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The following is an unpublished interview of Korean War veteran Rudy Klausthaler at the Manhattan Psychiatric Center. It was done during the 18th of November 1974, and the interviewer was one Walter George of the New York Times.

Walter George: Hello, Rudy! You have been here for exactly 23 years and you’re the only one in this hospital who has a purple heart for service in the Korean War. Do you want to describe how you ended up in this tragic situation?

Rudy Klausthaler: Yes, but you have to understand that this is not just a simple story of a traumatized war veteran, like the large numbers you have likely heard so many times before. My story has spiritual and cosmological weight too.

Walter George: What do you mean? Did you find God when that grenade exploded, or did you find a new star when you were lying without feet waiting for the field medic?

Rudy Klausthaler: No, I found many spirits because of that explosion, but none of them were holy. And no, I went to a place where no stars were visible.

It all started when I stood as a watchman on the 38th parallel. I was looking for signs of Chinese and North Korean attacks on our line when I saw it. It was ,as I understood it then, an ordinary artillery projectile blowing up right in front of me, and I immediately prepared for the scenario of my death. But when the explosion was over, I wasn’t dead or even hurt. The only sign of the explosion on my body was a strange mark on my right ring finger. It was shaped exactly as an actual ring, and you can still see it here on my right hand.

Walter George: Ah yes, I’m seeing it now, but how is it supposed to be so inexplicable? Yes, it’s an odd wound, but how is it spiritual or cosmological?

Rudy Klausthaler: There’s indeed nothing particularly special about the mark in this world, but in the Otherworld, it’s very much special. It’s really the only thing that gives you permission to a safe passage through it.

Walter George: What do you mean? Did you have a near-death experience?

Rudy Klausthaler: One can say so, because it makes passage through the Otherworld possible without actually dying. When I looked up after the explosion, I discovered that I wasn’t at the 38th parallel any more, but in a large black void with only one object. It was a gate, about ten feet tall and seven feet broad and decorated with motifs of snake-like dragons and other elongated animals. On it was a sign that said, “The Morphean Gate, the Dreamt Passage between Life and Death”.

Walter George: So, it was all just a dream then?

Rudy Klausthaler: Well, I will not pretend that I know the exact nature of all this, but it’s certainly not just a dream, if you understand what I mean.

Walter George: Ok, I will wait with further questions until after you’ve finished your story.

Rudy Klausthaler: Well, I opened the door and saw a long hallway with a white floor, while the rest of it was only made of compact black nothingness. As I walked into it, I suddenly saw two shadowlike figures walk in front of and behind me. Both had wings instead of arms, large hats and wide-open white eyes.

The being in front of me said with a hoarse voice, “I’m Thanatos, and the person behind you is Hypnos. Thanks to the ring you’ve gotten on your finger, the true name of which is Andvaranaut, we will guide you through the destiny of all men. Unlike others, I will not take you to either the Blessed Kingdom or the Pandemonium, and it’s to ensure this my brother Hypnos walks behind you. As long as the ring remains on your finger, he will hinder you from being taken into my realm. This is the Hypnotic Hallway, and it will soon take us to the Spiritual Marches.”

Soon thereafter, the hallway became a never-ending grey field under an equally grey and cloudy sky. All over the field, humanlike figures with nails and other metal objects sticking out of their bloody bodies, as if the metal came from their insides rather from the outside, ran around. They were hunted and mauled by fanged beasts with fishy and snakelike scaly bodies, all with sharp-toothed gapes, odd antenna like those which anglerfish have, and four or six legs with eagle claws.

“Those are Ge spirits,” said Hypnos. “They are hunting those who have been chosen but gone astray. And it’s therefore extremely important that you, from now on, let us go with you until your days end.”

We then went over the field for what felt like days. All Ge spirits stopped beside me, like there was an invisible barrier between me and them, always showing their tooth filled gapes for me as if they were to actually attack.

After eons of just walking, I suddenly saw a great mountain ridge. “These are the Thanatos Mountains, or the Teeth of all Worlds.” Thanatos explained to me. This resulted in an equally long period of wandering and climbing among the mountains. But after this eternity, I was finally standing at a gigantic mountain peak together with my two followers. Under me stretched seas of fire and lava and a great burning city made of pitch-black basalt rocks and white marble columns. Above my head, I only saw a compact ceiling of white light.

I understood that the realm below me was Pandemonium, the place where all demons come from, and that the place above me was the Blessed Kingdom. After this, I was transported back to the physical world, lying in a hospital bed without feet. But I still had Andvaranaut on my finger and Thanatos and Hypnos by my side. It’s my duty to always talk with them when they are asking or telling me something, and since I’m the only living person that can see them, I soon ended up at this mental hospital. And so have I lived here for 23 years. I have gone through so many “treatments” during this entire period, but none of these have erased anything that I got from the other side of the Morphean Gate.

Walter George: So are you seeing Hypnos and Thanatos here in this room right now?

Rudy Klausthaler: Yes, but Hypnos is starting to fade away, like Andvaranaut. My ring used to be pitch black, but now it’s light grey. At the same time, Thanatos' horrible true form has been clearer. This means that I’m close to my death. I will at least not be mauled by Ge spirits since it's not easy to go astray here, so that’s nothing I feel particularly bad for. There is, however, a chance that I will end up in Pandemonium, but that’s not something that’s easy to avoid anyways.

Walter George: Ok, I think we will end the interview now. Goodbye, Rudy!

A handwritten addendum at the end of the document: As a consequence of Rudy Klausthaler's death on the 20th of November 1974 is nobody from now on allowed to publish this interview.

--The chief of staff at the New York Times.

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