Quelleayin Sharp was born with holes in his back. Weeping wounds. Three circular wells that scaled down to the bone, tissue after tissue, as if he’d been balefully bitten by a brown recluse within his mother’s womb.
Blood ran out of each. One drop at a time; slowly; incessantly . The three circles formed a tilted triangular shape on his lower back. The tilt’s center was near the base of the spine and if the triangle were traced dot-to-dot it would appear to point downward towards Quelle’s left buttock.*
*(or more specifically the left space where those attractive backside dimples eventually form on a maturing body)
Quelle’s father, Tertius Sharp, was aghast when he saw his newborn child’s back for the first time. He noted the glaring imperfection and steady bloody droplets with disgust. Tertius was an anomalous 8 foot tall world renowned Grand Piano pounding Icon & Creator of the first Surreal Levitating Grand Piano outdoor concerts. Tertius was a controversial performing artist with a raging temper and had no time for dealing with a needy, ugly child who needed 24-7 back care bandages for the wounds.
Quelleayin’s mother, Illustra Sharp, was, conversely, compassionate. She did not mind the full-time wound care her outrageously success-hungry, distracted and ever-mystifyingly cruel husband refused to take part in. Each night before bed Illustra would wrap her suffering son tightly in a blanket, lean close and whisper “I’m Here; Q,” as her son bravely, quietly let out only an occasional grimace or moan during what was clearly a painful routine. First, Illustra would wash the wounds with gentle dabs of moistened gauze. Next she positioned a tiny handcrafted cone-shaped gift from the local apothecary into each wound. The cone was crowned with a slow pour opening at the top. This feature allowed the design of a spiraling nexus chamber within – ideal for even application and downward stream of Quelle’s myrrh wound-healing tincture (often containing tea tree oil, lavender, lemon or peppermint) – all the way down to the bone. No matter how often this was applied, though, the wounds always returned to tender red, pink, purple inflammations. The final step was the bandages along with a steady stream of music or bedside reading. Each evening sat by their humble abode’s warm hearth Illustra couldn’t help but imagine her irrationally volcanic husband as the source of some vile, rabid, arachnid spermatozoic invasion; fully to blame for this atrocious affliction on her precious boy.
As a result of Quelle’s early childhood care routine Illustra developed a passion for nursing and decided to train hard to become a leader in the field. After accomplishing high marks and full graduation from nursing school clinicals Illustra set upon a remarkable career within their town. She balanced an intuitive integration of scientific medical advancements with an ongoing apprenticeship at the local apothecary which unfortunately led to her short career’s downfall. Illustra’s skillful career and upward trajectory were put on hold when she was wrongfully accused of neglectfully mistreating a patient in a case of “malpractice”. This was an outright lie given wings by local holier-than-thous, clergy and even darker malevolent forces hidden in the shadows of the church who did not approve of her time dabbling in the tinctures and holistic nature of the apothecary; mainly because the eccentric, polyamorous throuple – known for throwing elaborate orgies – who maintained the apothecary had taken in a teenage sexual deviant known for disturbing accusations of beastiality and child molestation and other sexual perversions with a focus towards helping the afflicted teen sans extreme permanent hell-fire-brimstone judgement. The truth of the “malpractice” matter was that Illustra had nursed Spaniel, the outcast teen, back to health after a particularly brutal knife attack that nearly left him dead. These attacks were common against Spaniel in town due to all the vast accounts, allegations, accusations and gossip of sexual deviancy and abuse. Illustra had seen first hand the constellation of healing wounds, multi-colored bruises and permanent scars wrapped around the young man’s body from a community bent on a perpetual cycle of relentless violent retribution rather than second chances or legitimate forgiveness in the face of authentic, repentant remorse. Her time spent within the apothecary meant Illustra was privy to the kind of environment and psychological demons Spaniel had been born into and traumatized by for years. Spaniel had suffered and acted out because he hid thoughts he was ashamed of and thus acted them out in his early teens when his hormones were raging in a murky, guidance-free cesspool of confusion. Illustra was fully aware of the goals of alternative rehabilitation that Ace, Ana and Ezra focused on integrating into Spaniel’s life to steer him towards a less ostracized existence. They knew the rehabilitation essentially began within guiding Spaniel’s storytelling of brokenness and authenticity within himself. As a community citizen Illustra vehemently did not condone Spaniel’s prior criminal behavior; especially involving children; however she did not walk around separating her own self from the “otherness” of tormented souls like Spaniel. Because she was within the walls of the apothecary and got to know Ace, Ana, Ezra and Spaniel’s internal and external wounds well she knew the hard work, plant medicine and healthy sexual education the throuple had invested in steering Spaniel towards transparency regarding his inner shadowlands. Through honest writing and artistic outlets as well as tinctures and therapeutic conversation where any topic was considered available to discuss openly Illustra could truly see Spaniel come alive. The whole apothecary family, including loyal patrons, developed a deep imagining of the very best for both Spaniel and everyone around him. As a mother with a son suffering his own physical lot in life Illustra couldn’t help but extend that maternal compassion and empathy in Spaniel’s direction. During Illustra’s nursing of Spaniel she never brought Quelle with her to the apothecary so the two never met. Illustra, at the time, would have honestly admitted being hyper-protective of her child around a known child predator; though as time went on she would have softened that barrier as Spaniel built up radically transparent trust and communication with anyone around him who allowed the appropriate time and space for his transmuted past aggressive, self-harming trauma.
The aforementioned unforgiving holier-than-thous, hypocritical church folk and nefarious dark arts forces who fed on shadows of gossip and fear in town did not approve of Illustra nursing Spaniel back to health multiple times. Many felt he deserved death, castration or lifelong torture. Yes, in fact, that last worst attack involved townsfolk stripping Spaniel bare waist-down and attempting to cut his testicles off. A miracle happened in the park that night as a giant bear scared off the attackers right at the most gruesome critical moment. Spaniel reported afterward within the sanctuary of the apothecary walls that the bear walked over, sniffed his exposed groin, licked off a stream of blood, grunted and mercifully walked away. In Spaniel’s eyes Goddess judged him with the most intensive and balancing scale of grace and mercy that dark night of the soul and pardoned him of his past sins.
The main culprit behind Illustra’s false malpractice accusation was the wife of a local church leader. When Illustra was called to defend herself she said, “I treat all patients as equal. They are my own mirror and, thus, I create the kind of nursing experience I would want to experience myself; though Spirit knows I am not perfect.”
The head of nursing held Illustra in the highest esteem and believed her. Despite this, the church leaders put pressure on the head nurse and gave him the choice of letting her go or him losing his job.
Illustra’s fate was cemented. Her passion for career diminished, but not her purpose as a mother and wife (though her megalomaniacal husband deflated the latter time and time again).
Later, once Quelle was grown into an eccentric, strange young man Illustra would learn in her final years as a divorcée (eventually; widow) how to support her son as his wounds ultimately led him to stand up and speak out against that dark, blasphemous, manipulative stronghold of the town.
As Quelle grew older he often had to learn about Real life on his own or by those living on the fringes.
When he was 15, as fate would allow, Spaniel showed up at the Sharp residence with gifts from the apothecary. Normally, either Ace, Ana or Ezra were the deliverers. This was an ongoing stream of benevolence from the throuple as a thank you for Illustra’s ongoing support and an apology for the shit she was put through by the bureaucrats and narrow-minded of the town. Spaniel had been asked to deliver because each of the three guardians were busy with clientele house visits.
“She’s not home right now…and I am kinda in the middle of something,” Quelle said, holding up bloody bandages in his hands.
“May I help?”
“You are Spaniel. Accused of dreadful acts with precious animals and children. Why should I allow you to help?…’specially with Mom away?”
“I Am. I Am He. Spaniel the Accused. I Am ashamed to tell you that past of mine is not entirely untrue; though, in this present moment some in our town and especially some of them church folk are guilty as sin right now for either equal or worse than I’ve done. I’ve answered for my crimes and been judged by Mother Nature. There are confused and afraid townspeople who feed off of building and building ugly cases to bring anyone different down to their knees. My guardians and the apothecary have nearly been shut down, burned down and run out of town. They have been fearless and have managed to overcome with the other courageous eccentrics and outcasts of the town.
Ace, Ana and Ezra helped awaken me. They have helped me learn to speak my Truth when I am feeling uncomfortable feelings or unusual inclinations. They have taught me to write and express and create so as to avoid further hurt to myself and others; my past is not the definition of who I am today, young holy man.
Should you choose – and it very much is your choice without coercion or force – to allow me in to help and if I begin to start experiencing anything uncouth within my body I will speak it. We will also speak True to your mother, as well, once she arrives home. I trust she will trust us.”
Sensitive young Quelle felt an ease in his Spirit.
“Come in…we will keep all the windows and doors open as I show you.”
“This is entirely fair.”
“Spaniel, you may call me Quelle or Q. I can tell you speak ‘young holy man’ as a term of endearment. If I’m honest it makes me feel a little too woo-woo and hokie for my liking.”
“Quelle…as I am now a daily writer it is a lovely ode to the…”
Suddenly there came a loud, jarring sneeze outside.
Quelleayin’s face fell and he whispered knowingly as to the nuisance source of the sneeze.
“Oh dear, Spaniel…have you been followed?”
Quelle peeked out the window for confirmation. Yep, Havana, the wife of a head church leader. Outside.
“Quelleayin! Quelleayin! Where is that irresponsible Mother of yours? I must speak to her at once!”
“It’s best I not hide. i am in the window. Best not to hide.”
There were the sounds of clanking metal rattling at the door due to sudden bursts of wind.
“Quelleayin, do you need help, young man? I have a switchblade and I am not afraid to use it. We don’t need sexual deviants spoiling our innocent town brood!”
Quelle confidently stepped into the doorway and addressed this toxic snitch courageously.
“Lady Havana, why do you choose to suddenly worry about or speak to me now? You and your children have only ever neglected and bullied…or ignored me and my loving mother for nearly 15 years. Now suddenly you want to intrude here? You, after all, are the culprit of her career’s demise.
Which of us is worse and damned to hell more in the eyes of your angry, hateful god? A reformed sexual deviant or a grotesque bloody backed boy?”
The wind picked up and stirred relentlessly outside. The sound of glass breaking could be heard in the distance. Anytime Quelle heard glass breaking he had been taught that it was a benevolent sign that an old pattern had been broken to make room for better ones.
Quelle boldly proclaimed, “Get outta here, Lady Havana! You have no business intruding in my family again!”
Illustra emerged from around the corner having heard every word of her son’s speech and added:
“Get outta here, bad bitch! And while you are at it…have you seen that garish husband of mine in your arms or another like you? What a coward – a nest of cowards! The whole lot of you!”
Crows began to fly in circles overhead in a chorus of support.
Havana cowered and barked, “The church will hear about this, Illustra! You can count on it!”
Window shutters banged and huge, rolling storm clouds appeared instantly out of nowhere.
Quelle became deeply angry unlike any emotion he had felt prior.
He shouted at the top of his lungs, “All you hypocrites and haters are your own self-fulfilling creators of hell, deceptress Havana! You yourselves are spreading a current wave of destructive toxicity here and now!”
Suddenly, Quelle screamed out in pain and anguish.
Spaniel was behind shirtless Quelle and declared, “Illustra! Illustra! His back! His wounds are heavily inflamed! We must do something, Nurse Illustra!”
Quelle stepped out of the door of the house, down the street and began shouting:
“My wounds have stories to tell! Everyone WILL LISTEN!”
Illustra began to weep, knowing this was an essential step of Quelle’s purpose. She’d dreamt of this day’s arrival during the past 15 years of silent, painful repression.
Spaniel started to speak and say “We must stop him!”, but as soon as Illustra turned to him and said, “Let him go. He needs to let this out! This is bigger than Quelle. This is Awakening Us All.”
An esoteric language in Illustra’s eyes passed to Spaniel through a lineage of unseen Present ancestors.
In the blink of an eye they both knew where Q was heading.
Spaniel arrived at the Town Square after stopping off, briefly, at his room adjacent to the apothecary.
He found Quelle standing upon the Town’s obscene towering statue of his father, Tertius, sitting at a Giant Baby Grand Piano. Quelle stood upon the piano with the urgency of a barking newsie. He shouted over and over:
“My wounds have stories to tell! Everyone WILL LISTEN!”
A concerned and curious crowd was forming. A gossipy, gawking crowd was forming. An intermingling of diverse townsfolk; some rich, some conservative, some liberal, some independent, some eccentric, some families with children, some poverty-stricken homeless and some outcast were gathering around the piano with Q elevated as if a maestro calling forth a potential orchestra.
Before long some townsfolk began to shout out:
“He’s Crazy! He’s a Lunatic! He’s an addict! Can you believe at just 15?!?”
In response, Quelle began incorporating stomps upon the piano as he repeated the shouting phrase again and again. Each stomp of his foot reverberating from the belly of the piano outwardly. Each shout casting a wavelength with palpable vibrations into the crowd and beyond.
One by one the naysayers and shouters of the slanderous verbal shards began to choke and cough; eventually unable to shout out clearly any longer. A flubbery, puttering out of stagnant vocal cords. Throats so obstructed there was no choice in speech; simply silence.
Upon witnessing this, a few of the previously silent, fearfully dogmatic and narrow-mindedly indoctrinated began to step forward with further accusatory shouts:
“He’s the Devil! He’s Cursed! He’s in cahoots with the Sexual Deviant now and expects to remain unscathed! He Is Bringing Armageddon Down Upon Us Now and has the uncouth Power to Silence Us!”
Quelle kept stomping and the second wave of shouts began to diminish in the wake of the energetic vibrations.
A distinct drumming began to sound upon the perimeters of the Town Square booming in slow build intervals from each of the four corners. At first, the Source of the drumming was unseen.
Every shutter on any building around the Town Square began slamming. All of the ristras around the square were shaken creating the steady sound of maracas. Every kiva ladder around the square began tapping in rhythm to the diasporic drumbeats wafting into the Center of Town.
Suddenly, out of thin air, ghoulish shadows began to dance over faces in the crowd. Some in the crowd began to feel the prickle of tiny needles repetitively tapping around their head unseen.
“Devil!” *coughing fits*
”Dev-! Chi-!” *damned up indistinctions*
”Now…ouch!…he…” *choking sounds*
A moment of Silence and Hush fell from the coughers and chokers and interrupted speakers. Even Quelle stopped shouting and his hands flew upward as he fell to his knees.
Suddenly, a kettle drum fell from the sky and landed at Quelle’s feet. A wave of quiet was met by every eye of every folk in attendance. After seconds of townsfolk looking around questioningly and cowering with fear over whether there were any further threats from above an uninterrupted voice began laughing loudly above the circle of quiet.
The laughing continued a bit longer before a voice said, “He’s playing games with us! This is all part of a new Tertius Sharp perform————“
Quelle rose to his feet and interjected with direct eye contact with the speaker:
“My wounds have stories to tell! You WILL LISTEN!”
On queue, Spaniel walked up to Quelle with clear foresight and handed Quelle the prismatic drumstick with colorful thin threads of tassel which he had brought from his apartment.
Each blinked an unspoken syllable and Quelle accepted the hue wrapped baton and began to bang the kettle drum with the surround sound of beats coursing through the Town Square’s veins with laborious elaboration.
The drum was so loud it brought the silenced and some of the unsilenced to their knees. Each bang piercing their ear drum with a pain too unbearable; buckling their hatred in Surrender. The rest of the crowd appeared to stand unaffected and were creating hums and vocalizations extending suspension sound bridges in between the spaces of beat.
The drumming kept building and filling in closer and closer from outside the boundaries of the square perimeter.
By this point majority of the homeless, families, poor, outcast and a generous portion of the rest of the eccentric independent thinking townsfolk stood in appreciative awe; All One Divine Whole of distinctive authenticity unaffected.
Some of the unaffected began to Dance to the drum. Some lay prostrate and sang. Some clicked their heels and shouted in Celebratory Joy:
“There’s No Place Like Home! There’s No Place Like Home!”
Spaniel looked around and took it all in as he stood in Guardian Purpose for Quelle in the absence of his Mother’s arrival (as far as he could tell). Spaniel looked into the smiling Goddess eyes of Bon-Bon nearby. Beautiful Bon-Bon; whose mythology within this town matched in many ways his own. Her mythology so Grandiose out of the folkloric seeds of gossip that by now no one seemed to know Her Real Story. To some she was just a joke of a whore, to some she was a domestic violence survivor who once stood in the way of a shotgun. To some she was a town spy. To some she was a man-hater who just wanted to rip off every guy’s cock n balls (which led some in town to question if she had, in fact, been the “bear” at midnight who saved Spaniel). In sum, Bon-Bon was a larger-than-life town question mark.
As Spaniel shared this moment of precious eye contact with her there was once again unseen Ancestor Presence allowing his energetic field to become privy to One Clear Transmission – Bon-Bon’s eyes Are Sharing the same language mine and Illustra’s spoke earlier, he epiphanied.
One and the Very Same.
In a polyvisionic flash Spaniel saw what his next step was in this Epic Diegisis.
In the very next instant Bon-Bon began shouting:
“I Am Your Very Best Goddess! Goddamn Town! I Am Your Very Best Goddess!”
Then in Unison both she and Q began shouting alternately:
“My Wounds have stories to tell! You WILL LISTEN! Our wounds have stories to tell! We Must Listen!”
Spaniel now stood hand-in-hand. A human chain now formed with all the town’s unaffected-by-drumbeat outcasts and outcast supporters.
One-by-one Spaniel had been the guiding light from one unaffected standing to another and another in conga line fashion until all circled around Quelleayin standing upon the Tertius Sharp Grand Piano Statue.
In Unison, the Circle stomped and shouted the phrases Together:
“My Wounds have stories to tell! You WILL LISTEN! Our wounds have stories to tell! We Must Listen!”
while the silenced either lay or knelt in Surrender.
With each stomp the Four Directions of drumming finally manifested physically into the Town Square.
From the West came a group of Cacti – Drumming as One.
From the East came a group of Porcupines – Drumming as One.
From the South came a group of Pine Trees – Drumming as One.
And From the North came a group of Rainbow-Attired Indigenous Diaspora with vastly different skin tones; each with a colorful animal totem accompanying – Drumming as One.
When each of the Four Directions reached the Town Plaza Green –
Not a Sound was Made nor Heard.
A rush of invisible feet could be heard.
A stampede. The sound of Mammoth Beasts and Bison.
Quelleayin, the Outcasts, Spaniel, Bon-Bon, Illustra (emerging from behind another body in the crowd) and the Four Directions joined in the shuffle of feet making sounds.
Suddenly Quelle raised his hands and a large Rainbow Canopy flew over the heads of the whole crowd.
“Do Not Fear the next moment! No harm will be brought upon Our heads today! What you will hear now is the breaking of our old hurtful, painful, wounding ways to make way for new behavioral patterns. For if one of Us suffers, We All Do! Just as a bottle is broken to christen certain ceremonies of the past – so this moment ushers in a New Age.”
In that moment Quelle began shouting in agony!
“I Killed My Father! I did this secretly! Today I Am Free of this Secret! For my Father tried to kill me! A handful of you knew and stood by and did nothing! He would have taken out his wife, my mother, Illustra, too, if I had not stepped in. Now! I Am Free! My wounds knew this Greater Wound of Destiny all along! I Am Alive Now! More Alive and More Free than Ever Before!
I AM FREE! I AM ALIVE!”
These Are My Wounds Speaking!”
Quelle turned his back to the crowd and suddenly every one present realized that the wounds were speaking as Quelle spoke.
At the same moment every glass storefront window or any glass in a 360 degree radius for that matter blew into floatational pieces above the crowd and canopy; ushering in a breath of new neural pathways into the Town Square and every living cell around.
Simultaneously, every needle from every cacti, porcupine and pine tree flew off of their bark and skin. The needles flew over the crowd of the surrendered and poked holes into the levitating rainbow parachute canopy until petals of sunlight shone through in streams upon the Surrendered heads.
Then the needles took a threatening menace turn as they hovered above the silenced ones on the ground.
Spaniel then knew it was his time to join in leading the orchestra for in a moment of exhaustive weakness Quelle was allowing the silenced Havana and her dark minions to attempt to hijack his reparative anger; to cloud His True-True Nature.
Spaniel lifted his hands like a musical conductor.
“No! This is Not how Our Wounds Speak anymore, Most Holy High One! Your Power is Being Hijacked! Not cyclically violent, Q! No more, wounded warrior! No More Bloodshed!”
Spaniel turned to face the mind-manipulators; both male and female, who were clearly working based on their tense faces.
“Enough Bad Bitches!”
All the needles fell to the ground instantly without harm to the heads of the townsfolk.
Spaniel walked with the most dignity and poise the town had ever seen over to the Rainbow Of the North.
He looked each one in the face with eyes growing moist with deepest remorseful final remembrance, coffin nail closure and eternal karmic release.
“A long time ago I hurt animals! A long time ago I hurt children! In doing so I was hurting myself and my community even more. I AM FREE! I AM ALIVE! These are my Wounds Speaking!”
Spaniel went quiet and let the exclamations settle. Then seeing Quelle’s body shaking from sensitivity to all of the activity converging, Spaniel said:
“Rainbow of the North, would you join Quelle on the Baby Grand? His body is wracked with much pain and sorrow.”
The Rainbow of the North and each of the members’ identifying animal totems stepped up to and surrounded Q.
His wounds began crying out and speaking confessional story after story of all the wounded present. The wounds spit blood as they spoke and generated bodily convulsions.
Spaniel walked over to his 15 year old friend and said calmly with certainty:
“Quelleayin, the burden of these stories are no longer your own. It is time for us to step aside. To share our stories, yes, as we have done…and Ultimately to Step Aside.”
In Unison, all the Townsfolk began shouting their own dark confessions and deepest secrets. Even the silenced ones were finally allowed to speak…and speak and confess every one finally did as One; Together.
Suddenly, the sun shone full and bright upon the town square.
The Rainbow of the North and their animals each pulled out a feather quill from either their hair or their fur. Each quill was laid in a respectful pattern.
Suddenly, each of the quills levitated as the Rainbow of the North stepped back.
An old tortoise with a walking cane emerged from the alive animal totems along with a human Rainbow of the North elder.
A tiny bristlebrush cactus bounced out of the crowd of large cacti drummers.
A runt from both the porcupine and pine tree drummers emerged, as well.
Each one stood in the direction of the Four Corners from which they had emerged.
The levitating quills shivered.
Quelleayin’s back still faced the crowd.
Now, the tortoise revealed his back.
Three wounds could be seen.
The bristlebrush, the runts each revealed the same.
Spaniel waved his hands fluidly.
The quills flew to the wounds of each back and dabbed inside; drawing blood for ink.
For days in the aftermath of that fortuitous gathering, the Town was awash in candid, transparent stories.
Months and years later there existed more camaraderie amongst the townsfolk as a result of all the Honesty.
Rectification was taking the Town into new, creative, innovative Focus and Directions it had never imagined possible before.
There was an Expanding Awareness of both the Land and Spirit. No one was afraid to share their darkest secrets. If the secrets could potentially hurt another then it was acknowledged that it was much better to write them or share them without acting upon them. This method aided in addicts cleaning up quicker without unrealistic pressure of perfectionism or blemishless rehabilitation. If any being like Spaniel felt icky emotions to abuse then they were encouraged to share so the dark was known and could be artistically and therapeutically dealt with.
During this New Age, the Tortoise became a leading StoryTeller of the Town and Sacred Keeper of story texts and archives.
Now, any time the Tortoise encounters tourists; We speak with noble essence and grateful kinship acknowledgement:
“My name is Ka-Ki-I-Sil-Ma. Thank you for visiting Our Authentically Sacred and Autonomously Fun Town. Our Town, just like your own, has stories – both wounded and wonderful. We Imagine and Dream you will LISTEN to each One with an Open Nature and Creative Extension…Take what you need, give what you don’t and dearest One, Please, Share this Imaginative True-True Dream back Home with All Our Love-Is-Love ones. Do you have any wounds to share? If so, We Will Listen. We learned a long time ago the value of Courageous and Tender InterdepenDance. As long as We Are. Still. Breathing; We Always Will Be. We Always Will.”