Author’s Note: What follows is an explication of an idea that is always in transition. Its very quintessence is change. Its form is fluid. Please note that even if you purchased this tome in a bookshop and it has already been printed, it is subject to change. Check my website for updates: www.sammaelslifechangingfiction.gov/DFWisagod
Spiritus Mundi: A novel of growth and revelation from a soul still in flux
by Sammael P. Worthington Jr.
Sammael is perambulating down an aged and cracked sidewalk, placing his foot at each step so as to align his big toe at a precise angle to the nearest crack, when he has the revelation that will change his entire life and mind and soul forever. The revelation that will make him the man he is meant to be. The revelation that will serve as the backbone for the novel he is just starting to work on and that will most assuredly be both a critical and commercial success and vault him into the ranks of the literary elite.
His faithful canine companion—Daisykins is her name—leaves his side and tightens the leash against his wrist, so that she can step across the chasm that separates the sidewalk’s uneven pavement from the rolling expanse of median grass that itself separates the sidewalk’s pavement from the street’s smoother and more recently restored surface. Daisykins leaps across this gap and lands with splayed paws. Her claws—which Sammael had only the previous night trimmed individually and much to Daisykins’ regret with a special nail clipper he had bought two days previously at the Barkin Bitches store near his home—are still long enough to dig into the dirt, dragging narrow furrows as the pooch picks her way to her favorite spot.
“What an incredible revelation! This is going to change my whole life!” he thinks, as Daisykins’ muzzle drops down right next to the loam—and it is loam, he can see now, not some adulterated soil blend, a distinction he takes as a sign of his wisdom in selecting this neighborhood and stretching his housing budget to make it work and get his little guest house instead of some shoebox apartment with more amenities. Daisykins sniffs at the ground, expectorating just a bit through her partially gaping maw, then finds just the right patch of earth, spins in a tight circle, and plants her haunches right over it.
Her hindquarters protest with a slight tremble as the excrement passes out of her and touches down, feather-like, onto the cushion of grass below. Sammael tracks his beloved pet’s scat quite closely. Today’s offering is firm but a bit dry. The first piece to touch down splits in half, and on the two surfaces created by the break, Sammael can see what look almost like the perforations at the edges of a stamp, and he idly wonders—across the surface of his still-shimmering revelation—whether the perforations are caused by some variance within her diet, some other environmental factor, or random chance, and whether he might help Daisykins to defecate with more adhesion by changing something about her care.
His beloved pet plops out the last of the day’s waste, straightens, gives a rather perfunctory effort to bury her dietary remnants with her hind paws, and then wanders away, to the edge of the leash, attempting to investigate a dragonfly buzzing around a bush situated across the sidewalk from the median’s grass. Sammael takes a knee, removes a Barkin Bitches-branded disposal bag from his pocket, and scoops up her waste, then ties the bag with a highly responsible and self-satisfied overhand knot.
More from Spiritus Mundi is forthcoming in The Weather.
Owen Wiseman was raised in the Pacific Northwest. He studied philosophy at Pomona College, where he read an unhealthy amount of Nietzsche and Heidegger. He now lives and works in Hollywood. His first graphic novel, Samurai’s Blood, was published in June 2011. Follow him on Twitter at @OGWiseman.