Geoffrey Long


The Kingdom is the story of two brothers living on the West Coast. The younger brother, in San Francisco, has fallen in with a group of guerrilla artists who take the "guerrilla" bit a tad too far. The older brother, in Seattle, is trying to get over his ex-girlfriend and failing miserably. When the younger brother gets into trouble and heads up the coast to seek refuge, chaos ensues.

Work in Progress

This is where I'm posting excerpts as I'm going along, so keep in mind that everything on this page is very Rough Draft. --G




Blue Meadows Mental Hospital

San Francisco, California


            “Testing, one two, one two.”

            “The little red light is on, Doctor.”

            “Yes, I can see that.”

            “I believe that means that it’s recording, Doctor.”

            “Yes, Miss Peterson, I believe that it does.”

            “I just thought I’d let you know, Doctor.”

            “Thank you, Miss Peterson.”

            “You’re perfectly welcome, Doctor.”

            “Now, Miss Peterson, do you feel that you are ready to begin the interview?”

            “Yes, Doctor.”

            “Splendid. Now, then --”

            “Would you like me to begin, Doctor?”

            “I haven’t asked you any questions yet.”

            “I know, Doctor.”

            “It’s customary for me to ask a question before you respond.”

            “I’m sorry, Doctor.”

            “That’s quite all right, Miss Peterson.”

            “I was only trying to help, Doctor.”

            “I know, Miss Peterson. Now, then --”


            “Come again?”

            “Flutterby, Doctor. My name. Flutterby.”

            “Yes, Miss Peterson. I know. Flutterby Peterson. Now --”

            “No, Doctor, I had it changed a while ago. Now it’s just Flutterby.”

            “But your legal records show --”

            “I’m not referring to having it changed legally. I changed my name in the courtroom of the Goddess herself.”

            “Ah. Ah-ha. I see.”

            “Do you? I suppose you think that something as wild and primal as your name can be changed by the legal system. I feel differently, Doctor. Before a panel of my peers, in the gathering circle of The Kingdom, I was reborn, freed of my father’s people and the sins that went with it, freed to start my own bloodline. Freed to be my own person.”

            “Of course.”

            “At that gathering, I was emancipated. In that circle I was set free in ways you cannot understand. I wonder what your name is, Doctor.”

            “We’re here to talk about you, Miss Flutterby.”

            “How, then, do we talk about me without talking about you as well? Tell me this, Doctor? Was it Jung, or perhaps Krafft-Ebing, who claimed that a psychiatrist responds to the diseased personality with the whole of his own personality?”

            “You have some history in psychiatry, then.”

“I asked you a question, Doctor.”

“We are here to talk about you, Flutterby. You talk about you. I talk about you. Both of us talk about you.”

            “Wrong again, Doctor. I talk about my perception of me. You talk about your perception of me. They are drastically different entities, Doctor.”

            “How so?”

            “You cannot see past the representation of me that your senses paint for you in your brain. I cannot see past the representation of me that my memory paints for me. In this chair there is a something for both of us to percieve, but what I see and what you see are two drastically different things, because we each have our filters. Our private spaces. But what we are percieving is not really me.

            “Ah. I see then.”

            “Now, how are we supposed to discuss this without first coming to some basic mutual understanding of what this entity actually is?”

            “A wonderful notion.”

            “You go first.”

            “But Miss Peterson…”

            “Here, sir, we have the first misconception. My name is no longer Miss Peterson. For that matter, I am no longer Miss Peterson. We have already covered this. In order for you and I to properly discuss the essence of the entity that is me, you must first completely and utterly dismiss all notions of this Miss Peterson from your head. Go on, I’ll wait.”

            “My apologies, Miss Flutterby.”

            “Second misconception, the honorifics. One soul is nothing less nor anything more than another, Doctor. This is why I am just Flutterby, and this is also why I want to know your name.”

            “Fine. My name is Arthur. But we’re not…”

            “Yes we are, Arthur. Now, tell me what you see sitting in this chair before you.”

            “All right. I see a young lady with a butterfly tatooed on her face.”

            “You can be more descriptive than that, Arthur. Give.”

            “I see a young African-American woman, around 19 or 20, chin-length straight black hair, bright green eyes, teeth with just a bit of coffee-stain on them...”

            “Keep giving.”

            “Approximately 110, 120 pounds. Tall, about six foot, or five eleven. On her face, from the tip of her chin to the middle of her forehead and spanning from one cheekbone to the next is an elaborate tattoo of a stylized butterfly.”

            “Describe it.”

            “Two antennae stretch across her forehead, leading from the head of the insect, which is located directly between her eyebrows, and culminating in little dots located directly above the inside tips of each eyebrow. The wing spreading over most of the lefthand side of her face is blue with a green edge, with little white and yellow dots in it. At the top of the wing, in the blue field, is an abstract moon. The matching wing on the other side is red with a green trim, with similar dots but a sketch of a sun near the top.”

            “Go on.”

            “I’m not sure what else to describe about the butterfly.”

            “So stop describing the butterfly, then. Go on to something else.”

            “Well, all right. Ah...”


            “Ah. Um.”

            “Can you describe anything other than the butterfly, Arthur?”


            “You can’t, can you?”


            “That’s because when you see me, you see the butterfly. You can’t see past it. You can’t see the eyes peering out from the wings, or my nose under its body. When I put the butterfly on, Doctor, I cease to exist in the private space between the eyes and the mind of those who percieve me. I become the butterfly. Do you understand, Arthur?”


            “Now, then, we all know that butterflies just want to fly, don’t we, Arthur?”


            “So why don’t you just give me the keys and let me out of this little cage?”


            “Good doctor.”