Thanks to me, Flo is getting a new education in science fiction, also known as “The Truth Is Out There” (XFiles).
She recently invited me to go downstairs with her to her basement to unpack some of the old boxes Alvie’s Dad had sent them years ago, when he evicted a bookstore. Flo had already opened one of the boxes and it contained some pulp magazines, mainly from the 1940s and ’50s. Thankfully, the magazines were inserted into clear plastic envelopes, so they looked like they were still in good shape.
Flo pulled out one of the “Amazing Stories” from 1947, and paging through it, was entranced by an illustration for a story,” Zigor Mephisto’s Collection of Mentalia”. The story was by Richard S. Shaver. I realized he was controversial, but after he died, he gained some notoriety as an Outsider Artist, like Henry Darger. In the ’40s, he had a big following as a writer about creatures living underground, but he also drew scrutiny he was mentally unbalanced. In later life, he abandoned sci fi fiction for finding Ancient messages left in rocks, and began painting and photographing them.
Flo never heard the term, “Outsider Artists”, or Richard S. Shaver or “Amazing Stories,” although I half-way convinced her she had her own “Amazing Story” to tell. Her life was Supernatural and Paranormal. Andt not fiction.
“I suppose you could look at it like that,” she conceded. “But I don’t want to scare myself by labeling myself as a weirdo by just doing what comes naturally. Thankfully, only you and the “visitants” know about my deceased visitants. Let’s just keep it that way.”
I could tell Flo was a little peeved I’d mentioned her startling, new abilities, because she closed up the magazine carton, and headed back upstairs. As I followed her, I noticed she was still carrying the “Amazing Stories” Shaver pulp. “I like the art,” she said. But I was wishing I could have seen what else was in that box.