The Render Of The Celestial Strands

The decrepit old hermit, the ancient mystic who had somehow eked out the means to keep body and soul together, (at least most of the time), atop this barren, craggy, well nigh inaccessible peak, leaned a bit closer to me. He was so unkempt that my first instinct was to draw back away from the bedraggled figure, fearing that he may harbor vermin or a contagion. Within the moment, however, I recalled that, in these lifeless heights, there were no vermin to take up residence upon his person and no human contact from which a disease could be contracted. Thus, I resisted the urge to pull back and allowed the tottering fellow to come closer.

I had, after all, expended a great deal of effort in scaling this isolated mountain and searching its caves and crevasses for the den of this man. It would not do to have sought an audience with the old mystic with such fervor, only to offend him upon finally attaining my goal.

The elderly philosopher, having leaned as close as he apparently desired, gasped out a dry cough. I had expected his years of disdain for human companionship, and therefore also, most likely, for personal hygiene would have resulted in a halitosis of colossal magnitude. However, his breath was more like a musty, dust-laden gust of air than a truly offensive stench.

Apparently having cleared enough sediment from his lungs with the feeble cough to allow himself to converse, the geriatric ascetic began to speak. “There are few things within the material world that one actually has any true reason to fear,” he confided, “However, this thing you seek answers about is something for which you should maintain a healthy sense of terror.”

“There are many beast that can rend your flesh with talons and teeth,” he continued. “There are many horrific, nightmarish beings that would hunt and hound you to madness if you were to fall under their gaze. However, these things which stir such fear in the hearts of men can only affect your body and mind.”

“Your body and mind, however, are pieces of you which will fall away in time whether you manage to keep them from harm or not. There are even a few beings that have the means and the desire to rip your very soul into shreds, or eternally entrap it in a hellish dimension. This may sound like the ultimate destruction, but it is not,” the relic related.

“This is a great secret I will now impart to you. This is a mystery that has eluded many seekers throughout the history of mankind. The part of you which may be harmed, mangled, entrapped, driven to madness, or afflicted by all manner of evils is but a small portion of your true self. All of you which is now before me, body, mind, and soul, is only a tiny thread of the great celestial strand which is your true form of existence,” he confided.

“You know of reincarnation, do you not?” inquired the grizzled elder, “You know that a man exists many times upon this world, not just once as some of the newer and less wise religions espouse?”

“And you also have knowledge of such dark arts as necromancy? By that I do not mean to ask if you practice them, I mean do you know a smattering of truth regarding their nature and the powers that can be wielded through the use of such tools?”

“Here is a conundrum for one that knows that one is reincarnated repeatedly, yet has seen the spirit of an ancient king summoned from beyond. How can such a thing come to pass? This ancient king falls subject to the necessity of the turning of the wheel of incarnation just as all men do. How can it be that his spirit can be called up when it must also be within his current incarnation?” he asked rhetorically.

“If we summon a spirit which was once an ancient king of Assyria and is now a fishwife, sitting and scaling the day’s catch on the Danish Coast, would we not end up questioning the confused soul of a disoriented Danish fishwife rather than the soul of the dead Assyrian king? And upon the return of the soul to the good woman’s body, would she not recall an odd experience of falling victim to a sorcerer’s summons?”

“But this is not what takes place,” the hermit added, “The necromancer interviews the Assyrian king while the fishwife continues about her tasks, totally unaware that her soul has been called elsewhere. This is a curious fact which indicates a truth regarding the actual nature and structure of our being.”

The hermit edged a bit closer; as if afraid that eavesdroppers may learn of the great secret he was speaking. Of course, the nearest possible eavesdropper would have been many, many miles away from, as well as many miles below, the cave in which we sat.

“When you reincarnate,” the old man said, “Your whole spirit does not enter your body. The greatest part of it remains outside of you on the higher planes, with only a tiny string of your being dipping down into the world to inhabit your body. This vast strand, which is your true self, is itself a portion of what many mystics have called the godhead. It is your personal thread which has partially torn free of the great celestial mass of life force.”

“Therefore,” the sage said, “when a medium calls out to your spirit as it was in a past reincarnation, it is another thread from your great strand which responds. Meanwhile, your current thread remains undisturbed.”

I blinked a few times, and then replied, “That is a fascinating insight into the nature of our souls. However, what does it have to do with the being I am asking about?”

“It is the reason that this horrible entity is such a danger,” the old man replied, trembling slightly, “This creature is the only thing known which can actually reach out and tear free your true strand – your entire true strand! This evil god has the power to not only destroy your soul, but the soul of every incarnation that you have ever lived or are ever slated to live. When that being has you in its grasp, it has you in your entirety. There is no escape, there is no salvation, there is no second chance.”

“So, what you’re saying then, is that this entity may well be the most powerful god in existence?” I inquired.

“Well, that was not exactly what I meant to be saying,” replied the hermit, “I was actually trying to make a quite different point…”

“But the fact remains that, if this is the only being capable of so utterly destroying someone, then this god would, by definition, be the greatest power in existence! Even greater than Azathoth himself!” I insisted.

“There are many rulers by which power can be measured…” the mystic began to reply.

“Yes, yes, but by this yardstick, he is the tallest by far!” I exclaimed excitedly, “My researches HAVE been setting me on the correct path then! Any who could draw upon the power of such a being would be nearly godlike themselves!”

“Look here, my good man,” I continued, “I’ve come here primarily due to the fact that you are reputed to have carried the last known copy of the Ars Aphthaeus off into this desolate wilderness. I’m sure you have it back there somewhere in your cave here. I am prepared to pay you a massive sum for the book. With the money I am willing to give you, you could easily quit this nasty old crevice permanently and move into a cottage on some warm seashore. You would be able to live in extreme comfort for the rest of your days. Now just go fetch me the tome, I’ll make you a rich man, and then I’ll be on my way.”

The old man drew back as if I were some manner of repellant slug. The stare that he fixed upon me plainly stated that he had somehow come to decide that I was the very most feculent species of dullard that he had ever encountered.

“Have you not heard a single word of the great wisdom I have deigned to bestow upon you?” he asked in a voice that was just short of a wail. “You must be crazed to think that I would entrust a volume of such power into the hands of an imbecile! It would be as if I had placed a loaded firearm in the hands of babe!”

As I’m sure most people of a reasonable nature would be all too quick to understand, I simply lost my patience with the doddering old fool at that point. Luckily, due to his extreme frailty, it was but the work of moments to seize him, carry him out of the cave, and toss him from a convenient precipice.

Having removed the last impediment to my inevitable glory, I proceeded to search the old madman’s filthy dwelling. My search was quickly rewarded, as I easily located and forced open an old, decaying trunk. Within the trunk I found the tome I sought and several other rare works that looked quite promising.

I descended from that ludicrous aerie and made my return to proper civilization in good time. My footsteps were lent speed and vigor by the soaring of my spirit due to the excellent acquisition I had secured.

As I close this page of my journal, I have assembled all the items that the Ars Aphthaeus indicated I would require for the ritual that I intend to perform. Soon I will have acquired undreamed of powers! I suspect that this may be my last entry in this journal for some time. My time will be rather dear soon I imagine. Seizing control of the world will undoubtedly place great demands on my schedule.

***

A great ‘snap’ and inharmonious ‘twang’ sounded through the vastness of the celestial places. These sounds could not be heard in the world of material substance. Nevertheless, throughout history multitudes flinched as if they were too close to some unpleasantness that they could not quite express in any semblance of realistic conception.

And throughout the millennia and eons and ages, a long string of apparently unrelated individuals, none of which were contemporary to the other, ceased to exist.


One Response to “The Render Of The Celestial Strands”

  1. jason Wrote:

    Nice work! Very original ideas!!

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