FALL 2011




Solidus Online

Aaron Hodge


“They haven’t got brains, any of them; just grey fluff that’s blown into their heads by mistake, and they don’t think.”
-Eeyore, from The House at Pooh Corner

At the edge of the river, nearby Where the Woozle Wasn’t, stood Eeyore. The Whispers had led him there, screeching his name until he obeyed. Gazing into its pristine currents, a battle raged within him; diseased thoughts grew rampant in his head. He considered drowning himself. Would anybody care? Probably not, he thought. The mindless inhabitants of Hundred-Acre Wood had never embraced him; their obligation of friendship outweighed any sort of love they had for him. Questions of life and death consumed him, tormented him. He couldn’t control them, and worse, could not escape them, for they had nowhere else to go. Their complex nature was unsuitable for the dim-witted regions of Hundred-Acre Wood. And thus, Eeyore was cursed as the keeper of thoughts. He would constantly try to answer the unanswerable, seek the unseekable, and comprehend the inconceivable. Why am I here? What is my purpose? Is my existence pointless? These were all things he desperately wanted to know, including his favorite: If Christopher Robin created us, who created Christopher Robin?
Bearing fruitless results time and time again he would grow irritated, upset. Pained by his own incapacity, he dreamed of death. The river glittered in his eyes now; the moon had risen. Was there paradise on the other side? All he had to do was walk in and let the current take him under…
“Whatcha doin Eeyore?” asked Winnie the Pooh, emerging from the forest. Torn from his meditative state, Eeyore looked back slowly. He shot Pooh a dark glance, his eyes concealed by a veil of shadows.
“Nothing,” said Eeyore drearily, disturbed by Pooh’s presence. “What is it you want?”
“Well, I’ve come across a new batch of honey, and not wishing to eat alone, I was wondering if you would like to join me, that is, if you’re not too busy?”asked Pooh hopefully.
“Sorry, Pooh. I am, uh, too busy tonight,” replied Eeyore, slightly disappointed. He had always wanted to socialize. In fact, he dreamed of being the life of a party. But the Whispers told him not to. “Maybe some other time,” he said, though he knew it was a lie. Pooh’s face lit up.
“Oh, well that’s alright! I’ll just see what Piglet is up to. I look forward to eating with you some other time my good friend.” He continued his stroll through the woods, honey on his mind. A smile crept its way onto Eeyore’s face. There was something about Pooh’s simple joy of life that he admired, and secretly, desired. All the inhabitants of Hundred-Acre Wood possessed this mindless sense of bliss, except himself, of course, but somehow Pooh was gifted more than the rest. They were all idiots, that was for sure, but somehow being the biggest idiot of them all was admirable in Eeyore’s eyes.
His countenance suddenly grew dark, a voice within him squealed, “That ignorant fool! He is an imbecile, the product of blindness. He will never see anything more than the shadows on his wall. Is that what he calls reality? Ha! Even as the fire consumes his home he’ll continue stuffing his fat face full of honey! He is doomed to a life of ignorance. We seek truth. We seek answers.” Another voice resounded through him, more harmonious than the last.
“Who are you to judge? Is happiness the price to pay for the search of knowledge? Bah! Follow your heart Eeyore.”
The Voices quarreled for a while, each trying to persuade Eeyore one way or the other. While his inner selves bickered, he sauntered through the forest. Torn by indecision and by his own existential crisis, he blacked out.
When Eeyore opened his eyes he found himself in an unrecognizable place. It was still dark, and he was surrounded by trees. He slowly made his way into a small clearing, trying to make as little noise as possible. For some reason he was on edge. This didn’t look like Hundred-Acre Wood. All of a sudden he heard the crackling of footsteps approaching. He turned to see a tall image emerge from the trees. Peering into the darkness he finally recognized the figure.
“Oh, why Christopher Robin, it’s just you,” he said, relieved. Christopher did not respond, his face still shielded by the night. Hesitantly, Eeyore asked, “Is everything all right?” This sparked a reaction.
“No Eeyore, I’m not alright,” said Christopher painfully, holding something behind him. He stepped out of the shadows. By the light of the full moon Eeyore could see his bloodshot eyes; he had been crying.
“Is there anything I could do to help?” asked Eeyore nervously. He had never seen Christopher like this; he had never seen him so disgusted.
He smirked, “Why yes Eeyore, there is something you could do for me.” His eyes pierced through Eeyore as he slowly revealed what he was carrying. The metal of the blade glinted in the moonlight.
Eeyore stepped back uneasily. He didn’t like the look in Christopher’s eyes. Christopher sat down on a nearby stump, and began sharpening the edge. He looked up at Eeyore indifferently. “Why can’t you just be happy?” he asked, his voice growing harsher with every word. “Why can’t you just be like everybody else?” With the last word he stabbed the blade into the stump.
Eeyore was speechless; his body was in panic mode. He tried to utter a line of defense, but as soon as he started to speak he was cut off.
“Every day I get bruised up by my dad, but you know what gets me through it? Thinking about Hundred-Acre Wood and all the fun I can have here. Nobody gets hurt here. But every time I try to escape and lose myself, there’s always this sad feeling that drags me down.”
Eeyore took another step back; terror began to grip him as he understood what was happening.
“You boring, selfish, miserable excuse for a donkey. You’re ruining my childhood. Every time I think of you I cry. I used to hate not seeing you happy, but I don’t care about that anymore. I want to be happy for once. I’m tired of crying.” He yanked the knife out of the stump and rose to his feet.
Eeyore stumbled for words, but it was useless. He couldn’t move. Christopher’s eyes cast a spell on him, froze him in place. Christopher walked toward him, twirling the knife in his hand. He clenched Eeyore by the ear, his knuckles turning white as bone. Eeyore couldn’t scream, his body had shut down completely. Christopher could see the terror in his eyes; it thrilled him sadistically.
“Goodbye, Eeyore.”
Eeyore woke up screaming, drenched in sweat. He looked around frantically. He was alone. He began sobbing. “My creator forsakes me” he cried, staring into the night sky. He was surprised by his own emotional outburst, and attempted to pull himself together. He tried to busy himself with philosophical questions. Removed from sensation, he fell back into his usual pessimistic evaluation of life. “Why should I fear the blade?” he asked himself. “What is it I should covet of my existence to make me shy from its gleam? Thistles?! Bah!”
Frustrated by his inability to comprehend anything at the moment he sank his teeth into his leg. Pain seared through his body; a jolt of fear and adrenaline poisoned his saliva as it trickled down the wound. He didn’t let go until he broke the tolerance; until he went numb. He unclenched his jaw and raised his head. He could feel streams of blood drip down to his hoof. His muscles twitched with pleasure. The world started spinning around him; he was surrounded by demonic laughter. He swiveled around to locate the sound, but he couldn’t control his balance and fell. On his back, he looked toward the sky; claustrophobia gripped his every sense. The trees stared down at him victoriously, mocking him. He could’ve sworn they got closer with every passing second. He puked. The familiar taste of thistles was mixed with a hint of pancreatic juice. He drifted in and out of consciousness for hours until he heard a gentle voice whisper, “Wake up.”
Ripped back to reality he looked around for the voice, but saw nobody. It was midday. He got up to walk, but remembering his wound, looked down. Someone had bandaged it while he was unconscious. On alert, he pivoted in search of the mysterious presence. “Over here,” he heard from behind him. He turned. From within the bushes a figure could be seen.
“Who are you?” he asked impatiently.
“You can call me Rosie,” it replied with the childlike voice of a young girl. It emerged from the bushes. Eeyore couldn’t believe his eyes. Standing before him was a brown doll with strands of rope for hair. The eyes were torn out, empty holes in their place. Cotton could be seen slowly drooping from the gashes. She wore a dirty pink skirt, and its body was stained with mud. She didn’t seem to mind though.
“Well it’s nice to meet you Rosie,” lied Eeyore, “but I have to be going now.” He turned to leave.
“Eeyore!” the doll bellowed deeply. “Look at me.”
Eeyore turned to face the demonic toy. “How do you know my name?”
She smiled innocently and, returning to her normal voice said, “Because I want to help you Eeyore.”
He looked away, unsure, and proclaimed that he didn’t need any help. He was fine. She looked at him deeply, almost within him, and said, “Why can’t you just be happy?”
Eeyore was struck with terror, the horrible memory of Christopher Robin flashed by his eyes, he stepped back nervously. “What did you say to me?” he asked, trembling with fear. He searched the doll with his eyes but saw no weapon.
“I’ve been watching you Eeyore; studying your body language. You’re in pain. You just won’t admit it. Forget about life and death and ethics and knowledge. Just… Just… hunt heffalumps!”
Eeyore looked at her coldly; he knew what was going on. Another moron trying to tell him that knowledge is overrated. Oh how the uneducated and brainless think, thought Eeyore. “I will not be sedated by your jovial banter. I will not accept life as just a big playground. I will not be satisfied as a dog on a chain.”
The doll glared at him menacingly. He could see Christopher Robin’s eyes in its empty sockets, blood trickling down the cotton, soaking into its pores. The child-like voice was gone, replaced with a deep raspy tone. “You will never find what you’re looking for,” it cackled. The laughter pounded his soul with every chuckle. He tried to look into its eyes, but felt a burning sensation in his own. He was forced to look away. Finally, he could take no more.
“Disperse ye Demon!” he screamed at the top of his lungs.
“Who are you yelling at Eeyore?” asked Piglet, slowly approaching from behind.
“Well… uh…”said Eeyore looking around for the doll, embarrassed. He was alone. “Myself… I suppose.”
“Oh…”said Piglet awkwardly. “Well, I think I’m gonna go see what Tigger’s up to.”
Eeyore felt left out. Putting aside the thought of the doll, he felt confrontational. “Do I bore you Piglet?”
“No, of course not! I uh… just told Tigger I’d come over…”
“Liar! You think I’m strange don’t you? Perhaps I scare you… is that it?” he seemed to demand answers. There was a pause. Piglet tried to collect his thoughts, or what little he had.
“Nobody thinks you’re strange Eeyo –
“Oh please!” interrupted Eeyore. “You all look at me and say ‘Ha Ha, it’s just Eeyore.’ You go on with your lives and play your stupid games and think that you’re happy, but did you ever think that maybe Eeyore has a point? Did you ever think that I might actually know what I’m talking about?! Did you ever think that maybe you all should listen to what I have to say for once?!”
Piglet stepped back nervously, looking for help. His conversations with Eeyore always took a turn for the worst. Eventually he stuttered out, “Well, uh, what d-do you want t-t-to say?”
Eeyore stared blankly at him, caught off guard by the question. No one had ever asked what HE thought before. The words of Aristotle, Plato, Descartes raced through his mind. Who were they anyways? They were all idiots, that was for sure, but there was something about their worthless wisdom that he couldn’t help but admire. He couldn’t expect this pink swine to understand any of it. Maybe he had been playing the fool this entire time.
“Nothing,” he replied despondently. “Run along my friend.” Piglet eagerly skipped away, but Eeyore remained standing in place. His eyes followed Piglet’s path towards mindlessness. The trees began whispering to him again; nothing made sense anymore. He lingered back to his Gloomy Place, rather boggy and sad.
He crawled inside his tent, and tried not to think.


Aaron Hodge, year 2014, business major. I enjoy reading, playing frisbee, cold showers, and telling Helen Keller jokes. shooting fish in a barrel? yes. tasteless? i disagree