Daily Micro: Yesterday’s Artists in Today’s World ~ John Fowles

Acknowledging John (Fowles)

Future Journal

It comes to me as I watch Sam flub another line that I should write a Future Journal. I like Terry quite a bit and Wyler’s pure Hollywood, making everything simple. In Journal I, I write about those experiences.  My life stretches out in Journal II. But in Future Journal, I’ll write without the need to protect my reputation, without the need for commerce. Cryptic I’ll be, that is my way.

They are my guests, he thought to himself. And like a good host I will attend to them. Over his shoulder, the butterflies skittered against the confines of the wire cage. “You are my lovelies,” he said. “You should be free to fly and to dip your wings in flight. Free to feel the warmth of the sun and the smell of the grass and the delicious pollen. But then you would not be my guests. And my guests, you are.”

At his desk, he held up the bar of gold. Thick, heavy and with permanence, not like the paper money he lent to his guests to play their games. A private monetary system is best, he mused. My castle is my castle and few venture near. But when I encase the world in a cage, all become my lovelies, my guests with whom I play.

In anticipation, he stood the gold bar upright.

Removing a monarch, he stroked her wings, coupling them together, slowly massaging them, turning them slightly, a bit more until, with a snap, they broke. Unable to fly, he laid the crippled beauty on his desk, in the shadow of the pillar of gold.

Watching her struggle, he said, “I will be quick to my guest,” giving the bar a nod. With finality, the power of permanence and earthly authority crushed delicate choice.

With the game over, he wrapped up the remains in paper, a Federal Reserve Note, lit the end with a wooden match and watched his guest become ash.

~ Stephen J. Bergstrom


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