Shakespeare (201'800'131 B.C.–2041 A.D.)

Dragon of the Japanese Big Bat Species

Interview by John Carter, Editor,

Neuchâtel, Switzerland, May 2032.


Carter: I am sitting in the (burnt) garden belonging to the two aunts of eleven-year old Lite, a seemingly ordinary girl who, however, claims to be a self-taught fairy. I am about to interview Mathews Christopher Shakespeare, a dragon of the Japanese Big Bat species. I am going to record his family histories and memories. Today’s the eighth of May, 2032. My calculation tells me, Mr Dragon, that you are more than two hundred million years old. Would you please comment on this?

Dragon: On what?

C         Well, on your remarkable age.

D         That’s not so remarkable. Elves live several billion years.

C         You were born in the Dinosaur Era, weren’t you?

D         In the Jurassic Era, to be precise. I am originally a dinosaur. Like humans, dinosaurs remember things since four years old, and my first memory dates back to 201 800 127 B. C. when a river flooded our nest. I couldn’t walk yet and my mother transported me on her back from the Jura Mountains in Switzerland all the way to Japan. There was no ocean between China and Japan at the time.

C         That’s how you got your name: the Japanese Big Bat.

D         Don’t be so hasty! My name’s a long story and you need a long time to tell it. My great great great grand-mother was a Theropoda, known colloquially as the scaled theropod. She was herbivorous, had bony plates along her back and didn’t run very fast. When we settled under Mount Fuji, in Japan, we started eating the Cave-Dwarves who’re known for digging vast palaces under the highest and hottest volcanoes. Later we acquired a taste for princesses, kings, and emperors. Oh, and warriors. So we became carnivorous and learned to run after our prey. Man-flesh is a delicatessen.

C         (Shrinking to the farthest end of his chair) You did eat many sheep an hour ago.

D         Sheep are a bit tough. Marinating mutton for an hour is a minimum. Monkeys are sweeter and need less preparation. Monarchs are the best, because they eat so well – logical, isn’t it? My best meal was Henry XXVIII. Even uncooked, he was delicious.

C         In what year was that?

D         In the summer of 1610 A. D. Henry XXVIII time travelled to my labyrinth under the Tower of London and I gulped him down like a peanut. I was then a baby dragon and in need of a meal after a long, bumpy ride on a shisho. The solar winds exhausted me.

C         What’s a shisho?

D         You are ignorant! Shishoes are famous time machines. They shrink days into seconds, or expand minutes into centuries. They enable you to travel from one era to another and to be transported to any time and place in which you’d like to be. That’s how I came from the Dinosaur Era to your days. Not that I did it all on my own. I had a time sorcerer to help me. Plûto is his name. A funny old fellow who tucks his long hair and beard into his belt, dwarf-fashion, though you’d mistake him for a wizard. I mistook him for a wizard, which vexed him. “Do you think I merely conjure third-class wizards’ tricks?” he boomed when I asked him if he was one. “Nobody goes around with a pointy hat and staff without being one,” I insisted.

C         How did Mr Pluto help you time travel from the Jurassic Era to year 2032?

D         I was napping in the dungeon-cellar of the prehistoric dwarves when out of their solar clock streamed Plûto.

C         How could there be any sun under the volcano?

D         Don’t underestimate the dwarves’ capacity of carving rock! A window they had tunneled through the mountain-roots let the rays of the sun and moon shine through.

C         You say Mr Pluto streamed out of the clock?

D         Precisely. He was all misty at first, and I could see through him to the flaming torches set in the opposite wall. But then from a ghost he solidified into an opaque person, or alien, or whatever he is. Mystified, I wondered if he was edible. So I sniffed him but found that he had no smell. “Who are you to be smell-less?” I asked. “I don’t come from the Earth, but from Planet Ceres – you know, just one of those exoplanets – and I’m in need of your help,” he answered. Then he told me of a Mr Moyo, a 5-billion years old elf who’s as cracked as a crackpot. He said that this crazy Moyo is fed up with his quasi infinite life. Unfortunately for him, he’s indestructible – as immortal as a fishy jellyfish. The only way for him to at last come to an end is to time travel back to the Big Bang, which will destroy the entire universe, himself included.

C         But that’ll also destroy the Earth!

D         Yes.

C         We’ll be mashed like potatoes!

D         Right.

C         We’ll be pulpified!

D         You’ve got it.

C         We’re cooked!

D         That depends on whether Moyo rides a shisho back to Time Zero of the universe, in which case we’ll indeed be cooked. If he shishoes just a fraction of second before Time Zero, we’ll be frozen.

C         Er, well, that brings us back to your explaining us this shisho business. I’ve never before heard the verb to shisho. It sounds Japanese.

D         It’s Old Elvish. Shishoes look like never-dying fireworks and they neigh and whinny like horses. As a matter of fact, just as atoms sum up to make the world, shisho-sparks make up shisho-horses – beautiful, foamy ones harnessed to a sleigh on which you climb for the ride. The verb to shisho means to time travel and the noun a shisho relates to a time travel machine. But I’m not going to teach you Old Elvish, not now at any rate.

C         So you’ve come here by shisho . . .

D         Yes, it’s a long story – mind. Plûto whisked me on one, much against my will. If Plûto isn’t a wizard, he’s quite a clever time-sorcerer and is good at talking you into doing things you wouldn’t normally do. And he’s a big talker. He talked about the end of the universe, about time travelling back to the Big Bang – a whole lot of twaddle. And yet he talked me into riding a shisho which took me high up in the air into outer space, all the way to the Horse-Head Nebula and back on Earth to the seventeenth century. Then with a pinch of elf powder Lite magicked me here. Well, she didn’t really “magic” me here, she “astro-magicked” me here, to be precise.

C         Astro-what?

D         Magicked. Astro-magicked.

C         Explain yourself.

D         You are so ignorant not to know about shishoes or astro-magic! Astro-magic is a vaster art than any sort of ordinary magic, because it governs stars, planets, and moons, which enables you to travel through time. You see, time does not follow a straight line. It flows like a meandering river, going at different speeds and sometimes tangling up in itself.

C         You are a very clever dragon, Mr Dragon.

D         You flatter me. My fellow creatures call me great among the Tremendous and have put me at the head of the prehistoric community. My knowledge is wide and deep, and I’ll take gladly any compliment you pay me. The lore of the Dinosaur-shishoes, old and unwritten, is my specialty. I’ve studied it and found the forgotten secrets of their making. And whenever shishoes are talked about, all I’ll reveal is their power to tangle and tousle time. What governs them, and how they mess up the movements of the stars, planets, and moons, I won’t tell.

C         Very well, keep your secrets. But to summarize the story of your life, you started a dinosaur, shishoed to the Horse-Head Nebula and travelled back to Earth to the seventeenth century. How and when did you turn from a dinosaur into a baby-dragon?

D         Time travelling had a relativist effect on me, whereby I shrank from a mastodon to a cow-sized reptile. Then, during my travel, Plûto taught me to fly and to spit fire, by which way I mutated into an individual of the Japanese Big Bat species. You may want to call me a dragon, but I’m actually a modified dinosaur. The 47th U.S. President Mr Boucher was not so stupid to call me a genetically modified vulture created by a scientist who lost control of it. Yes, you may take me for a sort of Frankenstein monster. But Plûto’s skill is far more ancient and powerful than Frankenstein’s basic science.

C         Would you tell me more about your ancestors who were dinosaurs, namely of the Theropoda species?

D         The thing of greatest interest to you or anyone would be what I remember of my grandmother telling me about our ancestors of note. The one of greatest age and the oldest in terms of millennia is Freyja Berwyn of Bloodwynd, a Thecodontosaurus or socket-tooth lizard. She was originally an early dinosaur genus called Eoraptor who established their presence on Earth more than two hundred and thirty million years ago. She resembled the common ancestor of all dinosaurs and was a big, bipedal predator. She had no children and, do you know, female dinosaurs are the most vicious. She was my great great great great great great great grand aunt: there are seven greats according to my family tree I studied at the Boggart School of Reptilities. Many legends about her came down to me. One legend is that Plûto turned her into a dragon of the Horned Worm species, which enabled her to spit fire and to fly astronomical distances. By that way she participated in an assault on the Moon which she reported to be a satellite with many 6000-meter moon-mountains. She ate ten thousand fifteen moon-warriors and set fire to two hundred and three moon-towns. Another legend is that she was ennobled for all the warriors she had eaten; still another legend is that she took part in many inter-planet battles; and the best legend I recall is that she was the lover of the Witch-lizard of Pangaea, quite an ugly monster.

C         When you speak of the “assault on the Moon” you are not speaking of the Great Battle of the Moon as told by the poet Andrew Einstein?

D         I think I am; when was it told to happen?

C         I think it was the 15th century, but I’ll check that with my i-pod – it started on January 4, 1492, when the Sirius Elf Army breached the Moon-Dragon front as a result of the Kepler Crater Offensive and advanced eastward as much as 30 kilometers a day through the Ocean of Storms, the West on the Moon (East in the sky), and the Dark Side of the Moon, temporarily halting on a line 53 kilometers of Sãtan-Town, the capital city of Hell. Ah – er – Hell? (interrupting himself in his reading)

D         Oh yes, Hell. A very interesting place.

C         Not a very happy place.

D         Well, in retrospect things become golden. I look back now with amazement that I was lucky to visit Sãtan’s vast death halls and fantastic fires.

C         Do you mean to say you have been in and out of Hell?

D         Naturally. You can go in and out of Hell as easily as if you were dropping by the post office. And – Ahchoo!


This interview was interrupted by an abrupt sneeze of the dragon which inflamed the entire building, stinging the journalist so badly he had to be transported to hospital.

If you do wish to read more such bizarre stuff, you may want to shisho to http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/astromagic, a quirky and kinky but classically-written book available as of March 25, 2015. I say shisho because a shisho is, in truth, in the fabulous Chinese game of go, a machine to travel through space rather than through time. But I'm sure you'll be able to make the connection, and so, yes, let's also make a shisho a machine to travel through cyberspace.



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