Sunday, 9 May 2010


A Writer's Extreme Creativity Challenge: Write a story a day, in May. That's it: Thanks to Richmond Clements for the seed word 'twins''

#9 : Polarities

It was a beautiful evening. Submagi Floren watched the twin suns begin to disappear behind the woods further up the valley and finished her beer. It was time. The waiter took her empty plate and glass. Floren tipped well, and got her coat, sketchbook and pens together. The Blue Sun was the first to descend at this time of year, leaving the sky a deep red.

The evening would remain warm for a while yet. Submagi Floren set off through the streets of the old town. It took half an hour to reach the south gate and to get on the path leading through the Lux-Garden which occupied the valley between the Towers of the two Priesthoods.

Floren knew the paths like the back of her hand, and followed a dark overgrown path leading beneath the Witch Bridge, down deep into the valley, into the shadows and undergrowth. Eventually the stone part of the path ended and he continued through the mud to the point where the sacred streams crossed.

She arrived at a building calved out of the rock of the valley, and knocked on the small wooden door. A bald man, lumpy, ancient and uncivilised looking, opened the door and gestured for Floren to enter. He wore an old shirt, open down to his pot belly, with drawstring pants and sandles. All of his clothes were covered in paint.

“I have arrived Magi” announced Floren, uncertain of what to say, or what rituals and secrets awaited.

The room inside was quite large, two of the walls formed from bare rock, the others brick and wood. Pots of paint, brushes and old canvasses were piled up against the walls. The canvases suggested bodies, animals and broken vases. Floren looked at them, piecing the imagery together. The Magi pointed at one of the two wooden chairs.

“Sit, Submagi Floren, you’ve come for the secrets of our order I take it?”

Floren nodded.

“Ok. Do you want some tea? I’ve just made some”

“Yes Magi” said Floren.

The Magi poured some strong looking tea from a simple looking tea pot and put it on the table in front of Floren.

“Help yourself to milk” he said, gesturing to a small jug of milk.

Floren looked at the tea, and at the Magi carefully, attempting to deduce the correct response.

“It’s just tea” said the Magi knowingly “It’s not mystical tea, it’s just tea. It’s been brewing a while and I have never allowed the teapot cleaned so you might want a bit of sugar too”.

Floren added both milk and sugar. She took a sip of the tea. The Magi poured himself some and sat on the chair opposite.

“Right, secrets of the order. It’s bloody simple. We’re the Priests of the Moon, we make trouble. That’s it” said the Magi.

Floren listened expectantly.

“Oh, OK, if I must.” said the Magi “As you know, our Two Suns are in orbit around each other and this beautifully futile speck of dust is in orbit around both. Both Priesthoods are preparing for the day when the Sun’s separate, and our planet goes with one or the other

“The Priests of the Red Sun and the Priests of the Blue Sun worship their respective Suns from their high towers primarily through the act of perpetual disagreement

“If the Priests of the Red Sun say Shit the Blue Priests will say Piss. And on it goes, with neither rhyme nor reason. This you know of course. Everyone knows it, and yet people feel compelled to pick sides, are told that they must, and assume that one is right and the other wrong, and that in time soon to come the truth will be revealed, our speck of dust planet will go with one and the followers of the other will be flung into the vacuum of space

“In the lower orders of the Two Priesthoods, this remains the teaching, and they are encouraged in the various esoteric arguments supporting their faiths. The Blue sun is older and wiser, the Red younger and brighter. Almost everything a man can think has been assigned a value by one or the other”

Floren took a sip of her tea. She doubted that there was enough sugar remaining in the pot to make this tea approach pleasant. She made another polite attempt to drink. The Magi took a perverse delight at his discomfort.

“Arse holes the lot of them” said the Magi “The Higher Orders of both have secretly accepted another truth, handed to them by our great cities Scientists: The Suns are not about to fly apart, but are in fact, over millennia, moving closer together.

“So they believe that their constant bickering, argument and disagreement is essential to our continued existence, delaying the collision of the two stars using the power of their infinite hot air.

“There’s not an ounce of imagination between them and their idiot binary way of thinking, those joining the Priesthoods just aren’t the types to think outside the box. The higher orders at least realize this... and this, Submagi Floren, is why our order was founded”

Floren looked up from her tea. The Magi sneered at her.

“The Priesthood of the moon was founded to give the Two Priesthoods something to disagree about. We cause trouble. We howl at the moon, we bring dissonance. We don’t even have to try that hard, they’ll find offense in almost anything. Submagi Floren, do you paint? play music? write?”.

“I write and draw Magi” said Floren quietly, fishing in her bag for his sketchbook.

“You write and you draw? Words and Pictures?” said the Magi “The writers and painters hate each other you know?”

“They’re in sequence Magi, see...?” said Floren and showed some of her pages to the Magi. The Magi took them and looked from picture to picture, a story unfolding.

“An artificial planet? why do they all have balloons in their mouths?” asked the Magi.

“That’s what they’re saying sir. It’s dialogue. Like in a play.” said Floren.

The Magi smiled. Floren had never seen him do that. Sneer, yes. Smile?

“A heresy on every page! These people are eating each other” said the Magi “I am fucking delighted!”

“They’re zombies, Magi” said Floren.

The Magi looked genuinely happy.

“I don’t know what that means, but ... well I would normally suggest that you start by painting a prostitutes arse blue and call it art, but this... Words, Pictures and Science and Time all together on a piece of torn off note paper... heh... heh...” the Magi coughed.

“Magi Floren. Go to it. This is going to piss everyone off.”

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