To most souls, the world is a dull place. They work. They eat. They procreate, feed their suspicions and sleep. Perhaps there's a reel on a Saturday night, or a hot pancake breakfast on Sunday? Perhaps there's nothing of the kind? Such is life. Few aspire to anything else. Cheap gin takes care of that. Lack of gentle birth does too. And the fleas suck life out of everyone.
The Illuminati coalesced to stop that. But progress is slow and more like a careful, artistically arranged erosion than the growth of plants.
The man with the long salt and pepper hair taught me that. Others in our rarefied congregation taught me different things, though all formed a very special and magical chord.
If you read last night's entry, you know I saw the homecoming of our First Facilitator. I saw his vessel land. A lighter than air craft it was... the great grandfather of all blimpdom. Yet in those early days as miraculous as Fatima. They addressed him as 'Lord Facilitator. He had short white hair, receding at the temples but ample enough everywhere else, a trim matching chin beard and piercing, blue eyes. His attire was all black too... a severely tailored long coat over a satin waistcoat and narrow pants. I was there when he disembarked. They had it down to a science. The roof of a large stone and timber barn opened, just like two halves of a gift box, thanks to the grunting ministrations of ten men (five to a side) manning large cranks effecting a series of gears. The lighter than air ship, a cross between a hot air balloon and gondola (in this case enclosed) and an early framed craft settled in like a hen on her nest. The cranking resumed, this time in the opposite direction. The roof closed. I don't know how it maintained its integrity minus a central, ridge beam, but it did. Apparently the Illuminati know things about the physical side of architecture too.
The man with short white hair looked at me and said two words - A novice?.... The man with the long salt and pepper hair nodded. Then the leader joined us in the phaeton (our coach) and we rode back, through the moonlight, toward the manor house. There were two other passengers in the gondola, a Neapolitan violinist and someone else. I never learned who the someone else was. It might have been a woman dressed in a mannish manner a la George Sand. I don't know.
After late night brandies in a small sitting room lit by the embers of that evening's fire we retired to our beds upstairs. Mine was in a tiny space under the eaves, but a short, stub of a candle enabled me to get there. The bed sheets were the finest I'd ever known in my life. I saw stars through a small window, while far off, in another part of the house, an unseen juggler slapped clubs together in an intricate rhythm, as he practiced a new routine.
The next day they put me to work in the scriptorium, copying texts in second century Latin with the aid of a delicate, though solid, contraption made of fine, wooden beams and small, copper rods called a scriptograph. Four pens, each mounted one foot from the other, reproduced what I wrote.... Such wonders they had. I saw electromagnets and a frighteningly real automaton of Harlequin the Clown.
They said his face was covered with real, human skin. But few got to feel, for he'd snap errant fingers with sharp, pointed teeth forged from the best Spanish silver. A French count lost a pinkie. I know, because they told me, plus the relic is still displayed under a small, glass dome in the library...
Harlequin still sits there on a chair right next to it, smiling in a most amoral way and waiting for only God knows what.
Come back next time and I'll tell you how to make ice knifes.... razor sharp blades perfect for slitting throats and opening femoral arteries. Death comes quick, though no weapon is ever discovered.
And now, Lawrence Edgerton bids you adieu .
<more news of the illuminati to come>
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