Interview with an Oracle
CH: Hi, folks. First off, this is me, the author, setting up the interview. To interview the Pythian, one has to descend a long passage beneath the Palace of Rast to the underground chamber where the Oracle resides. Another thing to mention is that the Pythian is given to breaking out into riddles in blank verse. To give the setting, I’ll quote a passage from a chapter in Rast where the Prince goes down to consult him.
Step after step wound away before him. His feet followed them down and down, around and around, as if the way would hypnotize him. The bronze studs of his boots clacked on the hard stone until there were steps no more, merely a steep sloping tunnel to slip and scuff down into the depths. He descended in a flickering bubble of light that seemed as a globe, drawing him down into a darkened, petrified ocean. And then, all at once, he was at the bottom.
His light became a glimmer in a wide chamber. At the far end two green orbs appeared as from an empty void. “Egon,” came a resonant voice. “What a pleasant meeting
CH: Here we are in the pitch black chamber ... don’t become bogged in the thick dust ... it’s a bit creepy. Can’t see a thing. Whoops, there are the eyes in the distance, like two green moons.
“Oh, hello. Have I met you before, dear boy?”
CH: Boy? That’s a good one, I’m seventy-one.
“Pshaw. I’m at least a hundred times that. But should I know you from somewhere?”
CH: I did write the book.
“Mere triviality. We are the creatures who inhabit it --.
Empty pages only blow in wind when no spirits reside therein”
CH: I guess you’re right about that.
“I generally am. Did you come for some advice, or a foretelling of your future?”
CH: You might let me know how many copies of Rast will sell.
“Your pecuniary question is moot since your task is done
and other eyes and minds will do as they will.”
CH: Thanks, I believe I already knew that.
“Oh, think a lot of ourselves, do we?
Is that the right you claim as writer of the book?”
CH: Hmm. Should we get back to this oracle business? What would be the best avenue of book promotion?
“Does a poor magic creature reside in the dark, bereft?
Offer words of value for so little consideration?”
CH: Oh, you mean I didn’t bring you your honey toasted roaches?
“Aha, not so dull after all.
Visit the palace kitchen.
Catch the morsels (plenty reside therein) and tender them to me.
I may answer your question then ... or not.
You see – the future is easy not to learn.
CH: Drat. Here I am on the way back up the passage. Sorry I wasn’t able to find out more about the Pythian and his origins. Magic creatures are not easy to handle.
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