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The Curtain Undrawn
Confessor #2
© 2022 James LaFond
The avatar’s voice was that of a boy before the onset of manhood.
The stranger stalked into the Confessional wonderstruck and lax-lipped, incapable of placing this aspect of Foundation in his mind’s eye. Unto him spoke the precinct, “You have entered the Confessional of the Seventh Node of Foundation. Confess and be blessed.”
The arrogant yet inquisitive man seemed stunned by the prospect, hesitated and then spoke, “I am Phane and have involved the innocent in terrible things. I have slain enemies who might have been spared.”
An avatar of Confession then floated forth and made investigation into the man’s visual array and the Confessional sang as a thousand-voiced choir of angels from among its glittering precinct, “Blessed be the innocent and the slain. Contrite be the slayer and the spared.”
In the gelded collective voice of a smaller choir of boys the Confessional sang out, “What would you have of Foundation?”
The man was dismayed, “I would know—what are you?”
The voice was less clamorous, echoing perhaps 25 points in the tonal range of the human voice, as if a council chamber of men and women spoke in hopeful yet unachieved unison, “We are the Conscience of Foundation, the memory of that which sowed the World with the Seed of Mankind. We are past. You are future.”
The man seemed stricken with a higher realization and blurted, “I would ask you many things.”
The many lights of Confessional than gathered from their multifaceted alcoves and formed the Physiogn Fore [the face of light in the field of bleak force decked with a purple nimbus, blue eyes and pink mouth] and the voice of a motherly womanhood, in perhaps three tones, spoke, “We would answer, stranger, if you were an Agent of Conduction.”
The stranger looked awestruck at the Physiogn Fore and said, “I would seek among your haunts—I would prove myself worthy of your words.”
The Physiogn Fore foundered and shifted, its purple nimbus seeming to catalogue the colors of the rainbow with in its span as the Avatar, a shadow of light appearing as a nimbus playing about the brows of the stranger called Phane, shaped itself into the configuration of Induction, as a hoop of soft light crowning his black-haired head, seeming to soften his features and steel his dark eyes.
An old gravelly voice emerged from the Physiogn Fore even as the purple nimbus articulated a beard and the mouth waxed ghostly gray, “Unapproved Induction has numerous and ancient precedence—so did kings once come clamoring for valediction of their own wroth accord.”
The man bristled and his eyes narrowed as his broad shoulders relaxed in some sort of grim anticipation, “A test?”
The Physiogn Fore grew baleful of aspect, purple deepening to black, pink to red and blue to lonely gray.
The portal of entry behind him then raged into a curtain of fire and the Confessor waxed in the stentorian voice of a man of commanding tone unbent and in full middle years, “Unrent is that which opposes you, Seeker. Return to the world of the rule or perish!”
With that the Confessor grew so large as to engulf the Confessional and the nimbus-decked stranger, Phane, turned on his heels and tossed open his cape of black to brush aside the curtain of roaring flames rising to block the portal behind him. The flames scorched the hair from his brows and arms as he gained the entrance way of brass and lapis lazuli tiles through which he had come.
Ahead lay the stairs of burnt umber glass which he had ascended in search of what he did not know.
To the right loomed a red glass stair, the face of each massive step carved in the likeness of the lion and the tiger, first one than the other, the lion upper-most. This stairway turned right in a wide spiral and was tumbled with dented helmets, rusted crowns and broken weapons, winding upward, unseen into the soaring mass of star metal foundation, an element dusky as deepest stardust on a moonless night.
To the left gaped a tunnel of descending jade scales, worked in the likeness of dragons and pythons and crocodiles, winding down into the bowels of Foundation, choked with twisted vines of mahogany, bristling with thorns and budding with malignant blossoms of a sooty pink.
For a second he hesitated, trembling with latent hubris, his pathos yearning for the stair of kings, then seemed to break a chain within his troubled soul and snarled and darted down the beguiling corridor of black-blossomed mystery.
The Path Untaken
z-pill forever
under the god of things
masculine axis
advent america
the lesser angels of our nature
book of nightmares
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