Charles Pendelton
      © 2008 Marty Langdon
Chapter 06

              That deadly nutmeg tree

As I thought quietly to myself about the day; I couldn't help wondering
what would become of it.
Looking over at my wooden bookshelf were
novels of ages past, neatly stored
in alphabetical order. Books I never
read because I wasn't a reader, and books
my mother wouldn't read
because they had gone out of style, like radium-painted dials and laudanum.

Pulling out a binder of jottings I had yet to perfect, I tried to think of an
appropriate name for the story that was enclosed within the cheap, faded
green college-ruled notebook. The one I never had a chance to use in high
school. After a brief moment of indecision, I decided it would probably be
best to just leave it blank. Not interested in reading the whole shabby
manuscript that would eventually require countless revisions, I opened
and began to read several paragraphs from the first page.

Please acknowledge that the story you will be reading is the complete unabridged version.
Just to make it clear, so no problems present themselves later on down the line.

It was last year, in the fall of 1981, roughly eight months to the day of this new journal,
returned from spending the summer at my father's house after high school graduation.
The purple
cap and gown ceremony that would appear to epitomize
success in learning was merely a front
to show ourselves and our families that we could accomplish something.
My mom and Ray would
meet up in the city, as always, on a Friday and come home together via the express bus. And as
usual, they would depart for the weekend by hooking up the Shasta trailer to the old Karmann
Ray would drive it down to Trails End, PA, where they would meet up with friends who
also enjoyed camping and all things that pertained to the great outdoors.

It was about five-thirty in the evening when I
picked my friend Dave up at his house. He wanted
to celebrate his most recent job as a New
York City Transit Authority token clerk but couldn't quite
figure out where to go or what to
do. Whereas I, having ended a torrid love affair with my former
girlfriend Sharon, had no intention of
consummating another disastrous relationship for a while.

Sharon, who was as promiscuous
as she was revealing, is now somebody else's headache.

While David’s girlfriend Luisa broke
up with him due to a more personal matter. He wanted
her to have the baby when they found out about it, and she didn't
want to be tied down. So
instead of nurturing it in utero, she aborted it, before telling Dave he should find someone
else, someone more mature. I think she meant older. After months
of intense pain and grief
counseling sessions, he found it within himself to move on.

                                       The One Way Street - Falsely represented society

                                                        It was only natural.

I drove from his house to my house, and throughout the whole car ride, he would not
let up about the failed relationship. When we arrived at my house, it appeared all
calm. Then he started up again until I became depressed. After a mild lamentation
Luisa and the baby he would never see; his baby boy or girl; what color would its
have been, and that four-letter word that begins with a “C” and ends with a “T”
repeated time and again behind moist eyes. I knew now that we would not be going to
any club tonight, so I decided it would be best at this point if we just stayed inside.

The Atlantics - You tell me why

What would be the purpose of going out to have a good time when the person you are with

has erected an invisible wall between himself and the world? It just didn't make any sense.

                                                        Sounds Unlimited - About you

Some time elapsed before we hopped in my grandfather's old car, which is now my

stepfather's new car, and drove to the nearest Sav-on. Once we reached there, I picked
out a warm
but friendly case of America's favorite rice beer and carried the rectangular
box under
my arm to the counter, where I laid it down. It then occurred to me as I was
studying the
design of why this beer is so popular. Because it is red, white, and blue,
and it resembles the
American flag. As I was examining some of the smaller text on the
carton, a couple of
rapscallions playing tug of war pulled apart a rather large bag of
M&M's, scattering them everywhere. Ah, the joys of parenting.

                                                                              Pg 22

I then displayed my identification to the cashier, where I paid for the beer, and we left.
From there we stopped at Brother’s Pizzeria on Port Richmond Avenue and ordered
a Sicilian pie. I parked the 1972 black
Galaxy 500 alongside the house, turned off
the engine, and went inside. The time was
now nearing seven. I put the entire box of
beer in the large yellow upright freezer and waited a good hour before going down
to retrieve it. Before we had even one beer, we had almost finished the entire pizza.

As it was then, it is still “the best Sicilian pizza on Staten Island.”

Dave was saying how much Luisa loved
Budweiser, and this was the first one
he was having without her. I then pulled two cans
out and put them on the table.
Dave hastily went to open his, and the beer tab snapped off,
leaving the can sealed.
Dave began laughing insidiously and said, “That cunt; she put a
curse on me.”

“She didn't put a curse on you. I'll get the can opener”, I said.
When it happened
again, I said, “On second thought, I take that
back. She did put a curse on you!”

                                                     October Country - My girl friend is a witch

Halfway through the case, I made a ridiculous suggestion. “Look, man, it's only a quarter after
ten; I have an idea. There's an unopened tin of nutmeg in the cabinet, and I heard nutmeg can
pack a pretty sweet punch.” Dave began to laugh and told me I was unequivocally out of my
fucking mind. “Okay,” I said, slapping twenty dollars on the table. “If we don't get buzzed,
you keep the money.”

“Fine, let's do it.”

We boiled some water and proceeded to pour it into
the blender. Tapping the can
of nutmeg, we watched the gritty powder fall into the water
while the motor ran.
It soon turned oily and had an overwhelming industrial solvent smell.

Oh God, I thought, what are we doing?
This is going to be like drinking Mr. Clean.

I stopped the motor, and all the ingredients sank to the bottom of the blender and
one solid mass. Seeing that it could not be poured, as it had a consistency
of sand,
Dave uttered in a despondent and baritone voice, “Get the spoon.”

We waited for the liquid to cool before eating it with great effort. Needless to say,
each spoonful went down like noxious poison and burned the back of our throats.
We gagged and nearly puked throughout the entire endeavor but managed to keep it
down without vomiting. After the ordeal, I reached into the fridge and pulled out two
beers. “Drink up,” I said, “you're about to lose this race.” Dave was ahead for the
first stretch, but as he began to belch uncontrollably, I soared ahead to the finish line.

“You're just-a son-of-a-bitch, he exclaimed, with a long, animated face while looking
blindly toward the floor and shaking his head adamantly. “You’re just a sneaky fuck,”
he managed to blurt out with eyes bulging like a tarsier. We continued to drink the
rest of our beers till our throats were numb and our stomachs queasy.

                                                                              Pg 23

From out of nowhere, Dave began to laugh. I can't get
over those two kids. Did you
see the size of that bag?

I know, they were all over the damn place, and one even went
the back of my shirt. What a raucous those little buggers made.

And how.

It was around twelve-thirty when Dave phoned for a cab. He said he had some things to
tomorrow and needed to go. I apologized for the grand fiasco, as I assumed the nutmeg
been counteracted by the beer. And that's why the night had fallen into ruin. He told
to replace the can with a new one and said he was not going to take the money. The
arrived, quarter after one, and Dave left feeling rather drained. I had my last beer
alone in the quiet kitchen, trying to figure out what went terribly wrong.

Saturday morning upon waking is how this story begins.

My eyes sprung open like an automated device on spring levers while I lay
motionless, neck moving like an insect. This new head of mine felt more
like a
balloon filled with air, and my face appeared to be distorted. Like a surreal
mask had been put on while I was sleeping. One that was not my own.

            When I looked forward, it seemed as though I was utilizing more peripheral
              vision than I should have been, almost like my regular eyesight
was now
               somewhat obscured. And when I observed myself in the mirror, I
                 see the details of my face, but instead, something more disturbing.
                    mouth was bone dry, and I was dizzy without the spinning effect.
                                 However, I do not recall any feelings of nausea.

My eyes flicked open and closed at a sharper rate of speed, like a malfunctioning camera,
and each one was now filled with an indiscernible amount of sticky fluid. Microscopic
to a
viewer behind the mirror in my room, but logical in theory, I attest. They were not irritated,

and they did not hurt. They were just uncomfortable, and I would have kept them closed for
duration of the day had that been possible. Not to mention they were 4x their normal size.

                                                It waits for you to wake up.

The hair on my head did not feel right to me. It was too stiff and bristly like that of
a boar or warthog, and my face was now comparable to that of a fly, while my heart
was going so fast, I could no longer hear it. I was becoming concerned about what
going on but felt absolutely powerless to do anything to stop it. Like throwing
from a tall building before realizing you made a mistake.

Why the hell did I do this for?
I thought as I panicked.

There was a flash of light that appeared for a brief moment near
my sternum
and appeared to open me up at the middle of my chest, separating my being.

There was nothing gross about it.

Nothing red or disturbing from that aspect in the least.

                                                                              Pg 24

It was just so shocking to witness that it brought an intense level of distress to my system,
and I did not know what would happen next. In a matter of minutes, the full effect of this
drug would be realized. Without leading you astray, I can honestly say that in those moments
of pure terror, it felt as though a bomb had been surgically implanted within my chest and
set to detonate at an undisclosed time. It was now getting difficult to breathe, and my
extremities were becoming numb. As I anticipated my death, I imagined the Lord God
turning the flame up higher. “You did this to yourself; now you will never see my kingdom.

The tragedy of my situation was coming into focus.

I was dying, and not another soul could save me. I tried to walk, but my legs
collapsed under their own weight. The more I tried to move about, the worse
everything became until it felt like the entire town was resting upon my chest,
and it seemed like I was carrying the fortitude of the world with me as I ran
full steam toward the stairs. At this point, my heart was going faster than
Keith Moon could play, and there was no way of undoing it.

An egregious decision had been made that would forever change the lives of two
ordinary human beings. And even though it happened during the height of the New
Wave movement, not even death would stop me from hearing my ‘relatively new’
Split Enz, True Colours audio cassette tape at least one more time in the woods.

I was jittery beyond words and seemed to be existing solely on

the thread of a nervous spasm that came and went like the wind.

The fact that I knew what nutmeg was; meant that I deserved what I was getting.
David, on the other hand, was completely innocent in the matter. It was I who pulled
him into this, and I knew that, in the end, I would have to answer for that dearly.
David who has an occasional drink every once in a while to stimulate his mood
or to agitate his senses. David who won't even smoke pot because it's illegal...

Oh, David, I do not think you will be ready for this.

This was the end, I thought. There were a number of things that could happen now,
and none of them were good. I could develop intense chest pains and collapse from
a heart attack. I could get an aneurysm or a brain hemorrhage and have a stroke.
Or my kidneys could give out, and I could become paralyzed, or even worse.

Aside from being labeled a spice, nutmeg is, in fact, a very effective, fairly toxic,

amphetamine-like psychedelic. What I didn't know at the time was that when
taken in large quantities can cause extreme psychosis, terrible nausea followed
by palpitations leading to convulsions, severe liver damage, and finally, cardiac
arrest. Had I known all the facts, I never would have taken it. Even so, how
was I to know the high was going to last more than forty-eight hours?

                                          I was standing in the eye of the storm.
                                A teaspoon more, and I would have died for sure.

    Dear Lord, if you are out there, I beg of thee: d
on't let go of me now.

Suddenly, I was surrounded by screaming sirens as I bounded for the staircase
in a vain attempt to reach the telephone below. Four steps were all I could muster
as I desperately clutched the wooden banister for dear life. These dark grey
cartoon teapots were tooting quite loudly as they taunted me inside my mind,
where the sound of sirens abounded. I was flabbergasted to the point of diving
out the nearest window but did not wish to succumb to injuries withstanding.

The ungodly seraphim ranted in tones above reason to further
agitate my mind until I was but a portrait of the insane.

                                                                              Pg 25

He's trying to summon an ambulance.”
An ambulance?”
Yes, an ambulance.”
We must stop him from calling this ambulance!”

I will have his head!!!”

These aerial creatures were acerbated to the point of boiling
as they bellowed aloud from the top of their infinite lungs
before abducting me into their sick and twisted musical.

He's running, he's running, he's getting away.”
He's going too slow... He'll never escape!
Can't you all see that this boy is in fear?”
Freeze in your tracks and get back over here!!!”

I was in a state of complete and utter terror as I obediently struggled to pull myself
back up the steps
and into my bedroom, where I crouched down on the rug on both
knees and
began to pray. I could almost perceive God wanting to smite me.

Who can
say for sure that the next life isn't going to be filled with these creatures?
And so, I had to give myself a fighting chance to save my soul.

And so would begin the art of collective bargaining between entities and spirits
who would have willingly pulled me apart at the seams for nothing more than this
minor infraction. An iniquity that has created: “the abomination of the year.

It almost felt like there was a rope slung over the banister, and three men were pulling
it with all their might like I was slowly being hung and there was nothing I could do
about it. I wasn't quite sure if I was even breathing anymore. If I was human anymore.
In fact, I knew only one thing; my heart was no longer beating.

I had the sensation of lying in a tomb that, to my dismay, was slowly being sealed.

I know it must be hard to fathom, but after two solid hours of
wrenching torture, I was going to be pardoned of my sins.

Before I could say anything, I was reassured by the four dark grey teapots who
introduced themselves to me by name. It wasn't like a person-to-person introduction.
It was more along the lines of how you would envision a ghost if you ever had the
misfortune of running into one. In reality, I think I was listening to the sound of my
own conscience roaring, like a carousel of deranged horses on a merry-go-round
that kept turning, and there was simply no way of getting off.

Hello, I'm teapot of the North. - (sincere)
I'm teapot of the South. - (angry)
Hello lad, I'm teapot of the East. - (revered, mighty)
And I am teapot of the West, pleased to meet your
acquaintance... Tilting its lid. - (empyreal, inspiring)

                                                                              Pg 26

We do not mean to glorify our own standings by this haughty
and aggrandizing at will, but you had to be stopped.
He was running for
the telephone.
Yes, he was; he was running to the. . .

And the confusion began again as the meeting of the teapots ran amok. Each one
trying to speak over the other until it was nothing more than pure unadulterated chaos.

My cardboard shell of a head now felt like it was only half there. The bottom half seemed
to have disintegrated hours ago, and those little black bugs that were still falling out of it
were everywhere. I knew they were an illusion unless, however, the chemistry of my body,
mixed in with the nutmeg, created them. After a week of living like this, I'm sure I'd be
completely mad. Certifiably insane and absolutely raving.

I felt the back of my head, and it felt like a light bulb,
one that was still intact.

Had I felt a rather large incision, then I would not have been able to stop my mind

from destroying me. In time, there would no longer be anything falling out of it.

The pure unmitigated despair I felt in my heart must have been my yearning, and so
once again, I prayed for God's mercy. I now realized in all my foolishness that there is no
one on the face of the earth who is beyond reproach. Everyone will answer for themselves.

I entered through a door that had opened in my mind to see the effigy of Jesus emerging from
the clouds in a burgundy robe. He was handing someone a solid gold chalice 3/4 filled with deep
red wine. The chalice appeared to have four large diamonds in the center on all four of its compass
points. The image then faded, and I was escorted back to my cell. My penance, it seemed, had not
yet been fulfilled, and so in this place of torment, I was bade to suffer some more.

After about thirty-five minutes, the teapots stopped bickering and said,

I think he is beginning to understand.”
“The atrocity you have committed today has been absolved by prayer.”
“Now, do you see why we stopped you?”
“Consider yourself spared from the torment of fire, for you see,
the good Lord
has once again bequeathed your soul.”

With that, they vanished as quickly as they came.

No longer would there be any ambiguity.
No longer would there be any more strife.
I was free.

The room was so quiet that I could hear the mild sound of my inner ears manufacturing
their own noise. It was kind of like the sound you hear the day after a loud concert.

I looked at the clock to find that three hours had passed. My heart had begun beating
again and was off the chart. Knowing that I would be allowed to live was far more
than I could ever ask for, and as strange as it may seem, I was now genuinely happy.

If I were to die at this moment, I truly believe my soul would be at peace.

                                               Reunited in Heaven at last.

                                                                              Pg 27

Only now could I truly enjoy the effects of this mystical drug.

I knew it was going to be a tremendous challenge for me in terms of attempting
to map out and define the entire experience through writing, to connect the dots
by piecing together the vague sequence of events without the aid of any recording
devices. Clearly, the task ahead of me would be next to impossible to even approach.

A brief period of time elapsed before the telephone rang. Although I now had the heart

and body of a ninety-five-year-old man, I managed to find my way down the stairs and
used all my energy just to answer it. Hello? said the muffled voice on the
other end
of the receiver, and sure enough, that voice was David. He told me he spent the better
of the morning cowering in bed and praying for salvation, for he was stricken
with interminable fear. You don't even believe in God, I vocalized in amazement.

“I do now,” he bolstered in a high voice through confused laughter.

To me, it sounded like it could have been a battle cry from Waterloo.

I told him the twisted tale of my anguish and the harrowing story of the four dark
grey teapots, and he tumbled from his bed, taking the plastic push-button telephone
and cradle down with him to the hardwood floor. In a way, it sounded like a
malfunctioning pinball machine that had gone awry as it bounced around wildly.

“Don't laugh,” I said to him through the communicator, “this is serious.”

“I'm sorry, replied David. Don't take it personally or anything.”
He then continued to laugh wholeheartedly before telling me his story.

“Listen, you're not gonna believe this, but it’s true.
My mother comes up with a cup of tea.
All of a sudden,
the phone rings, and it's her friend Dottie.

Do you know - the only thing
she said - on the phone - for the
past hour and a fucking half - has been Yeah-ahh Haa-hmm.

I swear to God, she never changed it.
I'm gonna die if I don't stop laughing.


Suddenly, there was the sound of an impact crash on the other end of the line, followed
by a loud boom. David then picked up the phone to ask, “Are you still there? I asked
him what had just happened, and he said that he tripped on an extension cord and went
headlong into the closet door, breaking both doors off their tracks. You gotta see it,
he said, guffawing in merriment. I had to hold myself back from laughing deliriously.

My head! My head, I can't talk.
My head went halfway through the bedroom closet door.

Just then, his mother could be heard entering the room.

What's going on in here, David?

She sounded quite concerned as she scurried about the room like a distressed
hamster. My lungs were yearning for release,
but I simply refused to give in.
That little cup of tea, I thought, resting on her nightstand as she
bolted from
the room.
How cold it is going to be when she returns.

You're destroying this house,” she screamed out in fury like a possessed nun.
“This whole house, you're destroying!” David then tried to explain the situation
to his mother the best he could, but his mother, being a solemn woman, refused to
hear any of it. I then pictured that austere face of hers in front of his, and with
that, I started to slip.

I tripped. . . Because I tripped.
Will you let me talk? I'm trying to explain. . .
Okay, I broke the door on purpose with my head.

(There was a long pause)

Why would you do such a thing, asked his mother in shock?

Because I tripped!!!

                                                                              Pg 28

Unable to stop the tickling itch that begged for laughter, I exploded, swinging
the kitchen chair, before dropping the old yellow rotary dial receiver that
had been mounted to the wall. As it gently struck the vinyl flooring, it sprung
up and down like a slinky, gently tapping the cast iron baseboard radiator
where the circular steam air vent produced a loud hissing sound in winter.

I don't know how long
I was laughing or how much oxygen I lost, but when I
regained my
composure some twenty minutes later, every part of my being ached
in the worst
possible way. I heard a song that sounded like a tea commercial playing
in my head. Did I make the song up, or did it just start playing on its own?

                          Damned if I know.

Dave's mom sure knows how to make tea, boy, I'll say.
Go with the best. . . Go with Earl Grey.

Little jingles like this one began to attach themselves to my brain, and
I would find myself unable to get rid of them. Like when you get a song
stuck in your head, and nothing will make it stop playing.

I then followed the individual steps of lush brown carpeting to my room.

As I entered through the open doorway to my nondescript room, I couldn't help
but notice the casement window curtains as the wind blew gently through them.

I saw a man kissing a woman on a hill near a castle. The wind changed course,
and the dark knight returned to change the fate of the two young lovers. There
was tragedy, doom, glory, and finally, peace as the story concluded. I watched the
curtains manufacture dreams for me and wondered how I had never seen them before.
If everything in the world of visual stimuli appeared to be normal, then what could
have changed to make me see the world through the eyes of a bemused poet?

Indeed, I was spellbound.

Two hours later, I spoke with Dave on the phone again.

“What happened with your mother,” I asked politely?
“She wants me to see a psychiatrist.”
“Because of the door incident?”
“No, something else.”
“Well, can you tell me, I asked curiously?”

My mother was really disgusted with the whole door thing and left the house to do
some shopping. As soon as she left, I went downstairs for a glass of milk and a cookie.
I don't even know why I did that. It wasn't like I was hungry or thirsty. I just wanted
to move around. So anyway, to make a long story short, I tripped up the stairs, and
glass of milk broke. I got confused. I wasn't sure what to do, so I left it there.

You left a broken glass of milk on the stairs?
Yeah. . . And the cookie too.

With that, I let go a roar of laughter that would not be topped to this very day

and collapsed to the floor. I could not catch my breath for minutes at a time and
thought I might actually die from laughing. The pain I felt later on that
may have been similar to a man shot from a cannon into a stone wall.

                                                                              Pg 29

At six o'clock, I was to meet my friend John at his aunt's house. They were having
an outdoor party in the backyard, and he told his aunt I would come. I left the house
at around four, just to be safe but found myself wandering at the bottom of my block.

Disoriented and unaware of what was happening, I stood there like a solitary creature of habit.
One that appeared to be waiting for a bus that would never arrive. I soon began s
cratching my
head, and with a perplexed face, I looked around like I had just been dropped off in

Only yesterday, I knew this area like the back of my hand, and now my memory
was like that of a dying tortoise. I struggled with the reasoning of the ‘how's’
and ‘why's’
and, for the life of me, could not come to any direct conclusion.

I knew I had to go a certain way, but nothing made sense.

My perception of reality was not altered as much as my instinct of direction was,
considering a part of my brain had been erased, and I wasn't sure if it was permanent.

I went straight and then left and down, but it did not lead me to the house at all,
only further from it. I was lost, but I knew all the streets. I felt senile, confused,
and old as I stared up at what should have been a very familiar block.

                             The Electric Prunes - Ain't it hard

My mind was now encapsulated in confusion, and everything was fuzzy, vague,
and distant. If someone had asked me what 6 + 9 was, it probably would have taken
me three hours to solve. That was because the memory sector of my mind had
been boarded up, like an old, abandoned mineshaft, and I couldn't help wondering
what would happen if I had to live like this forever. A burned-out drone, staring
at vitreous shadows in a deluded haze commonly known as dementia. If this is
what I have to look forward to in later life, then maybe it's better to die young.

                                                  After several hours, I was happy I left early.

Bantam laughter could be heard over the ridge of houses as far as a block away, and I had
pinpointed the location to be my acquired destination. I arrived promptly at six and entered
through the back gate, where the mighty roar of people filled with alcohol charged the air.

On a small runner of grass the length of the house,
I traveled until I reached the backyard.

Standing on an array of firmly set paving stones, it did appear to me at first, like we were all
on one big, crazy chessboard. The sun shone so resplendently upon the handle of the barbecue
grill that it touched off a wild nerve in my eye, and I had to look away. I was overwhelmed with
excitement and couldn't wait to have a drink of something. Anything! Aunt Dana was dervishly
whirling; (as I thought, so insane), being spun by a partner whom I had not yet met. Some friendly
commotion off to the side, where children were hootin’ and hollerin’, and teenagers intermingled
in a notorious manner that could have been copied from a page in the Cosa Nostra handbook.

John was listening to his cousin Vinnie, and he was going on and on about this new car
of his, a Delta Eighty-Eight Royale. “This new fuckin' Oldsmobile I got Johnny is fantastic.
It'll run circles around these other pieces-a-shit you see on the road. Come around; I'll take
ya for a spin in it one day; you'll see.” He smoked his fancy cigarettes and spoke like an
Italian gangster while John just smiled and nodded his head casually.

I made my way over the squares as inconspicuous as I could be without drawing attention
to myself. Tiptoeing across those enlarged paving stones without touching a crack, I may
have looked like a young Hunter S. Thompson with a head full of acid, but I assure you,
it was just me being me.
Walking over to where my friend was standing, I waved politely.

Hey man, said John in a glowing tone. Glad you could make it. He then shook my hand
before introducing me to his cousin Vinnie. After this, he casually escorted me over to a part of
the backyard where bottles of alcohol had been arranged on some weird kind of glass shelving.

I swiftly declared Boodles & tonic to be the rouser, and after that very first drink,
it was all Bishop to King 9. . . Whatever the hell that meant.

                                                                              Pg 30

Later that evening, after a delightful barbecue and some enchanting conversations
with my friend's niece and cousins, we went into his aunt’s house to play a friendly
game of pool. There is no way for me
to explain this logically, but for some unknown
reason, I could envision all the angles. I was doing bank shots that people were
marveling at, and it felt like I had just been endowed with a new talent. John's cousin
Vinnie was a pool shark, and I came one shot away from beating him. I just didn’t have
the nerve to jump the ball, and there was no way I was going to attempt it because if
I screwed up, I would end up tearing the felt, and I did not have the funds to repair it.
In a way, I suppose I really didn’t want to beat him because if I did, then I would
have to contend with all the obligations that arise from achieving success.

John asked me how I was doing it, and I replied in a mystified tone,
“I haven’t the slightest idea.”

After the excitement had come to a head, John drove me home in his souped-up,
light blue Chevy Nova.

As I got to the top of the steps, I gently inserted the key in the slot and turned it.
entering, I realized my heart was now at a much slower speed than it had
been earlier. It was
now like Herb Albert playing Whipped Cream. So relaxing
I could have almost fallen asleep.

It was like being on two amphetamines instead of twelve.

I toyed with the idea of brewing a robust pot of coffee to get things going again
now that I
was completely out of the woods. It was simply an eager temptation
thrown in from afar, which gave me a
reason to ponder something so undeniably
real that it literally made me stop to question my own sanity.

Just because you're out of the woods doesn't mean the phantom
lurking in the shadows doesn't know your home address.

Eighteen hours after ingestion and not having slept at all, I watched my bedroom curtains dance for
me again, only this time it was different than it was during the day. This time it was slow and erotic,
mainly because there was no sunlight shining through it but rather electric light cast upon it. Besides,
the drug was winding down, and it was getting late. I followed the backdrop until it subsided like black
paint thrown onto a magic canvas. The spectacular image then faded away. Every scene shown to me
on that wonderful screen was continually changing in its own way before being repeated.

As I followed the road to Mulhaven on a magic carpet ever so gently blowing, I realized that life is
merely a compendium of words woven into context, promulgated for those around us to hear. Moreover,
thoughts and expressions of these words and ideas had been somehow separated from their implied
meaning. The end result was clear, but the destination of perception had stopped by the deer crossing.

Yes, I was now fully aware of reality, but with a heightened ability to daydream,
I no longer had to
concentrate on seeing what was hidden behind the veil of truth.

That mysterious paradox was now uncloaked

Xiphosuran shapes in the buttery sand marked the erosion of a colossal shoreline.

Castles made from seeds of men decay in the morning sun, like old grain elevators
on long-abandoned country roads wither. I watched a maiden draw a symbol with
her finger in the sparkling silica as she knelt down in reverence to the memory of
her kinfolk taken from her in a violent windstorm. They now lay buried beneath
her in the center of what used to be their home but is now only a skeleton. This
is what time can do, as the fair maiden knows all too well. Mountainous ridges
carved deep into the steep wall from the side of an impressive canyon lay furrow.

Below, the equestrian's mare rides alone through a dry deluge in his preeminence,
where vultures pervade the sky, ever-looming and cow skulls blanched by the sun
become as common as mirages; they are grave markers. Saddened and without
hope, she turns away. Granted, she has brought me a bucket of tears, but are they
really for me, or are they mine? As the pail expands to become an ocean, it soon
evaporates to become an inlet of salt. Birds swoop down and take a crystal of
this salt home to their nest, for one is all they can carry. It is the seed of fertility.
They will give it to their young so they might have life.
A life to live freely.

As the scene washes away, a sandy universe takes its place. In the end,
it was
irrevocably the same. Much like a sea wave when it rolls in, as it
retracts and
is pulled back into the ocean, the muddy sand left behind
seems to dry up
almost instantly. Within a few moments, the scorched
sand is reduced to dust,
and water has become nonexistent.

Delicate shadows cascade through rivers of dried seaweed and hollowed-out bones
to erect a new day. Such hope lies in waiting, but I find the fair maiden has perished.

                                                                              Pg 31

Eventually, I closed my eyes and drifted off to sleep. There I dreamt I was living
in the Soviet Union, delivering packages of the utmost importance to the Kremlin,
but the Kremlin was simply a dilapidated storefront. Suddenly, it seemed as though
somebody was following me, and so I started to run.

Why is time moving slower?
Why am I being pulled in reverse?
Why does this always happen when I try to run away from something?
Maybe I should just stay and fight.

How is it that I can never seem to comprehend that I am in a dream?
It’s not that it only happened once, but it happens all the time.
Maybe because it's so real, my mind doesn’t know the difference.
And how is it that a scene can change without us ever picking up on it?

Questions we never seem to realize until we awaken from our agitated
slumber and attempt to reconnect the pieces by retracing our steps.

Finally, I made it to the way station, where I delivered the package to
who was, in fact, my mother. “I'll take the package from here,”
she said in a cold voice that could have almost implied a taciturn nature.

But I knew better because there was nothing out of the ordinary.

I then went back to my hotel room overlooking the Basilica and waited.

(But how is it that I knew I had a hotel room? Perhaps, it is like lighting a cigarette 
only to find that, to your dismay, one is already smoldering in the ashtray.)

The telephone rang, and I immediately snatched it from its cradle. It is done, I said
in a cool tone and hung up. I then waited for further instructions. There was a quick knock
on the door, so I opened it. Three men dressed exactly alike in grey casual
sweaters and
matching black pants were standing, anxiously awaiting my command to enter.

Come in, I said hesitantly.

Do you realize what you have done?
said the first man;
before ordering me to turn on the television.

I did as I was told, and there was a small package I delivered this morning.
Malvena was the spy, and now all of Russia is looking for you.

“They are going to torture you day and night until you give them names.”
“They will take you
to the factory.

The factory?

The factory where they lop off the fingers and smash the
The factory where people smile on the outside, but on the inside,
a smile
is nowhere to be found. Where walls are painted in blood,
and the agonizing screams can be heard far beyond the old city.

THE FAAAAAACTORY! - My God, I thought they tore it down.

“Make it easy on yourself, comrade. Bedroom, third drawer to the right.

“You hear that, said the first man looking out the large window?
They are in the street now. They are coming up.”

With that said, they left and closed the door. I heard the sound of heavy
boots like thunder coming down the hallway and knew I had to move fast.

I hurried into the bedroom and pulled open the third drawer to the right. The sound of
a doorknob attempting to be turned abruptly led to the door before kicked open. I will
not be taken alive, I thought. Not to a place that makes Stalin's gulag seem like summer
I could hear them conspiring against me, and it felt like they were setting a trap.

The Russians entered a second room and began smashing everything in sight.

“There is nowhere to hide,” I said to myself calmly as I put the gun to my right
temple, never imagining this could ever be possible. Looking down, I saw the

hotel room key on an orange metal tag by the Matreoshka near the end table.

As I picked up the rusted and filthy tag that looked like it had been kept well hidden in
the back of an old toilet tank, the truth had revealed itself and was plain for
me to see.

Room #1302.

I grinned, for I was amused at the sheer irony of it. I then
thought to myself
rather loudly, only in the heartland do Bolsheviks fear no reprisal.

                                                 Orange Bicycle - Jenskadajka

As the sound of glass objects breaking and men cursing in demon tongues
closer, the bedroom door burst open, and the hammer instinctively fired.

My eyes opened, and I was surprised to find my heart still beating like a drum. I thanked the good
Lord for his kindness and for saving my soul from the fires of perdition. I was quite relieved to
be home rather than lying face down in a blanket of red along the banks of the Volga River.

I closed the book after reading less than two paragraphs. I was glad to have documented
the nutmeg ordeal and returned the book of jottings back to its rightful place on the shelf.

At exactly three o'clock on a warm Sunday afternoon, I heard Ramon pulling
the car up in front of the house. They have returned from their little getaway
and are now entering the kitchen. “Hello, Charlie,” said Mother in a manner
that would imply she was fatigued. “Do anything good over the weekend?

I kind of felt like saying, “Yeah, I did half a can of nutmeg that nearly gave
me a
massive heart attack. Then I got Alzheimer’s disease for a day, and I'm
not really sure
if I still have it. Let’s see, I had a sneezing fit this morning,
where I unconsciously
slammed my forehead into the kitchen table, hurting
my neck and causing an enlarged lump to form above my brow, and now
I find it rather difficult, if not impossible, to shit.

Of course, I would never say such a thing, but the effects of the drug had left me
feeling skittish. My mind was still groggy, but in an entertaining, kind of energetic
way, my body felt like it was participating in a rather lewd Vaudeville act. I must
distance myself from them, I thought, and so I took a pleasant stroll down the block.

The sun could be warmer, and my mind could be sharper, but who am I to complain?
Later on, I still had no appetite for food but managed to partake of some fish.

Sunday was drawing to a close.

No longer were there any visions to behold in curtains hung high. Neither
were there any shocking revelations to run in fear from, o
nly a deep need
to enwrap myself in my plush comforter and surrender to sleep.
That night,
there would be no dreams for me to remember.

I was awakened in the early morning hours to the sound of branches
scraping against the window.
A heavy gust of wind had kicked them
up to where I was resting silently.
Everything was normal again.

I thought about the nutmeg ordeal and would eventually come
to the
conclusion that it was indeed worth it. If nothing more than for simply
allowing me to see the world through unclouded spectacles and with
more clarity than I rightfully deserve to embrace.

From my bedroom window, I could now see Mother walking down the block
like she was campaigning for a cause. A woman full of vim and vigor in the
morning. She rounded the corner like a cosmonaut, and I thought. . .

This is ground control to Major Tom.
You've really made the grade.

                                          David Bowie - Space oddity

                                                                              Pg 32


Reviews for chapter 6
    This review was posted on Mar/26/22

Ella's, Jacob & Sarah's review


You could elaborate on the love affair with Sharon.

The chapter-length was much longer, and this is better,
as it is much more up to the industry standard.

You could tell us more about the car drive between the protagonist and Dave.
Dialogue can fix this. Dialogue can move the narrative further, and expand the
characterisation between Dave and the protagonist.

The process of calling for an ambulance and the whole nutmeg situation
was cleverly written, and so unique, and absolutely engaging, we loved it!

The idea of religion, and smoking weed that was illegal back then,
is so good, the juxtaposition of this was very intriguing.

The rest of the chapter was chaotic, and we don’t think we understood all of it ha-ha.
Unfortunately, it was our least favourite chapter thus far due to the chaotic nature and
the confusion it caused. Don’t get us wrong, it was really intriguing and interesting,
it was just really confusing!

Our favorite quote was:

Unable to stop the tickling itch that begged for laughter, I exploded. Swinging off the kitchen chair,
dropping the old yellow rotary dial receiver that had been mounted to the wall, and it gently struck
the vinyl flooring where it sprung up and down like a slinky. I don't know how long I was laughing,
or how much oxygen I lost, but when I regained my composure some twenty minutes later, every
part of my being ached in the worst possible way.

We also think that you tell too much in this chapter and do not show as much as we would
have liked. You could have shown a bit about the relationship with Sharon, or at least
elaborated about it a bit, this will give us a bit more insight into why things ended.

You evoked most of our senses in this chapter though, from the smoothie
to the hallucinations. It was really good, you really drew us into the scene.

We absolutely adored the reference to David Bowie!

This was a well written, if confusing, chapter.
We liked it, even though we did not understand parts of it!

Well done Chas!


                                                This review was posted on Apr/25/22

                                          Lameez' review

   Beta-Read Report for 'The Embryo Man and Other Tales of Woe - Chapter 6'

                            Beta Reader: Lameez Rushin (Lameezisreal)



Overall Impression

Going in, I expected some form of poison. Given the title of the chapter, I knew
it would lead to a form of nutmeg poison. However, I did not expect to be this
thoroughly lured into the story by the idea that just about anyone could be that
ignorant of the very real side effects of drinking nutmeg. It borders on realism
in this aspect and it unearthed me. I loved it!

Chapter Notes

This chapter was long but well written. I loved the description of the
psychosis between what Charlie saw and a bit of what Dave endured.
It was messy and terrifying, as you would expect it to be.

Character Notes

Dave is easily the most interesting character in this one. From the entitlement
he felt over the baby, to leaving the broken glass of milk and cookie on the stairs.
He was as messy and strange as the psychosis. Through Charlie, we get Dave’s
sort of post-nutmeg account of leaving the broken glass of milk on the stairs, just
because. It begs the question of whether he is naturally psychotic or if this was
just the after-effects of the nutmeg. Either way, I agree with his mother:
Dave is in dire need of a visit to a psychiatrist.

Thoughts After Finishing The Chapter

This chapter, as stated above, was well written. From the realism to the interactions
to Dave’s response to Louisa’s choice. I enjoyed this chapter a lot.

Thank you so much and I’m excited to see your next chapter!



                                  This review was posted on May/2/22

                                 nehanegi1905 's review
The Embryo Man and Other Tales of Woe: Chapter 6 -
That deadly nutmeg tree

                                   Reader's Report by nehanegi1905

Hello Chas! I hope you’re doing good.

Today I’m actually quite proud of myself for making the right decision
to take on this project. What an absolute delight this chapter was.

The transitions from the real story to the
one Charlie wrote was absolutely amazing.

Nowhere did I felt uncomfortable because the transitions were so smooth,
almost effortless. The story was quite gripping and interesting which made
we wanna read more but by then Charlie’s family arrived.

But I’m hoping to read more of this story in the upcoming chapters.

To be very honest, I’m not ever going to underestimate nutmeg in my life.
I’m looking forward to reading the next chapter.



                                              This review was posted on May/21/22

                                                sianiesl's review

The Embryo Man and Other Tales of Woe: Chapter 6 - That deadly nutmeg tree

                                                    Reader's Report by Siani

Thank you for allowing me to read another chapter of your work, this one had a
different feel about it, and made for more of a mini story than a chapter within a novel.

Readability of Chapter 6.

In other words, how quickly did I read the chapter,

how much did I enjoy it, and where did it drag?

Chapter 6 was a little longer than the other, so although it took a little bit longer to get
through, it didn't drag in any places. There were some changes of pace throughout the
chapter, it seemed to start of a little slow, building pace after the nutmeg, however if
worked well within the novel, and didn't feel unbalanced or rushed. Some paragraphs
slowed the reader down, to sit and stew within the torture and torment, others went
quicker, almost symbolising the speed of a heart beat, time rushing by so fast.

Reader’s opinion.  

As a reader, what did I think of your plot, your characters, and your writing style?

This chapter gave the reader the best of both worlds, and for me personally who
appreciates the small background details, I enjoyed the comments regarding the
mother and stepfather, their usual schedule on a Friday evening continuing into
the weekend. I also enjoyed the graduation details, along with the introduction of
the friends for the weekend. This chapter included both sides of the sword, the
''normal'' every day life, break ups, new jobs and general life, along with the
memorising and enchanting details of another high, the secret life they are
thrown into, and the beautiful flow within their mind.

Positives and negatives.

What about your chapter did I love or hate?

As mentioned, this  chapter gives the reader a taste of both worlds, and for me I think
its was well poised and they both complimented each other well. They way in which the
worlds both integrated as one, coming out of one world and into another, entwined and
connected. The main character remains likeable, and with the introduction of friends,
and how they speak and interact with them, now removes any thoughts regarding them
being a bit of a loner, someone with no friends and doesn't have any social skills.

The ''high world'' was immaculately written as always. From the Saturday morning being
woken by strange and unworldly feelings, and the torturous pain and begging for mercy,
to the other places and people they visited, all was written poetically, and flowed well from
one to the other. I was emersed particularly within the  paragraphs before the phone call
from Dave, the pain and anguish, the suffering and the haunting teapots really embedded
a vivid image, almost as if I could physically feel the same way.

Subsequent discussion of your manuscript.

I'm stunned again by another one of your chapters, this feels like it would be a great
mini story, it almost needs no context, it works very well on its own merit, along with
fitting in well with the other chapters, continuing the writing style and theme.

I'm becoming obsessed with where I will be taken next, and can't wait for my next hit.

All the best,



                                       Indu is my official editor - May/22/22

                                              This review was posted on Jun/6/22

                                          kanchanninawe's review

     The Embryo Man and Other Tales of Woe: Chapter 6 - That deadly nutmeg tree

                                                 Reader's Report by kanchan

What was your overall take on the chapter after reading it?

The plot of this chapter was really nicely set. I loved the storytelling way. The flow was
extremely good, couldn’t stop reading once started. It was quite a riveting experience.
The character was well put and described upright and elaborated briefly.

The dream sequences makes the chapter more fun to read.

CHAPTER OPENING - Do you like the wording used?
Do you want to keep reading? Are you excited to turn the page?

The flow was gripping so it was easy to continue reading and
it was definitely worth turning pages and reading non-stop.

CHARACTER ANALYSIS - Did you find the character(s) too imaginative,
or descriptive? Are they exciting or boring in this chapter?

Here and there the character was a little too imaginative like around
page 16 and 17. Apart from that it was riveting experience.

PACE AND FLOW - Was it too fast/slow? Does it move
smoothly, or is it rough and choppy? Did you feel lost at all?

The pace was absolutely fine and the it wasn’t rough at any of the portions.
Except the page 16 imaginative sequence it didn’t feel any lost at all.

LANGUAGE - Do you like the way the writer plays with words? Do you feel
that he knows what he is doing? Do you think those obscure words help or
hurt the story? Do you believe readers can learn something here?

There weren’t any obscure moments in the story. There surely is a takeaway
for the readers. The way the character deals with the emotions and the journey
described regarding the character is absolutely grasping and fun to read.

Also the literature is pretty understandable.

SENSITIVITY - Is there anything that offended you? Are you
offended by the illicit substances conveyed in this chapter?

The chapter is very conscious and the sensitivity is well maintained.

DIALOGUE WRITING - Do you enjoy the narration of the author?
Was the message delivered in a clear and thoughtful manner?

The message will surely reach the reader, because the
narration was to the point and exciting to look forward to.

PLOT/CONSISTENCY - Was the plot on point? Do you like where it is going?

I loved the plot and where it is going to go, also look forward to reading
next chapter to what happens next. The plot is quite fun and full of twists.

SETTING/DESCRIPTION - Is it fine the way the author described
his surroundings? Should more attention be paid to detail?

I think enough of description is done for the character and for the surroundings
so nothing more should be added to the detailing just a little bit attention to
positioning the events could be done, which if not is completely fine.

GRAMMAR/SYNTAX - Does the wording confuse you? Does the
writing excite you, even though it doesn't entirely make sense.

The wordings were captivating and doesn’t confuse reader anywhere in the whole chapter.

FAVORITE QUOTES/PASSAGES - Did anything the writer stand out?
Were there any sentences/phrases that impressed you?

I loved the dream sequences described and the presentation of those were really
amazing. The teapot conversations and sequences were also eye-catching.

One of the lines that stood out- Page 8

I could almost perceive God wanting to smite me. Who can say
for sure that the next life isn't going to be filled with these creatures?
And so, I had to give myself a fighting chance to save my soul.

OVERALL THOUGHTS/ENDING - How do you feel on an emotional
level? Did it make you want to turn the page or close it?

I am genuinely looking forward for the next chapter, this chapter was beautifully
written and it makes reader turn the page and continue reading. I feel like the story
is only going to get interesting and enticing onwards in the upcoming chapters.

Summoning the chapter I really enjoyed it.


                                       This review was posted on Jun/10/22

                                    aid_aid's review

          The Embryo Man and Other Tales of Woe: Chapter 6 - Reader Report

                                           Beta Reader's Report by aid_aid

1. And as usual, they would depart for the weekend by hooking up the Shasta trailer to
the old Karmann Ghia, and Ray would drive it down to Trails End, PA, where they would
meet up with friends who also enjoyed camping and all things that pertained to the great
outdoors” this sentence seems to be running in a rush. It would be prudent to break it
down and make it two sentences instead of one. Add a break as, “….with friends. These
friends were fond of camping and all the things that pertained to the great outdoors.”

2. “It then occurred to me as I was studying the design of why this beer is so popular.
Because it is red, white, and blue, and it resembles the American flag.” The tenses in
this sentence seem overlapping between present and past tense.

3. Again, the tenses before this line is past. This line has present tense. “Dave
hastily goes to open his, and the beer tab snaps off, leaving the can sealed.
Dave begins laughing insidiously and says, “That cunt; she put a curse on me.”

4. “The hair on my head did not feel right to me. It was too stiff and bristly like that
of a boar or warthog, and my face was now very similar to that of a fly, while my heart
was going so fast, I could no longer hear it. I was becoming concerned about what was
going on but felt absolutely powerless to do anything to stop it. Like throwing yourself
from a tall building and then realizing you made a mistake.” I appreciate how you
elaborate the scenes where you lose senses. It always amazes me.

5. “Aside from being labeled a spice” labelled ‘as’ should be correct.

6. “With that, I let go a roar of laughter that would not be topped to
this very day and collapsed to the floor.” Let go ‘of’ would be better

7. “One that appeared to be waiting for a bus that would never arrive. I soon began
scratching my head, and with a perplexed face, I looked around like I had just been
dropped off in México.” The context of this sentence is hard to understand. Mexico
is a little vague to understand if you do not specify which place you were in initially

8. You should do a spell check on this document.
It has a lot of mistakes with respect to the spellings.

9. “Birds swoop down and take a crystal of this salt home to their nest, for one is all
they can carry. It is the seed of fertility. They will give it to their young so they might
have life. A life to live freely.” Personally in love with this portion.

10. This chapter, though longer than the rest, mNged to have a smooth ending. It began
and ran into proper balance of emotions and thinking. It had humour and descriptions
that arrange your entertainment in the best manner. Just a suggestion, maybe you can
add more colour and shape descriptions to create better imagery. Your similes are good,
but this might add the pretext to your story’s visualization for a reader.

                                            This review was posted on Jun/14/22

                                                krithika's review

     The Embryo Man and Other Tales of Woe: Chapter 6 - That deadly nutmeg tree

                                                  Reader's Report by krithika



                                              This review was posted on Jun/21/22

                                           aneelaiftikhar1's review

The Embryo Man and Other Tales of Woe: Chapter 6 - That deadly nutmeg tree

                                                   Reader's Report by Aneela


                                               This review was posted on Jun/29/22

                                                          iqrabashir871 's review
        The Embryo Man and Other Tales of Woe: Chapter 6 -
That deadly nutmeg tree

Reader's Report by Iqra

FIRST IMPRESSION - What was your overall take on the chapter after reading it?

Answer-At first the chapter couldn’t captivate me. It took him a bit longer to describe
the scenarios. However, it came out more interesting than my expectation. I like the
part where he becomes sarcastic and says’ “On second thought, I take that back.
She did put a curse on you!”. Also, I am amazed to see how he had paid attention to
everything for making it perfect.

CHAPTER OPENING - Do you like the wording used? Do you
believe it is uniquely different from everything else out there?

Answer- Yes, it is perfect. The storyline is utterly unique.
Certainly, it makes the story more interesting.

CHARACTER ANALYSIS - Did you find the character(s) too imaginative,
or descriptive? Are they exciting or boring in this chapter?

Answer-Yes, they all seem imaginative.
I can easily picture all of the characters playing their roles.

PACE AND FLOW - Was it too fast/slow? Does it move smoothly,
or is it rough and choppy? Did you feel lost at all?

Answer- In the beginning, it didn’t capture me like it should.
However until reaching the middle, I feel myself lost while reading.  

LANGUAGE - Do you like the way the writer uses words?

Answer- Yes.

Do you feel that he knows what he is doing?

Answer- I am surprised how anyone can write everything with such details.
It seems almost impossible for me to even remember everything happened
but he made it possible to come up with such master piece.
Do you think those obscure words help or hurt the story?

Answer- In my opinion, it hurts the story a little bit.
However, I didn’t find anything like that in this chapter

Do you believe that readers can learn something from this chapter?

Answer- Yes, I believe everything around us is teaching us something
in their own way. The following chapter made me realize that even
unexpected and unwanted stuff can bring you immense pleasure.

SENSITIVITY - Is there anything that offended you in any way?

Answer- Not at all. I loved it.

DIALOGUE WRITING - Do you enjoy the narration of the author?
Was the message delivered in a clear and thoughtful manner?

Answer- Yes, I truly enjoyed every part of it. Nothing was found absurd or
undefined to make a problem. He conveyed his message pretty clearly.

PLOT/CONSISTENCY - Was the plot on point? Do you like where it is going?

Answer- Ohh yes! Adoring the chapter in simple words would be hard. I love it
from the core of my heart. Indeed, the interest level is increasing with every chapter.

SETTING/DESCRIPTION - Is it fine the way the author described
his surroundings? Should more or less attention be paid to detail?

Answer- In the beginning, it took a little bit extra to describe the actual story.
He should have paid more attention to the original story.

GRAMMAR/SYNTAX - Does the wording confuse you? Does the writing
excite you, even though it doesn't entirely make sense at times?

Answer- As compare to previous chapters, it didn’t confuse me at all.
The excitement level increased as I went deeper.

FAVORITE QUOTES/PASSAGES - Did anything the writer convey stand out?
Were there any sentences/phrases that impressed or delighted you?

Answer- Yes, I love the comedy part where his friend gets tripped and mother scolds him.

OVERALL THOUGHTS/ENDING - How do you feel on an emotional level?
Did reading this chapter make you want to turn the page or close it?

Answer- On an emotional level, I found a close sentimental relationship between
both characters. I like the part where they tried an experiment and consequences
literally amazed me the way writer wrote down all of them.



                                             This review was posted on July/7/22

                                    Tayyaba17's review

The Embryo Man and Other Tales of Woe: Chapter 6 - That deadly nutmeg tree

                                                 Reader's Report by Tayyaba

                                         That deadly nutmeg tree

This chapter has enliven the story and engages the reader’s interest.

This depicts that writer also masters at humor writing and made the readers
laugh out loud, indeed. The writer penned down the story starting with the
memory he shared with a friend.

He used clichés to his benefit, bringing the twist right in the story when the
readers are anticipating a major panic or heartfelt scene. He is a keen observer
and is fully aware of succession of events he is following in the story.

The writer is expert to immerse the readers in imagery that extends beyond
a mere description of what can be seen. The overall chapter is exciting and
it moves smoothly keeping the reader’s interest to the end.

The writer keeps on using the exciting and figurative language to paint the picture
and igniting the all senses of the reader. He describes the hallucinating effects of
nutmeg very precisely that keeps one startled for a moment and then allowing one
to see things as clearly as they are seeing with their own eyes.

In this chapter, he also used a very realistic approach to write down the real life
experiences incorporating flaws and, to share his opinion on them. His writing
also encourages the reader for optimistic reasoning while imagining them in that
situation and making them more empathetic toward others in their own lives.


                                              This review was posted on July/13/22

                                                           Alysorrow's review
The Embryo Man and Other Tales of Woe: Chapter 6 -
That deadly nutmeg tree

                                                Reader's Report by Aly Sorrow



                                       This review was posted on July/21/22

(Sent ch 8 before 6 & 7)

                                                 Hajranoor786's review
The Embryo Man and Other Tales of Woe: Chapter 6 -
That deadly nutmeg tree

                                         Reader's Report by Hajra Noor


                                                                This review was posted on July/30/22

                                                                                alits29's review



                                             This review was posted on Aug/5/22

                                 sidrahumar120's review

The Embryo Man and Other Tales of Woe: Chapter 6 - That deadly nutmeg tree

                                                   Reader's Report by Sidrah


                                               This review was posted on Sept/12/22

                                                        Iqrawarriach418's review
The Embryo Man and Other Tales of Woe: Chapter 6 -
That deadly nutmeg tree

                                             Reader's Report by Dr. Iqra Warriach






                                               This review was posted on Jan/27/23



                                                              This review was posted on Feb/1/23

                                                                      Reviewed by yashodha_95




                                           This review was posted on Feb/21/23
                                        Reviewed by andreamircheska







                                                    This review was posted on Mar/1/23
                                                           Reviewed by gwheeler2019



                                                            This review was posted on Mar/17/23
                                                         Reviewed by zuma_the_pro




                                                          This review was posted on Apr/5/23
                                                                     Reviewed by sarah1409



                                                          This review was posted on Apr/6/23
                                                                   Reviewed by aamnaaaa



                                              This review was posted on Apr/12/23
                                                 Reviewed by qeilisha




                                                            This review was posted on Apr/20/23
                                                                      Reviewed by hinaspatel





                                                         This review was posted on Apr/23/23
                                                                       Reviewed by pazkou




                                              This review was posted on May/9/23
                                             Reviewed by afrinjahan11




                                                    This review was posted on May/8/23
                                                    Reviewed by tawhida560



                                                              This review was posted on May/11/23
                                                            Reviewed by labia_1903





                                                             This review was posted on May/16/23
                                                                    Reviewed by nusratjahan603



                                             This review was posted on Jun/6/23
                                               Reviewed by rupalrao




                              Saleha Zainab - June 29 - Chapter 6

After analyzing the chapter based on the provided excerpt, it appears to be a reflection
on a period of the narrator's life filled with regret, loss, and the consequences of impulsive
The chapter explores various themes such as regret and consequences, relationships
and loss, coming of age, escapism and substance abuse, existential crisis, friendship and
support, and symbolism.

The tone of the chapter seems introspective and somewhat melancholic, as the narrator
acknowledges their mistakes and the negative outcomes that have resulted from their
choices. There is a sense of personal growth and self-awareness as they reflect on their
past relationships and the difficulties they face in moving forward.

The chapter also touches on existential questions, highlighting the narrator's fear of death
and the search for meaning in the midst of personal struggles. This introspection adds depth
to the narrative and provides an emotional and philosophical layer to the story.

Overall, the chapter appears to be a cautionary tale about the consequences of impulsive
behavior and the importance of making responsible choices. It explores the complexities
of human relationships, the challenges of transitioning from adolescence to adulthood,
and the need for friendship and support during difficult times.

The symbolism used in the chapter, such as the American flag colors on the beer can, adds
a layer of meaning and serves as a reminder of identity and patriotism.
However, based on
the themes and ideas presented, it seems to offer a thought-provoking exploration of
personal growth, the consequences of actions, and the search for meaning in life.

After speaking with Dave on the phone, the narrator learns that Dave's mother wants him to
see a psychiatrist, not because of the door incident, but due to another undisclosed reason.
Dave shares a humorous story about tripping and breaking a glass of milk while his mother was
out shopping. The narrator finds it hilarious and laughs uncontrollably. Later, the narrator attends
a party at John's aunt's house, where they enjoy drinks, conversations, and a game of pool. The
narrator feels a sense of confusion and disorientation while trying to find the house, indicating a
possible effect of the drug they ingested earlier. Despite feeling lost, they eventually arrive at the
party and have a good time. The chapter concludes with the narrator experiencing vivid and surreal
visions before falling asleep and having a dream about being a spy in the Soviet Union.

The chapter highlights the narrator's altered state of mind, likely due to the drug they consumed.
It portrays their confusion, disorientation, and loss of memory. The humorous anecdote shared
by Dave adds some lightheartedness to the narrative. The party scene depicts the narrator's
enjoyment and their skill in playing pool, which seems enhanced by the drug's effects. The chapter
also introduces elements of dream-like sequences and surreal imagery, blurring the lines between
reality and the narrator's altered perceptions.

The ending of the chapter leaves the reader with a sense of uncertainty and intrigue. It introduces
a sudden shift in narrative, transitioning from the protagonist's experiences at a backyard party to
a dream sequence set in the Soviet Union. The dream sequence is filled with suspense, danger, and
a mysterious package delivery, creating a tense atmosphere. The chapter ends with the protagonist
contemplating his fate as he faces a potential threat.

The ending leaves the reader with several questions and a desire to know what happens next. Will the
protagonist be able to escape the Russians? What is the significance of the package and the dream?
It creates a sense of anticipation for the next chapter and keeps the reader engaged in the story.
short the ending of the chapter effectively captures the reader's attention and leaves them wanting
to know more, adding an element of suspense to the narrative.


                                           This review was posted on Jul/14/23
                                               Reviewed by Nirjana and Jakir





                                              This review was posted on Aug/1/23 (Morning)
                                          Reviewed by ramshabaloch101




                                                              This review was posted on Aug/6/23
                                                       Reviewed by sampriktaada813



                                              This review was posted on Oct/9/23
                                           Reviewed by ritikagoyal587



                                                            This review was posted on Dec/22/23
                                                             Reviewed by namra



                                         This review was posted on Jan/6/24
                                             Reviewed by mariya


Review for chapter 6 by mariya

I found the chapter a bit lengthy which I’m afraid might bother a common reader though
the title seems interesting but what I’ve analyzed is that people sometimes skip few details
when specially the chapter becomes lengthy but the title do fascinates the reader.

This chapter, in particular, took me through a whirlwind of emotions and scenarios,
painting a vivid picture of the protagonist's life and inner turmoil.

The narrative takes us in a deep dive into the protagonist’s past and current life, shedding light
on relationships and the profound impact they have. The juxtaposition of the protagonist’s and
Dave’s failed relationships offers a poignant look at love, loss, and the process of moving on.

It’s raw, real, and also heartbreaking.

And the nutmeg adventure – what a captivating turn of events! The detailed description
of the nutmeg-induced hallucination blurs the lines between reality and fantasy, engaging
the reader in a psychedelic journey. The teapots conversation and the imagery there?
Absolutely wild, but in a good way.

There are, however, moments where the narrative feels a bit disjointed. The transitions
between scenes, especially during the nutmeg episode, could be smoother. Sometimes,
it's like hopping on a train mid-journey without knowing the previous stop. A little clarity
could go a long way in enhancing the reader's connection with the storyline.

Moreover, the dialogue, particularly the use of slangs and colloquial language, adds
authenticity to the characters. The detailed account of the protagonist's journey to
John’s aunt's house, though engaging, feels a bit lengthy and could be trimmed for
a clear and smooth storytelling.

In conclusion, this chapter is a mix of raw emotion, and a touch of the bizarre.
Sometimes the reader becomes confuse but then realizes the central idea of
the story that revolves around a person living in the moment.

Other review told by my sister

The story unfolds with each chapter being puzzle pieces,
like fragments coming together to present a bigger picture.

The nutmeg incident, how a seemingly insignificant spice had the power in it to transform the
character's life, brought a fascinating turn of events. It’s very interesting how each chapter
is set in a different timeline revealing different aspects of the protagonist's life, each chapter
unveiling a new story, each of them being trivial incidents bringing a significant turn in his life.

It is also intriguing that we don't get to know the name of the protagonist just like parts of his life
and his identity are still masked from the reader. The chapter keeps the reader hinged to know
more. Eager to uncover more about his life in the upcoming chapters. Though at some points,
the reader becomes confused what’s actually happening then has to read the above story again
and at some points, the moment which writer is describing becomes complex too but the way
writer has told each and every detail reveals his capability and uniqueness.

                                                             Rating: 3/5


                                                           This review was posted on Jan/12/24
                                                                         Reviewed by adeeba




                                                               This review was posted on Jan/22/24
                                                                           Reviewed by craftopia



                                              This review was posted on Jan/25/24
                                                      Reviewed by aimanmengal3



                                                          This review was posted on Jan/28/24
                                                                 Reviewed by sababaloch292




                                                           This review was posted on Feb/20/24
                                                                    Reviewed by jayamalir234






                                                          This review was posted on May/8/24
                                                                       Reviewed by poesiha




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