[Project-fallujah] The MetaSphinx's Riddle

ptop adam at diamat.org.uk
Fri Jul 29 13:42:46 BST 2005


Dee Da and Fletch
Between Shadows
Clamber up the MetaSphinx's hill


( The sky is clearing and there is a gentle breeze. The scenery is
beautiful though spartan. )

[ Dee ]

It's awful

[ Fletch ]

I thought you'd like it

[ Dee ]

I do
It's awful
It's on the point            [ Da ]
Of being barren
                               More or less
                               Less is more

[ Fletch ]

Yes less and more
The MetaSphinx hides things
That's part of Its game

Or rather
To trick Its game

[ Fletch giggling ]

Why do you quiver
It's really quite tame

[ Dee ]

Tame ?
Tame !
You're balmy
It's barren enough             [ Da ]
To drive one insane !
                                 Who ?

                                 I love
                                 Aladdin Sane

[ Fletch giggling ]

Da you're a big tease
Dee's in a quiver

Dee : Do you think
The Sphinx a soothsayer ?     [ Da ]

                                Ah ...
                                Say 'Ah' Da

[ Dee ]

Hmm ...                        Say 'Ah hmm ...'

The Sphinx has bugs
Me thinks

Hmm ...

But I can't name them

[ Fletch ]

One bug is a feature:
The Sphinx is a tale collector
                                     [ Dee ]
It's collected thousands
                                     A thousand and one

Well spelk Dee tar !

I suspect that's part
Of my ancestor's art
Collecting stories
To set in a frame

[ Dee ]


[ Fletch ]

We'll soon be at Its lair

But I'll sketch one tale quickly
In clay over there:

( Fletch uses the sharp end of a spoon to etch in the bank of the
omnipresent oily stream  )

The Triangular Claws of the Bearded Crab

Here is a valley
In a shadow I frequent

There's me on an ancestors knee
Paddling in the valley stream

And grown now
Many years later
With gangs under contract
Clearing up the dirty water

Extracting the poo
And port piss
Of the poodle brigade

I draw now the Bearded Crab ...

Stalk eyes
Fierce words
Taking the shout
No time to doubt

"You could die here
  Without a doubt !

  Yes you !

  You take that lot
  I'll take this

  We wouldn't want anything
  Going amiss"

      "You're joking aren't ya ?"
       My reply

"No !

  Welcome to reality:

  A by-product of
  Civil engineering"

  Jump to it
  And earn your schilling !"

( Fletch giggling )

Dee ?
Why do you quiver ?
You know a Crabs outer face
Is bug one of Its feature

( Fletch flattens the clay image )

Here ...

It's erased ...

Now to draw Its soft centre ...

Time passes
The Crab meets an Oyster             [ Dee ]
Steps sideways to hunt
Some new lair for sharing             A hunting pump ?

May be
And more fool me
I lend the Crab mine
As the gangs mine the valley
And I mind the gangs

Post passion perhaps
The Crab stares too close
Past the shell of the Oyster
At a square painting hung there
Above a futon in my lair:

The MetaSphinx grins from the painting
With Its tale swishing
And reflects said Crab's bearded glare:

  Snarls the MetaSphinx

"Regard me !
  You are a Crab exposed !        [ Da ]

                                   Hey Fleetch ?
                                   Do you got the negatives ?

[ Fletch giggling ]

Tar Da
Well spelked !

Best not get side tracked
We'd Best continue

The Crab moves Its head back
Scratches Its beard
Moves sidewards
To negotiate the trap
Of the mirror

Crab grins and motions below
To the sand with Its claws
And draws characters
Of past present Shadow:

"Regard Sphinx:

  Young Crab unwanted
  In merchant seas
  Iron tempered
  By unwanted whips"

         "Your iron doesn't temp me"
         Snarls the Sphinx

         "Your shell is well known
          A mallet can bash your exterior bone"

Again Crab sidesteps
Away from the mirror
Re-sifting Its characters
To resemble the Other

"Regard Sphinx:

  Crab's family
  At home in the lair
  Well tendered
  There's gold there is there"

          "Gold is it !"
          Snarls the Sphinx

          "Do you think me a fool

           Turn back
           To the back page

           What you hiding
           In the sand
           Forgotten in some Shadow land ?"

"No !
  Don't drive me there !
  Don't look
  Turn away !

  Too late:

  I am back there:

  Driving a tunnel beneath the sea

  There comes a call down the line:

      "Crab !"

      "Crab !
       Crab !

       There's tragedy !"

"Why you cry ?!"
Snarls iron shelled I

      "It's your own Shadow Crab
       A school in the valleys
       Is buried in slag"

"Move !" Snarls I
"Clear this line
  And them others

  Yes you !

  Secure the timbre
  And bring spare !

  Yes you !

  Wake my cousin
  Get Lobster there !

  Land lovers
  Collect around me
  No time for hankies
  Gather the van keys

  We drive
  We drive
  We drive !

  And we drove
  And we drove
  And we drove
  Through fog
  And tight headings
  Til we reached the class rooms

  But that is a scene
  That I will not describe

  For I have seen your form
  Sphinx in ...

  Many shadows ...

  And in many trades ...

  Be you gaoler
  Shaman or
  It matters little ...

  For now you have received
  My carbon in crystalline form
  To fuse with the iron
  And steel for your own

  And you've ingots of gold
  To mix with my clay
  Bring on your scales
  I've amber to weigh

[ Dee ]

  Ah ...
  A sidestepping alchemist

  A navigator

  What did the MetaSphinx say ?

[ Fletch ]

  Oh ...

  The Sphinx is quite tame
  It gathers front line pattern tales
  By what ever name

  By the way
  On the topic of chaos
  The Sphinx has a habit of ...

  Oh ...
  Here It is now

  Or rather
  Hear we It ?

  Ping ?

( Dee Da and Fletch close upon the MetaSphinx. The MetaSphinx is
entranced in what appears to be a game of solo draughts. )

[ MetaSphinx mumbling to itself ]

Oh hum ...

An old Sphinx in a draughty house
Under a windy knob ...

( A wind begins to blow )

After such knowledge, what forgiveness ?

Think now
Think now

Oh hum
Oh hum ...

( The MetaSphinx spots the party )

Fletch ?

Oh ...

You have come with those two ?

( Fletch's eyes narrow as Fletch stares at Dee and Da in turn. Fletch's
head moves back six inch during the process. The MetaSphinx continues. )

Think now

Come in
Come in

Can your hear it ?


There's another postcard pinging
Another thing springing
 From your garden

[ Fletch ]

Where is the garden ?

I planted it there ...

( Fletch points to the south-eastern slope of the MetaSphinx's hill )

[ MetaSphinx ]

Oh ...

I've hidden it
It disturbs me ...

But bring it on ...

Bring it on ...

( And with a swish of Its tale the MetaSphinx decloaks a most peculiar
animated garden. The garden stretches as far as the mind can see and is
interlaced with a number of canals.

There are many penguins navigating the canals in small crafts made from
bath tubs. Each bath tub is fitted with a pipe that is fastened
vertically in to the plug hole. At the top of the pipe is affixed a
shower head that points to the aft of the craft.

The crafts appear to be powered by water, which jets out of the shower
heads. As more weight is added to the bath tubs, the lower the tub sinks
in to the water and the faster the shower head ejects water.

One bath tub contains an anvil and is moving very fast. It pulls a
pelican on water skis. )

[ Fletch ]
                         [ Dee ]
Oh my ...			
It has grown 		 Oh me
			 Oh my
                          I was standing on the corner ...

[ MetaSphinx ]

Yes it grows ...

It grows ...

Hear ping ?

Ping ping ping

Here ...

Let's ping here ...

( The MetaSphinx extends one front paw towards the draught board from
which a razor sharp claw further extends and spikes one square of the
board. The pinging stops.

An holographic image of a young male, dressed in a rugby kit,
materialises on the square. He is carrying a bag on his back. He takes a
postcard out of his bag and passes it to Fletch. He winks at Fletch and
then explodes with a bang.

The post card is of an uniformed officer who is covering his face with
his hands.)

[ MetaSphinx ]

Well Fletch ?
What does it say ?

Read it Fletch
Out loud please

( Fletch stares at the card and then to each of the party in turn and
reads )

[ Fletch ]

The Post Card

  It was pitch black
  And we had torches

  The tunnel
  Where the train was
  Was about 150 metres
  Down the track
  Round a corner
  And there were still a few wounded
  Coming towards us
  As we approached

  As I walked down the track
  I heard someone cry out for help
  But I could not see them
  I called out back
  And looked around
  But it was very smoky and dusty
  And they did not answer

  I got into the train
  And it was quite obvious
  That this was something horrendous

  There were people
  With limbs missing
  Huge open wounds
  With their organs showing
  And people were crying out
  And moaning
  And asking for help

  I thought:
  This is the worst thing
  I have ever seen

  I am not very good
  In enclosed spaces
  At the best of times
  And we had to climb
  Over bodies and body parts
  To try to help people
  And see who was still alive.

  I thought:
  This is the end of the world
  Right here in this carriage,
  But you have to do your job.

  I found a man
  And his leg
  Had been blown off
  Below the knee

  There was another body
  Next to him

  There was also
  What I thought
  Was a pile of clothes
  But as I passed
  To try and get to the man
  It moaned
  And asked me for help

  It was a woman
  She had all
  Her limbs blown off

  I think she died
  on the concourse.

  We had not yet
  Got into the carriage
  Where the bomb had exploded
  But we had to get in there
  To make sure
  No one else was alive

  That was a scene
  I cannot describe

  The roof had collapsed
  And we had to almost crawl in
  There were body parts everywhere
  There was not one bit
  As far as I could see
  That was not covered with
  Or blood
  Or bits of body

  I was squashed in by
  And dead bodies

  As we searched for anyone alive.

  I could not help standing
  On things
  But I had to carry on
  And do my job

  It was like collecting
  A lot of shop dummies
  And then cutting them up
  Pouring black paint over them
  And filling the carriage

  After a couple of hours
  I came up

  The station was pretty quiet by now

  Someone asked me for directions
  Which made me smile
  And that made me feel
  More human

  As I stood there
  I felt lonelier than
  I thought was possible
  I just wanted to see
  A friend
  Or somebody new
  And give them a hug

{ File Reference EG0000000000000000000003637/credSB }

[ MetaSphinx ]

Fletch !

A question for you

What does the file reference mean ?

[ Fletch ]

I could speculate

But I chose not to

[ MetaSphinx ]


Think now


History has many cunning passages
Contrived corridors
And issues

Deceives with whispering ambitions

Guides us by vanities

Think now


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