Thursday, March 25, 2010


Carl: “Wagner liked them.”

Frank: “thought...........'RATZ, now I must come out of hiding....'
The caves are no longer safe.....He MUST get the ring from the Gypsies ....... under the cover of darkness, Frank (Tom) moves out.....m-16 in target in mind....”


Gypsies, gypsies what in the hell had he been thinking of, trusting the ring to his cousins, now he was going to be tramping all over half of the state of West Virginia looking for that bunch of knuckleheads…and that’s if they did what he told them to. He thought about Ms CGS, would he make it in time to save her, and was it even worth the trouble to try to. He’d had his suspicions about her as soon as he spoke to her over the phone. She’d know too much about the ring when they’d spoken, it was almost as if …as if, she’d used the ring herself sometime, somewhere in the past. He hit a pothole, and heard the rifle bang against the back of the trucks cab, where he’d stored it behind the seat. Damn it, he hoped it stayed zeroed. He should have just left it in the gun case until he got there. The problem was, that if he did run into Moelusteian unexpectedly, a gun in a case wasn’t going to do him a whole lot of good.
Let him try his Swedish, paranoid, heresy here and see how much good it did him with an M-16 going off, up his butt. First things first though, he had to find Willie and the Glimmer twins to get the ring back.


Ms CGS: "The intensity of the moments, her breathlessness,the karst's vast silence and unbending blackness; was she going mad? This ring, simply a band of gold was only a token; others had been driven mad by the same in the name of marriage or felicity of another sort. Could she sacrifice another's life, lest her own, just to preserve the lovely unending line, at this point the only true constant in her life. But this ring is for the ages, stretching far beyond the moment. Moist, cool air enveloped the two. Occasional water drips, growing ancient formations, are heard at close range, then...yes, farther away another lake was filling with steady, deliberate drops of water, the lifeblood of this subterrannean hiding place. This would be Hades to the ancients, but to the Seekers of Tom it was becoming a heaven, the darkness a balm. Were they dying? No...too close to the legacy's unfolding. Ah, breathe, smell the saturated rock, give in and embrace the dark, sleep maybe, yes, just rest a little, dream. Deep sleep is jarred by a gentle sound, not of water, not even footsteps, but distant music, like earthen this her heaven? And where is he?"

Inganteria Moelusteian

He sat silently, listening, straining his ears to hear the slightest ruffle, a sniff, a breath, the faint zip of cloth on flesh, as she moved. He drew the air in deeply and slowly through his nose to avoid any sound. He smelled a woman’s scent, the faint waft of this morning’s perfume, mixed with the smell of the coffee, that she’d thrown all over him. He raised his hands to his face and gently let his fingertips explore the damage. Already there were fluid filled blisters around his eyes. He didn’t know how well he could see, it didn’t really matter here anyway. The Tom that they called Frank had written of the olcooedootdso dome, as if that were enough to deceive him, he could decipher that with or without the ring. It was the “code to loose” the demons of hope on all mankind. Hope…hope the most virulent of all curses. And it was this one the one he hunted now that was the key to that hope. He’d seen it in her eyes when he had grabbed her to stab her. She’d never even seen the knife, she’d lashed out, not in anger, not in rage, not even in the paranoia that was engulfing the entire world now, but with hope. The hope that she could escape. The hope that she could survive this to see her husband again, to raise their children. It had burned him to the core of his soul.
She was nearby, the answer was to wait, the first one to move loses.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Ring and The Cavern

The Ring

Frank: "....(aka) Tom Was surfing the web (that's the information highway of the future), with his secret decoder ring, when he broke out in a cold sweat and yelled "OMG"!! He saw that Cracker Jack was NO LONGER putting the secret decoder rings in the boxes as prizes. That means that Frank (Tom) has the only one left. He also found out while surfing on the Anderson blog, that Inganteria Moelusteian wants the ring and has plans to 'inanimate' him to get it.....Thinking fast, Frank (Tom) quickly sold the secret decoder ring to a band of roaming gypsies roaming the Appalachian Mountains. Frank (Tom) then fled to the 'old country' where he will hide in the 'olcooedootdso' caves (known only to a few trusted minions) for the next 1,000 years. At that time he will retrieve the ring from the gypsies grave and again read the Anderson blog to see if it is safe for him to return to the general population."

Carl: “Tom Tom the piper runs 'n Scott had no wipes so some be stunned...”

MS CGS: “MY GOD, MAN, DON'T PAAAANICCC! Sick the Body Parinoid on this ingrate Inganteria. They'll devour principles held dear, then claim the ring was all their idea, after all. (Tom, embrace the Pope that is your true id.)”

Frank: “The ring is in safe hands, it has a 1,000 year curse on be broken only by me....I MUST hide, paranoid cannot kill can only multiply! Inganteria is multiple”

MS CGS: “Raiders of the Lost Ring, led by the intrepid but wily Jack, intend to find you and that bejeweled metal circle. You can't hold for a century that freeze in Madame Troussaud's. Besides, we'd miss you, Mr. T. Take pride in your Tomness. If Obama can pass Health Care, you can face this fire!”

Frank: “'tis too late......the present and future has been the 'olcooedootdso' caves, time is not time as you or I know it.....1,000 years is but.............mere weeks.......the fate of the secret decoder cannot and will not be changed.”

The Cavern

She'd grown up in the caverns. She was used to them. The cool velvet blackness did not frighten her. There was some comfort to it. As a constant temperature of 54° surrounded her she let herself adjust. The attack had been swift and sudden she'd never seen it coming. She was walking through the lobby with a newspaper and a cup of coffee when he grabbed her. What happened then was pure instinct. The fresh hot coffee had gone in his face. His hands up came up to protect his eyes but it was too late. The scalding liquid seared his flesh and blistered his eyelids. The rolled newspaper stabbed straight forward into his groin and she was running. But She was already in the mouth of the cave when she heard the first sounds of his pursuit.

The sounds of her feet on the limestone steps, cut into the very mouth of the cave, sounded like thunder in her ears. She took comfort in that, because so would his.

"The ring!," he whispered harshly into her ear as he grabbed her. "I want the ring now..."

That was the only thing he said to her, before she turned and threw scalding liquid into his face. It wouldn't matter now if he could see her not, she thought as she reached the bottom of the grotto. She'd sat still and listened, listened as his footsteps came down those same stairs that she had just descended. It was only when she knew that he had reached the bottom beyond the reach of the light at the entrance that she threw the switch and threw them into utter and total darkness. It was a darkness deeper than any darkness and space because even in the outskirts of space some light from some distant source penetrates the blackness. Here there was none.

It was a funny thing, standing here in the pitch black, remembering how it was as a child. When she and her brothers and sisters have played in the caverns. Even in the dark, they had learned to feel one another. She wasn't sure how they did it. Maybe it was the feeling of the heat of another body passing by and the constant unvarying temperature of the underground environment. But sometime from somewhere she felt as a pastor in a dark. Leaving the uninitiated giving them faint sounds and echoes to follow. She took him to the edge of a drop off and stopped, waiting, silent, breathing as shallowly as she could. Even willing her heart to slow and beat in the control that only a lifetime of training can impart. Her thumb moved to the ring, and spun it on her finger as she waited. If she stood still at the base the stone, column that she was leaning against he would pass her in the dark and in the passing would fall to his death. But would that solve her problem?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Discovery-The Continuation of The Thomasine Legacy

Frank: ahhhh...but did you really?

MS CGS: Then there's "Tom, Tom, Piper's son, Stole a pig an' away he run; pig was eat, Tom was beat, Tom went runnin' down the street." (secret Mason-esque code for the potential perils of tracking the Holy Grail) Finally, the esoteric revealed!

Frank: Pig was yummy tho..........

Me: I had totally missed the secret society scenario,the code though may take us as far back as Thomas a Beckett Archbishop of Canterbury from 1162 until his death in 1170.

Me: Now all we need is the secret ring.

Frank: I got one, but can't tell you or let you see's a secret :-|

Me: The truth is that his real name was Gilbert Beket Jr. it must be some linkage to the Thomasine conversion of 1169 that caused Henry II to kill him the following year, and thus he became Saint Thomas to both the Catholics and the Protestants.

Frank: My ring has a video of that.....oops....shhhhh.

Me: Now if I can just tie this all into String Theory by adding a couple of more dimensions, we've got that little trinket from Stockholm sewn up.

MS CGS: Do you suppose Disney's "Thomasina," the cat heroine (re: the divine feminine) is Gilbert reincarnated? Her worst hairball was a visage not of Christ, but of her nemesis, Henry II's rat-fink advisor. She gagged when she spied the secret decoder ring in her daily ration of Cracker Jack.

Me: The screenplay was written by Robert Westerby and Paul Gallico and was based upon Gallico's 1957 novel Thomasina, the Cat Who Thought She Was God. ...

Me: What more proof could we possibly need, it also explains why Frank keeps watching that secret decoder thingy, he's such a cat lover.

MS CGS: It's the Fisherman's Ring. Tom-Gilbert is the Pope!

Frank: Da*n my decoder for the cat's 9th life.....


When I read what I have stretched out before you, I must admit, my blood ran cold. I came upon it on that fool Anderson’s blog. He’ll be the first one that I kill, I fear.
When the nomination first came before me I laughed. I have been a member of the Nobel Physics committee for seven years and this was the first time any one had paid so little regard to the Nobel protocol that they’d submitted their own work, work that had not even been finished, much less published, for official consideration. I knew right then that this Anderson must be either a fool or a genius. My job was to figure out which.
When I began to look through the submitted equations that were purported to prove the Thomasine Confluence theory, I was appalled. They lacked coherence and anywhere that they crashed they were buoyed by the insertion of an unseen universe or a temporal inversion to sustain them.
Officially I derided them, in public it was easy to show that they deserved no more consideration than the lint under my carpets for serious candidacy for the prize, but it took me to the blog, and it was when I read the comments that I knew they’d begun to see the clues.
My name is Inganteria Moelusteian, but everyone calls me Tom, and yes I am that Tom, the direct spiritual successor to the apostle Thomas, Saint Thomas, Tommy Smothers, and Tommy Chong. The Rightfully Ordained Brother Thomas of the Order of the Thomasine Monks. I am the guardian of the secret of cynical thoughts, the doubters of truth, God’s own troublemakers. And now a small group of idiotic Americans had begun to post the secrets of our Order on the Internet.
My charge is clear, I must hunt them down one by one and eliminate them as a threat, by conversion to the true belief or transition to the inanimate.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Thomasine Confluence

When I posted my little story The Ghost on my blog it produced an interesting set of responses, which I shall post here, via the magic of cut and paste, unaltered except for names.

“Sis: Enjoyed the blog, Tom. Glad you answered when opportunity rang the bell”

“Frank: Tom, are you sure it wasn't UPS...they ring once and run. And, we went to RMH for the Cardiac Unit's 2 year anniversary this afternoon. Shook hands with my Surgeon, his PA, nurses etc., who remembered me well.....when leaving, the Surgeon said "nice seeing you again - you look great, Tom".... When they made my name tag....they put Thomas (my middle name) instead of Frank....very - very spooky if you ask me....Tom.......VERY SPOOKY.....!!!!”

“Me: the world is a spooky place maybe he was in the wrong place”

“Frank: Which Tom was in the wrong place?”

“Ms CGS: or maybe the surgeon is a closet writer/blogger/prf. of English?”

“Ms CGS: Really enjoyed your blog, Scott.”

“Me: Frank, since you're the only Tom here, I think the ghost was a bit south of where he intended to be. Thanks CG. I don't know where it's going, but it will probably have to be edited some to get published.”

“Frank: But, you see, I'm NOT the only Tom have a Tom there....You are just as much of a Tom as I am....mistaken identity?”

“Ms CGS: can I play? I'll be Tom the Editor.”

I was planning to answer CGS with a suggestion that if we were going to cast an attractive woman as Tom the editor, that she would have to be comfortable being a dominatrix that only wanted to edit you really, really hard. But then something struck me. It was both the tone and the content of those final two posts which led me to the conclusion that there was something larger going on here. So that meant it was time for me to get in gear and look into it, in only the way a piercing mind such as mine can possibly do it. It was time for some…tat da da daaaaaah…..(wait on it)……RESEARCH.

Now research is always a good answer when you have a vexing problem or coincidence to investigate, the problem becomes how, and what to research? Clearly, this doesn’t appear to be a religious problem, although there are examples of Thomas’s who play a prominent role in the bible, and there is always the possibility that we have all been simultaneously, because of our natural tendencies to scoff, and distrust been transformed into visages of the Thomas who doubted Jesus’ resurrection, but after due consideration and running a few preliminary mathematical equations, I rejected this as the explanation.

Biology was always a consideration, and I had to consider the possibility that some genetic sequence that we all possess in common is the root of our mutual Thomasine misidentification. So, I went out to the garage and fired up my DNA sequencer, and used a vacuum on my screen to suck DNA samples from the keyboards of each of your keyboards, by visiting your Facebook profile, and using direct screen-to-screen transport to shove the vacuum nozzle against your keyboard. I hope you don’t mind the intrusion. I looked at that and yes almost ninty-percent of our DNA sequences are similar, but Eighty-five percent of our DNA sequences match those of an earthworm, so I wasn’t able to draw any firm scientific conclusions from that. And while I don’t profess to speak fluent earthworm, I am unaware of any earthworms that refer to one another as Tom at all, much less it having some identifiable locus, so I was able to exclude those common sequences from consideration. The five percent remaining that the three of us have in common with each other, but not with earthworms seems to code for stuff like arms and legs and a four chamber heart and things like that, and not for name specific identity. So I rejected biology.

The answer then I reasoned must come from the realm of physics, specifically I gravitated to the subject of String Theory, and because it is such a fluid field, I adjusted and tweaked physical principles, added two unknown dimensions to account for Thomasine movement, a term I have now created, and viola there was the answer implicit in the very underpinnings of the science. We have only to look of the dual resonance model, first postulated by Veneziano in 1968 to see what is happening. In short, Veneziano observed that the s- and t-channel vibrations that occurred in meson scattering were of exactly the same amplitude, on further observation the exact phenomena was observed in N-particle amplitudes that gave us the idea of harmonic, opposing amplitudes like that which occurs in a one-dimensional model of linear string vibration. Obviously what is happening to us is an exact but opposite reaction, modulated through time by the presence of the two unseen dimensions of the great Brucine Confluence that effected Monty Python in the same years that Veneziano was developing his resonance model, and is only showing up now. I propose that we try to quantify B- (for Brucine) and T- (for Thomasine) confluent amplitudes and sit back and wait on the guys in Stockholm to send us that Nobel Prize I always knew I was going to get some day. I’ll start working on the math.


Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Ghost

I don’t know much about ghost stories. I don’t like reading them ‘cause my life is scary enough as it is. You want to scare me you can hold the ghosts and tell me about a woman and her two daughters loose in Bergdorf’s with my credit card, now that’s what scares the hell out of me. As far as trying to tell one, I was never any good at ‘em. I usually messed up the scary part, and everybody’d laugh when they were supposed to be hollering and screaming. Although that happens about a lot of stuff, for me, the laughing part not the hollering and screaming. I guess it’s just the way I say things.

I remember once when I was just going into radiation oncology and was still doing a lot of work at the Children’s Hospital of the Kings Daughter. I was trying to tell a friend who I’d deployed with on dive jobs around the world about how it was making me feel. How I was running a lot better now because I wasn’t running through woods imagining getting away from Russians or Arabs or whatever, I was running down the streets of Virginia Beach trying to get away from the eyes of the dead children I’d taken care of.

His response wasn’t that helpful in trying to help me find a way to deal with the way I was feeling about stuff. He cracked up and said, “Man you should do stand-up. This stuff is hilarious.”
I changed the subject.

So if you’re hoping for a scary ghost story save yourself the trouble and bail out now, ‘cause that’s not what this is going to be. Anyway, Barry Hannah died this month. He was the kind of author that took chances, sometimes too many, but he was a good writer, for it and despite it too. He died up in Oxford where he taught creative writing, but I never knew him there. He was born here in the town where I live, Meridian Mississippi, but I never knew him here either. I went to the University of Alabama. When I was there we won the national championship twice, Bear Bryant was our coach, Sela Ward was one of our cheerleader, and Barry Hannah was in a drunken whirlwind, shooting arrows through folks houses, stealing motorcycles, and teaching in the English Department. That’s when I was aware of his existence.

I wasn’t the kind to get too impressed with a wild ass literature professor back then, I was in the honors English program and was studying Southern Literature because I liked it, but I was a pre-med major and all I gave a shit about was Biochemistry, and Physics, and Advanced Analytic Spectroscopic technique. My one stab at writing was a research paper on “The Clinical and Laboratory Characteristics of Macroamylasemia” a clinical syndrome where your amylase molecules are too big, with large redundant sections, so it doesn’t get excreted normally and you get high serum amylase levels. I’m pretty sure Barry wouldn’t have seen it favorably, as it didn’t take a lot of chances with the English language. Anyway, Airships had just come out, and one of the big stories that drew a lot of local ire was Constant Pain in Tuscaloosa. The constant pain had ended up with him in Bryce Hospital, the local inpatient psychiatric unit, for alcoholism. Which explains some things later in the story.

Now this morning was a rodeo Saturday at Casa Charlo (that’s the name we gave our new house, the last one was called The Monkey House because of all of the kids who lived in it with us). We were up a 5:45 am to get ready, get everything together; horses, trailers, trucks, etcetera so the girls could drive across the state to ride horses around stuff in a dirt pen somewhere else instead of here. I wasn’t going, so after I took them to breakfast and the barn and watched them drive away in a pick-up with a gooseneck horse trailer on the back I got to go home and go back to bed for another hour or so.

That’s when Barry showed up. Which was kind of disconcerting, because I’d known about him being dead for about a week or so. Anyway, I was lying there asleep and there he was, his hair was even still dark, no gray in it yet, althought he died with a bunch of gray hair. He was leaning over the bed and shouting down into my face, like he was famous for doing in class all those years ago.

“Tom…Tom…listen to me now Tom.” My names not Tom, but I figured it was the alcohol talking. “…just listen. You’re never going to be a real writer if you keep yourself all bottled up in your own life. You got to let go. You just got to let go and see what in the hell happens. Let your characters run their own lives. Stop getting in the middle of it. You gonna be dead soon enough, just like me. Write something worth leaving before you go Tom. God damn it, write something worth leaving.”

It never occurred to me that he might of gotten the wrong address, somehow I knew he was talking to me, he just had the wrong name, which wasn’t unusual back then either.

“So what is it you're trying to tell me to do, man?” I asked, still in college, I suppose.

“When opportunity knocks, you open the door Tom. Open the fuckin’ door.”

In the dream, I guess, I heard the doorbell ring and I was confused. Barry was gone and I didn’t know if the doorbell had really rung or not. The dogs weren’t barking. That was a sign that it was just in the dream, but I couldn’t just lay there. I got up and put on my robe and went from door to door and I didn’t see anybody out there. Opportunity had not knocked.

I tried to figure it all out, but it didn’t make sense. I poured a cup of coffee and sat down at my desk and rewrote the ending of The Hard Times , the novel I was editing, and I wrote well, which is always a nice thing. It was raining outside, the coffee was still warm, and I knew that while opportunity knocks and is gone, inspiration’s the one that takes the time to ring the bell.