A Means of Escape – Forrest Aguirre

Golden hills of swirling wheat brushed up against the clouds, creating an impasto sky of inverted gray hills above; a gigantic cosmic maw of landscape. Between the teeth, atop the swaying wheat, strode a spindly insectoid thing, which gangled its way toward us on four thin, twenty-foot long legs. As it drew closer, the mass connected to the top of the legs resolve itself: A chair. No, a throne. And seated on the throne, The Shaman, Herr Doktor Gustav Steiner, dressed in nothing but a pair of white boxers and, ironically, a red dunce cap. The Shaman always did have a strange sense of humor and a penchant for dramatic entrances. Kip had once proposed that is was a means of escape for Herr Doktor, “probably the only outlet for a brain so over-burdened by intellect.”

But Kip was no longer there to confirm his supposition. Kip was no longer “with us”.

On the ground in front of us (sans Kip) was a low, flat rock, like a table. We sat opposite The Shaman, whose chair now stooped down, no, condescended, on the other side. Seth, Molly, Graham, and Pearl. You decide who is who; who the narrator. Third person is here maintained to protect the innocent, if there were any. Not likely, as evidenced by Kip’s absence vis-à-vis our presence.

The Shaman cast a series of documents to the table, journal entries, newspaper clippings, a prescription label, a travel itinerary for Morocco, like outdated auguries on yesterday’s divination board. He slapped them down with the authority of an accusation, exhibiting the evidence without a word.

We silently plead the fifth.

The documents spoke for us, against us, voices out of the dust.