Meilgaard was born of woman, like the rest of us, or so they said. It was, however, a matter of public record that as a child flowers would wither to his touch and toadstools would sprout from his path.
The other children began to shy away from Meilgaard when they noticed small yet certain symptoms of deviant behaviour.
For example, Meilgaard once spent several days staring at a small pebble. Nothing and no one could distract him from his task. Day and night he peered at, through, and seemingly into the stone. He then arose to join them, once again, in their childish games, saying only, “I am now able”. He did not further elaborate.
The incident, the first of many, served notice to the children of the ‘otherness’ of Meilgaard.
Another time, Meilgaard insisted that his companions take part in a little exercise that he called ‘the shaking of the tree’. He then lined them up about a non-existent tree and instructed them to close their eyes. He assured them, that upon opening their eyes, a wondrous bush would bloom in their midst.
Accounts vary as to the actual course of events. Meilgaard would later boast that what the children actually set their eyes upon was a manifestation of indescribable ugliness, a phenomenon encompassing the totality of non-existence. Some swooned, others fled, still others were paralyzed with freight.
As a direct result of the experience, each of the children was struck deaf, dumb, blind, or a combination thereof. Several also succumbed to a sinister malady in which it was described that scorpions were found to be growing in their brains.
Yes, Meilgaard was marked for greatness from an early age.
Not that these were isolated episodes. Indeed, Meilgaard once called upon the polarity of forces inherent I his own mind to transform a decrepit, old woman into a column of tears. (The column persisted for many years.) However, it was only after he authored his now-famous tome, Never to Know, Always to Fear that he came to the attention of the grave registration.
The book was unusual in at least one respect – it contained no words. It consisted primarily of sighs and muffled groans amidst wisps of wind and the decaying carcasses of long-dead ideas. Reading the volume had one rather unpleasant side effect: the complete and irreversible eradication of the memory of the reader. Needless to say, tens of thousands, even millions, clamoured to devour its contents.