Jason Robert Bell

The White Feathered Octopus


a novel

An excerpt from the book:

This is the peak of the movie talking about Danny Kaye in Wonderman!
It explains everything!
Post War World Two, healing would the mind and the heart
The thinker and the clown!
What is this trick photography, YES IT IS!
Two-way ticket, the 4-d man, the clown is the trickerts-
No telling what I can do when I learn the ropes,
Oh what a set up when I wasted all that time living
The secrets of life were solid for a dime (nothing a symbolic boon at best) they offer all the various – lustful, muses each a color of the rainbow, the young lover pulls upon them all, the solution, the soul union, to finding love either getting the man you want to notice you or to find new lover or both is to be polyamorius to play the field, not just with love, Song of Solomon, to play the field of life to explore all the different kinds of being you can be, mother, lover, whore, child, wife, ex-wife, monster, body, object, image. With young man falling before you. That will instill lust in your true love to struggle to then win you, or die trying
The Perpetual Grinning Giantess
Okay, get up, push your hands down on the rug, flip over, on the knees, Arch the back, strech out back, Arch again, PAIN!, tight exhausted doing nothing calf muscle, PAIN!, up on your feet, Broken Wagon wheel feeling, pivot, push forward, thought the apartment, Dad there in his chair so bored, now so delighted that I am coming thought the kitchen over to him. It is maybe 10, I don’t know 10:20? Dad could not wait for me to make coffee, he have has been able to figure out how to use the espresso maker, so instead I see what is left of his Cowboy Coffee.
Recipe for Cowboy Coffee
Two tablespoons of coffee grounds
Pour directly into a small cooking pot
Drop in One Cup of Water
Do not mix!
Heating until boil and continue to boil until contents have boiled over leaving burnt grounds chemically bonded forever in the porcelain stove top
Hysterically pour directly into whatever vessel you can find regardless of cleanliness, the mug you left overnight with 4 or 5 tea bags from last night will work nicely, or the Pyrex measuring cup, or a soup bowl, our take a slightly smaller cooking pot and pour it in there, just do it NOW!
Drop in an ice cube, drop the tray still filled with more ice onto the floor and kick it under the stove.
Add one to fifteen packs of the cheapest imitation sugar to taste
Drink one scalding sip, then let sit till ice cold, then dump into sink.
Piss in the mug, and hide it behind the chair
Forget about it, then a few days from now kick the mug over with enough force to cause it to be smashed to more manageable bits
And That’s Cowboy Coffee, enjoy.

Without saying a word, I go straight into the shower, PAIN! Find the Monkey Wretch we use to turn the hot water on with, the knob fell off a few weeks ago, I would ask the landlord to fix it, but since we are behind in the rent it makes it awkward. PAIN!
Get the water really HOT, turn off the lights, in the in shower, now down onto my knees, pressing my feet hard against the surface of the tub near the drain. PAIN!
Arching my back, arms under my frame for support, pushing and pulling my next, compressing my spine, sucking in my gut, as tight and I can, release and again and again. IN the Dark, IN the Steam, eye shut tight, making a pillow with my hands, how else would anyone make any pillow of any kind without their hands? The inner surface of my eyelids, opens up to a long subterranean florescent hallway, I am following a pleasing figure slightly in front of me, I am enjoying my point of view.
The Perpetual Grinning Giantess, who is a fusion of past girlfriends, a buxom, dark haired beauty with amalgamated features, in a thick tangerine turtle neck, and short pelted wool skirt, with knee high matching Clementine stockings, finds me in a dark corridor and taking my hand leads me down into a takes me to the underground bunker, that I always knew would be at my disposable if I need it. Actually it is a palace, long halls, tapestries, modernist sculptures and fountains.
The Giantess leads me to where the strange weapons, ornate armor, and incomprehensible gizmos, taken from other worlds, are stored. The orange paint job on the concrete brick walls of the armory matches her heaving sweater. And we joke about it. She speaks in a rhythmic sing-song manner with left field code words dovetailing the ends, and cresting the middle of her sentences. It was as if she was trying to teach me a code, or perhaps an alternative language that happened to use the same words as English but with different meanings, or both those things.
Suddenly I notice that there is a book in the back of the armory, behind glass. The giantess explains to me that it was the one last book in this world. All the others were destroyed. It is a thick old fashion book kept enshrined upon a pillow. Making a corny Ray Bradbury joke, I asked if it was Tales of Mystery and Imagination by Edgar Allen Poe.
The Giantess, looked at me with a blank stare and said it was, Tobacco and other Consumable Ash Residue, of Cigarettes, Cigars and Pipes for Forensic Criminology by Sherlock Holmes. As if I was foolish to think it could be any other book.
With a careful single motion she touched a tiny button on the side of the book’s pedestal, and glass, or what I thought was glass, instantly turned to cool steam flying away from the book. The whole bunker filled with a strong whiff of thick dust, that smell that only an old book can provide.
But, what a book! “May I?”
“Jugular! If justice is done, please just be careful, here use these gloves to turn the pages..”
I suppose the closest thing I could compare to the book would be the Voynich manuscript, Which I had been allowed to see when I was a grad student. This book seemed even more cryptic, page after page of elaborate diagrams of smoke, smokers, pipes, hookahs, and the various plants they are harvested from, but text was equally filled with wirework half-see through people, animals, and monsters. All of it appeared to be cross-connected with astronomical bodies; suns, moons, and stars of astronomy and astrology. One series of 78 diagrams depicts unconventional drawings for the zodiacal constellations from around the world ( a Winged Minotaur carrying a giant stone covered in dozen of human eye ball for Taurus, an eight legged centaur with a mane of fire and ice, brandishing a crossbow for Sagittarius, The Vedic Head of the Demon depicted as a man with a puppet on a stick riding a toad, a male and female pair of mere-people in coitis within a golden egg for Pisces, you get the idea).
There where different bevels running down the pages of the text block, so that fingers could easily find categories. In a section that appeared to cover geography I have a dozens different Maps of the earth, the largest of which folded-out in a special section of the book in one dived poster page, gingerly opening my six foot six inches arm span up to reveal a shockingly detailed chart of a planet called Helios Three, in the lower middle right of the map, the entire known land masses of our earth were represented as a tiny chain of islands the size of Hawaii all sharing the label Mundania, surrounded by quaint old timey sea-serpents, mostly hybrids of screaming women with hydra similar to classic allegorical images of Sin personified, in an area called the Internos Ocean, on a awesomely gargantuan orb filled to accommodate vast super-continents with labels that I could roughly translate as Atlemuriatis, Prospero’s Lillblefuscuiput, Ozqbar, and Xanthadu.
I laughed “This is an amazing document, a work of art onto itself, whoever made it really put their all into it, but Sherlock Holmes is a fictional character created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, he is not a real person, it is a common misunderstanding that inspired this Obsessive Prankster.”
The Giantess, saw and raised my laugh, with a slightly perturbed “Blacktail! You have made a blunder!, Doyle, that asshole? He was a puppet, an actor! Adfluxion, the account is full of errors! WE hired him to distract the general populous! I don’t know what Sherlock saw in that empty headed chowderhead, that hapless little man believed in ghosts! Modishly, a mismanaged affair.
I asked her what she meant by that, was there something in the text besides the new revealed to be real Holmes’ study of tobacco ash, she said yes. The she made a joke herself, with a slightly different smile, a sexy twist in the curve of her lips,
she said. “Rollable, your request is unreasonable, I could tell you, but then I would have to kill you.”
“Okay, ha!” hoping over to a sturdy looking cot with a rainbow of earth tone striped wool blanket atop it and now under by backside. “ So Holmes, was an actual person, like some sort of Wold Newtonian idea.”
“World Newtonian, Cellar, the cheaper the better?” as she subtly shifted her weight to from on elaborately combat booted basketball size cafe muscle to the other, to align herself askew with a tilt of her solid fetching jawline.
Reaching over and strapping, what I thought were binoculars over my eyes, “No Wold, as in a meteorite which fell in Wold Newton, Yorkshire, England, on December 13, 1795” after a bit of fiddling the switches I found on their side, binoculars warmly activate with a peachy hum. “Which gave rise to an obscured piece of pulp fiction fandom, that plays around with ideas about fictional characters being secretly retold stories of real adventurers.”
A rush of colors and hydrographic information filled my eyes, I was seeing the world based upon the about of water that exist within objects. Glancing over to the book was blank save for tiny dancing golden stars, The Giantess however, towering over me a now a swirling sea of turquoise, teal, and white poured at lightspeed into her skin, with the thickness and shape of a clear emerald old timey cola bottle now slightly larger than human scale, with faint flakes of tulip and melon pulsating at constellations filled with a zoo of tiny totem creatures, where her organs must be, as flares shoot off from the end points of her circulation. What was once and will soon again be her hand reaches over to my face, thousands of carnation and cream carrousels being patrolled by squadrons of invisible sea lions, swim up through her fingertips. She looked like one of the drawings in the manuscript, only brought into shock clarity. I thought to tell her, but I figured she must already know that.
“He called it a supernova of genetic splendor”.
Pulling the hydroculars off my face, with a genteel grimace, her ample right breast brushing against my raised up left knee for an ecstatic second, “Who is He? And where did you hear about this?”
“Oh sorry, I did that classic male thing, and just spoke as if you could read my mind! He is Philip Jose Farmer, that writer I told you about before, he put forth the idea that the meteorite was radioactive and caused beneficial genetic mutations in those exposed to it. That is the fun in Farmer, he plays fast and loose with the facts working them into his fiction. It really could have been anything, ties in with The Golden Fleece, Holy Grail, Super Solider Serum, a oddball device so that heroes can be spawned from mortal men, gives the reader, the slimmest of chances that there might be a….”

“Mustard Seed of Truth?” she completed the words for me, then added “Enringed, the news causes great excitement!”

As my eye re-adjusts to the cold light of the room, I ask myself if I really needed to start talking about pulp fiction fandom, and related nonsense, along with rattling off way too much information to a kind girl that is just being sweet and listening, because your starting to date one another.
The Professor, The Know it All, those are strong impulses in me, I think it is a direct result of feeling stupid in school, being labeled “learning disabled”, knowing that you are smart, but being treated like you have shit for brains, brings out the need to prove it, prove hard and fast. When you’re a larger man than average, it does not help either, people will just assume that if you are big, and my big I mean fat and tall, that you are also mentally retarded.
Such is life, right, we all have our crosses to bear, even a Bear.
But I am who I am and that stuff is important to me, the sabertooth is out of the bag.
Pushing a series of thin sliver bracelet up her wrist, “Well, actually Sherlock was just his code name, No Holmes was real! Expect was really your ancestor, Dr. Joseph Bell, who hand picked Doyle when, he had worked for Bell as a clerk at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.”
“The E.R.I.?” making a joke, as if I was already familiar with so random war hospital, “Whoa, there sunshine, what are you talking about? huunnnnunun!” I said with my nervous laugh dancing up behind my words. “Why, would he do that? For what purpose?” pushing pass her, walking about over to the book again.
“In order that to better hide the knowledge, of course!. If it were not for him and the wisdom he encoded in this book all would be lost! If this book fell into the hands of most people they would think it was perhaps a prop from a theatrical production, or the ravings of a nutjob at best. Probably the poor soul would just burn it for kindling.”
The great burden of it all on her face, a afternoon shadow falling indoors onto hard wood floors.
“ That is why you are here, Jason, it is all here in the book, ever wonder why you would even know about some hairbrained pastime like that Fig Newton, or whatever you called that Grail stone! To get you ready for this day, this moment everyday there are new entries on the blank pages, new diagrams, new recipes! He did something to the ink, so that it would appear bit by bit, as if it is a clock, the book is alive and has a time delay for information. So far I have figured out that much, and that when he is talking about smoke is does not mean smoke, he means the residue of activity all human activity, and maybe other forms of higher and lower life. It is too much to handle, We need you to work with me on recording it all down, interrupting it, figure out how to use it. .”

The adventure suit

Jason Robert Bell

Thomas Robertello Gallery

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