Starting today, and for twelve weekdays in all, I will blog a novella; “The City’s True Name”, a dream-quest starring Sogwa, my daughter’s old favorite cat-doll. (We now have real cats.)
The City’s True Name
by Nathaniel Hellerstein
(c) NH 5/26/06
Table of Contents
Darkness Invisible 1
No, Sogwa 2
The Clock Damon 5
Go To Hellen 9
State Of The Universe 12
A Cat May Look At A King 17
Up To Mischief 20
Don’t Panic 24
A Miracle 26
Surf The Sky 27
Mount Auburn 29
The City That Only Kids Can See 31
Song credit: “Reason To Believe”, (c) Tim Hardin, 1988
This book is dedicated
as a Warning
and a Promise
Once upon a time, a dark cloud eclipsed Heaven and overshadowed Earth. The dark cloud’s name was Gop the Image. Gop darkened, not the eye, but the mind; Gop dimmed, not the vision, but the spirit. The sky stayed blue, but the people’s mood turned black. The people looked to Heaven for the holy light, but they saw only Gop, who stood in the way.
Gop broke everything he touched and benighted everything he saw. Ignorance and confusion reigned under his command, and by his example. Gop offered the world nothing but fear; nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror; the fear of fear itself. That was all he gave because that was all he had; for Gop the Image was a counterfeit of divinity.
I need not describe Gop to you, for you have often seen his graven image. Nor need I report his ways and views; for many say they speak for him. Nor need I mention his aliases and titles. You have already heard plenty of those.
In fact he was none of those people and none of those things. Gop the Image was not the One, though Gop said he was; nor was he Cosmic Unity, First Cause, Lawgiver nor Redeemer. Gop the Image neither created nor ruled the universe. He was not infinite in wisdom, nor in compassion, nor even in power, even though he said he was.
But though Gop was not in truth whom he claimed to be, still some people believed in him, and that was enough for Gop. He cared not at all for truth, only for what people believed. He strove to resemble what people desired; for he was Gop the Image.
Gop did not know, and he did not know that he did not know. In his pride, he thought himself never to blame, nor ever mistaken; to him, it was always others who sinned and failed. He never listened, he never learned, he only acted, and others paid the price.
Gop knew no limits. He thought himself above the law; his decrees defied logic, decency, and reality. Gop the Image sinned against truth; thus he benighted the world.
In the night of the world soul, reason slept, and the sleep of reason brought forth monsters. Horrors beyond imagination came true, and not because horror was any greater, but because imagination was so much smaller.
The children of light stumbled, while the children of darkness strode boldly. In broad daylight, before witnesses, men committed crimes that formerly they would not have dared to do at midnight in a closet; for the witnesses, blind within, saw nothing.
All of that was creepy, so Sogwa the supercat decided to do something about it.