Yesterfang (24) 

Yesterfang (24)

[i]Continued from: HERE.[/i]

It didn’t go anywhere. A bedrock whereby no body could have escaped except upwards. The body must still be there buried like a ghost with the visible remains of its cancer making it seem if it was buried forever with the cause of the body’s death itself outlasting it.

“Hey! There’s nothing here except stinky muck!” shouted an eager student girl, commissioned to discover the tomb of the unknown soldier.

Her boyfriend gave her an excited kiss on the cheek as they playfully managed to cordon off the area of the digging as soon as they realised that this could be an important historical site. Then they scooted off to find the professor so that he could give the grave his imprimatur of archaeological provenance.

“Is it Hiver Jawn himself?” asked another girl meeting them halfway.

“Yes, it could be.”

“All the burials were for the same person, the same body,” a loner student shouted across the field with a degree of impatience, being a stern clump-eyed individual who was jealous that he had not stumbled upon the find himself. Knowledge made him unknowledgeable with the confusion caused by frustration that others were less knowledgeable than him. Nobody knew his name. But he was a student that everyone thought everyone else knew.

The students gabbled. There were several theories about vampire-killers and how each version of Jawn (having visited several writers’ sites with their own stories to tell about him) was buried at different stages in his life from along the fictional spectrum that had been set up variously within and without mutual consultation between those responsible for each slant on his supposed existence. A spectrum of death without the earlier life to support any subsequent death at all, let alone a spectrum. It made more sense to those willing to widen their brainstorming to contain nonsense as well as the deeply serious repercussions of not brainstorming at all.

Each tomb or hive or pod or egg were dropped one by one in a ‘paper-chase’ of muckheaps along a yellow brick road … leading from clue to clue towards darkest Africa, counting each forgotten footstep from Congo to Zanzibar as if each were an earth-embedded beacon to light the future … downward if not along.

Away from the city after which he was named (or vice versa), Rider Haggard galloped upon a wild stallion of flying hooves towards the towering rough-hewn stone-carving that was his own gnarled and barren face overlooking, like a mountain, King Solomon’s Mines themselves. Dive-bombed by vultures whiter than the blazing sunless sky. And She-who-must-be-obeyed stalked into view, holding the youngest version of Jawn that had managed to remain unburied.

“Welcome, Rider, to the next stage,” she-called-She said. “The hunting and hounding of the dreaded pest in the motor of carcinomal disease. The God in the Machine. Deus ex machina. Tabula Rasa with no easy ready blank to scrawl over. Here…” (and she indicated the latest Jawn to be unhived) “…we have the hero you can call your own to use as you wish with words if not deeds. The best pest-hunter of them all. Just seek out Lovecraft and Poe and other writers of Horror in their namesake cities to accompany you towards this worthy goal that all worlds will thank you forever more for trying to do than for not doing at all because you knew you'd fail.”

In ripping yarns, there were no diseases at all. This would be no ripping yarn. No boyhood adventure. This was a story built on muckheaps rather than imagination.

And Rider took Jawn from the black lady … and, then, as man and boy, mounted on steeds that snickered at even the slightest whisper in their pointed ears, they both set out to find the cities where writers factored in the same cities to help hold our future bones in sacred literary groves growing skeletons not trees. Cities of Fiction. Cities that hid the pest. As well as the past itself. The pair of them needed to exhume every trope till they reached the pest – a pest not nesting at the core-of-things (where the angel megazanthus was meant to nest) but on the edge – at the periphery – along the circumference – where we writers already worked around it without recognising it as the pest. Till the Coming of Jawn.

Jawn thought Rider resembled a man he had once forgotten forever. But Jawn was now too young to have ever known him in the first place. Or till later. And the question remained – would he be able strictly to remember someone he had not yet been able to forget?

And the young students, still gabbling, eventually reached the professor who smiled at their crazy brainstorming.



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