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[ox-en] The MetaSphinx's Riddle


Dee Da and Fletch
Between Shadows
Clamber up the MetaSphinx's hill


( The sky is clearing and there is a gentle breeze. The scenery is
beautiful though spartan. )

[ Dee ]

It's awful

[ Fletch ]

I thought you'd like it

[ Dee ]

I do
It's awful
It's on the point            [ Da ]
Of being barren
                              More or less
                              Less is more

[ Fletch ]

Yes less and more
The MetaSphinx hides things
That's part of Its game

Or rather
To trick Its game

[ Fletch giggling ]

Why do you quiver
It's really quite tame

[ Dee ]

Tame ?
Tame !
You're balmy
It's barren enough             [ Da ]
To drive one insane !
                                Who ?

                                I love
                                Aladdin Sane

[ Fletch giggling ]

Da you're a big tease
Dee's in a quiver

Dee : Do you think
The Sphinx a soothsayer ?     [ Da ]

                               Ah ...
                               Say 'Ah' Da

[ Dee ]

Hmm ...                        Say 'Ah hmm ...'

The Sphinx has bugs
Me thinks

Hmm ...

But I can't name them

[ Fletch ]

One bug is a feature:
The Sphinx is a tale collector
                                    [ Dee ]
It's collected thousands
                                    A thousand and one

Well spelk Dee tar !

I suspect that's part
Of my ancestor's art
Collecting stories
To set in a frame

[ Dee ]


[ Fletch ]

We'll soon be at Its lair

But I'll sketch one tale quickly
In clay over there:

( Fletch uses the sharp end of a spoon to etch in the bank of the
omnipresent oily stream  )

The Triangular Claws of the Bearded Crab

Here is a valley
In a shadow I frequent

There's me on an ancestors knee
Paddling in the valley stream

And grown now
Many years later
With gangs under contract
Clearing up the dirty water

Extracting the poo
And port piss
Of the poodle brigade

I draw now the Bearded Crab ...

Stalk eyes
Fierce words
Taking the shout
No time to doubt

"You could die here
 Without a doubt !

 Yes you !

 You take that lot
 I'll take this

 We wouldn't want anything
 Going amiss"

     "You're joking aren't ya ?"
      My reply

"No !

 Welcome to reality:

 A by-product of
 Civil engineering"

 Jump to it
 And earn your schilling !"

( Fletch giggling )

Dee ?
Why do you quiver ?
You know a Crabs outer face
Is bug one of Its feature

( Fletch flattens the clay image )

Here ...

It's erased ...

Now to draw Its soft centre ...

Time passes
The Crab meets an Oyster             [ Dee ]
Steps sideways to hunt
Some new lair for sharing             A hunting pump ?

May be
And more fool me
I lend the Crab mine
As the gangs mine the valley
And I mind the gangs

Post passion perhaps
The Crab stares too close
Past the shell of the Oyster
At a square painting hung there
Above a futon in my lair:

The MetaSphinx grins from the painting
With Its tale swishing
And reflects said Crab's bearded glare:

 Snarls the MetaSphinx

"Regard me !
 You are a Crab exposed !        [ Da ]

                                  Hey Fleetch ?
                                  Do you got the negatives ?

[ Fletch giggling ]

Tar Da
Well spelked !

Best not get side tracked
We'd Best continue

The Crab moves Its head back
Scratches Its beard
Moves sidewards
To negotiate the trap
Of the mirror

Crab grins and motions below
To the sand with Its claws
And draws characters
Of past present Shadow:

"Regard Sphinx:

 Young Crab unwanted
 In merchant seas
 Iron tempered
 By unwanted whips"

        "Your iron doesn't temp me"
        Snarls the Sphinx

        "Your shell is well known
         A mallet can bash your exterior bone"

Again Crab sidesteps
Away from the mirror
Re-sifting Its characters
To resemble the Other

"Regard Sphinx:

 Crab's family
 At home in the lair
 Well tendered
 There's gold there is there"

         "Gold is it !"
         Snarls the Sphinx

         "Do you think me a fool

          Turn back
          To the back page

          What you hiding
          In the sand
          Forgotten in some Shadow land ?"

"No !
 Don't drive me there !
 Don't look
 Turn away !

 Too late:

 I am back there:

 Driving a tunnel beneath the sea

 There comes a call down the line:

     "Crab !"

     "Crab !
      Crab !

      There's tragedy !"

"Why you cry ?!"
Snarls iron shelled I

     "It's your own Shadow Crab
      A school in the valleys
      Is buried in slag"

"Move !" Snarls I
"Clear this line
 And them others

 Yes you !

 Secure the timbre
 And bring spare !

 Yes you !

 Wake my cousin
 Get Lobster there !

 Land lovers
 Collect around me
 No time for hankies
 Gather the van keys

 We drive
 We drive
 We drive !

 And we drove
 And we drove
 And we drove
 Through fog
 And tight headings
 Til we reached the class rooms

 But that is a scene
 That I will not describe

 For I have seen your form
 Sphinx in ...

 Many shadows ...

 And in many trades ...

 Be you gaoler
 Shaman or
 It matters little ...

 For now you have received
 My carbon in crystalline form
 To fuse with the iron
 And steel for your own

 And you've ingots of gold
 To mix with my clay
 Bring on your scales
 I've amber to weigh

[ Dee ]

 Ah ...
 A sidestepping alchemist

 A navigator

 What did the MetaSphinx say ?

[ Fletch ]

 Oh ...

 The Sphinx is quite tame
 It gathers front line pattern tales
 By what ever name

 By the way
 On the topic of chaos
 The Sphinx has a habit of ...

 Oh ...
 Here It is now

 Or rather
 Hear we It ?

 Ping ?

( Dee Da and Fletch close upon the MetaSphinx. The MetaSphinx is
entranced in what appears to be a game of solo draughts. )

[ MetaSphinx mumbling to itself ]

Oh hum ...

An old Sphinx in a draughty house
Under a windy knob ...

( A wind begins to blow )

After such knowledge, what forgiveness ?

Think now
Think now

Oh hum
Oh hum ...

( The MetaSphinx spots the party )

Fletch ?

Oh ...

You have come with those two ?

( Fletch's eyes narrow as Fletch stares at Dee and Da in turn. Fletch's
head moves back six inch during the process. The MetaSphinx continues. )

Think now

Come in
Come in

Can your hear it ?


There's another postcard pinging
Another thing springing
From your garden

[ Fletch ]

Where is the garden ?

I planted it there ...

( Fletch points to the south-eastern slope of the MetaSphinx's hill )

[ MetaSphinx ]

Oh ...

I've hidden it
It disturbs me ...

But bring it on ...

Bring it on ...

( And with a swish of Its tale the MetaSphinx decloaks a most peculiar
animated garden. The garden stretches as far as the mind can see and is
interlaced with a number of canals.

There are many penguins navigating the canals in small crafts made from
bath tubs. Each bath tub is fitted with a pipe that is fastened
vertically in to the plug hole. At the top of the pipe is affixed a
shower head that points to the aft of the craft.

The crafts appear to be powered by water, which jets out of the shower
heads. As more weight is added to the bath tubs, the lower the tub sinks
in to the water and the faster the shower head ejects water.

One bath tub contains an anvil and is moving very fast. It pulls a
pelican on water skis. )

[ Fletch ]
                        [ Dee ]
Oh my ...			
It has grown 		 Oh me
			 Oh my
                         I was standing on the corner ...

[ MetaSphinx ]

Yes it grows ...

It grows ...

Hear ping ?

Ping ping ping

Here ...

Let's ping here ...

( The MetaSphinx extends one front paw towards the draught board from
which a razor sharp claw further extends and spikes one square of the
board. The pinging stops.

An holographic image of a young male, dressed in a rugby kit,
materialises on the square. He is carrying a bag on his back. He takes a
postcard out of his bag and passes it to Fletch. He winks at Fletch and
then explodes with a bang.

The post card is of an uniformed officer who is covering his face with
his hands.)

[ MetaSphinx ]

Well Fletch ?
What does it say ?

Read it Fletch
Out loud please

( Fletch stares at the card and then to each of the party in turn and
reads )

[ Fletch ]

The Post Card

 It was pitch black
 And we had torches

 The tunnel
 Where the train was
 Was about 150 metres
 Down the track
 Round a corner
 And there were still a few wounded
 Coming towards us
 As we approached

 As I walked down the track
 I heard someone cry out for help
 But I could not see them
 I called out back
 And looked around
 But it was very smoky and dusty
 And they did not answer

 I got into the train
 And it was quite obvious
 That this was something horrendous

 There were people
 With limbs missing
 Huge open wounds
 With their organs showing
 And people were crying out
 And moaning
 And asking for help

 I thought:
 This is the worst thing
 I have ever seen

 I am not very good
 In enclosed spaces
 At the best of times
 And we had to climb
 Over bodies and body parts
 To try to help people
 And see who was still alive.

 I thought:
 This is the end of the world
 Right here in this carriage,
 But you have to do your job.

 I found a man
 And his leg
 Had been blown off
 Below the knee

 There was another body
 Next to him

 There was also
 What I thought
 Was a pile of clothes
 But as I passed
 To try and get to the man
 It moaned
 And asked me for help

 It was a woman
 She had all
 Her limbs blown off

 I think she died
 on the concourse.

 We had not yet
 Got into the carriage
 Where the bomb had exploded
 But we had to get in there
 To make sure
 No one else was alive

 That was a scene
 I cannot describe

 The roof had collapsed
 And we had to almost crawl in
 There were body parts everywhere
 There was not one bit
 As far as I could see
 That was not covered with
 Or blood
 Or bits of body

 I was squashed in by
 And dead bodies

 As we searched for anyone alive.

 I could not help standing
 On things
 But I had to carry on
 And do my job

 It was like collecting
 A lot of shop dummies
 And then cutting them up
 Pouring black paint over them
 And filling the carriage

 After a couple of hours
 I came up

 The station was pretty quiet by now

 Someone asked me for directions
 Which made me smile
 And that made me feel
 More human

 As I stood there
 I felt lonelier than
 I thought was possible
 I just wanted to see
 A friend
 Or somebody new
 And give them a hug

{ File Reference EG0000000000000000000003637/credSB }

[ MetaSphinx ]

Fletch !

A question for you

What does the file reference mean ?

[ Fletch ]

I could speculate

But I chose not to

[ MetaSphinx ]


 Think now


 History has many cunning passages
 Contrived corridors
 And issues

 Deceives with whispering ambitions

 Guides us by vanities

 Think now


Contact: projekt

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