Sometimes in a person's life, events outside their control begin to take root in their immediate reality. This is what happened to me. But this is the irony of life we learn to accept. When a television production executive makes up her mind to produce the hard work of eleven years of your lifetime, it is an exciting thing. Unless she doesn't tell you about it until it's too late.
The producers of National Journey TV hold their monthly production meeting on the first Thursday of each month. This month is no different except that they are a little strapped for programming several months down the road, so they are depending on their production manager to come up with something for them to get started on. But what he comes up with baffles them.
"But what is it?" asks Meryl, the veteran programming genius of their group. "I've never even heard of it, and if I've never heard of it, then it doesn't exist in the mind of our viewers, either."
"It's the coolest thing anyone ever found in a ruin. It's a famous artifact in archeology," says Stan, the production manager. "It's something from the Bronze Age that no one can figure out. It's got a lotta potential for a one hour time slot."
"Ok, what's the potential?" says Meryl.
"You know, it's a mystery, so the idea behind the production is that the mystery might have been solved by this lady." Stan pretends he doesn't really care if Meryl buys the idea, that he's just doing his job in providing something for the committee to talk about.
"What's the mystery?" asks Jonathan, the junior vice-president presiding over the meeting.
"The mystery is, somebody in Crete a long time ago, about four thousand years ago, created a clay disk and put some hieroglyphics or picture writing on it. An archeologist found it about a hundred years ago and since then, everyone's been trying to figure it out, you know, like Egyptian hieroglyphs." Stan takes another sip of coffee and pretends to be making notes.
"Everyone who? Some lady figured it out?" asks Meryl. "Ok, what did she come up with?"
"Why don't you go look it up on the Internet. It's world famous, Meryl. It's no small thing." Stan enjoys toying with Meryl because he knows she hates it.
"Stan..." Meryl says, in a threatening voice.
"Ok, she came up with some geometry that was hidden on the thing, and the way you found it was you took all the little images stamped on the disk that were exactly the same and you connected them with lines and that revealed the hidden images." Stan doodles on his pad.
"A four thousand year old connect-the-dots puzzle?" asks Meryl, incredulous.
"Yeah, that's right. Well, not entirely. There's more to it than that, but essentially, yes. It's a maze puzzle, and she figured out how to solve it, and then once you saw how the maze worked, you could see how to read the writing, well, how to read the little pictures and what they meant. That was the debate for about a hundred years, which direction to read the pictures. But no one could work that out because the pictures are in a double spiral and that distracted them from seeing that it was just a simple maze puzzle. You know, it's like they couldn't see the forest for the trees. It's based on the universe. It's real complicated but, then again, it's not."
"So she figured out how to do the maze puzzle thing and that solved the century-old debate about how to read the little pictures?"
"Right," says Stan.
"And a woman did it," muses Meryl aloud.
Stan knows all along this is the hook he needs to get Meryl interested -- the woman angle. He gets a bonus if she produces an idea of his and he learned from many years of working with her that there are two things he needs to do: one, don't look desperate and, two, make it a woman thing. Meryl and Stan are like fish in the corporate sea. Meryl becomes a shark if the fish looks desperate, but if it swims in slow circles it pulls her right into the net every time.
"Where is this woman who did this?" she asks. Stan tries not to let the smile creep onto his face.
"She lives in St. Augustine, Florida."
"Oh, really! I love St. Augustine!" Meryl mentally begins to plan her trip. She makes a few notes about the production team. "You know, St. Augustine is the little ghost capital of the world."
"What about New Orleans?" asks Jonathan. "I thought that was the ghost capital."
"Too much voodoo," says Meryl. "St. Augustine is the sweetest little place. Nothing much happens there except ghosts. To have some lady living there who solved a world famous puzzle, that's something. What say we get this thing rolling? We can go down there, get a couple of interviews with her, and see what we can do with the disk thing."
"Wait a minute," says Jonathan. "We've got some other issues. Let's put it on hold until I talk with Tom and Fred." Jonathan always has to check things out the Tom, the senior VP, and Fred, the CEO.
Meryl is visibly disappointed but Stan knows that once she makes up her mind to produce something, no power on Earth or any corporate board is going to stop her. Putting the Phaistos Disk on TV is a done deal, and he is already planning how to spend his bonus.
GOOD AND EVIL - GOD 'N DEVIL
When Stephen moves in with me he has only a few belongings, which makes me wonder what he has done with the furniture in his apartment. I would ask him but I don't want to pry into his personal business. If he wants to tell me then he will. But he doesn't so I let it drop.
His manner is so nice I begin to feel happy about having him in my home as a roommate. He talks about cooking for us and also about getting some movies to watch. I wonder if he isn't being just a little too nice on my account, but I don't mind any of it because I too like companionship, and he seems like a great companion. His hours, however, are long, as they usually are in these restaurants downtown. But he seems energized, never tired, and this gives me hope we will enjoy each other's company.
"So, what have you been up to?" he asks.
"Oh, I've been researching the murders like you encouraged me to do," I reply. He smiles that beautiful smile.
"What did you come up with?"
"I went downtown to the police station to talk with the chief of police to see if he could offer any guidance."
"And did he?"
"No. He seemed like he was going to help me, but then after I left his office I talked with the assistant chief of police, who laughed out loud when I told him the chief was going to help me. So I gathered from that the chief was just bluffing."
Stephen thinks for a moment and then says, "You mean, he's not going to help you."
"It's more than that. I got the impression he wasn't even trying to solve the murders and that he didn't want me to know that. So instead, he told me some malarkey about how he was going to keep me informed."
"Are you serious? He's not even going to try to find out who's killing those girls?"
"No, I don't think so or, if he does, he's not going to do much about it. He's not going to let it get out. He doesn't want anyone to know about it."
"Why, because he did it?" Stephen asks the obvious question.
"You know, I thought that myself, but I can't believe the chief of police is actually a serial killer."
"Why not? Every person has more than one side to their character. Good and evil naturally co-exist within us if we let them," says Stephen philosophically. "Maybe he's a crazed war hero. He's used to saving lives by killing and that's why he likes his job, it lets him do both."
"I don't know. He doesn't seem like a killer to me."
"How does a killer seem to you?"
"I guess a killer looks like a killer or acts like a killer."
"If that were true, then all the murderers all over the world would be in jail." He laughs and I laugh too. How do you identify a killer, I wonder?
As if reading my mind, Stephen replies, "Fingerprints, DNA samples, bloody footprints, that's how."
"Did you just read my mind?"
"No, I just followed the train of the conversation." He really has a beautiful smile. "Are you going to continue writing your book?"
"I guess so but it worries me a little. If nothing is being done about the murders, then I feel like I'm tweaking the nose of evil. I mean, if I step outside the boundaries of my safe life, impoverished as it is, it could be dangerous."
"Possibly," agrees Stephen.
"I have this dream about financial security that I think the book will help me achieve but at what price? Oh, I forget to tell you, I ran into a woman that was on the ghost tour who said she could help me."
"Really? Who is she?" he asks.
"Her name is Gladys Kurtz. She's a city commissioner."
"And what did she say?"
"She said something about how she is an insider and she can get me information that I am entitled to have, as a citizen."
"Good. Maybe that will be the break you're looking for. If she comes up with something that you can go back to the chief of police with, then you'll have something to push him with, and maybe he'll tell you something that otherwise he wouldn't"
"Right. That's a thought."
"Did she offer anything right then?"
"No, but she gave me her phone number and she got my phone number."
"That sounds promising," he says. "What's her name again?"
"Gladys Kurtz," I pronounce her name carefully.
"Gladys Kurtz," he repeats. "Hmmmm. Good work, Grace."
Everyone loves encouragement and feels great about the person who gives it to them, and I am no different. I really feel great about Stephen.
| Authentic Metaphor | Bury the Evidence
In the Astral Plane are people known as "FoundDeads," the name indicating they were found dead without any explanation of what happened. Sometimes, a FoundDead gets attached to their physical body while waiting for someone to find them. They just naturally don't want to pass over until somebody finds them dead. It's something to do with a high need for closure.
Many FoundDeads are heart attack victims like my grandmother, who was found dead by her daughter, and like my father, who was found dead by my brother. But my father didn't get attached to his body because he wasn't found dead too long after he died while putting on his shoes, and because my mother, who preceded him into the afterlife by only two and a half months, helped him to pass over quickly. He took care of her in life and she took care of him in death. (Sometimes, you have to wait until the end of the story to understand what it was all about.)
In the Astral Plane are many names indicating how people died. The Astral Plane is filled with DumbWaiters, who are people forced by law to tough out to the bitter end a terminal disease and who didn't know there were alternatives. In the local St. Augustine Astral Plane are many DumbWaiters but very few TakeAbreaks, who are people that found out their alternatives and opted for self-deliverance or euthanasia over dumb waiting. There are few TakeAbreaks in the Astral Plane because euthanasia is against the law. But suicide isn't.
In between these two, the DumbWaiters and the TakeAbreaks, are the BraveSouls, people who embrace the death passage as a valuable life experience regardless the pain and the suffering. They might also have a religious belief that prohibits suicide as an answer to dumb waiting. My mother was a BraveSoul. I guess I will either be a FoundDead or a BraveSoul. I think I'll just let it fight over who gets me.
Two FoundDeads in the Astral Plane are the twin brother filmmakers, Sparse and Scarce, who get their names from their filmmaking techniques. Sparse likes to film plenty of action with sparse dialogue, and Scarce likes just the opposite -- plenty of dialogue with scarce action. When Sparse and Scarce hear about the sex plays scripted by the Cut Ups, they begin making immediate plans to film them. The twin brothers are the perfect duo for the job.
In the Astral Plane something is always happening. Like on Earth, where conflict reigns supreme and filmmakers never lack for material, the Astral Plane is any filmmaker's version of heaven. In many ways it is the mirror image reversal of Earth but still with plenty of extraordinary characters, plenty of action, and with nearly the same themes as hold the citizens of Earth in thrall.
Sparse will focus on TraumaGirl, who likes a lot of trauma and little dialogue, and ActorGirl, who also likes a lot of action and little dialogue. Scarce will film JuicyGirl, who likes a lot of dialogue, and SillyGirl who likes a lot of silly dialogue. Neither Sparse nor Scarce know the potential of LoverGirl, so they will wait to decide who will film her.
StumbleBlock is taking the news of the sex plays badly. He decides to send MetaphorMan over to the Cut Ups to see if they can be talked out of it. At least they might be talked into delaying the plays until the Bored Players can finish their series of conflicts plays in which Saint George kills the Dragon, "over and over ad nauseam," says Mavis, "The play belongs in a museum."
Warner Thompson, no matter had hard he tries, can't stop thinking about Grace Courage. He decides, against his own best judgment, to find out where she lives. He can drive the patrol car by her home and perhaps catch a glimpse of her, maybe learn a little more about her. When he next encounters her he will be smoother, more in control, and most of all, more attractive to her. He can't say why he needs things to be this way, just that the little voice in his head is guiding him in this direction. He calls a friend of his at the hall of records that he hopes can help him out.
"Why don't you just look her up in the phone book, Warner?" asks Scott, a little bit amazed at the chief for not thinking of this himself. Warner is glad Scott can't see the blush come over his face.
"Yeah, sure, Scott," says Warner. "Thanks."
"Call me back if you have any problems," says Scott, wondering what has come over the chief.
The little voice in Warner's head is trying to say something, but this time he blocks it. He doesn't want to hear the little voice right now for fear of what it might say. He just wants to see Grace again. He looks in the phone book and, sure enough, there is her name, number, and address. Off he goes to drive by her home to catch a glimpse of her or at least surmise something about her by seeing where she lives and how she lives.
Grace is just taking out the trash when she sees Warner go by in the patrol car. He is looking directly at her when she looks up while depositing the white plastic bag of trash into the rolling plastic bin by the street. He pretends not to see her, but she sees him quickly turn his head away so that he appears not to notice her.
"How odd," she says aloud.
When Stephen comes home from work, she tells him about seeing Warner drive by.
"What do you suppose he was up to?" muses Stephen.
"I don't know. He pretended he didn't see me, but I saw him look directly at me. I got the impression, just in the moment, that he came down the street to see where I live, and that he doesn't want me to know it."
"Interesting," says Stephen. "Listen, I've got a great idea. What are you doing tonight?"
Grace can't help but smile. "Oh, nothing much. Why?"
"Let's go out and eat. Want to?"
"Sure," she answers. "Love to."
Page 1 - A Ghost Tour | Light of Recognition
Page 2 - Deus Madre
Dagon-Jah the Potter
Page 3 - Reality Bytes | The Cut Ups
Page 4 - The Time is Coming | Non Deus Non Madre
Gary Gravestone | Dagon-Jah's Creation
Page 5 - The Roommate | LoverGirl | The Two-Way Door
Grace Courage | Gladys Kurtz | Jimmy Dobbs
The Al Capone Syndrome
Page 6 - Outside Forces | Good and Evil - God 'N Devil
The FoundDeads | The Stalker
Page 7 - The Dinner Date | Concealed Personas | Some New Girls
Ghost Real Estate | Dagon-Jah at Knossos
Page 8 - The Bucket | Stage Call | A Trip to St. Aug
Elevated Consciousness | The Black Madonna
Page 9 - Planes of Reality
Page 10 - The Masterpiece of Dagon-Jah
Page 11 - The Praetorian Guards | MetaphorMan
The Lurid Appeal | The Indian in the old Fort
Deus Madre Redux | Something About Her
Something About Him | The Bored Players
Page 12 - The Arc in the Covenant | The Man
Page 13 - The Artists Round | The Good, the Bad, and the Curious
Part 14 - Death and Remembrance | Ur Nammu, the Created God
Part 15 - Worlds Apart | You Don't Know What It's Like
Spinning the Sword | A Destiny Foretold
Invoking the Archangel
Part 16 - Some Go Forward and Some Go Back | Going Home
Back Travel | The Miracle of Birth
The Fire that does not Consume
Copyright Notice - "The Shadow Breakers" Text and images copyrighted March 21, 1993-2017, Claire Grace Watson, B.A., M.S.T., U.S. Copyright and under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, All rights reserved. Additional to these copyrights is TXu 692-656, Isis and Osiris, The Phaistos Disk Deciphered, June 26, 1995, above images included, and The Shadow Breakers, including twenty-two of these images, copyright 2005. All solution images, pictograph tracings, disk tracings, photos of Phaistos and Heraklion harbor, Crete by Claire Grace Watson. No part of this web page may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission from the author, except for the inclusion of brief quotations in a review.
Copyright Notice - Disk of the World - Text and images copyrighted March 21, 1993-2017,
Claire Grace Watson, B.A., M.S.T., U.S. Copyright and under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, All rights reserved. No part of this web page may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission from the author, except for the inclusion of brief quotations in a review.