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The decision had been made for him, first by his mother and father, or perhaps their mothers and fathers. Secondly by the structures outside him and thirdly by the structures inside of him, but ultimately by the mystery of life, that which then theologians and mystics call the hand of god or the forces of nature (universe). The decision had been years in the making, but somehow it still felt novel, like a breath of fresh air. He had packed his belongings, had started the engine, gotten inside his car, but did not know the destiny, or perhaps less romantically, he did not know where he was going.

He pondered: what am I to do with this 2 dollar bill? It is worse for wear, and perhaps there are others that need it. Why do I save it? How did I end up with….. Oh, Yes! I remember, Ignacius, Ignacius gave it to me. In exchange for that rose colored coin. Hahaha, that half-made up chemical concoction.

I will put it in the back of the sun-shield, it may come in handy. As for the pistol I will lay it at the feet of my ever present companion, perhaps forgetting for a second his job; like daring him to play a game of Russian roulette. Nah, it would be too easy.  Besides, there is no way out of it, like a loaded dice, the bullet is always falls to the gambler’s debt.

The radio says half past 7:00PM, but it seems like an autumn evening or an Indian summer, as they say. The third time I checked the glove compartment I remembered the map, but this time around I am not recalling the town. Wait, what was that movement on the 19th century?

Yes, the eugenics movement. I recall the name of the town being named in that matter. Who knows, maybe I am remembering half-invented truths. The road is heavy, or maybe is the car, who knows, it is always very hard to tell. A good car makes for a good journey, but lacks the gravitas of being focused, while a bad car gives you so much trouble, that you are so focused that you miss out on the scenic route. There is a sign coming up.

St. Eugene

Next exit         15 Miles

Fifteen miles, is that much? I guess it depends. No matter, why do I always waste time with these matters, philosophizing, like a tree which falls in the forest and no one hears it, does it make a sound? I, like the tree in the forest, alone hear my thoughts.

There, destination, journey, journeyman’s destiny; man in a journey destined to adjourn in destitute, man.

Why is there always a crowd in the market, I guess we all need that sustenance, mad. I will park the car in the tavern. Tavern?  That is an odd word to use. I guess those medieval books impressed more than you thought. One has to be careful, we think we steer the boat with conscious intention, but those rock and forces push us, and we have no idea of the tides forming, and where our ideas gain forces from, only obtaining knowledge of them, once into waves they form, battering the sterns of our boat.

Buddhism is a boat you use to cross a river, they say, but once you cross you leave it to the river. Is it like the ship of Theseus? Water molds rocks, and moves the earth. Is it?

Here we go again with the talks of transhumanism and the unleashing of power. I got to listen to this.

Orator: the future my dear friends, is genetic design. We need our future offspring to live longer, to last longer (youthfully), to be stronger and to surpass A.I intellectually, or A.I will surpass us, and supplants us my friends. We see it already, those hybrids, and those half-pure blood sinners that augment with A.I to keep up. You know these men, you live among them, but they are not your friends. Is this our new Neo-Darwinism, man-machine or machine man. No! By God, No!

What we need are machine less men and women, men and women of pure stock, but unleashed to the full potential of man; the unbound man, the true modern Promethean creation, not these Frankenstein monsters of artificial creation. 

Stand with me my brothers and sisters, don’t you see, we are at war, and we are losing. We need men and women like these (two specimens pass to the stage where the orator stands lividly) these brothers and sisters, are the future, the transcendental potential in you unleashed. Behold! For you have become immortal, I present you our Providence Inc. ® Adam and Eve.

-I have had enough of this, these extremist always going against the powers that be; replacing order with chaos to only obtain order and tyranny in new forms. I better rest and eat something, it is already night and there is much to do as of yet. Will I need the pistol? These folk seem like backward people; maybe these reports are unfounded after all.

-Hello there


Judging by the look of your briefcase you seem to be that gentlemen that was sent for. What was your name again?


Yes, that’s right. Herman. Will you be staying long?

-Only what is necessary. Have you experienced the phenomenon?

-No, no. Hahaha

-You seem to be skeptical.

-You know how it is; there are some folk that suffer from an overactive imagination. I you asked me, I would put it to mass hysteria and boredom, you know. In my day we used to have real problems, now that science has solved much of them, and these folks direct their worries and anxieties aimlessly, darting in the next easiest target, you know.

-So, have you experience the lights?

-No, I can’t say I have. Hahaha. Even if I wanted to have so fun, I cannot be part of this.

-So, what do you make of the disappearing townsfolk?

-Well, maybe they had enough of this way of life and left without saying where to, you know. This life is not for everyone, especially nowadays. You know, some people are content with a solitary life, a solid solitude as some say, often however most people are not. Some people just don’t want to be found and some don’t want to find themselves. Don’t you agree?

-Yes (in fact I do). Would you point me in the right direction of the sightings?

-Would you point me in the direction of the sightings?

-Yes of course, if you want to waste your time. Hahahah, Oh God! The woods behind the brewery have been the most consistent place among the stories of the blinding lights. Funny enough, with the full moon and all you will be able to find your way through it. Godspeed my friend, hope you don’t catch a cold and become lightheaded. Hahah!

Herman: Some people sometimes forget their place. It is as if they themselves want to make you lose faith in humanity; by their cynicism and misanthropy. Faith, that’s it, isn’t it. Faith or lack of faith, it all comes down to it, all philosophies, all striving and all willing centers on this, faith. Meaning? But words are symbols of things, and words without representations are meaningless, and words with representations have meaning, but if ideas are just ideas of ideas ad infinitum and the set of all sets do not contain itself. What is faith? Is it the understanding? But if we are not able to truly understand is it an intuition? Like time and space constructed in the threads of language with a center, I. No, is deeper. Trust? No, deeper. Is a fulfillment of the promise of the potential without questioning it. That is faith.  Like me, tumbling through these woods, in this thick cold fog, not minding the forest, not minding flora and fauna under this faded light, reflected on that porous looking glass. 

Are those people waking aimlessly? Yes, what is it that they have around them, it seems to be gauze; and they are bleeding, or is that tart?  Hello, are you with anyone present or are you lost. Hello! My God!  They walk like zombies; I better approach them and see what is what. Hey (as I turn one of them around). What is this, an expressionless face? Is there anyone home? Is like they are stuck in those seconds right after being awaken from a profound sleep and have not focused consciousness, limbo. It is blood! I guess I better let it go; it would not be of much help anyways. There is a pathway just beyond the trench over there. I guess they must have preserved it since the war, as a sort of museum, you know, a memory to the disenfranchised future.

I see a mound just there. What is that I hear? It sounds like…. No it can’t be. It is coming from the oak tree; it is massive. The branches are starting to look like rivers when shown from space or like neurons with their dendrite trees. I better check this sound; there may be someone that may enlighten me about these phenomena. It is all very strange, am I dreaming? I don’t know anymore. Now, that I get closer I see there is a hole in the body of the tree. Is that an arch in the hole? It looks like it has some inscriptions on it.

Secundum Primum Lustration Factum

Only god knows what it means. There is a stairwell just beyond the hole, a sort spiraling staircase. Bodies started to fall from the top branches, twisting and turning ominously after the cold snap of the robes tightened around their necks; that sound breaking snap, followed by the creaking of the ropes, and the scratching on the branches of the tree. A multiplicity of sounds that become unbearable and nauseating and froze me in place, while staring at their faces and they were soiling themselves, like a macabre chandelier. I must take in faith, the steps into the stairwell, for if there is anything causing this lights and disappearances it must be hiding here.

Will it hold? The ground seems hollow, it moves like its breathing on its own. The stairwell seems to be descending through the roots and ramifications. I can still hear the contortions of the ropes with the alternation of the snapping sound, god that ghostly sound. Was that a flash of light at the bottom of the stairwell (or what seems to be the bottom)? Ahhg, this dirt, is everywhere. If I were to excavate some of the dirt I may be able to find the source of the light. I sure as hell need it, this darkness is suffocating. There it is, there is the flash again. Wait, is that someone, I see its contour like is standing in front of intense bright light. Yes it is moving within the densely packed roots and the mass of the mound. Could this be the light that the townsfolk were talking about? However, it is more of a strobing light, about six seconds apart.

Hello! Oh crap, the light has blinded me, it caught me by surprise. There is something moving around me. Whatever it is, it is moving quite rapidly through the roots.

Hey, can you….

Crap! Again; it seems to be leaving a sort of afterimage, impressed on my visual field. God that thing is blinding.

Can you stop flashing the light, I have….. Damn it!

Wait… what is that? (Stuck on the afterimage just developed by the flash of light). It seems some sort of anima, a beast with a gait like a gorilla, but brownish in its coloration. I can hear it borrowing its way through the roots and dirt, like it is the master of this underground maze. Ahhhh!!

How ugly, it has a very circular face, unnatural even and small protruding horns on the temples with stripes on them like a goat, with… what is that in the middle, the light is coming from it, it….

Ahhh! Damn it!

The beast has protruding incisors as well, but looks more like a scared animal than it looks dangerous. Why is it acting like is trying to protect something, like a scared animal trying to protect its young from a predator. If I close my eyes quickly, I may be able to see what is emitting the light.


Is a third eye! A third eye in the middle of the forehead, between the other two eyes; but it is also highly circular and protruding, dark and muddy or viscous like that of a deep sea fish. I must kill this beast and take it as a trophy to the townsfolk. Bang! Bang! Take that! That damn beast won’t die. Bang! Bang! Bang! Ahh! That god damned blinding light. Am I hitting that damned beast? I believe I am aiming at the afterimage. I must predict its movements and time it well. Bang! There it is, I hear it bellowing like a wounded animal.


-I killed it! Where is it? I don’t see anything. Damn it. What is…. Is a root. Roots and more roots, like a labyrinth, how am I to get out of this. Let me excavate upward. Fuck! Stupid branch, almost split my head in two. I see the moon light. Is that! Is that? Oh Shit, I am stuck. I cannot move. Ummmhh. I see the shape of someone there.


It is not moving. Let me try to locate the face. It…it….no, no, no, no, no, no, no!  It is me, how can it be, and everywhere. Dead bodies, dead Is everywhere on the mound like short grasses trapped in lake ice


Alejandro Casas Reyes, M.A.

Ph.D. Student-Sociology Track

Department of Global and Sociocultural Studies &

Interdisciplinary Writing Teaching Assistant 

Writing Across the Curriculum-Writing and Rhetoric Program

Department of English

Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellow-Haitian Creole

Vice President of the Sociology, Anthropology, and Geography Graduate Student Association (SAGGSA) at FIU


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