The Selfcleaning World

stories & images from a world on the edge..

Tag: humour

Enter the Huckster


In the year of our misfortune, the century hard to place, a peach-headed man descended on Rust Hill, pretending to have hitch-hiked there.  Tall-hatted, in gilded peacoat and with an unnatural paste slathered on his face to hide infirmity, he was an old time huckster in the classic american mold, looking to sell the people what they didn’t need. A snake oil wholesaler.

The trick was in trading in fear, playing off anxieties that people were being left behind and forgotten, while at the same time stoking age old hatreds that had mostly been in remission.  His words put cracks in the conviction that the system ruling the people of Rust Hill was fair and just, and soon the cracks grew to a fissure, the magma of animosity spewing up.

The huckster, hopped up on devil dust to improve his stagecraft, couldn’t offer any actual solutions to the problems facing the town, his hollow slogans were simply designed as catalysts for igniting the base passions of the group mind, primed as it was by a crumbling way of life.  He told them that a powerful elite (of which he surely was not) was conspired against them, pulling hidden levers to keep them under yoke.  They only needed to rise up. He would lead from the back end, squeezing the bowels of the back country.  In fact his cancerous presence in the body politik was argument in favor of a societal preserver, a cabal of benign intelligence, Illuminati or otherwise,  that might ensure that the ignorant, driven to violence, would not upend the apple cart, much less collapse the entire temple in on itself.

Crude caricatures were offered up as effigies, targets at which to hurl the rotten fruit of their disdain.  With the throng sufficiently whipped into frenzy, the huckster made his sales pitch.  He would give them the past.  Halcyon days when there was a chicken on every table in Rust Hill, the way things used to be, a dead dream.  Of course he was the only direct supplier.

Many were willing to buy in.  But there was no going back.  Time itself was the guarantor of that.



This planet is being eaten

Plane of the jellylights

The transcripts of Bern Hijkl’s recounted journeys by way of the Calculix are hard to reconcile.  I had to remind myself that they were the product of controlled research, conducted by reputable scientists and overseen by Dr. LeVram himself.

Bern describes scenes that to him are as real as any place, though their plot and purpose twist with meaning and symbolism.

He recalls first crossing a ‘phantom zone’ inhabited by people living in small groups.  They referred to themselves as Hearers of Opharion, said to be descendents of the Netherstock.

The ones who emptied their minds in a hedge-bet on the future are now mindless zombies…  They need to feast on a memory stew to resurrect some sorry semblance of life in reheated brains.  They are just as lost on this plane as we are on earth. 

They seem to have a connection with us, to be in some type of equilibrium.

There were airborne forms with names that announced themselves to Bern, but of course the names bear little sense: altatlatl, semeramcrucifio.  Some of the transcripts are downright nonsensical.

A choir can be heard.  As if through them the mountains sing their history.

Electronic war toms and songs like viking hymns, crowds amassing in the distance.  The noise of the throng like escaping gas.  Infinite details in any direction, a Boschian scene.

Some kind of festival.

According to the transcripts Bern encountered beings that were similar in appearance and mannerisms to those he had perceived under the influence of certain drugs.  In the archives of psychedelia these beings have been referred to as machine elves.  In Bern’s experience these psimodrons, as he calls them, were even more vivid and interactive by way of the Calculix.

I’m moving further into the scene, I can’t stop.  It’s not like I’m walking, I can’t feel myself moving at all, it’s like the scene is coming to me …

I come across a bin of lost thoughts, as if captured by consciousness decoder.  A psimodron suggests they are memory canisters stored for post-omega point, to reassemble ourselves into future regenerated bodies.

A distant rumble…  Organic hulks of natural lawmen advancing.  

A suggestion is made by one of the entities that the lawmen are recycling the spent energy of dead bodies as a back-up power source.  Then laughter.  Apparently this is their kind of humour.

A second entity tells me that “interference waves from past thoughts could really wreck your mind.”  The psimodrons took much delight in rattling me with bizarre statements and innuendo that I couldn’t quite grasp.

Drifting hopelessly through this Bern was approached by a being who could see that he was lost and who offered guidance.  She introduced herself as Haon.

Haon looked angel-like but with oddly feline features, ensheathed in miasmal light.  She told me that I needed to bypass this area and get into the marrow.

We passed through a membrane and into an undulating tunnel.  Looking up I saw blobs of grayish yellow matter hanging down from glistening cords.  They seemed to shift shape.

Haon said that we were within the infinite passageways of an outer dimensional bubble, and that these were gobs of embryonic energy waiting to be born.

“Remember when you were that?” Haon asked.


Bern came to believe that these catacombs were the source of all awareness in the universe.  He claims evidence that they contain replicas of the consciousnesses of everyone who has ever lived.

“I want to bring you closer to the totality, but not too close” said Haon.  “The nearer the bone, the sweeter the meat.”

We drifted through a portal and into the decimated geometry of  a collapsing reality.  Floating above the ravaged landscape Haon said “this is a place that your scientists would label a super-earth.”

“What happening here?”

“Let me play it for you.”

A calculix-like orb appeared before us.  Haon manipulated the object, her fingers pressing patterns on the orb’s surface as they lit in sequence.

I discerned a monstrous rolling inverted mouth devouring everything while simultaneously diminishing to super dense star flesh.  An overwhelming sense of sadness.

Haon seemed to read my face.  “It’s not as sad as you imagine.  Think of it as digestion.  You eat things so that you can grow.  It’s the same here.  This planet is being eaten, but from this feeding will arise new and wondrous forms.”

“Back to the salt mines with you” said Haon, and by this I guessed it was time to go back.

Bern’s transitions back to consensual reality tended towards violence.  His body would be shot through with spasms as he emitted guttural howls, reflecting the steep metabolic price of phase change.

Of everybody involved in the research program, Bern Hijkl proved to be the most adept at transfiguring through the dimensional vortex of the Calculix.  There were some in LeVrams’s circle who questioned the authenticity of his experiences.  Certainly these transcripts offered tantalizing glimpses of a very strange place.

I needed more.  I needed to seek out the man in the flesh.

[‘This planet is being eaten’ is Part 5 of The Calculix Series]