RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition. He does have an amazing PATREON, but also *normal* ARTIST WEBSITE too.

Thursday, August 11

45s on 33 – #62: “Back To The Island”

I decided to go back to the Seven Islands of the elven peoples, hiding in plain sight along the James River in my home state of Virginia, but it was strangely quiet when I got there, and inflatable boat floated across. They keep it nomadic enough, to hide their existence from humanoids when necessary for peaceable survival, but I knew that, and they knew me. Generally, you’d run into one of their sentries at the edges before getting far onto the island, but not this time. There was no sign of them, not even up in the trees which you could usually still see elven trinkets made of driftwood if you knew what you were looking for. Nothing.

I poked around all the islands looking for them. It should be noted to you the reader that when I say “island” these are tiny places. You can cover the entirety of all Seven Islands in an hour. We’re not talking huge Pacific rim volcanic archipelagos or anything. It’s just land that chopped and screwed itself into the middle of the river instead of on either bank. But on the fifth island, one of the smaller ones, I found somebody finally – Chubb Rock (one of the main sentries… I’ve mentioned him before earlier in this thing). Chubb Rock’s beard was fucked up though, his beard heavily soaked in elven blood, and he was mumbling. I leaned down, talking to him, tried to lift him up like dramatic movie scene, but he just moaned in horrible pain an ungodly elven moan of impending death, so I didn’t try. In the attempt though, I could see the throat camouflaged by beard had been slit, not cleanly but in a rough and rusty serrated fashion, which is probably why he was not already dead, as the blood was a slow leak, not gusher.

“You are here finally. They left me for you to find.” His voice was gargled and meek, lacking all the jovial nature Chubb usually possessed. “I am supposed to tell you… nothing.”

“What? Who left you? You’re supposed to tell me nothing? That doesn’t even make sense.”

“Yeah. Nothing. These worlds don’t always make sense, do they?” And his eyes had a flicker of laughter to them before the moaning took back over, before a chuckle could make his voicebox.

“Who’s they? Where did everybody else go?”

“Nothing. I am telling you nothing. That is my dying duty.” He coughed up thick chunks of partially coagulated blood. “That is what you know. But it is suspected you think you know more than nothing. You don’t. So I am to tell you nothing, so that you can know nothing.”

The elven people loved riddles, especially with humans, because we think of ourselves as so logical and efficient, in a way that goes beyond actual nature of all things. I can’t say if the elven tribe was more in-tune with nature or not, but they certainly lived without forcing a dominion on all the surrounding real world. So having an elf riddle me some nonsense gibberish was not surprising in itself. But for Chubb Rock to be dying, beside me, no sign of any other of the elves, that was weird. It was all very confusing for the logic – albeit an alternative and non-traditional logic – that ruled my thinking somewhat oppressively.

“What the fuck do you mean, Chubb Rock!” I yelled dramatically, as if in a theatrical facsimile. But there was no answer other than finally a little bit of laugh coming out with the clotted chunks of bloody mucus from Chubb Rock’s mouth. He gave a little elven laugh, and then that fucker was dead. And I have no idea why.

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