Marutuk (Old sign: Leo) Marduck totally kicks ass. Marduck has a band, as you may remember, from his appearance on the episode, “Stimutacs,” of the television show, Sealab 2021. You were prolly high when you watched it. I suggest you watch or re-watch that episode, sober. Maybe drink a beer. And then I invite to listen to what Adam Reed is trying to tell you.
Kah-Noom (Old sign: Virgo) You have given birth and it wasn’t the dream birth you’d dreamt of… it was.. a bloody mess. They called the Neonatal Intensive Care Squad and your child was in the NICU for two days. You had a bad tear. And you’re worried whether you’ll ever be the same there. You will not. But you’re here. And the child is here. And your loving partners are here. And we are all here.
Fes-Tuhs (Old sign: Libra) Back to the grind. Grinding at the grindstone. Laying that new run of brick. You felt off being off. “Wasting time should be a capital crime,” woulda quipped your papi. All respect, but your papi was a bit rigid at times, and we need, all of us, rest.
Ter (Old sign: Scorpio) Shake the gavel! Rattle the scimitars! Use your finger to make a point! And for all our sakes, remember that any good device, if overused, ceases to be a good device!
Shang-Te (Old sign: Sagitarius) Be as wise as you might. Go back to the Eisenhower Matrix if you need to recenter. If you don’t know the answer, query your wizards, viziers, craftsmen, fools, necromancers, wives, widows, beggars and foreign ambassadors. Ration out your reasons from your inquiry. But do not rationalize shittiness.
Gih-Na-Sha (Old sign: Capricorn) You could probably help that guy on that last page, Ganesha. Will you, please, in the Name of Shadowmark, help Shang-Ti out?
Hahp-E (Old sign: Aquarius) The wheat berries are blood red. The fruit is heavy and you are impatient. The rush of tasting the fruit is frontmost in your mind. You can see nothing else. We, your family, can see nothing else.
Hehk-Eht (Old sign: Pisces) Go ahead, have a drink! Dawn? Who cares! Before noon? Who cares! Drink, drink, drink the pure nectar of the morn and the milk of human kindness. Drink until you are full and then rest in a state of complete satisfaction. Remember that it is always eternity somewhere.
Kah-Le (Old sign: Aries) Your bloody arm leaves red mud smears on the golden maple hewn doors of this great house. The host’s personal guard opens the door and looks your bloody weeping wreck over with hyper vigilance. You are crying, blubbering, truth be told, like a mewling baby. You, Gawain, you! But I don’t think you know truly why you are crying. After your toils beat you within inches of your life,—and sidebar, full disclosure here, we never told you to fight the dragons and whale-a-wyrms and chimeras, but we did say fighting was “all you can do,” Gawain; you felt it your duty to fight them in your Lord Arthur’s name, and good on you! But even our sense of duty is flawed sometimes—there are yet now still yet many more wyrms to kill, and the Green Knight is still laughing somewhere deep in the wilderness out there. But not for the reason you think! He is not laughing at you! But you hate him! Now you are a broken man, in some country with a funny name and only old locals might tell you what the Latin word was. (Parenthetical sidebar, looking at you, “Lincoln” town in the East of this island, how’d you get down to that from Lindum Colonia? Or naturally, Coloniae Glev begot “Gloucester.” We have great compassion for persons who use English because it is… difficult. ) You slump to the ground at the foot of the guard and bloody his glorious shoes. And he looks at you with avuncular contempt. And he should Gawain, he absolutely should, you are a bloody mess. But then there alights a resplendent maiden. It feels like fate, but it’s not, and it’s not about you, block. Anywho.. A maiden. More beautiful than Princess Buttercup Wright-Penn, err, wait, how’d that get there? More beautiful than you ever imagined the Lady of the Lake; and the air is aglow with torchlight and glint of torchlights dancing in the armour and smell of your loyal hoss’ shit and probably your shit too, you bloody blockhead, and You! You, Sir Gawain, pass out in complete exhaustion, wet your cassock; and darkness washes over the dude. Next month: The Epilogue PSST: Apologies! We are not trying to leave, y’all, Gawain, hanging in the dark warehouse of despair and suspense! (Unless you enjoy that in a safe consensual adult kinda way, Gawain! It gets complicated!) A terrible place to be too long! The Land called Fear! Gawain, you will be fine! You are in a place of care and healing now. You can mark yourself as “safe.” (Well, except for The Green Knight!) Sorry, for ourselves! Now you need rest!!!
Ah-Naht (Old sign: Taurus) The old cabin down in the arroyo has blown apart. The metal hinges of the front door remain rusting in the heart of pine. The tree where your papa bounced you on his knee has fallen over. The lambs bones are whistling and you feel so lonesome you could die. Follow the dry river bed down into that tall stand of quaking cedars. Do you see? Down there in the cool shadows, you find the springhouse. A little box of mortar and quartz and granitic stone. Walls two and a half feet thick, about four feet high and four feet wide, about the right size for a canine or leprechaun family. A little portal faces west and a trickling stream issues forth. Inside thrives the whole world of the springhouse. Crawdads and tadpoles and snails and spiders and spirits find refuge here. Someone laid a stone of white quartz square in the center; and the little universe inside the box sends a buoy up from the bottom inside you and finally it surfaces if not for a moment!
Eh-Shu (Old sign: Gemini) The Final Part: Rockbottom. Inside the roadhouse the walls are rattling and the walls are clothed in chattering bones of all the animals of the seas and land, fish, flesh and fowl; here a mastodon, there a humpback, here a bonobo, there an ethereal snailfish, here a dimetrodon, there a human being; skeletons all chattering together and the weepy lanterns are made of skulls brimming with whale oil. An octopus and a squid tend the bar and smoke and ink ever effervesce from their station of labor. And the weight of the music and pressure of the depth is such that you can barely turn your head but you get a glimpse of the band through the shadows and smoke machines and stage lights; and it takes your breath away and all weights are lifted and you fear you may pop right back up through the atmospheres and get fatally bent; on stage there is one woman, one crazy ass greasy cardboard lookin’ old woman with some teeth wailing into a microphone, wailing on a black Les Paul Custom with a mother-of-pearl slide tuned to human, wailing on two kick drums, whose twin heads are becoming beautiful obsidian mirrors. Drink your ovaltine, it’s gonna get heavier! The End PS: Til next month!
Tah-Na (Old sign: Cancer) Shit! Shit! Shit! We forgot you, Tane. We were ignorant! Sorry! We forgot to water your altar in the kitchen, a humble cactus that shouldn’t be there; and you nearly died, and we forgot to walk through the woods and attend to your entmoots! You were infinitely patient with us and that is humbling! We will do our best to remember you now and always, Tane!