Frontipiece:While this is a work of fiction, everything presented within is true and factual; there is a Greek word for scribes, and there is a Priory of Peoria.
Having a case of blogger's block, a non-fatal cousin to the more famous writer's block, I recalled admonitions to "write what you know" and thought fondly back to those halcyon days when I hung with a certain writer named Dan Tan, who told me a story of perfidy going back millennia...
I feels like it was only yesterday he told me of the scriptorium in Peoria, Illinois where a group of hairy, dark-skinned scribes known in the Greek as "monkus", or monks, perpetrated the greatest conspiracy in the history of humankind. Twenty centuries ago they'd begun the Latin order in nearby Decatur only to be squashed by Emperor Bushantine, who'd forced them to go underground until this very day. They called themselves "the work of the goddess" or "Opus Taylorus". Opus Taylorus believed in the divine feminine, to the extent it led to the divine lucre.
Clues left by surviving Tayloruses leave an exciting trail of murder and mayhem, not necessarily in that order. The eldest monk, the wizened Dan Tan, told me of Order members in the 5th century who had discovered a dusty cannister proving that the Vatican had held down the film industry for centuries. He said films we enjoy and pay money to see today had actually been around for centuries and only the Opus Taylorus monks had preserved them. The first find was a dusty cannister which contained a remarkably well-preserved 482 A.D. copy of Kevin Costner's A Field of Dreams. Dreams of great lucre appeared within reach for the Order. That is, until Emperor Bushantine's NSA spies learned of the discovery and had them all put in Guantamino [editor's note: I have no editor].
But from the film they learned: "if you build it, they will come" and it was said by the head monkus in Peoria that women buyers beget lucre since they buy books, CDs, DVDs far more than men. "Ergo," he said, "veee mussen create our own Opus Taylorus book and movie so that vimmen vill buy it and make us all filled with lucre! We'll make it more realistic by acting like it's true!". Evil laughs resounded around the Knights of the Templar table.
"Mr. Ergo!" one impertinent voice said, piercing the aromatic air of crisp Benjamins and fine cigars. All looked at the hairless, white-skinned monk. "Why not just represent it purely as fiction?"
They huddled around, calling him an idiot even though they'd done focus groups and knew the book and movie would be taken factually by a third to half of the readers.
"If a tree falls in the woods and nobody hears it, did it still fall? If a book is taken as factual by half of its readers, is it still fiction?" said the albino monkus.
"I can't be held responsible for other people's stupidity," came the reply.
I followed the action from Peoria to a large metropolis in the northeast. Dan Tan whispered, as if what he were about to tell me could get me killed. "Cloaked under the satyr of night, the heroes of Opus Taylorus traveled to Paris, Tennessee, with the film cannister in their hands. They'd heard of an artist named Leo Vinny who'd painted a velvet Elvis that held many clues..."