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The Rainbow Child

Updated on April 22, 2017

It was a dark and stormy night

at the bottom of the sea when a nacreous implant hobbled inside a mollusk to rest his tired and weary bones, not far from where once long ago in the space of one night a whole continent disappeared.

And there this nacreous implant, which some people of old likened to a serpent without legs while others likened it to a dragon with four legs, while others still debated ad infinitum whether the former could qualify for membership in the class of species defined by a tail, like us humans, since its tail was one with its torso, or only the latter, began an irridescent hibernation spanning many of those ages used to refute the seven thousand-day theory of the age of the universe.

And with the help of its mother—though scholars have debated for millennia whether the implant constituted the plasma for the child or served only as a phlogiston—the implant grew into another form which was unlike the form that gave rise to it. And here this nacreous intruder underwent a series of metamorphoses, which form the kernel of this story, by passing through a rainbow of rings yet even when one of these latter rings held the entire rainbow in microcosm, represented by the order of the following colours: green, black, blue, (rainbow), white, yellow and red.

It has never been discerned whether the green that arises among other colours after the negrido and the blue is different from the green that falls before the negrido. Scholars of old who think these colours posses a material body think that it is very different, yet modern scholars who think that colour is an abstraction sometimes in the form of a wave and at other times in the form of a particle, with a vacuum being the major tenant in its composition, think that both “greens” are alike.

It would have been lovely if the matter were purely academic for ivory tower minds to mull over in a limbo seminary whose edicts affected no one and nobody containing or being contained in an ageing body. But alas, this was not to be the case. The matter of what sort of things truly existed, either by themselves or in concert with others, and either in an irreducible way or in multiple forms, whether by division or multiplication, regression or progression ad infinitum, was an issue of first importance to the vitality and hegemony of Western civilization.

Indeed, in those days there arose three men from our celebrated seminary destined to affect the history of Western civilization each bearing a different relationship to the dual nature of “green.” The first was named N’Appolyon and he was rumored to be the first man to walk on the moon. The second man was named Wilderman at some times and Walderman at others and his origins were from the sea…in fact he was rumored to have gills in his armpits. All the other humans originated in a process called mitosis whether they were produced in a lab or in a womb; except that is, for a small number of parthenogenic mutations, called the Third Men, who were cloned with transplanted DNA to make them take the form of ancient animal-men like centaurs and griffins.

The rainbow-child eventually dislodged from his mother

enduring an enormous tear which circumscribed the entire surface of his back… however, a protective membrane not unlike a hymen formed to protect his vulnerable body. He surfaced somewhere in the East under a star recognized by an ancient sect of astrologers… some say his passage from amphibian to mammal triggered an enormous tsunami. He landed in a sanitarium where oriental doctors sutured him back together but not without first removing a shard of bone from his back.

When N’Appolyon’s committee (nick-named the egg-men by a famous pop singer long ago) learned of the arrival of the pearl-boy on September 3rd at 3:33 a.m. in an ominous house of Virgo, they quickly called a meeting. They decided to dispatch an assassin to kill the boy before he learned of his father’s identity. So as to be sure of his identity when they captured him, they also dispatched a detective to locate the removed bone shard for testing.

The boy traveled with a false passport from Malaysia earning his living by healing children of sleeping sickness and liberating their mothers from a canker of the blood called hugoglobin. Stories surfaced of the boy’s miracles in different parts of the globe sometimes concurrently, which deeply confused and disturbed the Egg-Men committee. They wondered if this was a case of twins bearing identical powers and if so, if they had joined forces to pursue their leader.

The detective’s name was Frederick’s and nobody knew where the possessive case of his name came from. Some said that he used to work for the royal family in England charged with protecting (the identity of) Prince Charles’s clandestine daughter named Victoria. Others thought he was a charge d’affaires for the French President and still others suspected that he was a secret envoy for the Vatican. And perhaps much of this suspicion and mystery was generated by a series of unique accessories this detective wore.

For example, he wore a priceless made to order timepiece that once was seen on Prince de Brogie’s arm whose hylomorphos was abstracted from the ancient Antykithera Mechanism. This was a fashion statement championing classicism, but it also betrayed the detective’s true dossier which had something to do with conserving time and the night. Form needs matter as much as matter needs form thought the Egg-Men committee even in the worlds of abstract (meta-) physics and some thought that detective Frederick’s ultimate project was to save the world from a terrible blight heretofore kept secret from the masses.

And, since the best secrets are the ones that have a decoy a special team of fabulists had been convened to translate the “substance” of this blight from the language of mathematics into the language of the fable. Whatever this blight was, virus, radiation, mutant DNA, runaway loop hole, the most imaginative writers of the day had clothed it in an old metaphor from the dying days of the modern era…they called “it” the Purple People Eater.

Frederick’s apparently had a twin brother in America named Siegfried who did a similar job and some surmise that he had the inverse dossier (though what constituted the inverse of time and the night was certainly open to lively debate). At any rate he was looking for a lost manuscript reputed to contain the anti-dote to the blight and whose author, a professor of Princeton at one time had gone missing in such a complete manner that many in later years doubted that he had ever existed and that the manuscript in question was a hoax.

Frederick’s second unusual accessory was a pair of odd spectacles whose arms doubled as four pronged combs on each side by attaching to the hair around his ears. They were made entirely of a transparent rust coloured polymer whose spectacles permitted him — some say — to “see red” in the manner of van Gogh. As some poet-physicists would have it: he could see right down into the “raw bone” of things. Again whether this raw bone was viral, bacterial, radioactive or a mutant strain of DNA was a subject of lively debate as with its ultimate substance… superstrings or crystalised light?

His brother on the other hand eschewed exclusive brands and preferred a Timex and generic contact lenses…


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