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Theophilus Mog – Chapter Nine

This story has to be precluded with a note. This is absolutely necessary.

Note: Of all the many lives of Theophilus Mog, there is none as freakishly impossible as this. The chances of this happening is so close to zero that I wouldn’t bother even trying to calculate it. But as was once said by Douglas Adams, anything impossible almost always happens, usually immediately.

It starts with the birth of Elsina Drakhov, Theophinus Mog, in a small village outside Moscow. She was the daughter of a farmer, Boris Drakhov and his wife, Elena Drakhov. She was born like a normal baby, from her mother’s womb in the middle of the night at the least convenient time possible. Elina Drakhov was an experienced woman at birthing even at the tender age of 26. Well, relatively tender. She had witnessed numerous birthings of lambs, horses and cattle. She had seen the tiny bodies emerge from the body of the mother animal and her heart was in her mouth. Not the tiny animals, Elena’s. So when her turn came, she did not panic. She screamed but only out of pain, not of fear. She felt that her child would be destined for great things and she was right. Elsina Drakhov was born healthy and she developed into a healthy child. She made friends easily and she never complained of bullying. Everybody gets bullied at some point. How you react is what sets you apart. Elsina showed a maturity beyond her age, beyond any age to be honest because most adults are as ridiculous as children. When she was a child, she never feared the dark. She would stare at it with wide eyes as if asking for it to open up and give up it’s secrets. But it never did. Because it was the Darkness and the Darkness is nothing without its secrets. She wasn’t afraid of ghosts or ghoulies or the bump in the night. She never checked under her bed or behind her cupboard door. She never came home crying about a lost pen or coin. When she grew older, this same behaviour continued through her relationships with boys. Her heart had been broken a few times but she had always accepted it and dealt with it. This made her parents very proud. And scared.

When asked about why she was always so sensible, Elsina simply replied, ‘Because I understand God.’ This perturbed everyone who heard it. Usually it perturbed them so much that they stopped talking and went away but some of them didn’t have that much sense and would probe her more deeply. For if there was one thing people can’t stand, it’s someone who knows more than them. Elsina would wave away further questions though. This enraged the stupid people and soon she was branded ‘a freak’. She dealt with it. Like she had dealt with everything.

Little did they know that the answer they were all looking for was lying in the bottom drawer in the desk in her room. It was a book. A notebook. With blank pages and thin neat handwriting all through it. And at the end of the book, there was a map. What was the book? It was a diary. The diary of someone who didn’t have a friend who was in a place that they didn’t really understand and needed some space to write their thoughts down. To make sense of it all. It wasn’t Elsina’s diary. Oh no. It was someone much more important. Elsina called him ‘God’ because that’s what everyone seemed to call him. But she knew he referred to himself as Yolf. Yolf’s diary showed him to be quite a confused soul. He had been very young at the beginning of everything and didn’t know what to do with all of it. According to the diary, he had spent the first few million years waiting for someone to turn up and tell him what to do. He realized then that there was no one else. There was nothing else. There was just Him. Yolf began making things. And he made many things. Then he combined the things he made. Again and again. To make more things. Soon things started making themselves and Yolf had got very excited. He saw it as a giant playground. And he danced through it, creating as he went. And whenever he saw things happening on their own he would stop and watch, fascinated by the complexity that had developed from the simplicity he had imagined. That’s when he found Life. To say his mind was blown would be to put it lightly. He learned the How over time but the What never stopped fascinating him. And then he found Death. This came as a terrifying shock. He had never even pondered the thought of the idea of an end to himself. This scared him a little but he knew somewhere deep down that he would not die and he shook away the sensation. That’s when he thought of the concept of heaven. He wanted a place that people could go when they died. He could stop people from dying but then he’d have to rub everything out and start from scratch and that sounded like way too much work. So Yolf created heaven. He put a lot of thought into it and was pretty pleased with the result. The diary had a lot more in it but that’s the important bits. And the map? It was a map to heaven.

To say that it was the diary that had made Elsina like she was would be a grave injustice. Elsina read and more importantly, she understood.

Elsina grew from girlhood to womanhood and she retained her poise right through it as well. She kept the diary and map safe and secret from everyone the whole time. She never once doubted it’s authenticity. The warmth of the pages itself convinced her it was no ordinary book. She would lie awake at night at the end of the terrible days that life throws at you. There would be no tears. Nothing you could see. Just the war inside of your head screaming words like blood, hate, pain, sorrow, sweat, uselessness, suffering. And she’d lie on her bed for a while and then she’d open up the diary and look at the map. And she reminded herself that she could go away anytime. Anytime she wanted. But she never did. She grew old, holding the diary so tight her fingers left marks on the cover. They seemed to add to the beauty of the book, well, the beauty you could see from the outside anyway. She never married. She didn’t find the right person. It wasn’t too big of a deal. One day, she woke up and found herself old enough to die and she was scared. And she decided to travel the path of the map. The first instruction on the map was to take 5000 steps in any direction. Elsina started walking. She walked and she walked and 5000 steps later, she stopped. She looked at the map and the next instruction was to shout, ‘I’m ready’. Elsina shouted. Suddenly, from around her sprang up the cement contours of a bus stop. There was a back wall and a canopy with one seat exactly under it. The back wall and the canopy were even covered by a large Ads powered by google. Elsina sat down waiting for a bus to come. And she waited. And she waited. And she waited some more. But no bus came. Hours, days, months passed and Elsin Drakhov passed away and the bus stop folded in around her.

She was found and buried and the diary was thrown into a box of her possessions and kept in the Drakhov house. Where it was found six years later by Big Ivan. Big Ivan was actually quite little, but was relatively big for a boy of six years. He was Elsina’s cousin’s son and he was also Theophilus Mog. Ivan read the diary and was amazed. But he did not understand it. He kept the book back in the box like a good boy and went back to playing cops and robbers with Constantin from next door. It took thirty years and a lot of getting knocked down and getting back up before Ivan found the book again, read it and understand it. By this time, life had changed from the tiny Big Ivan to a big hulking man Ivan. He was an electrician. A proud man of the working class with a mane of bushy black hair. He had heard tales about his aunt Elsina and had just thought of her as a bit of a kook but now he started to believe in her. But unlike Elsina,, Ivan had a family. His wife, Maria, had been introduced to him by Constantin at a party and they had liked each other instantly. It took him one and a half years to work up the courage to ask her to marry him. She said yes before he could finish the question. She had been waiting for the last six months and she didn’t want to waste anymore time. They had two sons, Vlad and Andre. Ivan wanted the walk the path of the map but he knew his family needed him and so he stayed. He worked and he laughed and he loved and he lived. Slowly, his sons grew up and married and went away. Vlad to America and Andre to the house next door. After that, him and Maria lived quietly, waiting only for their grandchildren that Andre had promised to give them. Then, Maria died. She went quietly in her sleep and Ivan grieved for her but he also thanked God for her painless passing. He could feel the weariness in his own bones and he remembered the map. He dug it out of where he had hid it so many years ago and started down the path. He walked the five thousand steps and shouted out ‘Im ready’ and the bus stop sprang up around him and he marveled at it. Then he sat down and waited. And he waited. And he waited. And he waited some more. But no bus came. Hours, days, months passed and Ivan Drakhov passed away and the bus stop folded in around him.

Andre found his body in the forest, the news of his wife’s pregnancy dying on his lips. He named his son, Ivan. Little Ivan was a peculiar boy. Not peculiar in the sense that he  was again Theophilus Mog. At this point, that comes as no surprise. Clearly something is going on that doesn’t really pay attention to what we would call ‘good sense’. Peculiar as in that he was born and raised in front of a fancy television. He showed no interest in anything else. Except watching TV. He watched every show regardless of what it was about. And that was how his childhood passed. To call it a wasted childhood is to claim upon oneself an understanding of life that can be considered at the very least, presumptuous. Ivan grew up to be a nice enough man. Never very sociable but very knowledgeable about TV listings. He would always even when older, finish his job as a bus driver for the local public transport department, go down to the pub and stare at the screen over his beer. Then, one day, he found the map. It was quite by accident. He was rooting through his grandfather’s old possessions, looking for something he could sell when he saw it there. An old book. He would’ve thrown it away but there was a warmth emanating from it that startled him. He picked it up and skipped through all the boring words, to the very end where he saw the map. And his eyes widened. And his mouth opened so wide, it couldn’t open any wider. He wasted no time. The very next day he walked the 5000 paces and said the words, ‘I’m ready’. He watched the bus stops spring up about him with incredulity and even a nod of appreciation. It was clean. There was so many bus stops that just weren’t worth stopping at. This wasn’t one of them. And he sat down to wait for the bus. But it didn’t come. Finally, an idea struck his head. He ran back to the depot and clambered into one of the vacant buses. Pasternak, the superintendent, ran out and tried to stop him but Ivan was already tearing away. He drove up to his bus stand. Opened up the map and followed the rest of the instructions by himself. He drove and he drove and suddenly he found himself turning a corner into heaven. He could tell by the angelic music and the gigantic white marble gates before him. He honked impatiently and shouted to them to open up! A little time passed and the sound of scurrying was heard from behind the gates and then someone opened a flap at eye level and slipped a small note out. Ivan jumped down from the bus and ran to pick it up. It simply read, ‘IT WAS A METAPHOR, YOU RETARD.’

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