He That Dwelleth In The Secret Place.
It was still early morning and there were few people outside anyway. A couple of joggers. A couple of walkers.
Adriaan was there off to one side, watching.
“Fing sau, fing yu.” The man ordered, and they had no idea what he was saying. But they watched him and tried to follow. And actually it wasn’t all that hard.
Mostly consisted of arms flying around and around in great big extended circles.
Down below them the broad winding river was shining in bright morning sun. It seemed like a huge shining silver serpent, covered in diamond dust blue.
The city was down below over on the left. Just far enough away down below to seem quite still and silent.
The air was clear and cool.
“See that.” He pointed downwards to the river. “That is the ancient all-coloured serpent spirit. First Nations people call it ‘the Wagyl.’ It protects this place.
“And we do now, the ‘six poisonous snakes striking mist.’”
“I can’t breathe with this stupid mask.”
“Well take it off.” Liz said. “There’s absolutely no one around here. Just keep your head facing that way. At the what is it – Wagyl Spirit?”
“I know how to do the wiggle. I think I can get into the wiggle spirit.” ‘*’ said.
“Well you better not. He sounds kinda gruff this kung fu master.”
“What are you talking about?! Are you talking about me?” He came over and literally slapped the girl on her ass. “Concentrate. No talking. ‘Six poisonous snakes striking mist.’ ...Like this. Like this. Like this.”
Strangely enough, after about fifteen minutes, and despite that they had never done anything like it before in their lives, they had found a rhythm, and were silently actually doing complicated things he had only just shown them ten minutes before.
Adriaan had joined in along the way. He was at the rear, and with a pretty decent grasp of all of the moves already right from the get-go.
Liz’s HUD switched on again and it showed their breathing – all of the breathing rates; what it had been -, and what it was now.
“Keep going, keep going.” But the strange man himself had stopped and was turning to face them and just implying the movements to them without really doing them properly himself right then.
“There are good snakes, and there are wicked snakes. The good snakes will kill you just as well as the wicked snakes. You must learn to handle all forms of snakes. You must evade them when they are hidden in the mist, but you must learn to perceive them when they are dragons in the clouds, or when they are serpents in the sea. The most powerful live in the clouds, and the truly most powerful reside in the heavens above.
“Now. Follow me, do as I am doing. Hold your left hand upwards, with the palm outward facing upwards to the sky.”
What the hell accent did he have? Liz thought.
“Stand... ...with your feet about shoulder width apart. Like that.” He came over to Liz and kicked her feet out a little with his slippered instep. “Like that. Yes.” He said to ‘*.’
“And, now – hold your right hand downwards, slightly extended forward, with your right palm open, facing outwards. Aim it down there – at the river.”
He turned, with his back to them, and faced the river himself, with the vast open space out in front of them and in front of the large mount -, at the top of which, pretty near the actual top, they were all standing.
“In the heaven is the god. In the clouds there is also a god. It will protect you. If you breathe in -, its smoke. If you breathe in -, the divine power of its breath. When you venerate the god, you will find it up there. That is where it is residing all the time. But it is everywhere – at the same time.
“When you advance -” and he stepped forward quickly. “You advance with the wind’s speed.”
And he did something too fast for them to really see it properly. “And when you attack – you strike with a violent deed.
“And then -, you withdraw... ...and assess your position to succeed.
“Look. See all those tall buildings that try to reach up to the sky. They are made by the wicked snakes. They want you to see them when you look up. That they are there and not the god. And they will not breathe life into you from above, but only death, and hardship. They will oppress you. And they will be to you, the false substitute for the god in the clouds; in... ...the heavens.
“But here, down there is the Wagyl spirit in the land, in this river. It is, like the first angels in Babylon, which are called in the Akkadian language ‘Gyr.’ It has dynamic force and power, and its energy comes up in a spiral... ...like this.” He made a sweeping gesture with his right arm.
“Breathe in now, through your palm, the smoke from the dragon up there, up there, in that cloud above you. Can you feel its force? It is going to breathe its fire and smoke into your palm. Now!”
Liz was sure she felt a jolt run through her whole body.
“This force rushes to meet the upward spiralling force from the spirit of the river, there. And it accumulates in your tan tien, here -.” He turned around and poked each one of them in the gut!
“Now. Close your right hand and ball it up making a tight fist. And do not let the energy flow out.”
“*′ couldn’t help herself. “Yes, Bruce Lee.”
“Be quiet!” He barked, scowling at her. “Do you want to be slapped on your bottom again?!”
And then he squinted and smiled like a wizened old man. “Aaah. Maybe, you like to be slapped! Bella, Bella! Beeeutifu(l).” He dropped the ‘l’ off at the end but somehow made it sound like he was still saying it anyway.
He went back to what he was saying. “Now... ...open up your right hand once again. Do you feel the difference?”
He turned away from them again and made the actions himself, commenting on what he was doing as he performed it all.
“With the power, the force, that is coming down through you from above, use it to flow out of your right palm – into all of the flowers and the plants here in front of you. Now how about all of the people living in the city there. Now how about to each other. Just flow it out to your friend next to you. Flow flow flow, it all.
“Now... ...close your right hand tight. And withhold the power. And now, open it up again and flow it out to your friend.
“Do you feel the difference.”
“Yeah!” ‘*’ exclaimed. “I can! Wow.”
“Now.” He continued. “Can you feel the Wagyl power spiralling up under your feet. The feeling is exhilarating!”
By this time, it was more than likely though that he had sort of mesmerised them, and so for sure they felt exhilaration: from the beautiful wildflower parkland setting, from the air they were breathing in rhythmic patterns, from the blood flowing through more dilated blood vessels, from the powerful narrative imagery he was using.
“The Wagyl and the cloud dragon are in love and they want to mate. And to make love.” He turned around to ‘*.’ “Do you know what that is?! You... ...are not supposed to know what that is. You are... ...too young to know what it is.”
“I know what it is.” She said, in a juvenile, almost churlish, but also quite conceited way.
“Okay. You can put your hands down now. And relax. Ah... Haaaaaaa.” He breathed out loudly.
‘*’ copied him making a deliberate loud noisy sound of breathing out, because she thought that was what he wanted them to do.
“Now. How many of the wicked snakes that run the world, do anything in the way that makes you feel exhilarated? Anything? Anything? Anything at all?
“Or do they make you feel miserable, oppressed, and dominated? Ha ha ha ha ha” He threw his head back, laughing. ...Sounded totally faked, playing-to-the-imaginary-gallery laughter though, Liz thought.
“That is why you must leave the world. And join the kung fu monastery. With master! ...Now we go back inside.” He concluded, evidently finishing with his programme out here.
As they walked he approached close up to the tall bodyguard... ...who had just then been turning to walk back with all of them, since it appeared as if the kung fu man was pointing them away now and back up to their residential block which was only just a very short distance away; in fact right there near them where they had been on some open turf there, messing around. The bodyguard slipped and fell over. Like Joe Biden slipping, going up that walkway to his plane that one time. He just slipped and fell right over. The kung fu man already had him by the hand though, his own right hand firmly grasping the other man’s outstretched right hand as the bodyguard was halfway in the action of falling -, and he controlled his landing, and helped him back up onto his feet.
“Oooh.” He said, feeling Adriaan’s biceps. “Nice muscles.”
As they were making their way back up to the building, at its entrance, the funny guy said: “I knock it off now right, okay? It was all just an act. Did y’all like it?” He looked downwards at his black slippers, his head bowed down.
Liz thought that was quite cute, his looking down at his feet.
“Hey by the way -,” she poked at his chest with a finger. “Where were your students that you said were going to be there?”
He flashed a broad grin back at her. “Ah well that was all of you.”