The King in Yellow, Part 3


Another day, another dollar; and once again another blog entry. I hope that you all enjoyed the reprieve offered to you by Jon, an integral member of Team Monster and our comic authority. Who know’s what he’ll pull from out of his sleeve in the future?

As October falls downward in a steady spiral, each day brings us closer and closer to the launch of the very first edition of The Enigmatic Monster. Who knows what will happen next?

Who knows what other monstrosities we will birth?

Another day, another dollar; and once again another blog entry. Insanity. That’s what I offer you; it is in all likelihood one tenth of the essence of the King in Yellow. So, in honour of Fall, and in the spirit of October: we shall fall downward in a steady spiral, until we can fall no longer.

In The Court of the Dragon:

A church service, a man asleep, and then the organ player from hell.

There are more questions than answers in In The Court of the Dragon, which is Precisely the essence of the King in Yellow, who is more chaos than order. Chaos, and yet we do not know what he is. Or, is the essence of the King in Yellow essentially what he is? If so, then we already know a few tenths of what he is made of: insanity, chaos, and mystery. And really, what on earth does that mean? How is knowledge power when you can’t even apply it?

We don’t know the mystery of the King in Yellow, and Robert W. Chambers may never answer that for us.

The Organ Player:

In the story our main character is drowsing in church. A likely scenario in real life; I’ll admit, I’ve done it. Yet allow me to repeat that nonetheless: he was drowsing in church; that may seem unimportant, and that may mean something to someone, if they want to make sense of anything.

His silent reverie is shattered when the organ player comes in. Normally the organist is someone skilled, yet today they are not. The playing is so bad that the man’s attention is drawn to the culprit.

He was a slender man, and his face was as white as his coat was black. “Good riddance!” I thought, “with your wicked music! I hope your assistant will play the closing voluntary.”

-Excerpt from The King in Yellow, by Robert W. Chambers

And then something happens, a thing belonging more to The Matrix than in an old book. Perhaps . . . I’ll allow you to decipher this horror for yourselves:

“My children,” said the preacher, “one truth the human soul finds hardest of all to learn: that it has nothing to fear. It can never be made to see that nothing can really harm it.”

“Curious doctrine!” I thought, “for a Catholic priest. Let us see how he will reconcile with the Fathers.”

“Nothing can real harm the soul,” he went on, in his coolest, clearest tones, “because—”

But I never heard the rest; my eye left his face, I knew not for what reason, and sought the lower end of the church. The same man was coming out from behind the organ, and was passing along the gallery the same way. But there had not been time for him to return, and if he had returned, I must have seen him. I felt a faint chill, and my heart sank; and yet, his going and coming were no affair of mine. I looked at him: I could not look away from his black figure and his white face. When he was exactly opposite to me, he turned and sent across the church straight into my eyes, a look of hate, intense and deadly: I have never seen any other like it; would to God I might never see it again!

-Excerpt from The King in Yellow, by Robert W. Chambers

Unable to think the man leaves the church. He finds no solace under the open skies, however; the organ player is following him, haunting him, hating him every step of the way.

Slow and Ponderous:

In The Court of the Dragon is one of the shorter stories belonging to The King in Yellow, but that does not make it any more shallow than the rest. I could argue that it’s length is its biggest crux. The story is so short that it ends up being more ponderous than some of the others. Something happens—it’s odd, unexplainable—and then it ends.

There’s not much room for development; if someone merely read this story out of the blue they would be lost, disenchanted; all of the stories are essential to understanding the mystery of the King in Yellow and the two stories previously read are essential parts of our journey. Such a short story leaves much to the audience’s imagination with few real answers. One could think themselves to death while attempting to wrestle a meaning out of the story. And the cruel joke is that they can do that, and they may never be right.

Joke’s on us!

Or is it just you?

The End of all Ends:

Why do I call it the end of all ends? I call it that not because of any profound knowledge that I received from it, but from the discomfort and confusion I felt when I finished. The first time I read In The Court of the Dragon my eyes lingered on the end.

While trying to allude the hell-bent organ player, our character ends up being cornered by him. Then in a flash and a bang he wakes up from his church doze. Nothing happened. He was dreaming. Everyone thinks he’s a douche. The end.

Just kidding. Joke’s on me!

If any of you have ever seen Poltergeist then you will remember the second ending; I CAN’T forget it, being of the opinion that it was very unnecessary. It was long, stuffy, and boring. The end with the helium-voiced medium was much nicer, thank you very much.

Not everything an artist makes is perfect, and I’ve made my peace with that. However, the second ending in In The Court of the Dragon . . . I can deal with it, even if it scares me.

On his way out of the church the character must have died; his eyes, being opened to some cryptic truth, see the mystery of the King in Yellow: terrible, beguiling, death. Or is it that? What do I mean? Is it possible that there is more to the King in Yellow than something divided into tenths? Before our character truly dies to us, the king whispers something to him . . .

I dare not tell it here . . .

. . . Out of fear for the Yellow Sign! 

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