The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive


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the interview


last night i dreamed of blood again, red-brown blood drenching the dream
itself, drenching everything. during the day my boss called in my
co-workers, one after another, and swore them to secrecy. i lost my job,
and i'm never to be told why.

THE TERRIBLE SECRET. this place has a terrible secret. it's an institution
that used to be an airfield. there are signs of the indigenous population
in the thicket on the grounds. the administration wishes to tear down the
thicket. nothing human will grow there.

there is no one to trust, only the simulacrum. THE TERRIBLE SECRET gnaws
at my breast. i will never rest or sleep again until i know THE TERRIBLE
SECRET.

i think there is chemical warfare here. there are mutations everywhere,
ducks, hemiptera of various species, crawling vines in the back of the
thicket. why did they burn the shelter down? in the center of the thicket,
all that remains are several charred uprights. about 25 meters away, a
cabbage palm, half-burned as well. the administration says nothing about
this. the ground is pocked with solution holes, the limestone craggier
than usual.

at night i drive over to the buildings, crawl with flashlight and camera
through the thicket. poisonwood sears my skin; spiders attack. the small
pond on the northern side is almost out of reach. it's there, through the
cattails. in the thicket i have developed a mysterious illness. even now i
am feverish; there are strange welts on my arms.

i develop chills late at night. i must discover THE TERRIBLE SECRET. you
think to yourself, this is a text, a fabrication. you have not been here
when my superior has ordered everyone to remain silent around me. i have
become malignant. everywhere i walk i am accompanied by silence. but they
do not follow me into the thicket, nor do they know my paths there.

it is just about to happen, this revelation. i do know that, i can sense
it in the atala butterflies, in the poisonwood, in the saw palmetto. i can
sense it in a certain trembling of the ground itself, as if it were making
room for something vast.

my superior in everything will be decimated and no longer able to speak to
her inferiors. the thicket will rise up, the pond become a great flood,
the charred palm and wood matches igniting everything in the institution.
nothing will remain but the thicket. the thicket will remain.

beautiful atala butterflies with deep blue-black wings, orange bodies, the
subtlety of embers...


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