The Eel King

In my fevered imagination I had become Drongo, the Eel King, Lord of the High Escarpments…


“None shall surpass me”, I whispered, in a voice that was hoarse with intensity, “None shall surpass me for I am Lord and Master of the innumerable worms that crawl in the rich earth.”


I grew weary then – weary and morose. My arrogance turned into fear, my glee transformed into the darkest despair. My spirit – which had soared so ecstatically only moments before – plunged like a heavy stone, eventually coming to rest somewhere in the most secret depths of the earth, in a sullen and ill-favoured place where unclean things had their dominion and no light had ever penetrated.


I speak here of the dark and loathsome places that few of us will ever be unfortunate enough to visit, but which exist all the same, and which are full of the most dreadful suffering for any that do happen to visit. Perhaps you know of the places of which I speak and perhaps you don’t. Most probably you don’t, and doubtless you don’t wish to know of them either. Most regular folk don’t – they flinch at the very mention of these dreadful subterranean hell-worlds. Ordinary folk are always the same in my experience – they much prefer ignorance to knowledge, since knowledge (as we all know) has the singular property of changing those who come across it. One cannot gain knowledge without changing forever.


I could not afford to take the risk. I could not risk the armour of ignorance that had served me so well. I did not wish to surrender to the force of change; I did not wish to say goodbye to what I knew and was familiar with, miserable as it might be. I fear that, you see. My only option therefore was to strengthen the ignorance that guarded me so that I would become all but invincible. In the words of the old poem, “Invincible in his armour of ignorance, he resolutely set forth on the fateful journey that could not end in any other way than the way it was always going to end…” Taking courage from this heroic line, I resolved to embrace the adventure of ignorance and commit myself to it, for better or for worse. I would accept my fate, in other words. If one is to do anything, one should do it wholeheartedly, mistake or not.


‘Hidden videos are often unavailable,’ I told myself, becoming pensive all of a sudden, and thus the stories that they tell may never be known. I can’t exactly say how it makes me feel to learn this: wistful perhaps – wistful for the stories that, quite possibly – no one will ever hear. Wonderful stories perhaps, splendid and fantastical stories – stories to make you marvel. Stories to excite and to thrill. On the other hand, there was somehow a sense of relief mixed in there – a sense that was subtle but nonetheless not inconsiderable. Perhaps the stories that no one would ever hear were bad stories, atrociously dull stories, stories that were formulaic and tedious in the extreme. Perhaps it is a good thing that we are spared having to hear them…






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