Monday, September 3, 2012

The Mystery of Edwin Drood

Chapter I
Stoned on Opium

Edwin Drood woke up from his opium stupor among the groaning groins of arches and imaginary beams of Chartres—with the muttering refrains of thunder off there in the distance.

The massive gray square tower of some old Cathedral rose up above him—a bleary sight for the stoned eyes of a jaded traveller. The bells were gonging away for daily vesper service—the hunchback was busy as usual humping the bells up in the gargoyle belfry.

The pretty choirboys were getting into their sullied white robes—in a hurry to avoid being fondled by the nelly gay priest. Then they fell into a long procession—filing into the service.

Drood found himself locked inside the iron-barred gates of his mind—dividing the sanctuary from the chancel. He scuttled under a nearby pew—hiding his wicked face from the passing angelic choir.

Drood felt his teeth chattering and clattering—but not because he was chill. Whenever he tried to enunciate a distinct word—it flung itself into the void, making no sense at all & having no sequence whatsoever.

Opium had a way of making everything slightly unintelligible—yet somehow reassuring to the phantom speaker inside his head. Drood nodded knowingly with a gloomy smile—groping his way sullenly down the broken stairs.

Drood said good morning to some of the doorkeeper rats—hunched away beneath the stairs. Then he passed out—leaving the rats rather puzzled.

”What did he say?” one of the rats asked.

A watchful pause.


Slowly reviving myself, loosening myself from listening to the rambling opiate conversation inside my head—I tried to think straight-forwardly with an attentive frown in the first person present tense like most people do.

I turned to the Rat—as it stood before me in a half-risen attitude, glaring at me with his distrustful eyes. It battered its eye-lashes at me—as if it were a woman getting ready to take possession of me by making a lewd inhuman proposition.

For heaven’s sake, I said—feeling startled and trying to wake myself up. Expostulating with my better more sane other half—before giving up and drowsily dropping back into another stupor.

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