Pilgrims should follow the order of actions set out in the Cook Book, that is: Meditation, followed by Prayer. There is no obligation to visit each Station; nor is there any obligation to fast before or after the ceremony, despite the open observation of such rituals in some of the Pure Congregations. In public Celebration of the Way of Terror Nullius, attention should be paid to the prevailing Customs and Practices of the Host Culture.
Under the usual conditions, a single, one-inch cube of Marzipan may be obtained once a day by Pilgrims who make the Way of Terror Nullius. Conditions for Indulgences: (1) A Pilgrim must visit each Station or, when a large Congregation travels, can be contented with simply kneeling throughout the Ceremony, as the Cuckoo leads the Prayer. (2) A Pilgrim must Meditate briefly, with a contrite Heart, upon Nullius’ Suffering at each Station.
Terror Nullius, O Master! Look down upon me, prostrate at your feet, imploring your Mercy both for myself and for those of my kin still living. Just as your own ascent to Glory was arranged, guarantee our safe return to Ahem, and procure for us there some small place within the Realm of Your Burden. May this Journey of sighs and tears touch my heart with Contrition and Repentance, and may I be happy to endure the Sufferings, Humiliations and Deprivations herein described!
I pray that you may assist my Soul in understanding Your Pain! For truly it is only through hunger and starvation that I can even begin to appreciate the holy power of taste and contentment. Through the Intercession of Marzipan, may I too come to accept meekly and happily the weight of Your Burden, and by extension, the hunger of the whole World, so that in doing so, I may prove my willingness to follow you always!
In the name of Marzipan and of Persipan and of our Terror, Nullius, Ahem!
Recall how Captain Terror Nullius, blown across the seas by mysterious Winds, came upon the strange island continent of Ahem and discovered, to his Eternal Misfortune, that not a Soul or thing worth saving existed there save that peculiar confection, Marzipan!
Terror Nullius, it was not the mischievous winds that blew your bark upon the shores of Great Ahem thus condemning Your Name to Eternal Infamy but my own Selfishness and Greed! Let me hyperventilate from the final shudders of that pangful admission but it was I who caused those foul breaths of heaven to billow with bile the sails of the Scurvy that way, hither, towards me, thither.
Sucking in my bloated belly and then just letting it hiss out slowly, so that you, Captain Nullius, barely noticed, though the day was bright and many islands became visible. Yes indeed the sky was filled with my hot air, and I dashed your little boat to smithereens. Upon the rocky shores of Ahem did I cast you, and your crew, and yet I turn towards you one last time in supplication, all my puling whiles.
O Master! One last indulgence, a final confection! O Captain, through the Intercession of Marzipan, may I too come to accept meekly and happily the weight of Your Burden, and by extension, the hunger of the whole World, so that in doing so, I may prove my willingness to follow You always! And may I obtain and ingest many Confections!
Recall how the heavy Burden of Marzipan (long may Its Resins perfume these pages!) Was laid upon Nullius’ sunburnt shoulders and how meekly his acceptance, nay joyous! Fully intending to feed the world through His Heroic Efforts!
Marzipan! Long may your resins perfume these pages! O great and silent flights of fancy through the labyrinths of your design and making! Heroic wonder stuff of the post-primeval hatching, whether like turtles’ eggs as we once supposed or great lumpy nuggets of the stuff pulled like earth melons from the ground, glowing frosted white. O giant and audible confections from within!
Though finally the secret of their sacred shape and design you took with you to your grave, noble God, may I honour still the spirit of their passing, and of yours, into reams of off-white paper that, too, will deteriorate into unknown fact or, worse, rot like an over-ripe confection. May I simply sit here and recall your heavenly burden, its heaviness.
Lumps of bird song left jagged in my throat, Master! O last and first hydration of the thirsty plant at midday! O sweet confections of the riverside or street bound vendors! Elaborate fictions and fingers of the stuff, o antique permeability and strength! Truly, a wonder stuff! Marzipan, o heavenly spittle!
Recall how Captain Nullius, aboard his ship the Scurvy, circumnavigated and conquered all of Ahem, discovering Marzipan in many locations over a memorable six-month period!
Ahem, crying continent of the disappearing birds, speak to me! Spines of historical books, curled up pipes of imperial maps, flow charts of money and spiced goodwill, elaborate and lecture me upon the geography of that place, those rocks where Nullius first spread his disappearing word! Gone but faraway to begin with, o special land of crusts and jagged edges you appeared to him like a bird with your wings spread out, one broken.
O site of scorched future cities, including L, numbering few and spaced faraway from each other, they are now but a handful of empty shells on an infinite beach! And you are still here. Remain disappeared. You are near! Though robbed of the Stuff that confected you, disappear not over the horizons of hope! For that way eternal Persipan lies.
Ahem of the shivering sunset, the blanket now of fog. Yes, I know this feeling too, this refrain. Fear and emptiness. The great whole empty land of fear, that had just been waiting to be discovered by you, Captain! And now by me! The negation of that confection we call history. A truly elaborate confection that was sooner over than begun. Ours alone, Captain!
Recall how the Scurvy was then spirited away to China!
O Nullius, it was for my own sake that the Scurvy bore your self and the Marzipan to China! I apologise again for that. You see, it was for my descent into Mortal Sin that you succumbed to the Marzipan’s Heinous Administrations. Yes indeed I put the voice into your head that said take but this one tiny piece of the stuff into your mouth and let it linger there, taste it like a bird’s open beak tastes the air!
Let my remembrance of your Sacrifice guide me ever in my Journey in your footsteps! Thank you! For without your willingness to ingest the Marzipan, we might never have been spirited away to China after all, but instead to some darker place where Persipan holds sway. Mucus was, indeed, of little use by that stage.
Through the shark-infested straits and port cities glowing red and orange in the moonlight, Captain, on your journey through that sleepy death of transubstantiation, until you have become your own confection, seen under a jetty lamp, or a slippery step on a wharf. Bouyant on the current now, coming awake. Now we must discover China.
Recall the Emperor’s acceptance of Terror Nullius as his own Son, their interlude (in disguise) amongst the People, their ingestion of the Marzipan and their eventual separation.
How oppressive that experience must have been for both of you at its ending! A sword of anguish and betrayal must have pierced the Emperor’s Heart especially! Emperor may the Compassion that existed between You and the Great Captain pass on to me, and may I share in His Love for You. May I remember always the bittersweet candy sorrow of all departures, and the calls of birds!
O Mighty Terror Nullius, Intercede for me with Your Father, that I may be saved from the Dearth of all Good Things that is yet to come! When we have run out of Marzipan what shall we do then? Come to us in your mercy and save us from starvation, that we may live forever in a heaven of your choosing, floating forever on a sea of your creation!
In a boat of your design, imperial Captain! Send us sailing into the sunset on a Marzipan boat! May we watch as the eagles circle the Scurvy at the wharf, and may we close in, ruthlessly, on the tear of the cheek of the Emperor, your father? May we speculate upon the method of its fabrication, its confectionary sails?
Recall how the Genie, seeing Captain Nullius and his pony in agony, offered the great Captain her bottle. How Nullius put it to his lips and was instantly assimilated! Then, the Genie and the Pony commenced their long wanderings in Mesopotamia!
Captain of My Soul, let me too Ingest the Marzipan! Let me hunger for nothing else! May my enemies in this World be crucified to me and me to them and let me not shrink from pain! Rather, may I consider myself lucky to have been chosen to follow You, on Your Journey, for Your Eternal Burden’s sake! May I defend the truth if not the exact spirit of your discoveries in a grand gesture of healing for the entire world!
May I ingest that heavenly burden and feel it swelling darkly in my chest, red like cherries there deep inside me, hard as sugar candy. Slowly ceasing its beating drum even now, just days into the confection, resting on the sand bar of a secret coffee river flowing backwards from the coastline to the interior, its tidal swell and vomit controlled by me alone, high in an eyrie.
Caged just like the rest of us, Captain. Disappearing now like bread or water the contents of your magnificent burden begin to float off, seek their own trajectories. The Genie walks the midnight desert; Nullius and his Donkey sleep inside her snows. The Marzipan is diluted, and far from home.
Recall how the women of Venice wept openly upon seeing the Great Captain returning once more to save the city from Persipan! How he did comfort the women, though he was in chains, saying: Do not weep so openly for me, because there are others coming after me for whom you couldst more profitably shed tears!
O Admiral, let me mourn Your Suffering at the hands of Persipan, that in doing so I may be comforted. O yes indeed his empires rivaled your own, Great Captain, but we know of greater continents within; we will circumnavigate our own confections without hunger or loss. We shall feast, this night, on Marzipan and apples! May the sweet stuff and the apples comfort me even more, in your absence.
Nullius, let my prior ignorance of my Failings enable me to escape the awful judgement handed down by Your Wise Self in Venice! For indeed yes it is true that you were being followed, by brigands I probably commissioned myself. Any consequence shall, of course, be my loss. Despite the legal fictions I shall bear witness to this confection’s vitality, life. Substance. Sweet stuff, your resins!
Captain, Father – guide me through these pitched battles of the everyday! Utter catcalls to train me in reflex, hide all trace of me inside the realm of your heavenly burden, where we alone shall dwell, together, undetected.
Recall how, imprisoned on Persipan’s floating guillotine, Nullius felt once more the horrific sensation of Marzipan sickness spreading over Him like a Fug. How he fell from the Gondola, into the open arms of a group of Cuckoos who, aided by the general confusion, hastened Him into the Labyrinth!
Oh Brilliant Captain, now that I have contemplated Your third fall into Torment, I ask that You forgive my frequent falls into Iniquity and my slowness in lifting myself out from that place’s miserable pessimism. For yes indeed I have seen dark continents where no light has shone at all since the last time you passed by or through them. Persipan, you wretched fake stuff of addled sweetness!
False prophets, bakers of prestigious lies and cancers! Twisters of truth into gruesome fictioneer bait, spreaders of fugs and overcast invasion weather! Blow you away I will with my venerated sweets! My captors shall be like kittens before me, or sparrows, eating from my shoulders. Watch them perching there, Captain! Tamed by you, and now by me!
Though the episode is over now may I castigate myself for allowing you to be abducted like that. May I remind myself of my weaknesses, my coiled ropes of anger and dread? That they used to bind you! Let my remembrance of Your Abduction make me hate this aspect of myself even more!
Recall how Nullius lay down upon the Rack and extended his arms, so as to offer to whoever might be listening the secret of His discovery of Marzipan and the weight of his gigantic Burden!
My tortured and interrogated Captain, in the end, there were no Witnesses to the inexorable bow of your Captain’s head; likewise, no Listener strained his ear for the sound of you breathing your last! Terror Nullius! What did you do to deserve this, from me? May I never again Forsake You, or neglect the Memory of Your brutal treatment, at my own hands?
Nobody listens to history when it actually happens, only afterwards when the confection has warmed or cooled, whatever the preference, and is then taken from the kitchen to the room where the figurines are sitting. Yours is here, Captain. Persipan’s, there. May I offer you a slice of my confection? It’s been dusted with sugar and ice.
But now, your final moment, of which you alone were aware. The feeling when I close my eyes and see you there, it’s like that moment when you know that you will love something forever, but never see it again like this, today. From this time forward, may I live only for you? And let me die loving you alone, as per our agreement!
Recall how it took Terror Nullius three weeks to die, his departure delayed only by well-meaning but pitiful administrations of Marzipan by the secret army of Cuckoos! How they stole the lifeless Body of the Saviour away from the Labyrinth, and how they dissected him!
O Captain, I reverently kiss the Marzipan that encloses your Relics, for in doing so I recall that through Your Entombment, Your Resurrection in the Hearts of the faithful is guaranteed! I laugh in the face of court confectioners, orienteering with their jibeful toot sweets. Goodbye street smile! Goodbye sand lice in the bottom of the boat at dawn, goodbye empty stomachs!
Mind you not the Confections of this World! For truly the good word is that if you have risen with Captain Terror Nullius, your passage to Paradise is assured. Come and ingest but one slice of my confection, and we can forget about all the rest. We can forget about the relics and just be here, on this plane, desperately alive and blue! It’s time to open those orders, write those final lines.
Good news coming all day long today and all the next day too, for he will come again with his confections and his disappearing silences and his boats and crews, and there’ll be plenty of room for us on board that little bark the Scurvy, and we will dwell in the Cities of Marzipan and of Persipan and of our Terror, Nullius, Ahem.
Recessional Prayer (optional)
Adoration of the Sacred Heart of Terror Nullius.