In Chapter II of Summer of a Doormouse the main character, Jack, talks about and shares a short piece of a story that he had been writing called ‘The Simple Secret,’, which he says was inspired by Pete Townshend‘s unfinished “Lifehouse” project. The Simple Secret is an actual story that I began writing when I was in high school, never finished, and attempted to blend into Summer of a Doormouse a few years later. I thought I would share the rest of what I had written for that story. I don’t think its as good as Summer of a Doormouse, but I am rather fond of parts of it. Not bad for a teenager.
The Simple Secret
“The future’s been seen
As men try to realize
The simple secret of a note in a song”
– Pete Townshend, 1971
8 December 3920
Jim felt the bullets slice through his back, as he and Aurora fell through the rapidly closing hatchway. Tumbling to the deck, Aurora caught a glimpse of his wounds. The fur began to stand up on her back. She had only met this man a few months ago, but in that time he’d saved her life several times. She didn’t want him to die because of her.
Lying flat on his back Jim’s eyes began to glass over. Aurora cradled his head in her arms. Her tail unconsciously brushed his arm. She tried to feign indifference, but it didn’t seem to help the situation. Jim stared into space for what seemed like eons, finally he spoke.
“Is this the end?” Aurora tried to reassure him, but she sat mute as he began to cough up blood along with pieces of his lung. “Is this it?” He croaked, “Is it finally over?” Jim could taste the salty fluid in his mouth and knew he was going to die, but that wasn’t what was worrying him. “Please. . .” He tried to speak as his stomach emptied its contents into Aurora’s furry lap. She didn’t seem bothered by this or the dry heaves that followed. She was crying too hard to be bothered by anything so trivial. “Please,” his voice sounded as if he’d been chewing on broken glass, “why do you have to make it so damn hard? I’ve almost found. . .it. . .Please. . .” Jim’s gray eyes began to fill with tears as his body spasmed. The muscles in his neck tensed suddenly raising his head up several inches into the air. Another spasm came and his body fell limp, his head dropping into the pool of blood and vomit in Aurora’s lap.
16 October 3920
“The true power of music” Jim said, addressing the small group before him, “can best be understood by first studying the scientific law of vibrations. This law states that every organism, indeed every object in the universe, from a grain of sand to an entire galaxy, radiates it’s own unique vibratory pattern. According to the Greeks of ancient Earth, if the pattern, or ‘key note’ as it was sometimes called, of any particular object was known it could be used to destroy or to recreate that object.”
Aurora didn’t know what it was about him, he wasn’t particularly handsome or anything, Jim was after all a Terran, but she was, nevertheless, strangely attracted to him. From the moment they had first met she had felt that there was something special about him. It was as if he was an old friend that she was seeing again after many years, although they had never met before that day last August. Regardless, Jim had treated her, and the others, very well. He seemed to give meaning to their lives again. Jim was a good teacher, and a good friend. Aurora was hoping that wasn’t all he was good at.
“There are even those like myself” Jim continued, “that believe that there is one note, one perfect tone, that holds all the others within itself. This note, if it can be found, holds the secret of ultimate creation, ultimate destruction, and ultimate enlightenment. It is this note that musicians have sought after for centuries. Some not even realizing what it was that they were searching for. In fact, it is this very concept that all artist, be them painters, poets, or whatever, have been trying to find since the beginning of time, perhaps even longer. What all these men and women have been looking for is the ultimate way to express all that is. The painter looks for the perfect scene to paint, the perfect blend of colors; the poet searches for the perfect rhyme or rhythm, the perfect turn of phrase, and the musician seeks the perfect note. It is this note that we must find. For it alone is the key to our salvation.”
Passing landing bay 41 on their way to Jim’s ship, The Kosher Ass, Jim, Aurora, and another of Jim’s followers, Yohanon, noticed that old Barbaras had finally been arrested for smuggling HPL 29. The police had impounded his ship, Pilate’s Cross, among other things. As they entered the Kosher Ass, Aurora, her tail wrapped around her left thigh, as she was wont to do when in deep thought, approached Jim with a question.
“Do you really believe all that stuff you said today about the note?” she fidgeted with her parasol a bit while Jim turned away from the control panel that he’d been adjusting to face her.
“Of course I do. Why else would I talk about it?” He smiled a peaceful be-calm-and-quit-stressing-out smile.
“Well, stranger things have happened, Master James.” Yohanon spoke up from behind them.
“Quite right, Yohanon, well put.” Jim smiled again and patted the boy on the back. Yohanon made his way to the galley, to make their lunch, as Jim returned his attention to Aurora’s question. “Why do you ask?”
“I was just wondering, “ She looked down at herself, to pick a piece of lint off her blouse “how do you know if this note can actually be found?”
“Ah, I think I understand.” Jim nodded as he took his place at the main computer console. “The reason I know that this note can be found is because it was found once before.” Aurora’s ears twitched noticeably, while Yohanon looked up from the sandwiches he was making to listen in on the discussion.
“But if the note has already been found, then why?. . .”
“Then why is there still a need to find it?” Jim paused dramatically for a few seconds “Because everyone involved with the project that found it was freed from the confines of this universe. And so the note was lost again.”
“You mean they died, Master James?”
“No, note dead, Yohonan. When they heard the note they were released from the corporal shells that anchored them to this dimension. They were transfigured into a higher level of being and transported to another part of the Multiverse.” Jim explained matter-of-factly.
“But isn’t that what dying is, passing on to the next level?” Aurora offered, her tail now wrapped tauntley around her arm, absently brushing her well rounded mammary glands.
And that is all that I managed to write for this particular story. I’ve always had issues finishing prose projects.