It was upon this flimsy framework that Tiberius Bach was born. Conceived in a stream of notes and born into a silicon typewriter that framed bytes that formed words but were really just a bunch of zeroes and ones when it came right down to it. Another frame of reference thing, surely. But Tiberius floated there and his embryonic form slipped from timeframe to timeframe. He plotted to have a plot. He schemed to have a theme. But none of these were guaranteed and he accepted his limitations. TB understood that his existence was tenuous. He thinks that chaos will be his guide and he's write. But upon the sixty spines of the temporal dragon he ignores the warnings and jumps into the pool of night. He isn't scared of the anti-infinity there and when death reaches out a skeletal hand TB grabs it. And so his life/death begins again and he stands on the checkerboard and screams out "Mate!". But there is no King.
Multiple eddies of the unconscious begin to form around him and the white and black squares fade away. Suddenly he is fringed in blue and and the Quatrain looms ahead. The headlight mocks him as it approaches, though he is beyond reproach. Nonetheless, TB steps aside as the wooden planks of a platform form underfoot and the rushing air whooshes, and then there is silence. A glistening, black railcar looms in front of him. He steps aboard knowing full well that there is nothing else to do. Somewhere a whistle screeches and the iron will shudders to life. He wanders through a dimly lit car full of boasting brocade that seems wondrous and mysterious--like a heaving bosom--but a passing light spoils the illusion. TB sits wearily, for the passage into being has tired him. Tinny vocals fill the train car as he tries to relax. But his heart is pounding relentlessly in time with the dull sound of of the tracks that glide by beneath steel wheels. He thinks of the conductor for a moment. But he's wise enough to sit and wait.
Insular feelings enclose him. There's still time to listen to Dante and abandon hope. But there's a station ahead. It calls to him like a carrion bird. It holds his greatest pleasure and his descent into madness. Suddenly, the duality repulses him and he yearns for the yin-yang singularity of the checkerboard. But there is no shelter in absolutes in the station. Only putrescent corpses animated and dancing to a thousand songs simultaneously. Surely the minstrel is a madman, yet the dance continues, and the corpses seem none the wiser. And how they laugh between wails of agony. "Is this all I can hope for?" thinks TB. As the train stops he is filled with purpose. I conducts his own invisible orchestra with a feral ferocity. Song number one thousand one joins the party and many decaying faces turn toward him. He plots to kill the minstrel. "I am greater!" But when he finally focuses on the orchestra pit he sees a thousand versions of himself dressed in bloody tuxedos and shooting the finger. The conductor laughs from behind him and kicks him in the back. TB hits the platform hard and the ego-sense is knocked right out of him. "That was a close one," we muses.