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Saturday, July 11, 2015

A Dim-Remembered Story

“Dude, what are we watching?”

“It’s a…”

“It’s weird, man.”

“…French film from the 1980s, setting an Edgar Allan Poe story in space… I think.”

“You think?  Which one?”

“I’m not sure. The sound quality is pretty bad, and it’s hard to tell what they’re saying without the subtitles.”

“Can you…”



“You said, ‘Can you…’ and then you stopped.  Can I, what?”

“I dunno, man. Can you?”

“Oh shut up and watch the movie.”

"Okay, okay, man. You don’t have to be so testy. What are we watching?”

“It might be The Fall of the House of Usher. I think the space station is supposed to be Roderick’s castle.”

“And it’s going to fall, like … like…  … like Skylab or something?”

“Yeah. At least I think, maybe."

“Cool. Who are those guys in the rainbow colored jumpsuits and motorcycle helmets?”


“RED Angel, Uriel, Power of light, regent of the sun. Ready!”

“ORANGE Angel, Raphael, Power of health, binder of the desert demon. Ready!”

“YELLOW Angel, Raguel, Bringer of Fire and harmony. Ready!”

“GREEN Angel, Samael, Angel of venom and poison. Ready to kick some ass!”

“Watch yourself, Samael. You’re a good angel on a short leash. BLUE Angel, Michael, the Great Prince. Ready!”

“PURPLE Angel, Gabriel, Power of strength and player of cool jazz. Ready!”

“VIOLET Angel, Phanuel, the Face of God, sustainer of hope. Ready!”

(IN UNISON) “Gathered together, the forces of heaven, numbering seven, angels forever! Huh!”


“Dude, that Edgar Allan Poe was trippin’…”

“Quiet. Let me watch this.”

Alors! Ethelred leva sa massue et frappe sur la tete du dragon qui tomba devant lui et rendit son soufflé empeste avec...”

“Dude, this is really weird. Tell me that doesn’t look like a giant Charles Manson.”

“Shut up. You’re high and you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Seriously, dude! Those power-ranger angels are fighting Gigantor Charlie Manson. Look! There’s the swastika carved on his forehead!”

“You’re crazy… that’s not… it’s… You may be right.”


“Gabriel, proceed against the bastard and the reprobate; advance against that child of fornication.  Destroy the Watcher’s evil son!”

“I hear, and I obey, Oh Michael!”

“Phanuel, Angel of exorcisms, expel this Satan. I can no longer bear to look upon him.”

“I hear, and I obey, Oh prince!”


No sooner had these syllables passed my lips, than – as if a shield of brass had indeed, at the moment, fallen heavily upon a floor of silver – I became aware of a distinct, hollow, metallic, and clangorous, yet apparently muffled reverberation. The band began to sing: “Every time I think about it I want to cry, With the bombs and the devils, And the kids keep coming, Nowhere to breathe…”

While they gazed, this fissure rapidly widened – there came the fierce breath of whirlwind, of the dragon who was thrown down – the entire orb of the satellite burst into flames and began its final fiery descent to the earth.  There was a long tumultuous shout, like the voice of a thousand waters, and then silence.

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