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The Drogulus

posted Wednesday, 5 March 2008


Mary comminuted and pollarded the drogulus every day at Noon. It was easy to do anything to a drogulus, because a drogulus is defined as “a presence that shows no physical evidence of its presence”.  A real word.  I ask you to look it up.


Some believe, however, that any drogulus does show some evidence of its presence by means of mental flags.  An atmosphere.  A simple fear.  A frisson.  An instinct that the drogulus presence is there around you, beside you, in the distance on the horizon or wherever. Even amid the ashes of a dead fire.


But your own feelings about its presence are surely not dependable pieces of evidence.  Many of us are wise enough to appreciate the purity of its presence.  That’s what makes its presence so comforting.  Otherwise, it would have been frightening.  A complete faith in a presence that showed no evidence of its presence is a comforting faith.  The faith was its presence, perhaps.  Only philosophical doubt could remove its presence.  And Mary did not do philosophical doubt.


So, it is best to define a ‘drogulus’ as a presence with no evidence whatsoever of its presence.  It is best.  And, indeed, it was best for Mary.  Even if she gave the matter not a single thought.


Steve wondered, therefore, why it was necessary for her to make some sort of regular ritual concerning her drogulus every day at Noon.


Steve and Mary had been married for sixteen years and, probably, he had known of this ritual before marrying her.  But her process at Noon involving the comminution and pollarding of the drogulus was getting on his nerves, a typical irritation that happens to most husbands, with or without a drogulus involved.


The process of comminution and pollarding the drogulus was, respectively, a simple pulverisation-by-kitchen-blender into dust (except for the fingernails) and a clipping of those fingernails.  The whole presence always reversed this process before Noon the next day, not only by re-growing its fingernails but also by re-constituting the rest of itself.  A pure altruistic selflessness in continually providing its ‘body’ for Mary’s use as a regular ritual.


Let me not waste your time.  As with most DFL thingies, I will allow you more scope to read entertaining books of fiction by cutting this story short.  The marriage of Mary and Steve was a middle-of-the-road one, even if you took into account Mary’s eccentric ritual with the drogulus.  She, a pretty woman, simple-minded, brooding for children that one of them couldn’t manage to fertilise into existence.  He, a slightly less than handsome man (a run-of-the-mill human being, not the brightest nail in the toolbox, but adequate) who did a mundane job to keep them both in reasonable style.  They loved each other, after a fashion.  Sadly, neither really knew what love could be. 


You must imagine the rest.  You will not be far from the truth; indeed no nearer the truth than if a whole novel had been written about them.


Steve decided one day to send Mary to a psychiatrist.


 Not an easy decision process.  But a decision that, after sixteen years of marriage, was deemed necessary.  Neither Steve or Mary knew how they had got here, but having got here, here was the best place to start.


Psychiatrist: When did you say the drogulus started its daily visits?

Mary: Pardon?  What daily visits?

Psychiatrist: Let me put it another way. When did you start cutting its nails?

Mary: I’m afraid I don’t know what you’re talking about, Doctor.  I’ve only come to see you about my depressions.  My husband said I should.

Psychiatrist: Hmmm. I understood the drogulus had been coming to see you every day for the last sixteen years. I can’t see any marks on your face. I think I need to examine the rest of you. Just undress behind that screen. 

The above story written today and first published here.


1. Weirdmonger left...
Thursday, 6 March 2008 9:38 am

This story shrinks gradually into becoming a drogulus itself!

Nemonymous Six is a drogulus...

2. Weirdmonger left...
Saturday, 8 March 2008 9:32 am

Good quote from AJ Ayer here:

"Suppose I say 'There's a "drogulus" over there,' and you say 'What?' and I say 'Drogulus,' and you say 'What's a drogulus?' Well I say 'I can't describe what a drogulus is, because it's not the sort of thing you can see or touch, it has no physical effects of any kind, but it's a disembodied being."


I think I am the first to write fiction about a drogulus?? des

3. Rog Pile left...
Sunday, 9 March 2008 10:55 pm

This one comes so close to being exactly right. I think you need to step aside from it a week or so, then look again. I think all the information is there, and it has that mind-bending ending that means it won't be forgotten. Possibly there's just a slight bit of rescanning to be done at the end.

I'm as sure as one can be that you're the first to write a story about a Drogulus. Naturally, I did look it up! :D

4. Weirdmonger left...
Sunday, 9 March 2008 11:03 pm

Thanks, Rog. Perhaps I should let it percolate for a while. The ending felt as if it was waiting to pounce out on me. Perhaps a drogulus had got there before me.

5. Weirdmonger left...
Tuesday, 11 March 2008 5:53 pm

Well, following on from that, here is an alternative version of 'The Drogulus'; http://weirdmonger.blog-city.com/the_drogulus_1.htm