This blog was created as a tie in to my graphic novel(la) series Threshold, an ongoing project first initiated in the final year of my BFA. This series, and contextual material surrounding it, is currently forming the bulk of my MA practice. Central to the series is the city of Threshold: a topographically unstable and ever-shifting morass of in-between and tranistory spaces that silts into existence at narrative peripheries.

The intent is to create a space where the city of Threshold, and the conceptual basis behind it, can be fleshed out in greater detail than is possible in the graphic novel format, and to tie in some of the other projects involving the city that are only alluded to elsewhere.

All completed installments of the series can be viewed on this blog, while printed copies are available at http://stores.lulu.com/arcanestudios or through APE Games at http://www.ookoodook.com/.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Story Circle: King

The King decreed that the world would end next Tuesday, at seven minutes past nine. This announcement was greeted by the court first with amusement, then surprise, segueing rapidly into a cacophony of outright panic.

One dashing young Marquis announced his intention to spend the remainder of his days blind drunk, while a stately Baroness discussed plans to hire chefs from around the world, so that she could sample the finest delicacies to be found in all the land. One courtier, cackling all the while, stripped off his garments and capered about the throne room in a frenzy, provoking laughter, applause, or disgust, as appropriate.

"Now listen here", said the King to the assembled, "You're construing this in an entirely improper fashion. Now is not the time to degenerate into mindless revelry. Now is the time to get things done. We can't have the world ending with matters standing half-complete. We have to be ready. To put things in order".

The court sobered remarkably at these words, and stopped to ponder this new perspective. All agreed that this was not a time to abdicate responsibility, but rather to realize it, and bring affairs to their natural conclusion.

And so the kingdom prepared for the world to end. Bills were passed, cases were judged, sentences carried out. Roofs were re-thatched, construction projects completed, dilapidated structures torn down and dismantled. Inventories were checked, accounting ledgers balanced, loans called in and repaid. Marriages were made or dissolved, poetry and verse was composed, and artists and craftsmen laboured frantically to complete their final pieces. Livestock were slaughtered, what crops were in season were harvested, cellars were stocked. The smallest bit of disrepair was mended, and everything was washed, scrubbed, groomed, clipped, scoured, pressed, or polished until it shone.

Everyone was so caught up in bringing things to completion that they had not much inclination to ponder what form the end of the world would take. The few who did would stand about, gaping aimless and overwhelmed at the scope of the situation before them, until someone else came along and shoved a mop/hammer/brush/etcetera into their lax and unresponsive hands.

In no time at all, the date arrived. The populace gathered in public courtyards and squares, scrubbed and shining, garbed in their best clothes, tremulous with anticipation, waiting for the world to end.

At seven minutes past nine, the king was found dead in his armchair, the faintest of smiles gracing his lips.

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