THE EUCLIDIAN PARROT
Polly woke at an early hour and looked out of her apartment window which looked across Berlin’s beautiful Tiergarten as she ran her fingers through her hair. She was a young, although mature, dark haired creature with large explosive eyes and tremendously long lashes and the most fabulous legs any man could run his imagination up and down, yet she did not think she was attractive, in fact, she thought she was quite plain and ordinary.
Polly Vaughan had recently left her position as a mathematics lecturer at Oxford to take a senior position at the Berlin Mathematical School. As a lecturer in pure mathematics she had been consumed by the notion of infinity and there were many a male student who sat lusting after the beautiful Miss Vaughan all to no avail for the delectable Miss Vaughan was married to her career and her love of numbers! At Oxford Polly had produced an extremely entertaining paper titled: ‘The Poldark-Putin Paradox’ which brought her some minor notoriety and in some quarters ridicule as it stated that ‘all men have torsos but not all great torsos belong to great men’ a reference to the two gentlemen in the title; feminists attacked the thesis on grounds that it suggests that all women want of a man is a ‘decent set of abs’ when every woman knows that men are too lazy to achieve this and if they do it is because they are too vain or probably gay! But the thesis was also championed at the colleges by fans of Ross Poldark and Aiden Turner who played the character of Poldark.
Polly was born an only child in the Welsh town of Kidwelly and as a dreamy child she was infatuated by two things and two things only – numbers and the spirit’s journey after death! She felt it emphatically and felt it all around her for she saw it in the birds and the animals and in the people about her; the old superstitions were still rife and the mystery of death still haunted the valleys of Wales. There was no denying it and even a hundred years of self pleasure would be of no consequence to the young Polly Vaughan for she had no interest in romance and the usual dreams of young girls and she decided to dedicate her life to the pursuit of numbers and the art of mathematics. She gleaned facts from life like a magpie and treasured all the knowledge she collected and accumulated long lists of enormous events like equations which she would add to, for knowledge was everything and the ordinary ways of the world seemed very dull by comparison to art, science history and mathematics!
Along Karl-August-Platz Polly would walk with the music of the universe singing in her ears and the catastrophic whirl of numbers revolving in her mind. At the Mathematical School Polly was thrown towards the Provost and sought him out whenever she could to be near him and look into his deep eyes for the truth was that during the short time that Polly had been at the School, Polly was falling neck over knickers in love with him! The Provost, Jonathon Lutz, was a man from Hamburg who was educated in England during his tender years; a tall and thin man in his mid-thirties who talked with the faint breath of a sparrow and leant in close during conversations as if his ears were tuned to a different frequency and struggled to grasp the sound of language. But for all the childish advances of the lovely Miss Vaughan, Mr Lutz seemed indifferent and showed no affection in return whatsoever, yet still Polly persisted in her endeavours towards Mr Lutz. Poor Polly was not very skilled in the art of love and of ‘wooing’ for she failed miserably to notice that Mr Lutz had an inexhaustible knowledge of women’s fashions and a deep interest in fabrics and colours; that he had an unwholesome fixation upon Judy Garland and musicals and enjoyed singing show-tunes in general and had a way of walking which was much too feminine to be classed as anything manly, in fact, there seemed to be nothing ‘manly’ about Jonathon and everybody knew it but Polly for none of these things seemed to hammer the nail home in poor Polly’s mind!
It was while walking in Henriette-Herz Park with Jonathon that Polly noticed a man who seemed to be signalling to Mr Lutz and he came forward and greeted them. The man, who was named Heinrich von Durstburgerdorf was a stout old man dressed in a faded suit from a bygone age; a man who had once been quite an important figure in Berlin society until some sort of public downfall. He bowed towards Polly after Mr Lutz introduced her and she noticed that one of his eyes was larger than the other one which made him look like some sort of owl with a halve closed sleepy eye and one wide-awake eye! Then the old man turned to Jonathon and said: ‘Sie ist hübsch, sie spricht Deutsch?’ to which Jonathon shook his head, saying ‘Nein!’
‘Sie wird tun!’ said the old man, delighted with the young woman companion of his friend. Then he continued: ‘Wie geht es dir mein iunger Freund?’ but before Jonathon could answer the old man said with a nudge of his elbow ‘Berlin ist berühmt für seine zarten jungen Ärsche!’ and he laughed. Before Jonathon could wedge a word in here or there the old man said ‘Es hat sich nach viel Vorbereitung fur die Nacht gewesen. Wir sind zu tief fur Zweifel Herr Lutz, von denen mussen Sie die konsequenzen erkennen.’
‘Ja Meister!’ answered Jonathon.
‘Wir müssen kümmern Herr Lutz, es besteht die Gefahr der Exposition überall!’ and here the old man spat upon the floor as if to end his sentence with a full-stop!
‘Meister’ said Jonathon, ‘Hagel im Namen unseres Herrn, des Teufels!’
The old man bowed slowly and said ‘Ich kusse sie hand und Satan’s schwanz bis zum nachsten Treffen wir Herr Lutz!’ The old man then turned to Polly saying ‘Forgive me Fraulein for speaking in my own tongue!’ and he smiled revealing a gap in his front teeth which glared ominously in its dark loathsomeness as he continued ‘you vill find us most hospitable!’ The old man then laughed and said ‘I am afraid I have not been feeling myself lately, unlike our friend here Mister Lutz who I am afraid to say Miss Vaughan, feels himself much too often for my liking!’
Polly blushed and turned away and Jonathon said nothing in return.
Looking at Polly, the old man with a wild twinkle in his eyes suddenly seemed to become energised and more animated as he said:
‘Fraulein, how like the beautiful Eva Braun you are!’ and he stamped his foot upon the ground and made a fist which he shook in the air. ‘I knew her as a child’ he continued ‘for I served in ze Hitler Youth; such a fresh glow… Of course it vas ze glorious days of ze mighty Third Reich,’ and here the old man attempted to click his heels but stumbled forwards upon his walking stick; the temptation to follow this with a Nazi salute was overwhelming, yet he restrained himself which to him was just as difficult as a young adolescent boy refraining from keeping his hand from his genitals at every opportunity! Heinrich, after righting himself, continued, ‘I remember ze days ven Heir Hitler unt his concubine Eva Braun ver in Bavaria – unt vot vhoopee zey made! Vot vhoopee!’ The old man said this while making revolting gestures with his body and thrusting himself with his walking stick between his legs into the most sordid shapes while raising his finger and thumb to his lips and pushing his lascivious tongue through the hole he made with them!
Polly turned away disgusted and offended, thinking how unbecoming it was of an octogenarian! As they parted the old man shouted after them saying ‘remember Mister Lutz that masturbation is a one-horse race!’ and he was gone, wheezing and laughing to himself into the distance.
Polly’s life had seemed like one long fairy-tale; she was an only child and since childhood she had had fantastic dreams, the significance of which she could not fathom and put it down to her vivid imagination; dreams of cosmic interplay that seemed to linger between this world and the next as if unable to penetrate the veil that separated them; the thin and fragile line between the dimensions like the surface of water which holds firm the dimension of water against that of air. Polly had a dream such as these just two nights ago when she dreamt that she had a visit by the Father of Geometry himself – Euclid! Polly may have failed to notice the terminal expression upon Jonathon’s face every time she attempted to get close to him and seduce him in her terrible way but she could hardly fail to notice the beautiful full moon above her just as she could hardly fail to notice the importance of the dream. In this dream, Euclid spoke to Polly saying that all language in the beyond is universal and that the human race has only discovered one-third of the elements found within the Solar System for many are not visible and many are the subtler energies not yet recognised by man, much as our eyesight only sees certain spectrums and our ears intercept certain frequencies. Euclid went on to hint at the possibility of time-travel and new ways of space propulsion which he said would be unorthodox to speak of as there is a form of justice beyond for those who break the code and impart future destinies which may or may not change the course of time!
The next day Polly told her dream to Jonathon who brushed it off with a casual ‘oh, it’s only a dream, I wouldn’t think too much about it! After all, you are a mathematician who clings to logic; propositions deduced in language which apply to definite rules of reasoning! It was merely a fanciful dream - Ein phantasievoller Traum!’
‘But dreams are important, they have meaning! I have rejected God and there is nowhere else to go!’ said Polly.
‘Oh I don’t know’ said Jonathon, ‘there’s always Blackpool!’
It was a grim October’s morning when Polly was walking along the Bellevuestrabe, the light was strangely compelling as it filtered through the almost bare branches of the trees, and with no clear way to Jonathon’s heart she sat down with a deep sadness upon her. She remembered how two days ago the old man had greeted her with his obscene gestures and how frightful he had been talking of the old world and its horrors like some old forgotten relic of a hateful and cruel period in time; like a ghost of the battlefield come to haunt her and fill her with dread and fury. She saw his large eye overshadowing his smaller eye and the horrid expression on his face as his tongue circled and poked through the hole made by his finger and thumb – ‘what a disgusting old man!’ she said to herself. It was shortly after these distressing thoughts that she felt a cold chill enter her body and with some fear and trepidation she returned to her apartment.
She wasn’t long at the apartment when she received a call from Jonathon asking if he could meet her for coffee and that he had something important to discuss with her. Polly agreed to meet him and wondered what the urgency could be, and not thinking too much of it put on her coat and set out again. Jonathon was already waiting at the coffee shop and seemed to have a strange expression on his face; he was extremely cold towards her when she greeted him. Polly sat down at the table tucking her long slender legs underneath.
‘What is it that’s so important Jonathon?’ Polly enquired.
‘I have been asked to attend a conference in Stuttgart and will be away some time’ he replied ‘and it may mean that you take on a little more responsibility at the School I’m afraid!’
‘I don’t mind that Jonathon’ Polly said with a sadness in her gaze which only a heartless fool would fail to recognise. Jonathon, of course, saw nothing unusual in her look. They sipped at their coffee in silence for a while as Jonathon sat looking at his watch and Polly stared into her cup. After a short time Jonathon received a phone call and excused himself to Polly as he spoke to the caller:
‘Ja wer ist es? Heinrich Ich erwarte deinen Anruf!
Ich bin dabei, es jetzt zu tun!
Nein, sie vermutet nichts!
Ich werde später mit Ihnen sprechen, wenn es fertig ist! Liebe zu unserer Dame Lilith! Auf Wiedersehen!‘
Then there was a long silence again as Polly sipped at her coffee and Jonathon looked everywhere but into Polly’s eyes until eventually, turning to Polly, he said ‘I almost forgot’, breaking the awkward silence, ‘I wish to give you something’ and he pulled out of his pocket a small gift which was wrapped with care. In giving it to Polly he accidentally dropped it on the floor and she bent under the table to pick it up. ‘Oh, I’m very sorry Polly!’ Jonathon said as Polly returned the gift to the table and carefully un-wrapped it. ‘What is it?’ she said with a puzzled look on her face. ‘Oh it’s a brooch, of a bird, a very queer looking bird with bright colours! It’s beautiful! What bird is it?’ she asked.
‘It’s a very ancient depiction of an exotic bird and I want you to have it!’ Jonathon exclaimed.
‘Looking at it more closely it looks like a parrot!’ said Polly, smiling at Jonathon.
‘Now that you come to mention it, it does look like a parrot!’ Polly thanked him and with this Jonathon rose as if to go but not before taking Polly’s hand and saying goodbye to her which he did with an equal coldness as when he greeted her!
That night Polly had such disturbing dreams that she felt the next world press close to her, much too close for comfort it seemed and she could not get rid of the image of the old man, and Jonathon turning his cold stare away from her and the parrot on her bedside table where she had put the brooch, rising and squawking and saying in almost perfect English: ‘Before the fruition of love – the mask of enchantment!’ which the bird repeated over and over again. The dream was very vivid and she could feel herself on her own bed yet she was unable to move or speak.
‘Before the fruition of love – the mask of enchantment!’
She felt that she was not alone in the room and that a dark presence was moving around the bed, a female form or what appeared to be a woman in the darkness moving around the room like a lithe and lissom panther and as she came closer she could make out the features of the woman which were altogether not quite right. The woman, for it was definitely a woman was slender yet sinister in her appearance and Polly could do nothing to protect herself from the woman for she felt herself to be held within some cosmic force which she could not comprehend!
‘Before the fruition of love – the mask of enchantment!’
Closer came the shadowy woman and as she did so she spoke words which Polly did not recognise, words which were almost vulgar and animalistic in their sound, yet compelling in their beauty also. Fear flashed through every nerve and fibre of Polly’s body as the woman came towards her and touched her face and shoulder and she could feel her hands all over her body touching her in places which had never been touched before, writhing upon her immoveable body; Polly could feel the long hair sweep against her skin which tingled and yielded to the soft lips of the thing, touching her every intimate recesses with an infernal passion…
‘Before the fruition of love…’
Then she fell into a deep sleep and could remember nothing else of the experience.
She awoke the next day more perplexed than ever and seemed very out of sorts. What did it all mean and who was the strange visitor that entered her sleep? It had all seemed so real but Polly put it down to the usual stress and upset of a new job and being thrust into the responsibility that entails. Polly took the small brooch and pinned it to her dress and went to work at the Mathematical School, much as she had done for the past two months she had been working there. All day she could not shake away the feeling of being different to her usual self and she could not really settle to any industrious work for long periods without the thought of the sinister visitor from her dreams wandering into her mind and the parrot with its ‘‘Before the fruition of love – the mask of enchantment!’ What did it mean?
That night she settled down to sleep much as usual and a cool breeze swept in at the window which she kept open a little as her apartment got quite warm in the night. The curtain danced gently as she watched from the comfort of her bed and drifted off into the realm of sleep once more. Time seemed a mere memory of numbers on a clock face and there was peace, utter peace in sleep. She could see the high street where she grew up in Kidwelly with its little tea shop and the river, and the church; her girlhood roaming through the dark doorways of the Castle there. Then suddenly she dreamt about floating on a vast lake that rippled in ever-widening circles and when she rose into the air to look down upon the lake she could see the ripples formed a huge eye, it was the eye of the old man obscenely winking in the water and from the centre of the eye appeared the parrot squawking with droplets of water falling from its feathers: ‘Before the fruition of love – the mask of enchantment!’ Polly felt herself dissolve in the eternal darkness of the nightmare upon her and from the darkness appeared the four walls of her room, her familiar room with her bed at one end and her form upon it. Suddenly she found herself lying on the bed and unable to move or speak but that parrot was echoing in her ears
‘Before the fruition of love – the mask of enchantment!’
Just then she felt once more that she was not alone and in her helpless state she lay there as some dark presence once more revealed itself to her. She looked into its eyes which were fiery red and she felt its warm insatiable hands enveloping her body. She felt every part of her body yield to the sensuous silhouette of the woman who consumed her; she felt that her soul was in the grip of this being and no matter how she tried she could do nothing to stop it. She felt the dread wrap of annihilation permeate her body as the thing caressed her like some enormous snake and tore at her as if it were a dark panther! And the lips once more kissed and pressed upon her flesh like hot pokers searing into her soft skin.
It seemed an eternity until the morning began to sweep in through the window and wash over Polly, bathing her in its golden glow and she opened her eyes. She felt very odd and was reluctant to stir from the comfort of her bed which during the night had seemed more like a prison. She felt physically weak as if she had not slept and there was a pain in her chest which caused her some distress.
Later that day she felt well enough to go out for a walk and tried to take her mind of it all; she found a little coffee shop and ordered coffee and sat down at a table in the corner by the window, looking into the street. As she sat there she noticed the brooch she was wearing and took it off. It was while she was examining it closely in her hands that she noticed something inscribed into the back of it, a strange symbol which she had never seen before. The symbol resembled an inverted letter ‘T’ with the ends forming little crosses or three swords with their points touching and the hilts outward and from the central vertical line was attached a curved line which hung from it like a reversed letter ‘S’, like a tail in fact. It was very strange and she intended to research the symbol to find out what it means. Perhaps it has some religious meaning she thought. At the next table two ladies seemed to be deep in conversation and discreetly observing Polly. Their conversation was spoken in hushed tones and Polly, not knowing anything of the German language thought nothing about the way in which the two women talked together:
‘Sie sieht aus, als wäre sie die ganze Nacht aufgestanden; Sie sieht aus wie sie von einem Regiment von Soldaten gefickt wurde!‘
‘Ich wette, sie erschöpft sie, bevor sie sie erschöpft!‘ and they both laughed.
Polly finished her coffee and headed back to her apartment.
Polly felt tired and decided to have a hot relaxing bath before sleep so she slipped out of her shoes and stockings and took her dress off and ran the water. She looked at herself in the mirror and she looked ancient she thought and she felt utterly exhausted; in fact, she felt so tired as she got into the bath that she could have fallen fast asleep right there and then. After a long soak in the hot water she got out she put on her night dress and suddenly remembering the symbol, she decided to sleep first and then begin the research as she was just too tired to stay awake. She got into bed and it was a matter of minutes before she was fast asleep; and it was also a matter of minutes before her dreams once again took a distressing turn. She felt her eyes open and she looked upon herself lying upon the bed; she could hear herself breathe and saw the motion of her chest rising and falling. Then suddenly everything went very dark and she had the strange sensation of floating in a vast nothingness, weightless as if under water. After what seemed an age she found herself standing in a room of sorts with pin-points of light and she could hear voices speaking. The voices appeared to be growing nearer to her until she saw two figures standing in a circle and the figures were robed. Polly recognised the voices as that of Jonathon and the old man with the funny eyes that she met in Henriette-Herz Park. They were talking in English and she heard the old man say ‘she still has rich pickings in her!’ Polly stood quite close to them and she felt as if she were a ghost for the two men could not see her and did not even know that she was there. It was extraordinary and exhilarating and very weird! She then heard Jonathon say that he had given her the magical brooch with the sigil of Lilith upon it and that even now she grows weak just as the cold moon waxes towards the full for the final evocation! ‘Meo periculo’ the old man uttered and followed it with "Vor der Frucht der Liebe - die Maske der Verzauberung!" and all was silence. Then darkness once more flooded her consciousness or whatever (or whoever) it was that was perceiving this vision and she felt herself being pulled towards some unknown and awful destination.
When Polly woke up the next day she shuddered to remember the dream, if in fact a dream it was, for it all seemed so real to her. As she got out of bed she felt a stinging pain all over her body and as she looked she could see scratches all across her flesh, her arms, legs and stomach; it was as if she had been attacked by a lion or some other type of big cat. Frightened and in pain she sat on the end of the bed and cried. After the awful truth of what was happening dawned upon her she realised she must do something and so she began to research what she now knew to be the ‘sigil of Lilith’ and to attain as much knowledge as she can on the subject. All day and all night she sat up reading and investigating various accounts of the demonic Lilith, evocations and ways in which to banish the spirits and demons and counteract any so-called ‘black magic’ practiced against one.
She came upon ‘The Lesser Key of Solomon’ with its conjurations and prayers, but she instantly dismissed this for its reliance on Christian mumbo-jumbo, and as she wasn’t much into God and the Church she would never allow one of those ‘filthy priests’ to perform an exorcism; she had always had a revulsion for those sanctimonious swine in the priesthood, ‘surplices and sodomy’ she called the Church. She had not one ounce of all that Christian rubbish in her soul; she would have to find other means of salvation!
Armed with the facts, she looked into alternative forms of exorcism and was immediately drawn to witchcraft with its more natural approach to the spirit and possession. She found a woman named Frieda Cox who practiced witchcraft and listened to Polly’s story intently and said she would help her. Frieda devised a ritual to rid Polly of the evil Lilith’s influence saying that at the moment there is only the first stage of possession but that they must not delay in their actions.
That evening, Polly went to meet Frieda at her home which was quite some distance away and she arrived just after eight. Frieda had everything prepared and there was no time to waste as she stepped into the circle of protection with Frieda after a ‘spiritual cleansing ritual’. The incense was thick and overpowering as Frieda intoned her incantations and made gestures with her magical implements and to give any more details as to the actual specifics of the ritual would be a betrayal to dear Frieda who worked solely for the benefit and spiritual advancement of humanity, but there were some mighty curses and bindings towards the evil Lilith whom Frieda felt to be outside the circle. Following the banishing of the demon Frieda completed the ritual with thanks to the Goddess and the ‘bright ones’ who watched over the ordeal and symbolically ‘opened a doorway’ from the circle to the outside world. The witch gave Polly certain instructions to follow concerning the brooch and to perform before she goes to sleep around her apartment and Polly thanked Frieda, weeping with tears of thanks. That night Polly strictly followed Frieda’s advice and instructions using salt around the bed and burning incense in the room before saying a protection spell and she got into bed. After a while she fell asleep and spent a pleasant, undisturbed sleep with no unnatural or infernal distractions in the night!
Feeling fully refreshed the next morning she had one more task to perform and that was concerning the brooch with the sigil of Lilith upon it. Frieda had said that ‘the recipient must send it back to its point of origin’ and that point of origin was Jonathon Lutz! Since her strange vision whereby Jonathon and the old man featured foul, she had known that it was possibly correct to say that Jonathon had not gone to Stuttgart and in fact he was more than likely still in Berlin! Polly adhered to this natural equation and calculated that he would be remaining out of sight at his home, communicating only with the outside world by phone and by post. She had also deduced that when Jonathon had handed her the brooch and it fell to the floor he must have tampered with her drink in some way too! In conclusion to all this Polly had bought an appropriate ‘vessel’ to send the brooch back to him and she hid it inside very carefully and wrapped the item and addressed it to Jonathon Lutz.
The next morning Polly dressed and went to the Mathematical School and all the talk amongst the lecturers was concerning their colleague Mr Lutz who had been found dead in the early hours of the morning. As more information surrounding his swift departure was made available it was revealed that Mr Lutz was found at home wearing ladies’ underwear and covered in brutal scratches, his eyes ripped from his head in a vicious attack and a look of sheer torment upon his face; beside his bruised and bloody body was a stuffed toy parrot! Two days later she read in the newspaper about the death of a local man named Heinrich von Durstburgerdorf who had once taken up the office of Bishop in Berlin but had had to give up the position due to rumours surrounding his private life and the corruption of children in the Church. Heinrich von Durstburgerdorf had taken his own life by cutting his throat with a German SS knife and his body was found at his home amongst his military collection wrapped naked in a swastika flag!
Polly was interviewed for the post of Provost at the Mathematical School but whether she took it or not remains unknown!