René Ghosh

Some short stories, thoughts, etc.

January 6th, 2013

On the Path of the Human Cockroach (fiction)

Somewhere near the end of the 10th century, a man traveled, on foot, from the city of Jeffrof to Merkzio. It’s no use looking on any map, these cities have long since disappeared from the face of the earth and have no existence save their historical one. The salient facts of Mancus’ expedition, however, are the following:

1. The distance from Jeffrof to Merkzio is roughly 400 kilometers.

2. Mancus started and ended the journey carrying no provisions, or even water, having decided to get all his nourishment from the lands he would cross during his travel.

3. Mancus was a member of an order of learned men, the Ollids, who were known to dabble in various arts having quasi-scientific roots.

4. The terrain of any path between the two cities is extremely varied, sporting mountains and valleys, marshland, deep forests and even a smallish desert.

So how did he survive? Specifically: what did he eat and drink? Mancus left behind an account of his travels, amongst which is the passage of Jeffrof to Merkzio. Mostly, his travel accounts are descriptions of people, laden with the ferocious judgments that he was prone to pass upon mankind. Mancus’ memoirs are an acidic read, dissolving any illusion that man is fit to govern himself and otherwise survive for long in a constantly changing world.

(...) Read more of 'On the Path of the Human Cockroach', a bizarro-style account of following in the footsteps of a 10th-century experimentor of biology.

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