The Willot Papers

By Terry Leigh Britton

"Ahh, back in the days when a kretna was a kretna,
unless you changed it, and that wasn’t very often."

Prefatory Poem –
Wrong Way

He said, "Are you well?" with a Pincke in his eye.
She said, "Yes, is there cause for concern?"
He said, "No, it is just I’m confused now, you see,
And thought I might happen to learn…"

"Learn WHAT!?" She exclaimed in poignificant tones
While holding her toe high as dew.
"I simply was wondering if it was me,
Or possibly if it was you."

Chapter One – A Lot of Nothing

At that he turned to me and asked, “How many Bangles in a Twiddle-twaddle Tree?”

“17 as the crow flies,” I answered, remembering my days in the Puddle School of Everything.

Satisfied with my answer, he took me by the dauble of my jacket and led me to a huge Nothing-Vat which, as usual, was full of Nothing.

“Do you know what this is?” he asked me with a pembulant wave of his hand.

“Yes,” I said, feeling proud to have had the experience, trivial as it might be.

“Do you know what it’s for?” He looked at me seriously. He had me there for I hadn’t the slightest idea.

“It’s for Nothing, of course!” he exclaimed. “And it’s good for nothing!” He glared at me with flaring nostrils. I felt utterly ridiculous.

“Uh, where did you get all that Nothing?” I asked.

“Oh, from Nowhere in Particular, but it seems that is the most Nothing we can have, for even if we add two or three times as much, we still end up with the same amount of Nothing.”

“Can’t you add something to the Nothing to make the Nothing multiply?” I queried.

“Well, we’ve tried adding other things, but no matter what we add, it always turns out to be something else being multiplied instead!!”

By now he had me quite confused, so I tried to change the subject.

“Uh, have you changed the culoform in the ballast-kettle yet?” I asked him while he caught his breath.

“No, no, glad you reminded me. It seems you do have Something in that vacuum between your ears!”

I could not understand what he meant by a vacuum being between my ears, not being able to picture a vacuum with Something in it. All logic told me that it then no-longer would be a vacuum. I was about to ask him about this point, when suddenly he leaped into the air onto a Froodle Bush.

He appeared to be in great despair. “Why, oh why are we so limited?” he asked.

“Limited how?” I answered, willing to be of assistance.

“In climbing!! Why are we limited to climbing either up or down and not allowed to climb in any other way?!”

He started to cry. I wanted to do something but I wasn’t sure what I could do. “Come on down from there,” I said. He was blubbering like a child. He jumped down.

“I want to go for a short walk,” he told me, still wiping his eyes.

“Alright, I’m just glad you don’t like tall walks or we might never get it back.”

“Don’t worry,” he said. “I’ll bring along a crowbar.”

And so, we were both off to take a walk, and soon disappeared in a krumple of Toad-willows.

Chapter Two – Logmole Logic

"Aha!" he exclaimed, holding up a worn-out gear-wheel from a Snip-or-snatch Bush.

"This," he said with a rather occulent smile, "reminds me of a time I was for a walk with the Great King of Billingsboro. There we were, walking peacefully under the sand, when suddenly, the King disappeared, and the sand particles began to swirl around and around my body. They started swirling faster, till I felt I was in a huge tunnel, moving through it at an increasing rate of speed, the sand particles becoming multi-colored specks that grew and grew, till they blended into each other to form a picture of some different kind of reality. Then, all at once, I fell into the wheelbarrow!! I got quite carried away with this, and soon found myself carried to a glimmering land with shimmering lavender skies, deep-purple grass, dark red-orange trees, and yellow pump handles strewn all around. The pump handles began to expand all over the place, until the entire area was drenched in rich yellow. I then heard yells over the hill of some people watching a game, as the ball came flying through the air toward me, white against a field of yellow. Suddenly, its wings turned a deep-blue, so deep, in fact, that – when I fell in – I would have drowned had not the windows opened to let in some air! I was then hurled by a huge gust of wind through a Great Door, and I landed on a plot of grass, which walked away quite disgusted with me. I did not know what to do! Turning around, I noticed that the round didn’t want to be turned!!! So I started walking, thinking to explore this strange land where it seemed I could do nothing right. Soon, I came upon a roadsign with two arrows on it. The first said, "To Willot." The second said, "Not to Willot."

"Decisions, decisions. I sat down upon the rumplot at the base of the sign and proceeded to decide. Just then, a small logmole came upon me and asked what I was doing.

"I’m trying to decide to decide which way to go – To Willot or Not To Willot," I explained.

"Why?" he asked.

"I’m exploring," I answered, "and wish to learn as much as possible about this strange land of yours."

"Well," he said, "if that is your goal, then I suggest you go To Willot."

"Why To Willot?" I asked him.

"Well, you see, if you were to go To Willot, you’ll be finding out something about all the other places by seeing what they’re Not! It would be silly to go anywhere else, for then you’d only be seeing what Willot was not like."

"Satisfied he had supplied me with all the information I’d need, he rolled himself under a piece of moss and fell asleep. Something about his logic bothered me, but I decided to go To Willot anyway, on his suggestion."

Chapter Three – Still Not Here

Just then, a Mulett faced us off in the road ahead, its hulking body surging with energy with its every step towards us. We greeted it with rhythmic gyrations of our hands and arms as we walked by, the older man making a circular motion with one foot as he passed. The large animal responded to this with a warm cracking of vertebrae in its thirty-foot long spine, sending out a dancing splay of pleasant and percussive reverberations into the woods surrounding us. I was seized with a feeling of pride at being seen with the old man, when a bright green light suddenly seemed to glint out at my face from the roadside over to our right.

I joggled up to the overgrowth at the side of the road there to find a large green stone, the only unusual object in the area (since I had never seen a large green stone anywhere else in my lifetime until this moment). The old man walked up to me, having decided to circle both legs at the same time by now, and he took the stone from me.

“Oh, well, glad you noticed this!” he said, wiggling his eyebrows in such a way that I wasn’t sure which thing I was being congratulated for noticing. I took a chance and responded, “Yes, of course!” and began wiggling my eyebrows in a similar manner to show the level of my understanding.

He pondered away, wandering into the road as he contemplated the stone and its implications. I was startled when he turned to me and asked with a knitted brow, “Are you feeling any different? Are you sure you’re still here?”

I wasn’t sure at all, for I wasn’t feeling very still just then all at once and for a time!

Chapter 4 – Time!

TIME!! That’s exactly what if felt like – it was just like feeling Time, I think! But where was I? It didn’t feel like much time, and yet here I was, while the old man, and the trees, and the green rock and the road were not! And this place in which they weren’t was indeed different from the where that it was once only just a few minutes ago.

"Excuse me, what time is it?" I asked a passerby on the street on which I was for who knows how long or how much longer that the street may be in fact… (I was thinking aloud). The person looked at me disdainfully as if I had asked him ‘how wide is something very narrow?’, so I asked him if he knew the date. He nodded then and pointed across the way to a large fru-it stand, where many fru-its stood large and small and in a great many varieties and postures.

I entered briskly, asking for a calendar, for I wished to know the date. I was handed a date-fru-it confectionery-condiment to taste, as ‘the best way to know the date!" Frustrated, I insisted that I really wished to see a calendar, for whatever reasons, as that was my own business why I would wish to see one. From the back, an older man emerged with a chef’s-strainer with large holes in it, which he beckoned me to look through. Putting this colander to my face obligingly, it seems they had me now, and I was dragged with the colander held to my face to court before the town judge (in more time than I knew was happening, the view through the holes being both vague and at the same time rather interesting, and, strangely, safe-feeling).

"How do you stand?" asked the judge. I was standing like a carrot.

The judge looked at me angrily. "It is obvious. You were arrested in a fru-it-stand, yet you are standing like a carrot!" He motioned to the guard; "To the Tower of Babblers!" he commanded him.

I could stand what was happening, but fru-its would have been better if applied, possibly.

As I was being led out, one person caught my eye with a puzzled expression on his face. Obviously, I didn’t really carrot all..! But he did for some reason. "Lettuce discuss this matter," I pleaded, "I’ve been misunderstood!" Angry scowls reminded me I had just made matters worse. What could happen next?! Nothing, I reckoned…

* * *

Chapter 5 – Day of Reckoning

He stood me on the platform and pointed. Where he directed me to look I saw a Deep Blue Ball of Light descending towards us. It entered the tall, gleaming structure which had stood in waiting, patiently, and in its trail the structure dissipated to pure nothing-ness. It entered the ground, and nothing showed to mark its entrance.

"Get ready, this may be your last chance to…"

All at once the ground opened up like a sieve, and an intense Pink and Yellow (you couldn’t tell which) Light streamed up from below.

"What is it?" I asked.

"No one knows what it is or why it is. Most people won’t even come near here," he answered.

"Why?" I asked.

"Well, there have been incidents of people caught by the light, and they have come away profoundly amazed and raving about impossible things. But this was long ago, and no one has gone near them for generations."

This excited me terribly for no reason I could pinpoint. I suddenly knew that I must look into the light, yet there was no thought present.

I looked up suddenly – the streams of light were blinking off!

"The holes are turning to Nothing," the man informed me.

I darted into the field towards the nearest beam. The number of beams were decreasing rapidly. I jumped to the ground and looked directly into the source!

* * *

I saw no beginning and no end. I saw all of it at once. My being was spread through the universe, evenly, infinitely. I was there for no time and all time.

And it ended.

He shook my arm. I looked at him. He was worried by what he saw in my eyes, even frightened.

"You would have to see it for yourself," I told him.

Epilogue Poem

Twas’ noonish, and the buttered loaves
Did twist and crumble in the drawer.
All tipsy were the apple groves
From the fru-its that they wore.

The madness now is rushing back:
"I know I’m crazy." This he thought.
The table folded up its legs
And sat as it was taught.

The record-player hummed its best
Quite proud to make the loudest noise.
The bottles tints invited squints
And sat in quiet poise.

"But wait!" the author cried alarmed
(Quite to himself – he is no fool…)
"I’m getting too excited here!
I’ve got to keep my cool!!!"

And so he wrote of simple things
Like taping reels that spin and spout
And music bouncing off the walls
And knocking all about.

But then the chair lifted its leg
And wet upon the brown machine
And all the men came off the wall
And tried to keep it clean!

"It just won’t work!" the head man cried,
The notes were shooting madly back.
The twelve came hurtling at my brow
And hit me with a SMACK!!

Twas’ noonish, and the buttered loaves
Did twist and crumble in the drawer.
All tipsy were the apple groves
From the fru-its that they wore….

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