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Lives in a southern coastal suburb of Sydney, Australia. Piscetarian - seafood and veges only (Okay, I eat cheese, and will consume an egg on occasion.)
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جادو، سحر، سحر اميز.فرش ، قالي ، زيلو.
Clyde the mad guitarist from Mackay had joined the house. There was plenty of room; it was a large old Victorianate two storey place on a corner in Summer Hill with big spacious rooms with nine foot ceilings and bay windows. Everyone knew Clyde through Jim's brother, so it wasn't a problem - he was cool. Jim told him that he was welcome to make use of any stuff he found around the place. During the day, and night when Clyde didn't have a gig, he would wander about the house welded to his electric guitar incessantly running progressive riffs to increasingly, incredibly, fast execution - speed was of the essence. He would just stand there looking at you through his coke bottle glasses, while playing some super fast lick. This particular day, perhaps because the landlord cut the grass the day before, and the normally impenetrable jungle of a backyard was clear, Clyde chose to amble down the back steps, past the cock-eyed clothes line, to the old shed shoved up against the back corner of the property. The three board door was half off its hinges and Clyde, bending over, peeked through the crack. It was then he spied the rug. Abruptly he broke off an Al di Meola riff, put the neck in the air, ducked under the strap and looked for a safe place to put down his Ibanez.
By the time Jim arrived home the furniture in the lounge room had been pushed aside and the huge rug laid out in its full odoriferous glory. Not long after this Trip came through the door.
"Look what Clyde dragged in. It's yours isn't it Trip?" Jim greeted him grinning.
He stopped in his tracks; he might have raised an eyebrow, lifted his sunglasses, or nodded, nothing that would stand up in court. Unlike the other two, who hovered at the edge, Trip strolled out onto the rug inspecting it as he went.
"It looked like a good rug," said Clyde tentatively, "maybe a bit worse for wear."
Trip halted at a certain point in his traverse and stamping on a bulge, the warp and weft cracked and pieces broke away like biscuit. Other places were black with water stains or mould. He scraped some compressed pile with the edge of his shoe and rust fibres pulled loose coating his toe.
"I thought it looked Persian, like a magic carpet," added Clyde.
"I always thought of it as a pool," commented Trip, continuing to walk around inspecting the ruined fabric and those parts of the design still intact.
Clyde and Jim looked at each other in common perplexity. "It's orange! How can it be a pool?" protested a dismayed Jim.
Trip shook his head. "The design; it's like a pool, or maybe a Persian courtyard. You see the border; it's like the tiled surround of a pool."
"Okay, okay, what about all this other stuff in the middle?" Clyde wanted to know.
"That could be rafts of fragrant flowers floating, or that centrepiece could be a large urn or fountain in the middle of the pool or courtyard."
"Fragrant flowers floating," chuckled Clyde wandering over to the centre of the carpet, "I like it. It sounds sort of mystical."
Jim joined him to inspect the so called fountain. Crouching down he looked closer at the design in sea green, navy and gold. He could see it might be a fountain if viewed in plan perspective. "Okay," he said to Trip, "but what is this supposed to be?" He pointed at an apparent emblematic inconsistency in the depiction.
Trip was walking over see what Jim was on about - Clyde had swung his guitar off his back and begun to pick, while ruminating aloud words to a possible song, when they were all thrown off their feet.
"What the hell?" Jim yelled as they were lifted up rapidly and slammed into the ceiling.
"Jesus!" exclaimed Trip as he was pressed tighter into peeling paint and fly dirt.
"Wha's going on?" There were muffled traces of panic in Clyde's voice.
The answer to this question gained importance as at that second the entire surface of the rogue floor covering of its own volition launched itself powerfully east into the wall at speed while maintaining a determined upward flight path. The leading fringe, it was estimated later, hit the architrave at between 40 to 70 mph. Immediately after, in a cloud of choking dust the remaining body of the carpet drove itself relentless fold after fold into the wall until it could go no further. Bulging with the bodies within, it resembled a giant orange wasp's nest.
As you might expect, being dragged across the ceiling twelve or so feet, and due to surface friction and the inflexibility of parts of the human body, being rolled and scraped together like refuse wiped off a bench top, then thrown forcibly against a wall in darkness like a sack of potatoes, followed by being thumped repeatedly by a large blunt object, while trying to breathe an ever constrictive pocket of dust and dirt, was no fun and left the boys supremely miserable in body and spirit. For some minutes it was quiet except for groans, coughing and the odd twang.
Jim opened his eyes but could not see anything. As best he could figure after his shoulder had somehow been pushed under him, he had been rolled corkscrew fashion and now was in a twisted half seated position face to the wall. One of his arms was twisted behind him. Apart from his shoulder, his hip was hurting and one of his ankles. His ear and the right side of his head were stinging. He squirmed to make sure everything still worked.
"Don't do that," came a muffled voice.
"Trip you alright?"
"Yeah, your shoe push . . . into . . . chest."  As luck would have it Trip managed to tuck himself into a ball and when he hit the wall, it was with his feet. It was like being dumped in giant surf. Now he was suspended facing the floor, he thought, bent over in a loose crouch encased like a frozen skydiver. There was a fold of carpet over his feet and his knees. One of his hands was cupped against his forehead; the other could feel with fingertips the heel of Jim's shoe on his chest.
"Clyde," called Trip into the small darkness and felt his hot musty breath come back into his face, but no reply.
Jim heard moaning which he assumed was Clyde to his left coming down what felt like a fold next to his cheek.
"Clyde, you okay?" He waited a few seconds while the groans continued, then sucked in a larger lungful of dust than he needed and yelled again.
"YEEEAAH!" Came a loud angry retort, followed by a loud groan. "Gib me a minute. Bid my tongue. I thin I hurd my back."
Trip flexed his hand like a snake until his fingers could take hold of Jim's heel implanted in his chest, and using that as leverage, clawed his way down the side of the sole and across to the top of the shoe.
"What are you doing?"
"Tryin' to get your shoe off my chest. It hurts." He fumbled about until he found the end of the lace and gathered it in. "I'm going to push back against the carpet. Wriggle your foot - see if you can get it out of the shoe."   
Jim tried to bring his leg closer to his body, and with Trip's help got the shoe on its side and the foot out, at which point they both sighed with relief.  
"Now I know what a joint feels like."
Trip began moving his feet backward and forward until he could tramp on top of the fold.  Gradually he managed to get his legs free, and his other hand up near his head. Treading and pushing eventually he got to a position upside down at approximately 45 degrees to wall and ceiling. In crouching and using his body as a sort of supporting column in direct opposition to the carpet's impetus he formed a small cavity. He pushed against the false pernicious gravity widening the opening along the fold a few inches, and using his shoulder as a wedge waddled in the direction of Jim's voice.
Over the next hour or so, each individual struggled against the rug until they ended up huddled together around the guitar supporting a communal space, like a band of polar explorers trapped in their pup tent while a blizzard raged outside, only half upside down.  
"Wowee, by great Methuselah's toenails wasn't that a ride?" said Clyde.
"I think were still on It," added Trip and sneezed. "One minute we're standing there, and shazam!"
"Gotta be a magic carpet," enthused Clyde.
"Yeah, right," said Jim.
Clyde seemed unusually stung by this pigheaded skepticism in the face of irrefutable physical evidence. "What do you think - there is some guy outside with a giant air gun keeping us pinned to the ceiling? I don't think so. I mean what could hold us up here like this?"
"Well, if it is a magic carpet, where did you get it?"
"Got it from my brother," answered Trip, "but he probably didn't know. Why should he? If you don't know the right words it's just a rug, isn't it."
"God it stinks!"
"Don't insult the carpet," warned Clyde, "you never know what might happen." Right then he felt a light tickling on his neck. "It's a spider, ahhhh." Clyde began swatting his neck frantically, twisting around and threatening to collapse their improvised pocket.
After they calmed Clyde down, they got him to try and remember every word he had said, in fact they all did, and sat there for an hour, reciting the words prior to lift off like a disjointed radio play. At one point they were disillusioned when they realised if it was a word Clyde said, he might not be saying it now, the way he was saying it before. Trip completely destroyed hope with another idea: "What if the carpet is so damaged, degraded that it's no longer operating properly. Like it's got its wires crossed - responds inconsistently - is sort of a sick, psycho rug."
"You'd think it'd know better than to fly us straight into the ceiling. That it'd have some sort of collision avoidance system," said Jim.
"Yeah, but maybe that is up to the skill of the rider," Clyde countered.
Trip craned his head around and focused as best he could within a dim shaft of light coming down to the space. "If I'd known it was a magic carpet I would have looked after it a lot better," he remised. "The stuff it's had on it."
"What do you mean?"
"Oh, you know cigarette ash, spilt food, drink on it. My rabbit pissed all over it."
"Stop!" protested Jim violently covering one ear with his available hand.
"Bong water."
"Awww God," moaned the other two in unison.
"Well why do you think it was in the back shed? We should start thinking about getting out and down from here. I've got a penknife on my keychain. I'll cut us a way out," announced ex-Scout Trip decisively, with the satisfaction of finally being prepared.   
"Wait! Wait!" protested Clyde a mite desperately in the semi darkness. "Don't cut it. Don't you realize this is a magic carpet? How many magic carpets do you think there are?"
"I've no idea," sighed Trip, who knew what was coming, "few and far between I'd say."
"I've only heard of two," said Jim.
"Two?" Trip gave him a doubtful look.
"Think about it. What if we could get it to work for us? I mean there's nothing like it, is there? Think of the money we could get showing it even. It's fantastic. Even if it was just for scientists to …"
"I agree, it's Barnum & Bailey stuff, but let's face it Clyde we can't spend the rest of our lives up here. Tell you what, it's my rug, so I got an interest too you know, so what's say I make a small hole. I have to make a small hole to start with anyway. Before I make a big hole."  
"Maybe we can get out the ends," suggested Clyde in a last ditch effort to preserve the enchanted floor covering. So Jim and he struggled along the carpet to find a possible exit, but it was hardly five minutes before they returned to the central space.
"There's a small gap next to the wall," Jim made his report. "I managed to get my hand through, but it's only a couple of inches from the wall. I can tell you the sun is going down."
Clyde came back gasping and wheezing, his glasses near opaque with dust. He was asthmatic and reached for his puffer, then he shook his shoulder length hair and the air was a white cloud full of a million types of dust.
Trip swiveled about, opened his knife and seeking out a flat space began tearing through the fibres in a slice about a foot long, which was about all he could manage in the cramped conditions. It took him a good ten minutes to get through five layers of carpet. Drowning in sweat, he tried not to think of god knows what he had breathed in exerting himself. While Clyde wasn't watching he punched his arm back and forth through the slit making it open up. He broke and tore away persistent fabric with his hand until he felt cool, fresh air. "Look at it this way Clyde," he was saying, "it's in pretty bad shape already and it works, a little bit more damage might not hurt. I'm through to the other side; we're getting some fresh air."
Clyde pushed himself around the space with his shoulders to get nearer the air.
"This is unbelievable," intoned Jim redundantly. "I mean no one is going to believe this. It's impossible."
"But true," said Trip and Clyde together from either side of the hole.
"Shsh," said Clyde suddenly and put his finger to his lip. "I think I hear something. Someone's walking in the hall. You must have left the front door open."
"Anybody home?" They heard a distant voice call.
"It's young Davo," Trip informed them quietly, "come `round to bum a cone."
"Call for help," Jim told him.
"Hang on," said Trip and put his hand up in Jim's direction. The sound of footsteps on wood became fainter. "He's gone into the lounge room."
"Anybody here?" Davo's voice echoed from the kitchen.
"Call for help guys," said Jim from the back. He took a breath to call out, but Clyde covered his mouth.
"This could be worth a million bucks," said Clyde in hushed tones through clenched teeth.
Jim swiped his hand away, "This is ridiculous, how do you think we're . . ."
"Shoosh," said Clyde and Trip together.
"Davo might be the only one visit for days, and he might be able to help us," Jim told Trip. "Get a ladder or something."
Seconds later: "He's back in the lounge room."    
Then Trip heard a drawer open and the familiar pop of canister. "Davo that you?" he called immediately.
Davo replaced the stash and tried to close the drawer quietly.
"Trip, man I didn't know you were home." He stood up, spun around and scanned the darkened room.
"Obviously."
"Tell him not to turn the lights on," whispered Clyde next to him.
"Don't turn the lights on."
"Why? Where are you?"
"Don't worry about that right now. Look Davo, sorry to involve you in all this. What do you know about us? Look we could be involved in some heavy shit right? We could be in over our heads. We don't want to endanger - look just do what we say and everything will be okay."
"You're havin' me on right? This is a joke?"
"Na, this is very important, there's a lot riding on this. I can't explain, but I want you to do me a favour."
"You're freakin' me out," croaked a genuinely nervous adolescent voice in the dark.
"Don't freak out," Trip shook his head at the youth's regrettable lack of moral fibre. "There's no danger, there's a few cones in it for you." This was an exceptional circumstance, normally, he discouraged any one under twenty-one from smoking, because he believed it changed brains under development, and also it wasn't a good idea to have habits you couldn't afford. "Just trust me, we can't answer your questions right now okay and do as I ask please, as a friend, okay?"
Davo drew in a breath. "Okay."
"You got a computer at home haven't you? You're on the net?"
"Yeah?"
"Right, I want you to go home and start googling. Search for Arabic, Persian words for `descend', `come to rest', `land', `stop', `go', ah… `drop', no...ah…"
"Why do you want…?" Davo interrupted him.
"Look, I told you I can't explain right now. This is really, really important. I'm not bull shitting you okay, I'm relying on you. It'll be in dictionaries."
Clyde urgently whispered his suggestion, "Down. Down."
"Down," Trip nodded to Clyde. "`Down' is a good one."
Davo below heard the second voice, "Is that you Clyde? Are you here too?"
"Davo, did you get that? Make sure you look for the Persian word for `down'. We need the pronunciation okay. Down. Got it? Down. And all the other words. I'll owe you. DON'T FORGET `DOWN'!" he yelled as he thought he heard footsteps departing.
The next thing Davo heard was a loud, heavy thud which masked their cries and made the floorboards bounce under his feet. "Holy hell! What was that?"
There was no reply, but Davo could hear groans coming from the hall. "Trip? Clyde - you there? You guys okay?" Gingerly he took a step in that direction, all manner of things rushing through his young, imaginative brain coached by movies. "Guys? Trip!" Then he heard a ripping, slashing sound, and he thought of the movie where alien eggs start to burst open. He became really frightened. "GUYS!" he called out. Taking one more step, he reached out fumbling in the dark for the switch and holding his breath, bravely turned on the light.
Davo dared open his eyes and lowered his arm to see them emerging from deep within remnants of orange carpet, which in parts had disintegrated. Trip, who with his trusty knife, was leading the escape, had managed to push his body through the weary fabric and stand up, and now continued to slash away assisting Clyde and Jim to get out of the cocoon. Trip looked at him and smiled tight-lipped, then brushing dust and debris from his hair and clothes stepped out of the pile, walked past Davo as if nothing unusual had happened, sat down on the lounge and pulled open the drawer of the coffee table. He freed his stash in a generous way, and began to mull up. Jim was groaning, wandering around in circles minus one shoe, rubbing his neck and back, and leg and arm and shoulder. Clyde had finally managed to extract his guitar and after blowing and picking fibres off the strings, and holding it up level with his eye to see if the neck was still true, and finding it was, became strangely torn between assessing it's condition further or the rug's such was the spell it had cast over him.
Twenty minutes later and they were all seated round the table, Trip having deftly packed and distributed cones; they were nicely on their way, they all had a cup of tea, except Davo, and no one had spoken, except Davo, who in bursts pestered them with questions. Apart from taking the time to collect the senses, lick the wounds, or to be cool, there were many reasons why they might have kept silent. Some questions they could not answer, but for whatever reason all three of them said nothing. Their unspoken, naturally-evolving contract to remain mum made them smile wider every time the young Davo pressed one of them for answers or demanded they tell him what the hell was going on. Between the three of them it was a matter of who would break first.
Trip in spurts released some smoke. He began to cough, and tears came to his eyes, and he couldn't help smiling. "Who'd thought it'd be half-deaf as well as blind?" he asked them.
"What?" Davo was about to explode.
"What, was I telling you about Reality?" Jim the philosopher was obscurely telling Davo again.
Clyde by this time had tweaked the chords and began to strum.
"Well, you don't know what we can find,
  why don't you come with me little girl
  on a magic carpet ride."
   





Title - Persian: `Magic Carpet' www.aryanpour.com
`Magic Carpet Ride' Words and Music by John Kay and Rushton Moreve 1968 Steppenwolf  "The Second"

Copyright: Brian Armour
   


Last edited by Brian Armour on September 24, 2011, 9:24 am
 
Francis Meyrick

"Clyde the mad guitarist"
Everybody should be a mad guitarist, even if you never even touch a guitar. Words or thoughts will do. Emotions, dreams.

That directional control can be a ragged handful.  Lift off is one thing, smooth sailing quite another. A bit like living. Or your first ride on a motorcycle.

Smile


We little humans, hurtling through the Universe on our tiny, pale blue dot, will find few answers to Life's great mysteries. But we should at least find many of the questions. To write is to ask. To seek. To grope. With humility, and humor. Peace.
Posted on Saturday, September 24, 2011 at 22:23:20

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