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Little Black Book: The Essence of Order

Petra saw them. I followed her but I was too late, I got there just in time to help lift her out of the manhole and scolded her all the way back home. Later I went back. Thomas said he had spoken with a girl, but he would not say anything else. I was going to argue with him when suddenly there was shouting, they had cornered one of those rats, about the size of a hunting dog. Thomas was quicker than I and killed it for the others. I must win a hunt over him.

They are a conundrum. At first meeting, so savage, barely more than animals, but now I have watched them settle in, there is an order to what they do. I will not share their meals, but this time I did, since I saw what had been slaughtered. I should have been revolted, but it was not so different than being among the jungle people. In some ways, they are much like we were in the clergy. After the meal they lie gently together and hold discourse, as Father Pizarro would lead us in discourse around the fire between evening meal and night study. I am astonished! Thomas is fully familiar with the ancient pantheons as I was schooled in for mnemonics. I was able to join the discourse, although I kept to the classical conclusions rather than modern exposition. 

I do not understand how Joseph makes the connection from them to his ordered world. It was his serums that made them as they are, the ‘essence of order’ he called it. How can one be so savage and achieve an orderly civilization? Utopians are all doomed, history shows it. There must be a structure to maintain order.


Malus finished writing, put his notebook in the locked drawer of his desk and then went to his footlocker.  He looked at the neatly folded, old clerical robe he’d worn when he had been a student. Reaching into the folds he found the vial that he had taken from Foehammer at the end of the summer. He held it up so that the light from the oil lamp was captured by it. The essence of order, he had said barely above a whisper. What did it mean? What qualities made a man a leader?

He was about to tuck the vial back into the folds of his old robe, then hesitated. He removed the vestment and held it up. It was hopelessly small now. A thought began nagging at his consciousness. Initial conditions determine the path of the function.  I was naive in the jungle.

Emerson was being more demanding of his time lately and had become increasingly unpredictable since he had smoked up the last of the leaf that normally kept him dumb and docile. That was a problem. Beginnings are delicate, Malus postulated aloud to the empty room.  There was really only one person in town he could turn to for advice. Malus neatly refolded the robe and returned it to its place the footlocker, carefully placing the vial atop it. He then locked the trunk and pocketed the key. He hoped Brother Lapis still had trouble sleeping at night. Quietly he slipped from the room and locked the door.


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  1. Emerson Lighthouse Emerson Lighthouse March 10, 2013

    *Emerson reaches for a stick of gum and fumbles furiously with the foil wrapper. He casts another glance at the tags*

    What do you mean I am a dick when I am off my meds? You are a dick! Dick! Dick! Dick! So there!

    *Emerson spits his gum on the floor*

    And it’s not ‘meds‘ if it is herbal.

    *Emerson quickly scrapes up the gum before Junie gets home*


    • Junie Ginsburg Junie Ginsburg March 10, 2013

      *begins steeping another pot of chamomile tea*

    • Petharic Petharic March 10, 2013

      Not that I am taking sides as I don’t particulary like either of these two men – but I believe the appropriate defense to Mr. Lighthouse’s outburst begins: I am rubber you are glue…

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