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heretofore | clues

Heretofore is a modern-day Alice in Wonderland melded with the satirical humor of Catch 22. A fantasy in which a girl named Kat inexplicability falls from the sky into a world populated by animals who behave like humans. The anomaly here, Kat quickly discovers, is herself.

Set against the backdrop of what may or may not be a young girl’s afterlife, this seductively-enchanting story poses these timeless yet timely questions: If heaven exists, a supposed realm of eternal bliss, how would it avoid becoming monotonous? Can harmony and controversy coexist? If so, what could God possibly have in mind?

Kat’s path of travel consists of twelve chapters, each featuring one of the primary anthropomorphic characters that she meets:

Wyatt T. Frog:
A high-minded artist with low self-esteem.
Riley Crow:
A foreboding and officious security guard who has PTSD.
Izzy Beaver:
A barely coherent engineer who demands perfection.
Hazel Squirrel:
A charming merchant who gives away her priceless art.
Harold Hare:
A promiscuous prosecutor who advocates morality.
Wick Weasel:
An evasive and obsequiously-egotistical politician.
Scarlet Fox:
A sexually-charged diva who loves to be shocking.
Chamile Chameleon:
A colorful antisocialite with a nasty tongue.
Owen Owl:
A primary care doctor with an urge to eat his patients.
Zhena Spider:
A gypsy who spins fortunes to captivate her clients.
Angelo Iguana:
A reclusive inventor who believes he can fly.
Prater Mantis:
A seer who fabricates puzzles that boggle the mind.

Each encounter presents Kat with clues for navigating through life, as in lessons to embrace or avoid. While on her quest to discover where she is, why she has fallen, and how to find her way home, Kat is challenged by the personification of several concepts: innocence and creativity, fear and rivalry, functionality and purpose, beauty and perfectionism, morality and judgement, governance and narcissism, passion and cunning, freedom and eccentricity, restraint and moderation, temptation and sacrifice, invention and intuition, belief and transcendence.

The denizens of this village cannot shake the suspicion that they are something other than what they appear to be. Kat too wonders about the elusive nature of these animals. And since mirrors are illegal, deemed contraband – rumored to be portals in which souls have been lost and never found – the mystery of her existence continues to deepen and rise exponentially.

Heller’s iconic novel Catch 22 defined a concept which is now embodied in our lexicon: A situation in which a desired solution is impossible to attain because of a set of inherently illogical rules and conditions. Inspired by this notion, heretofore plays with a similar illogic: You can be anything you want to be once you know who you are. Paradoxically, by realizing this, you begin to lose your sense of self.

For more clues, visit the twelve characters.