Chopin Graphics

Something happened with the old Chopin widget I had here and it was making the page jump to a YouTube promotion. I finally discovered this and had to delete the widget. Which I'm sorry for because it was cooler than all get out. I'm going to still plug Chopin in here because a number of people enjoyed listening. May take me awhile to get it worked out. Cheers.

Try This

Zol Light

Zol Light
May Zol be With You

Musac and fish for brains

You can stay on this page and read while listening to either Chopin ( you don't have to do anything for this option, it will play automatically, or Music of the Soul (by clicking on the play button down and to the right). To watch the graphics with Chopin, scroll down within frame and then center the graphics in the window. Just click on either screen to stop the music.

To the right of the Chopin graphics, you'll notice that by moving your mouse, the fish will follow. Be mesmerized by the music and graphics of Chopin while you play with the fish. Be careful, you may reach an altered state!

The order of the chapters run in order except the most recent chapter is posted first for those who are following the story. If this is your first time to the site, and you want to read the story in the order it is written, proceed to chapter one and then catch back up to the present chapter by returning to the present post.



For those coming for the first time, welcome! This novella is an experiment in social media. Try to explore links as time allows, which will provide surprises. Make it a game of scavenger hunt. Can you find the link within a link which will allow you to enjoy this unreal sound again?

More will come each week, so I hope you'll return often. All comments welcome. Thanks for your support! Dub


Sixteen. Who's Afraid of the Big Red Clown?

Sacred Reader:

This tale has taken so many mysterious detours and strange excursions in to the bizarre that I even hesitate to share with you what happened when I awoke, wet with perspiration, from the Wacky Wobbin dream. There on my pillow was a scrap of paper, upon which was scribbled the following:

You are invited to view a SnoozeTube video which has been uploaded to your PISS system. As I read those words, my PISS instantly played the following audio recording

Voice instructions for the mystery video:

(for you readers who may be reading this in the ancient time, splshsplsh is the newest version of video, short for splish-splash-watching-a-smash), descended from the antique forms such as flv, jpg, MP99M, wav, wag, tail, pck, nos, pop, zit, grs, burp, snk, peek, goto, slp, lit, baby, etc.

As I've always been a sucker for watching SnoozeTube videos on the big screen, and enjoying a bowl of popcorn and M&Ms, I chose to download the video from my cue to the JetSet and prepared to witness the next chapter of "Derby Does Zolly Hood."

I'm sorry to describe this to you because I know you've been through a lot with me on this fractured fairytale. You're as "in the dark" as I am about what happened to Keya, where my mom has gone, why are we lead to understand that the Polish Police are not a belligerant menace to society, who is Hassan DuBois DaFreakshow, why are Ryan and I all tangled up in this metaphorical mishap of mangled mystery and missing mortals and why don't more people think it was pretty cool that the Who sang "Who Are You" at SuperBowl XLIV.

But I fear if I don't share with you the content of the strange video that it will be impossible for us to emerge from this spiralling tale.

At first it was just bursts of color and meaningless symbols with extrordinary sounds and clips of audio arrangements which were too unusual to be described as music, but rhythmically very beautiful and pleasing. It put me in a zone very much like a Zol blast from the past and my senses were stimulated and heightened.

Then the voice...weird and hynotic, sometimes as if a baritone singer and sometimes like a scabby witch, it introduced itself to me,

"Derby, you've been a very bad boy."

"Oh Zol Almighty," I thought to myself, "here we go again with Crazy Characters from the Crypt!"

"Do you want me to give you a spankin?"

My eyes darted back and forth. I looked over my shoulder to see if someone was about to break down my front door. I put my hand under my rear and wondered. "I guess it depends who will do the pattling and what she'll be wearing..."

"Stop thinking disgusting thoughts you moron."

This time it was the voice of nurse Ratched from One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest.

"I want you to build an arc."

Did anyone ever hear that ancient ancient recording of Bill Cosby do the whole Ark Schtick?

This is the LORD!:

Well that was exactly what the voice immitated. Just like Dr. Crosby from the 21st century.

"An arc?," I found myself asking outloud.

At that exact moment the video sequence lurched back to colors and flashing symbols and rhythmic sounds. If it hadn't been so deliciously soothing and fascinating I might describe it as controlled chaos. It seemed to attract my "self" right out of my own body and into the movie. I felt as if my essence was being swept along on a magical carnival ride and that even if I had wanted to resist (which I didn't) there wouldn't have been a darn thing I could have done about it.

I'm not sure how long the ride lasted but all of a sudden, the space between the JetSet and my sofa was just as defined, as before being cast adrift the swirling ferry, and there I was again, held captive with my eyes. The colors and the symbols faded once again and the voice returned,

"Not an ark but an arch."

This time the voice was like my high school chemistry teacher, Mr. Harlan, who took us all on an AstroBus trip to Mexico. (He was a strange dude. I remember going in to class after school one day and he was conducting weird experiments in the lab. He got fired soon after our trip to Mexico and none of us ever heard what it was all about, but I think he was smuggling bathtub Zol appliances to sell on the Hack Market).

"Build an arch?," again catching myself whispering questions.

Next, upon my soul, I'm not exagerating what appeared on the screen. It was called a "commercial break" and a clown with big red lips and red hair and red striped sleeves and big red shoes was talking to strange, unearthly characters. They must have been from the future because we've never had anything as bizarre as these odd munchkin like people on our planet (as far as I know).

One was supposedly made of strips of fried potatoes and another was dressed as churned up beef (raised in attrocious and inhumane feeding operations) and pressed in to a frisbee like patty. They all danced around, happy as baby puppies on Christmas morning. They were singing and flitting around some golden arches and promised to rescue me from food boredom.

Thankfully, normal programming returned and the voice continued,

"The arch you need to build is a new passage way between your Zol compartment tucked just beneath your frontal lobe and to a land where all your questions will be answered. Now go take a bath, you filthy animal."

Then the JetSet flickered off, leaving me feeling dirty and alone.


This is Dub Riley. He's like the voice on the old cartoon shows who would talk to the characters and stuff before you'd see an eraser take them out or draw a hole in the ground they'd fall through or whatever.

I'm here because this thing has gotten out of hand and it is time to wrap this puppy up.

A little background.

1. There aren't enough readers to justify any of this in the first place, let alone some long drawn out explanations. But hey, if you don't like it, be careful. I've got an eraser or can send you down the rabbit hole. Beware.

2. Don't ask me why I'm writing numbers and making a list. Feels good. OK?

3. Does anyone remember how this whole thing started? Solution to that puzzle:

Reya Mellicker made a comment on her wall about "Who Knew?" She had gone in to Perrigrine Coffee (Is that the name of it?--not sure, you may have to go back a few chapters). She went to the real place, not this Alice in Wonderland version. I really don't know Ryan. I just went and found his picture on the internet. But he too is a real dude. Who knows if he'll ever become famous as this Lewis Carol version of himself. All we know so far is that Zol is real. Zol Damn the Pusher man!

So she mentioned that if you go in to Perrigrines on the day after Christmas, there are no lap tops and people reading real newspapers and just talking. Someone else commented that she had gone in to a time warp or something. A few more comments ensued and I said something about it had the makings of a good short story. I threatened to treat it with some kind of Social Media flavor and voila--welcome to the bizarro world of Derby and Hasson DuBois.

5. I've got to make some progress and I trust that no one has followed with enough attention to see some of the nuance. You would have had to trace each link to be totally up to speed and as much as you love me, no one has that much extra time on their hands. So let me spare you some torture and give you a few clues.

a. I had also mentioned to Reya about reading a Christmas card from someone and misreading the number 2010 as Zolo. Someone had wished us a happy 2010 and I asked, "What is Happy Zolo?" or something like that.

So, for your history of Zol lesson, it goes kind of like this. Zolo is 2010. Zoll is 2011, zolz is 2012, 2013 is zoB, 2014 is zoH, etc. This is important. Pre-Zol NYT (which is the New York Times prior to the time of Zol) makes a word kind of like prezolnyt, which someone may interpret as Polish.

b. Pretty soon you'll start seeing what is going on with these whack cases in the Himalayas and their printing presses.

The simple details such as these were thought through in that first moment after I promised I'd write this stupid thing. But getting to revealing these surprises is tricky business, complicated by a work day and being a dad and allowing plenty of frivolous time on Facebook.

Anyway. Happy 2010. May Zol be with you.

Chapter Eighteen. The Tree.

Alfred Warbling continued to explain his awakening~

"Tio's head had been buried for three weeks and reports came from as far away as Riobamba that sprouts of the Jatoba tree were pushing through the jungle carpet of leaves and humus.

While new growth of Jatoba was establishing itself, my awareness of knowledgelessness was also taking root. What do I mean by knowledgelessness? That which comes before knowledge and swallows it joyfully.

Derby, there is a reason for everything but not how religions explain it. Not like predestination or right and wrong. The reason things happen for a reason is because there is nothing like logic except in your head. Everything is connected and everyone gets to where they're going. SPIRIT only moves in one direction. Everything pushes up. There is no collapse. Brick on brick. There is constantly a new sum total.

Does this mean all mystery is known? Heavens no my boy! If the final mystery was known there would be no art. Have you ever thought about that? Just let one question remain. That's it. Only one. As long as there is one unanswered question, there will be beauty. But if all was known, there would only be bland colors and no flavor to delight in. Sleep on that tonight and savor your next meal after fasting."

Alfred went away from me and a cascading waterfall crashed through my being. I shook as I wept uncontrollably. Mechanically, I started packing a small bag. Still moving like a robot as the undulating knowledgelessness shrieked and pulsed through me. Shadows flashed on my occipital monitors. My ego thoughts created phantom visions of devils and men in business suits, naked zombies and women of ill-repute, dismembered children and sick animals. There were also feelings of pleasure and thoughts of vast riches, luxurious dinners and extravagant liesure.

But the basis for this violent, tumultous uproar in me was an energy that was revamping and restructuring my essence!

As I spoke the instructions, "Requiem City" to the navigator module and felt the lurch of the electron propulsion system, I remembered why I had to visit. Though the pine forest had long ago vanished, there remained the "One Pine" which was cared for as a museum in a huge parking lot, to accomodate visitors who craved communion with the most beautiful tree in the USASSR.

Laying back in the photon cruiser I watched this energy within me. Similar in feeling to witnessing storming rain and an electrical light show from behind a glass storm window, the sparks and flashes resonated at familiar octaves. The grief and fear and worry and anger and self judgement were being replaced with hope and courage and strength of conviction.

"So when you approach a tree," I remembered the voice of a traveler who was explaining the interconnectedness of all life, "first ask for permission to touch it. Would you like it if someone came up to you and started rubbing your leg as if you were a lump of coal?"

Rarely had I followed through with my lesson. There were still groves of trees, I have them comfortably tucked away in my memory, when I was a boy. They were there for climbing and for shade but I could not for the life of me remember ever honoring them for their ancient SPIRIT.

"They are aware of you but they're cautious of the human." The traveler was 1/16 Cherokee Indian. His ancestors were from the pre-ancient time. "They patiently have watched our progress and our transgressions. But they accept SPIRIT on a one-to-one basis. If you honor them, they will honor you.

So as I sped through hyper-space, the vision of a new world swirled in my mind. The flood of PIS information was calmed to a trickling stream. I imagined Keya talking to us with a wet cloth on her forehead, from a rickety bed with a lumpy down mattress.

"And you were there, and you were there."

Zol, the indomitable wizard was transmuting into a metaphor!

"Requiem City..." the voice of the photon cruiser announced my arrival and the pod door opened with a smooth gliding motion.

"Hello Duchess," I greeted the pine. Tall and straight and majestic and beautiful beyond description in so many inexplicable ways. Though abandoned and taken for granted, she was still home to a teaming life of family and species far too many to name. I realised as I kneeled at her side that I'd always cherished her unborn wisdom. This was a love before time. An unending love.

"We'll have each other forever Derby," said the most beautiful tree that has ever lived. The vibration of her voice rippled across my tendons and flowed lava like across my skin. This was the first time "Duchess" had talked back to me! And I knew that the story was about to radically change for the better.

Chapter Nineteen. Rejuvenation

The weather warnings which had streamed my PIS system were sluffed (see chapter two or insert your own definition. Without sluffing we'd all be totally wild by now). So the wall of water took me by surprise.

As the sheets and layer after layer of crashing rain soaked every stitch of me, Duchess seemed to be smiling. "The Chinindians call rain--money." It seemed strange to be having a conversation with an ancient Pinus Lambertiana (Sugar Pine). Duchess was nearly 200 feet tall, perhaps the tallest tree in the world. When the planet was populated more by trees than parking lots, she would have been one of the tallest, even then, as the Sugar Pine towered above the rest.

Let me draw a better picture folks. My mom and best friend have been missing for...what chapter is this? God knows this crazy thing seems to go on forever! Anyway, for a long time.

If it hadn't been for the story about a gathering of people reading the paper and acting odd (hugging, laughing, in the absence of electronics), I wouldn't know Ryan, a decent guy.

Zol is...well. I'm really torn on that one. Maybe he isn't ALL after all. All being a really really big concept. And these central characters, Hasan, and Warbling, they are pretty cool, I've got to say. Yes indeed.

More in a minute about Hasan DuBois (as the rain seems to be working quite a miraculous baptism), but we will be mild with our description of him and say he is like no one we've met. Andrew Warbling too, as monks go, is...well, more on him too. I started to say an unorthodox teacher--but who am I to brand what is orthodox when it comes to monks. Let's face it, monks are a weird lot. Period.

As to cartoon characters appearing in my dreams, some fixation about Elmer Fudd

and other abominations of imagination which seemed to resurrect (or rearrange) my pysche, I didn't realize that the many diversions and bizarre twists were bringing me (us precious reader) closer to the end--hey you know why a Flamingo has such long legs, right?--to reach the ground silly--same here. We will get to closure, I promise. Please forgive me when you find we're really in a giant figure eight here and that old black magic just has us going round and round.

She continued. "Would you like to know why the Chinindians thought of rain as money?"

I looked up at her. Majestic. The two of us stood alone. A deluge. I'm not exagerating. Rain like you've never seen. Really rain, the word, doesn't capture it. It was a block. An unending mass extending from Heaven. It seemed to be powered by some big, churning machine. Like an ice maker gone berserk, except on hyperdrive, and melted. Like an upside down volcano, right over your head, but instead of really scary molten rock burning off your face (forget singed eyebrows), it was harmless rain. Usually beautiful but now a bit too much. But Duchess seemed to be soaking it all in, quite cheerily in fact.

With eye brows dripping, nose dripping, flooded vision and covered in clothing still in heavy rinse mode, I offered my guess, "it must have something to do with making things grow?"

"Exactly." Being a tree of few words, she guided me to understand, without having to say it, "stand near me and I'll be your umbrella."

Such a gentle suggestion, and received so...naturally, it made me understand that plants are always trying to communicate to us. I wondered for a moment, "is it possible that we'd be more advanced as a species without Jet Phones? Which came first, the chicpea or Zol?"

I moved closer. Her energy seemed to warm me. I felt clean. Refreshed. Clear. What is it about a good rain that can really wash the layers of cat dander and creepy crud build up away? And why do I feel like I'm really wanting to hug this tree? My flailing internal chatter was just as gently replaced by her soothing continued suggestions...

"Hasan and the've attracted them to you Derby. Rejoice my love. You are reborn."

Chapter Twenty

Dander on a Snow Monkey

Rebirth is not what you might think. Past sins are simply reclassified. They don't go away. Life ahead is still tedious. Lunch isn't free, but you probably qualify for the senior discount. There is a new cast to the color of everything, as long as you remember to apply the filter. You are subject to periods of forgetting though.

And one more thing, from the point of being reborn, you must grow. The secret is in the crystalization process. Concentration isn't exactly the right word, but effort must be applied for the light to become totally pure. If I tell you much more you'll be subject to arrest by the Polish Police (this one you're supposed to laugh about because you will soon learn that the Polish Police is a concept to keep the uninitiated in perpetual imbalance--how's that for a mind twister?).

A friend once suggested that I try to write with restraint. I notice now that I'm bending the rules a little. Let's see if I can return to simple story telling....

Duchess was the teacher whom I summoned. DuBois was a dimension of my own higher self. The Chits were protein on the road to health. Keya acted as a magical mirror to reflect a light which shines within. Before I reveal the surprise ending to this dance of the gypsy moon, I want to share some shining jewels.

One. Take a deep breath and savor it. If you're not smiling at this moment, you're doing something wrong. Rinse. Repeat.

Two. Realize that nothing could be any different than it is. How could it be? If it was ANY different, it would be COMPLETELY different. So hold up your level palm to your mouth and blow that concern away. Watch it separate into hundreds of little umbrella like pistils and stamens that float down and fertilize the organic humus of creation. Hence the expression "shit springs eternal."

Three. All that lies before and all that follows isn't worth the dander off a snow monkey's ass. When you arrive at contentment in the center of your NOW, recognize it. It is pure light. Learn to stabilize it and your home and everything connected to it will be wonderous and rejuvenating.

Now on with the show.... (hint, this video will change soon, but for the time being, this is what's up...Doc).

After the Rain
I was back at the scene where I had originally met Keya for our New Year's get together. She came around the corner. I wondered, "Is she familiar with what has transpired since the first time we met like this? Has she come back, also with new tools to navigate life? Or has this just been my own Scrooge like fairy tale of a dream?"

"I had the most extraordinary experience," she blurted.

It was hard for me to contain my own joy connected to this journey. Extraordinary? Is that a big enough word? Then this hand seemed to hold me down from my shoulders and I got still. For a moment I wanted to run off with excitement and explain everything I know. But instead I just smiled. My heart was open. So I listened.

"Derby, have you ever wondered what life would be without JetPhones and Lapzols? Does Zol rely on the snap and crackle of electrons? And if a tree fell in the wilderness and landed on your foot and you cried out but no one was there to hear, would that be similar to the sound of one hand clapping?"

I scratched my chin. "Is it possible that there was a tear in the fabric of creation, and Keya is now doomed to be an endless stream of mixed metaphors?"

Stay tuned...

Twenty One--A Rumbling in Your Belly

"People were actually listening to one another!," Keya continued. "There was no zizzit beams because there were no Lapzols! Instead people made eye contact with EACH OTHER! And there was hugging and laughing and not a tantra text within reach."

As she recounted her experience from Preregrine's, my mind raced back to the revelation by Alfred Warbling and the rare visit of the Chits printing press. We entered the chamber of the forbidden word--the only known surviving mechanical printing machine. Lubricated by the oil of Sacha Inchi, the mechanical gears clinked and churned out the sheets of the Lokta plant paper. The emblazoned name across the top of the paper had nothing to do with the ancient metropolis. NY. What was the significance of NY? The NY Times. What does it mean?

I watched sheet after cascading sheet be printed rhythmically. Whir, clank, clip, whish, whir, clank, clip , whish. My skin pulsed to the vibrato of the coordinated collision and my nostrils were filled by the smell of the natural ink. This mammoth machine which may as well have been rescued from the volcanic pits of Pompeii, with its rubber rollers and syncopated crush of type and template was printing some sacred document at the whim of a clandestine sect of Taoist monks in a reclusive monastery deep in the mountains of Tibet, by the name of NY Times.

"We've revived important symbolism from the times before Zol. In this one document is the image of the Tianamen Tank Man, the story of Phan Thi Kim Phuc, whose naked body was photographed after the horrors of a napalm attack in Vietnam.  Another article covers the disaster of BP in which the ecosystem was finally disturbed beyond repair with the anihilation of 3/4 of  marine life, formerly quite diverse.

There are also happy articles, such as the encouraging account of The William and Melinda Gates Foundation action to eradicate the practice of PISS implants in the Pygmy tribe Tubigtufail and the astounding tale of the discovery of Elvis Presley still living and well in a jail cell on Planet Rock.

But the most important thing isn't content.  The magic happens as a result of the imbedded SPIRIT which accompanies each freshly minted copy of our paper." Alfred paused, obviouisly expecting a question on this point...

"Imbedded SPIRIT?," I asked, not only obliged but eager to take the bait.

Just then he slid a folded copy of the pre Zol NY Times in my bag. As if twelve mice and three cats had been deposited, there was an explosive rumbling from my shoulder valise, which transferred to my hip, then my abdomen. I was unable to control the convulsions which followed. My body shook and I felt as if my internal organs were expanding like overblown balloons. I felt for the first time that the container that held me was itself a wrapper composed of fluid lava and  my eyes weren't catcher's mits of light but instead shot laser spears that could heal or destroy whatever I set them to focus on. And with the metamorphosis of a different vision, the scene which surrounded me was illuminated with a jewel like glow, which thumped and bleeped to the beating of the printing press.

"What just happened?," I asked as my normal breathing and eye sight returned.

"You've just had your prezolnyt initiation," he replied.

"Prezolnyt?, " I inquired.

"Yes." And the loving light of his eyes reached me as I heard him explain further. "Mistakenly believed to have been a polish term. Welcome to the headquarters of the Polish Police!"

Twenty Two

Got Their Hands on Some Good Shit

As I recall, the first time Keya and I met to discuss Preregrine's, I couldn't wait to plug into Zol. Now I don't even notice the streaming PISS. I'm aware of the potential to be distracted by the endless chatter but I'm totally in control of which information seems to be of use and which can be sluffed to my junk bunk. As to Zol...Well, there is a place for everything and everything in its place!

"Derby," Keya's gaze locked on to the backside of my optic nerve. Her essence penetrated cornea, iris, pupil, lens, and retina. We were seeing each other, beyond the mechanism of human tissue. "You know something about this phenomena don't you? This schism of culture and SPIRIT. Did I wake up to a revolt? Has there been some mass shift of consciousness that, somehow, I stumbled onto?"

This was the moment that I realized the ramifications of my power. The world was now run by the most powerful global conglomerate ever formed, disguised as a democratic utility service provider called POP. POP controlled all information which was both blood and veins to the traffic of human cognition. At this moment, most humans (I say most but still the number of initiates is in the millions) are trapped on the verge of insanity, due to this barrage of electronic noise.

While a trace of connection still remains between them and the underlying intelligence of the universe, the masses are held in suspension. Exactly half of the uninitiated think the world is blue and the other half red, which has been expertly programmed into the outflow of information, so their distraction will prevent them from learning about their true natures.

I'm able to watch this colorful stream and appreciate it as an art form. The beauty of it entertains me as I watch it now. Such a complex development, as is Zol. Though pale in comparison to elements of the natural world, I appreciate POP for the weasel that it is. What a prankster! Zol, the only begotten son of POP--you're a naughty boy! But I have perfect peace with the situation. First there was a mountain. Then there was no mountain. Then there was Zol!

Without blinking or without missing any nuance of her body language or the distinct meaning of each of her words, I absorbed every layer of meaning communicated by Keya. "Listen by non-listening, see by turning the light around," DuBois had said to me, when we left Warbling and the chamber of the Forbidden Word. So that now, as I stood back to study the art of POP culture, while simultaneously holding hands with Keya in the anteroom of our hearts' conjunction, I was also easily able to recall the rest of the conversation with Alfred...

"The Polish Police?!," I resisted. "How? What do you mean? Why? Is this a joke?"

"Musme ahreesan," offered Warbling.

My blinking encouraged him to continue.

"Chits were originally a group of political protesters in the region previously known as America. They held an uprising. It was February, in the two "L"d Zol time. They saw the writing on the...

I interrupted Alfred, "What do you mean the two "L"d Zol time? I don't understand."

"I think DuBois explained to you but I see you still haven't grasped the significance. The ancient time. The prezol record is Akashic. 20l0 is Zolo. 2011 is the two "L"'d Zol time. 2012 is Zolz. 2013 is ZOB, etc. All things which become words become phenomena. Human brains are powerful beyond comprehension. Zol is an outcome of those times. So in February 2011 there was an uprising because Amazon was about to merge with Chevron/Mobile/Shell to control all energy and all information. The organizers which eventually fled to Tibet tried to prevent the merger," Alfred was talking fast, but everything was falling into place.

"By the time of Zolz (Dec 21, 2012) the last straw of the BP (Beyond Profane) disaster had broke the seahorse's back. The economic collapse had impoverished 98% of the human population. Great cappucino was nearly impossible to find anywhere. My feet were killing me."

I noticed him pause to see if I was paying attention.

He continued, "Actually I was just a boy and my uncle brought me with him to Srinigar. Have you ever heard the story of the planting of Tio Tabasco's head?"

All the imagery of the machette being swung onto the neck of Tio Tabasco and the bloody appendage being buried to revive the Jatoba tree forest rushed in with his question. "Yes, I remember the story. How did it end?"

"Well," answered Alfred, my uncle and the rest of the protesters discovered the medicine from the vine of the Turimlaka. Seems the roots from the Jatoba had spread from below the oceans to connect continents. The record is incomplete but somehow they brewed the concoction known as the elixir of Shambasa. These ceremonies brought them in touch with the teaching of Tio Tabasco. They had visions. They had knowledge of the whispering moon. And they could dance like James Brown."

"Cool. I want some!"

Though compassionate, Alfred Warbling had more ground to cover. "We no longer require the elixir for clarification. Nor will you after your washing."

"My washing?," I asked.

"Yes. After your next visit with the Duchess, the pieces of your journey's puzzle will fit snuggly together."

Oh yes. That was one sweet rain.