carnival array.

Then, suddenly, from the opposite distance to that in which the first speck appeared came a skein, a shield, a plaque, a swathe, a woof, a weft, a warp, a loom, a gullet, a wing, a folding door, call it what you will, of fire. This ultimate Singe of Fire, this smouldering and inner-burning, many-petalled Lotus of Egnis, inessentia1 but cosmic, fleshless but arranged around a point of light, loomed beside the wagging canine pup. Vortices of gas sped the maelstrom on as force met force.

Then… untold, unbeckoned, Lorg took it upon himself to urinate over the whole show. Extinguished the fire and drowned the silly Dog. Swamped the toy earth. This iconoclasm shocked even Ed Alpo and he remonstrated with his careless master. However, as the water continued to gush from his loins, Lorg’s skin began to blacken, his tongue to blister, his eyes silted up, his ears fell off, he literally wilted arid became huge lumps of blackened cinder on the fourth room carpet. The water slowly died away. The stars had disappeared and only peace reigned around the spellbound Alpo. Only he, the flunkey one, only he would see the three remaining rooms. He made faithful obeisances before The dehydrated remains of his dead master and left the room.

The Last Rooms
By D.F. Lewis

Pre-Time, Post-Time, all the Times that have ever or will ever or still do endure, lead up to (or from) Victorian England, the First World War, the Second World War and now (or then)… Economic Collapse of Western Earth, Seismic Collapse of East World and a general drift to decay, maze and false beginnings.

As Ed Alpo, the unthinking Sci-Fi Sidekick, the feckless flunkey, he who archetypes this phase of the novel, drifts ignorantly through the last three rooms unaware of the significance, he glimpses, but does not appreciate, a panorama of those who read him: you and me, him and her, them and us, statuesque as dead sculptures in a ultramodern style, stone books clasped in our (or their) stone palms. This the Beast Within? Or Beasts? Bliss?? This a reading competition (a complement to an earlier literary contest), a rat-race over stone words (verbal icons), stone gaps, stone commas, stone comers, stone chapters. Who shall win? Only the rooms will tell: the first, second and third phase of the last phase. Our Visit is well and truly over.

DFL 2006 comment: and so ends something I wrote in 1974, incorporating a few things from my writings in the sixties. I was born in 1948. Judge for yourself how young or old I must have been then. Having reVisited ‘The Visitor’ to blog it here, I wondered what the hell! It’s really bad, just as bad as I recall it. But, equally, it is better than I remember it. It echoes forward to later things. I have kept it more or less untouched … despite an urge to rewrite and refigure and make my visit an intrusive one. I am a believer in selves and the judgement of and by selves (Proustian?). Why should an earlier self of mine be dictated to by one of its future selves (ie. me!)? All selves are crazy. As are all commentators. Which brings me to PFJ whose actual 1974 epistolary comments you’ve just read piecemeal in this exercise of re-living. I have had a long correspondence with him weekly (I guess) through the post from 1967 – and a valued friendship (less frequently in person). Furthermore, he constructively commented in letters on lots of my stories in the late eighties and early nineties, for which I (and the world?) are eternally grateful. DFL the writer would not exist without him. Nor would DFL exist without various DFL selves throughout the decades. Together with RO'C's 1980/1990s' considerate views of the DFL publications and his advice re reading SF etc. I am pleased by the memory-breaking exercise of re-typing the whole of ‘The Visitor’ to have been part of those DFL selves again. I hope I was welcome.


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