| up a level
from the duke-of-edom dept.
We were somewhere around the Mass of the Phoenix in the public ritual when the drugs began to take hold. Suddenly, the room filled with flying phalluses bearing wings and fangs and screeching horribly.
We had arrived in Paris with a trunk stuffed full of opium, laudanum, cocaine, Anhalonium lewinii, and six bottles of Italian absinthe so vile it was usually reserved for the Pope when he was in a mood to deflower novitiate nuns.
L.T. wrapped his malformed arm around my waist and, his bleary eyes moist with concern, said, "As your catamite, I advise you to have a drink."
In a flash, the horror of the preceding weeks came back to me. Appalling! Endless days of opiates, ceremonial magick, and buggery. What were we doing here?
As I looked around the room, the once loyal disciples of my teaching began to change form. Snouts pushed out from their faces, their skins turned varying shades of scaly green, and then, most horrifying of all, they shuffled back and forth making snorting sounds in imitation of human speech.
I needed to get a grip on myself. I was still unnerved from earlier in the day, when I caught L.T., a 98-pound effeminate English poet, soaking in the bath. This is never an easy experience under any circumstances, but I could see from the glaze in his eyes that he'd been abusing the absinthe again.
"O.S.V., I can't take it any more!" It seemed that his nerves as well as his podex were on the brink of collapse. He held out a volume of the Equinox. "Read it to me!" Oh God no. "Read me 'Rose Ignota,' and I'll set the bath on fire at the last stanza! It's the only fitting way for me to go," he sobbed.
Pathetic and revolting. I was just about to explain that even water that he's been soaking his greasy body in (for the three hours it would take for me to read his insufferable lyric poem back to him) was unlikely to ignite, when he fell into a trance and began speaking in the voice of Hermes.
Finally, a real magical result! I hurried to the other room to grap a pen and paper. When I returned, he was continuing.
". . . if you stop working so constantly at becoming spiritual celebrities, you might possibly learn a little about how to actually pass along some of your knowledge."
"Wait!" I said. "I didn't get all of that! Start over now that I'm recording what you're saying."
L.T., or maybe it was Hermes, glared for a moment. "Very well then. To make offerings to the gods, find a virgin, quarter her, and saute her in a rosemary vinagrette."
I started writing it down, "Okay, now I'm following you. You lost me for a minute there . . ."
I snapped out of my reverie. The Mass of the Phoenix was over. I knew what I had to do.
"Who amongst ye, O Children of the Light, can substantially contribute from their worldly possessions to the furtherance of the Great Work?" I bellowed in my most officious voice.
A nervous, shaking acolyte came up and handed me a check for five hundred pounds. I snatched it out of his hand, belted down my laudanum, and strode out the door, a Magus on a mission for more cocaine. "Jupiter's blessings on all you swine!" I yelled, chuckling at the Universal Joke.
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