The totems that occupied the clearing pulsed and wavered in the shimmering vapor that surrounded each of them. It was mid-day back at Alti’s home in Baltimore, but that was not where Alti was. He had teleported with his ship to the lush and mystical planet Remulon in the third quadrant, and the hour was quite early in the morning. Sunrise was still hours away. Things seemed out of balance across all the universe. Not just for Alti personally, but he felt a general misalignment everywhere. Even watching the S.E.B.M.M.I.V.’s (Suvian Energy Balance and Micro Meditation Incremental Videos) weren’t helping much. The way the air spoke to the plants, the way sound would travel, and even the way the stars would inspire. Alti felt the source of this disharmony was a problem with the totems so he decided to investigate.
After attempting calibration on each totem in accordance to the scriptures and all twelve essential grimoires, Alti came to realize the problem did not lie with any weathering of the totems or movement out of cycle. All was aligned and in accordance. It was Alti’s hope that if he took the time over the next four or five days and studied the subtile cycles of the totems, something may reveal itself. A hint to what was causing such imbalance.
Hours passed and the droids returned with nothing to report. They did however collect some of his favorite local produce - the syrup-filled conjoined radishes as well as the pompins (which were a crisp round yellow fruit that tasted like lemon and banana). Meals came and went and hours and hours of reviewed footage produced nothing. It was on the third day that Alti noticed something odd occur.
It started with a silence that he didn’t notice until a few minutes had passed. He rose from his armchair where he was taking notes and stepped down from his ship into the clearing. The dirge beetles were not clicking and the forest imps that typically occupied the canopy were either hiding or had left. The breeze withered away into stillness and the creaking trees became motionless. To Alti it seemed the temperature had begun to drop. In his notebook, he jotted all of this down. He stood there waiting for something else to happen. Time passed slowly and it seemed that nothing else would happen. He could see his breath now and he was poised to write anything else down that occurred, but nothing did. The evening just stayed silent and cold and motionless.
Not until Alti sat down and began to think of how long he would wait, did he realize that something was off. He had become distracted in thoughts of his next meal and noticed in his daydream state, there was subtle movement all around the clearing. It was in the air itself and there seemed to be hundreds of them. Spheres of darkness - so dark they were more like tiny back holes. Blackest black and darker than the night that surrounded him. They seemed to be stealing the light that emanated from the totems and a sadness and fear began to settle in. He wrote down what he was witnessing until he could no longer look at the orbs. It was painful and frightening and tears filled his eyes. He remembered how his last party had ended tragically and he also remembered how lonely he was. Pains, sorrows and defeats filled his thoughts until he crumpled onto the ground. Alti felt worthless and hoped that if he lay there long enough, he would simple cease to exist. The dust would settle over him and eventually he would be no more and that would be better. To be forgotten. Erased.
He wasn't sure how long he had been laying on the ground, but he no longer felt cold. The emptiness he felt, had begun filling back up with thoughts of simple pleasures. His armchair, his favorite tea, his friends. Alti sat up and looked around and the orbs were gone. Night creatures were returning and so was the breeze that swayed the gigantic trees.
Alti sat and thought. He had witnessed something horrible. After gathering his instruments and collecting his droids he prepared to head back home. The council must be informed. Perhaps they would know what to do.
Blake Neubert was born in 1981 in Wyoming and graduated with a bachelors degree in Art Education before eventually moving to Colorado. Recognized at a young age for his contemporary and traditional western paintings, his work has been included in galleries and private collections across the globe. Although I find those works of Neuberts to be quite remarkable, the work of his that caught my attention is what he has done since - the dark, horrific, and comical portraits that reveal alternate personalities and true forms, as well as bloody and charred flesh and bone. Some of my favorite of his paintings are his scrape off paintings, where he reveals hidden truths in an underpainting of his with a simple blade. For my artist highlight I chose “Black Headed Demon (13)” (one of his dark demonic portraits), because I found these simple scorched nightmarish figures to have a freedom from pretense. They flaunt their frightening truths and often bring with them a dark humor. Check out all of Blake Neubert’s work via some of the links below.
As of October 2016, I intended to use this blog as an accompaniment to my Facebook page and Instagram page. On this blog I post information and updates about my work as well as once a month I highlighted an artist whose work I like (I stopped doing this when I opened my gallery www.GalleryBlueDoor.com). As of March 2017, I began posting a monthly Story Entry with an accompanying illustration of mine. In mid-2019 I took a break from this, but it will resume.