April 12th, 2006

Acoustic

In Quest of Knowledge

In Quest of Knowledge
by Everett A Warren

An excerpt



Let it be said that he was not a bad man. Let it be known that he was neither Evil nor the Devil Incarnate. I say this in advance of the narrative, so the point I am making will not be misdirected, as it has far too many times previously.

Those of you unfamiliar with the story I am about to present are doubtless wondering of whom I am speaking, and those of you who have heard the story before have already, just as doubtlessly, lit fire to this manuscript in the typical single-mindedness that the uneducated or unthinking will establish in such cases.

I cannot impress upon those still with me of the goodness, and even saintly qualities possessed by Georgiy Kyriakin, as too much has been said by altogether too many of those who never truly knew or understood him; indeed it is for the purpose of clearing up the myths and outright lies associated with Mr. Kyriakin that I set pen to paper at this time.

That a tragedy did befall Georgiy Kyriakin is unmistakeable – a great, terrible tragedy that folk will speak of for many years to come – yet the cause of the Great Evil put upon the head of Mr. Kyriakin was due to no fault of his own, as I have previously stated, but cannot spend nearly enough words to convince certain people of this, just as it was due to no fault of – or in connexion with – the angel of fallen grace so spoken of by certain religions. The tragedy was due to the pursuit of knowledge.

The cause of such grim portent as befell Mr. Kyriakin has visited its fears upon many, many others, and they, like poor Mr. Kyriakin, equally had no chance to survive the incidents. It is known to a few scholars of myths that the forces that propelled the innocent antiquarian into such a violent situation have been at work for far longer than certain histories of the world say the world even existed.

This is not to deny so great a text that speaks of those times, despite all that is said within its binding is not fact, for the words do speak true of mortals who were in existence, and of miracles that took place in those hoary times, but it places the cause and servitor of the events on one wholly non-existent being.

I'm sure, upon reading that last bit, a good many more of you have ripped my work asunder, cursing my very name to the pits of nether, yet these facts are ones claimed true by those much more learned than I, and facts that were authenticated to myself only after first-hand witnessing of the events that utterly destroyed my old friend, Georgiy Kyriakin.

I know well the distrust of mankind, especially when a bastion of their life is completely and irrevocably torn to shreds before them, as this I have seen with my very eyes, and, were he in existence to support my tale, the good scholar has seen, although he is now either unseeing or all-knowing.

Copyright (c) 1990 Everett Ambrose Warren



You can read the complete story in my collection, Cautionary Fables: Warts & All, available on Amazon.com or by order from your local bookseller.
Acoustic

View from the Driver's Seat

I narrowly avoided a mass-ticket-trap - I think only 2 out of the 4 officers were actively writing out tickets when I went by. How, you may wonder, did I avoid it? Was it due to the stealthy wink-wink of the VW in the opposing lane, with the conspiratorially friendly driver who flashed high beams repeatedly to all of us oncoming potential victims? Perhaps it was due to the fact that every year since I've been driving this route I know that the speed limit on this road is aggressively enforced - it may only be one day a year, but when the entire police force of at least one township appears for the festivities, you know they Mean Serious Business and are intending to Write Many Tickets.

For some reason, that threat works well, not that I don't restrict my speed to a reasonably safe level anyway, but on this particular road I am particularly mindful of exactly what particular part of the dial the needle points. I have only been passed twice on its narrow, no-passing-zone confines, but I have had many a red-faced driver pressed up against my bumper as we navigated that stretch of road - indeed, all the times I can think of complaining about being tailgated, Indian Trail Creek Head Thingie With Many Names I Can Never Remember Road Street or Whatever is the setting. It is narrow, has frequent obstacles, and a posted 40mph limit. 50 is comfortable, although there are stretches where one could go faster, one of which is where the speed trap lieth, for obvious reasons. Chief among those reasons is a large section off to the side of the road where 3 police cruisers and 1 police SUV might sit, just out of the way, with room for 4 or more victims to idle and fume whilst tickets are being authored.

Naturally, just downroad from that, I had Mr. I'm Important in his Mercedes or BMW or Lexus, who really took a greater interest in what my bumper looked like than I would have preferred. How quick they forget, especially when chatting on their Britney Spears headset-equipped cellphone. He came to my attention in one of four passing zones on the extended section of that road - as he zipped past a handful of other suckers motorists stuck behind little-ole'-10mph-over-the-speed-limit me.

Really burned him that I held to that 10 rule throughout the slower 35mph section, and I saw him veer toward the double-yellow on more than one occasion. However, in those last two passing zones (he probably passed 1-9 other cars in the very first section, just around the corner from the speed trap) he made no move to pass, so perhaps he was content. Maybe he just is that lobster-red color naturally. It really showed well against his white car. Perhaps if he had watched the news earlier in the day - or the night before - he would have learned of that tragic BMW-Mercedes-Lexus street race in East Greenbush, where one racer literally went out in flames. Perhaps he thinks his leadfoot fully encases him, so that he won't be harmed should someone else hit him (I am fairly confident that such folks never consider the possibility that they might be the ones to cause an accident, but I may be wrong.)

In our case, it all ended well: as soon as we hit two lanes, he veered around, passed me on the newly created right, got half a car length ahead, and turned into a driveway of a business - his, I would guess. He seemed so very self-important.