I have the privilege of being friends with Brooklyn-based artist Daniel Jachym. Dan is a writer, musician (lead vocals for The Broken Robots), actor, and professional educator. He is a well-read, well-traveled, and kind-hearted gentlemen with a wild side that you'd pay good money to see (watch out, ladies, he's everyone's favorite bad boy). Posted below are two wonderful short stories that he wrote last year. Thanks Dan!
The Three Hunters in Search of Truth
There were three men, hunters, who traveled into the forest in search of the truth. Long they walked, and long they waited, but the truth did not appear. After six months one of the hunters, exhausted in body and spirit, decided to go home. His two friends tried to persuade him to continue with the journey, but his mind was made up. He left to return to his wife and children.
In honor of their friend’s failing attempt, the other two hunters redoubled their efforts, rarely sleeping as they pushed farther and farther into the deepest, darkest, densest regions of the forest. Their hardships and their deprivations were unspeakable. But for six years their resolve never wavered, until, quite suddenly, one of them fell ill. His friend did all he could to save him, but it was no use. The years of strain had caught up with the man, and he died.
So, the third hunter, remembering how he and his late friend had doubled their efforts when their first friend had gone home, decided to triple his efforts in honor of his second friend’s death. And for sixty more years he searched and searched, until one day he found himself, all of a sudden, outside the forest and on the road to his village. He was surprised and wanted to turn back into the forest, but his legs would not allow it. They continued to follow the path of his quest.
After walking several miles, he noticed that in the distance there was smoke, and then there was wailing, and his heart pounded as his legs strode, and coming over the crest of a hill, he saw his village: a great black hole. Decimated. A terrible crater in its center. And bounding down into its midst, he saw lying, covered, sinking, floating, in ashes and blood, fragments of many things: knives and forks, pots and pans, stools and chairs, roofs and walls, sheep and goats, cows and pigs, boys and girls, men and women. He stooped down to pick up an infant’s hand. It was so tiny.
Rage filled his heart. He cursed the perpetrators. “You sons of bitches!” Then tears filled his eyes as his heart burst, and he whispered, “Why do we do this to each other?” over and over again, until, in an instant, like a rustling that suddenly sweeps up into a huge and rushing wind, he realized that he had never stood so close to the truth. And with rapt and wild attention, with all the passion of his passionate life, he listened for an answer to his question.
But there was no answer. There was not a sound. Only the dripping of blood, and the crackling of fires, and the screams of the near-dead.
Art from: http://digital-art-gallery.com/picture/7446
Maybe you’ve heard, but maybe you haven’t. There’s a dude in Boston, name of Michael, got a room in this house in Brighton. Black dude. Whether that matters or not, I’m not sure, you tell me. Anyway, Michael, he’s cool, wears his head cocked to one side, got one of those caps with the little brim, kinda older guy, sharp leather jacket, but worn—everything’s worn about him. One of those guys that’s broken and unbreakable. Face, hands, socks, shoes. And he doesn’t say much, talks real gruff, but smooth.
Well, at night he goes into his room and takes off his jacket and his hat and puts on his crown and his cape and gets down on his hands and knees and draws his wooden sword out from under his bed. And he climbs up on a chair, and there, with his sword and his crown and his cape, he and he alone…but how do you tell it so someone understands that it’s not a joke and not a delusion, that this is real and this is what’s happening, and you will be tied down and screwed down whether you like it or not and injected with some stinking black potion that someone, SOMEONE, who the hell could say who, has decided to call knowledge or health or salvation or truth or goodness or honest upright for the betterment of society pay your taxes and put away your money and make sure you’ve got insurance and watch enough television and tell Uncle Sam and Auntie Google where you’re going to be at all times of the day, whether your cock’s in your hand or your head’s up your ass or you know your head from your cock from your ass from your elbow cause you don’t have to know cause you can always ask them and they’d be thrilled to tell you, only too glad to oblige “as long as I can see you naked,” and you, the rabbit in the stew, asking, “Now what is this dish called?” LIFE!
So this dude, Michael, what he does is he battles the devil. You see, the devil exists in many forms, but his true form is that of a giant snake, and Michael, what he’s gotta do is stab the snake through the heart without getting injected with poison or constricted—cause this snake is a constrictor and he’s venomous. The hard part (in addition to staying alive) is getting a clean shot at the heart, not only because the snake is always moving, but also because it’s hard to find the location of the snake’s heart, a snake not having any obvious body structure. So Michael’s always trying to get his housemate Scottie to help him, cause Scottie’s hobby is hunting snakes and he knows a lot about snakes. So, every time they’re hanging together in the basement smoking crack, Michael’s always asking Scottie about snakes, but Scottie keeps quiet and plays dumb, cause he knows what Michael’s trying to do, to get info out of him, and Scottie, he doesn’t go in for the God bullshit. In fact, he prefers Satan.
“I know Satan’s real,” he says. “That’s why I prefer him. And he doesn’t lie to you. God’s always pretending he’s there when he’s not. I only believed in God one time. I was fucking this girl for three months and I kept creaming in her and she never got pregnant. I thought it was a miracle. Then I found out some other guy was fucking her too and I called her a dirty bitch and slapped the shit out of her and she moved to Revere with him. And he never got her pregnant neither. Fucking sterile whore.”
So Michael’s gotta do it on his own, with no help from nobody, not even Scottie. And it’s a lonely and a thankless job, not to mention dangerous. And some nights he’s just not really up for it, but he does it anyway, sets on his crown, clips on his cape, gets down and gets his sword, drags his chair to the center of the room, and climbs up and sticks his head in the mouth of evil incarnate.
From time to time he tells people about his work, and they listen, cause he tells them about it like anyone tells anyone about their work—he complains a little and shrugs his shoulders. What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is yours. And people like Michael. They know what he does and they admire him for it, whether they believe in it or not. “I wouldn’t do that for all the angels in heaven!” they say. And, Michael, he’s not sure if he’d do that for all the angels in heaven. But he does. Cause that’s what he does. And that’s what he’s meant to do. He’s got no choice.
And that’s Michael, so far as I know him—could be more to him, could be less, I’m not sure—and that’s what happens in his room, believe it or not. Believe it or not, what happens in your room?