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THE ETERNAL ANSWER

January 9, 2015

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“Beauty and the Beast”by Ryohei Hase

Theirs was a love affair for the ages, the likes of which the world had never seen before and unlikely to ever see again.

Philippe was born with a very rare medical condition of having his head shaped like a giant rat skull. His emotional and mental faculties were not impaired to any degree; he could talk, think and feel. And he needed love, like the rest of us. Yet the oversized rodent cranium on Philippe’s shoulders caused him to feel shame and self-consciousness and he resigned himself to a life of loneliness and unfulfilled desires.

Salvation came to Philippe in the arms of Olympia, the one woman in the world who accepted him as he is and who fell head over heels in love with him.

Olympia’s favourite expression of affection was to pat Philippe’s head tenderly; eventually she became so used to its cold, hard texture that she would be repulsed by the feel of soft, warm skin.

To those who scorned her and mocked her choice of partner, Olympia always had the same answer: “The appearance of your loved one will deteriorate over time. The skin on their faces will sag and grow wrinkly; their chins will multiply in number; their hair will turn grey and eventually fall out. But the face of my beloved will never age. It will always look exactly the same as that blessed day when I first laid my eyes on him.”

As with most happy marriages, after a few years of unbridled joy in each other’s company, Philippe and Olympia’s thoughts turned to procreation. Despite their obstetrician’s repeated warnings of unforeseen results that their union might produce, they enthusiastically went ahead with their plans for becoming parents.

As events rolled inexorably towards their climax, a child was born – Alexander, a child of the Evolution. The infant was free from any physical defects, except for one thing. He possessed two heads so solidly fused together, that no surgeon would ever dare to attempt separating them. One head was inherited from the mother. The other head, a skull (albeit of human, rather than rodent, shape), clearly came from his father’s side.

Given such a physical form, it is not surprising at all that Alexander grew up to be a most peculiar man, engaging in somewhat unconventional activities. Due to his double head construction, he was able to experience and exist in both the Living and the Dead Worlds at once. Consequently, he did a roaring trade as a medium and a prophet, informing the grieving relatives of how their dearly departed were faring in the Afterworld, as well as spreading the Gospel of the Afterlife and letting the living know what existence really was like in the next world.

His consulting table was cluttered with heads, hearts, genitalia and other parts of the human body. These were unmistakable reminders of his role as a conduit between the two realities, for put together, these objects constituted the human body, the most powerful symbol of life, while separately, they were the most vivid mementoes of death.

Image may contain: 1 person

“Der Wäger von Kopf und Herz”by Michael Hutter

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5 Comments
  1. Ridiculously good.

    Again, far too good for WordPress.

    Feedback:

    1. “Theirs was a love affair for the ages, the likes of which the world had never seen before and unlikely to ever see again.”

    You need another verb before “unlikely”. Consider:

    “Theirs was a love affair for the ages, the likes of which the world had never seen before and was unlikely to ever see again.”

    I’m not much of a split-infinitive fan, so you could go:

    “Theirs was a love affair for the ages, the likes of which the world had never seen before and was unlikely to see ever again.” [or “… ever to see again.”]

    Or (stronger):

    “Theirs was a love affair for the ages, the likes of which the world had never seen before and would never see again.”

    Or (tighter):

    “Theirs was a love affair for the ages, hitherto unseen and henceforth unimaginable.”

    2. Woah! Synchronicity. We’re thinking of calling our second Olympia. Maybe now we should!

    3. Alexander. Right, OK. Olympia, Alexander – good Greek names – but why have you Gallicised Philip. Don’t you want three of a kind?

    4. “double head construction” – hyphen between “double” and “head”?

    5. I’m incredibly jealous of the artwork that complements your words/works. Can you get one of your mates to do one for yours truly?

    • will reply in full to your comment shortly, but for now just wanted to respond to your point 5. No need to be jealous, as in great majority of cases (such as this one) the artists are not creating images for my work. Rather it is me creating words for their images. I get inspired by artwork a lot and write stories, poems etc based on those images. In fact, I have about 300 or so finished pieces and drafts that are all inspired by images found by chance on the net.

      Usually the story, poem etc is based on only one painting./image. This story is rather unusual as it is inspired by two artists who most probably don’t even know of one another and I used their images which are, again, completely unconnected to one another, to create one story.

    • P.S. because in many cases the images that I find are not credited to any artist, I can’t even share my stories with the artist. And given the copyright situation, the probability of these stories ever making it to a book together with the accompanying images is pretty slim.

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