“what ever happened to Two-Edge?”

13 07 2004

somebody asked me this question this weekend, a lost page from an old, old tale, one picture-puzzle-piece lying in the rain. i used to have very serious conversations on the topic on my best friend’s roof when we were thirteen years old, writing in pencil on the whitewashed chimney-bricks pledges with hearts over who loved whom (i strongbow, she skywise), when arguing the finer character-points of our fictional lovers (and the word’s ridiculous, because we weren’t that kind of thirteen) seemed so much more tangible and relevant than anything we could have said or imagined about the boys & girls of our actual acquaintance.

two-edge, for the uninformed, is the dark merlin of the elfquest world, the lunatic half-elf who promotes prophesies and arranges betrayals, who’s in many ways the main character of the entire epic and in others–the ways of heroes and simple villains, fools-errands and honor-quests, star-crossed and inevitable love stories–doesn’t even show up on the map. “what ever happened to him?” is a very good question. at the time, not having a good answer bugged the crap out of me. i used to know these stories better than my own name, certainly better than any stories about my own life (remember, i didn’t have one) and the lives of those i knew. and while i’ve crammed a hell of a lot of stuff into my head since then, life stories, school-knowledge, song lyrics & more than a few prophesies of my own, i shoudln’t forget the ones i learned to love & bleed & cry for.

at the time, not having the answer to what would once have seemed like such a stupidly easy question–ask me a hard one, about dewshine’s soul-name, skywise’s parentage, or a childs’ game played by the tribe six generations before the main story unfolded–seemed poignantly representative of where i was standing and what searching after. easy questions. answers that used to be intuitive, understood, known below the verbal and translated simply into shared languages i took for granted. we threw all of those most powerful and most useless–because they can mean a different thing in every mouth to shape them–nouns around, finding them like colored stones and arranging them on the ground to make (recognize, remember) patterns: trust, love, language, energy, faith. and i could remember, and, more, remember how, at least in flitting glimpses. i thought i had a handle on it. until i was stumped by two-edge, who did, indeed, go on without both feet to bring more of both clarity & trouble into the tale after being imprisoned to keep him from doing so.

days later, with the treasured tomes in front of me, i don’t even have to open them to understand: it’s not an answerable question. he faded out again in mystery and then the series-authors brought in other artists & writers, endorsed spin-offs, and pissed me off. there are several possible factual answers, and i can’t remember them because i never knew them–purist that i am, i quit reading when the story came unhinged. i hadn’t forgotten. i’d simply chosen which worlds to dwell in and make meaning from and which to leave outside. in the same way (call me on over-stretching the analogy if you like; it’s how i operate) i haven’t forgotten what those words mean, how to take them in, fold them into cranes and give them like flower-blossoms into others’ hands. it’s still here. i’m not so infallible as to be able to sustain that vision–and it’s grown a little dusty, init, after all these years?–without a few reminders now & again, & it’s stupid to pretend to be, to wish i were, to insist that i have to stand as well alone as i ever stood (and i never was–i’m slowly coming to understand that too, although sometimes it feels it’s taken half a million years) to prove that i was ever worthy & able at all.

he’s mad, two-edge. but in a world where madness & vision overlap, where neither is quarantined, shut-down, drugged away. here, of course, both are, and we can only go on weaving webs of anything dragging bloody stumps behind us if they’re invisible, metaphorical, and we’re sharp as knives & more protective. madness is a luxury we can only indulge in in small, well-timed doses, like strong wine, rich confections, & psychic moments of wordless conversation. the rest of the time, blithe disguises, crooked-eyebrows, & bursts of honest laughter will just have to suffice, to patch the cracks between the obvious world and the things we all know underlie it.

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8 responses

13 07 2004
vmurther

don’t go seeking what you will not find
for out of sight is out of mind
and mind own seeking has long gone awry
so you cannot spot me with your mind’s eye
flesh echoed the pain when the stone grew again
and there was no way to finish my say
without leaving my blood behind
what had gone before had closed the great door
and my red-rimmed tracks have led me back
to the mental mettle to mine
I wander, that the story does not end
you wonder if the hidden forge is cold
but I am riddled with many riddles to send
and I have grown sharper, wiser and old
in every whetted word, two edges hide
each verbal bevel is sharp on each side

13 07 2004
tyra

!!!
did you WRITE this? &, if so, now? or years & years ago (like when i would have been doing it)?
(i poked around on the web in case it was easy-to-find fanfic, but it isn’t, & i’d remember it if it were out of the real thing. besides, the wordplay doesn’t sound like rp at all to me…)
in any of the above cases, you’re STILL amazing.
i don’t think i’ve told you that in a while. i hope you haven’t forgotten. 🙂

13 07 2004
vmurther

Re: !!!
I wrote it just after I read your post. I thought you might enjoy it.
-M

13 07 2004
vmurther

Re: !!!
Actually, I should add that the notion of reading elfquest fanfic is one that I had never even thought of, and your bringing up the idea is sort of like staring at a car crash in my living room. Who knows? There may be something good out there, but some stories should just be left alone.
whatever happened to two-edge was a question I’d asked myself a couple of times, too.
-M

14 07 2004
tyra

Re: !!!
no rubbernecking! step away from the fanfic!
the “some stories should be left alone” theory is why i dropped the series once they started branching. i didn’t want anybody else’s words coming out of the mouths of characters i knew as richard’s, and i certainly didn’t want to look into eyes drawn by anyone but wendy. even when i was a pre-teen & not yet a purist, i only made up new stories about NEW characters–like the one collected in the BoTC story-books, which were still read/edited/approved by the “real” authors…
actually ANSWERING the question definitively (that link i posted hinted that they might’ve, and i tried not to pay too much attention), would be ruinous. answers are overrated. i so much prefer the infinite potential of a question-mark left standing.

14 07 2004
tyra

Re: !!!
i do.
you rock.
::applause from the unseen gallery::

14 07 2004
tyra

p.s.
and you last read this stuff WHEN? i’m awed by your powers of recollection & creation.

14 07 2004
vmurther

Re: p.s.
er, it’s been a long time.
I never really got deep into the elfquest series. I started to lose interest not long after they actually got into the palace, and I forget exactly when I started to fade away from it all.
I do still have a couple of the collections, though. Just haven’t looked at them in a looong time.

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