Lama Shoreditch, esconced in deepest Sussex, had lived an unremarked life both before his entering orders and after.
Before was defined in his mind by chapters with mind pictures such as his crazy screaming dark haired wife, her pretty face contorted with hate, or the cold and bleak mornings when he would trudge unhappily to the electronics store to open up for Mister Mintbadden, who never arrived at his own business on time but could not afford to fire himself.
Now was defined as the gentle and endless rote of the lamasery, incongruously set inside a stately home donated to its Tibetan refugee founders by one of the Rutles after that band found religion - just not the religion of its Rutland forebears.
The only condition the Rutles had imposed on the monks who set up the lamasery was that a special edition of the Bardo Thodol - the Tibetan Book of the Dead as outsiders inaccurately called it - should be written for the people of their home region of England.
Thus and so did Shoreditch labour daily as he had done for years, faithfully transcribing the original Tibetan Book of Living and Dying from its original scrolls to the new work: The Rutland Book of the Dead.
Currently he was inscribing in purple ink copperplate English transliterations of the chants to prepare a dying person for their next phase of existence, wrapping the text around and about the illustration of a dying yeti that the head lama had previously placed-
Shoreditch looked up from his work and looked back down.
Looking again like a comic mime, mouth agape, he saw what he could not possibly be seeing.
Instead of the meticulous work of days he had devoted himself to he saw three scrawled pieces of crude graffiti, slopped across both the existing text and the illustration - itself a priceless artefact from old Tibet.
7/22/2016 6:20:32 PM
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