It was not always so, but nowadays it is more than respectable to appreciate Naive Art. Good prices are paid for works by the untrained and clumsy; and by the trained and deft who can mimic the style. There has been no parallel development in writing as yet, but when the day comes that Naive Literature is finally given its due recognition this book will no doubt achieve a similar level of acclaim for its perfect artlessness.
It's a simple fable, told in a mere 34 pages, and the story is just as the title implies: there's a place called Woods Valley where the Devil turns up and spreads AIDS. In case the reader might doubt author Frank Aymer's knowledge of the ways of the horned one, he justifies himself in an introductory passage:
In this sort of a case about Satan, some people usually ask, "Where exactly does information about him come from?" Yes, a lot of people wonder if anyone has ever seen the Devil face-to-face or if he can be located. The answer is no.
Therefore, the dramatic parts in this story about Satan are imaginary. They are, however, similar to those usually featured in Sunday school classes and other stories that describe him as I do in this book. Many authors wrote about him.
Nevertheless, the doings of human beings are divided into two groups: Satan is the king of all bad works, whereas God is the one who controls the good things in life. God also hates every evil way, because evil ways cause mankind lots of real troubles.
So please feel free to read and understand the amount of evil that can harm us if we get involved in bad practices. It's good fun and enlightening. You'll really like it.
Though the tone of this passage - which is consistently maintained throughout the book - suggests Aymer's book might be aimed at children, there's no other evidence of that being his actual intent. He later refers to homosexual acts and prostitution, and he uses the word "semen" without explaining its meaning, so familarity with the facts of life are assumed.
Woods Valley is a quiet rural area - Aymer is careful to explain that it is "different from the city" - with a mainly god-fearing population. Unfortunately, "some of the inhabitants did not know a lot of things about the Bible". This presents Satan with his opportunity, which he takes with typical cunning:
Another thing he did was to lie. He told the folks who agreed with him that he was really a very great king from a faraway country. He pretended to be really interested in helping people.
That was not the only lie he told the folks. He also told them that his name was King Seed. This
meant that he was capable of planting one of his king seeds into any person, and that seed would grow into that person and make him a king also. Satan did all of this very skillfully. He convinced many people.
Now the people he associated with in this manner did not even think about finding out more about this person who called himself King Seed. Neither did they check where exactly he had lived last. They were so anxious to become kings that they got hooked on King Seed's instructions.
The precise method that King Seed used in planting his seeds is not described, but the results are not good. People start acting slutty, taking drugs and leaving rubbish about. Yet this is not enough for Satan, who sits down at his "evil desk" (it even has an "evil telephone") and plots further destruction. The instruments of his will are his henchman Kembaaley and the Haldean family, in particular their daughter Rudelphia:
Rudelphia was only nineteen years old and was highly engaged in the wildest sexual acts. No one could have controlled her habits, and she mixed with boys of any age and size, plus elder men. She also used hard drugs.
Rudelphia was getting a bit of satisfaction from her habits, so evil Kembaaley, who was actually King Seed's outright servant, had given her AIDS. Kembaaley envied her, although she was a member of their evil ways. Only Kembaaley had known about the deadly disease. Rudelphia could not have known nor her parents.
The people she had sexual intercourse with did not know about that either, and they did not concern themselves about catching diseases, etc. Therefore, she lived her usual life. No doubt the disease was getting out of control in Lastford City — the place where the Haldean family came from.
AIDS spreads through Woods Valley, and people start dying, including "many witch doctors" and "two of the undertakers" which makes life busy for the rest of them. Fortunately a few good citizens are unsurprisingly "concerned about the happening" as Aymer puts it, and they call in the experts, who go to work and quickly find the cause. The infected people are quarantined and a system of health education is put in place, with excellent results:
After seven good years of constant educational programmes about the prevention of AIDS, Woods Valley returned to being a village that was under control. It was similar to the way it was before King Seed deceived the citizens.
This made King Seed confused. He lost patience and he got disturbed beyond that. His torment was worse than a fish that is exposed to the fresh air. Every nerve cell in his body was completely shattered.
Just imagine! Kembaaley was King Seed's best man in the destructive doings and King Seed called him and forced him to kill himself. These were Seed's exact words: "Kembaaley, that project was your life. It has failed and so have you too. So you are compelled to kill yourself right now."
Kembaaley had to do it. But that did not satisfy King Seed. He turned his envy against the researchers and professors. He wanted to get rid of them—he hated mankind's works as well.
King Seed's temper and anger burst inside of himself, but it was too late. Kembaaley was not alive. So his conscience actually tore itself to pieces. King Seed had failed and he felt corrupted. So he arose and moved out of Woods Valley. All he said to himself bitterly was, "I'll return. I'll return and when I do, I am going to make it worse." He was really hurt and he meant it.
Thus Aymer's story comes to an end, abruptly. I wonder if he intended to hint at a possible sequel? I can't find a record of any further works, but his dust jacket biography says:
Frank Aymer, being in the field of freelance journalism after completing a course from the International Correspondence School of London, does wish to succeed with this worthwhile venture.
Perhaps he's been too busy as a journalist to write more fiction. What a loss to the field!
Scribbled by Alfred Armstrong 10 years 10 months ago