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Today's Stichomancy for Kurt Vonnegut

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Reef by Edith Wharton:

with new pains...

XXXI

The sound of Miss Painter's latch-key made her start. She was still a bundle of quivering fears to whom each coming moment seemed a menace.

There was a slight interval, and a sound of voices in the hall; then Miss Painter's vigorous hand was on the door.

Anna stood up as she came in. "You've found him?"

"I've found Sophy."

"And Owen?--has she seen him? Is he here?"

"SHE'S here: in the hall. She wants to speak to you."

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Second Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling:

his torn beard.

"I knew--I knew he would come," Messua sobbed at last. "Now do I KNOW that he is my son!" and she hugged Mowgli to her heart. Up to that time Mowgli had been perfectly steady, but now he began to tremble all over, and that surprised him immensely.

"Why are these thongs? Why have they tied thee?" he asked, after a pause.

"To be put to the death for making a son of thee--what else?" said the man sullenly. "Look! I bleed."

Messua said nothing, but it was at her wounds that Mowgli looked, and they heard him grit his teeth when he saw the blood.


The Second Jungle Book
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Several Works by Edgar Allan Poe:

Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly, Though its answer little meaning--little relevancy bore; For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door-- Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door, With such name as "Nevermore."

But the Raven, sitting lonely on that placid bust, spoke only That one word, as if its soul in that one word he did outpour Nothing farther then he uttered; not a feather then he fluttered--

The fourth excerpt represents the element of Earth. It speaks of physical influences and the impact of the unseen on the visible world, and is drawn from House of Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne:

and tumultuous swell. How came there to be so much love in this desolate old heart, that it could afford to well over thus abundantly?

"Goodnight, cousin," said Phoebe, strangely affected by Hepzibah's manner. "If you begin to love me, I am glad!"

She retired to her chamber, but did not soon fall asleep, nor then very profoundly. At some uncertain period in the depths of night, and, as it were, through the thin veil of a dream, she was conscious of a footstep mounting the stairs heavily, but not with force and decision. The voice of Hepzibah, with a hush through it, was going up along with the footsteps; and, again, responsive to her cousin's voice, Phoebe heard that strange, vague murmur,


House of Seven Gables