From: Mike Runion
Subject: Not another COPE post! Aaagh!
Just a quicky to say my prayers have been answered. I never realized that this list was also a wellspring of Cope followers. What a great bunch you all are!
My tenuous hold on "biggest Cope fan" is still intact, but my fingers are growing raw and the scrabbly cliff dirt keeps dropping in my eyes. Miles has a firm grip on my right foot and is trying to climb up. If I can just...shake him...loose... (the roar of the swells far below assault my ears) Maybe if I toss my COPECO copy of Droolian at him, or peg him in the eye with my purple-speckled vinyl 7" of "Profiteering", maybe...wait! My numbered 12" of "Heed: Of Penetration And The City Dweller"! That'll do it! YES!
The morning air grows silent and the oppressive weight on my right leg suddenly is no more. I imagine I hear smatherings of the new Queen Elizabeth album drifting in the wind as I wait for the sickening thud from the rocks below...
As I plummet, the "Head" numbered 12" dangles just out reach alongside me,very Holy Grail. "The weed of collecting bears bitter fruit," I ponder as the rocks and thorny scrub below me grow precipitously larger and the justification for all those hours scouring bargain racks, mail order catalogs, and music websites grows more elusive by the foot.
But then, I remember... is it there?... YES, in my backpack!
I contort myself so I'm falling as though standing -- feet down. I then pull out my gold picture disc "Fear Loves This Place" EP, and slide it under my feet. Power radiates into my very core from the "Julian's Bower" turf maze image on the b-side. The world around me slows... slows....slows..... then it's dead silent.
I'm hovering one foot above a jagged conglomeration of rocks that would have meant certain death. The EP beneath my feet is glowing, pink and purple sparks shooting from it left and right, briefly igniting the dried brush below.
I gather my wits and look around. It looks like the usual English beachside -- cliffs, seagulls, you know. Inland is a dense, dark forest, but something looks out of place. Rising in the center of the forest, several hard miles away is... THE TOWER.
The EP murmurs to me. Minutes ago, this would have sounded like the ordinary hum your albums make when they're sitting on the shelf communing with one another, but using the EP to brake my fall must have shot some of those sparks into me; as the murmur radiates up my feet, I understand its wordless wisdom:
"You can not defeat the Tower alone."
Above, I see Mike pulling himself up from the cliff's edge, dusting himself off. My little toe taps three times, and I safesurf as the EP carries me back up. Now I understand why Mike and I were brought here. How do I make him understand?
From: "Michael R. Runion"
Subject: Part 3: The Convergence
I struggle to stand, most of my strength gone from the effort to save myself. I think of Miles limp on the rocks below, his tattered limbs ebbing in and out with the seawater swells. My mind conjures up the Underwater Moonlight album cover and I have to shake my head vigorously and stare at the sun to rid myself of the tepid vision. The ocean stretches to infinity before me, small birds swarming out on the horizon. It is late morning. How did I get here? I look down to the scattered mess of Julian Cope CD singles and broken vinyl 45's spilling out of my backpack at my feet. I pick up my yellow "Try Try Try" 7", an oddly rhythmic crack radiating outwards from the spindle hole. Everything seems broken, and the thought of Miles likewise far below assaults me once again. A tear forms and falls away.
Suddenly the odd hum I'd been hearing all along grows louder still. Iook up and to my suprise, an upright Miles rises beyond the cliff edge, his face frozen in a wry grimace. His feet are perched on a glowing purple and yellow disk. My god, is that a "Fear Loves This Place" 12"?
"Miles! I thought you were dead? I'm so glad you're alright..."
"No thanks to you!" he spits, but then his face bursts into a warm grin. "I'd have done the same thing...but that's behind us now. We have greater worries." He holds out his hand and I shake it hesitantly. "We've got to work together from now on...and I have a strange feeling others will be joining us. Here..."
He pulls my numbered "Heed" 12" from behind his back, unbroken and sparkling in the sunlight. I take it in my hand and it too begins to hum. As I climb on, the weighty earth dropping below me and I see Miles' finger pointing into the distance. "There they are now."
About a hundred yards away, we watch as a scraggle of people pull themselves up over the cliff edge, clutching at the cold British grass. One wears an upside down duck shirt, another a aging black "Chinese Bones" t-shirt. There are five in all from what I can tell. Each is mysteriously armed with a triangular shaped piece of orange plastic...cones!
"The fegs have arrived," Miles chimes. We turn to study the eerie tower rising high above the forest, it's upper reaches lost in the mist. A shiver bolts through my spine as I hear the ghostly warble of some small bird drift to me from the nearby brush...
****** Mike Runion