Author: Philip G Hostetler

Xanta Truz County is well known for vortexes and psychedelic eddies. Some say there’s a social black hole effect where all the locals there are pulled by a metaphysical critical mass, a repelling pushing and compelling pulling, forced us apart and pulled us all back together again. The wavelengths vary, as they do in all atmospheric climates, but this one in particular is full of pyscho-microclimates, the sort where you could be by the opalescent seas of mindfulness and twenty minute later, hanging from the desolate peaks of happy insanity. Y’see they won’t tell you when you go crazy, if they love you for it.

The glitz and glam of kitschy tourist traps selling you digicards of Five Tailed Norback Whales breaching through acid seas means very little compared to the holding of hands and witnessing them splash through that technicolor ocean. I’ll never forget her gasp of exhilaration, denoting what we were all feeling around that obsidian beach bonfire that night. Maggie was quite a woman, who’s traits for goodness still elude me, though I remain inspired to this day.

But the grind, the service to the depraved, hoping to catch a glimpse of what we’ve all known, and perhaps, have taken for granted. For if you’ve known a mad paradise for life, you’d be confused by those coming from a mundane hell. Seeing Sparrowed Monarchs hatch from their leather cocoons for the very first time, was an afternoon stroll for us, but the avian-entomological experience of a lifetime for the rare enthusiast from sullen, distant shores. But Maggie and I left, knowing that there was a profound magic to be had in going out into that mundane hell, and so we did. We separated though, until we met Dr. Maxell, quite separately, who said not only could he match us up across light years of estrangement, but that he could send us to where the stars didn’t shine, that at best moonlight could be contained and sent with us on our… journey, a journey that would be told in reverse-time.

But I’m getting ahead of myself, aren’t I? Dr. Maxell was a terrible man, though a terrible man with fancy technics and gobs of money, all of physics, theoretical or otherwise, seemed to fit in his pocket protected breast pocket. When he wrote with his pen upon microcosmic canvas, galaxies opened and invited us in, but Maggie and I, we made their orbits eccentric, changed the very path they were naturally traveling by. Be it a by micrometer or lightyear, it was enough to render whole galaxies unfit for life, just so we could have a glance.

I was reminded of those tourists that came to Xanta Truz, and I felt a sort of shame, that I’d become much, much worse. As now perhaps billions, trillions of lifeforms would never be. Perhaps that’s why Maggie went spelunking into those black holes. To compress so severely, that she’d never have to look back again.

I still see her in that moonlight she kept bottled up, I still hear her dancing to “Under the Silkyway Tonight”, though she never danced much really, at least not with her feet.

Maggie, where have you gone, and could it be told in story? Would we even be worthy? Or has Dr. Maxell made fools of us all… So foolishly playing at love and half-life, of relative time and particle/wave confusion. Who knows, least of all, me.