(Easter) That Morning (III/V)

Hanging alone on the skyway, the lens Necessity flickers quietly.

It is made of melomid skin— the kind that sees the past and shapes the chaos, as distinct from that melomid skin that sets fire to the heavens or makes a fine pair of boots.

It is generally inclined to self-preservation: to act in defense of its individual identity. Yet it is chained by its nature as an object in the world to participate in the lives of others.

How can anything survive, torn by such fierce opposing pressures?

The third of three histories regarding the cracking of the lens.

Tonight, if all goes according to plan, the lens will assist in telling the final legend of Ink Catherly.

They had all agreed, in somber gathering:

“Her legend ends here.”

Jane was crying. That can happen when you are in the business of telling legends. But she nodded.

Mrs. Schiff was taking the minutes.

“Hell is inescapable,” she wrote. “That is the condition of the world. The flesh cannot aspire to the spirit. Gross meat cannot give rise to the divine fire. Questions remain unanswerable—”

Here she held the pencil’s eraser against the corner of her mouth and paused. Humor outpaced sorrow. Grinning inappropriately, she wrote, “And suffering insufferable.”

Mr. Schiff gave her a look.

So they decided in their cabal the fate of Ink Catherly— that horror to which she would be left until the reforging of the world.

And then they left the lens Necessity alone to contemplate the problem of Persephone.

“Anyway,” said the lens, “it’s just, I think that Meredith needs to think about the fallacy of independent existence, not the proper application of world-destroying power.”

“. . . I worry,” Jane admits.

“Hypocrite,” the lens whispers to itself.

To the unfinished history of Boedromion it turns; to view Persephone in her Underworld it turns.

A hairline fracture is born.

9 thoughts on “(Easter) That Morning (III/V)

  1. I can’t be the only one hearing the suspenseful background music, can I?

    I think I need to work on my syllogisms:

    Breaking Nescessity is to ???
    as exploding Melomids are to volition

    Jane is to ???
    as Siddharta is to the three noble truths

    Meredith is to ???
    as Persephone is to BLOWING UP THE WORLD

    The gang’s plan is to ???
    as a fox is to cunning

    Martin is to ???
    as the previous self-professed-mesiash was to the Kingdom of Heaven

    Also, Melomid go BOOM!

  2. Hmm…

    The mentioning of Ink makes me hopeful that she can skip the whole “until the reforging of the world” part of her sentence in Hell.

  3. Is this the first direct confirmation that we’ve had that Ink is fictional? I mean, I know that legends are fictional, but given the amount of attention given to Ink and the number of times she reappeared, I thought it was possible that she was a tower player or special visitor.

    I have to admit that I don’t yet understand Ink’s connection with Persephone at all. I also thought that Boedromion was one of the less successful Hitherby history series, but I don’t know whether that’s because it didn’t do what it was intended to do or because I just didn’t get what I was supposed to get. We’re getting plenty of hints that Jane and Martin are dissatisfied with it.

  4. “…is to the three noble truths.”
    _Four_ noble truths. Four. Not three. There were originally six, but the others were suppressed by the Freemasons.

    “I have to admit that I don’t yet understand Ink’s connection with Persephone at all.”
    I parsed today’s as: the gang are using Ink to guilt Nescessity into revealing whatever it’s going to reveal.
    In the bigger picture… man, I wish we knew who _played_ Ink. That seems to be the question conspicuously not being answered.

    “Is this the first direct confirmation that we’ve had that Ink is fictional?”
    I still have hope. Not just thet she’ll work out fine, I mean, but that so long as Martin’s about, _everyone_ is only as real as they’d like to be.

    Also, that Ink’s listed in the ‘real persons’ half of the cast page.

    I really feel I should be able to guess this one by now, but guessing Hitherby is like catching bubbles with a fork. Just when you think you’ve got it… nothing! And you’re all soapy.

  5. “Also, that Ink’s listed in the ‘real persons’ half of the cast page.”

    I don’t think that list is divided into real people vs isn’ts (or real people vs fictional). The upper half includes Meredith and Iphigenia, who as far as I know started out as isn’ts, whatever their current status may be. The bottom half (“Other Important People”) includes Tina, who isn’t an isn’t, and Vicious Lily the robot.

    As for who plays Ink — if she isn’t playing herself, then I would think it would be either Jane or Iphigenia, based on similarity of life stage. But there’s a story in which Iphigenia is watching from backstage during an Ink legend, so that would leave Jane, it seems most likely to me.

    But — this history is about the final *legend* of Ink. Maybe that’s not really confirmation that she’s fictional, maybe it just means that it’s the last fictional story they’re going to tell using her as a kind of character taken from real life.

    Maybe the connection is that Ink is played by Persephone.

  6. I probably should have typed ‘actors’ rather than ‘real persons’. Gods and Isn’ts are real people too!

    “Maybe the connection is that Ink is played by Persephone.”
    Hah! I actually typed that thought out, and then deleted it again… who knows?

  7. I think Ink has to be real. Why, because I think I love her. In the same way I do Jane. In the kind of way that makes me want to futily stnad between her and the Monster and say ‘to get to her you need to go through me’. So he does, and Taliskar is thrown down into the torments of hell for all time. The Monster turns to reclaim Jane and Martin says, ‘that gave me just enough time to finish my latest invention’, and saves the day. Once again suffering proves to yield the answer and once again Martin saves Jane. And in conclusion, Ink must be real.

  8. “I think Ink has to be real.”

    To quote myself misquoting Seuss:

    “A person’s a person no matter how small
    A person’s a person though not there at all

    But, you know, that’s really mostly due to the medium. You pretty much feel like *some* personality is animating Ink. If this were a book, you’d just say she’s well-written. It’s the recurring update thing that makes Ink feel more like, well, us. After all, you have pretty much the same evidence for the existence of Ink as you do for rpuchalsky.

    When/if this is all printed out and published as a single text, it’s not going to be the same experience then as it is now, even if not a single word is changed.

  9. It took me a long time to actually formulate a coherent impression of what’s going on here.

    The lens Necessity’s reason for not turning its gaze upon Persephone is that, due to her nature being that of unfathomable mystery, the lens would not survive making the observation. That’s the impulse of self-preservation that opposes its need to exist in the world with other people (and to help, to the degree that it is capable).

    After being left alone, it reminds itself that there’s no such thing as existing alone in the world, and determines to gaze upon Persephone regardless of the consequences to the self that it imagines it has.

    Anyway I’m not sure if this is actually what’s going on, but it seems right.

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