Cameron Torren gave a sigh, took one last sip of coffee, and waited for the stage manager to give him the thumbs up. The signal came, and in a flash, he bolted out onto the set amid cheers and applause from the various people of Portland, Maine who made up his audience. Behind him, as he waved and smiled to the crowd, was the colorful sign that read: Mornings with Cameron Torren. He waited for the crowd's applause to finally die down, and then spoke.
"Hello hello hello," he cheerfully greeted the men and women before him. "Welcome to our show today. We got a lot of great things planned, a lot of neat segments, but to start us off we have a very special guest in with us today."
The lights in the room dimmed, and Cameron held up a flashlight under his chin. A few members of the audience giggled as he maintained a serious expression, allowing the camera in front of him to pan in before he continued.
"Our guest," he said in a low voice, "is a local legend, and easily one of, if not the most, recognized names in horror…"
Cameron then grinned and raised his voice.
"Ladies and gentlemen, give it up for Stephen King!"
The lights came on as the crowd cheered, a nerdy looking man wearing small glasses came onto the set and waved. As he approached Cameron, Stephen quickly turned to the audience and mouthed the word 'Boo!' and shook his hands. The two men then shook hands and sat down in the large arm chairs at the set's center.
"Good to have you here today, Stephen," Cameron said with a smile.
"Happy to be here," Stephen replied, returning the gesture with his own small grin.
"I got to say, I thought you'd be a lot spookier in person…"
"I try and tone it down a bit for these kinds of things."
"And you succeed, mostly," Cameron ribbed. "So, Stephen, you don't need me to tell you about your success. With novels like Carrie, The Shining, It, Misery, and The Dark Tower series, you've easily made your mark on pop culture. And now, from what I've heard, you're commenting on the marks of others in your column, The Pop of King for Entertainment Weekly. Just where do you find all the time and inspiration?"
"Well…" Stephen looked on thoughtfully, "a lot of things have inspired me in the past with my writing. But what recently I have found that has helped me is a certain book. I always keep my copy on me."
"You brought this book in with you today then?"
Stephen King then pulled out a hard cover book from the bag he brought with him on stage, and laid it down on the coffee table. Cameron looked at the cover with interest, his eyes scanning the title.
Eric Harper kept his copy on his night stand, next to the engagement ring he had offered Jillian, only to have it given back. Despite the last year being enjoyable, she had told him, she was just not ready to make that kind of commitment.
Needless to say, Eric was left crushed. Losing himself in his copy of Star Signals was a much-needed reprieve, and so far, had left him feeling much better about not only his situation with Jillian, but about his general existence. The words from the book echoed around in his mind as he sat in his living room, staring blankly at his wall.
This is good. It’s a blank slot waiting for you to fill it up with your deepest desire until your deepest desire is pushing up into your throat. You will gag on your need. And until you do, it is a resonation space, for you to build your will like organ music in a cathedral. Hear the music now. This is not a metaphor. If your will is strong enough, there will be music now. Remember now that nothing in this book is a metaphor.
The void was there, and he had been filling it up with his deepest desire as the book had instructed. He had heard the music, and choked on his need.
A knock on the door broke Eric's train of thought. He quietly answered, surprised to see Jillian standing there. He tilted his head slightly as she gave him a sad smile.
"I've changed my mind…" she said, and threw her arms around him. "Yes!"
Eric grinned like an idiot, his arms holding her tight.
"It's all sideways from here," he whispered to her, and pecked her on the forehead.
"I have to say I'm a little surprised, Stephen," Cameron commented as he looked at the book. "You're a top selling author, a household name even, why does the great Stephen King need a self-help book?"
"Well, Cameron," Stephen replied, gesturing with his hands as he elaborated, "we all have voids to fill in our lives. You, these wonderful people here, and especially me. We all have voids in our lives and we need to fill them, and fill them with real fulfillment. And that's what I have found that this book does. It provides that real fulfillment that in turn fills the void."
Sarah Ray kept her copy on her bookshelf, next to several other self-help books, diet manuals, and other guides on losing weight. Now, one week later and 200lbs lighter, in the best shape of her life, she was jogging through the park near her apartment. As she wrapped up the last part of a five-mile run, she couldn't help but grin. The world bending to one's will has that effect on people.
In your current society, you are encouraged to “be yourself”, as if this is the key to making your desires real. What does that mean? It doesn’t mean anything. You can’t be anyone other than yourself. If you were to be someone else, you would still be “you”, and “you” would be someone who is someone else. There is no getting out from under existence. Because you can’t be anyone else, it stands to reason that, if you want change in your reality, it is the world that must change to suit you. You must mold your phenomenological landscape into one where all your goals are achieved.
Now imagine that the place where your desires are made real has a name. It’s called the Fifth World. The Fifth World is the cosmos twisted around you into the shape you will wish for. It has never been, but you can make it so. If the current world is like a tight, collared suit, then the Fifth World is like a flowing robe that allows complete freedom of movement. You will never truly move before you move in the Fifth World. You’ll feel like a square on a piece of paper who was only just tlaol about up and down.
The Fifth World is a great place to be. Freedom of movement, both metaphysically and now, thanks to shedding what held me back, physically. Complete freedom of movement…
Sarah thought to herself as she moved towards a drinking fountain. She took a long drink, and then turned to begin her walk back to her car, bumping into a fellow jogger as she turned.
"Oh! Sorry!" he said quickly. "Are you okay?"
"Just fine," she replied with a smile.
"I don't think I've seen you out here before."
"I just started today."
"Ah," he said with a smile. "How are you liking the park so far?"
"Oh, it's wonderful! I've really enjoy all the occidental paths, and the zig-zagged leaves."
The jogger looked at Sarah with a raised eyebrow.
"The occidental paths. They've taken me past and future through here. You don't take the occidental paths? Where do you jog?"
The jogger's mouth hung open for a second, then he shook his head.
"Anyway… you, uh, yeah."
The jogger took off running. Sarah watched him go with a small frown, then shrugged. There would be plenty more people to impress with her new physique. Especially now that she had tapped into the Fifth world.
"So, Stephen," Cameron said tenting his fingers. "Could you tell us what we could expect to find in Star Signals?"
Stephen chuckled and shook his head.
"I'm afraid not, Cameron. The journey is what's so special about this particular book. If I simply told you what was what, the magic would be gone."
"Yeah, but, Stephen…" Cameron raised his eyebrows in concern. "That’s where the skepticism comes in. So many of these self-help books are just wishful thinking hokum, how would we know that this is any different?"
"Have you read it?" Stephen snapped back. Cameron flinched in his chair.
"No… no I have not."
"Then how would you know? Do you want to read it? I'd be more than willing to let you take my copy."
"I'm considering it, but I really wish you'd elaborate, the audience should know there is something to this…" said Cameron as he rubbed the bridge of his nose.
"That’s just the problem though, Cam!" Stephen exclaimed as he got up out of his chair. "You're still using your mud logic. You need to move onto the star logic. The star logic is what makes this book tick. The star logic is what will set you free!"
Jamey White kept his copy on his coffee table, next to a pile of medical bills for his daughter Melissa. She had been diagnosed with leukemia quite a while back. He had spent countless nights working extra shifts, taking her to treatment the next morning, and then clocking back in again. However, despite his best efforts, the bills kept on piling up, and Melissa's health kept on worsening. He was at his wits end when a friend had lent him their copy of the book. Now, having finished it, Melissa's leukemia was in complete remission.
Slon tlir na tlei obr Fifth. Tla slon lpat plr children tln tlo sacp tlei.
How true those words were…
Jamey carried his daughter on his shoulders as they ran through the park. A wide, toothy grin was on his face. An expression of sheer terror was on his daughter's.
"Flrin trb cnor, daughter," he exclaimed, the very grass beneath them seeming to dance as he pranced about with the light of his life sitting on his shoulders. "Tam tassrel cooroo tewrn!"
She began to cry, holding on to his shoulders with all her strength.
"Daddy…" she said as she began to cry, "I'm scared. Please… please daddy, stop talking like that."
Jamey didn't hear her sobs, however; he was lost in ecstasy. His daughter was cured and free, and so was he.
"Stephen, I think you need to…" Cameron began, the fear was present in his face as he sunk deeper in his chair for shelter.
"I will not be lectured to by the mud logic!" Stephen shouted back, and then smiled and turned to the audience. "They will not be lectured anymore either!"
Stephen then grabbed a coffee mug off the table between him and Cameron and tossed it. The mug made a dull thud as it crashed off Cameron's head and shattered to the floor. Cameron and the chair he was in toppled over backwards. The talk show host held his head in pain briefly before slowly getting back to his feet.
"Tlka keyto dorznk!" Stephen said as he turned his attention back to Cameron.
"Christ, Stephen, what the hell has gotten into you?!?"
Stephen then grabbed the other mug off the table and lobbed it at his host. Cameron dodged, watching it smash in an explosion of shards on the backdrop. He fell silent as he watched Stephen point to him and then gesture for him to come over. Instead, Cameron ran off stage. Stephen shrugged and turned his attention back to the audience.
"Where the hell is security?" Cameron asked his stage manager, turning back to watch Stephen spew forth a series of gibberish as he flipped the coffee table and the other chair. The stage manager pointed across the set to where the security guards currently stood. Both of them were blank faced and motionless as they watched Stephen King continue to unfurl.
"Now, ladies and gentlemen," Stephen addressed his captivated audience. "I can't tell you what's in the book, but I can tell you that Star Signals will expand your eyes and open your mind…"
"What the hell is happening? Are we even still rolling?" Cameron inquired, briefly looking away from the train wreck taking place before them.
"We stopped after he threw the coffee mug at you," the stage manager replied. "Then the cameras started again. Jeff can't get them to shut down."
"It is the sledgehammer to break your soul, and the tape and glue you use to reform the shards into something better! Something that allows your desires to spew forth like a wind of bees…" Stephen continued to speak at the audience, his tone becoming more ecstatic with each passing syllable.
"Have we tried calling anyone?" Cameron asked.
"Phones are dead…" the stage manager replied.
"We could send a runner…"
"The doors won't budge…"
"Kindling that will spark a blaze in your spine, and send your very consciousness skyward like a divine firework, destined to explode among the deepest regions of time…"
Cameron and his stage manager locked eyes. Both men carried expressions of terror.
"Mr. Torrens," the stage manager continued, "I don't know what Mr. King is doing, but I think we are stuck here until he's done… if he ever finishes…"
"Ladies and gentlemen, please check below your seats!"
Cameron turned his attention back to the show. Stephen stood mid-stage with his arms held aloft. The members of the audience began to pull copies of Star Signals out from below their chairs, applauding their new host for his generous gift. Stephen then turned his attention backstage, a crooked grin on his face as he beckoned Cameron to come back out.
"I'm not going back out there…" Cameron said under his breath as he violently shook his head.
"But you have to…"
Cameron jumped as he blinked and found Stephen standing beside him, a hand on his shoulder.
"It would mean the world to me if you'd recommend the book to your viewers at home," Stephen cooed. "Your audience loves it. I love it. In time and space, I think you too would love it."
"And if, ah, if I don't…" Cameron whispered. "What are you going to do to me?"
"Not a damn thing," Stephen cackled, causing Cameron to cringe. "The question you need to ask is what are you going to do to you if you don't recommend this book."
Stephen pressed a copy into Cameron's hands. Despite everything, the weight in his hands made it feel enticing. A sense of exhilaration and fear wiggled its way through his mind as he looked over the cover again.
"First chapter is always the hardest!" Stephen chuckled.
"First chapter is always the hardest…" Cameron agreed. He didn't know why.
He blinked again, and he and Stephen were back on stage.
"Ladies and gentlemen at home," Cameron found himself saying, "I am pleased to recommend to you Star Signals for your reading pleasure…"
Out of the corner of his eye, he could see Stephen smile and nod in approval. Cameron smiled back. He had little choice in the matter. From this point on, it appeared that he was no longer in control of his studio. Here, Stephen was king.