The Freemason & The Boy

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Chapter Two - The Second Dream

He battled his mind against the pictures he was seeing. “This is just a film and it can’t be entirely true”. He still kept his attitude on his side of the bed he shared with his father.

A coffin drifted loosely in the air. There was a body in it. The coffin was airlessly closed. “A dead body or a live one?” he wondered. He reminded himself that he was only watching a movie and that the producer might have employed a skillful editor to add more effects to the scenes.

Two men seemed to have appeared on the scene from the walls by some magical means. They were both dressed in a black suit, black tie, white shirt and black pair of shoes, and they wore white gloves and a white piece of cloth adorned with metallic symbols at the extreme corners. They wore an apron on their jackets. They stood opposite each other. Their faces were not seen clearly. The darkness of the room precluded the boy from identifying them. The two men faced each other from the head of a grave. One on the north side of the tomb and the other at the south, they were speechless and were acting upon instructions.

There was a third who occupied a larger seat in the east of the room. The coffin was still standing in the air, about five steps away from where the third man gave strict orders. There was a small pamphlet on a much-superannuated table, which the man read the instructions from.

“Let the dead be buried symbolically and raised on the third day by the signs which distinguish every one of us.” the third man read royally from the booklet aloud. His words hit the walls and ears of the two men and echoed back to him. He held a gavel in his right hand and struck it against the table. A brassy sound resonated across the room.

The coffin mysteriously descended into the grave and from nowhere a trumpet sounded. Suddenly, the atmosphere of the darkroom was charged with harmonious hymns. All three men joined in the music. It seemed that there existed some unseen fellows of the men; they were just not there in the physical body but their voices could be heard in the lovely aura of the music.

The rather ghostly choir changed the joyful song to a more bereft one. And their voices were as if they were mourning the dead man in the coffin. Their hymns were piercing the heart of the boy and he moved his lips in harmony with the melody without pronouncing any of the words in the lyrics because honestly, he didn’t know the lyrics.

’Days and moments quickly flying,

Blend the living with the dead;

Soon will you and I be lying

Each within our narrow bed’

The men sang in unison and elegiacally.

“Wow, I love this song, I will learn it and sing to the boys when we go to play” the boy lifted his voice. He was no longer speaking in an undertone as previously.

His father wondered what was going on. He made an attempt to give him a jounce on the shoulder but lowered his hand and retired to his side of the bed again.

The singing ceased abruptly by a fulminant sound of a doorbell. Somebody attended to the door. Somebody the boy could not see. Somebody, he did not know. He just ascertained by imagination.

“Let the keeper of souls deposit his solace” the third man read again from the booklet and lowered his head in a court bow. The other two men also bowed their heads to welcome the keeper of souls.

A ray of light travelled in from the outside as the door opened. But it was only for a brief period and the boy still could not puzzle out any familiar face, movement or item. Another man entered; this he could only imagine from the soft and nearly silent footsteps.

The room grew darker and silent. Then a sudden fear gripped the boy. He didn’t know why he was scared. After all, it was only a movie, he thought.

The man who had entered was the supposed keeper of souls. He stood at the west of the room. Close to the exit. He faced the man in the east.

“Brief life is here our portion,

Brief sorrow, short-lived care:

The life that knows no end,

The tearless life is there

The morning shall awaken,

The shadows shall decay

And each true-hearted Man

Shall shine as doth the day.”

He dolefully recited a piece of poetry accompanied by a dirge tune played from an unseen piano in the background. And when he was done, a long cry emitted from somewhere in the walls, where the two men had come from, and it perforated the dark. Its pitch was so sharp that the boy had to blanket his ears from consuming all the noise it made. Then it was succeeded by wailings that sounded like the screams of a group of kidnapped children. The atmosphere was pregnant with air. The air flipped the pages of the pamphlet carelessly on the pedestal in the east.

It was getting scarier in the darkroom. Everything there was not making sense to the boy at the moment. He taught of switching the television off and drawing back to sleep, but his curiosity encouraged him a few more minutes. He found out he was sweating profusely and he cleansed his hands with a part of the blanket that covered his body and that of his father.

“On behalf of my fellow Brethren, we prize the worthy poesy of the keeper and give him the honourable privilege of raising our dead brother from the popular imperfect world to this our world of light.” The man in the east this time around said without consulting the pamphlet. He then descended the wooden altar onto the floor of the room and joined the other two men. He stood directly at the head of the grave at the west.

The seeker approached them from behind. He held a sword in his left arm and marched. He arrived at the east of the grave and stood at the other end, facing the third man directly. He cantillated a prayer as thus;

’The Lord’s my shepherd, I’ll not want

He makes me down to lie:

In pastures green; He leadeth me

The quiet waters by

My soul, He doth restore again

And me to walk doth make:

Within the paths of righteousness

E’en for His namesake.

Yea, though I walk in death’s dark wale

yet will I fear no ill

For Thou art with me: and Thy rod,

And staff me comfort still’

And all the four men in one rehearsed voice responded, “Amun”. The seeker then turned to lay the sword on the white table on the altar. He gently did so in order not to disturb the position of the pamphlet. He turned back again to face the other men; he knelt such that he could reach the inside of the grave by just an arm stretch.

The seeker lifted his hands into the sky. The wind blew harder and for once the boy felt cold. Thunder and lightning preceded a rainfall. The boy got up from the bed to the window and to his utmost amazement, it was raining heavily too. He was getting terrified. “Is this a film?”, he thought. He was terrified as the seeker chanted the words aloud, his voice vibrating through the boy’s room and the room in the movie.

“Euphoric sepulchre

dry bones

a soul

a spirit

a grave

a party

music and dancing

wet eyes

a biscuit

a cake

a smile

a funeral

mourning and dirges.”

The seeker continued his incantations, but this time he was aided by the third man. They didn’t look into the booklet. They recited it offhand, and corresponding to the sound of the thunder, they flowed with the slapdash tonal pattern of the raindrops against the roof of the room in the movie and that of the boy;

“Rejoice, here comes death

The whole motility of mortality

Is as if stepping over a grave

In this intricate movement is embedded

the whole secret of this transitory phase

And the poet is but another prophet of the time

His words may not be his or the moment

So this is a vaticination for a man;

While the sun or the light or the moon

Or the stars, be not darkened

nor the clouds return after the rain

When fear shall designate the keepers of the house

And the strong men shall bow before the altar:

The altar of life which the women will cease bathing

And return home to eternity with their naked curves.

Then let the words of the poet echo throughout the tomb

......... to be continued.

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