Sunday, July 23, 2006

Fortunate Eggs: Summer 2006

In everyone’s little world I am dead,
Though through the cracks I might join new life.

Loneliness can be classed as a sin around some circles, but others may enjoy the intimacy it offers. For some people with a perfectly rounded sense of humour, it might actually drive them potty.

Edwin Coles continued to walk this walk of flames. His obstinate nature would stand him in good stead against nature’s savage realm. Unfortunately, he was viewed by Victorian society as an outsider either though he owned vast amounts in ready cash that would normally entitle him to some respect. However, Edwin avoided company at his own behest, not wishing to go on trial for his mannerisms and idiosyncratic unmentionables.

But hope did lie in another quarter: Edwin knew that the twins might help. When he was sixteen he befriended a pair of two clever female people who issued simultaneously from the same auspicious womb but never a care did their own family feel for them, while they were still young. The mother had rejected what she had first fed from her own hands and left her daughters in a stranger’s arms to sue for whatever favours the benevolent breeds would feel able to give. The cycle of time had passed on and now they were grown up. Both were goddesses to be sure, as most would admit; famed for their untouchable loveliness but on the other hand, their inner distress was overlooked as indeed, they were still scared about outside life governed by society.

“I’ll go there; the girls will help,” he decided, his mind well spent out for other options, “though by what craft I do not know.”

Edwin knew that after many years they would still remember him as a sham that had fed his own emotions felicitously, by meaning to fall in love with one of them. But by this era, this was a heavily deluded emotion that could only send the mind into a cycle of paranoia; colliding with insanity. Many people at the time were unsure about what love was supposed to be, but instead strove to cut their own off from the invading viral affections that were now just become as obsolete as small pox or even TB became later.

Yes, he decided to go and ask a favour from the Madams, especially one of them. Either they would acquiesce towards his plight or expunge him everlastingly from their sight and send him over to his irrupted enemies. Edwin couldn’t accept that their images may have changed; in-fact he was so excited about finding himself being reborn within the presence of the more beloved twin Evie, that he never thought over his feelings further on when he became within the range amongst their countryside hedgerows. His emotional propensities had begun checked for any canker and redirected in a fashion more seemly for every day in the year.

It had only been an intervening twenty years since he looked through this floating stare of the girl from his mind was currently drifting onwards. She seemed so demurely vulnerable but underneath a gift-wrapped mask was the garb owned by a more cunning madam. Evie would not stand to be affected, or to be superseded by a more powerful agent. She certainly occasionally wore an infrequent smile over and above her usual melancholy; so fragrant, it hung like a dewdrop from the pallor under her delicate nasal embrasure. She possessed a head of hair of such qualities that it washed down her cheeks in a bountiful loom thatched from black tresses that would sometimes veil her with creeping curls. She was more a gliding apparition, wrapped up in her mystery, than with anything tangible seen on earth, so that all that appraised her lightly, failed to notice her; save of course for Edwin who had never been able to fit his plans in with any action or reaction to such a desire. But to know Evie’s decision at this point had overtaken the despair in delay and he journeyed towards her with hopes addressed anew.

On arriving at her threshold, he found she was not as he had imagined in his minds eye. In fact her image was a travesty compared with his craving, so that all things rumbled on in diminution, contradicting his conceptual designs earlier derived from a portrait that stood proudly in the lady’s drawing room at the top of his house. In fact neither twin could offer any explanation for their dull existence or inertia towards life and spirit. Although Edwin had gradually grown in fondness for his Evie, she had never bitten back, so he felt sensations that were more prone to despondency than hopeful assent – complete indifference was an even worse banishment than he could ever envisage. Her cool response to his questionings made him grow ever more silent, just as keen to stop both girls referring to each other as finding out why they were paying no interest in him whatsoever. Evie moved on and on in conversation, making love with many topics but not actually consummating her wish to linger for much longer, every time she worded it.

Constantly onwards, all Evie could offer was her friendship; it was far sweeter than being in love but frustratingly misidentified as a deeper arousal, being so complicated to the feelings one might have for another being.

“What is your idea on the completion of hell”? This was the next set question that she had no intention finding out any response.

“I read the book and remained seriously unconvinced about what everyone is saying”, her twin answered above gasps from her sister who meant to intercede quickly.

She had apparently read numerous religious texts that had shown that intolerance was a fake sophistication to portray; nothing would come from opposing church doctrines; nothing would shake her resolve that God did not exist on earth. Evie had already irritated the local clergy more than once, tolling out her radical views without bearing any responsibility for the consequences or spelling out that she would not stoop to pick up the pieces if she ruffled a few cassocks. Astonishingly, she had avoided any summary excommunication from the local vicar, who had been more than patient, though her absence in church had been duly noted by about nearly a dozen parishioners; she already didn’t care in the slightest.

“You have not read it properly then”, she replied quite curtly.

Yes, Evie was trying to write a book and she felt that everybody should know about it, lest her remarkable talents for the unspoken word go unnoticed. Now she was distributing all her texts containing all her caustic ideas, preconceived on the basis that nobody would appreciate her final thesis, risking a ban across the board.

“Well I shan’t tell you what I may think in case my dear, you get the wrong idea”. The twin’s punitive comment was meant to seize control which in actual fact, it didn’t.

“Fine I’ll just keep talking to Mr Coles then”! Evie was obviously jostling for room to dominate her twin through creating some pretence with poor Edwin.

Evie rarely raised her voice above the normal frequency but she blundered into this too late and her sister was not going to countenance any of her usual foibles. And indeed she had not really intended to speak to Edwin about anything important, hoping just to bluff her twin by frustrating her into submission.

Edwin sat squarely between them during this preamble; claiming his space; coping with the exchange and forcing himself to be amazed when they fed him the scraps from their conversation, as the discussion had now moved on to the afterlife. Edwin remained mute, wrapping his legs quite tightly around the chair, as the diatribe continued on and on.
“Excuse me Mr Coles, I’m afraid that there is no truth in the suggestion that my sister has just made”.

Evie always referred to Mr Coles every time she wished to berate her sibling, without resorting to confirming her wiles externally. Worse was to come as a few hours later she had quadrupled her fortune by unwittingly inheriting a rare egg collection from a cousin who studied ornithology – she then shut out the world even further, save for her ever attentive twin sister just as a precaution. Mr Coles eventually found he was barking up the wrong tree without just cause: Evie never really wanted him around, so he just vacated the premises without regret.
When the note arrived, she just shoved it under her chair after reading it attentively. She looked visibly perplexed while her twin was unable to pick up on her draconian moodiness which refused to swing in her favour.

“Oh do tell me what the letter was about”, the sister enquired as if she was reaching out to accomplish some concealed goal.

“Nobody shall know except me”, Evie replied, visibly hurt - The ripples on her forehead tore the smoothness asunder, liked the ploughed earth – “our meeting is from now on terminated”. Victorian people always spoke in such terms without intimacy through monetary reasons alone, giving the extremely rich the right to distance themselves from any chosen peers on short notice.

Conversely, Darwin felt that nothing would terminate his theories save a calamity so enormous nothing would survive. He felt that the explanation for everything was derived from a single thread – a theory so strong that the chain reaction would challenge the path of god himself. As the story goes, many would deliver counter arguments against natural selection but it was always universally believed that slower conforming influences according to environment were a more robust way to measure man’s ascent.

Evie embraced this spirit with vigorous muster, courting her shrewdness for idealistic manipulation. The sparkle in her eye determined that she knew all there was to know about questioning existence. Victorian people tended to despise her for being far from the quintessential, not swallowed by normal acceptability and given to sometimes portray immoral tendencies when she so wished. This feeling had less to do with such things as Edwin’s flaming desire, that seemed out of place and time and much more to do with Evie’s scientific infatuation, showing an articulate bias in sound research theory reaching for the heavens.

She had bluntly hurt her family by delving into the less familiar – it was uncertain whether she would be ever welcome back if she should peruse her home soil once more. Scientific definition had always caught Evie’s imagination that had made up her notoriety. Even as a prodigy, she questioned the high offices that were held in retention for her maker. All the experts did not know what to make of her defiance, save redressing the balance her misplaced beliefs had wavered.

Having measured the eggs for face value, Evie took them away to encapsulate. Whilst investigating their yield, she discovered that there were several renegade objects that seemed more like large fruit items rather than anything with ornithological qualities – one resembled a large marrow. She first discarded the duck eggs as they seemed to common an item, owned by several doctors who thought that they may cure hypoglycaemia, which was just as ridiculous as the other superstitions that were frequently abound the medical profession. Other inglorious eggs had to be decided upon; even ones with coveted designs around the shell were rudely culled. As the years went by, just the fruit eggs remained entirely from demand.

By the twentieth century, Evie had become Violet, and after that became Emily but the only similarity between them was that they were blood relations. Violet had been extradited to France for reasons unknown – her crime remained wholly undisclosed. All these different kindred wanted to keep the eggs safe at bay properly. The latest descendent was called Daisy, a flamboyant middle aged lady who held the fruit eggs in firm esteem. She did not resemble her forbears in visage but had a curly infringement on her head just like Evie owned in abundance – hers was just a straighter conformity. She did have an argumentative turn of phrase, accumulative and confrontational in tenacity, not dissimilar to her distant cousin’s skilful dialogue.

The shock from accruing such items was heightened by the afternoon sun trapped walls even within the inner recesses around the tiny bungalow that was Daisy’s own. Amongst the linen finery, she uncovered the peachy eggs; stripy but soft as leather cladding would allow. A message also fell out from the main packaging that had been placed there by the original owner. It read as follows:

“Je n'ai aucune passion mais ceci: So reap what you will from the harvest and pass on as a gift. This is my legacy and will fulfil the mission for continued enterprise amongst mankind. During the last days left to the world, these will hatch and bare extra fruit; until then keep them safe, especially protect them from any such financial whim”.

Daisy immediately knew what this message meant, as well as her mother understood and psychological forbears, who at present, existed in her head, not her heart: These folk had long gone and just didn’t bother anymore now that she had become the sole guardian in measure. It suited her to nurture these seemingly banal gifts until her time had arrived to pass the eggs on again to another owner, and so on and so forth up to the very end, which was just as academic as her own personal conclusions surrounding the outcome for these strange spherical objects.

Having a greater mass than the muddled duck eggs, it surely mattered about all that palaver about the time’s end and the gestation that would succeed it. When Daisy held them in her conical palms, quite firmly, she imagined a rock, deadweight sandwiched between her digits that would regrettably fall and smash if she let go, an occurrence she must prevent, unless she felt a desire to stop the Immaculate Conception contained by the precious sparkly lozenge globes.

Daisy felt consciously prudent to wrap them back up and wined string back about the tin box provided - the intention was that the knot would never be tampered or twisted again so long as she was in charge. There was a hidden agenda that Daisy believed she was only transient, not an actual adjudicator. This was a permissive action for her to take, discarding the packet after investigating it only once, shoving it away for someone later to take out and check thoroughly again, once having gained the afterlife she so strived hard to achieve through religious means.

What had become of Evie? It was not that clear at first but those astute enough to uncover some grains from the misty evidence were disappointed by their enquiry:

“The Accomplishments of Sin”, had been completed as her greatest masterpiece; the book discussed the unfortunate business surrounding Darwin’s discoveries. She probed further into the backwaters that had disparaged the accepted dogma, which dared to challenge scientific reasoning that had passed from ancient times unscathed. She had become blessed with a reputation and her beauty followed it like a dog held on the leash, masquerading in the vein of the most sought after girl in Christendom – a cheap trick but effective fare for the unwise punters who bought the book.

Under examination, Evie had tried to change her identity on several occasions. The carcass left in between the facts was a bare faced big fat lie: She never got married, although she always maintained she did get involved with many men. Some had described her intimacies with a dissident scientist as a fractious showcase stirred with plenty of temerity – all to show she could form proper liaisons with people she appeared to reckon upon highly; then the disaster when she failed to provide the necessary documents at the marriage ceremony, but it is about here in the story that most observers conveniently lost their memory, avoiding the least trouble by account.

So her children remained in Normandy, abandoned by both mother and father who had fled south, goodness knows where. The egg parcel was found on their possession when they walked into a local orphanage; hence they founded their family yoke for future years, impoverished and vulnerable in perpetual disappointment.

One might want to enquire about Edwin’s plight but I’m afraid he had long gone by now. He was another mystery drawn into Evie’s Delphic realm, although too briefly. The eggs had supplanted his ambiguity and he landed himself with a hefty wasted effort for his careful persistence; there would never be any reward for that.

No doubt, this pleasure seeking man might have had enough company from her at present, but he memorised every moment he had spent within her domain and played them back in his head whenever he felt dull. Thus, he had a full record of all the transactions that occurred between them at any one time, making sure that all aspects in their relationship had been covered and a path made carefully to succour him in his fantasying - gazing into the middle distance without the perfect subject he once beheld so dearly. Would he be as so bold as to meet her again? His reactions were in fact tardy; he would never again shore himself up for greater endeavour. Evie’s jovial attitude had worn counter with his truer behest: Alas, she could not be moulded by his will in plain reaction from beauty.

One thing that could be said for him though, he had discovered something in that little room occupied by that female presence: a small oval shaped object with tourney stripes which felt like a leather rugby ball. By sleight of hand he found a way to smuggle the object away from its’ original ownership.

Having seldom swilled the opium measure, Edwin’s request for exchange with the museum was validated; the rare egg was placed in a cache surrounded by other similarly rounded objects, where it spent the rest of its days like the Faberge eggs in the Moscow Armoury: Decorative for sure, but ultimately allowed uselessness over the centuries without handy intervention.

Over time nobody actually bothered forming an opinion on this beleaguered treasure and nobody knew from where it had arisen in its’ artful journey along the set timeline. Indeed, many had avoided speculation as to functionality and obedience towards shaky theories, offered by both saints and scientists in their wisdom, for Edwin’s egg was like no other: It betrayed everything that both science and religion could muster. These two poles were indefinitely a mortal training ground for human diligence and still further, warlike indulgence.

The curators curiously asked few questions about Edwin’s acquisition but noted that his brows swept up his forehead quite dramatically, almost like a spiral boss over the eyes, denoting a pattern something like the eggs. It was thought that he had contracted this quirk after a hereditary turmoil from ancestry, not painted décor or some idiomatic scared symbolism to touch the sole, almost as if his eyes bore fruit in their own right. This delinquent touch was much overdone and frightened the gentle orderlies charged with the day to day running throughout the museum.

Edwin caught the rays from the fawning sun, the last in the afternoon, and the montage arranged on his forehead seemed marooned from his other features in retinue fashion. Finding that there was greater light than darkness, he stood away from the glare in order not to present conspicuousness too early; he wanted to achieve the best bargain for his wares without petty mysteries to tempt the curators.

In actuality, Edwin became financially fleeced by the museum but he had no concern regarding their offer. Sweeping his hair back over his flared skull, he left them with their mutually found treasure. He forgot to mention that the delivery would contaminate the other specimens kept on show – No one would presume to go near them, yet it was not clear whether they were listed amongst those too dangerous to touch. However, this message was received and understood quite clearly, becoming a charm arising from the clutch – there would be no countermand.
Years passed in-situe and the eggs left by Edwin were still in their crib, a faded basket; virtually forgotten about; institutionalised in lovely feathers; cheap and cheerful crape paper over wrapping, foundling the round bundle. By now the objects had grown larger and less immaculate in shape. The stripy ones were reproducing efficiently, until now. In fact, having completed incubation, they could reproduce no more. Edwin would have recognised his brothers and sisters amongst those planted in the pile’s historical centre as they all genetically belonged to him.

Aeons later, humans had officially vacated the spot, so she was an implacable beauty, seldom qualities you would expect in giant volcanic sediment covering vast spaces like desert floors. Once calm again after centuries, she erupted in gushing clouds, folding down and curling smoke around, an immeasurable power investing from the earth’s greatest dungeon, splayed underneath whole northern continents.

The eggs began parthenogenesis in their millions and they even coped willingly with extreme temperatures sent through gamma rays bombarding them through unnatural matter. Never would historical life exist again on a fruitful earth, the fountain that bore the life grain for so many species, both animal and vegetable. The newer works had copied themselves and would not budge for time’s sake. The French egg masterpieces shed their skins whilst protruding effortlessly one towards the other until all were eventually conjoined neatly – it would take a further aeon before they began a single rebirth in an alien being, all alone and distressed.
The lonely creature that came afterward had its single baptism in the stars, born from the human flesh that did not have any paternal rights over it – the mother had left her bounty for existing life on earth to share and fertilise the stripy invention – a lone creature eating through the galaxy until it run out into streaky bits of nothing.

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