*** Clarence is one of the characters in the Oracle's Verse.

The Oracle's Verse is the first ever collaborative “Crypto-Novel '' and it follows the stories of 6 characters which travel through the minds of their owners, collecting unique journeys that evolve their stories, infinitely. You can learn more about it here.

Illustration by Faizal "Ganee"

Clarence is extremely important. He wipes his perpetually clammy hands on a beautifully upholstered chair and rests his glassy eyes on the soft fuzziness of a Monet. Bathes them in it. They itch.

Clarence is an artist. He paints beautiful pictures for people – a future rich in dignity and prosperity for all, a future that glows like Monet’s lilies. He likes making people’s eyes glow with his words. It warms his sluggish blood.

Clarence doesn’t come cheap. His people work hard to afford him, but they know their taxes go to a good cause when they hear his promises and get that soft, warm glow inside. Clarence knows what to do with their money- look at his clothes, his chair. Listen to him rasp about dignity and prosperity and peace.

Power corrupts, Clarence knows that. That’s why people like him must hold onto it. People like Clarence know how power should be used. He pants and wipes his clammy hands on his beautifully upholstered chair and his eyes slide from Monet to the clock. Clarence is going to be investigated for misuse of public funds in fifteen minutes. Clarence must hold onto power at all costs.

As a boy, Clarence spent endless nights playing chess with his gaunt uncle. They played on the terrace at night, under the flickering candles and the dancing shadows cast by the gargoyles that littered the estate's facade. "Clay, we weren't always rich," he insisted, moving a rook straight into Clarence's front lines, chugging at his cognac. It was check again, clearly. Thomas never held back with young Clarence and raised him as if he were his own. "Remember, son, when you're an old man, if you're ever in a pinch, open that tin and eat it without thought. It's the rarest of fruits, from the darkest corners of the Indian jungles." Clarence made his way to his late uncle's room and retrieved a tiny tin box stored there for over 30 years, under a hollowed floorboard. He felt a wave of nostalgia - after all, Thomas was his real father figure. The tin rattled, as if a pebble were trying to escape. He opened it and fixed his eyes on the withered fruit. It was no larger than a caper but wrinkled like a rotted olive. It was sublimely pungent for such an old thing - frankincense and mangoes.


What happened to the others? Read their stories:

The Leap of Salamun

Catching Madame Rose

The Wiser One

The Martyr's Choice

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