Saturday, October 11, 2014
The Lecture on Forensic Pathology--from my novel 2131--Copyright Kyi May Kaung
1. First strand of inspiration—Cracklin’ Rose--by Neil Diamond
2. Play Me--by Neil Diamond
3. Saya Aye Hlaing's economics lectures in Burma.
4. Grendel--by John Gardner
5. Norse legends, the Nebelungenlied.
Assorted dreams and nightmares.
Cracklin’ Rose you're a storm born woman (store-bought woman?)--POW-- Neil Diamond.
Play -- me--
You are the sun I am the moon
You are the words I am the tune
Song she sung for me
words that sprung from me
rhyme that sprang in me
fill the night
and what was right
you are the sun--
. . . Neil Diamond.
Dr. Kaye Robinson feared very few things. She feared least of all ghosts and dead people.
The People of the Berm Diaspora were all so uniformly traumatized, and so addicted to something or the other, that mere ghosts and skeletons and skulls had nothing on her, that is, until the skull she called Axe Wound entered her life.
It was the year that the joint congresses of Chimerique and Berm appointed her their Special Human Rights Envoy and Forensic Pathologist.
She remembered the first lecture very well.
She went out there with a bag of about five skulls, to an 18th century operating theatre, now set up as a regular theatre and lecture hall.
The forensic anthropology students and the creative writing students, about 40 of them male and female, and very different ages, ranging from a perky-looking female in a sundress with yellow daisies printed all over it, and a nasty-looking male curmudgeon of perhaps 89 (her grandfather?) were arrayed on the seats in tiers to close to the ceiling.
The old man was right in front, maybe due to his impaired hearing, and Daisy was right at the back, perhaps due to her extreme physical beauty.
Kaye did not know why she just knew they were related to each other.
She put her hand blindly into her duffel bag and pulled out a skull, and it just happened to be AW 1.
The axe wound had been made with an old iron axe.
It might have killed him, and he might have been simultaneously decapitated with the second stroke, probably of an ancient sword, which had left a "stump" of vertebrae 2 inches in length.
Kaye Robinson didn't tell them, and she herself barely registered that the other dominant personality among her 365 alters or alternative personalities was Dr. Khine Hnin Gywe, originally from Berm, who has just been secretly assigned by Congress to draw up the Lists.
Kaye did know in the back of her mind that her backyard in Konroe, Tejas, abutted on the black wrought-iron fences of Amenhurst Cemetery, and she kind of remembered that she had already been there to recruit the couple, Rust and Rawe, and they had already agreed to help her.
But she could not be 100% sure, as she was also having a lot of lost time, in which she was either with the game tender Schon in the Grand Tetons signing for the annual meat supply, or she was a madam running a whore house in New Geat, she just was not sure.
But when lecturing she always assumed a position of high authority and omnipotence. Hers was always the Goddess’ eye view, to go with her midnight blue suits and scarlet satin shirts which were just slightly tight, and usually had ruffles down the front.
But there was always Uncertainty nagging at her.
She wanted to, like her professor back in Berm, throw scholarly texts at the students at random, but she could hardly throw an ancient skull which was so rare and so fragile, not to mention precious.
But she did promise to send them assorted digital samples care of her teaching assistant.
In the end she barely got through with Axe as he got so disruptive.
Five minutes into the lecture, he started it.
She was pretty sure he started it.
She was saying, "This victim of a medieval head wound was probably killed by the axe wound to his head."
AW1 let out a loud guffaw.
"You academic types must state the obvious, mustn't you? I was still cussing, even with my head split near in half. Why else would that knight have struck off my head? Out of vengeance on a man already dead?"
The students giggled.
The old man harrumphed.
Kaye hurried on, "I do apologize. You're free to make any comment you like, but please save it for the end of the session. If you make a disruptive comment, I will have you thrown out of my class."
This was what she always said to difficult students, including embedded Berm spies who would not let the students sleep.
"The hell I care. I'm your prize specimen. Throw me out then."
Their audience whooped and whistled as if they were at a ball game.
Kaye glared at them over the tops of her glasses.
I'll fail the whole bunch of you, she thought.
She started to say something about the estimated time of death, but she subconsciously put her left hand in Axe's mouth as she did so, and he bit three of her fingers with his full set of remaining middle-aged teeth: Enough to draw blood and make her worry about tetanus or locked jaw.
She screamed and flung him away with her hand bloodied, and as a result skull AW 1 got thrown to the back of the room, where Daisy Print rose from her seat and caught him against her very soft bosom.
"Nice soft landing," Axe commented, "just the way I like it."
The students went hysterical.
From then on Dr. Kaye Robinson and Axe Wound were the stars of the Capital First Forensic Pathology Institute. They were regularly booked on all the major late night shows on TV, and Dr. Robinson got a large number of checks written out in her name.
She used a lot of that money for her U.G. work.
Daisy bounded down the steps with all the aplomb of an eighteen-year old with bobbed hair.
Axe leered all the way down.
Dr. R. had to dismiss the class early, because they just would not stop chattering and all wanted to come up and say Hi to the new star.
As angry as you please, she dumped Axe back into her denim duffel bag while he was still in mid-leer.
So what if he hurt his head?
He was already dead.
She made sure the buckle was secure.
On the way home, on the cross-town trolley, she thought, "OMG, I didn't know he had any remaining intelligence. OMG, the things I have been doing in my bedroom with all those skulls on my book shelves lined up in front of my books."
Axe Wound let out a loud yell of triumph.
That's when Kaye realized, oh my god, that it was even worse than she thought.
Not only could he think, remember, see and analyze and talk, he could also read all her thoughts.
Oh my god--she thought, as she clunked home in her sensible Berkfields.
Kyi May Kaung
Posted by Kyi May at 3:44 PM