Excerpt from “Intensifying Hearts & Dreams”, season 17, episode 29

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Int: Swirling dreamscape

We are inside FRANK‘s green-grey dream. FRANK himself is floating slightly above the ground, spinning slowly in a circle. His face is fixed in a sadistic grin and never moves during the entire sequence, even when he is speaking.

FRANK

Hode, humb, middle my sums…

 

Out of nowhere, a great hulking temple appears ten metres in front of FRANK. It looks something like a cross between an Aztec pyramid and a Vatican church. From the gaping windows that adorn the upper floors, unpleasant electro music can be heard.

FRANK

My oh my… ! What splendid visitors.

 

A foreboding MONK wearing dark grey robes steps out of the temple and approaches FRANK.

MONK

Greetings to you, o displaced one. The Mental Travelling Monastery wishes to be recognized at this time, in this place.

 

FRANK

I recognize you. What could the great cosmic neutralizers possibly want with little orderly me?

 

MONK

The Mental Travelling Monastery brings travellers from another place. Will you, unhinged one, allow two envoys of The Name into your illustrious green-grey dream?

 

FRANK

Why of course! Visitors are merry in the night and several makes a crowd.

 

MONK

Noted, sleeper.

 

The MONK retreats into the temple. A few moments pass before a glorious trumpet rings out a holy melody, in time with the electronic beats from the upper floors, and the visitors appear on the steps. Two eagles, slightly larger than the average man, walking upright like a human. They are clad in resplendent armor – one of silver, one of bronze – and their solemn eyes spark with intelligence and serious-mindedness. Their great wings are folded elegantly on their backs.

FRANK

Well, well, well, indeedy! The Inspecting Eagles from God, hitching a ride into a lost man’s dream. What a time to be allowed! Remember the moth!

 

EAGLE BRONZE

Well met, FRANK. We bring only the best wishes from the glorious office of Big Lord God. Allow me to introduce my superior, EAGLE SILVER.

 

FRANK

Why hello! How goes the inspecting?

 

EAGLE SILVER

Well met, friend. The inspecting is going reasonably well, I have to say. Nothing significant to report these past three hundred years, nor anything needlessly insignificant neither. My superior, EAGLE GOLD, extends his apology that he can’t join us today. There are many churchyards to be inspected in the name of the glorious lord, after all.

 

FRANK

I perfectly understand. How is your lord, then? I certainly hope he has not been altogether dejected by these times of science and reason.

 

EAGLE BRONZE

We are not here to speculate on the unknowable feelings of our ineffable lord. We have been instructed to discuss certain matters with you.

 

FRANK

And you would not feel more comfortable to go through the Committee, as usual?

 

EAGLE SILVER

I’m grateful to hear you cut straight to the point, as we are bound by the sacrament of sacred holiness to refrain from broaching such topics directly. No, we cannot go through the Committee at this time… Events have progressed too quickly to be left to those bureaucrats. Also, our orders require a certain amount of subterfuge. We were at a loss thinking of a way to make contact with you safely, until my subordinate here suggested reaching out to you in your famous dreams. Luckily the Mental Travelling Monastery owed a favor to the Inspecting Eagles from God. Suffice it to say, there are many mystical organisations on a cosmic level that wish to enter into contracts with you – organisations we cannot concede such a level of influence to. We come before you tonight in the hope that you will negotiate with us in our capacity as blessed gofers of Big Lord God himself. This also has to be kept secret from the Committee, as we are worried that it has been infiltrated by entities unknown.

 

FRANK

This is all so very exciting and unexpected. Well, then, what could a small person like me possibly do for our arguable lord?

 

EAGLE BRONZE

Straight to the point, again. We appreciate your understanding. Well, I’ll be similarly blunt. How wide a spread are you aiming for?

 

FRANK

If I can, I would very much like to enwrap the whole thing. The hoarded shebang, if you would. I can’t promise to rest on the seventh, or anythingth, day.

 

EAGLE BRONZE

Tell me about it. The overtime has been wretched of late… Sundays are when we’re supposed to be resting our feathery asses off, not gallivanting around someone’s dreamscape.

 

The Eagles exchange a pensive look.

EAGLE SILVER

Very well. We are here to let you know that Big Lord God would like to personally benefit from your plan. Again, this has to be kept an utmost secret. But there is of course a most blessed degree of cooperation that you can expect from our sacred office. Perhaps you would like to command your own squadron of Eagles? That might make things go a great deal more smoothly for you when it comes down to swords and magic spells, as I’m sure you can imagine. Big Lord God is willing to provide this service to you, mortal.

 

FRANK

Very tempting! Do I sense a caveat?

 

EAGLE SILVER

Well, there is a caveat, as you say. Since you are being offered this deal outside of the usual channels, you would need to take full responsibility and deal with the involvement of the other organisations that are looking for your favor. Some of them might even try to take over your operations by force. And you could not ever let them suss out that our sacred employer is involved.

 

EAGLE BRONZE

These are dangerous organisations on an interplanetary level, much more so than the Committee. We’re talking about the Voodoo Cops… a truth called nothing… The Secret Fire Department… The Department of Mystical Affairs… The Department of Luxury Cheese… Todd Flynderson and His Amazing Bald-Headed Hamsters… Arvika All-Stars… The Zombie Cops… The Slut Cops… Tore Disco… The Satanmen… The ghost of L. Ron Hubbard… Mr. Top Secret… Mystery Mask… Switzerland’s Department of Unintelligible Affairs… Hell’s Flyers… Patsy Paulson… The BOF… Monkeytown… The Church of Joff… The Brotherhood of Evil Capitalists… The Brotherhood of Cheese Lovers… The Brotherhood of Sisterhoods… The Brotherhood of Why Bother… Dr. Zeitgeist… The Metal Travelling Farmyard… The Masons of Truth… The Interdimensional Meg Ryan Fanclub… And many, many more supernatural beings and institutions! Do you think you can handle all this pressure with your weakened human form?

 

FRANK

Listen, I ain’t worried about any of those jokers. He just shaves the top part of the animals, what is so mystical about that? But I also have to ask: Why does Big Lord God suddenly trust me to keep his secrets? I’m not saying he is wrong to, but I have to wonder what I have done to earn his trust.

 

EAGLE SILVER

Circumstance and propriety prohibit me from being too detailed, but I can reveal one thing to you. Big Lord God is in a metaphysical bother. He has been looking for someone to calm his troubled consciousness. Your ideas have him excited in a way we haven’t seen for many lifetimes. He is very much willing to risk the integrity of the whole damned creation to help bring your plan to a successful close, as long as it can be kept hidden from the Committee. Our lord is a most private god and would not want his personal problems to be revealed to his loyal followers, that they might start to doubt his omnipotence.

 

EAGLE BRONZE

Now it’s our turn to ask questions. The artifact you were seeking – have you aquired it?

 

FRANK

No!

 

EAGLE BRONZE

What?? How could you let the DELUXE JEWELS slip through your fingers? Christ you’re amateur!

 

EAGLE SILVER

Excuse my young colleague. No matter, we can surely dig up some sacred object or other that could be sacrificed to your noble cause.

 

FRANK

It doesn’t matter. My catspaw, the lovely PAULETTE, seems to have defected and joined MYSTERY MASK. Well, she might just have gone too far deep cover and forgotten her instructions. She was a gamble from the start, being from a pretty substandard family. But it don’t even matter! I don’t need arcane artifacts to complete the project anymore. I took a trip outside, and there I learned that the power was within me the whole time! The only artifact I needed was my heart all along!

 

The Eagles look at each other and a shudder passes through them – who is this man, this small-time shaman, they are trying to make a deal with?

EAGLE SILVER

How is that possible? What have you done to your God-given mind?

 

FRANK

I learned of it in dreams. I was on a hefty amount of painkillers for the wounds I sustained during the catastrophe at the Intensifying Heart Club. My associates had started to doubt my ability to seal the deal. DR. ADAMSON wouldn’t even let me out of my seclusion pod – he still hasn’t as a matter of fact. But with the painkillers and gastronomical equipment, I was able to meditate myself outside of the whole thing. I could feel I was at a crucial crossroads; the flooded boneyard beckoned, your god’s groomed composte; I felt the push and pull of actual time in the chronological sense, not the abstract sense we are used to; the inner voices I have made peace with, but now I finally made contact with the Outer Voices. Those Voices, most foul, most unknowable, spoke the truth to me without meaning to. Oh, I forget whether I told you – all of this happens far in the future, when all this rigmarole is over. Did I already tell you that?

 

EAGLE SILVER

No, you didn’t. I can plainly tell that you are unhinged beyond measure. It is neither permissible nor possible to make contact with the Outer Voices.

 

FRANK

Of course. It didn’t really happen – I thought you would pick up on that. It was a form of theatre. I just need to delve a few more levels into this. The only worry is that my mortal body might not hold up under all this mystical encumberance.

 

EAGLE BRONZE

Well, we can get the Monastery to assist you with that.

 

FRANK

That would be very helpful, I think! But the Monastery is forbidden from taking sides in cosmic affairs. How are we going to convince them?

 

EAGLE SILVER

Leave that to us.

 

The Eagles unfold their wings and let loose their haloes. The trumpet blares again. The techno music stops, the temple changes colours, and the MONK reappears on the steps.

MONK

Sirs called?

 

EAGLE SILVER

Representative of the Mental Travelling Monastery, hear my words. I am invoking all your dues at this time.

 

MONK

All of them at once, with no payment plan? You would force us out of business. The universe would be in peril most dire without the great cosmic neutralizers. There is always the need to safely enter living beings’ thoughts to observe and reflect, to nudge in the right direction if necessary, while never taking sides in the important conflicts. We had always had the impression that Big Lord God appreciated our office and its manyfold traditions.

 

EAGLE SILVER

Of course. We would be willing to strike all dues from the record if you undertake a task for us.

 

MONK

Go on.

 

EAGLE SILVER

We would need you to keep this man’s soul safe and transport it from place to place at his bidding.

 

MONK

Really. It is not in our nature to act as a glorified cab service for some random mortal soul. We would require you to list the places and preliminary times you would require such transportation. There are also insurance costs to deal with – will the Inspecting Eagles from God cover these costs?

 

EAGLE BRONZE

Insurance for untold journeys into the mystic unknown? That is not cheap at all, sir, especially if your insurance policy includes protection against phantasmic possession during travel through Indigospace! This is unheard of!

 

EAGLE SILVER

We will cover insurance as well. Our divine lord has instructed us to spare no expense. We’ll just have to skimp on the feather oil for a while.

 

EAGLE BRONZE

God!!

 

MONK

Very well, insurance is settled. We also need the subject to sign some documents. We need your consent to dissect your mind and place the contents in various mystic urns and baskets. The procedure is dangerous, but it is the only way to bring your mind through the passageways we use. Also, you need to know that we have several rave gigs booked in Germany and you will have no choice but to come along. It may be hard for your mind to deal with our arts, but you’ll have to get used to it.

 

FRANK

Oh, not at all, I like your music! “It always becomes a dragon”, “In the frozen voices we drift”…

 

MONK

All right then, fellows, shall we proceed into the temple to get all the paperwork in order?

 

The group moves toward the entrance. The Eagles lag behind and whisper to each other.

EAGLE BRONZE

Was this really the right thing to do? What is God thinking? We’re messing with things that may escape our control…

 

EAGLE SILVER

We can only trust in God. I think he has watched FRANK closely. He must know what he is doing. Else, the end may be near and it will be sorted out anyway. I have a good feeling about the next creation. Might be good to just get the end over with.

The group disappears into the temple. A few moments, and the ghastly music starts playing again. Lights shift on and off. After another moment, the temple fades out. A few lingering notes of music ring out, and then all signs of the Mental Travelling Monastery are gone. We are left behind, stranded in FRANK‘s dream. Who knows how long we will be stuck here, now that the dreamer has left? Or maybe we will cease to exist along with the dream. One or the other. Tough call.

 

(CONT)

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2 thoughts on “Excerpt from “Intensifying Hearts & Dreams”, season 17, episode 29

  1. Pingback: Excerpt from “Intensifying Hearts & Dreams” – season 1, episode 1 | a truth called nothing

  2. The story will now take a brief intermission, as Chad Fabuloso D’Annunzio has been submitted for some well-deserved maintenance at the Gastronomy Institute. IH&D should return around the middle of November, and proceed towards depths even more glamorous and cosmic!
    Stay well-hydrated, beloved reader. Your alt-rock band,
    a truth called nothing

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