Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Chambre Ardente

MoD’s Chambre Ardente is a small hermeneutically-sealed circular room. The wall is lined with matches, their square ends packed together so their ready red tips all point out parallel to the floor. Large metal Zippos hang from fine chains, each primed and regularly checked. The room’s wall stretches up far into the darkness, domed by the giant inverted nozzle of a fire-thrower. Around the lip of the nozzle, deployed at regular intervals, is a series of closed earthen vessels containing Greek Fire. Over each vessel is suspended a small hammer, held poised by a fine thread. These threads are gathered together, twisted into a thin cord that dangles down to the floor alongside a large desk and an extremely comfortable chair. On the opposite side of the desk another chair, this one small and hard, is positioned. A large angle-poise arc-lamp is pointed at it, its hard beam pining the chair to the black sandpaper floor and providing the only illumination in the room apart from a hooded candle on the desk.

This is the chamber in which the objects, texts and individuals deemed unnecessary by MoD are interrogated and, perhaps, dispatched.

The Chambre Ardente gets its name from the ‘Darkened Court’ of the Ancient Regime. Before the Revolution, certain offences in France were tried in a court from which daylight was excluded, and the only light admitted was by torches. These inquisitorial courts were devised by Cardinal Lorraine. The first was held in the reign of François I., for trying heretics – in 1530 it was the Hugonauts. Brinvilliers and his associates were tried in a darkened court in 1680. Another was held in 1716, during the regency. A When judges were ashamed to be seen, prisoners could not expect much leniency.


Blogger Director said...

Hah! I have decided to take over the Chambre as my own private retreaat. Here I can research and write my more personal things in private. Like finding a special someone to share the Museum with. I'm considering online dating... I wonder how that will go?

I'll have to make sure that Administration don't find out... although thaat's unlikely. They have no curiosity and never do aanything around here anyway.

First off, I'm going to hire a private detective to look inot this ';Goblin Snorri' characteer. Who is he? WHAT is he.

Is he interested in the Museum? Or perhaps in something more...

4:33 pm  
Blogger snorri the goblin said...

The Old Bugger is in watching television so I have taken over his computer. He's too deaf to notice the keys rattling, or my chirrups of pleasure.

Dust is the enemy of goblins. We have metallic parts in our joints and at the base of our brain cases which abrade easily.

These non-organic pieces are a valuable clue in our ancient search to solve the mystery of our origins.

Him next door is writing a narration track and I have caught his cliches. "A valuable clue in our ancient search.."

If he could just sell this crap to Discovery Channel we could both live a lot better.

The alloy fragments provide a physiological limit to our shape-shifting as well. You should be careful of any apparently random cluster of strange tin bits, because they could well be the visible parts of an almost completely transparent goblin snoozing in the sun for the ultimate sun bath.

Tread on us and we can turn nasty in a literal flash, laying a line of ugly bites up the leg infected with our legendary itchy juices which will drive you crazy for months.

Anyway, I should not digress too far into the pleasure we get from human pain. Every time we provoke a purge there are invariably casualties. We don't die but recovery from breakages can be very painful, and hundreds of goblins over the years have been stuck permanently to large magnets. The metal bits are ferrous, you see.

We are pretty good at dealing with dust. Nylon works well for our special travelling coats, and we use a slippery mixture of spit and piss to clean out our crannies on long journeys.

12:44 pm  
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2:03 am  

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