(yeah, I know this is an adaptation of a recent poem of mine but that’s what “cloudy” called to)
Once, there was a very normal boy and his very normal name was Norman Leroy, so normal he was born in Normal, Illinois. He was born at a very normal time on a Monday afternoon at half-past-five and he was normal every single day that he was alive. In fact, you might well say that Norman was extraordinary normal, normal to an abnormal degree, so normal that wherever he went, wherever Norman happened to be, he canceled out the magic. Anything supernatural or extradimensional or alien or even the holy divine, he muted just by being within forty feet of it.
Norman’s presence suppressed the sublime, so of course, he didn’t believe in magic, not a wit.
Norman could walk into any church and while he was inside, there was no God in there to listen, he could stumble past a pagan rite in a sylvan glade and suddenly the night-sky would no longer glisten. He could look up at a U.F.O. and it would become some aurora borealis or just a hubcap in the sky and when Norman was a normal old man, on the day that he died, well, he just died.
Norman went on down the bright-white tunnel, just like you or anyone or even I, but within just forty feet of those cloudy pearly gates, even old sainted Pete himself was seen to dissipate. Only when Norman’s very normal soul did finally evaporate, did Peter and his judgement book return to the gates, confused occluded disturbed and irate.
Norman Leroy the very normal man who’d been a very normal boy, born and raised in Normal, Illinois, he could see the wonderous things of the world just the same but only if all those things could be scientastically explained. The Oldest Faithful Geyser at Yellowstone Park, the Grandest Canyon deepest dark or a double rainbow high-above, as long as it was explained with facts, the normal Norman was even still able to fall in love. This was because he understood love as just a by-product of pheromones and years of familiarity, not love as holy magic as it is for you or me.
Norman met a woman who owned a haunted house but when he visited her there, it was just that the floorboards creaked, made her less scared in her home and also the world, Norman made her feel normal, made her feel like less of a freak. Of course, their kids rebelled against him and they turned out pretty strange, his kids were the only abnormal that his normal couldn’t change and yet nonetheless for most of his very normal life that ended when it ended, he was mostly happy.
So, lived and died a normal man who was born a very normal boy, so normal that he was born in Normal, Illinois and so normal that his name was Norman Leroy, but don’t be like Norman, my writerly brethren, because you gonna let things get weird sometimes, if you wanna get to heaven.