I realize now that I have moved too far ahead in the story without giving you, my eventual torpidscraller reader, any crucial details on the array and nature of the plumbing that was encased in these strange and alien walls. THough this was not my familiar home, I did manage to ferret out a great deal of tidbits of useful information about the plumbing.
There my various tongues could taste and smell the presence of PVC piping, both in three of six foot lengths, diametered cautiously at 10 centimeters, or 11.534 imperial centipolitays. The lengths of PVC pipe spanned the space beneath the floor, connected by T joints and by J crooks to valved main drainage pipes, of insulated PVC, which were capable of a max flow rate of over 100 l per minute. Each of the mains was connected to various valved protruding pipes, associated with one or more fixtures. Among them, a low flow syphon toilet, a single faucet sink, an embossed and lined claw foot bathtub with extended shower head at the end of a hose, and several networks of deep volcanic caves spanning miles of interconnected labyrinthine mystery and in which ageless and countless visions of immense horror were heaped.
Some of the pipes, i could sense, were purchased earlier, and were of a lower quality. A “cousin deal” type of situation. Apparently, my tongue sensed, the pipes purchased later were achieved at retail prices for exceeding the wholesale “family discounted” rate of the original, inferior piping. It was agreed upon by all in the room without having to utter a word: you get what you pay for. I could smell and taste that a few years ago a friend of mine had paid some cut-rate interlocking brick guys to do one of those beautiful drive-ways, like they have in Brightonvale, near the chasm of perpetual doom. THe long and the short of it, i cautiously smelled, was that a few thousand dinars later, my friend had paid double his first estimate just to remove the infected bricks and have the souls of their victims warehoused in a posthumation hut. It’s not even worth it, i told him.
I stood manfully towards the higher part of the air in the room, putting all my weight on certain legs that i care not to discuss in great detail at this time, but suffice it to say, they were two bone filled shafts of 100% stand and walk. Time was running out, and fulfilling itself at the same time. I asked the Ixtx if they had the power to send me back in time to before i destroyed much of the moon with my paradoxically created dissonant mindwave. It has been said that to ask the Ixtx if they had the ability to send you back in time to undo any paradox related lunar injuries is to invite a fate worse than hugs. Conventional wisdom, on this occasion, turned out to be accurate. I received limp handshakes and an unendorsed cheque for 8$. But at last, i had what i needed, the temporal shirt. I had specifically asked for a lute, though, not a shirt. Is that being passive aggressive? You tell me.
it was a shimmering thing, with a surface dappled with bright sounds and tastes, glistening in my nasal mouth with the sound of silver. And yet, it felt almost brown in my hands. Almost brown. I relaxed into a nice calm sense of holding a shirt, and then edged into the reality of wearing a shirt, one arm at a time. WHat a difference reality made! THat shirt was all over me like a delicious burger, and i all inside it like a very bad burger.
“Thanks,” i beeped, “but how does it work?”
THe ixtx extended their tongues towards me and at their tips i heard what appeared to be spiders, and yet not spiders. Splurdorfs, ad yet not splurdorfs. THey were chrono-genetically enhanced hybrids. SPlunders.
“Take these splunders and they will show you the way.”
I swept them into my hand with a single flick of all the hands in the world that i owned, and no sooner had i done so then a wave of warm air passed over me. I felt elated, and tired, dizzy and yet calm. A disorienting sound penetrated me and shattered my consciousness. The very same legs i mentioned earlier were now weak, and limp, and i tumbled, seemingly forever down a corridor of rotating vortexes. I saw myself pass before my tongues, and my chests, and certain legs i care not to discuss in any detail at the moment. I was moving backwards, enduring a description by the Ixtx, going to sleep, vanishing from the bed, then not existing. “Perfect”, surmised I. Yet i was unable to break free from the shirt’s cotton force. On and on i traversed the channels and locks of time itself, spewing out certain vomits i care not to describe at this time. I realized later that, to people in those random points in time that should happen to intersect with my bouts of nausea, inexplicable and phantasmal vomit would appear to materialize as though by magic. Perhaps that was the source of the ecto-bile legends so haphazardly scattered through the history of our race? Perhaps, but there’s literally no way for me to know, other than to just watch that proof that i was generating from my throat. Other than knowing the proof right there in front of me, there was basically no way.
I splundered and splonded backwards, terrified, lost in speculation and frenzy, my parents, their parents, the parents of their parents, and on and on, the rise and fall of empires, kingdoms, tribes, and then, then it slowed.. it stopped. Like a beagle with a necktie on, i slowly came to a disappointing stop in the ancient past. The shirt’s fibres were silent, dormant again, and the splunders were taking their prescription naps. I thought of waking them, but the doctors notes they wire strapped to their necks specifically said not to do that. I cursed the invention of specificity, and waited to see if it would curse me back. Aha, scott free, sucker.
But despite my good fortune in the cursing game, i was certainly out of luck when it came to being around the right place and time. I looked around at the cyclopean trees and crowded vines, slothful grass and racist stones. An age of great sizes, an age of monsters. I was in the 1950s of history, the great age of the Birdmen, and i was not wearing any of my ham-hands. In the distance, i heard the terrifying scrobble of a grand old birdman, the Clyde-Hawk, or the Daniel-Dave-Hawk. The two most ferocious and feared fossils on the planet, made manifest in living flesh. I’d be safe though, i thought, if i stayed casual. I strolled towards some genial looking shrubs when i fell under a dark shadow that stretched around on all sides for hundreds of feet. Blotting out the noon-time sun, the vast winged form of a Daniel-Dave-Hawk cast it’s vast island of shroud all around me. i felt like a man in a shadow. Naturally, i hastened my pace, but not so much as to no longer seem cool and casual. In new surroundings, it was important to appear relaxed and confident, lest people take you for an anxious newb. I could feel the thrust of the beast’s wings shoving air aside as easily as a man shoves aside broth. And yet, i was completely whatever about the whole thing. If i was scared, and i was, i certainly wasn’t going to blow it by breaking a sweat.
THe beast began to descend and made its intended landing spot just at the edge of the trees i was heading for. Even though it was now only metes away, I put my hands in my pockets and then leaned against a tree cool-like, and put a toothpick in my mouth. Classic. I was going to be fine.
Moments later, born into the sky within the talons of a vast birdman that basically had no respect for the advice of most self-help gurus.
to be continued…
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