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ee. Oil Rag.



I am Trainman.



Enoch travels to the outskirts of Shulon; East of Eden. The only reference to Shulon that I could find was in the book of Moses 6:17. In general, the sixth and seventh books of Moses seem to be heavy laden with dark magic. I walked away from that. Incantations and conjurations are too dark for me and I am repelled by the very nature of those arts. Too dark. Those books. I suspect fraud. I’m in denial. They sabotage truth.


In my era, I suspect the Shulon might be of the culture and race known as the Adena. Goo gle it.


By, Trainman.



                In the hut with Edni, my thoughts remain on Shulon. The commission I’ve adopted. The threats leveled against me. The accusations. The nightmare, or visitation by Fire Eyes. I told Edni, “…I am going to travel to Shulon. I must see this place for myself.”

                She looked up with no surprise. “You have been here just two moons. You should first prepare for Shulon. I will gather some supplies for you. I do this all the time for Jared and the firstborn he guides. Follow the river Euphrates upstream north and east through the mountains.”



After Edni provided me with gear and supplies, and after I spent some time with Methuselah, skipping rocks across the stream, I set out for Shulon.


                Within three days of traveling upstream, I approached the base of a rugged mountain range. The river had guided me there. The upstream ended and split in two directions. A tributary source. I was no longer sure which path to follow for at this place, waters came from beneath the ground. A powerful spring flowed up from the ground and dispersed in three directions. The first was the path of the river that I came from. Now in addition to the river path I followed, there was one east and one west. Both directions flowing downstream. There was no more upstream to follow. Perhaps this is Eden? Or what’s left of it? I should have traveled with Jared. He knows the way to Eden. I’m sure of it. At the least, he knows where to find Adam. And likely, where to find the Shulon. But I am here now. So, I will continue east tomorrow. East and north. …The day is late. I will remain here until morning.

                Edni gave me Chaga, or True Tinder Fungus to catch a spark. I am told that Chaga[1] grows on Birch trees and after drying works like a charred cloth for starting fires. Edni told me to look for the white rock. I presume that means Quartz. Breaking some quartz into pieces creates sharp edges. I just smack the quartz with another stone to create a spark and the Chaga catches the spark to make a small smolder. Using a birds’ nest, (or using the dried palm tree fur which Edni gave me,) this action will create a fire where I can then add small twigs, and gradually increase the size of the wood for burning until I have a nice warm blaze. I did it and it works.

                As I sat with this pleasant fire, I kept adding more branches from the surrounding area until I had a sizable fire pit. This blaze would burn all night once I add the logs from the fallen trees nearby. These trees had been chewed on by wood bugs of some sort and so it was quite easy to hatchet the tree and make logs.

                I laid the spear next to me. The hatchet as well. The fire was going good. I just gazed at the flames and listened to the crackle of the fire. While eating some berries, I meditating somewhat on my plans for tomorrow. I should reach Shulon soon. Maybe another day at most. Jared suggested I remain quiet when approaching their stronghold as they are territorial and will kill intruders. Unless they are out-numbered; even then, they have superior weapons and superior strength; that of ten men. One Shulon warrior could not be considered even odds.  

                In the morning when I awoke, I felt the trees shake. Some dried leaves drifted downward from the jolts on jittering branches. I felt thunder coming from the ground. Giant footsteps. Tyrannosaurus? Triceratops? I could only imagine. This was no abduction. This was literal. Reality. I ran to the base of a cliff. Broken trees lay near. Torn from their roots. I moved behind the large trunks that lay horizontal and hid. From the east came a lumbering giant. It was not a dinosaur. It was a man. Surreal. A who man triples my size. Motionless, I watched as he lumbered along the tributary stream near where I had slept. He stopped. He sees the fire pit. He scoops the ash and raises a palm to his nose. Hot ash. I’d assume it burns his skin but he doesn’t flinch. Then he looks for me. For someone. For the one who started that fire. He looks my way. I duck.

                Standing rigid and perfectly still, the giant smells the air. Sniffs for a scent trail. He studies the ground about him. As if looking for tracks. Footprints. He kneels and scratches at the ground. Cunning. This giant is cunning. Although not clandestine. Is this a Shulon warrior? I know he sees me.

                Suddenly I hear screams. A dozen men running. Screaming. Charging the giant from two directions. They have the bronze weapons. Spears. Bows. Hatchets. Arrows are piercing the Giant. I can here them strik his flesh with a sizzling impact. Likely the arrows are tipped with poison. The giant stands to fight. With arrows punctured between his shoulder blades and a spear in his leg he clutches a spear man in his hand and throws him a violent distance through the air. The spear man tumbles lifeless on the bedrock near the stream. Others are still attacking him. I take this as my cue to escape. I move along the length of the fallen tree to make distance between me and this violent fight. I turn to the east and begin running as fast as I can go. Leaving my gear and my spear behind. I run as fast as I can go toward some dense foliage along the cliff. Several spear men discover me and splinter off from fighting the giant to chase me. I just keep running.

                I run right into a box canyon. Cliffs on three sides and three angry spear men behind me. Turning to face them, I have no weapons. I left them at the fireside when hiding from the giant. These must be the Shulon warriors I was warned about.

                No weapon and nowhere to run. I stand my ground. The spear men stop. Spears raised. They utter words to each other in a language I do not understand. They have marks on their faces and their bodies. White stripes and lines smeared with some primitive paint. White on their faces, arms, chests and legs. Quite tribal; primitive men. They have spears raised at me.

                Suddenly a vicious scream. A cat screech. A low roar! It’s the One-eyed saber tooth tiger! I see him. He sees the three men. The tiger attacks at once. The tearing of flesh and crushing of bones. Blood is everywhere. These spear men were slaughtered by the saber tooth in that surprise attack. The first one he pounced on had his neck broken. A swing of the spear and a stab by the second and then he went down. The third began to run, yet he was caught from behind quickly and he went down as well.

                No weapon and nowhere to run. I stand my ground. The One-eyed tiger turns at me. His yellow eye; the other dark and missing. He crouches low, as if he will now have his revenge on me. What a gruesome way to die. I will grab his neck and break it. (Yeah, right.)

                The snarling tiger sets a slow pace toward me; still crouching. Claws long and razor sharp on huge paws; still bloody. Teeth long and fangs bloody. One yellow eye fixed on me. Prepare for a quick death.

                I hear a man. A voice. A yell. He shouts a command, “Ukuyeka! Ukuyeka!”[2]

                The tiger stops, then immediately retreats away from me. That man just saved my life. He commands One-Eye; that saber tooth tiger. The attack from the tiger has been thwarted once again. Failing to kill me the second time. I call to the man, “Thank you!”

                He’s tall. He has very long blonde hair. A man of sophistication; it appears. His garb is unlike the primitives. He wears a pale and stained blue short robe. Thick cloth; like wool, only smoother. He has sandals laced up the calves. Same material as the robe, it appears. He has no weapons on him. None visible. Regardless, he has One-Eye as a weapon. He approaches me. “My name is Nomvikeli. The Protector.”

                I reply, “Thank you. That tiger. He saved my life. He killed those warriors. …No. You saved my life from the tiger. The tiger saved my life from those… those spearmen who would have killed me. Who are they? Shulon?”

                “Yes. This tiger. He is my nomvikeli.”

                “No disrespect intended, but I won’t pronounce your name. I will call you Oil rag.” I say. “I call you, Oil rag. Friend.”

                He pauses. He contemplates. “Oil Rag?”

                “Your true name. My spirit resists. Your robe. Your sandals. They make you look like a big oil rag… Stained with motor oil… Sorry. Motor oil. You don’t know what a motor is. Do you.”   

                Again, the man pauses. Contemplates. Unsure if he should reveal too much about himself. “Trust. I require trust.”

                “Okay. Trust.” I reply. “My name is… Enoch. I seek Shulon.”

                “Yes. With either courage or foolishness. I gather one or the other sends you alone to Shulon. Big mistake”

                “Neither,” I reply. “I must. It is my commission.”

                “You are Enoch. I know of you. You are the one to mediate the Watcher’s request. You are a scribe for hire.”  

                “I am Enoch. Who are you? Your robe, your demeanor, your knowledge. You are not like the others.”

                “I am Nomvikeli. I am a Runaway. Your sworn enemy. Only I beseech you to hear me out.”

                “A Runaway? You are a Runaway? Your kind I have never seen. I do know your deeds though. You are the enemy of all that is within the Kingdom of God. You are responsible for many horrible acts against mankind. You aim to defile the bloodline of Adam. To make it your own.”

                “Please hear me out,” he says, “I have deserted the Runaways. With remorse. Much remorse. I was deceived just as your first mother was deceived. Semyaz[3] had us to believe what Beqa had said. We were tempted. And we sinned. And I ask for mercy.”

                I reply, “That is what the Watchers want. They demand my appeal to the Lord of Heaven. Who am I to appeal their sins?”

                “They are insincere, Enoch.”

                “And you?”

                Oil Rag searches for a way to explain to me in simple terms. “You have lore in your community. Lore that suggest men must do good deeds in order to ‘earn their wings’ and become angels… Reality. You will never be an angel. They are their own race. As for me. I do good deeds, but not to earn wings. But to be restored to my previous way of life. To earn back; my honor. Trust. I lost that. I desire to earn it back. Can I trust you?”

                “You saved my life. That, in my opinion, is a good deed. I will listen. If dead, I cannot trust. Alive? I listen. No promises though.”

                Oil Rag continues, “I am not an angel. I am a man. Like you. Only I was given a different commission. I did not keep my promise, nor did I remain loyal to the kingdom of God. You and I share a similar essence. Only, I am immortal. You should be thankful that you are not.”

                “Shocking! Immortal? Not an angel? Tell me more.”

[1] Inonotus obliquus, commonly known as chaga mushroom, is a fungus. It’s parasitic on birch and other trees. The conk looks similar to burnt charcoal.

[2] Stop! Release. Surrender. Pause.

Retrieved 5/21/2016: https://translate.google.com/#zu/en/ukuyeka

[3] Retrieved 5/21/2016. Rebels Among the Watchers. 6.3. A Modern English Translation of the Ethiopian Book of Enoch with introduction and notes by Andy McCracken.

Contact: Author's Forum: pbatusa
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