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A nodeshell challenge from dustfromamoth. This is fiction drawn from life.

The grand, glitzy flourish of a striking visage was his trademark, his selling point. He presented a Sunday afternoon TV show on astrology, and had those eyes that seemed to be made of glacial meltwater, looking knowingly into your heart from above the craggy promontories of his nose and chin, as he came in close to the camera, smiled and uttered his tawdry secrets about the innermost soul of you, the lucky possessor of this week's featured star sign.

This is indeed a sign of the tolerant times: equal opportunity for claptrap of every denomination on this the Holy day of rest and recovering from Saturday night, which is what I was doing. I shook my bleary head and remarked:

"He has come a long way since University"

Some female friends of mine were infatuated with that face back then. I wondered if he still eats as much soy, if he still wanted to be a Shaman, if he felt the deflation of hawking the illusion of quick and easy spiritual enlightenment to bored stay-at-homes, or if he was a true believer, or if he saw himself as a star in the making.

Jo hmm’d and inhaled on her cigarette. The smoke curled up in the sunlight coming streaming into her shady lounge from the sun-drenched garden beyond.

She was paying attention to what he was saying, even though she claimed that she didn't believe in Astrology. So many women say that.

Visiting my brother and Jo always reminds me why I don’t own a TV. It eats your life. I have the Internet instead, even though I’m mostly just on that silly Everything site – the one that’s a kind of dictionary/definition database/free-form text/meme soup thing, and of no practical use. E2, in it's own way is often style over substance, interface over content.

But I digress. Since old times, his face as acquired an air of unreality. You’d have to know what to look for, what to compare it to, what he used to be. It was, I guess, showmanship. Confidence, practiced ease. Glitz. He could flourish that striking visage grandly and glitzily. He had learned how to use his physical gifts. He gave good face.

The program after featured a short, serious fire and brimstone preacher. As he waved his finger around and threatened us with Hell if we didn’t conform, he seemed to be the annoying little man with the big, big stick just trying to make us afraid.

I closed my eyes and drifted away to happier services in my innocent youth, when belief was easy, and our choruses of hey lord, I know you're up there, send your smile across the sea would seem to lift the roof of the little church.

Jo's finger punched the remote control and his rather less striking visage did a fade to grey.

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