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Oglee-Ojee

Alexander Field, CURVED

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Accompanied by Samuel Orson – Ancient Ones

 

Through our eternal past and eternal future man has sought a passage, a path to wealth, to love, to self. And there is one, a door, spoken from myth far less than knowledge. It is the elusive idea that man can discover somewhere and something greater, but it is in a setting unknown. Having no name, no reference, it is nowhere. Still, one man discovered that door in whatever place it is, or perhaps, was. I know not how or when – only what followed. I know not who he is, only how he is as an unfinished journal described…

It was eternally far from a hasty journey, and finally he arrived at the door. It was set across from a rock wide and flat enough to comfortably sit on, so the man dropped his pack against it, and climbed atop the platform, folding his legs and straightening his back, leaning his eyes against the passage. His fingers curled into meaningful shapes as the depth of his breath pulled his eyes shut.

A man and a door. It was sturdy, with wrought iron hinges supporting the heavy wood in place. This was not the normal, menial, autonomous encounter for it was to be the end of his travels; he had gone as far as he knows to go. And so, he forced himself to focus on it’s presence. It is never as easy as it seems, is it?

An hour passed, and with swift decisiveness, the man sprung full-stride towards the door. He lunged at the latch – a simple, small leaver laid over a curved handle. Click… click… click, click, click. The latch lifted, but the door did not budge. It had no lock and no bar across it; simply, a door with a handle.

The traveler retreated to the rock, perched atop it, and rested into meditative breaths. He contemplated what lied preserved on the other side, understanding most of his knowledge was only assumption. Nothing was permanent, and nothing was guaranteed in this place.

Another hour fell away, and his eyes broke open. Calmly, he strode to the door. Fwap! Fwap! Fwap! He laid his fist into it’s center.

“7,” a stern voice boomed ominously from the immobile barrier. “You may have 7 questions for me, and I 7 for you.”

The man could not recognize the voice as male or female, and wondered if it spoke his language or he was granted the understanding of some ancient words.

“I agree,” he replied.

“Very well, I shall begin. What is the purpose of your life?”

“Moksha.”

“How righteous,” chuckled the voice in a giddy, discomforting way.

The man stood unchanged before the door until the laughter ceased.

“Is this your final attempt?”

“I will take as many as I choose.”

No noise came from the door.

“I believe it’s my turn.”

“Indeed, it is.”

“Must I pass through you to purify my soul?”

“Mhm… ah-ha! A well-laid question! Let me answer it with similar intricacies – one might attempt to enter and filter his sin, though one who is truly absolved need only lift the latch.”

The man sat before the door, drawing his eyebrows together with a life-bearing breath, and closed his eyes. A minute passed.

“6 questions remain for you,” reminded the door.

“Are you God?”

“I am a gate, a passage.”

“That does not properly answ–”

“Bah! We did not agree to answers or properness, only questions,” the door barked. “Or have you not been paying close enough attention, for nothing is guaranteed? Impose no more upon me!”

The man took another deep gulp of air and exhaled over an entire minute, reworking thoughts hidden under his eyelids. Impatiently, the door inquired further into the mortal on trial.

“What is in your pack?”

The man turned, and found the rock empty, but the bag at his side. From it, he untied a smoothly carved staff as tall as a man and comfortably fitting in his fist.

“A staff which will defend, but not kill. It has stolen much work from my legs on my journey.”

He set the staff on the ground, creating a divide between him and the door; setting a stage before the judge. The next to enter –

“A book.”

The traveler set it aside with a look of contempt and a sigh.

“A game.”

He revealed a wide & short mahogany box with a hexagonal grid carved onto the lid. The lines met at circular divots.

“For occupying time with whomever I greet.”

He opened the board from it’s center, revealing small black & white glass marbles contained within three interior walls creating a triangle. The man looked up at the door, which had rested into a prolonged silence. He could not tell if it listened or this show was for himself. Again, he wondered if the passageway spoke to him or the voice directly entered his mind. He could never know without a third-party present, so it should not and would no longer matter.

The trialed traveler retrieved a small block of light colored wood bound to a knife by a leather cord. The knife was beautifully aged with a bone handle from an animal I do not know.

“To occupy my time when there is only me.”

His hand ran itself across the curves and gouges in the wood, attempting to stretch them onto the unfinished half. He set it beside the other items – four players now placed on the stage. Finally, he pulled an oak flute from the pack. Two eagle feathers hung from just above the first hole, and a carving of sea creatures swam along it’s side. His fingers took flight, dancing across the holes, pushing his breath into a flowery ballet – a bright, peaceful tune like birds singing of the sparkling Mediterranean seen from the clouds on a perfect day.

“So I can speak.”

The flute joined the others as they bow towards the door.

“Are you fully prepared?”

He took a moment to be silent.

“Or am I still preparing?”

The man’s eyes fell onto the book like a hammer – inches of parchment protected by a thin leather cover tied across it’s open side.

“Should I show you?” the man inquired.

Without waiting for an answer, he untied the text, sliding his thumb between its pages, flipping directly to an unfinished mural of a dragon, wolf, and panther across from a half-written page.

The voice hissed like water on coals, “Did you expect to finish it?”

“I expected nothing of it. This is simply what has brought me here. Must each piece be entirely mine?”

“Do you hear the foolishness in your question? You spoke much better before.”

“I have always been a fool. Though, you know all of me too well, don’t you?”

A silence chilled the air, making the man’s breath visible as he waited for the passage to speak.

“Have you told me all you have to tell?” scolded the traveler. He stood, taking a powerful stance against the door and whatever mockery may come from it. At this, it spoke.

“Why are you afraid?”

The man’s eyes snapped open, preset on the door. It gazed emptily upon him sitting on the rock. He stood, threw his pack over his shoulder, and lead each stride with his staff as he returned to the known world.

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