Drink From the Mug

by George Lewkowicz

And it's arrived. Here it is; three thousand and seventy five pounds worth of internet-bought goodness. One of only three hundred and three made; made from only the finest of ingredients. You had to be 'in the know' to even get into the website. Not to be found on any search engines, and then a four part password, each part found in a different area of the city.

I feel there should be some sort of ceremony. Maybe they should pay for a trumpet fanfare with a cannon blast and the Queen presenting it to me on a silver plate. Instead it comes by Royal Mail, in rather ordinary looking brown wrapping.

I feverishly open it. "Illumination," the jar says, "To be drunk with tea; Made with genuine Unicorn Hair" This is rubbish, they can't put the real ingredient down. Instead they have to lie and pretend it's magic. Nowadays it's easier to gloss over what's really happening with a lie. If it's not magic it's terrorism.

In fact what goes into each of the three hundred and three jars is far more interesting, far more exciting than unicorn hair. Into each jar goes a tiny amount of crushed Liam Filkin. This is why it's sold over the Internet, and why it's near impossible to get hold of. There's only so much Liam Filkin to go round.

It lists some other bogus ingredients on the back, but still no mention of Liam Filkin. I almost feel sorry for him. Poor Liam gets no recognition for the fantastic work he's done for so many people.

Liam Filkin was a man who was little understood. He was very simply a kind man. He treated people like they were people, was never rude, and spent his time enjoying existence. He was also born of a virgin birth. Everyone he met would fall in love with him.

Unfortunately he didn't actually manage to meet that many people, due to him being run over by a truck at the age of thirty-two and a half. His followers loved him so much, they ripped his body to pieces. They tore at him violently, each of them fighting over tiny fragments of skin. Jokingly, they said it was one of the world's first mass murders as apparently, poor Liam wasn't even dead as they tore.

Somehow, some pieces of Liam ended up on the black market, and presumably some larger pieces ended up at the fantastic company that make 'Illumination'. A glorious white powder that you simply add to your tea, and drink.

So I pop the kettle on. As you would. To be drunk properly it has to be drunk with tea, and tea requires a kettle. Unfortunately a kettle takes an awful long time when you're waiting for it in such anticipation. This was my Christmas present to myself. Years of waiting, of researching, of near misses had finally led to this tiny jar sitting on my kitchen top. And I had to wait for a flaming kettle to boil.

I bet Liam Filkin never had to wait for a kettle to boil.

I put the tea bag in the mug, and get the milk out. Do you drink it with milk? Would milk ruin the effect? Is it better with a certain type of tea? I didn't want to spoil it, and maybe milk spoiled it. And I only had Typhoo in the house and that might not be the right tea.

This was getting me nowhere. I decided to just use the Typhoo but have it black. Tea bag in the mug I awaited the kettle. I tap my fingers. I pace. I try to read the Daily Mail.

The kettle finally whistles and I shove some hot water into the mug. I suppose I've got to let it bloody brew now. Oh sod that. I squeeze the tea bag with a spoon, and lob it in the bin. I take a brief second to hold the jar, a jar pregnant with possibility.

I carefully unscrew it, and tip the fine white powder into the tea. I want the tea to change colour, or produce a smoke, or something. But nothing. It's just like I'm adding sugar. Sitting in front of me is something I've dreamed about for years. This was The Cup of Tea. The cup of tea that held the answer, that held tiny crushed pieces of Liam Filkin. Was it from his toe I wonder? Or maybe a more significant body organ.

I take a sip. Nothing. So I down the lot, desperate to feel the effects. Still nothing.

And then it hits me.

Sudden clarity hits me.

I see the stars and the moon. The world's heavens are open to me and me alone. I see red supernova exploding in dangerous rage. I see galaxies forming, condensing from a swirl of silver dust. I see worlds created and destroyed, the Universe moving in perfect symmetry on a black backdrop.

I see the Earth. I see the sea churning, the mountains slowly rising. I see the ecosystem slowly burning, the tide slowly changing. I see the Earth's magma gently flowing under a flimsy crust of green and blue. I see the calm power of the Earth, and its glorious restraint.

I see the people, the people swarming as ants. Forming one giant system unbeknownst to each one of them. Each one tiny and insignificant to the greater plan, but each one vital. Each one putting in their pathetic contribution. Their lives produce order and chaos.

I see the creatures, from the large to the small. Each relying on the other, all dependant on the minute bacteria covering the world like an invisible slime blanket. Crawling over the land thinking and feeling nothing.

I see smaller, I see the cells and the DNA and the individual atoms. With electrons swirling like the planets round a star. Huge vast vacuous gaps filling the universe. The Universe is made of nothing, there is nothing here. We are empty.

And I break Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle because I know everything. I know where everything is, and I know where everything is going.

I see the future. With each atom and its direction comes a greater knowledge and it builds up and out. I zoom out and see the world and its destruction. I see worlds created and destroyed, stars fading and being given new birth, life flourishing and being extinguished. And there is no end. The universe expands, and entropy runs its course, until there's nothing but a sea of low-level energy.

And I see back, I see the past, I see the fire, and I see the singularity.

It is so heavenly. One point. One perfect equation. And it shines.

And I see the end, the Liam Filkin exits my system, taking my knowledge as he leaves, and I break down and cry.

To hear the story read by the author and see other stories visit www.teafuelledart.co.uk

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