Tales from the Mechanical Institute of Zorghaus

The Architect

A furnace, or a heater, some right of way within the snow covered confines of Prague.  Yes, I could have moved my feet, or a limb, even an eye, perhaps even discussed it with Zchulow himself.  And his answer?  The same as usual, but without that display of common affection from a perpetual victim of suffering in any hospital.  Their eyes move along you as you walk through the ice and what you assume to be a path.  You feel numb and then a sense of dread.  Where does it all leave you?  Staring at the cold fire once again.

From the Balcony

In the parameter of the day, when the sun embellished the cracked window and the flower was already slumped over, one could see the massed figures in the street below.  Something was very relevant about the forms, which postured in the air and suppressed the ground with an extravagant amount of suffering.  Dr Zhuls could not take his eyes off one figure, who seemed to be affected by some type of disease.  "Why do they move in such a way?" he thought.  Surely, the answer was not very clear, for in that elegiac dance, annihilation hid behind certain contours.  He picked up the scratched monocle, squinted his eye and pressed it into place.  "I can see her, as she was once before."  Looking down, he thought that he would fall into a calm ocean but then came the hands which reached out at him.  "They haven't forgotten."


The painting was imbedded into his mind.  A naked woman, the contour of mysterious lips, a symbol of some type.  He could not comprehend the allure it held for him but he thought about it as he rode upon the tram.  Looking into her eyes, he saw something vague.  The man sitting across from him stared at his deformed face.

The Gathering of Lines

The man entered the room, closing the door as quickly as it had opened.  It was not obvious whether he looked around at others within that enclosure, because it was illuminated only by a pale lantern which stood upon an old case and his eyes could not be perceived.  He noticed several figures at the long table, they appeared as black specks which moved.  His feet made disharmonious sounds as he took his place and sat in the chair.  The revolver looked familiar, it was something he had used in the war but that was only an irrelevant and distant memory.

Never A Notion 

"A rambunctious appetite?" he thought, as the man devoured what was placed before him.  He looked at him from that unconcerned position in the corner of the room where the waiter would occasionally drift in the sporadic atmosphere of the weary.  There were many meals served, some Hungarian, others, less recognizable but they were all feasts for the dying day.  "Perhaps I should say something, a warning?" He removed another cigarette from his pocket and lit it.  The trolley was progressing along the street, slowly, it would soon be before him.  He looked one last time through the cracked glass and saw that the man was still busy eating. Another waiter brought another dish. There was something red about it and it reflected the last colors of that fading, circular sun.  "Such exotic smells, necessary even for the dead."  He sat without moving, without even comprehending that unusual aroma.

The Object of Nothing

The shadows merged and I could not distinguish between what was precise illusion and assumed reality.  I continued to wait for her in that quiet section of the city which was reserved for some exuberance of life.  The lamp on the corner signified that time was indeed dwindling.  Slowly, a man passed on a bicycle, he continued up the boulevard and disappeared under the night sky.  The noisy train engulfed the panorama in the distance, through the rows of erect buildings that formed an impedimenta to my eyes.  I drank my coffee and attended to my hat upon the table.  "Where was she?"  Perhaps it was stupid of me to expect her to be there, arriving at some definite hour when we would meet again.  It was becoming late and so I too would depart into the foregoing distance.  I walked along the calm river, dreaming of an end to my desolation but it was in fact, not what I wanted.  I wanted her, even though she never existed.  Well, at least not to them.

The Form of Error

Perhaps the boulevard ended at another section which was more populous, whatever the case, he found himself moving towards some inward trajectory which imbued him with a fear of the surrounding emptiness.  He looked at the darkness which lingered in debilitated corners and was unsure whether he should continue but the forward momentum had been instigated.  The ad for baking powder caught his attention but only momentarily, and when he reached the terminus of the alley, he noticed a man's hand, a razor and the outline of a head.  He heard weeping and then the sound of the boisterous train.


The sound of rumors permeated through the tunnel.  A man walked down the stairs and further into the complex labyrinth.  Of course it was dark, there was even some amount of moisture in the ambiance which lingered like a multitude of phantoms.  It was difficult to see further than he needed to, as the gas lamp barely allowed any visibility.  He concentrated on something in the shadows, but he did not know what it was.  He felt it, putting his hands upon it.  A door opened, exhibiting the outline of a man, but he appeared so flawed before the flames.

In the Frame

He stared at the painting upon the wall and he could not comprehend why it hung there.  Around him were numerous suitcases and discarded objects that seemed to be particularly out of place.  The oblique picture represented something he had not seen before but while he looked at the blurred figure with a robust head, he noticed something more tangible in the decayed wood which surrounded the entirety of that scene.  He continued to stare.

If You Insist

There's a bridge near the river at Boulevard Breasalu, a couple of workers cross it, looking around, asking if they've seen a man who's been living there.  Most of the people tell them nothing, it's a quiet neighborhood in the quarter.

I sit inside my room looking at the barge which trudges along the fathomless water.