Fragment One

The tap master whose name was Illian, spoke softly to me so that we would not be overheard even though it was frowned upon to hide one's words.  Only a couple lowly Manxmen sat over their tankards and discussed the small catch they yielded that day and wondered when the rain would begin.  Illian remembered as he spoke.

"He said he was from the Church.  I asked him what he wanted and if he would be drinking ale, but he looked at me and scowled." 

"That is not what I am looking for, tap master," he said dryly.  I am looking for signs of the devil." 

"I shook with fear when I heard these words.  I do not know the devil, I replied." 

"You would not know him if you were standing in his presence," said the churchman.  "I have heard rumors about this island, and I do not like to hear rumors, for the devil spreads rumors." 

"There is nothing here for the devil to want," Illian said awkwardly. 

"The devil wants everything," the churchman said firmly.  "I will be here on the island, wandering for some time.  I am looking for books.  If you see anything evil, find me." 

"What is your name?" the tap master asked meekly. 

"My name is Melanthros," the churchman replied.  Then he walked out with his black coat flapping wildly in the breeze. 

I gave the tap master a coin and then left . . .

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Fragment Two

{ . . . and in the history of the Isle of Man, we come across a reference to a strange King, who was banished from his kingdom, and after foretelling of a great curse, was returned in the form of a giant sea serpent.  I have been unable to uncover no name of this King, for his name, along with all his deeds, have been banished from official records, leaving nothing behind with which to corroborate this extraordinary tale.  But I was able to uncover this single reference from an old periodical dated in 1836, from a obscure London periodical, [Time], 3rd Edition, Volume 1.  It is itself, only a small fragment, which is to say, nothing more than a quote from a frightened Manxman which was recorded and preserved.  I site it in its entirety.} Hoffman, [The folklore of the British Isles,] J. A. Kraus & Son, 1934

 

" . . . it was a monster.  The serpent . . . twas the Red King returned, just as the legend did say[that I knows].  The Red King . . .[chewed them and tore them asunder . . .] took six of my men, drown them in the wake of his fiery red spume and carried them away to hell.  I survived by clinging to the wreckage of the boat and prayed the Red King was satisfied with his terrible toll."

 

Oddly, there is no more information about this witness, and even his name has been lost.  This I was able to copy down from a worn and faded piece of microfilm in the collection of European folklore from the University of Arkham, by the kind curator W. F. Mattheson.  Originally, I was not even looking for this, but instead, information on Melanthros.  So, indeed my early exploration has met with some success.

 

—K

 

 

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Fragment Three

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I found an extraordinary account of a phenomenon that is present in the literature surrounding The Book of Sorren.   I first discovered this in the leaves of Sorren, and it was my natural supposition that this was in fact a pagan concept, but in all certainty nothing could be further from the truth, for this concept is manifest in much of the early Christian mystical writing before it was abandoned by the Church Fathers.  This fragment was written inside the margins of a centuries old manuscript of a long neglected book of Meister Eckhart, a thirteenth Century German mystic, prominent during the bitter tensions of opposing Monastic Orders of the Church.  He was subsequently accused of heresy and brought before the Inquisition, but he died before a verdict could be rendered against him.  The writing was in a different hand, but it is my estimation that the writing was from a kindred spirit, a mystic, perhaps a follower of Eckhart who was afraid to expose his philosophical thinking to the scrutiny of the Church for fear of retribution.  The writing was in a very crabbed style and extended across the bottom in a stream of consciousness.  I have edited this slightly where the writing was far too obscure for me to comprehend, but I think that the sentiment has been accurately discovered and translated.

 

The heartbeat of the Lord is the rhythm of the world, and so it is that the world turns and twists and moves to the rhythm of the Lord, for the world is without substance but for the Lord.  But even as the flesh and bone and blood of all God's creatures surround the heart, the myriad fields and streams and mountains of the Earth surround the beating heart of the Lord.  But to look at the heart of the Lord is to peer into madness, for so it is that our heart is not strong enough to bear the sight of such glory.  The rhythm of the Lord is righteous, but the rhythm is well hidden, and only by the grace of God is the rhythm of the Lord revealed.  And though the rhythm of the world may be perceived as a sound, it is not a sound, but is indeed the manifestation of the word of God.  The rhythm cannot be understood, cannot be imitated, and cannot be conceived upon the mind of men, and therefore the rhythm is a mystery, and the rhythm is terrifying.  Beware the man that has become aware of the rhythm of the world, for this man has seen into the word of God.

—K