Tales of the Lost Cheebah-ha

Overview

Chris Bell's underground revelation, Tales of the Lost Cheebah-Ha, is a myth of history and ritual. In this astonishing story cycle, God creates the world only to crawl into its center to sleep. Arap Sang, the shadow of God, tricks his way into immortality and roams the world. Wasichu, a man so lazy he cannot even bear to see others work, becomes the people's savior. And the people - who want nothing more than for the world to stop just long enough to grab hold of it - never stop running. Discover the tales Todd ...
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Overview

Chris Bell's underground revelation, Tales of the Lost Cheebah-Ha, is a myth of history and ritual. In this astonishing story cycle, God creates the world only to crawl into its center to sleep. Arap Sang, the shadow of God, tricks his way into immortality and roams the world. Wasichu, a man so lazy he cannot even bear to see others work, becomes the people's savior. And the people - who want nothing more than for the world to stop just long enough to grab hold of it - never stop running. Discover the tales Todd Swift, co-editor of Poetry Nation, has called "the most fun you can have with religion without dying" by "one of Canada's most versatile and exciting younger writers".
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Editorial Reviews

Elaine Shatenstein
Beautifully conceived and crafted ... Ambitious and highly promising ... Language that is poetic, lyrical and humorous all at once.
Hour Montreal
Juliet Waters
Dare to leap into this feather bed of sentence fragments'!
Montreal Mirror
Todd Swift
The most fun you can have with religion without dying by one of Canada's most versatile and exciting younger writers.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780595163465
  • Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/28/2000
  • Pages: 116
  • Product dimensions: 6.02 (w) x 9.05 (h) x 0.36 (d)

Read an Excerpt

At first there was nothing: the timelessness of time eternal, the spacelessness of all change at once. God, who does not live and cannot be, wondered why. So God cut a hole in the shroud, and when God cut this hole, it pierced both inwards and outwards.

God, motionless, sprang forth. The hole spread out from all sides at once and touched the first planet, turning it into a blazing molten fireball. Stretching out through the void, the hole came upon the second planet, and met its inner force, which was hidden; and that planet bubbled and seethed. God, who is thought and life and love and death, kept on, and touched the third planet.

God entered through the third planet and ignited its core, and it sang with the quivering rise of mountains and sinking depths of valleys; it chanted with the potent motion of seas and oceans; it breathed in hurricanes and gentle breezes; and God remained there, wondering why.

The hole that God cut shimmered and spread until there was no longer any center. The fourth and fifth and other planets were revealed alone in the void, and some grew very large to attract God's attention, while others shrank very small to arouse sympathy. God's curiosity was bound into all of their actions, and in this way they were each first to express themselves, and last to know themselves.

God would have ceased to be but, since the hole in the shroud pierces both inwards and outwards, God had to stay. This is the way things were, are, and always will be.

THE MANY

The great roundness that was the hole spread out to embrace all, and in this way the power of the circle became real, and made all things possible. It was evident everywhere: the circle the planets made as they spun around the hole's center; the circle of the planets' own rotation; the circle of the sky that caps the earth; the circle of the earth's horizon.

At the exact center of the world was a huge mountain that had grown out of the earth. It was round at its base, and round at its top. All life came out of this mountain, which was directly linked to the core of the earth, where God, now that he was here to stay, had taken up residence.

Out of the top of the mountain spewed gas and steam, and this became the air, and the clouds. The living plants, who can neither walk nor swim or fly, were carried by the clouds and fell everywhere. After the rains calmed, the animals came out of the mountain and spread across the world. Then the people came, and they formed a circle around the mountain, and lived at the center of the world.

In the back of people's heads, under the hair and skin, was a round hole, and it was through this hole that they communed with God, and that their souls passed. So whenever a new person was born, the soul could easily enter through this hole in the back of the head and bring that person to full life. In the beginning, though, nothing was really made, it just grew. Each type of being lived off whatever they saw most of, and the people lived off the plants and animals; and when they went back into the earth was when the circle turned round.

So everyone and everything lived comfortably and in luxury.

THE EXODUS

After a while, the people got bored with one another and started to fight. The more people grew, the more there was to fight about. Soon it became very noisy with shouts and screams and yells. Weary and annoyed, God came out of his mountain and told everybody to shut up, that he was tired and trying to sleep. Everyone was quiet for a while but, shortly after God fell asleep, they started to shout and yell and scream again. God woke up and growled at the people, and they were quiet for a while but, sure enough, as soon as God was asleep again they started in on each other. These were the first rough edges of circles.

At last God put an end to it. He came out of his mountain and bellowed:

'Listen, all you people! Get out of here! Come back when you're old and too tired to make noise!'

So all the people had to leave. They packed up their things and went away, grumbling and blaming others for their trouble, which they had really brought on themselves.

Now, something happened then that no-one, even God, had expected. When everyone left, the great circle around the mountain disappeared, and the hole at the back of everyone's head sealed up. The souls, which are very small, could still squeeze through but God, who is considerably larger, could not. Every time he wanted to talk to someone he had to smack them over the head a few times first, to open up a space big enough to be heard. This was a lot of work, and God didn't do it very often because, anyways, the people were usually too dazed after being bashed on the head and yelled at to understand what he said. So, after a while, God forgot about it and went back to his mountain and sealed up the top himself, to try to keep the noise out.

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