Clown world issue 1, p.1
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       Clown World: Issue 1 -, p.1

           Frank Endert
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Clown World: Issue 1 -
Clown World

  by Frank Endert

  Issue 1 : The IMAGO MUNDI

  Copyright 2012 by Frank Endert

  Chapter 1

  The Crawfish Dream Asylum:

  A manufactured realm connected to Earth

  The latch screeched in pain to the turning of the iron key. With the tumblers compromised, the first intruder pushed the large door open. The noise of laughter and loud conversations ushered the two strangers into the large room.

  The couple looked to each other and entered. Disguised, her mask was made of bone ash porcelain with oval eyelets; a series of red painted hearts dripped down her right cheek - emulating tears. His mask was made of latex, dark, and molded into a snarling visage of a wild beast, with a canine snout and white pointed teeh.

  As he held her hand, he approached an antiquated machine. Beneath the half-mask, he spoke, "Well, here it is."

  In the dim room, she nodded, affirmatively.

  He let go of her hand and searched for the main kill switch on the device and flicked it. The room ignited with a carnival of lights and electronic noises.

  The bright glow from the machine licked into her face as she took in the glamour of the apparatus. Moving her gaze upward, she saw a dominant metallic sign with the words IMAGO MUNDI branded on it.

  Below the sign, a large primal Tiki statue stood, perched on a pedestal that was attached to the wall. Arms stretched out to the ceiling, the Tiki god held an old train station clock over its head. It chirped methodic tics to affirm the passing of time. Below all of that, was a huge wheel fastened to the same back wall. Two glass deprivation tanks were bound on the wheel with horizontal straps made of brass and capped on the bottom and top with brass lids. Each tank was secured to the opposite sides of the wheel.

  The man spoke, "This is her masterpiece."

  The woman spoke, "Is she an artist?"

  "Who, Natasha? Yes. Well - kind of."

  "The Imago Mundi, huh?"

  "Yes. I believe it is Latin for 'imagine a world' - or something like that."

  Admiring the detailed hammmered-metal craftwork of the IMAGO MUNDI, the women nodded in silence. She glimpsed at its foundation. A heavy cover, made out of slabs of obsidian marble, was mounted to the floor. Trapped inside, the hidden bowels of the machine hummed in electronic protest.

  The woman tilted her head to the side, "Impressive."

  She marveled at the visible murky waters within each deprivation chamber; one glowed with a creamy amber hue, while the other one brooded a deep indigo color. The dark blue chamber resided at the bottom of the wheel, while the brighter one Ferris wheeled at the top. Each tank had a title plate. The placard on the top tank read 'DREAMER', while the plate on the bottom tank read 'DESTROYER'.

  As she drew in for a closer look, the nose of her porcelain mask clinked against the thick surface of the tank. She saw nothing, but an abyss; palming the glassed portion of it with both hands, she welcomed the cold touch of it. Spellbound, she breathed measured meditative breaths.

  "It moved," she screamed, backing away from the wheel.

  "Yes, yes. It moved. He, I believe it is a he," the man pointed to the other tank, “And she, they are alive in there." The man tapped on the glass. A fleshy body flopped and struggled within the waters of the 'DESTROYER' tank.

  "I, I do not understand."

  "I could explain it, but it would only alarm you - further."

  "How can you imprison them in there? Like that?"

  "Imprison? Are you serious? It is considered a high honor to be chosen for one of Natasha's works of art."

  "What?"

  "Yes, in a sense, they are both immortal. Chosen stewards of the Imago Mundi."

  The woman looked to her left and right, hugging herself.

  The beast masked man stared with disapproval, "This was your idea. I am taking a big risk to bring you here."

  The woman said nothing.

  "Well. Maybe, we should go. This may have not been such a good idea."

  "No."

  "No? No what?"

  "No, I want to try it; you didn't tell me about them. They scared me." She could sense a smirk behind the man's mask. She pointed to the only door in the room, "There is nothing for me out there. Please continue."

  "As you wish," He pointed to a display above the wheel. It was another wheel, a smaller one. It was covered, except for a cut out rectangular window at the top. The card showcased in the window was the '5 of Wands'. The card illustrated five men waving around long quarterstaffs without any regard for each other and engaged in a conflict. The men appeared to enjoy the chaos of this battle. "The pattern is already set."

  "What does the picture mean?"

  "I am not sure. Natasha knows the esoteric meaning of the destiny cards."

  The man flipped another kill switch on the Imago Mundi. The ' 5 of Wands' spins away into a visual vortex. Walking to the Tiki idol, there was a digital control panel at its feet with strange symbols for numbers. Turning knobs, he customized the time device to his preferences. The hands of the train clock spun and locked into a five minute angle, the big hand set on '7' while the small hand set on the '8'. The space between the two hands glowed red.

  "Take a seat."

  The woman looked about. There were six chairs surrounding the machine.

  "Which one?"

  "It doesn't matter."

  She pushed two chairs next to each other and sat down in the left chair.

  Pulling at the control panel, he unlocked it from the monkeypod wood Tiki god. After mutter something under his breath, the panel slid out further. Long thick wires were attached to it and they seemed to effortlessly stretch as the man walked with the device and sat down next to his companion.Two long brass levers grew up and out of the control panel.

  She questioned her memory as the console split apart. Each piece contained a lever and one of the parts sprouted a shiny green jade button.

  Offering her the panel without the button, he said, "Grab hold of the lever," As he grabbed his lever, "So, are you ready?"

  Before she could answer, the man pressed the green button. The Imago Mundi roared to an exalted degree of activity. The deprivation chambers spun furiously, creating a duo colored whirl. Harsh thumping mechanical sounds pounded from beneath the marble foundation.

  The man glimpsed at the clock as a bright pain seared into him. Seconds felt like hours as he watched the red glow between the clock hands convert into a vibrant green hue. At that moment, his elbows locked up and he felt as if someone was running a vacuum within his intestines. A micro second later, his neck got stiff and his brain could not catch up with his other senses.

  Unconsious, their bodies slumped in their chairs. Their hands remained locked, gripping their levers, as the room hummed and crackled with unusual fields of electricity and magnetism.

 
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