Chronicles of the
Children of Destiny
Children of Men
The Holy and Eternal Pseudepigraphal Canon of Haven Adamide Fellowship
Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly
© 6177 SC - © 2013 CE/AD
Copyright 6179 SC / 2016 CE
Infinite Dreams of Chaos and Order
World of the 7 gods
Burn – Terra Complexya
A Shade of Glory - Atlantra
The Guarded Moment – Terra
Another Answer - Arada
Fortune Favours the Brave - Albatross
The Understanding Understatement – Earth Prime
Upon the Sea of Frozen Nightmares and Unending Dreams of the Dark - Cosmologica
The Dark Side of Oblivion – Earth Prime
Jesus’ Big Old Fashioned Gay Adventure - Mythora
A Train - Mythora
Darkness Be My Friend – Earth Prime
If I Was Smart – Earth Prime
Fiona’s Choice – Earth Prime
Quantum Mechanics – Earth Prime
Red Rubies – Earth Prime
The Creep – Earth Prime
The Harmony Bridge - Mythora
The Heart of the Matter – Earth Prime
The Little Red Truck – Earth Prime
The Little Red Truck 2 – Earth Prime
The Mystery of Life – Earth Prime
The Vortex of Nothingness – Earth Prime
An Office Love – Earth Prime
The Ark – Earth Prime
The Dark Side – Earth Prime
The Diabolical Adventure of RXQ7 – Earth Prime
The Fabulous Adventure of Mr XQR4 – Earth Prime
The Startling Adventure of Sir QRX1 – Earth Prime
The Adventures of X – Earth Prime
The Orgasm Man – Earth Prime
Sqwerdtyplonghkfrimbzaxcuv - Mythora
Creatures of the Swampy Marshes – Earth Prime
I Love You, Always and Forever -Earth Prime
The Big Bad Wolf - Mythora
The Calamitous Conclusion to the Crazy Case of the Cornered Cornish Crook – Earth Prime
The Seductive Lips of Miss May June – Earth Prime
Hazardous – Earth Prime
Italian Cooking – Earth Prime
The Promise – Earth Prime
Pentecostal Power – Earth Prime
The Leetharck Cavern - Mythora
The Nothing - Mythora
The Ultimate – Earth Prime
The Sorcerers Quandary - Mythoria
Jihad – Earth Prime
Flowers for a Dead Man – Earth Prime
The Rings of Saturn - Mythora
Rebecca – Earth Prime
The Sword of Dario - Mythora
Gartos VII - Mythora
At The Sea – Earth Prime
Lots of Money – Earth Prime
The Darkness Changes - Mythora
Rain - Mythora
The Good Adventures of Sir Bottle Nose Brindaby - Mythora
Blood - Mythora
3 – Earth Prime
4 - Earth Prime
5 – Earth Prime
3 People – Earth Prime
Random Thoughts – Earth Prime
Happy - Earth Prime
Queen Lyuba and the Dashing Prince Daniel - Mythora
The Flat Tyre – Earth Prime
Picture Postcard – Earth Prime
The Adventures of the 47 Squirrels in Outer Space - Mythora
The Dark Dilemmas of the Frozen Souls of Hell - Mythora
Uranus Jokes – Earth Prime
The Freak – Earth Prime
The Dark Soldiers - Mythora
Patience – Earth Prime
There is a Place – Earth Prime
The Loving – Earth Prime
There is a Day – Earth Prime
The Quiet Heart of Love – Earth Prime
Shades of Uncertainty – Earth Prime
Jessica and Daniel – Earth Prime
Haven Adamide Fellowship and the Children of Salvation – Earth Omega
Questions from Hakham Tolkien – Earth Omega
The Birth of Haven Adamide Fellowship – Earth Omega
Fiona and the Havenides – Earth Omega
The Astral Configuration of the 7th Sector of the Nebezandrians - Mythora
The Tree of Life - Mythora
775 – The Macro War - Mythora
The Scorpius Dilemma - Mythora
The Darker Side of Life 7 - Mythora
The Darker Side of Life 8 - Mythora
The Darker Side of Life 9 - Mythora
The 7 Angels of Death – Earth Omega
Centrepiece - Mythora
91 - Mythora
92 - Mythora
93 - Mythora
Tina looked at the finishing line. 100 metres ahead. Not far, but a lifetime away in many ways. But here she was, 21, at the peak of her athletic powers, and in the 2012 Olympics representing Australia.
She had listened to the song that morning, her inspiration, ‘Burn’, by another Tina. And she was ready. She was ready. It was the final, now. She had won each heat. And now she was ready to shine, like a candle in the night. She would burn, as brightly as she possibly could.
Her boyfriend, Gavin, over in the stands waved to her and mouthed ‘I love you.’
Thoughts came into her head. Doubts. Fears. Trepidations. But, if she wasn’t ready now, would she ever be? 2016 was four years away, and while she would still be physically strong, really, it was now or never. She clutched the cross around her neck, looked skywards at her God, did the sign of the cross, and was ready. ‘It was now or never. Time to burn.’
The following day, looking at the medal table, Australia was now fourth, just one place behind the United Kingdom. Her Gold medal had brought them up just past France and China, and they were hoping, as a team, to crack the top three. She had burned, burned up the track in fact, and set the world record for the women’s 100 metres. And while she had been the hero of the hour, the games went on, and so did life in a funny way. But, in her heart, she was happy. The years, the long years of early mornings, little sleep, aching bones, sores and blisters and endless miles of running, now all seemed worth it. It was a record which would stand forever, her name forever inscribed in the books for winning this event. And while, in time, her name would just be bandied about with an endless supply of other winners, all who’d had their turn at glory, she knew it was still the achievement that Steveered. She’d achieved glory, she’d burned brightly, and the world was now at her feet. And boy did it feel good. Boy, did it feel that.
A Shade of Glory
The man, walking alone, high on the mountain, half naked, the psychotic episode have reached its peak and diminishing, looked at the figure in gold before him. It was an angel. He was absolutely certain it was an angel. It had blonde hair, dressed in fine golden robes and wore a sword in a belt, the sword of solid gold. And then the angel smiled at him and said one word – ‘Love.’
Jason was different after that. Somehow, in the pathways of love he strived more and more each year to walk in, to let go of the petty hatreds and prides of youth, the angels word compelled him ever onwards and, as he yielded his heart to letting go and letting God, he found something changing within him. He felt a peace, and a kindness – something never felt before. As if, suddenly, there was a purpose to this life, a deeper purpose than simply making a living, raising a family and acquiring wealth. And that purpose, in the end, was kindness, as a certain Alaskan singer he liked would testify to.
He practiced that kindness, then. He did so for the remainder of his days. And the touch of Glory he had received he spoke of to all and sundry, and tried his very best to live up to the Angel of Glory’s commandment.
He couldn’t really say for sure if the schizophrenia ever really left him – not for sure. But it grew less and less obvious over the years, and in the end, in the latter years, it was not really noticed at all. Could love really be the cure to the problems of the mind, body and soul? Could love be such a great solution that submitting to its tender caress was a balm for life like no other? Jason believed so, and testified to the power of love until his dying day.
And then, with his final breath, he saw again that Angel of Glory in his visions, and knew then he was going home. Home to where Love had its greatest, most splendid, home of Glory. And Jason knew that all was well.
‘The Guarded Moment’
January 27, 2010 AD
Trust is not easily earned for me. And when it is broken I rarely forgive. But that is just me, isn’t it. Not very Christian, am I. I loved David. I loved him with all my heart, and the pastor of the church said he would be perfect to marry, a first class Pentecostal. And then there was that moment, when he said he loved me, and I believed, really, I believed with all my heart, soul and mind, that he really would love me forever. But he betrayed me. He lied. He was a snake.
You see, three weeks later, out with my girlfriends, there he was with Amy. Kissing her. Kissing her on the cheek and whispering things in her ear. And then I knew I had been played for the fool.
Later on that day, he was in the flat, having come around. We were not sexually active, despite our church being a bit more relaxed in this modern era on that issue, but a guarded moment came. He said he loved me, and my heart was locked up tight. Locked up in a ball of rage and hatred, despise for this man who had played me for a fool. But I kept my lips shut, silent, saying nothing, and gave a mute nod and smile. And he thought everything was right in the world.
I am older now, and I haven’t broached the subject with David. I have never seen him with Amy since then, and sometimes I wonder, I really wonder, wether it was just a close kiss of friendship. And I wonder, with what the apostle James might say was a closely watched tongue, wether the guarded moment of my heart had, perhaps, saved me heartache and embarrassment.
But, you know, I still haven’t quite forgiven him. I love him, and I doubt we will ever separate, but a woman’s jealousy is as furious as the raging ocean, and my heart is like the Lord’s, as jealous as can be. And, if I ever catch him kissing Amy again, well, all I can say is watch out David. Or my wrath will be upon you.
‘But I have no other answer, father. I have none. I did not sleep with Robert, I swear to you. I confess, I love him truly, but please believe me father dearest, I would not violate my maidenhood. Your upbringing of myself taught me well and true the faith of God, and I swear to you such carnality ne’er would enter my thoughts. I am faithful to the Lord Jesus. Please believe me father.’
Rebecca looked solemnly and sincerely at Jacob, her elderly father, a paragon of virtue and honesty. He looked down at her with his strict, stern face and features, features she knew oh so well, features which spoke of bearing the cross of Christ for his family in a true spirit of English chastity and virtue. He softened, though, and relented of his accusation. He had placed faith in her instead.
‘Very well, daughter. I will take you at your word. But should such a scourge of fornication be known in our family, well I would not forgive you daughter, and you would find yourself a common woman, going from house to house for shelter, for I would not know you again.’
‘Yes father. I will remain faithful, I swear to you.’
Yet another answer was all she could give her father in her shame just 14 weeks later when, upon the insistence of her courter, having taken her back to his abode, she lay with him. And woe to her, she conceived, and having found this out, knew her life would not be the same. She spoke with Robert about the pregnancy, but he claimed the child not his, and demanded she see him no more, calling her a common harlot. And in the distress of her heart she turned to the altar of her church, falling on her face, and begging mercy of her Lord. She felt comfort that afternoon, but the spirit he told her she must speak truth to her father, for such knowledge must come to the fore sooner rather than the dreadful way later when it would become obvious.
She came home, and trepidation was in her very bones, shaking and making her feel sick – sick to her stomach. She came into the front living room, looked down into the burning logs, and wanted to retch. But she couldn’t and soon her father joined her, sitting down, picking up the family bible, and inquiring as to what was bothering her. She looked at him, looked at his stern, strict face, and saw the shame which awaited her. The shame of a common fornicating harlot. And so, falling at his feet, she begged again and again for mercy. And when she finally confessed to what she had done, he went silent. Eventually he stood, looked at her and left the room, saying nothing. And all she could do was fall to weeping.
He spoke not to her at the dinner table for 4 months, and while her mother consoled her and started sewing garments for the child, her father remained silent. It was a dreadful silence, and it spoke louder than words. But, whatever else, he had not yet abandoned her, and for this mercy she was grateful.
The child came in due course, and out of the darkest hour of her life, Robert returned to her on the child’s birth, confessed he had been a true rogue for abandoning her, and sought her hand in marriage. He spoke with her father, and later on she found out he had consented to the wedding.
She wore black on her wedding day, dressed in robes of darkness, not daring the maidens robes of white, and her father, at the back of the church, looked on with his dreadful eyes, his judgemental eyes, his condemning eyes.
The child grew and took the name of Jacob. And while her father still had not spoken to her, he seemed to delight in the child, bouncing it on his knee. He doted on it and spoke kind and loving words to it. And while Rebecca felt better for her father’s love towards her child, she bemoaned his silence.
And then, at church, the priest began his sermon. And he spoke of the woman caught in adultery. And he spoke of Christ’s words of ‘Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.’ And Jacob looked upon his daughter, and his heart softened.
He spoke to her that evening, and spoke of the blessing his grandson had been upon him. And he spoke words of kindness and mercy, and said he had been too harsh on her. And a family, one which had suffered greatly in judgement, found the mercy of forgiveness and again found its heart.
Fortune favours the brave
‘Douglas Jenkins? Nah he can’t bowl. He’s total crap.’
‘He could surprise you Rick. He has worked his ass off in the off season and now spins a pretty good one. Give him a go.’
‘I doubt it, but fuck, you only live once. And the All-stars are fed up with last place.’
‘So throw the bugger in. We can’t actually get any lower.’
‘Oh yes we can. Lower scores. More runs against us. More embarrassing defeats.’
‘Don’t remind me. Last week was an embarrassment. All out for 52 and they passed the total in 4 overs.’
‘Yeh, I’ll give Jenkins a go. We’ll see what he has got.’
4 days later, in the match of their lives, the Frenchbrook All Stars had made 78, not too bad a score for them, but they feared yet another defeat. And then the unlikely happened. Doug was brought in to bowl with the opposition on 2 for 37, with things not looking good for the All stars. Doug started conservatively, but after 3 overs the opposition were 7 for 48, with Doug having taken a quick 5 wickets. They were on the edge of the seats but when the other guys were all out for 69, with Doug haven taken 8 wickets, all Rick could say was ‘Fortune favours the Brave.’
The Understanding Understatement
‘Yes Josh. That really is understating the obvious. But so sensitive of you not to embarrass Helen with the full force of words you could have so righteously employed.’
‘Heather, I daren’t embarrass your sister. She is indeed a good soul, despite her obvious flaws in her tastes of men, and to cause her sweet disposition alarm, well, it would have been most undignified.’
‘You speak truly. I do declare your words were in truth an understanding understatement of her current predicament. Yet, if I dare object, if she has fallen pregnant? Could such a scandal warrant anything but the strictest of rebukes?’
‘Perhaps,’ responded Joshua Jones to his beloved. ‘Yet we will wait and see. Give her the benefit of the doubt. For we shall know soon enough otherwise, and life must meander on in its pleasant pathways until such knowledge has graced us all.’
‘If indeed it be grace,’ responded Helen.
‘If indeed,’ finished Josh.
Upon the Sea of Frozen Nightmares and Unending Dreams of the Dark
There was a time, in the tranquillity of the soul of my youth, were I honestly felt, only in goodness – only in pure, honest and true golden goodness – could life have meaning and purpose. But then, sailing on the sea of Frozen nightmares, my heart engaged in unending dreams in night of the dark, I found a peace at the end of my tribulations. A peace gained through confronting my fears and overcoming them which, in the end, only made me that much stronger.
The demon lord Asmodeus challenged me, wrapping my heart with slithers of death, yet I changed those slithers to the cool deep of the dark ocean and rested in them.
The devil Carkassion challenged me, wrapping my mind with slithers of evil and chaos, yet I changed those slithers to raw emotion and pure unbridled lust for living, and I came alive, feeling things I had never felt before.
And, finally, the dark lord of evil himself, the Lord Satan, challenged me, saying, do as thou will, be sovereign over life itself, and fulfil your hearts desires, yet while I assented to the logic of his wisdom I knew the truth that God alone was the sovereign lord of life, regardless of my own devices and that in the supposed wisdom evil offered me, only pain and torment would arise. And pain and torment can not be conquered, verily, can they? Yet, as Satan would teach, freedom comes from doing as thou will. And only in absolute freedom can come absolute life. And I considered that thought, and I pondered that thought, and I philosophized in many times of the day for many days for many weeks for many months for many years for many centuries for many millennia’s over that very thought.
And then, a voice whispering to me on the frozen nightmares said, and if perchance such nightmares were verily truth? And I thus did repent, and set sail for the seas of hope, and left the darkness. Yet something remained, a peace from the consolation of choosing good over evil, and learning therein that the peace of darkness was nothing but the peace of my own morality in choosing what I believed was deemed wise. And in that truth and revelation God saved me from the frozen depths of hell itself.
The Dark Side of Oblivion
I see her, stranded on the rock of despair, in the pits of hell. The rock of despair, the place hell casts the souls of the most damned, the most evil, the most wretched. Yet I love her still.
I descend into the abyss of evil, the abyss of insanity, the abyss of darkness, and pass through the veil of oblivion, into its darker side.
And there I see it, the rock of despair, with souls nailed to the rock, nails through their hands and feet, nails covered with the blood of perpetual bleeding, from souls suffering the worst torments of darkness in minds clouded with sin.
And I come to her, Diane my beloved bride, the one who slew our 5 children, cutting off their heads and burning the bodies. I come to her, my bride of the dark, and I pull out the nails, and caress her. And her lifeless face stares back at me, and she spits at me. Yet I love her still.
I bring her to my haven, the fortress of the night, and there I wash her wounds and pray for her healing.
And days pass…………
And weeks pass………..
And months pass………
And she looks at me one day, saying ‘You should have let me rot. For I am a dark, miserable soul.’ But I forgive her still.
And then I bring forth our children, living again the divine life, and they come to her, and she holds them. And then she weeps. She weeps.
Tears of Diane, like rivers, flowing down to the pits of hell were her sorrow was complete. And she weeps. She weeps. She weeps.
And then a bright light, and the glorious heavenly children enshroud us, and Diane is forgiven. And she weeps. She weeps. She weeps.
‘Jesus’ big old fashioned gay adventure’
Jesus was waltzing through the forest, singing to the birdies, happy as he could be. All was luvverly in the world. A frog smiled at Jesus and said ‘How are you Mr Jesus.’ Jesus smiled back at the frog and said ‘I love you dear frog.’ He walked on further. A Rabbit hopped up to him and said ‘You are so wonderful, Mr Jesus. We animals love you.’ And Jesus said ‘You are sooooo cute. I love you all.’ And then he walked on further, and a wolf bounded up to him, licked his face and said ‘Jesus – you are so Kewl.’ And Jesus said ‘Thank you Mr Wolf. I love wolves.’
Later on that day Jesus was talking with Satan, who had suggested he might vomit if Jesus continue retelling his ‘Lovely’ day’s adventure. ‘U r so gay,’ Satan said to the lord of bunny rabbits and princesses. ‘Of course I am, you old lovely devil.’ ‘Good grief,’ responded the master of evil.
“A Train – Dedicated to Nancy Jo”
The train - the human train - pulled up to the station. It felt relief - its passengers would now get off, thankfully, and its work for the day was nearly over. It now only needed to be parked for the night.
........And then, sleeping happily, the invaders - the youthful invaders - attacked him. He felt his sides being belted with stones, like little pin pricks to the more mortal amongst us in comparison.
........And the human train came alive and spoke to them. 'Children of men. I serve you diligently, each day of my life. I take your parents, your children, your loved ones everywhere they desire to go, and is this how you repay me? Attacking my skin, as if it were a simple play thing for your amusement?'
The one with the skull tattoo spoke. 'Train. What are you to us? You are just a machine. A lifeless entity, with no soul or heart. You are lower than even an animal, are you not?'
........And the human train answered, 'Yet am I not one of man's greatest achievements? A creation dedicated to the glory of humanity? Does that not mean I deserve some respect?'
And the tattooed one replied. 'Yet man, can he rival the most high? Can man, in his wonder, his intelligence, his outstanding ability, can man truley create life? Is man capable of this wonderous feat of invention?'
.........And the human train answered, 'Am I not alive, dear human?'
And the tattooed one replied. 'Nay, say I. The voice you speak with is a computerised response. It is an automated program, answering as it is supposed to do. Nay, you are truely not alive. For what life can there be in 100 tonnes of steel? What life can there be???????????????.............................................................
“Darkness be my friend”
I sit alone. I sit alone, silent, unmoving. I sit alone, here in this neverending
shadow of night.
There is peace here. There is solitude. And I speak quietly, gently to the
darkness. I say unto it 'Darkness be my friend. Darkness be my lover.
Darkness surround me, and make me one with you.'
For, you see, I once knew the heights of eternity. I once knew the Angelic
princes of glory, in all their regalia. I once knew the very highest of the
Archangels of God. Yet I dared to question - I dared to ask - I dared to
And they cast me from them, down to the fire, down to the pit, down to the
And I burned their for millennia. I burned their, until........ Until a hole beneath
opened up and I swam downwards. I swam downwards into the neverending
darkness. And I craved her soothing, cool touch. And I wed her, and she
comforted me from the hell of my ordeal.
And now I despise them, those angels of glory, and there God of consuming fire
and passion. For I know the love of the shadows - the peace and tranquillity
of the children of the night. The calm restful hand of the eternal darkness.
And unto heaven I say 'Be gone from me, ye eternal throne of pride. For
the Darkness is my friend. The quiet of eternal night. And I rest in her quiet,
gentle, humble embrace..................................'
If I was Smart
'If I was smart I would know what smart meant.'
'If I was smart I would be dangerous.'
'If I was smart I could spell smart.'
'If I was smart, uh duh.'
'If I was smart I wouldn't have ended up in this place.'
'If I was smart I'd be fucking the night nurse right now.'
The professor tilted his head at the last comment but let it go by. Only 1 speaker left.
He turned to her. 'And you Fiona. What would you be if you were smart?'
Fiona looked at the professor, a man she had come to hate, and responded in the only
was Fiona McKee ever possibly could.
'If I was smart I wouldn't have put only 100mg of Valium into your coffee.'
The professor smiled to himself. A typical McKee comment. Regardless, he took his first
sip of his just made coffee.
5 minutes later, the professor zonked out, Fiona holding the keys, she said to the others.
'Now if I am smart, we'll bust out of this hellhole.'
2 hours later, Fiona receiving electro shock therapy, a thought came to her. 'They must be
right. I'm crazy. I am really not smart at all.'
Fiona, sitting at her office desk, mindlessly typing away without any real thought, just following the letter her boss had written, was oblivious to the two men watching her. One, James, a co-worker for 7 years now, since their late twenties, had never spoken of his crush towards her. He thought, perhaps, she might know by now. But he was never really sure. And James was shy, unable to voice his affections. The other, Ricky, was full of confidence, having had many women, and he now fancied this Fiona character. He was new to the office and Fiona seemed like the ideal score. Fiona stopped momentarily, looked upwards, noticed James, and then turned her head very quickly, also then noticing Ricky who stared for a while and then turned away. She quickly returned to her typing. She thought the usual thought. 'If he is too shy, in the end, he won't win me. I need a man who can declare his love. I need a man who will say what is in his heart.' You see, Fiona was no fool - she had a pretty good idea how James probably felt, but had made up her mind on the situation. 4 weeks later Fiona, getting out of the bed early in the morning, looking over at the sleeping Ricky, was wondering about her choice. Ricky had grabbed her arse and flirted with her for two solid weeks. And so she had slept with him in the end. But could he really be the one? Could he really be the kind of guy she needed? But for so long she had made up her mind about James. For so long she had said 'NO'. Let him chase me. But now Fiona was considering her choice - and the kind of guy Ricky really was - and she wondered to herself 'Maybe they were the old rules. Maybe things have changed. Maybe we ladies need to do something about it, to get our man. Maybe.' 1 year later Fiona and James were wed. She spoke to him a few months after sleeping with Ricky, and asked him out. And, funnily enough, everything had been magical since then. He adored her, she found out, but had simply been to shy to say so. Perhaps, every now and then, a woman needed to grab her man. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.
'...And I thus propose that E now should be taken as equalling M C Cubed, and not squared.'
Dorfus Humbleheart stood silent, then, as the audience of scientists from over the globe glared
'Is the man insane?' one commented. 'Does he even understand the basics of the theory of
relativity?' commented another.
Later on, Dorfus, having returned to the Lair of Darkness somewere on Manhattan Island, communed
with his demon lord. 'I am afraid, master, they have not fallen for this latest beloved theory of mine.
It seems that the children of science are, finally, coming to terms with our centuries of delusions. They
are no longer so gullible, it would seem.'
The Demon Lord grinned. 'Yet these fools still believe they are children of apes. So persevere, my
young apprentice, with your radical ideas. Call yourself a radical genius, simply misunderstood. Say,
in a thousand years they will look back and call you years ahead of your time. Challenge every notion
of scientific reasoning they throw at you and insist on that marvellous idea of 'lateral thinking'. Proclaim
to them that the mysteries of the universe are unfolding now to mankind and that bold, even illogical
thinking, must be comprehended and understood if we are truly to understand the nature of all that
is. I have, heh heh heh, faith in you young Dorfus. You will succeed were others have failed.'
'Indeed I shall, dark lord and master.'
And another day in the delusions of the devil, the true ruler of the children of mankind, passed..........
My mother had Red Rubies. She used to wear them at dinners at home. But she never wore them out. But, of course, she went out rarely. It was not her way.
Father bought the Rubies from a jeweller on Main Street, so mother told me in her latter years. They were expensive, especially on Father’s Salary. Yet, he loved mother, and so made the purchase on layaway.
The Red Rubies came in a set. One on each ear-ring. One on a necklace. And one on a ring. Mother loved those Red Rubies. She loved them awfully.
I sold the Red Rubies to a pawnbroker, just last year. I saw them the other day – they are still available for sale. But I cannot afford to redeem Mothers Red Rubies. For, you see, I am a poor man. Poor and destitute. I can only dream of yesterdays glories of Red Rubies.
Today I live on the streets of my town. I live there, in the muck and filth, getting by on the weekly welfare check, which is half of what it used to be due to budget cuts. But I manage.
I usually get enough to eat – that is were most of the money goes. America still cares about its poor, apparently. Not enough to give us a home – to give us shelter from the wind and rain. But they care about us enough to feed us. And that is something, I suppose.
Still, it would be nice to live in a nice home. To have beds and blankets – tables and chairs – perhaps even servants. It would be nice. And it would be especially nice to have a wife. A loving, loyal and pretty wife. Perhaps, if I were ever so fortunate, I could dress her in red rubies. Perhaps. Perhaps.
'Face it Tess. He's a creep. I mean they all are in the end. Except Jimmy
'Oh yes. You and your beloved Jimmy. The sun still shines from his ass doesn't
'Shut up,' replied Megan
'Ok. But John looks ok. Yeh, I know he is a bit creepy, with all that 'Emo' image
he has going for him. But I reckon those are really the best types of guys. Sensitive,
deep, and really emotional. Very serious.'
'For fuck's sake Tess - he plays Slayer on his I pod.'
'Yeh, I know. But so what. They're harmless.'
'With albums like 'Hell Awaits' and you think they're harmless.'
'Oh, they are only having a go Megan. They're not serious.'
'I dunno. They seem pretty fucked up to me.'
'I am going to ask him out.'
'You'll regret it Tess.'
Three weeks later the Creep had completed his major objective. The girl had been recruited,
and was ready to meet the Coven. When she had introduced herself he had quickly talked
about witchcraft, and she had seemed genuinely interested. She was the perfect choice -
everything would turn out as planned.
'John, these guys look creepy. And why are they all staring at me?'
Just then the creep came out of his shadow.
'Shut up, bitch. Take her, brethren.'
The coven of men and women moved forward, grabbed Tess, and brought her to the altar.
Tying her down, she screamed and screamed until, finally, the blood gushing from the hole
just made in her heart, she screamed no more.
So the moral of this story is if your best friend tells you the guy is a creep, bloody listen
to her ok.
“The Harmony Bridge”
Callodyn surveyed the bridge. The strands were not in harmony. They were not in harmony. The dark lords of the Necronomicon - the ancient adversaries - in their latest attack on the realm, had corrupted the bridge through their infiltrators, the savagers. The savagers had invaded 'Haven' - home of the 'Harmony Bridge' - and corrupted the strands which kept the bridge together. The Harmony Bridge - Alturus' only defence against the dark lords of the Necronomicon. Without the strands flowing in harmony with each other - thus enabling the power of the 'spellsongs' woven by the 'spellmages' of Haven to have effect - Alturus would inevitably feel the wrath of the dark lords of the Necronomicon.
Callodyn, now Pontifex over Haven, had faced this danger before. In his youth, all those years ago, he had defeated the Necronomicon at that time, weaving the new strand which kept away the dark lords for now, nearly, a full century. But now, as his 120th year began, in the frailness of an age of antiquity in the realm of Alturus, the legend of Callodyn was to be put to the test.
He began singing the new song he had been working on for nearly 70 years. A spellsong with the intent, when needed, to bring completion - culmination - to the entire harmony bridge. He had planned on entering the spellsong to the bridge on his 125th birthday. He knew, as the prophet foretold, he would live to at least 130 years - years beyond mortal men in a sense - so had planned the culmination of his songmagery for his 125th year. But, due to the threat of the Necronomicon, that time could not wait.
He entered the bridge. The song alive around him. His spirit sought out the strands needed to be woven together. Vissinhock, Gaeldwhelm and Vauniquet all hummed around him - ancient strands put together by the ancient songlord to protect Alturus. His song alive in his spirit, the strands began flowing. They began flowing in a new, strange, yet beautiful symmetry. And then, at the climax to the song, unification began. The song merged into the spirit of the bridge, imparted from his own spirit, and sought out harmony - the unifying of the spellsong with the bridge.
* * * * *
The Necronomicon looked on. Their attack, about to happen, would now not come to be. Around the planet Alturus, the wave of new songspirit came forward, attacking their being - their nature. They were creatures of evil - of chaos. Dark lords of destruction. When faced with purity - with goodness - they could only retreat. Only in the darkness of evil could they triumph. So, for now they would retreat. Yet, one day, one dim and distant day in the future, they would attack Alturus again, and claim victory over their ancient adversaries.
* * * * *
Peace. The heart of Callodyn Songmage, Pontifex of Haven, was at peace. Alturus had celebrated his victory, and peace and joy rang through the realm. Yet Callodyn, despite the joy in his heart, knew that one day - one dim and distant day in the future - war would come again. And for that day he would need to prepare the children of Alturus, and the songmages of the Harmony Bridge.
“The Heart of the Matter”
(A Tongue in Cheek Tale)
I suppose, in truth, and all things considered, it comes down to this. I am against the homosexual movement because, in my faith, it is a sin and against God’s laws.
My brother is a homosexual. He has been for seventeen years now. And the sad thing is, like me, he was raised in a god-fearing and bible believing home. Really, he should have known better.
I mean, these sodomites. If we allow them into our own family, hey church, how can we ever justify calling them sinners. I mean, wouldn’t we be the hypocrites. And, church, you know how Jesus hates hypocrites.
The sad thing is, even I am guilty now. I have looked through my brothers gay magazines and got excited. I went and masturbated over a picture of a guy going down on another guy. And, boy, was it a rush. Really, it almost had me convinced that these gay guys knew something which they had not been sharing with the rest of us.
But, no. I will stand my ground. Despite my sin – which is grievous – of which, praise the Lord, I have repented, I must wholeheartedly condemn the Sodomite race to the eternal fires of hell for which, due to the corruption they have brought upon us holy ones, they utterly deserve.
So no, friend. Gay is not okay by me. I suppose, the Heart of the Steveer is this. God created Adam and Eve – NOT Adam and Steve.
S. A. Tan
The Little Red Truck
For Nancy Jo
Joey loved his little red truck. His mother bought it for him when he turned 6 and he had treasured it for the last 2 and half years. But it had gone missing, and Joey was frantic. He looked everywhere and everywhere and then, finally, crying his eyes out, his wicked older brother Jonny came into his room with a proposition.
'If you give me 5 Dollars I will show you were you lost your little red truck.'
Joey instantly started crying and went complaining to his mother. But despite all his persistent cries, Jonny wouldn't budge and his mother had washing to do.
Joey stared at his adversary and, finally, wanting so much for his truck to be returned to him, got out his money box and fished out $5 in coins.
Jonny took the money, grinned, and said 'Sucker. Your truck was in the trash yesterday. It’s at the rubbish tip now.'
And Joey cried and cried.
Now the moral of this story is this: Everyone knows older brothers like 'Jonny'. But remember, Jonny will get his comeuppance one day, inevitably. You can count on that.
The Little Red Truck 2
For Nancy Jo
Joey was 21 years old now, his older brother Jonny 24. One day, coming into the driveway, Jonny arrived in his new truck for his gardening business. A little red truck. Joey looked at the truck and thought back to his youth when he'd had a little red truck of his own which, apparently, Jonny had stolen and thrown in the trash. And Joey right then and there, looking at his older brother's new red truck, made up his mind in an instance - 'REVENGE'.
Later on Jonny came into the lounge, looking exasperated, and said 'Have you seen my fucking truck? I think someone has stolen it?'
Joey said, 'I will tell you were your truck is for $5.' Jonny swore at him and yelled for their mother, but she was busy with the washing and told him to sort it out. Eventually Jonny gave up and handed over the $5. Joey replied instantly, 'Oh yeh, some guy came around and towed it. I think it was going to the junkyard.'
Jonny then scampered off.
2 hours later Jonny came home, looked at Joey, and said, 'They trashed. They crunched the whole truck.'
Joey looked at him coldly and then, with the subtlest of grins, said 'sucker'.
Now the moral of this story is REVENGE is a dish best cooked for a long time and served cold.
Bwah ha har.
‘The Mystery of Life’
She sat there, staring at the wall. Staring, almost not blinking, oblivious to her surrounds. 'Hey, babe. Snap out of it.' 'Huh, what,' she said, coming to herself. 'What planet were you on babe?' She turned to the voice. A guy - about 20 like herself - and even a little cute. 'Oh, uh. Sorry. I guess I was miles away.' 'That's ok. I don't think I have seen you in the laundry room before. Are you new to the flats?' 'Oh, yes. Moved in yesterday. The old place I was living had too many robberies in the neighbourhood.' 'Ain't it like that these days. Not like when I was younger, mum tells me. They almost had values in those days, she says. Lecturing to me all the time about her religious upbringing. I mean, I can't stand religion, but I see what she is saying.' 'Yes, I guess. Well, sorry, I need to check my clothes. The dryer seems to have finished.' 'Oh, yeah. Sorry.' The guy moved out of the way and young Jane opened the dryer to retrieve her handful of clothing. She looked at him. 'Would you like to come around for a drink. You know - just to introduce ourselves.' He looked at her, but shook his head. 'Look, babe. I am gay ok.' 'Oh, that doesn't matter. We can still be friends.' 'Well, ok. What number?' 'Flat 15. Say half an hour?' 'I'll be there.'
So why are you gay?' 'Just the way I am babe. I like to fuck men.' 'Sign of the times, really. Half of Australian males are gay these days. I have read statistics that at the beginning of this 21st century only about 5% were gay. Now it is at least half of them, and the other half mostly bi.' 'We were populating too much as a species. Besides, the old ways never worked - men and women hated each other. Better to fuck our own.' 'But what about kids. You know, babies.' 'Fuck, babe. Leave that to the religious crew. They are always spitting them out, aren't they.' She looked at him momentarily, and right then, almost struck by the mystery of life, she looked up. Then she looked at him, saying, 'Yeh, they are. Aren't they.'
That Sunday she went to church for the first time ever. The Kingdom Hall across the street. They were a different type of people - very different. They acted as if they genuinely cared about her - as if she mattered. Not just another cog in the economic machine. Not just another number of the beast. Jane stayed in that Kingdom Hall and, after 3 years, her male friend joined her. He had to repent of being gay, as that was a requirement. But after a while he didn't mind. After a while the mystery of life he partook of with his and Jane's newborn child seemed to make it all worth it. It seemed, now to make sense. It seemed, now, to make sense after all.
“The Vortex of Nothingness”
The Shadow, of his soul, hidden.
Frank looked into the vortex of nothingness. It lay hidden within. The Shadow of his soul lay hidden within.
Because Frank was a shadow of a man. A shadow of a man he used to be.
His wife dead, killed by his own blunders, along with his children.
Sacked as unreliable and a threat in his only lifelong occupation.
And the watcher – the divine watcher – it had claimed Frank’s soul, and cast it into the vortex of nothingness. A vortex, the watcher claimed, full of such souls. Souls of nothing people.
This was the end. The end.
Unless he dared the vortex – unless he dared with his final spirit of decency – he would remain nothing. Eternally nothing.
Eternally damned to a soul of no value. Of no reputation. Of no hope.
And so he dared the vortex.
He swam, demons playing tricks on his mind. Will-O-The-Wisps attempting to lead him astray. But he swam. He swam, suddenly, and ultimately realizing that this was it. If he lost his soul, life would be over.
And a determination entered him. A determination born of desperation. And he swam. He swam.
Later, later, later………….much later………years later………
He stood on the deck of HMS Valiant Warrior – latest in the British Imperial Space Fleet. He was a hero. A decorated hero. And because, when the testing came, he had defeated the nothing within. And found the answer to his life.
“An Office Love”
Written for and dedicated to singer ‘Keri Noble’
She looked at him – straight at him. Should she? Should she say something? No. No. Better not. But gosh, her heart moved when she looked at him.
‘You know, Jessica. Anthony does like you.’
‘No he doesn’t Megan. Don’t say that. Don’t say that.’
‘But he does. I can tell. You see, I see him looking at you when your head is turned. He is very carefully but I see him watching you.’
Jessica looked at Megan, considering her words. She wanted to refute them. She wanted to believe her silent adoration of Anthony was hers and hers alone. But, yet, she also wanted Megan’s words to be true – oh so true.
‘He, uh. He does?’ she asked Megan carefully.
‘Yeh, he does Jess. Ask him out. Go on. You will love him.’
‘No, No. I can’t do that. I am too shy,’ responded Jessica.
‘He might get away,’ chided Megan slightly.
‘No, I can’t. Don’t ask that of me.’
Just then a voice spoke.
She turned to see Anthony standing there.
‘Uh, yes Anthony?’
‘Well, I was wondering, you know. I was wondering if – and you can say no if you want. But I was wondering if you would like to grab some lunch today.’
Jessica remained silent, but after a while just nodded.
‘Great, see you at 1, okay?’
She nodded again.
When Anthony left Megan looked at her.
‘You lucky devil, Jess. He saved you all the effort.’
‘Perhaps he loves me after all. Perhaps.’
Jessica was nervous, sitting there, sipping at her water. Anthony was still in the cue and, from what she could tell, he had grabbed a salad and an OJ. He should be with her shortly. They were in the Barton cafeteria, across from the Edmund Barton Building, were they worked in the heart of Canberra. Both had worked there for about 5 years now, but Anthony had moved to her branch from another branch in the building just recently. But she had occasionally seen him around, noting his good looks and friendly face.
She was sipping water only today because she wanted to make a good impression – such a womanly thing to do these days, to only drink water in front of men. Of course, they all wanted their women slim, trim and terrific she thought to herself. But hey, they were the realities of life.
She was a healthy living girl, Jessica. She didn’t smoke, rarely drank and only ate very little meat and mostly fish when she did. Now, 27, she felt she honestly might live to 100 if she watched herself carefully. Of course men in Australia did not live as long as women in general, which was why it was important to find a clean living partner.
She looked at Anthony as he was being served and wondered just how clean living he actually was. She had never seen him smoke, and he never talked about drink. Apparently he was a Jehovah’s Witness, but never really discussed religion with people very much. The only thing she knew about the Jehovah’s Witnesses was that Venus and Serena Williams, the tennis players, had been brought up in that church. And that they didn’t like blood for some reason. But that didn’t Matter to her. Anthony was a nice guy regardless.
He noticed her looking at him and waved a little, and she waved back and smiled. He would be finished shortly, and they would be chatting.
She wondered to herself what they should talk about. Probably work – that is what most people talked about in the cafeteria. Maybe music, TV, politics even. Something casual just to be friendly with each other. But whatever it was, she would be careful and sensitive to him. She liked Anthony, and if he was to be the one, she wanted to make a good impression.
‘So, Anthony. Do you listen to music?’
Anthony finished his mouthful of lettuce before responding.
‘Yeh, a bit. Not much though. Not my scene, really.’
‘Mmm. Well. What is your scene?’
Anthony smiled a little. ‘That is actually a very good question, Jess. I don’t really know if I have one. I mean, apart from church a few times a week, I don’t really have much of any active social life. No real hobbies to speak of. I rarely go to the movies and I don’t have a TV set. But I do read Fantasy novels a lot – to pass the time.’
‘Family? Do you see them much?’
‘My parents died in a car crash 3 years ago. It was that time I was off work for a while, but I guess you wouldn’t have known. I was a lonely child, and I only have an Uncle overseas. Really, church is my family now.’
‘Oh, I see. And are you strongly religious.’
‘I go a lot but, really, no. I mean I have convictions on certain issues, but mainly because I think that is the right thing to do. But there is too much division and bickering in religion for me to really get involved with it. Church, now, is more of a social thing. I guess I sort of thought I would meet my wife there, more than anything else. Yeh, I guess I believe what my church teaches, but really it is the social life.’
‘What about discos? Nightclubs? The pub scene? Do you do that?’
‘Not my scene. Really not my scene. Too many thugs who brawl at pubs, and I am a pacifist.’
‘Oh, ok.’ Jessica took a sip of water, and Anthony resumed munching on a piece of lettuce. She thought on what he had said, about being a pacifist, and was pleased. She really did not like the mucho guy that much. When they flirted and felt like they were going to get lucky, it was almost as if these days sex was mandatory. And if you gave it to them they didn’t give a damn about you later. Perhaps Anthony was different. And from what she had gathered of church going folk, perhaps he was not the kind of guy to flirt with her just for sex.
‘I have never been to church, you know. Not once.’
Anthony looked at her, not altogether shocked. ‘Sign of the times, Jess. Australia used to be a Christian country. It’s not anymore. It’s secular, really.’
‘What does secular mean?’ she asked.
‘Well, um. To tell you the truth I am not sure of the exact definition. But I think it basically means non-religious. Or society-oriented.’
‘Oh well. That sounds like me then.’
She took another sip. The conversation paused for a few moments, as Jessica thought on things she could say. Of course, they had casually chatted a little at work from time to time, but this was different, a bit more personal. Almost as if something was expected of them both.
‘So, I take it you don’t have a girlfriend.’
‘No, not really. There are a few women my age in the congregation who aren’t married, but nothing serious has happened with any of them yet.’
‘And are you looking for a girlfriend.’
He looked at her, gave a cute smile, and said, ‘Sort of why I asked you to lunch, Jessica.’
‘Oh, right’, she replied. She took another sip and smiled to herself. Things were travelling nicely. Quite nicely indeed.
She looked up at the notice board at the notice on the Annual Department Softball competition. There was also a sheet with a list of names and a pen attached. Looking over it she spied Anthony’s name. She didn’t play softball normally, but this was perfect. The perfect opportunity. She added her name.
‘I know you are fit,’ continued Megan, ‘but you’re hopeless at softball. I don’t think you hit the ball once last year.’
‘Oh, that doesn’t Matter. Anyway, Anthony is on the team, get my drift.’
Megan caught Jessica’s drift, understanding instantly.
‘So Mr Sunshine is the one then, is he?’
‘He could be. He doesn’t have a girlfriend, and his only active social life is his church thing, but none of the women in his church seem interested. It looks like I am the right lady at the right time.’
‘Still I’d be careful about Joe Hoes, if I was you Tess. They have never been mainstream.’
‘Oh I don’t care about religion, Megan. Life is so complicated anyway that not everyone is going to get it absolutely right. People just believe what they believe. As long as you are kind that is all that Steveers.’
‘True. So has he asked you out?’
‘Not yet. But he has said things which suggest he is quite interested. I hope it is only a Steveer of time. But maybe this Friday or Saturday. I might drop some hints that I am free on the weekend. Hopefully he’ll notice.’
‘Subtlety is definitely your strong-suit Jessica,’ said Megan so very sarcastically.
‘Hey – a lady has got to let her man know, ok.’
They chatted a short while longer, and then both got back to work. Sitting there typing, Jessica schemed and schemed in her mind. If she was going to get her man, she would have to be careful. But Anthony was worth it. Really, he was the ideal catch.
Megan was, just a little, jealous of Jessica. Just a little. Megan was 23, a virgin, and waiting for Mr Right. Oh, she’d had a few boyfriends since her mid teens, but had not found the one she was prepared to give herself to. But since about 21 she had become shy. To shy to go up and speak to a guy. To full of fear.
But Jimmy, from around the corner in the next wing of the building, he looked good. He looked fine.
He passed by their wing, going to the next one, usually every day. She saw him all the time, but she hadn’t really met him. Jessica encouraged her, these days, with her recent success with Anthony after the culmination of the Softball final which their branch won. Jessica had amazingly scored a run in the final, to which Anthony hugged her in front of all, and kissed her on the cheek. Jess had been in heaven.
Jimmy, it seemed though, might be Megan’s chance. Whenever he walked by he looked her straight in the eye, but had not yet spoken to her. Jess told her plain and simple: ‘You need to be fearless girl – you need to go up and talk to him.’
But all Megan could say was that she didn’t have the nerve. Of course she had plenty of time to plan on what she could say. Like ‘We could be good together. Or, let’s find a place and make love all day, loverboy.’ And other such female fantasies.
Sometimes Jimmy passed by early in the morning, looking weary, as if he had been up all night. But he still looked fine. She knew, from gossip, he was studying hard at uni and was up late.
All Megan really wanted was Jimmy to come up and talk to her. That is all she wanted. She didn’t have the nerve to get up off her own ass and talk to him, but she loved him, so would wait.
But all Jess would say is ‘You have got to be fearless girl. You have got to be fearless.’
But Megan was shy.
Megan stroked Jimmy’s hair. She was in heaven. For three solid weeks, since getting the nerve to get up off her ass and go talk to him, they had been dating, and now they were very close.
Today they were out the back of her parent’s place in Yass, recovering from a family barbecue. Her two younger brothers, Chris and Patrick were playing cricket, having given up on trying to recruit Jimmy to the match. But she was grateful that they did, as he now was on the swing with her, lying in her arms, his hair being gently stroked.
Love was amazing, Megan thought to herself. It was as if all that pain of loneliness in life disappeared overnight when you found the love of your life. And, in a way, as if all the pain and desperation suddenly became worthwhile. It was certainly how she now felt, and she never wanted to let this feeling go. Not ever.
She had known Jessica and Anthony were as close as ever, and it seemed they might become a foursome at work, as the group of them had already started having lunches together.
For Megan it was a life of dull and monotonous work, suddenly changed to a life of drama and love. And for this small mercy she was ever so grateful.
Some lovers are true.
Some lovers are not.
Love often hurts when forsaken, and some question wether it is worth the effort because of it.
But to live without love, well, really, is there any point then?
God loves each and every one of us. His love for us is as bright as the sun, and will sustain us
Throughout our lives. Let God’s love live in you, and let the flame of love from a romantic heart
That you seek be beckoned by the act of humility and grace in accepting the gift of God’s choice
Of love for you.
Despite our very best efforts, when the year one million passed on the traditional Christian Calendar, mankind had only achieved 8 percent of light-speed as our maximum recorded space-cruiser speed. It was around then that the fantasy of reaching the stars finally left us. We had all grown up on the ancient science fiction dramas, all expecting to live on other planets, and be a space-faring people, mixing with the other alien civilizations of the universe. Naturally, it was expected we would master light-speed and reach the stars but, around the year 300,000 when the maximum speed had been attained, the scientists had been continually telling us that we already new the laws of physics well enough to separate fantasy from reality – and the ancient dramas had been nothing more than that – fantasy.
We knew, probably, that some form of life possibly existed out there. We had recorded over 10 million other planets in our telescopic investigations, and it was deemed by many of the expert astronomers that given the properties of about 2 to 3 percent of these planets, conditions like earth quite possibly existed.
And then it was proposed – ‘The Ark’.
At first the idea was laughed at. I mean, who would volunteer. Who would want to swap our own system for the life of a dead spaceship, no Steveer how elaborately designed and fitted. But, strangely enough, millions of names were put forward. And so the council of system-planets gave the go ahead and the authorisation for the use of the necessary resources, and Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Pluto, and the other outlying bodies all pooled their resources to achieve the impossible dream – colonization of the galaxy.
We knew, all of us, if successful, the timeframe to hear back from the descendants of the Ark – trillions of years. But mankind was not going anywhere, it seemed, and the best scientists assured us that the Sun seemed to have googols of years left in its bright glory, assuring us mankind would still be here when we heard word of the outcome.
I volunteered on that flight, myself, one of the genetic eternals. While evolutionary theory was generally still popular in mankind’s thinking, it had not yet been substantially proven. The theistic creationist camp, teaching the existence of a supreme being and the creative process, argued that the ‘Eternal’s’ in mankind had existed in the gene pool all along, and were not part of our evolutionary next step. It was debated, heatedly, each side believing themselves correct. As for me, I don’t really know. I have been around now for about 200,000 years, my memories ever disappearing with the new regenerations of my flesh and brain. But that doesn’t really Steveer. I can view much of my history in the records kept for the eternals, visual and otherwise, and I usually kept in touch with the basic history, careful to remember the early years when studied. Short term memory, as I call it, lasts about 1,000 years, and then the oldest memories seemed to disappear gradually. Really, at first in my early thousands it was a bit disconcerting, so I recall from some of my diaries, but you get used to it and my essential personality and nature never really change. It is like always living a new life, by way of explanation.
14 other eternals volunteered for the journey on the ‘Ark’. I knew each of them very well. Alongside the eternals, about 700 other crewmen and women had been selected to begin the voyage, yet of course none of them would reach our first intended destination, several hundred light years away.
I was vice-captain on the voyage, one of the other eternal’s, my friend Jan Matook, selected for the premiere position.
The Ark had been tested for about 4,000 years before we finally left. With the special coatings around the hull of the Ark, and the ability to make use of space dust as extra physical Steveer when and were we needed it, self sustainability had generally been achieved. Although we would travel slowly, powered by the stars solar energy, we would get there eventually. It was only a Steveer of time. Slow, but inevitable time.
* * * * *
I looked at the planet. Yes, it was definitely blue. Most definitely blue. We had long agreed to investigate a minimum of 1000 planets in various systems in our voyage. Yet after 22 failures, the 23rd one seemed compatible and like earth. I could not really remember how long we had been gone and only had vague memories of leaving, apart from the memories of my youth which always stayed with me and only had the timeclock/calendar to go by which assured us we had been gone long enough.
15 of us were left on the voyage. A disease had taken the non-eternals long ago, a mere three hundred years after departing, but we eternals could manage the ship and decided to keep on going. We had sworn off having children, which was still possible as the women regenerated eggs often, deciding not to add to any offspring’s woes. But now, New Terra in sight, as we had dubbed it, children seemed the logical next step if the planet had no intelligent life. We were colonists, now, and were about to settle humankinds first colony on another earth-type planet. The first we were aware of anyway.
Life got going pretty quickly, and in the 3000th year of New Terran civilization, with a large number of eternal’s also now living amongst us, it was decided it was now appropriate time for some of us to return home. And despite the large family I now had I decided to go.
I knew it would be a long trip and, as the years past, and I beat the onboard computer at chess more and more often, I looked forward to getting home.
Inevitably the day arrived and with earth in sight I silently thanked God that he had brought me safely back.
That was the beginning, then, all those years ago. The beginning of galactic civilization. There are a lot of us eternal’s now, throughout the galaxy. Over a trillion from the figures given to me. Space travel has improved a lot but still takes a fair while. We are faster than light, now, but not much faster. But technology is ever improving. I have family out there, a lot of family and, thinking back, it is the Ark which paved the way for me and my descendants.
Life is good, I guess, and I have seen many strange and extraordinary things in my time. But, you know, life goes on. And I suppose I wouldn’t have that any other way.
“The Dark Side”
Rivers of blood. Rivers of blood. He stared, almost ready to vomit, at the Rivers of blood. His nostrils were overwhelmed by the vilest stench of the blood, filled with rotting flesh. His fathers head floated past, eyeballs missing, yet his dad still managed a ‘Hello Son’. Then came his mother – or what was left of her – part of her head clinging to a rotting corpse. Finally, his new bride. Beth. She had a dagger protruding from her eye and as she floated past she cried ‘Why John, Why?’
And then he woke from the dream.
On the 21st of July, 1994, John Graham Stoke was not well. He was on the verge of bankruptcy, trying to keep that fact from his new wife Beth and telling his beloved all was well in his business affairs. Apart from that he had a splitting headache, left over from his bad dream the night before, one he had been valiantly trying to put out of his memories all day long. And the cat had shit on his best shirt, the one he had put aside for his dinner engagement. The day, really, had not been going so well.
The dreams had been quite bad of late. For several weeks now nothing but nightmares had filled his head. As if the gods had decided, in a spirit of vengeance, that young John Stoke needed a good haunting and had assigned their various demonic forces. He jokingly thought this, though, as he had no strong belief in the supernatural.
He looked at his shirt, standing in his bathroom of 7 Vesper Street, somewhere in east London. Perhaps the crap would wash off. But, taking a sniff, it seemed quite ingrained, so he would have to wash it in the machine again. Beth would be home in about 2 hours so he probably had enough time. Walking to the laundry he thought on the recent decision of his former business partner, Geoff Allott, to split in their accounting business. Geoff had taken most of their customers, but thankfully paid off his share of the loan for the office – he’d had savings, apparently. This had left John in an awkward position. He’d had to let go of Marjorie, their receptionist, as with the small number of customers he had he just couldn’t afford it. And now the bank was sending him nasty letters about late payments for the mortgage on the office.
He would probably have to sell the office, in the end. He had faced that reality. A degree of the loan had been paid off, and he would have some spending money with which to rent somewhere. In all honesty, though, he felt the best decision was to come clean with Beth and just run the business from home. He was sure she would understand. After all – what were wives for if they could not stand by their man?
Just then a knock on the front door interrupted his laundry duties. He left the shirt and went to see who was inquiring. He opened the door to see a van pull off from the streets. A red van, with a blurred license plate. Nobody else seemed to be around. He was about to go back inside when he heard some crying. Looking to his feet he noticed what they go on about in those Hollywood movies – a casket with a baby inside.
‘Bloody hell. Now who has done that then?’ He walked down the path to the front gate and looked up and down the street, but to no avail. Eventually, reaching the conclusion that the occupants of the van must have left the child, he picked up the casket and took it inside.
Later on, when Beth got home, he was satisfied that the child would be now looked after. He had called the local community child welfare centre and they had said to look after the child until the morning, at which point they would send someone around to collect it. These things were not that uncommon, apparently – leaving children on doorsteps. Still happened from time to time, so they claimed.
He had been ready for anything from Beth, except the last yet perhaps most obvious of motherly instincts. She had looked at the child, made the inquiry and he had shared what he new. And then she had started feeding it, changed its nappy, and was holding it and patting its back all evening.
In the morning she had decided. If they could not find the parents she wanted to adopt. The parents had left the child on their doorsteps so it was, perhaps, fates way of telling them that the child belonged with them.
In the end, John didn’t really object. He was not greatly fussed about children one way or another, but did realize his new bride desired them. Perhaps this little bundle from heaven would begin the family she desired. Another mouth to feed, he thought to himself sarcastically, though.
* * * * *
“JACK! Turn down the bloody stereo.’ Beth screamed out to young Jack, her adopted child of 15 years – her one and only child as she herself could not have children – to turn down the music which was blaring from his room. It sounded like Iron Maiden, typical for young Jack.
In his room, Jack and his new friend Roger were in the process of their first summoning. The pentagram had been drawn on the carpet, with black candles placed at each corner. Jack had next to him a copy of the ‘Pseudepigrapha’ – ancient Jewish writings from biblical times.
‘Now, the head of the fallen angels is Azazel. He rules over Semyaza, Urakiba and Kokabiel and the rest of the fallen ones. I think Azazel is some sort of servant of Satan.’ Roger was fascinated at Jack’s knowledge of the dark lords.
‘We’ll probably need these,’ said Jack, producing five small steel crosses, placing one cross next to each candle.
‘They should keep Azazel within the Pentagram. They will prevent him from escaping and harming us.’
‘Right,’ said Roger. ‘So how do we summon him?’
Jack got to his feet and closed the window and curtains, placing a blanket over the curtains so no light could get in. One by one he lit the candles and then turned the bedroom light off.
‘Here goes,’ said Jack.
Jack and Roger sat opposite each other, facing the pentagram, and Jack spoke.
‘Lord’s of evil. Lord’s of fouls. Fallen angel of darkness we summon you. Azazel, fallen angel of hell, we summon you.’ He left off speaking.
They were quiet for a few moments, with nothing apparently happening, when a wind, seeming to come from the centre of the Pentagram, started blowing through the room. After a moment it subsided, and an appearance of smoke hovered above the Pentagram. After a few moments the smoke spoke.
‘Who the fuck are you kids? Why the hell have you summoned me?’
‘Shit, it worked,’ said Roger. Jack remained calm.
‘Azazel. I have a task for you. If you complete it, I will give you the souls of my parents. I will sacrifice them to you.’
The smoke was quiet for a few moments, before replying.
‘That sounds good, kid. But mind you, break the deal, suffer the consequences. Ok.’
‘Agreed,’ replied Jack, full of confidence.
‘What is the agenda then, my new master?’
‘There is a girl at school. Geraldine. I want her. I must have her. She must do everything that I want her to for me, in that way, if you know what I mean.’
‘I sure as hell do, master. Leave it to me. And remember, break the deal, suffer the consequences. Don’t forget lad.’
‘I’m out of here.’ After that the smoke disappeared and Jack turned the lights back on, blowing out the candles.
‘Fuck!! That was intense,’ said Roger.
‘Yeah, whatever,’ said Jack, full of confidence.
* * * * *
‘Yeah, she is fucking hot.’ Roger acknowledged Jack’s point as they both gawked at Geraldine Sunderwell, the foreign exchange student from America, who was getting books out of her locker on the lower level of Brixby School, somewere in East London.
‘She’ll never fuck you, though. You are way too dorky for someone as hot as her.’
‘You’re forgetting our supernatural friend.’
Roger grimaced a little. ‘I am still not sure if that wasn’t one of your hoaxes.’
‘It was the real thing. Believe me. Anyway, I figure the demon will probably need a few days to do whatever it is he does. He is probably following us right now.’
‘You think?!,’ said Roger, looking around nervously.
‘Relax, idiot. He doesn’t care about us. He just wants my parent’s souls.’
‘You are so fucking cold, you know,’ said Roger. ‘I mean, I know my parents suck and are a real drag. But sacrificing them? Fuck man, that is cold.’
‘Yeh, well they are not my real parents anyway. And they don’t really give a shit about me. They’re better off dead as far as I am concerned.’
‘Cold man. That is really cold.’
He looked at Geraldine as she walked down the hall past them, and gave her a slight nod, which she totally ignored.
‘You’ll never get her,’ said Roger once more.
‘We’ll see,’ said Jack.’
* * * * *
The demon Azazel was pleased. New souls would give him a buzz. Demons fed on souls sacrificed to them, taking in the new spiritual energy and savouring its feel. They were, in human comparisons, just like illicit drugs. And Azazel had not fed for some time now, so, having identified the Geraldine in question from following his new client, Azazel got to work.
* * * * *
‘Is there something wrong, Geraldine?’ Miss Quimby looked anxiously at her student in English, who had started moaning.
Jack and Roger looked on, as the lass, after some moaning, vomited up on her desk, her lunch disappearing from her.
‘Ooh, gross,’ said one of the students.
‘Bloody awful,’ said another.
Miss Quimby came down to Geraldine and gently escorted her out of the schoolroom to the sickroom.
Roger looked at Jack.
‘Coincidence? Asked Roger.
Jack smiled. Hopefully, the wench would soon be his.
* * * * *
Azazel, having settled in his new home, of Geraldine Sunderwell, unsurprised by the common vomiting which took place upon a new possession, began the slow work of converting her mind. She was young, naïve, so it probably wouldn’t take long. He got to work on various synapses and memory banks and, with some fiddling, began his task of turning her affections to his new master.
* * * * *
‘I don’t know what caused it, Mrs Dalton. I just suddenly felt really nauseous. And then I puked.’
Mrs Dalton, the mother of the family Geraldine was staying with patted Geraldine’s head.
‘Don’t worry about it, luv. You will be better in the morning.’
‘I hope so.’
‘You try and get some sleep, alright. I will check on you in a few hours.’
Geraldine laid down on her bed, pulled up a light blanket, and tried to find some sleep. Mrs Dalton looked on anxiously, but tried to put any worries from her mind. ‘I am sure she will be fine,’ she thought to herself.
* * * * *
The demon Razion, hovering near the sleeping body of Geraldine, spoke to Azazel. ‘Here’s the stuff,’ he said. Immediately a pale green smokey substance emanated from Razion’s hand and entered the mouth of the sleeping Geraldine.
‘Thank’s punk,’ said Azazel. ‘Now get the hell out of here.’
‘Remember, I want a piece of his parents.’
‘Yeh, yeh. I’ll remember. Now scram.’
The demon Razion dutifully left the room as Azazel got to work with the new intoxicating substance.
* * * * *
Geraldine dreamed a strange dream that night. She was alone in her room, naked, and with strong urges towards masturbation. Her mind was flooded with thoughts of sex. And then, suddenly, the ‘Jack’ lad, one she had liked a little anyway, entered her room. And her sexual appetite was suddenly too much. She got up, grabbed him, and found her way to his manhood. And, in her dream, started partaking of her dark and forbidden desires.
* * * * *
Waking from her dream, it was still dark outside. And the urge towards sex was still with her. She turned on the lampshade next to her bed and, feeling down under the blanket, brought forth her one and only pornographic magazine of naked men. She got up, locked the door, and proceeded to engage in that act that people for thousands of years have undertaken in the dead of night.
* * * * *
‘Jack. Would you like to have lunch with me today?’ Jack turned to see, luckily enough, his lustful desire of Geraldine Sunderwell speaking to him.
‘Well, if you insist.’
‘I certainly do. See you in the cafeteria.’
Jack smiled as the object of his lust walked down the hallway, disappearing into a room. ‘Thank fuck,’ he thought to himself. The demon had done the trick.
* * * * *
They were alone, in Jacks room. She started unbuttoning her top, looking at him with lust in her eyes. ‘I am a virgin you know. Can you remedy that?’
‘I sure can babe.’
He got up, helped her with the rest of her top, and proceeded to those things which usually come by instinct.
* * * * *
Azazel, sensing his work was done, gradually separated from the girl. He would leave them now, but return in a week. He would, when the kid had been satiated, remind him of his deal. He would remind him and claim his prize.
* * * * *
Over the next few days, Jack felt he was falling in love. He and Geraldine made love each night, and she even came into the boys’ toilet with him at school to relieve him once. It was carnal sex, and it was fucking fantastic. In all of this he had forgotten his deal with Azazel. He had forgotten the promise he had made, yet he would soon be reminded.
* * * * *
‘She fucks well,’ said Jack to Roger. ‘Really, she is fucking awesome in bed.’
‘Braggart. I can’t believe it fucking worked. Do you think something can be arranged between me and Azazel.’
‘Depends on what you offer him, I suppose.’
‘You haven’t forgotten what you offered him, have you. He’ll probably want to speak to you about that soon.’
Jack looked at Roger, suddenly remembering his deal. ‘Shut up Roger.’
‘You have forgotten, haven’t you.’
‘Shut the fuck up.’
‘If you don’t keep the deal the demon will kill you, probably. But, fuck, man. I couldn’t kill my parents. I think you’re fucked, really.’
‘Shut up,’ said Jack, now worried about his predicament.
* * * * *
Jack laid down on his bed. Geraldine was busy tonight, but she would see him tomorrow. He could hardly wait.
‘Hey loser. I hope you haven’t forgotten our deal. Your parent’s souls, right?’
Jack jumped, startled at the voice of the demon which he had not summoned.
‘Were are you?’ he asked.
‘That’s for me to know, punk. Now, I will give you 3 days to make the kill. Otherwise, you better watch your ass. Literally.’
The voice left off.
Jack returned to lying on his bed. Like Roger had said, he was totally fucked, and he knew it.
* * * * *
‘What is the knife for, Jack?’ Gerladine asked about the sharp blade which was on his bedroom desk.
‘Forget about that, Gerry. Come over here.’
Geraldine contemplated the blade one last time, and returned to her new lover.
Jack, caressing her arse, looked nervously at the knife. Tonight was the night. Tonight he would do the devil’s work.
* * * * *
At 12 Midnight, the devil himself walked down the hallway of 7 Vesper Street, dressed in the guise of 15 year old Jack Stoke. He came to the doorway of his parents’ room and slowly turned the knob. He opened the door and looked at them, blissfully sleeping. First him, in the heart, and then her. She might struggle, but he was stronger.
He came to the side of the bed and looked down at the man who had raised him. While in truth, he had no great love for John Stoke, the man had done the right thing by him and given him the start to life he needed. He looked at him, then, and slowly lowered his dagger. It came to him then – the reality of what he was doing. And a blind lust left his head and he, woke up, almost, as if seemingly from a dream. He left the room and returned to his. Whatever else, as sick as he had become in his heart, he was not a killer. The demon would have to exact its vengeance upon him instead. Jack himself would have to partake of the dark side.
* * * * *
Silent observers, angels from heaven, noted the choice Jack Stoke had made in his heart. Those who judge eternal life noted Jacks choice and how he returned to his room.
One of the Angels notified Azazel, reminding him of the divine mandate regarding repentance. Jack, while a long way from being forgiven, had made the right choice. And now he would be free from the demons attack. Free to live in peace.
Jack and Geraldine dated for several months before the school year ended, and she returned home. They lost touch after that, but Jacks lust had been satiated. From time to time he thought on Azazel, who had never showed up. He thought on what that demon could do to him if it ever got hands on him, and continued in the prayers to God which he had earnestly begun.
Jack, it seemed, had indeed escaped the dark side.
“The diabolical adventure of RXQ7”
(NOTE: This short story was published in May 2009 in the
Australian Short Story Anthology ‘Short and Twisted 2009’ available from Celapene Press)
‘RXQ6, ultimately, had defects. The reason I am telling you this is that, despite the public front the company maintains, RXQ6 really did kill those people as rumoured, despite heavy programming in the laws of robotics. But I am confident – completely confident – that our new model, RXQ7 will be, practically, infallible. So, Chairman, we need your signature, and we can go ahead with production.’
Lord Charles Stewart, Chairman of the Essex Company ‘Complex Solutions’, looked squarely at John Smith, head of research and development and, despite thinking he should know better, reluctantly signed the go ahead slip.
Eighteen months later, a prototype of RXQ7 was released to a home in South London.
‘What is your name?’ Fiona asked the robot.
RXQ7 coldly followed its programming, and responded, ‘I do not have a name. I am a robot.’
‘But you can speak? And everyone has a name. What is yours?’
RXQ7 analysed the question, went through its random list of appropriate responses, and said, ‘As I said. I am a robot.’
‘Stupid robot,’ said Fiona, and kicked it.
Just then a circuit blew in one of RXQ7’s boards and, now confusing Fiona for an assailant attempting to destroy it, RXQ7 grabbed Fiona, sprang forth an electric rod, and zapped her, killing the six year old immediately.
A few moments later Fiona’s mother came in, saw her child on the floor, looked at the robot and screamed for her husband. The father came in. RXQ7, perceiving another attack, and with the setting set to maximum, shot out its tazers, killing both Fiona’s mother and father.
A few years later, having just concluded his tale, John Smith said to the other lowlives living by the side of the rail yards, ‘And that is why children and robots just don’t mix.’
“The Fabulous Adventure of Mr XQR4”
Robert had been digging for three hours. But Robert was a determined robot dog, and would find his bones at all cost. But when, having found no bones, yet suddenly uncovering a metallic object, he kept on digging until the object was unearthed. Robert was a strong robot dog and pulling the object up to the surface, he looked at it. An old robot, XQR4 model from his database memories. ‘Woof’, he spoke to it, and suddenly lights on the robot started flashing. ‘Were am I?’ asked the robot suddenly. ‘Woof’,’ replied Robert. ‘Oh, I see. Well then, I am Mr XQR4. Protocol droid at your service.’ Robert suddenly had an idea. ‘Woof,’ he said. ‘As you wish,’ responded XQR4. 17 hours later, having dug up the entire garden of the Smiths back yard, having retrieved all of Robert’s bones, Mr Smith, having returned home, looked at XQR4 and swore violently. He came down, turned to Robert and said ‘For hell’s sake, Robbie. I buried that bloody robot for a reason.’ Robert just looked at his owner, puzzled. XQR4, looking at Mr Smith, suddenly remembered his burial and, a law of robotics coming into place from the latter era of robotics research, one in which humanists had become very politically sensitive about artificial intelligence in true Astro Boy fashion, the robot, out of its own robotic laws allowing self preservation, shot out a tazer and killed Mr Smith instantly. Robert looked on but all he would say was ‘Woof.’
The Startling Adventure of Sir QRX1
‘And, naturally, as a protocol droid of superior capability, Sir QRX1 will be the next generation for all protocol droids from Complex Solutions, a truly amazing work of robotic technology. Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you, Sir QRX1.’ With those words said, Frederick Stone pulled the cord and the curtains opened revealing a rather splendid looking robot, flashy, ergonomically appealing and with beautiful colours. Frederick spoke to the robot. ‘Sir QRX1. Tell us, how has your day been?’
The robot turned to Frederick Stone and said in his electronic robotic voice, ‘Why, quite a wonderful day, sir. Thank you greatly for inquiring. May I inquire, how has your day been?’ Yet Frederick Stone did not answer the question, and turned back to the crowd. Sir QRX1 went through his list of responses to the lack of response, recorded Fred’s silence in his databanks, and returned to looking forward towards the crowd of gathered guests.
Half an hour later, after having been given a rather comprehensive tour of duty in answering questions from the guests, one of the now inebriated guests handed him a champagne and suggested that Sir QRX1 drink the concoction. Sir QRX1 remained polite, refusing, but the man insisted and Sir QRX1, not knowing in its programming that it could not drink alcohol, put the glass to its robotic mouth, tilted its head backwards, and attempted to drink the alcohol. Of course, being unable to drink, much of the liquid simply spilled to the floor, but not before some of it seeped into the robots mouth and played havoc on the programming of the positronic brain. A few zaps occurred and suddenly Sir QRX1 was thinking quite differently.
As the night ended Frederick Stone beckoned Sir QRX1 back to the stage to ask it some questions. ‘So, QRX1, how has your night been.’ However, QRX1, having short circuited on its responses database, was now engaged in his crude humour program for relating to drunk and ribald behaviour and appropriately side, ‘It has been bloody boring.’ Fred looked embarrassed. ‘Excuse me, QRX1. What did you say?’
‘What, are you deaf,’ responded the robot.
The crowd looked alarmed and there were murmurs that Complex Solutions had yet again produced a dud.
Fred turned to the crowd. ‘Oh, he is just playing with us. It is his humour program.’ Fred looked serious, and turned to the robot.
‘Now, QRX1. It has been a wonderful night for us all. Do you have anything to say to our guests? Our honoured guests.’
The robot turned to the crowd and, its voice on a high volume, yelled out ‘Go fuck yourselves!’
* * *
4 weeks later, Fred Stone was being introduced to a certain John Smith, resident vagrant of a disused railway track, out in the back ways of Essex. ‘Well, Fred, look at it this way. To err is human, but to really fuck up you need a computer.’ And Fred Stone took the bottle of grog offered to him, slumped down against the old disused train carriage, and ruefully nodded.
The Adventures of X
X walked down the street. X looked at a sign. X walked further down the street. X went to the park. X fed the ducks at the park. X was bored. Y showed up. X looked at Y and asked ‘Where the fuck is Z?’
‘Busy chatting up A, B & C, replied Y.’
‘Oh,’ said X. ‘And what is D up to?’
‘Usual shit. I think D is currently dating E, which pisses F off. G doesn’t care because H is currently available. I doesn’t really know what to do about the whole scene so is seeking advice from J. K is worshipping the Devil at the moment, so L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U & V have all rebelled and formed their own idolatry based community.’ ‘And W??????’
‘Having a wank as usual.’
X looked across the street. There they were again – the new kids. AA was their leader, as usual, but AB and AC were popular as well. X had seen XX around town from time to time and thought about chatting her up, but was too shy. But there was this new sheila on the other side of town, the triplets, and XXX really seemed the way to go as far as X was concerned. Oh baby.
The ‘Orgasm’ Man
For Cate Blanchett
The Orgasm Man had a compulsion. He could not stop masturbating. Every day, usually four or five times a day, he would head to the bathroom with his girlie magazines and do the deed. And, boy, was he addicted.
His mother often lamented her son’s addiction to masturbation suggesting a ‘Female’ might be a far more sane alternative. But ‘Orgasm’ man had decided that ‘Solo’ style was far more achievable as it did not require the fussing about to achieve a mate.
One day Orgasm Man was out at the local café and ‘Orgasm Girl’ noticed him. Orgasm girl masturbated seven or eight times a day, and was looking for a man to satisfy her. She noticed ‘Orgasm Man’ had a strong aura of ‘Solo Sex’, so she stopped to talk to him.
‘Do you like to fuck girls?’ asked Orgasm Girl.
‘Uh, mmm, uh, I guess.’
‘Ok. Let’s go. My place is just around the corner.’
And thus, after approximately 14,000 episodes of masturbation, Orgasm man finally lost his virginity in the arms and breasts of ‘Orgasm Girl’.
Sqwerdtyplonghkfrimbzaxcuv was a planet near Astra Minor. It long had a reputation for being unpronounceable, but Jenna Mortache, the originator of the name, had a thing for long unpronounceable words, and when settling the planet duly named it as such.
Sqwerd, as we shall call it, had one native beast called the ‘Crapper’. This beast had a rather large behind. In fact, that is mainly what it had – a rather large behind. But it did have 2 legs and a head and mouth as well, and it ate grass. And apart from that, and drinking water, it shat a lot. In fact, it was duly named the ‘Crapper’ precisely because half of the day it was involved in doing just that – ‘Crapping.’
After 3 centuries of being called Sqwerd, which was an unusual enough name, it started earning the title throughout the galaxy of ‘Crappiest planet in the galaxy.’ After all, grass was all that would grow on in it, apart from a horrible cabbage which seemed to like the dirt, and thus cabbage and the ‘Crapper’ were the only native staples after a while.
It could be heard throughout the spaceways, ‘Whatever you do, don’t get stuck on ‘Crap’, which was the unofficial name the planet had earned.
The hero of this tale, young ‘Buck Foolery’, who dreamed of being the ‘Buck Rogers’ of the 31st century, was a native ‘Crapper.’ He had done poorly in ‘Sqwerd’ space academy, but managed to pass with straight C’s. Still, when his first mission was to take a load of the ‘Crappers’ to a nearby planet for dog food, he swore to his employer ‘You can trust on Buck Foolery’, his employer though, noting the straight ‘C’s’, not being overly confident in those words, wondered if he would regret the hiring of ‘Buck Foolery’. ‘But what could possibly go wrong,’ the employer said to himself. ‘It would take a Fool to stuff up this mission,’ and then he almost bit his lip.
Buck was halfway to the planet when something did go drastically wrong. His ship was hijacked and boarded by ravagers. When they blasted the dock door open they seized Buck and demanded his loot. But all he had were the ‘Crappers’. They looked them over, noticed the immense piles of shit and the intense pong, and smiled greatly. This was a great bounty for these ‘Ravagers’. For they were Karnelian Ravagers, from Karnelios V, a planet which specialized in luxurious and unusual eating. They instantly took the crappers and seized Buck and instructed him, when they got to Karnelios V, he would have to cook the Crappers up as a delicacy for their leader. Yet Buck, being taken hostage, had other plans.
It was late at night, and he stole into the command deck. His plan was to set a course for Crap, and recognizing the design of the controls, duly did so.
The Karnelians were awakened by the crash landing back on ‘Crap’. Unfortunately, though, they had landed on an island, and so setting the distress beacon, they waited for rescue. But it never came.
A diet of ‘Crappers’ and ‘Cabbage’ was not exactly what Buck Foolery looked forward to eating for the rest of his life, but after 17 years stuck on an island of ‘Crap’, the last of the ‘Karnelians’ having finally died, he spied a ship one day, and lighting his bonfire, the ship came close and rescued him.
Back home, after the lengthy explanation, ‘Buck Foolery’ was deemed a hero. Everyone on ‘Crap’ applauded him, and the President gave him the highest award – the ‘Sqwerd Medal of Honour.’
He retired after that, with lucrative advertising deals, and throughout the years ahead Buck avidly promoted the ‘Crapper’ as the tastiest meal in the galaxy. After all, he’d had his fill of ‘Crap’.
“Creatures of the Swampy Marshes”
(Dedicated to ‘Alanis Morissette’)
The Lizgonod is a dangerous beast. It eats fleas and flies. But the Lizgonod is also poisonous and if it stings a human, a human may well die. Jackie Ronaldson was bitten by a Lizgonod and, lying in her tent, her head reaching fever pitch, she was in all sorts of bother. And that is when the Karaanal Spider bit her, and her arm started swelling up. And she started learning the name of pain. Four hours later a Racpoil Snake slithered up and hooked its fangs into her foot, which started turning red. By then she was in agony. The final creature of the swampy marsh was the crocodong. A fearsome lizard like creature, with huge teeth. It came into the tent, looked at her, thought on its meal, but decided she smelled too bad, so departed. Jackie drank some water through the pain, and went to sleep.
Four days later she was feeling just a little bit better. The swelling had died down and the redness on her foot was diminished. The sweat wasn’t as bad as it was and she figured, amazingly, she was on the road to recovery.
Fourteen days later, having made the final steps out of the ‘Badlands Swampy Marshes’ she arrived at the freeway, feeling much better. She stepped onto the freeway, looked in one direction and then, hearing a car, turned to see it smash right into her.
She died that day, and a little later on in heaven she was listening to Alanis Morissette’s ‘Ironic’ and thought to herself, ‘Well aint that the way.’
I Love You, Always and Forever
Marcus CCC -– A Most Enlightened Individual
April looked at the floral display on the front table of the house entrance hallway. It was, truly, beautiful. Truly beautiful. She thought on her beloved, Marcus, who had gone to extraordinary lengths in the past few weeks of their romance, seemingly paying attention to her every heart’s desire, so flattering in his attention and adorations, so respectful, so polite, so innocent. But that was Marcus, a gem in the dirt – a true gentleman. She picked up a rose, smelt it, and dreamed off in her heart to the thought of her beloved proposing to her. To the thought of him, on bended knee, declaring his hearts intent, and letting her know he wanted her to be forever his. She dreamed of sailing through the canals of Venice, eating Ice Cream near the fountains of Roma, and feeding pigeons in St Peter’s basilica. For he had declared to her, should they ever marry, Italy would be the most wonderful of honeymoon destinations. She sat down, near the table, and dreamed away, when suddenly a phone call interrupted her pleasant cogitations, and she answered to a message which would change her life forever.
‘Yes, hello. April Jones speaking.’
Nobody spoke. For a number of seconds it was a quiet line and she was about to hang up when, suddenly, the voice of Marcus spoke. ‘It’s over, April. It’s over. Don’t ask me why. Please don’t do that. It is just over. Farewell.’ And he hung up.’ And April’s life fell apart.
* * *
Four months later, sitting in St Peter’s basilica, having gone to Rome anyway, even if out of pride and resentment, April’s healing was progressing. She was about over that hideous monster who had led her on for so long, and then dumped her, at the height of her anticipation. Men, she thought to herself. They were all monsters.
She sat there, in the square, staring at the nuns walking by, noticing a Chinese looking man taking photos, thinking life sucked, when the man approached her and asked her if she would take his photo.
‘Uh, sure,’ she replied.’
‘Good,’ he responded. ‘I have waited my whole life to come here and I don’t want to forget anything.’
‘Catholic, are you?’
‘Sort of, but not really. More a spiritualist. A believer in God, but I try not to judge on people’s religion.’
‘A sensible attitude. Okay, were do you want to stand?’
‘Oh, just so you can see the Vatican.’
He stood in a suitable position and she took a few snaps at his request, and then returned his camera.
‘Thank you so much, Madame. You have been invaluable.’
‘Think nothing of it.’
She returned to her seat, and he stood there in front of her for a few moments, and then approached.
‘Uh, excuse me again,’ he began. ‘But would you care to join me for some coffee. To show my appreciation, you understand.’
She looked at him, looked up at the face of a man, a Chinese man, but decided, with that soft whisper suggesting grace in her heart, that she may as well.
‘Well, alright. You only live once after all.’
‘Wonderful,’ he replied.
* * *
As they sat in a street café they had found, drinking their lattes, the man introduced himself.
‘My name is Marcus Chan. It is a pleasure to meet you.’
She visibly groaned, put her head in her hands, and started to sob mildly.
‘Oh, have I offended you,’ he asked, concerned.
She raised her head. ‘No. It isn’t you, Marcus. Believe me, it isn’t you.’
‘Then what is it.’
‘Men, Marcus. Men.’
‘I understand,’ he said, nodding.
They chatted then, all afternoon in fact, and as the night came by he offered to meet up with her again the following day to see some of Rome together. And thinking that she may as well enjoy some company and could think of no good reason to refuse him, accepted.
* * *
It was 7 weeks later. Back in New York, and Marcus had written to her from Canberra. He had declared it in his letter – ‘I Love You – Always and Forever’. And she knew that this Marcus meant it. She ummed and aahed for months, but eventually paying for the airfare, she flew to Canberra, and with the 6 month visa she had obtained, on Leave without pay, she began the romance of her life.
It was 17 months after they met in Rome when they married in Canberra in Tuggeranong, celebrating the service in a Catholic Church in Gowrie. Both of them were madly in love with each other, and many years later, after the 7th and final child, April reflected on how a heart could break and, truly, think it could never love again. But things happen in life, often strange things happen, and meeting the second Marcus who would love her always and forever, well, what more could you possibly ask for in life. What more could you possibly ask for than that.
The Big Bad Wolf
Once there was a wolf. He was a friendly, kind and loving wolf. He gave the three little pigs presents every day, and prayed to Jehovah his God for the welfare of the three little pigs. He loved the little pigs and wished the very best in life for them. But one day, his cousin, the big bad wolf, came and hassled them for a few weeks, until he ran out of breath. And the Big Bad Wolf came to his cousin’s place and learned that his cousin had prayed for the 3 little pigs. And then the Big Bad Wolf said to himself ‘Prayer works, huh?’ And so the Big Bad Wolf, praying to Satan every day to help him catch the 3 little pigs, engaged in prayer warfare for a while with what whom we shall now call the ‘Good Little Wolf’. It was terrible prayer warfare, and no quarter was given. Until, one fateful day, the Big Bad wolf was crossing a bridge and a troll came up, looked at him with his fading eyesight, and mistaking him for a nanny goat, ate him all up. And that was the end of the Big Bad Wolf.
The Calamitous Conclusion to the Crazy Case of the Cornered Cornish Crook
Sherlock Holmes looked at the warehouse. It had been a crazy few weeks, but he had tracked the thief of the Crown Jewels here, to a warehouse on the docks of the Thames. 5 different suspects they had chased, each of them seemingly turning psychotic when apprehended, all going on about the ‘Colourful Cockrell’. And now he had found the ‘Colourful Cockrell’, here on the outskirts of south-east London, in a warehouse behind a pet store. Watson was currently recuperating from the bullet wound to the shoulder, so it was left to Holmes to find his man.
He came to a door, and taking out his set of lock picking tools, carefully picked the lock and entered the building. It was dark, but there was just enough light streaming through the grey murky windows that he could see enough to apprehend his foe. He carefully surveyed the inside of the warehouse and, coming to an office, found the jewels on a table, all of them, just sitting there for the whole world to see if only they cared to come and look. He opened the bag he had brought, put the jewels inside, and finished surveying the warehouse. The thief was nowhere to be seen.
As he left the building, walking back to the waiting taxi, suddenly a figure darted from the shadows and confronted him.
‘The Jewels. Give them to me,’ he spoke with a strong Cornish accent.
‘My good man, this is all you will be getting from me.’ And Sherlock pulled out the royal staff, donked the thief on his head, and when he saw that the thief was unconscious, slipped into the nearby phone box and called the police.
* * *
He was a hero, all throughout London and England, and with the return of the Jewels her Royal Majesty was ever so thankful. But late one afternoon, sitting on her throne, the Queen puzzled to herself ‘Now just how did this dent get onto the royal staff? Oh well, I must have dropped it once,’ she concluded, and continued with her royal duties.
The Seductive Lips of Miss May June
Miss May June. Now there’s a woman. The perfect woman. Shape of an hourglass, beautiful face, but those lips. Oh those seductive lips.
Rumour has it that Miss May is a femme fatale. No, seriously, hear me out. She has apparently been married 12 times, and all the husbands have died of mysterious circumstances. Men around the office say her lovemaking was the death of all of them, and I believe it. But she is no pauper, Miss May June. Quite rich, I hear. Quite rich indeed.
I bedded her last Friday night, taking her out for drinks. As vice president I am the kind of person she is interested in, apparently. Good for her career. She is a high minded socialite, seemingly always has been. But she can’t find a faithful man, she tells me. They always go off and die on her. I tell her, I’m a safe bet, sweetheart. Constitution of a lion. Built like a tank. Nothing can take me down. And so I woo her, and I think she enjoyed being wooed.
We are set to meet later on tonight. She says she loves me and would die for me. And I say the same, and promised to leave her my fortune in her will. We are meeting in a strange place, though. Up on the roof of the building, and I am scared of heights. But she says she likes exotic places to make love. Dangerous places, she tells me. But I don’t care. You see the lips of Miss May June are to die for. Literally.
‘Vanessa. You are kidding right. Do I love her? Ha, that’s a good one. That girl is hazardous to your health, believe me.’
‘But I think she loves you Daniel. You should date her. Really.’
‘Look, Jess. I don’t think so. Besides I have been happily a single man for the last 300 years. I see no point in changing that situation now. I have all eternity in this heavenly realm to find a mate, if I ever could be bothered. But Vanessa. God, you must be joking.’
‘Seriously, I think she is the one for you.’
‘Yeh, right.’ But Daniel was cautious, for he was thinking on the demoness from hell, the most outspoken of his critics in their little group of friends – the one always hassling him – the one always calling him a tryhard and pathetic.
‘Hello, Idiot. Have you finished your new book yet? I bet it sucks – like everything you write.’
‘Total crap. Yes it sucks, bitch.’ Daniel grinned at Vanessa’s comment. She really was a bitch in many ways. ‘But at least I take the time to use my talents. You are too lazy, I think, to be creative.’
‘Oh, I am creative all right. I just don’t want to show it to simpletons such as yourself. I think Kelly has you figured out. You are pretentious, snobby, up your ass, full of pride, and your writing reflects this fact. Really, it sucks Danny.’
‘Thanks for the praise. I’ll give my publisher your comments.’
She grinned a little, despite herself.
He thought on Jessica’s words. ‘So, you want to go out sometime?’
She looked at him, as if stating the obvious that ‘You can’t be serious.’ And then she said it. ‘You can’t be serious, can you? You and me? Ha. That’s a good one.’
‘Well, ok. Forget I asked.’
Later on Vanessa was with Jessica. She had been crying a little. She didn’t want Daniel to ask her out. God no. She liked him too much. She didn’t want to fuck up the long term plans she had with him in a lousy dating scene in which he would probably not give her obvious signals. Obvious to a girl anyway. But men were thick.
‘You have got to be obvious, Vanessa. Remember, they are thick. Be black and white. They understand then.’
‘Huh?’ asked Daniel, curious as to what Vanessa was saying yes to.
‘You know. Don’t make me say it.’
‘Huh?’ asked Daniel again, but he had cottoned on. ‘Oh, you want to go out or something. Fuck, I think my calendar is full. Too bad. We could have had a good time.’
They dated for several months, and he finally kissed her. He was good. She liked him. Winning him in the end would be a challenge, but he was so cute, and worth the effort in the end. Even if all he said was her love was hazardous for his health.
‘Mama. You know I love you. And your cooking is the best in all of little Italy.’
‘Your mama knows how to make the lasagne just the way you like it Petro. Now don’t go marrying that Australian woman, who canta cooka your foods the way you like it.’
‘Mama. You know Debbie loves me. She can’t help it if she is not much in the kitchen.’
‘You need a proper Italian girl. Try Rosa. She loves you, Petro. Changa your mind. Do it for your mama.’
‘Mama, I love Debbie.’
‘Petro. You don’t know your heritage. These Australian girls, money is all they want. Get rich, get a man, get a house, and get a divorce.’
‘Mama, don’t say that.’
‘Take my word, Petro. They are justa like the American girls. And I watch that Oprah Winfrey. I know just what they are like, these Aussie girls.’
‘Oh Mama. Debbie is not like that.’
‘You mark my words Petro. She’ll give you two children and then she’ll takea the house you sweated blood and tears to build.’
‘Your being cruel mama.’
‘You mark my words, Petro. You mark my words.’
‘Jesse. Really, no. Sure, I’m flattered and all. I know you are a popular guy in school and everything, but no. Sorry, I can’t date you.’
The most popular hunk in school looked at Jasmine, the redheaded girl he had taken a fancy to, curious as to why she was so hard to get.
‘But, don’t you like me?’ he asked, perplexed.
‘It’s not that I don’t like you. It’s just that I am a Christian and I can only date other Christians. They are my father’s rules.’
‘Oh. Oh, ok. Well, tell you what, I’ll come to church with you on Sunday if you like. Perhaps that will impress your dad.’
Jasmine looked a little shocked, but knew better than to turn away a potential convert.
‘Well, ok. I guess that would be alright. But our church is quite strict. We follow a dress code and there is no swearing or anything allowed at church. You will have to be on your best behaviour.’
‘I understand. Which church?’
‘Caldington Holiness Church. It is on Smith Street, right at the northern end. You can’t miss it.’
‘I’ll be there. Sunday morning. Can’t wait to see you there.’
Later on that afternoon, when Jasmine had returned home and her dad had got home from work, she talked to him about Jesse.
‘I suppose it is alright for you to sit next to him sweetheart. But be careful – unless he becomes a Christian he will still be a child of the dark, and Paul tells us not to be unequally yoked.’
‘I understand dad.’
Sunday came around and Jesse was sitting next to Jasmine as the pastor was preaching. He had been convicted since the preacher began preaching, and when the altar call was given he came forward and the preacher sat with him, guiding him through a standard sinners prayer. Jesse received Jesus Christ into his heart that day and this particular congregation taught he was now born again because of it.
It was 4 years later, they had just both turned 21, and they had been dating for a while. Jesse was now a regular member of their church, and Jasmine loved him. He was really sweet. But something happened one service which changed everything.
The new girl was an old girlfriend of Jesse’s from school. She had come along to church apparently as a visitor, but Jasmine knew instantly she was trying to drag Jesse back to his old life. Well, she wouldn’t have any of that, and would place her trust in Jesse. He knew right from wrong now.
Unfortunately, there is a beast of temptation, and after a while Jesse was fornicating with his old girlfriend, and the pastor had to ask him to leave the church because of it. Jasmine was heartbroken.
It was later on that year, in prayer, that Jasmine reconciled things. Some people, it seemed, were meant to be children of God and some weren’t. There was no real way of knowing who, but if they stayed in the light they belonged to Jesus, and if they didn’t, they had never really been his. And despite the hurt, despite the real hurt in her heart, Jasmine again placed faith in Jesus Christ, and waited patiently for her man of promise, the man she knew God would send her for her fidelity.
‘Potters House forever,’ yelled the mad Pentecostal.
‘Alleluia brother,’ yelled another of the converts to the Door.
They were in the group house, munching on pizza, their usual food after the Wednesday night service, and the jokes started.
‘Hey Luke, pass the Coke,’ said Peter to Mal, insinuating he was lukewarm.
‘Here you go Luke,’ responded Mal, handing him the Coke.
‘That was a very MAL-efficient passing of the Coke, Luke,’ said Peter, with a grin on face.
‘Oh, I thought it was MALvellous,’ responded the King.
They both started laughing.
The following day Holy Holford was asking ‘Were the heck is the vacuum cleaner?’
Mal looked puzzled. ‘Buggered if I know, Holford.’
Pete looked guilty, but had reminded Dan not to confess Peters destruction of the said vacuum cleaner. You see, Peter had tried to use the cleaner, but it had short circuited on him, so he had burnt it down to nothing on the concrete in the back yard, and Danno was under strict orders not to reveal the said crime.
‘I will find out eventually,’ said the Holy One.
Four weeks later they were at another outreach at the Griffin Centre. Holy Holford was out with the crew, handing out flyers and preaching the word. It was a ‘Riot Night’ and the church was brimming with expectations of new souls. Pete was doing his best not to upset the pastor, and Danno had just recovered from another psychotic attack and was trying to impress Sofya with his crappy keyboard playing.
Robbo was doing much of the moving, and Michelle was congratulating him for doing the real work for the night.
They got 7 new souls for Potsmokers House that night, and they were all happy Pentecostal Power fanatics. Oh, those were the days.
The Leetharck Cavern
‘Rumour has it, children, that the Leetharck is even more deadly than a dragon. But that is only rumour. Of course, nobody has ever really seen the Leetharck. Some say it is rumour. Some say that. But I think it’s there, protecting our land ‘Gloryandea’ from the dark ones. I think it is there. It is why we are safe.’
The storytellers words echoed in young Jek’s head as he entered the Leetharck Cavern, supposed home of the Leetharck. The council of Gloryandea had long forbidden anyone from entering the cavern, but Jek was impulsive, as appropriate to his 16 years of age.
He walked down into the cavern, looking at all the caves along the bottom wall of the cavern. They looked strange – as if carved out of the solid rock.
But, seeing no Leetharck, he sat down, got his bottle of apple juice out of his backpack, and sat there drinking, thinking the Leetharck nothing but a myth.
‘So, I’m a myth, am I?
Jek turned to the voice which had read his mind, and was blown away. An enormous centipede like creature, with wings, was before him. He was scared out of his mind, but the creature spoke to his mind.
‘Don’t fear. I protect Gloryandea. I am the Leetharck.’
Jek was overwhelmed. ‘What, what are you?’
My people are long dead. They died out aeons ago in the Sparkleon wars. I am the last of my kind, unfortunately. So now I protect Gloryandea from the dark ones. It is my eternal duty.’
‘Were do the dark ones come from?’
‘A place beyond this realm. A place unreachable by your kind. Suffice to say as long as I protect the dreaming gate they no longer have any access to Gloryandea. I repair the gate every now and again from the damage they hurl at it from their side of oblivion. It is not much work, dear young friend – but it gives me a duty, and a responsibility. And I live in this cavern, drinking when it rains, and eating the grass. It is a simple life, but suitable to me.’
Jek just looked up in admiration at his protector.
‘Why haven’t other people found you?’
‘Because I take their memory of the event, as I will take yours. As soon as you leave this cavern you will forget me and ever coming here. It is the way of mystery, young Jek.’
‘How did you know my name?’
‘I know many things, Jek. I know many things. Now you should return – your mother is worried.’
And so Jek left the cavern of the Leetharck, and duly forget as soon as he left the cavern. But the mystery of the Leetharck was etched upon his very soul, and, as he grew, he joined with all the elders in teaching the younglings the mystery of the Leetharck, protector of the realm of Gloryandea.
The nothing was special. The nothing was great. The nothing was, in fact, everything you could possibly imagine it to be. Yet the grandfather of young Timmy, ensuring his grandson that the nothing offered him everything he could possibly imagine, neglected to tell him that the nothing, which was the cost of his dreams, did not actually exist at all. For the nothing of young Timmy’s imagination cost nothing at all, except the time to dream up adventures of knights and dragons, mermaids and unicorns and wizards and witches.
And so Timothy dreamed. He dreamed of being Lancelot in King Arthur’s court. He dreamed of flying giant eagles through the Alps. He dreamed of diving in the deepest of oceans and flying to the highest of heavens. And then……………..
Then he came to the end of his dreamings, and before him a vast empty space. A true ‘Nothing’ to behold. And a voice spoke to him.
‘Your task, Timmy, is to fill this nothing with your imagination. For the dreams of the future rely on the dreams of the past, and the Sandman must take the imagination of his children to give to those yet to be. So dream on young Timmy, dream of grand adventures and daring tales, and let your heart soar to the highest heights of eternity, for many children will live in your fantastic dreamscape.
And so Timmy dreamt, and dreamt, and the dreams of the future grew in the nothing, and in the end nothing, while not exactly something, still became the stuff of dreams for every young boy and girl.
‘He is the ultimate.’
‘So he’s good in bed?’
‘Oh, girl, he is fucking awesome.’
‘You got to believe me Jen, Stan is the man when it comes to a good time.’
‘I’ll keep that in mind.’
‘You’ll be lucky. He is mine forever.’
‘Of course he is Shirlie. Yours forever.’
5 days later Jen was fucking Stan. In fact, he was not the Ultimate. In fact, he was second rate on a good day.
Later on, when they were out in main room, Shirlie came in. Stan winked at her.
‘What was that all about?’ asked Jen.
‘Oh, nothing,’ said Stan. ‘You were awesome in bed, you know Jen. Really, the ultimate,’ he said with a grin.
Jen looked at Stan, looked at Shirlie, and realized she had been fooled.
‘Bastard. Bitch. I’ll never talk to either of you ever again.’
‘Oh, babe, but you were the ultimate,’ said Stan, again with a big grin, and everyone burst out laughing.
The Sorcerers Quandary
Brantakai was a respected sorceress. But he was in a quandary. How on earth would he solve his current dilemma? ‘Of course,’ he exclaimed to himself. ‘Dorf can get some for me.’ So dispatching Dorf on the quest of his life, Brantaki awaited the return of his faithful apprentice.
Dorf travelled across rivers and meadows. Up mountains and over deserts. And, finally, arriving at the wizard ‘Zhardonnakie’s’ castle, he knocked on the door and waited. After a number of anxious moments Zhardonnakie himself appeared, noticed it was Dorf, and let him in.
Dorf made his request, and Zhardonnakie smiled. ‘This is not unusual. When sorcerers get to Brantaki’s age they often make such requests. So, Zhardonnakie, going to his laboratory, spent three solid days preparing Brantaki’s request, whereupon concluding his task he presented three tubs of a certain elixir to Dorf and told him to travel in haste for a spell was upon the tubs.
Dorf travelled with much haste and, finally, arriving back at Brantaki’s abode, he delivered the tubs to the most anxious wizard.
Brantaki opened a tub, smiled and getting spoon, hooked into the vanilla ice cream. He was in heaven. But, finally, having finished about half of the first tub, he finally turned to Dorf and asked him, ‘Oh, did you remember the chocolate syrup?’ and Dorf exclaimed he had forgotten that particular stuff.
Nasser Sharaf spat on the ground and lit another cigarette. The infidel should be here soon. He had paid sufficient gold, and the turncoat had proved trustworthy, despite his despised blood –the blood of goats and pigs.
Soon, coming into the compound on the outskirts of Cairo, Baruch Lehrer, Jewish by birth, but Moslem by conversion, drove the truck, loaded with figs, dates and one other particular, most particular, commodity, spied Nasser and made his way over. The compound itself had little in the way of outward security, such being the image it desired to portray. But people were watching; most definitely were people watching.
Baruch stopped the truck, got out and asked in Arabic for Nasser to give him a cigarette. Nasser obliged and as they smoked, a man with a heavy moustache, long beard and wearing a turban approached the truck. Getting up onto the back of it, he lifted a cloth which had been hiding something. Something most deadly. He looked it over, nodded and smiled, and got down.
He came around to Baruch, looked at him squarely, and bluntly asked. ‘You are sure it will work. Absolutely sure.’
‘It was an early experimental type. Meant to be surface placed and delivered. Not missile based. But, yes, it should work. It had been stored in the facility in the Negev for the last 17 years, and security had become increasingly slack. And I knew someone: someone who hated Palestinians. And when I claimed as my goal the Gaza strip and fronted over the $100,000 US Dollars, he agreed. And so I have it.’
The man in the turban took a cigarette from Nasser, lit it and after a while of smoking smiled. ‘The fool signed his own death warrant.’
‘Blessed be Allah,’ responded Baruch.
‘Blessed be Allah,’ replied the two others.
The CIA had operatives, seemingly, on all four corners of the planet. But, naturally, in the heavily monitored middle-east, they were always a little more than cautious in those they recruited to such positions of working in the heated battleground. Jack Hawkins, operative for the Agency since 22, now at 33 had steadily proven a most valued asset of the agency, and Pentagon officials were well informed of his credentials. So when Jack reported to his superior’s whisperings from an Israeli radio broadcast, in code, which they had been working on steadily to break for the last week, the hierarchy in the Agency were a little more than nervous at the news.
Nuclear weapons had been a part of American culture for a long while now, the bane of the 60’s protestor, and a long-held fear of the American nuclear family. And when it was reported by Jack that the broken code seemed to indicate a nuclear weapon which had been stored in the Negev had gone missing, unable to be found, the Agency was nervous. Sure, Israel had had Nukes for a long while now, but had never seriously threatened using them. But if a renegade Jewish element, an element, probably of the religious right, pissed off by years of Palestinian and Arab attacks, sought a more serious confrontation, a Nuclear weapon with the capability of destroying cities could go a long way towards achieving their goals. And so, upon these suspicions, Jack was assigned to a team for monitoring further radio broadcasts to seek further information, and begin a firsthand investigation into the situation. If a nuke had gone missing, the agency wanted to know. They wanted to know and to deal with it. Peace in the Middle East was an American goal and despite the fact that, in the light of 911 Americans could quite possibly cheer a strike by Israel against Islam, it was not the stated goal of American policy to provoke such a situation. They were still peacekeepers, in the vision of American life they all affirmed, and finding this weapon and defusing the situation was the definite goal delivered to Jack Hawkins by his superiors.
They spent three weeks monitoring the same frequency and got lucky with one other relevant transmission. This was more detailed and confirmed their hunch. A nuclear weapon, land based, having been stored in the Negev had gone missing, and it was not known who now controlled it.
And with that, Jack Hawkins was assigned to a task-force to travel to the Middle East, gain as much information as they could from whatever Israel was willing to share with them, and for themselves find the missing device. The situation was too critical to leave in the hands of the Israelis, and peace was at stake. America would handle this directly themselves.
Claire O’Donnell really did not know what she believed. But she knew she believed. Whatever it was, whatever the truth was of this crazy thing called life, wether it was Sagan’s cosmos, formed by chance and with no real meaning apart from gravity and light and Steveer and anti Steveer and everything else; or wether it was the high teachings of the enlightened Goatama Buddha on the suffering of existence; or even if it was the religion of her youth, old fashioned Catholicism, Claire knew she believed. Or to be more precise, Claire knew she needed to believe. In something. In anything. But despite her 37 years of study on the mystery of everything, try as she might she simply could not persuade herself to commit to anything for too long, and was almost like a ship on an ocean, going nowhere, but tossed to and fro with wherever the wind would take her. So yes, Claire believed, but in what she could not tell you.
Her best friend, the zealot, Caroline Jones, the Holy Roller from the Assembly of God, constantly tried to persuade her to come to her church and ‘Get Saved’. Once she let Jesus be the lord of her life, she would have all the faith she could want, so Caroline constantly told her. But despite Caroline’s constant zeal for the great commission of Jesus, Claire simply could not be persuaded for want of a million questions on the authority of scripture and the impossibility of one church out of thousands having all the truth.
‘But Jesus is the only truth you need,’ persisted Caroline.
Yet despite this, and the constant nagging, Claire would not be persuaded. If Caroline had the truth, Claire would eventually find that out for herself. In a strange way Claire knew it was her own walk through life. Not somebody else’s to dictate to her what she should and shouldn’t believe, and how she should and shouldn’t behave.
Which is were, when Joshua Rosenberg came into her life, a charming Jewish man of the liberal persuasion, who happily ate bacon and even occasionally blasphemed that, despite these apparent flaws in his Jewish life as she perceived them, his stability in life is what appealed to her. He believed in God, so he maintained, but was not really religious, apart from high festivals which he occasionally attended. But, of all the belief systems of men, it was in Judaism which Claire started finding the answers she needed.
It was not in the outer garments of the religion: the food laws, and festivals, or even Sabbath observance, which she connected to. But instead, it was what her friend Caroline said was a simplistic understanding of God, the simple oneness of Jewish belief, in which Claire could simply connect to God for her answers in life, that peace of heart finally came to Claire O’Donnell.
She knew, as Joshua shared with her, there were hundreds, if not thousands of problems in trying to take all the teachings and writings of Jewish faith literally, and that idea especially applied to scripture itself. But when it was simply a guide or an influence; simply a compendium of knowledge to be shared and enjoyed for its own sake and one that simply complimented what it was apparently meant to be all about – a relationship with the Almighty – that Claire found the simple faith in the ‘One’ as the cornerstone for her life that she had been searching for.
When she said to Joshua, ‘who is Jesus’, and Joshua replied, ‘Now wasn’t he the son of God,’ with the subtlest of smiles on his face, Claire could only smile and laugh a little. And the subject dropped then. Whoever the man from Nazareth was, it did not seem to be essential knowledge to the life of Joshua and Claire.
And so Claire, having found her answers, and deciding in her newfound sense of responsibilities to do something meaningful in life, joined the CIA.
And then, when a situation arose in which special knowledge of Israel was required, and Claire having been deemed suitable, she came into contact with Jack Hawkins and the beginning of a mission which, although unsuccessful, would propel them towards encounters with world powers which would change lives forever.
Baruch Lehrer steadily drove the truck, careful with what he was carrying in the back, but not too worried. The device could only go off by being set manually through the turning of two separate keys and the setting of a timer. Nasser Sharaf, seated next to him, was every now and again singing the praises of Allah and the victory before them. For now the device was to be transported to Mecca for inspection by the leaders of their group. They would look at the device and assess were it was best used. But Baruch knew. Nasser knew. Israel was the target, and most likely Tel Aviv. With such a blow their bitter opponents would be in disarray and their Palestinian allies would never have a better opportunity to strike and do as much damage into the heart of Israel that they possibly could. Vengeance would belong to them. Vengeance for the oppression Israel had put upon their Palestinian friends and for the usurping in the eyes of the world as God’s people. They would know; all would know; holy Allah had chosen the prophet and the people of the prophet as the true children of God. And infidel Israel would be exposed as the daughter of harlots it really was. All of these thoughts were in the mind of Nasser Sharaf, proud member of the Islamic terror group ‘The Hand of God’.
Next to him, though, Baruch Lehrer had different thoughts on his mind. Starkly different in comparison. It was close, now, thought Baruch. So close. And soon, a lifelong devotion would be met with. And vindication would belong to him. Belong to him and those he loved and the one he served.
And so the truck continued speeding along the desert track, winding its way through Saudi Arabia on the fateful journey to its destiny.
Jack sat next to Claire, the noise of the blades of the helicopter making it difficult to hear anything spoken. They would be landing shortly, and from the aircraft carrier stationed in the Red Sea, they would make their way to Israel. The Israelis knew they were coming and, now, knew why. They had initially told them not to waste their time. This was an Israel affair: America’s interference was not needed and in fact disdained. But that had been the militaries position. Political interests soon took over, and America, in the position of staunch Israeli ally which it had increasingly become, was seen in favour by the Knesset, and their help officially appreciated.
The landed on the carrier and were transported to a navy ship headed for the coast.
5 hours later they were in Jerusalem, sitting in the office of Eli Stern, head of ‘Division’ of Israeli security which was not officially named, for security purposes. It was, however, commonly called ‘Division’ for understanding who was being referred to.
Eli was a man in his mid-forties. Experienced in Arab-Israeli armed conflicts, and a devout Orthodox Jew, with beard and kippot to demonstrate his fidelity to his religion. The three of them chatted for a while, small-talk on Israeli affairs, when Jack broached the subject all three knew they were there for.
‘We know who our man is,’ replied Eli to Jack and Claire’s questions. ‘And praise Hashem that we do. Praise Hashem.’
‘And why is the Most High due such devotion,’ queried Claire. ‘If the man is dangerous, it can only be a bad thing.’
‘It Steveers not if the man is dangerous. Perhaps, in the scheme of things, it is better he is. For he is about to do a glorious thing for the vindication of Israel.’
‘And what glorious thing is that?’ asked Jack, perplexed.
Eli just smiled. ‘Our man is a certain Baruch Lehrer. He was a member of an ultra orthodox movement many years ago, which has since gone underground, called ‘Shema’.
Claire nodded, familiar with the daily prayer of Israel to remind them of the oneness of God.
‘Yet, seemingly to many, he changed views radically, and converted to Islam.’
‘And how does that make it a great day for Israel,’ queried Jack.
‘Because such a conversion was a ruse. A complete ruse. He is a plant of Shema, given over to the service of the mighty one for one purpose. The destruction of our enemies.’
Jack looked squarely at Eli, understanding now sinking in.
‘He intends to use the bomb, doesn’t he. At an Arab target.’
‘Not just an Arab target, Mr Hawkins. But their greatest glory. The glory which motivates them most of all.’
‘And what glory is that,’ asked Claire, anxious to know.
‘Why, their holiest city of all. Mecca.’
Jack looked at Eli, saw the sadistic looking smile on his face, and turned to Claire. It seemed, now, the situation was more desperate than could have been imagined. If Baruch achieved his goal, what else than world war 3 could result. It would be holy war. Jihad. And a Jihad to change civilization as they knew it.
Flowers for a Dead Man
Miriam looked over the river Ehle. It was here, the last place his cremated remains had been scattered. It was here she would let go forever.
She thought back all those years earlier to the horror of that afternoon. The cold and bitter afternoon. She had been used to going to assembly, but just before the afternoon assembly was called a soldier had taken her aside. He had taken her aside, grasped at her breasts and tried to rape her practically. But she was still only 14 and did not know how to resist. Something, though, the soldier had said had bothered her. ‘Fraulein, your parents won’t bewail your virginity now.’ And then, later on, as she returned to her quarters, her virginity fortunately still intact, she knew what the soldier of spoken of. They had finally gone to the chamber. Her mother, father and three brothers. And by some miracle of God she had escaped the sentence that day. Some miracle of God in the form of a lecherous Nazi soldier.
All that winter she had feared the day. And then it had come and was past her before she could even say a word. And they had not taken her life, in the end. They had spared her, it seemed. And a few short years later, when the war was over, and she was wandering around the streets of the nearby town of the camp, wondering just what her future held, she thought on the mercy of God that day. The mercy he had graced her with.
She looked out upon the river, thinking on that word – mercy. King David often spoke in the psalms about the mercy the LORD had shown him. David was, in so many ways, the heart of her people. The one who epitomised the human struggle and desire for its maker. The one who clove to God through good times and bad, and the one who always claimed the mercy of God was everlasting.
She thought on that word – mercy. It, too, had been shown her when the soldier had taken her aside, played with her somewhat, but thrown her out before getting too serious. And it had again been shown her when month after month of missing out on the calls to the ‘Showers’ the end had finally come and she had survived. And it had again been shown in her in the way her Lord had blessed her with many children, grand-children and now great-grand-children. Yes, the mercy of the Lord was great indeed.
So if the Lord could show such great mercy, how could she not also. How could she not now forgive the one in her youth who had caused her so much shame and sorrow.
And so, tossing the flowers into the ‘Ehle’ river, were the final cremated remains of a dictator had been tossed, Miriam said, ‘I forgive you, Adolph. I forgive you.’
The Rings of Saturn
It was later on, around the 4th epoch of mankind, in which we had utilized most of the rings of Saturn. Water was needed, now. Greatly needed. Since the late 3rd epoch more and more mining missions had returned from distant planets, bringing larger and larger hauls. And halfway through 4th epoch, with the increased ability of our space-cruisers to tow large bodies, we had been bringing millions of asteroids as raw material back to System Alpha – our homeworld.
And then as the 5th epoch dawned we had 3 more planets, manmade, 2 circling between earth and Venus and one circling between earth and Mars.
Tarsus was the largest of the new planets, slowly constructed from raw asteroid material. Tarsus saw the remainder of the water of the rings of Saturn poured onto it to establish as a new planet. This was no planet of God’s design, though. Mankind had made it itself.
The other two planets, Kara and Genniday, quickly boomed alongside Tarsus and soon the stellar civilization had grown manifold. We were slowly filling up our system with planets and, despite being a system near the edge of the galaxy, we were the centre of our own universe.
It was later on in the 5th epoch we noticed something – formative ice rings had begun forming around Saturn again. The theory was common that water floating through space gravitated to such planets and naturally formed such rings. We did not really know how much water was in space, exactly, or were it all came from, but as the 5th epoch ended we were ready for about 3 more planets.
Some questioned, from time to time, would we go on like this forever? Forever building new planets from asteroids far out in space. We knew there were other planets around other star systems, but the distances were still too big for us to reach them within reasonable time periods. But the way we were going there was a plan. Eventually, perhaps around the 7th epoch on current theories, we would have enough system resources to send out the long range ‘Arks’ – deep space vehicles sent on aeons long missions to explore the stars. We would eventually settle the galaxy – that much seemed true. And to think, it all came from that substance of life – water. And from the mystery of the rings of Saturn.
Rebecca studied the bible carefully, ensuring her devotions to the Word of God lacked no solid effort on this Sabbath afternoon. She thought on her Lord, Jesus, and tried to imagine that he would be pleased with her, studying his teachings, learning to be holy, learning to be good. After another hour of devotions to the Gospel of Luke, she put aside her bible and went into the next room were mother was busy preparing the nightly dinner.
‘Dear Rebecca,’ began Broomhilda her mother. ‘Have you finished your devotions? God knows you are the only one in the family to take religious virtue so seriously. Father was never like that, nor mother. But I think your father’s father was of that mind, in his own way. Perhaps you get it from him.’
‘Yes, mother. Perhaps.’ She sat down at the table, and looked at her mother cutting carrots. ‘Can I help?’
‘No. I have it all in hand. Why don’t you play some piano. That always livens Sunday afternoon.
‘As you wish,’ responded Rebecca.
She sat down to the piano in the corner of the room and dutifully turned to her mother’s favourite, Mozart sonatas. As she played she noted her mother humming along, lost in the delight of the ancient composer’s magic.
Completing the sonata, she finished, gave her mother a bow, and returned to the living room.
She sat down in the chair, considered her crochet, but decided to simply wait on her seat, and let life answer her current need for activity.
She sat there, thinking over the news of late, with those coal miners lost recently. But Wales often had problems like that. She thought on her minister, Reverend Green, who had advised her that becoming a nun might be ever so suitable to a girl with such devotions as herself. And, perhaps, it was an idea worthy of consideration.
But nunnery? In a strange way, and she knew she should scold herself for the thought, but nuns almost seemed the opposite to her of how a proper Christian woman ought be. They needed to be full of love and openness to people, alive with a spirit of friendliness, compassion and mercy obvious to all. For she had met too many strict nuns in her time who, in her heart, she labelled as that most ugly of words to rise into prominence in Protestantism – legalists. Cold, hard and legal, but with no passion for the gospel of love. Such could never, really, be the profession of Rebecca.
Nay, a heart like Rebecca was devoted to her Lord Jesus who, she knew, knew deeply the heart and problem of cold affection towards cruel legal letters. Toward a letter which kills, as Paul would teach, and of the solution of the spirit of love and life which brought freedom from bondage to dead religion.
She knew what she needed. She really did. She needed a man, a lover, who was full of the passion of the true Christ, the God of Love which John spoke of. For such a man the gentle heart of Rebecca would truly belong. But were, were on earth, could she find such a champion of virtue who would win her heart and show her the love she most truly desired. Were on earth?
The Sword of Dario
Dario raised his sword ‘The Executioner’ and cleaved off the frost-giants bloody head. It had been a diabolical battle of mammoth proportions and all his men had been killed in the battle, yet they had done the damage and the frost giant had fallen at the end, with Dario making the final killing blow by cutting of his head. And now the empire would be safe again from the dark creatures who, every now and again, visited their realm from the realm of the dark.
Dario had risen up to be the protector of the empire, feared by evil men, praised by all the good. He was a hero, a great and noble warrior, and all respected him in his service for Emporer Palpatine.
Of course, his strength came from the ‘Doomsword’ – his sword which he called ‘The Executioner’. The Doomsword had been forged in the pits of hell and took its strength and gave it to the wielder from all the opponents it managed to slay. And now, feeling empowered by the strength of the frost giant, having made the killing blow himself, Dario felt invincible.
Riding on his valiant steed ‘Keelhaul’ returning to Camelot, he was set upon by a band of Cimmerian bandits.
‘You shall taste your death, Cimmerian scum,’ yelled the champion of the Rosic clan and, taking out the Doomsword Executioner, he engaged in battle. It was not long, and many heads had he decapitated, that the bandits were running off, failing to get their loot. ‘I’ll see you all rot in hell,’ yelled Dario after the poor souls.
Later that afternoon, coming into Camelot, Lady Miranda came out to see him as his valiant steed entered the gates of Camelot. She looked up at her beloved hero and said ‘Oh Dario. Lancelot himself is no challenge for you.’
‘That fool. He lusts after the Emporers wife and still thinks himself the bravest in the Kingdom. Palpatine should cast him down from his lofty position on the round table and grant it to a more worthy soul.’
‘And you are that worthy soul,’ said Miranda.
‘Rightly you have spoken,’ returned Dario.
Later on that afternoon, having given Miranda a good shagging, Dario was considering challenging Lancelot for his position on the round table. For so long that French fiend had thwarted his ambitions – but no more. Judgement Day had come for the leader of the Knights of the Round Table.
He found Lancelot that evening in the court of the Emporer and with all the nobility watching, Emporer Palpatine sitting with Empress Guinevere, watching over the court, Dario raised his gauntlet and belted it into Lancelot’s face.
Lancelot gripped the now bleeding cheek and looked upon his adversary. ‘What fore have ye challenged me, Dario.’
‘For your seat on the table. For I will be the Emporers champion, as befits my brave deeds.’
‘We will see how brave you are. On guard.’ And Lancelot pulled out his broadsword and the battle of champions took place.
They fought long and hard but Lancelot was tiring with each blow of ‘The Executioner’. And then, suddenly, Dario having belted Lancelot’s sword from his hands, he stood over the fallen knight and, pointing his sword at Lancelot’s throat said ‘Do ye yield.’
Lancelot looked up at him, spat at him, and said. ‘Very well. You have my place on the table. But beware my wrath, Dario. Beware my wrath.’
Emporer Palpatine came forward as the battle had finished and, taking his sword Excalibur, knighted Dario and proclaimed him the new First Knight of the Empire.
And that night, giving Lady Miranda another shagging, Dario was pleased with the triumphant glory which was now, finally, his.
Gartos VII was known for its strange plants. It was out on the edge of the Andromedan galaxy, a strange planet, with the oddest colouring. It was a standard ‘Zeta’ type planet, an awkward classification for planets out of the usual. But this only made it all the more appealing for the Zentrofon community of Alkasarrian confederations, inhabitants of a number of the inner systems of the Andromedan galaxy.
Zentrofonese religion craved originality, newness, a fresh spark of life in a fading canvas of conformity to commonality.
Albacus liked Gartos VII and had made his home here for the last several thousand years. He was one of the earlier settlers of Gartos VII with his Zentrofonese community, and had come to call Gartos VII his home, after his long and winding road through various planetary bodies.
Albacus collected plant specimens for the ‘Director of the Institute’ to catalogue. Today he was looking at a particular plant specimen he had seen many times before and was curious about the strange looking stem which was an offshoot on one plant he was looking at – a stem he had not seen before. He plucked it off, smelt it, and not thinking any the better, took a bite. And then his mind went crazy.
‘Psyche’ was the name given to the drug eventually harvested by Albacus and sold throughout the Zentrofonese community of Gartos VII. Psyche offered the user a total escape from reality, into a Pandora ’s Box of the mind’s delight as they entered a hidden dream world of the mind, doing crazy things, all with a rush of ecstasy at just being alive. ‘Psyche’ was the stuff of dreams Albacus told everyone.
Unfortunately, Psyche lived up to its name. It turned people psychotic after a while, and schizophrenia often advented because of it. Albacus had never such problems, but many of his customers reported such realities.
The Zentrofons duly put the drug on the forbidden list and let it be known it could be used only by doctor’s prescription. But that didn’t stop Albacus. Defying authorities he began a black market of Psyche.
He died, though. Overdosed on the stuff.
His last dream, as he was floating upwards to the sun, was the encounter with a dark angel who said to him ‘Punks like you make my work all the so much easier. Enjoy hell, brother.’
And then he carked it.
At the Sea
‘Cindy, look. A starfish.’
The girl peered into the water were her brother Jonathon was pointing. ‘Ooh. Pick it up Jonny.’
Brave Jonathon grabbed at the Starfish and held it up in triumph.
‘Here, put it in the bag with the other shells. We’ll show daddy.’
Jonathon did as his sister asked.
They hopped around all over the rocks for quite a while, lost in their own little world. Their parents, from the beach, kept a cautious eye on them, but let them be. They were young. It was their time.
‘What is that, Cindy?’ asked Jonathon, pointing to a bluey looking gelatinous creature.
‘It’s a bluebottle. Careful. Don’t touch it. Their poisonous.’
‘I’ll be careful.’
The sun was hot that day, and the kids had multiple coatings of sunscreen by their concerned mother, but it didn’t bother them.
As they splashed, later on in the day, after the heat had passed, in the waves, their father pretended he was a shark, and amused them no end. It was the time of their lives.
As the car made its way on the long trek home, Jonathon had fallen asleep after eating his hamburger, while Cindy watched, still ever so excitedly, the scenery pass by. She really would have a tale to tell to her school-friends on Monday morning, despite the fact her forehead felt a little sunburnt. But that was the price of their happiness and, really, she wouldn’t have it any other way.
Lots of Money
I wish I had lots of money. Really, why be a pious hypocrite. Oh, Jesus. I will follow you, even if you take all my wealth. Are you serious? I wish I was a rich bitch. Trillions of dollars. Absolutely trillions. I would buy diamond rings, expensive shoes, fur coats. Oh, and sports cars. Lots of shiny sports cars.
Poverty is for losers. Really, sweetie. Poverty sucks. Take it from someone who has firsthand experience. When I was young? Oh, the things I had to do to get were I am today. But that is life. You have to start somewhere.
Yes. Lots and lots and lots of money. Oh, and fame to. If that is available. But I’ll settle for the cash.
The Darkness Changes
‘There was a time, you know, before the darkness changed. Before, when the lords of hell really were evil. They haunted souls, possessed bodies and promoted their dark agendas to all they came across. But then a melancholy entered the heart of Satan, and things were never the same again.’
‘Some say, of all the disastrous things to do, he repented of his evil ways. Some say that. I don’t agree, youngster. I could never, ever agree with that. All that really happened was he got over it. It ended up boring him. And he was sick of the endless struggle with the lords of the light. So he got over it, got over attacking God and his angels, and just dwelled in hell, eating his meals and watching re-runs of the Simpsons.’
‘The other demons were pissed off to start with. Hey, they had an agenda. Bringing malevolent chaos to the universe. But Asmodeus, seeing his lord’s apathy, realized something. ‘So shall be the fate of us all’’ he glumly thought to himself. And so, taking a coke from Satan’s fridge, he sat down next to his dark lord, and laughed at Homer yelling ‘doh’.’
‘These days the Angels smile a lot. Michael is still a bit nervous, and keeps his eye on hell from time to time, but you can catch him a lot playing tennis with his twin sister Elenniel. He cruises around heaven in his various sports cars, enjoying the fruit of his labours. Gabriel has taken up comic collecting. He loves ‘Blue Beetle’ comics. They are awesome, he says.’
‘And, as strange as it sounds, Satan ventured up to heaven last year, came to the throneroom, sat there for half the day, and left, ordering a hamburger from a puzzled heavenly café, before returning to hell.’
‘Things always change, son. And the bloody good guys usually win in the end. So cheer up. Cheer up. I know you had ‘Antichrist’ ambitions, but cheer up.’
Lucifer Hellfire Armageddon
‘The Rain came today. We had waited. A long time we had waited. One said, faintly, not wishing to disturb the others, the rain wouldn’t come again. That our reserves in the well would be all that we would ever see again. Nuclear holocausts cause that sort of thing, so they said. But, no, in the end they were wrong. The rain came. And, in so many ways, washed away the sins of our forefathers.
We don’t know how many survived the war – the third world war. But, we suspected, not too many. Probably not.
We were ensconced in a little hut out of Chakola when we heard the booms. And then, later, the fires roared by, consuming everything. But somehow, miraculously, they missed us.
It took days – weeks - months – but the fires stopped, and we went off to look around. Chaos everywhere.
Cooma was destroyed, and we feared worse even for Canberra. We doubted that either side had missed anywhere on the planet.
Of course, we had seen it coming the three of us. The tension had been so volatile that night on the news between the warring parties that we decided to run. We found the hut, stored our water and supplies, and waited. And it DID happen. And the world ended.
Rosie says we should look for others, but I disagree. We had to wait long enough for the after-effects to dissipate before I felt it would even be safe leaving our compound and the shelter. We waited seven months – we had supplies enough for a few years – and then we ventured forth. It was hell on earth. But, looking at it all, I can’t agree with Rosie. The three of us might be all that is left of humanity. We don’t know for sure. But our families’ hopes for seed rest with us, so we must go on.
But the rains have come, now, finally. And new life can begin again. Hopefully this time we will have learnt from our mistakes. Hopefully this time……………..’
The Good Adventures of Sir Bottle Nose Brindaby
Ole bottle nose was famous for that. His nose. It was a corker and a half, laddy o. Really, a corker and a half. Yes, Arthur Brindaby was one of the mer famous Glaswegians for his remarkable endowment, the regret of his mother for half her life for the grand sin of fornication. Some say, mind you, twas an alien from some foreign continent that could only have sired such a grand monstrosity. Surely the like as ole Arthur’s found no true home in the gene pool. Yet, nevertheless, there was the said monstrosity, and people coped with it as best they could.
By year six in school Arthur was ready to leave. By year 8 he had.
Fortunately, grace shined its face on Arthur, for one particular afternoon in December, the cool air enough to freeze his bones, a lady of true substance shined her heart upon the 18 year old who had become destitute.
She was a good servant woman to the new presbyter, the new pastor’s daughter, and when she found him sheltered in their barn, hiding from all and sundry, she took pity. Mind you, she had terrible poor eyesight, and glasses fixed the problem not, so Arthur was truly a son of grace.
They wed 2 years later and the pastor, learning true Christian humility, was mindful of his congregation’s occasional snide remarks, yet turned the cheek in proper manner.
Arthur served in the presbytery, chopping wood, working in the garden, cleaning and doing chores. His pastoral father looked out for him.
And all this time Arthur studied. He studied the bible, of all things, and in the cross found the ultimate suffering. And, being called, came to the alter, and the church of Scotland, finding his knowledge complete, despite concerns over his now quite famous nasal offering, set him up to replace his current pastor.
And, as the years passed, Arthur found grace. God loved him. And at nights comforted his soul over his many prayers for a better look in the next life. And, as the years passed, and he preached his sermons, Arthur found that the torments of youth were now gone from him by and large, and, despite the still occasional snicker from the congregation, he ministered with true Christian respect, and found something of a place in the heart of his local community.
‘Blood is thicker than water.’
‘I always wondered, what exactly is the water?’
‘Those relationships with people who come and go in life. Fair-weather friends I assume.’
‘Yes, I see.’
‘So neglect not your brethren, dear nephew. We are a strong clan, now, the O’Rarritarrigan’s. Forged but 3 centuries prior, but now strong in numbers and growing in reputation. One of grand Ireland’s new but favoured children.’
Later on that day, young Roary O’Rarritarrigan, son of Jesse and Janine, was out on the outskirts of the clan land, looking towards the neighbouring property. He knew, in truth, his time on earth would come soon. His mother and father had gone before him, and his uncle had just returned, for they were particularly chosen to experience life in the physical realm. They were lucky in that way, despite the endurance in the test of faith they would encounter. To not know, for surety, that God was there. To live in a place were religion and faith was even questioned. How could he possibly cope? But God WAS there, in the end, and he was sure he would be raised in a family with faith and taken good and proper care of.
He looked over the neighbouring land in a new northern county of Ireland in heaven called Antrippendary, the county formed recently in heaven with Ireland’s new gifting of land from God, newly created land for the nation to continue to grow with, and he wondered. Would blessed Sarah O’Shanassaitey be there. The love of his life from the neighbouring property. Would she in truth, as hinted at, be found in his life on earth, in his human sojourn.
He hoped so, did Roary, for he craved the touch and the love of Sarah. She was a true daughter of Ireland, proud and noble in so many ways, of good nature, of good heart, of good faith. If he were to meet her in human form he knew he could never love another. For such were the mysteries and devotions proclaimed of finding true love on earth, true love to survive such a challenging and hostile environment.
He could only hope.
And then, in the turning of the year, he was taken to the chapel, and blessed, and placed into the water, and he was gone, to be born anew on earth, to taste his human existence.
‘Roary. I have never questioned you. But, in the end, I can’t, ok. I just can’t. The number of people who, in the end, are innocent people, we will be killing is just too many.’
‘It will go ahead without you, Sarah. You know that. ‘Vengeance’ has been planning this for 300 years now. We will let those British know not to fuck with Ireland. They will know.’
‘But they have other weapons than just nukes, Roary. They have all sorts of technologies now.’
‘And so do we. Besides, we have the upper hand. They will never see it coming. For over a thousand years now we have lived together in peace, Northern Ireland part of the UK, Ireland a republic. But freedom and liberation are here, now. And we will destroy those British once and for all.’
‘I fear for your soul, Roary. I fear for your soul.’
‘Don’t. The Lord owns it. This is his plan – it is his idea – we have always maintained that.’
‘So you say.’
The war began quickly. 7,000 ‘Vengeance’ operatives in Britain quickly capturing the nuclear weapons of Britain and disarming them, before 200,000 other ‘Vengeance’ operatives took out key army and navy sites, police stations and various other official places. The war was quick – the British never saw it coming.
Officially, when Britain responded with a declaration of war on Ireland, all Ireland would maintain was that ‘Vengeance’ was unofficial. Not the republic’s official stance. But that Steveered not. War began, but with their army in tatters, Ireland was soon victorious over a nation it had not even been at war with.
‘Vengeance’ spokespeople sought out the Irish Parliament in an attempt to persuade them to destroy their British adversaries once and for all, but mother mercy prevailed. Instead Ireland declared Britain an Irish state, and it was resolved it would remain under Irish authority for the next 30 years at which point Ireland would relinquish its control with the understanding that they would ensure ‘Vengeance’ was dealt with. The British people sighed relief.
Somehow, in the end, ‘Vengeance’ achieved its objective. Northern Ireland returned to the Irish republic and never again was their talk in the Emerald Isle of serving the Monarch of Britain. Ireland was free again – its own nation.
When he was old, on his deathbed, Roary prayed a final prayer to God. ‘God of my fathers, my ancestors. I know you are a just God, and I believe with my heart our war was Just. We did not destroy the British but reminded them of their pride and how they were conquered on their pride by one of there once most bitterly fought opponents. I don’t claim to be a holy man, nay, I am a man of bloody war. But forgive me, I pray, If we have done something wrong. Forgive me I pray.’
When Roary O’Rarritarrigan returned to the heavenlies he was acclaimed an Irish hero. In heaven there had been tension for a while between Britain and Ireland during the hostilities, but peace had prevailed. Britain had agreed that Ireland was not stepping out of line with its ‘Vengeance’.
But Sarah, his love, he had lost. And while he knew, in truth, Blood was thicker than water, he hoped in his heart that the water of life which was Sarah O’Shanassaitey would come to him one day, forgive him, and be blood with him. For what was life without love.
3. No more. No less. 3.
But what about 4?
3 I tell you. No more. No less.
5 could be useful, or even 6 or 7. And I have always liked 8.
Just shut up, ok. Just shut up. The number is 3. No more. No less.
Very well. 3 it is.
Thus, as the first member of the godhead, I hereby decree my son, you are number 2.
Cool. And who is the dread 3?
Hey, that’s me, isn’t it?
Yes. Yes, that is you. The dread Holy Spirit.
Of course, as all Thesgaldrian Christians know with surety, having been the true receivers of revelation and the divine covenant of glory, there are 4 members in the godhead. Father, Son, Spirit and Devil. For the Devil has always been eternally the force of divine evil, omnipotent in his hate and wrath, beyond all understanding of the Love of God, but in truth co-eternal. And this blessed truth stands for all time, I say. For all time.
For we children and citizens of the micronation of Thesgaldria, called apart from Babylon the Great, give testimony on the world wide web to the truthfulness of our revelation, and the fact that on judgement day, when the dark heart of Satan is finally defeated and only goodness is reborn through the river of life coming from the spirit, so that those who hear may have hope and love and, most importantly, faith, in the eternal mercies of they who are.
And the church shall say Amen.
‘Yes, you are the chosen one. Oh Lord Makrantavere, you are the sacred and chosen vessel of the spirit of Incredulousity, the sacred and chosen spirit to become the eternal 5th member of the divine godhead of the way of the Sheldarian people of our holy Kweldonian Galaxy. For the ancient prophets long ago spoke of the sacredness and holiness of the Kweldonian Galaxy as the focal point for universal life from were the 5th and final member of the divine godhead would emerge, to claim victory over all evil and goodness, and to teach us forevermore that life simply is life, and that all is morally relative.’
‘It is as you say,’ said the Lord Makrantavere to his loyal subject and, accepting the crown of glory, standing in front of the host of a million servants, they waited for the ascension to the heavenlies to long ago prophesied of…………………..
Person 1: I am going to Hollywood.
Person 2: Why
Person 1: Just because. I’m bored with London. Want to see the stars.
Person 2: I guess. Better than being bored, I suppose.
Silence for a few minutes
Person 1: I’ll probably get a map to the stars house.
Person 2: Mmm
Person 1: And go see were they all live.
Person 2: Should be fun.
Person 1: Yes
Silence for a few minutes
Person 1: Might even visit Disneyland. Could be fun.
Person 2: Is that in Hollywood?
Person 1: I’m not sure, actually. But I don’t care. It’s somewere in America.
Person 2: Right.
Silence for a few minutes
Person 1: You ever been outside of England?
Person 2: Hell no. I’ve never even left London.
Person 1: Not even London? You’re kidding right.
Person 2: Nope
Person 1: Amazing
Silence for a few minutes
Person 3: Be sure to send us a postcard
Person 1: From America you mean?
Person 3: Were else
Person 1: Ok
Person 1: Well I’m bored shitless. Might go down to the pub.
Person 2: I’ll come.
Person 1: Ok. How about you?
Person 3: Football is on soon.
Person 1: Ok. See you later.
Person 3: Bye
Person 3 is masturbating to a porno movie.
Person 1: (At window having come back from pub): Shit, look at that. He’s jerking off.
Person 2: Doesn’t everyone.
Person 1: I guess. Shall we surprise him?
Person 2: Hell no. I don’t want to see his old fella.
Person 1: I thought you liked him?
Person 2: Not in that way. He’s a roomie. Nothing more.
Person 1: I think he likes you. The way he looks at you.
Person 2: So what. He’s a male. They always look at women like that.
Person 1: Come on. Lets surprise him.
Person 2: Whatever.
They go inside and open the living room door quickly.
Person 1: Surprise. Huh, what are you doing?
Person 3: Fucking hell! Close the fucking door.
Person 2: Enjoying yourself.
Person 3 (pulling up trousers): Leave me alone.
Person 1: You should get a girlfriend. And what is this on tv?
Person 3: Well, fuck. You know. So what of it.
Person 2: Yes. Get a girlfriend.
Person 3 (looking at person 2): Yeh. A girlfriend.
Person 2 (looking at person 2): yes.
Person 1: I’ll put the kettle on.
Silence, as Person 3 turns off the porno and stares occasionally at person 2, who looks back at him.
Person 1: The kettle is on. I’ll make tea.
Person 3 (staring at person 2): You do that.
Person 2: silence, staring at person 3.
Later, upstairs, person 1 sleeping, person 2 & 3 in bed together.
Person 2: So, do we tell her about this? She asked you to move in before me? You know she likes you.
Person 3: We’ve been friends for years. But better not. Unless you want to make this regular.
Person 2: And if I do?
Person 3: Then we have problems.
Person 3: Mmmmmm.
Joe sat on his couch. Thinking. Thinking.
What if a giant poodle created the universe? Mmmm. Wow.
Hey, we’d be made in the image of ‘Dog’. How about that.
He continued pondering.
Imagine a six foot leprechaun. What would his family call him?
Tiny, I suppose.
Hey, what if the moon actually was made of cheese? It would probably
Smell by now, I guess. And it would probably be mouldy. Or does
Cheese keep well in space? Oh, I don’t know.
Imagine if tomatoes were blue. Mmm. Of course we have blueberries, which
Are a fruit. And I know mum keeps telling me that tomatoes are fruits and not
Vegetables, because they had seeds. But blue tomatoes? What would they taste
Like? Imagine blue tomatoes with your bacon and eggs. Weird.
I wonder if God has erotic thoughts. Does he gawk at female angels. Shit, I shouldn’t
Be thinking about that.
Imagine having 3 breasts. Man. And, come to think of it, why exactly do men have nipples
at all? Can we breast feed in emergencies? Strange.
Fuck, am I bored. I might go down to the pub. Get pissed. Yeh, fuck it. That will do.
‘Come on baby. Do the locomotion.’
‘Just to make you happy, sweetheart.’
And there she went, his wife, dancing around the room, doing the bloody locomotion to cheer up a husband who didn’t really want to be cheered up.
‘I never liked Kylie Minogue. Too pop princessy for me.’
‘Oh come on Frank. Lighten up.’
Frank ignored Celeste, his wife. He didn’t care.
Later that day, with nothing better to do, he took a sixpack from the fridge, sat down in front of the cricket, and started drinking his cares away.
Celeste came into the room.
‘Cricket. I hate you and your bloody cricket.’
‘I thought you liked it,’ he said defensively. ‘You always take an interest.’
‘Only to make you happy. Besides, this is not how I imagined our first weekend together in months. You drinking beer in front of the box.’
‘But it makes me happy.’
‘Well, no. Probably not. Probably just to drown my sorrows.’
‘That’s what I thought. Come on. Let’s go out. It’s not too late. We can go get a meal, see a movie. Go dancing!’
‘I can’t dance.’
‘You could when we dated.’
‘That was years ago.’
‘Come on Frankie baby. Let’s not do nothing with our time together.’ She looked at him with a sincere look, and he knew he should give up the fight.
‘Ok. We’ll go dancing.’
‘Wonderful. I’ll go change.’
‘Ok,’ he said, opening another beer, realizing he might see a lot of the cricket before she had finally made up her mind on what to wear.
Shortly, though, she came back in, dressed in a sharp skirt, and looking quite hot for a 45 year old.
‘Come on sweetie. You’ll do in that. Let’s go.’
‘Fine,’ he muttered.
* * * * *
The dance hall was half full, but it was only line dancing. That was Celeste’s style.
They did the dancing thing for a while, and she left off to the ladies room to freshen up. Sitting there at his table, a young lady, could have been 18 at most, came up to him. ‘Hey sweetie. Wanna dance?’
‘You’re a bit young aren’t you? I’m a married man.’
‘I don’t mind. More fun that way.’
He felt guilty, but soon he was dancing his heart away. Somehow, in the company he found himself in, he found he actually did like line dancing, and achy breaky heart was not that bad a song after all.
He was in his own world, hands on the hips of a fresh, young 18 year old, when he noticed, arms crossed, tapping her feet madly, Celeste over by the side, giving the look of cold death.
‘Uh, sorry sweetie. Have to go.’
He came over to Celeste, who looked furious, but said nothing.
* * * * *
On the drive home Frank was happy. Hey, he could still hook them. But Celeste said nothing. He knew she was plotting murder, but there was nothing he could say in his defence. He would just have to take what was coming to him.
* * * * *
As he laid in bed, Celeste in the ensuite, he silently prayed she would get over it but, of all the things to be surprised by, when she came out of the ensuite, dressed in a very sexy lingerie outfit, crawling all over him, saying ‘Come on Cowboy. This cowgirl needs some good loving,’ he knew he was forgiven.
He was happy that night, slept well, and despite realizing with their work timetables they wouldn’t see each other properly for another few months, looked forward once more to a love he had all but forgotten. And, despite the problems they had in their marriage, for once he was happy. Indeed, for once Frankie was happy. And when life was like that it seemed all the more worth living. But whatever else there was always line dancing. And, should things get worse between them, maybe a pretty young 18 year old cowgirl. But that was just fantasy, for Celeste was his wife. And for that he knew he should be happy. Happy and grateful indeed.
Queen Lyuba and the Dashing Prince Daniel
Queen Lyuba sat on her throne, surveying her royal court. There they all were – her royal entourage. Pretty, polite, perfect in so many ways – yet so incredibly boring to a queen more than used to their predictable ways. She wanted something new. She needed something new. A new idea. A new challenge. Perhaps, maybe, a new romance.
Suddenly the announcer spoke and the charming ‘Prince Daniel’ of neighbouring Sledlovania was to entertain her majesty with his delightful presence. ‘Oh, bother,’ she thought to herself. ‘Yet another pompous dignitary.’
The trumpets blared and, coming down the centre of the court, all dressed in vivacious scarlett, a handsome looking man, with a big grin on his face. He came to the Queen, bowed, and said ‘Hey there sexy.’
‘Excuse me,’ said the Queen, not expecting such forwardness. And then the charming prince Daniel came up to the throne, sat down in front of her, and started telling jokes.
‘Tell me Queenie, which hand do you wipe your arse with?’
The Queen remained silent, but after a while said shyly ‘Well my right hand, if you really must know.’
‘Oh really,’ said the Charming Prince Daniel. ‘Well I use toilet paper.’
The Queen blushed. She should have seen that joke coming.
He told another joke.
‘Who’s there,’ replied the Queen.
‘Fuck,’ said Daniel
‘Fuck who,’ said the Queen, and burst out laughing.
‘Well, I might be interested later on this evening,’ said Daniel, a huge grin on his face.
And so they chatted the afternoon away, Daniel going through some of the more disgusting jokes she had ever heard, and the life of noble Queen Lyuba of the principality of Ruselvania was temporarily entertained from her drab and dreary life of royal happiness.
The Flat Tyre
Dad, we’ve got a fucking flat tyre.
Watch your fucking language.
Bob stopped the car, got out, looked at the tyre. Ricki was right. It was flat.
Are you gonna change it dad?
No, I’m gonna get fucking drunk.
Awww, change the tyre dad
I’d rather get pissed
Fuck it, said bob, and got the spare out of the boot, and spent the following half an hour changing tyres
5 minutes later, speeding along, they swerved a bit too much into the dust on the side of the road.
Dad, we’ve got a fucking flat tyre
For fuck’s sake
There is one particular day in the life of Andrew Smith that I often refer to for various reasons. I am his guardian angel. I watch over him. My primary job is to see to it that he receives salvation, yet that is a complicated task. There are many protocols that have to be followed in our ongoing war with the dark forces, protocols reached upon by the ancient agreements. You see, the dark forces make various claims from time to time that certain souls just aren’t fit for the heavenlies, and our great God listens to these claims. Of course, the dark one himself just wants to get his hands on lost souls for torture and various other malevolent activities, and we have often queried the wisdom of our eternal father for allowing this. But that, perhaps, is our nature. We desire the salvation of our stewards, and work hard to make them worthy. It is what we have always done and, presumably, what we will always do.
This particular day Andrew shone. Brightly. All things considered he was a regular kind of guy, despite a heavy addiction to various drugs, something which he did his best to keep under control at times, and at times he did go cold turkey. But they usually came back with a vengeance. The eternal one maintains that drug addicts are not fit for eternal life, for they will inevitably succumb to the desires of the flesh and end in death anyway. And, as such, he rarely welcomes true addicts to the gates of the eternal. But for Andrew there was one day, early in December, on holiday down in Tathra, were God forgave him all his lifes faults. And this is that story.
‘So what is your name?’
‘Fiona. Fiona Darling.’
‘Cute. Well, I don’t know. Want to swim?’
Andrew was watching her carefully, looking at the way she looked at him, wondering if he was going to get lucky. They swam for a while, and she noticed him, but she wasn’t giving signals. Not really any. Just another girl. Just another Aussie chick, who, for obvious reasons, usually weren’t interested.
When they returned to the beach her other friends had left and they were alone. He tried kissing her, and she didn’t resist, but after a while she turned away.
‘You’re a bit ambitious aren’t you? We hardly know each other.’
‘I can’t help it. I like you.’
She looked away. ‘You don’t know me.’
‘Women are all the same in the end. My dad told me so.’
‘And all men are bastards,’ she responded with appropriate venom.
He smiled. ‘True, Jen. True.’
They sat for a while, not saying much. He looked at her as she laid down in the sun, looking at her body, looking at her female glory.
‘You’re thinking of sex aren’t you? You won’t get it from me, you know. I don’t go with men I have just me. I only have been with one guy, and I have learned not to sleep around.’
‘You don’t mind me looking though, do you?’
She looked at him, sat up and took off her bikini top.
‘You can touch them. You can even suck on them. But nothing more.’
He played with them for while, kissing them, declaring his love. But she said nothing and just laid there. She was different, really, from other girls. More honest about it all. Knew what men wanted. Knew what she would give them.
A while later she put her bikini top back on.
‘Are you going home today Andrew? Will I see you again?’
He looked at her, but shook his head. ‘No. Not today. I have to see a guy in town. He has some stuff I need.’
She looked at him, noticing the marks on his arm.
‘You’re a user, aren’t you?’
‘I can’t help it. I’m addicted. I’ve quite many times, but no good. It always comes back.’
She nodded, seeming to understand.
‘Come on,’ she said. ‘I want you to meet someone.’
He was about to say no, but looked at her, realized he liked her somewhat, and nodded.
Jack was 42, single, and fucked up. He was Fiona’s uncle. He swore a blue streak, drank too much, and looked, all things considered, pretty fucked up. In fact, like hell on earth.
As they were walking away Andrew had taken the hint. A lecture – a lecture of what he would end up like if he didn’t change his ways.
‘Come on,’ she said. ‘Let’s stop here?’
He looked at the building. ‘It’s a church? Are you a Christian?’
It was a Catholic church, she told him, but he didn’t know what that meant. He was an unbeliever. She took him up the front, sitting him down in front of a statue of Jesus, and looked at him.
‘Try praying. I will be outside.’
He sat there, looked at the statue, and was about to say ‘Fuck this,’ when he felt something. Like there was suddenly a presence, right within his heart, saying everything was ok. And, not really knowing what to say, he knelt, because he had seen them doing that once on TV, and started speaking.
‘Uh, hey God. Andrew here. You there?’ No answer.
He looked at the statue of Jesus, and then looked up at the big cross on the wall of the church.
‘That’s right,’ he thought to himself. ‘He was crucified. Must have fucked up or something.’
‘Well, God. I know, I know. I’m an addict. I can’t help it. What am I supposed to do about it?’
He stayed kneeling, staring at the statue, and did nothing else. After a while he rose, and wandered over to the side of the church, looking at the bookcase. There was a bible. He opened it at random and found a passage underlined.
‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your path.’
He put the bible back, took a last look at the cross, and left the church.
They stopped at a café, and he bought a picture postcard. As they sat in the beach, the afternoon now passing by, he took a pen, and wrote to his mother back in Sydney.
‘Mum. I’m doing well. I went to a church just now. I feel, well, different. I’m not coming home. I’ve met a girl. I want to get to know her better. I don’t know, but somehow I think things might change now – for the better. Andrew.’
Fiona smiled at him all that afternoon, and he stayed on with his friends for longer than he had expected.
And life happens.
And he became a Christian, and the drugs left him.
And suddenly marriage to Fiona, family, and a new life from a dead old one.
And his mum mailed him that postcard one day, and he silently thanked his creator.
Church often does that for people. Sometimes it’s a mosque, or a synagogue, and often an Ashram. But wherever it is, when these things happen, we angels rejoice.
Andrew is 90 now, not many years left, but I have confidence in my steward. I’m confident he’s coming home. Confident now. And despite my perennial questions about the wisdom of God, somehow his plan has worked this time. Somehow this time he got it right.
The Adventures of the 47 Squirrels in Outer Space
Captain Furlock was anxious. The ‘Abominable’ was approaching planet Urethra. They were certain, the crew, all 47 of them, that there were other squirrels on Urethra. Absolutely certain.
Coming out of the space-ship ‘Abominable’ a wombat, the only sentient species on the planet approached them.
‘What the fuck do you want bro? Come to steal our didgeridoos and invade our billabongs. Why don’t you fuck off back to America?’
‘We are not from America. We are from a Russian planet. We come in peace,’ responded Captain Furlock. Are there any squirrels on this planet?’
The wombat looked at him, licking his lips. ‘There were. We ate them all.’
Suddenly 2,000 wombats emerged from the forest, approaching the squirrels.
‘Let’s get the fuck out of here,’ yelled Captain Furlock.
As they sped away, one of the female squirrels said ‘I thought there would be problems with Urethra.’
‘Tell me about it,’ responded Captain Furlock.
The Dark Dilemmas of the Frozen Souls of Hell
Jack had dwelt in hell for 7 years. His soul – his spirit – existed in a deep and dark pool, ice cold, chained to a central stone pillar which ran down endless leagues below. So many lost souls were chained to this pillar, all freezing, icy cold, lost in despair, minds having given up on anything approaching a regular existence.
But Jack struggled on.
Usually he slept, for there was little else to do, but he would awake inevitably and his spirit would shiver in the icy cold. And then the demons would come. And they would torment him.
This continued on, unceasingly, until, finally, the dark lord himself, Satan, approached.
‘Well, Jack. You have been with us for a while. You have now completed 7 years. A fair whack, and you are still clinging to your faith, despite our torments. That much effort has bought you some grace. But grace which comes at a choice.
Suddenly Jack was in a room, holding a gun, and he found a little 5 year old girl, sobbing at his feet. Satan was suddenly there. ‘Pull the trigger, Jack, and you can go to heaven.’ But he looked at the girl, shook his head, and suddenly he was gone.
He found himself at the top of a cliff, next to a young lady of 16, with a broken leg. She was asking him for help. Satan showed. ‘Push her over the cliff, and we can end your suffering forever.’ Jack was tempted. It would end it forever. But he shook his head, and the scene changed one last time.
He was in a church. His wife was marrying another man. Satan showed up. ‘Here, take this knife Jack. I know you want to stab the traitorous bitch in the back.’ And Jack, suddenly hating her, took the knife, but then, his heart softening, he dropped the knife, and turned to Satan. ‘I guess I am fucked, devil. Just put me back were I was. I won’t play your games.’
‘No. No, I guess you won’t,’ responded the devil, scratching his chin thoughtfully. ‘Ok, I guess you can have him,’ the devil said then out loud. Suddenly an angel appeared and approached Jack.
‘Well done, child of God. Your horror is finished. Come home.’
Jack took the angel’s hand and, suddenly, flying an infinite speed, he found himself in white light and suddenly on a large plane, full of light, and a road leading to a glorious heavenly city.
‘You mean, I’m forgiven?’
‘Sort of. God can hold a grudge for a long time. But you kept the faith down there. You kept the faith in hell itself. You are made of the kind of stuff God is looking for. We have a home for you, ok. Your ordeal is through.’
Jack nodded and, as they started down the road of glory, he silently thanked God for the grace shown a humbled and repentant sinner.
Man 1: We’re travelling to Uranus.
Man 2: When do we get there?
Man 1: As soon as you bend over.
Man 1: What’s with all the fuss about Uranus?
Man 2: I don’t know. It always been pretty much a shit-hole to me.
Man 1: What are people from Uranus like?
Man 2: They are the shit, believe me bro.
Man 1: Where is Uranus?
Man 2: Where it is supposed to be thank you very much.
Man 1: Have you ever been up Uranus?
Man 2: Not in recent years. I’m getting fat. It’s a bit difficult to reach.
Man 1: My son is doing a school project about Uranus.
Man 2: Make sure he gets pictures of the haemorrhoids.
Man 1: Have you noticed the smell in Uranus.
Man 2: I have dietary problems.
Man 1: Uranus is my favourite location.
Man 2: I feel the same way too.
‘4 years. 4 years he has been sitting there, shitting in a potty we give him, eating his meals, drinking water, and doing fuck all else.’
‘Well David has always been a diehard, John. And he is committed to his beliefs.’
‘I know, Joan. I know. But 4 fricken years? What is he hoping to achieve.’
‘You know. It’s his obsession with God. To build his religious empire.’
‘But all he does it sit there.’
‘With his sign saying ‘Join World Spirituality Assembly’ and ever ready to answer questions.’
‘How many souls do you think he has won then?’
‘He says over 100. When he is finished, he’ll start.’
‘Whenever that is.’
‘Oh, I think that will be soon. In fact, I know so.’
‘Has he said something.’
‘Yes. 1500 days of evangelism. That is what he committed to. So he will be finished very soon.’
Not long later David was finally moved from his seat on the front lawn of his house, having put the A-Frame back in the garage, resting in the upstairs room. Soon, though, he took his diary he’d had with him and started phoning and emailing people. About half of the 100 souls who said they would definitely join showed up. He was careful, sensitive, but soon got his particular monotheistic messages across and, lo and behold, he was a pastor with a tithing flock.
Evangelism was the key, so he stressed to the flock. Through spreading the word they would grow and take the planet. It is how all the traditional big ones managed it, and the whole flock nodded.
Of course, they were bible based in their own way, but largely quite flexible on that issue. A vague sense of holiness was all that David was really after.
It was later, much later, when he turned 40 and had been a successful pastor for 15 years over a fellowship which now numbered 13 million worldwide. It was then he had moved to Israel, were the action was, and got busy with an idea to get the third temple built with his resources. And then another crucial idea – bring the rest of Israel back to their homeland.
And the rest, as they say, is history……………….
The Dark Soldiers
There were 3 of them. But later, so she maintained, only 2 raped her. The other one, from her memory, looked apprehensive. Nervous. Out of place. She didn’t hate him.
* * *
For four years he hid his guilt. And then the cops caught up with them, and his sergeant was arrested and then his best friend Nat.
Neither gave him away, and the ladies testimony confirmed that they were the two who raped her. The cops quizzed the soldiers unceasingly, but they wouldn’t divulge the other name, and they eventually let the issue drop. He hadn’t raped her, anyway. He was an accomplice, but not guilty of rape. He would get his own justice, in time. The cops knew that.
* * *
Stan hated himself for years. Eventually, at 48, 17 years after the incident, he caved and confessed. The cops talked about statute of limitations, and the woman didn’t want to pursue the case any further anyway. He hadn’t raped her and she had forgiven him.
He still felt the guilt, though. Guilt at standing by, watching a woman get raped, too scared to join in, but also too scared to object. Too scared to do anything right, he told himself.
Stan shot himself in the head at 51. His wife had left him, and the guilt over his sin was just too much. He’d had enough.
He found himself, not in hell, but in purgatory. It was an angel who ruled purgatory, told him he was in for a shit time for about 50 years, but there was light at the end of the tunnel.
And then, there he was, stuck in a cinema, his spirit bolted to a chair which he couldn’t move from, watching the rape over and over again, the scene repeated every few minutes. And there he sat, for 50 years, doing his atonement, doing his repentance.
When he got to heaven he found the woman, and she smiled at him, saying everything was fine now. He’d been purged. He’d been forgiven.
And life went on, and all things became new again.
‘Patience. I don’t have any.’
‘We all need to be patient, Fredrick. So you will have to wait for the results.’
‘My life is hanging on this, doc.’
‘Perhaps you should have thought about that before you played around. But I’m not here to judge you.’
He went home, depressed.
4 days later he got the call. He was clean.
He went out that night. Found a cheap prostitute. Fucked her. Contracted Aids.
Went to the doctor as usual, the results came back positive.
He went home, too numb to be depressed.
* * * * *
‘Shit, Fred. I mean, shit. That sucks.’
Fred said nothing.
‘What are you going to do about it? I mean, you probably have years left.’
Fred said nothing.
‘Like that basketballer.’
Fred said nothing.
Michael looked at him. ‘I’m fucking moving out,’ he thought to himself. ‘Don’t want to be around this guy now.’
3 weeks later Michael moved out. Fred was alone, looking for a roomie to afford his rent.
2 months later he was living on the streets, unable to afford his rent, no family, nowhere to go, considering suicide.
* * * * *
‘I guess, it is a Steveer of patience, son. Good things will happen to you in your life IF you do the right thing by God. But you have to be patient. It doesn’t always happen straight away.’
‘But will he cure Aids? Jesus cured stuff. Can he do that?’
The pastor, out evangelizing, said nothing. He couldn’t answer that.
Fred went to church for a while, sat in the pews, despite smelling bad. But the congregation had been told to accept him.
They accepted him into a group house, and while they knew he had Aids, and were careful, treated him as a friend.
He lived another 3 years. In the third year he was practically a pillar of his church, doing the offering, convening prayer meetings, cleaning up. The church couldn’t live without him. Until they did.
* * * * *
‘Fred’s legacy, I think,’ said the pastor, ‘Is one of hope and grace. God never gives up on a soul, even one ravaged by sin, as Fred’s was. There is no nadir deep enough from were God can’t rescue a soul. No soul beyond his compassion. So let us remember Fred, grateful for the service he gave us, and look forward to meeting him again on that grand day when we come into our heavenly father’s presence.’
And the congregation said ‘Amen.’
There is a place
‘There is a place, just off the south end of highway 21, were I get away. It is an out of the way place, but it is like stepping into another world. In this world everything works properly, all things run on time, everything is neat and orderly (terribly neat and orderly) and the hospitality is amazing.
Of course, Mr Johnson is the reason why. He is the mayor of ‘Perfectville’ and he likes to keep it just that way – Perfect.
He is up every morning, spot on 6, out on the front street of the mayor’s office, saying ‘Good Morning’ to everyone, wishing them well in their day, and encouraging them to work hard for the town’s reputation. And, seemingly, they do. Until one fateful day when………’
‘Yahr know, Jesse. I reckon we can have somm funnn in thes here towny.’
‘I reckon so, Jacob,’ said Jesse.
The two brothers meandered over to the pub, which had a sign ‘No Alcohol served until 12 Midday.’ It was just after 10 in the morning.
Jacob looked at the bartender. ‘A beer. And give it a good head.’
The bartender looked at the brothers cautiously, thought about telling them their policy on drinking times but, as they were guests to the town, thought better of it. He served them two beers.
Steadily throughout the morning and into the afternoon the brothers got drunk.
Around 3, very drunk, they meandered out the front of the pub and stood gawking at Perfectville. The mayor had already been alerted and was seated out the front of his office, staring at the brothers. This would end in no good, he thought to himself.
And, as ruffians are wont to do, they pulled out their guns, and started shooting madly.
The Mayor knew what to do.
A short while later a funny looking steam engine on wheels, all in bright colours, a small one, came down Main Street, tooting a bizarre melody, towing a wagon with seats.
‘What ave we ere,’ said Jacob.
‘Let’s get in,’ said Jesse.
And they did.
And as soon as they got in the wagon, the seats bolted a latch over them, locking them in, unable to escape.
And then it continued on down the street, around the corner, to the ‘Corrections’ facility, and that was that.
2 days later, after receiving ‘Perfectville’s’ particular type of corrections, the two brothers had volunteered to sweep the streets of Perfectville and become first class citizens. They wouldn’t speak of their corrections. They wouldn’t speak of that. They were now conforming. The worst brothers in the US of A had been corrected.
It was later that year, I was visiting, doing my usual thing, and the Mayor nodded to me.
‘You know, Perfectville could use a man like you.’
I nodded. ‘Yeh, I guess.’
‘Do you love me?’ she asked.
‘Heaps. Pass the chips,’ he responded.
‘Great!’ she exclaimed, frustrated.
There is a Day
There is a day. I remember it well. My mother killed my father. And then there was peace in the community.
John Stokes was a bastard. He beat my mother every day. You noticed the bruises.
One day my mother said ‘Enough’ and got the shotgun – grandpa’s shotgun – put a bullet in it, and waited.
John came home. Ate his meal. Hit her for preparing a hopeless meal, and sat down in front of the box.
Mum came in, carrying the gun.
‘What the fuck are you going to do with that?’ the bastard asked.
‘This,’ she responded, aiming the gun, pulling the trigger, and blowing his brains out. She was a good shot.
The cops took her soon. The court was lenient. They understood. She served two years, and then some probation.
There is peace in the community now. John Stokes is dead.
Sometimes a bastard needs to learn his lesson – the hard way.
The Quiet Heart of Love
Becky was like no other lady. No other lady I had ever met. She actually liked me. I can’t really tell you the reason why. I mean, I have absolutely no personality, have moderate looks at best, smoke too much, drink a lot, am slightly overweight, have the most boring Australian Public Service job imaginable, and my only tastes in music consist of Elton John and John Farnham. But one thing I did have going for me, surprise, surprise, was old fashioned stability. I wasn’t exactly going blazers with my career, but, according to Becky, was sensible enough to show up to work every Monday morning to ensure my fortnightly pay-packet. And, because of these simple truths, Becky liked me, shagged me, and agreed, against all of my fears, to marry me.
And, funnily enough, the marriage seemed to work.
Firstly, I seemed to lose weight pretty quickly, as the Beckster put me on ‘Lite’n’Easy’ and the kilos fell away. She took me to an Alanon meeting and helped me quit smoking with the patches. She had a no-alcohol policy in the house, and I feared her wrath too much to disobey. After that she kept on buying me all the hip top 40 CD’s and introduced me to the world of ‘The Spice Girls’ and ‘Britney Spears’ and ‘Enrique Iglesias’ amongst other supposedly cooler artists than my dreadful collection. And, finally, she pushed me and pushed me and pushed me so that I finally agreed to do a short course at CIT. It was enough. I applied for a level 4 position, and because of my long service they gave it to me without too many challenges.
Suddenly, so it seemed, I was going places. Almost one of the ‘In Crowd’ according to my beloved spouse’s desires.
That was 10 years ago. Now I am still married to Becky, with 3 adorable children. I am an EL1, which is an Executive Level 1 for my department. I am still thin, no longer smoke or drink, and am in the habit of listening to many of the newer and hipper top 40 artists. In fact I check the Aria charts online most weeks to see who is charting.
All things considered, I am a changed man.
I love Becky. Heaps. She changed me, and for the better. And, while the passion has diminished somewhat, what has replaced it is the quiet heart of love, beating steadily for my wife, eternally grateful that she came into my life and changed it for the better. Really, very, grateful.
Shades of Uncertainty
‘I’m not sure.’
‘You’ve never been sure.’
‘Possibly. But it’s a tough decision.’
‘Make up your mind.’
‘Yes. Ok. The green one.’
‘Well make up your mind.’
‘Ok. The blue one.’
‘I thought you wanted the green one?’
‘Oh, ok. The green one.’
‘Can’t you ever make up your mind?’
‘Sorry. Why don’t you choose?’
‘Me! Well, I like the black one. It’s dramatic.’
‘Ok. The black one will do fine. But that red one looks nice.’
‘For Christ’s sake.’
‘Ok, ok. Don’t rush me. The Black one will suffice.’
‘Are you sure?’
‘And you’re not going to change you’re mind?’
David looked at the ties, smiled at Melissa, and reached for a white one with nice coloured stripes.
‘How about this?’
Melissa shook her head in frustration, looked at the heavens, and muttered ‘Why me?’
Jessica and Daniel
Jessica was a simple girl. She liked nice clothes, good looking men and a healthy bank account. Oh, and shoes. A girl could never have too many shoes.
Her current boyfriend, Rodney, number 78 on her list, was a loser. She knew this much to be true. But while he had money she would enjoy the dates, the gifts and the flatteries. And then she would, like so many before poor old Rodney, dump him and move on to the next sucker.
Yes, dear friend, Jessica was a user. A cold hearted bitch.
Jessica met Daniel in a bar in Canberra, were she was on assignment from her modelling agency, looking to recruit some Canberra talent. Daniel smiled at her, said she was hot, and Jessica, in the process of dumping Rodney said to herself ‘Here we go again.’
The sex was good. She admitted that. And when she found him gone in the morning she said ‘Well, at least I got my pound of flesh.’
Yet the fellow turned up at the place she mentioned casually she was doing interviews, with a bunch of roses and a sincere look on his face. What a schmuck.
She rang Rodney that afternoon, declared it was over, and despite his protestations happily hung up on him. And then it was time for number 79, Daniel. Perhaps this one had a brain, but she doubted it. Men NEVER had a brain. They were simple men after all.
Daniel took her to a Rugby League match. Dad’s hobby. She was bored shitless. ‘Winning move Danno,’ she sarcastically thought to herself.
Daniel took her to the Races. Dad’s old addiction. She was again bored shitless. ‘Another winning move Danno.’
And, finally, Daniel took her to his Bridge club, dad’s pastime, and when she settled in at the corner of the room, sitting on the flimsy fold down chair, looking at him look intently at his cards, ready to make the winning moves, she thought on her father and the similarity between the two of them.
After 2 years Daniel had never really fucked up. He came up to Sydney regularly, gave her flowers, said he loved her, but never pushed any real agenda. He was casual, but appreciated her. And, despite herself, despite knowing that perhaps it was about time to move on to the next guy, this one seemed to stick. Somehow the familiarity with her father’s nature seemed to appeal to her, and Daniel began finding a home in the heart of Jessica Murdoch.
They married later on that year. She was apprehensive at first, when he proposed, but then formulated the rationale in her mind that the only point of her having dated so many guys to begin with was in fact to ultimately find a partner for marriage. And so, looking into the eyes of this big stupid golden retriever, with that mushy ‘I love you’ look on his face, she couldn’t say no.
She was happy with Daniel, and despite for many a long year being disappointed she couldn’t brag to her girlfriends about having had over 100 boyfriends, one of her instinctive goals, somehow life with Daniel got her over it. And the sex was always pretty good.
Haven Adamide Fellowship and the Children of Salvation
‘So, master Daniel. The proud nation of Australia has repented at last it seems?’
‘Indeed, master Tolkien.’
‘And they read the Tenakh in Universities now?’
‘Through persuasion they are coming to understand Jehovah and his ways. Like England and New Zealand, as well as Canada and the United States of America and Fair Ireland, as well as the remainder of the United Kingdom, including Scotland, Northern Ireland & Wales, they have accepted Leviticus 18 & Leviticus 20 as the basis for their sexual morality. Alongside the Rainbow Bible of Genesis 1 to 11:9, we all now have a good strength of salvation. Of course, issues relating to magic are being carefully addressed, mainly to ensure J K Rowling is kept prominent as one of our major authors. So we all continue to study the JPS Tanakh, 1985 edition, very carefully, growing in grace and knowledge of Almighty Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh – our eternal father and saviour.’
‘Amen, master Daniel Daly. Amen.’
Questions from Hakham Tolkien
‘So, master Daly.’
‘Yes Hakham Tolkien.’
‘Jessie J. She is bisexual. Fond of the Vagina.’
‘She does confess to being as such. But I declare her righteously innocent, as Leviticus 18 & Leviticus 20 do not declare the wholesome lesbian to be such a sinner.’
‘So she is indeed innocent?’
‘Innocent and beautiful. A Delightful and lovely maiden of the Most High.’
‘And she fornicates, Master Daly?’
‘I do hope so, Hakham Tolkien,’ responded the young Hakham Daly in training, who suddenly had Jessie J and certain parts of her anatomy on his mind.
The Birth of Haven Adamide Fellowship
Adrian was now convinced. There WAS a God. So he would join Daniel’s fellowship – Haven Adamide Fellowship – and as a proud child of Adam and Eve he would keep faith in Almighty God, worshipping him truly.
Fiona was now convinced. There was NOT a God. So she would tell Daniel to go fuck himself and his ideas of a Haven Adamide Fellowship. Who needed to deal with that kind of shit.
4 months later, Adrian, Fiona and Daniel were sitting in a rented community centre hall, after the short service which had lasted half an hour, in which they’d had one other visitor who had now disappeared. They had sung one praise song at the beginning, one at the end, and Daniel had preached in between. It had taken much persuasion, but Fiona, having now visited the services for the first time, seemed to now finally be speaking ‘Faith’ terminology. She was explaining how she had been ‘Touched’ in the service, as if some sort of spirit had invaded her heart. Adrian and Daniel both knew – that was the Holy Spirit.
‘Stick with us, Fiona. We will grow.’
‘I don’t know. I think I might now go to Grandmas church.’
‘Bloody hell,’ responded Daniel. ‘The end of that religion theologically is somewhere you DON’T want to go.’
‘What do you mean?’
‘Life is just the beginning. When you get to the afterlife you will find out. You will be totally brainwashed by then – believing exactly what Jesus and his hokey followers will have you believe, despite your conscience screaming otherwise.’
‘How do you know?’
‘Well I wasn’t born yesterday.’
‘Exactly,’ chimed in Adrian, and that was the end of the conversation.
Fiona and the Havenides
Fiona was a long term member of Haven Adamide Fellowship, now. 37 years she had been faithfully coming along to the meetings, listening to Daniel preach his sermons, studying her Tanakh, and walking with God. And, simply because she had been going to the same place for so long, a few of her family members had finally taken an interest and, after the last 7 years out on the streets of the city handing out flyers for the assembly, she had won about 20 regular Havenides to the Assembly. She was a phenomenal witness for the faith, so Daniel claimed.
Life was not overly complex as a member of Haven Adamide Fellowship. You attended Assembly once a week on Saturday at 11 in the morning for an hour. There was a barbecue lunch following which the Assembly put on and, out on the green parklands, the kids would play the afternoon away as the adults chatted about their week. Even until evening people were often still around the Assembly hall, sitting around, enjoying themselves, letting life simply be.
Fiona had not married – had not found a man who ever liked her enough. But, now at 62, she was no longer really that concerned. The grey hairs were starting to be noticed and she was getting ready for her meeting with God in the next world.
Daniel had a plan for Fiona – an eternal plan, if she remained willing and faithful. They were to establish Haven Adamide Fellowship in Heaven. According to Daniel, heaven was a similar environment to earth, except more spiritual and there was less pain. But people, apparently, did much of the same sort of stuff. They worked in jobs, raised families, entertained themselves, and so on. And for Fiona, the opportunity to one day meet a suitable man and raise a family really meant something to her – that was what Haven Adamide Fellowship promised her. But Daniel wanted Fiona to remain in the Assembly for ever – to never leave him – and let the man who would one day be her husband find her in Haven. She had given that a lot of thought – a lot of thought indeed. There were sparse ‘Adamide’ assemblies. The Jews had mainly promoted the ‘Noahide’ concept and terminology which, technically, they upheld as well, but rather in the name of ‘Adam’ their first father. They accepted the Rainbow Covenant as a movement, but were children of ‘Mankind’ meaning children of ‘Adam and Eve’ in their focus, instead of a particular ‘Noahide’ focus. What this meant was Fiona COULD find another assembly if she really needed to. She was a Karaite, and would only ever accept the Tanakh as the religious book between her and God. There was no point in reinventing the wheel in that sense. But she was also Adamide, and that meant something to her now. It meant a particular family, centred around Daniel and Adrian, who had founded the fellowship with herself, and one which Daniel really wanted to go on for all eternity.
She had given it a lot of thought, and the person of Daniel Daly a lot of thought and, ultimately, nodded. He would do. He would be a suitable enough pastoral figure to remain under.
The fellowships appeal was that it was sincerely Adamide – didn’t pretend to be anything but that – and accepted the Jewish Bible as the basis for their religious faith. That, like for Daniel and Adrian, would never change for Fiona. That was definite to her.
Daniel had never married, either, and despite them fancying each other occasionally, it seemed as if it just wasn’t quite meant to be. As if there was something keeping them apart. But it didn’t Steveer. In time they would find the right one for themselves. In time it would be worked out.
In the end, in the last few months, just before her birthday, she had talked to Daniel and affirmed his desire. She would remain eternally in his fellowship. There was no point going anywhere else – it was home now, and suited her.
They could have challenges in the heavenlies. Differing monotheistic bodies might try and convert them – they knew that much to be potentially true. But they had already made their decisions of faith. They were Adamide – committed Adamide – and would remain as such forever.
Fiona and the Havenides would have a future – she knew this – and as she walked up the steps to the Assembly hall, late in Autumn, she smiled in her heart that she had a faithful eternal home. She smiled at that very truth.
The Astral Configuration of the 7th Sector of the Nebezandrians
'There is something wrong, Supreme Arch-Emperor. The Astral Configuration of the 7th Sector of the Nebezandrians is out of alignment with our records. It appears, as bizarre as it may seem, space has shifted. Well, not space, exactly, but its contents in this 7th Sector.'
'Is that possible?' queried the Arch-Emporer Naldronikus.
'An interesting question, Supreme one. In my long 700 years of life, I have witnessed many strange things. Many strange things. Who can really say that the technology to literally move Star Systems themselves is now not available.'
Naldronikus considered this. Should they now, in the light of this finding, go ahead with the invasion of the Nebezandrians stronghold in this sector of the galaxy? Would it be Wise? What would the other Arch-Emporers of the divine Astrothian council say to him should they fail? They may indeed beckon for the executioner to take his head.
'Proceeed slowly, drone. Be careful. If anything untowards happens, let me know immediately.
'As you command, lord supreme.'
The Armada moved forwards. For now everything else in this sector appeared normal - it was just that it had all moved. Quite bizarre the drone enforcer soldier at the deck of the head ship of the Armada thought to himself.
The Armada gradually moved forward and, coming to the main home planet of the Nebezandrians, they found no space resistance. Very unusual. The Armada landed, outside the largest city of the planet, on a giant plain and, soon, were greeted by the Nebezandrians who had come out to say hello.
'Do you surrender?' demanded Arch-Emporer Naldronikus.
The foe looked at them, signalled a warrior in plated yellow battle armour to come forward. He came forward, pointed a tiny looking boxlike instrument at them, and pushed a button on it.
Suddenly they found themselves in a vortex, being thrust back into their ships, the doors closed and thrust back out into space. And then, another vortex, like a wormhole, and they were, after the Drone confirmed the location, back home.
'Fuck,' said the Arch-Emporer Naldronikus. 'Fucking hell.'
4 weeks later, the council of Arch-Emporers having heard the story, approached the drone after the sudden beheading of his previous Arch-Emporer, the feared Naldronikus.
'Do you want the job, mighty drone?'
But the only response they got was 'Go fuck yourselves.'
The Tree of Life
The angel Daniel, firstborn of the angels of the Holy World of Love, looked up at the ‘Tree of Life’. The Tree of life was vast – it overlooked half of the world of love, towering 20 miles into the sky, its branches spread out another 20 miles over half of the world. It truly was the ‘Tree of Life’.
Ever since he had been a young angel, the Tree of Life had been there. Watching over the world – watching over everyone. It had been young, then – only a few hundred yards high, and they had used ladders to climb up to reach the fruit. These days an extensive ladder system ran all the way up the tree, over the branches, to reach the delicious fruits of all sorts which the tree provided for everyone to eat. Oh, of course there were other fruits, basic fruits which the world offered, but the tree of life was special – you lived forever, then, when you ate it – and it tasted wonderful.
Of course, there could be no tree of life without the tree of death, and holy angel Saruviel guarded the tree of death with his life. It was a tiny tree, a few yards high, and Saruviel’s fortress surrounded the tree. If you needed to die, you would eat that tree’s fruit, but nobody wanted to die – not yet anyway, and Saruviel said he was unlikely to permit death anyway.
Daniel sat down, on the grass, and his lover, angel Estellabel, came over to him. She undressed, and they made love quickly and passionately, and as she lay next to him, they stared up at the tree.
‘There are new fruits, up near the top, they say,’ said Estellabel.’
‘I know,’ said Daniel. ‘I haven’t tried any yet, and the gardeners are waiting for them to ripen properly. But it will be marvellous to enjoy new life.’
‘I look forward to it,’ said Estellabel, and kissed him again.
As they lay there, an angel flew down. It was Saruviel. He had a dark fruit – an unpleasant looking fruit.
‘This is the fruit of the tree of death,’ said Saruviel. And he ate it in front of them.
‘And I feel – amazing,’ said Saruviel. ‘It is a total rush – I feel like a million credits. I feel – high. Totally zonked out. It is incredible. Here, have some,’ he said, offering a piece of the dark fruit to Daniel.
Daniel looked at the fruit. It sat there, staring at him, seductively. It stared at him and said to his heart, go ahead. Who cares. Who really wants to live forever anyway.
But Daniel looked at Saruviel, shook his head, and said ‘You eat it. Obviously you are in love with death.’
And Saruviel nodded, ate the fruit, and buzzed away.
Saruviel died not long later, and they buried him under the tree of life. God’s theophany said Saruviel would be reborn soon enough, but was in the world of the dead, currently, learning his lesson. And death was a hard lesson to learn, according to God.
Later, Daniel sat there with Estellabel, staring up at the tree of life. ‘Poor, poor Saruviel,’ said Estellabel.
‘Yes, poor poor Saruviel,’ responded Daniel.
‘Anyway, let’s make love,’ said Estellabel. And as Daniel passionately thrust away he thought on Saruviel, and the gift of passion he was currently not enjoying. Poor, poor Saruviel, he again thought to himself. Poor, poor, Saruviel.
The Macro War
Julian invaded ‘Asterix’.
The Asterixians defended themselves with the ‘Ultra Crystal’ of Lord Methabolous.
The Julian’s kept up with the invasion for 17 centuries, before calling off hostilities. The Ultra
Crystal was just too much to deal with.
And so peace resumed once more in the 775 nations.
Yet, soon, Julian invaded Asterix again, and then declared war on 668 of the 775 nations.
Did they bite off more than they could chew?
Their Arch-Supremator didn’t think so. He was ready for conquest.
The Macro War lasted 40 million years. Eventually a truce was called.
Julian got over it.
Peace was restored.
For a while.
In the Beginning the 5 members of the Godhead Created the Universe.
The Holy Spirit
Were the co-equal and co-eternal members of the divine godhead.
The Planet Shadrakad
Was there first creation, on which they created ‘Human Beings’, made in their image.
They gave the first man ‘Danam’ the power of the ‘Life Force’ and the power over
The ‘Mega Crystal’.
The Father had made the Man.
Then, in turn, each of the 5 members breathed life into their creation.
And from the 4 children of God, mankind streamed forth.
The Holy Spirit had made the ‘Mega Crystal’.
And all was well.
Then the planet was settled, and there was one people, one race, one kingdom,
United, under God the Most High.
Yet Civil war had brewed amongst the hierarchy of the
Holy Catholic Kingdom of God.
And Arch-Supremator after Arch-Supremator – all 775 of them – finally
Separated into their own nations, and the Kingdom was disunited, each
New Kingdom serving their own ‘Arch-Supremator’ of the
Holy Catholic Kingdom of God.
And the Mega-Crystal was divided into 775 crystals
As the heart of God was torn asunder in grief.
And each crystal bore a new individual name.
And the powers of each crystal were different.
And each kingdom saw to its own affairs, guided
By their own Crystal.
And such it was
And such it is
And such it shall be
The Scorpius Dilemma
John Scorpius. Hitman for hire. Deadly. Lethal. Someone not to be messed with. Jack took the contract – kill John Scorpius, revenge killing for a hit of Scorpius on a family member. An IMPORTANT family member.
Jack took aim, pulled the trigger, and the bullet flew through the air, impacted the skull, and Scorpius fell dead. Success.
The payment was seven million US Dollars. Jack enjoyed some high class prostitution for a while – the expensive Russian kind – the kind who did what you wanted.
Life was good being an assassin.
The darker side of life 7
Obrom looked at the rock. It was hurtling towards him at a million miles an hour, still 7 million miles away, across the system. He didn’t have much time.
He pushed the final button on the anti-rock device, and the missile launched.
As he watched, it hurtled through space at an incredible velocity, struck the rock, and exploded.
When the dust cleared, the rock was gone. He had succeeded.
He then took out a gun and blew his head off. Suicide is a fine way to go, were his final thoughts.
Heh heh heh
The Darker Side of Life 8
Obrom floated into hell.
The Devil looked at him. ‘You, huh. Killed yourself. That carries a 3 week session before you are eligible for purgatory.’
‘Fuck,’ said Obrom.
‘Exactly,’ responded the Devil. ‘Now bend over.’
‘Why?’ asked Obrom. But the Devil just grinned his mad grin and laughed wickedly.
The Darker Side of Life 9
Obrom was relieved. His time in hell was over. His anus would not be the same again for a while, but now purgatory awaited.
The angel over purgatory smiled at him. ‘Hell is hard. We are a bit softer.’ The angel pulled out a cricket bat. ‘Bend over son.’
‘Why?’ he asked.
‘Cause we have a lot of purging to do.
‘Fuck,’ said Obrom.
‘Not exactly,’ said the angel.
The 7 Angels of Death
Dorda was examining the latest soul to enter the Purgification plants of Purgatory. It was here, in XADXDAX were they purified souls, preparing them for eternal life in heaven.
The latest soul was a female, 37 years of age when passing, white, good looking, and seemed to have good prospects for the future ahead of her on earth, apart from an unwise decision to speed that little too fast on the highway late on a Thursday evening when it was raining. But that took care of a lot of deaths, didn’t it – unwise decisions.
The spirit-soul was still frozen, coupled up in tight fear after the horrific pain it had experienced, and Dorda carefully caressed its head, speaking soothing words to it, while ‘Enya’ played in the background, as the lady had been fond of that music according to the reports.
Flaglag entered the room. ‘How is she, Dorda?’
‘She is still curled up tight, but seems to be gradually recovering. She should be alright in a few hours, with some calm music. She likes chicken soup, so I have some prepared for her, some of the best stuff.’
Flaglag nodded, and looked at the lady as she lay on the table, shivering somewhat, which was par for the course, her spirit a ball of worry.
Flaglag and Dorda sat down, over by the side of the recovery room, and watched their steward carefully over the next few hours, listening to the Music Player go through Enya’s catalogue.
Eventually the lady sat up. ‘Where am I?’ she asked nervously.
Dorda stood. ‘You are in purgatory, my dear. You had an accident. You died.’
‘Fuck. You mean I’m dead?’
‘Something like that,’ responded Dorda.
‘Oh. Fuck,’ said the lady.
Flaglag stood, went into the kitchenette, and returned with a bowl of the chicken soup. ‘Here. Drink this. It will make you feel better.’
The lady nodded, gratefully accepted the bowl and spoon handed to her, and started eating the soup.
A few minutes later she looked at Dorda.
‘Purgatory? I’m not a catholic. I didn’t believe in Purgatory.’
‘God created purgatory simply because he thought it was a good idea to deal with souls he might not normally have considered for heaven. Souls which, with some good training on Torah and repentance, would likely qualify after a while. You were deemed such a soul.’
‘Oh,’ she responded, a little taken aback. ‘I guess I wasn’t holy enough to get to heaven straight away, then?’
‘Not really. These day and ages a lot of people seem to make that assumption – that they will automatically qualify – without reaching the standards of those gone before them. A few centuries back your western people really worked hard for getting into heaven. They tried a lot. The 20th century, though, saw a big slackening off. I mean, come on sweetie, fornication may seem politically acceptable and fine, but God has always expected you to wait till marriage. You can’t say you didn’t know. We reviewed your case. And lesbianism? You did have a fair few number of those encounters, didn’t you?’
The lady nodded. ‘I thought God didn’t mind any more.’
‘The more things change, the more they stay the same,’ responded Dorda.
‘Fortunately, you did have a good attitude to God. You still loved him, despite your sins. He accepted you for purgatory purification. You will be here for a while.’
‘In the end, that is up to you. I mean, we have had souls here since the beginning of the project who still haven’t matured enough yet. It can take a long time, really depending on your attitude. It’s up to you in the end. But you need to know this – God will never compromise on the holiness standards he requires. Whatever justifications you may want to argue, just tell it to the judge. They will never get through. He maintains a tight ship in heaven, and that is the way it has always been.’
The lady nodded. That much didn’t surprise her.
‘My name is Fiona,’ said the lady. ‘But I guess you knew that.’
‘Oh, we knew your name Fiona Smith. We know all about you. We are two of the 7 angels assigned to your case. You will be seeing a lot of us in the time you are here.’
Fiona nodded. ‘Well, one thing, it is good to know that God really is there. That there is life after death. It’s a big relief. Is it eternal?’
‘It always has been, Jen. Don’t worry. You will get to heaven eventually. It is kind of inevitable in God’s planning anyway.’
Fiona nodded. ‘Can I have some more chicken soup?’
Flaglag took Fiona’s bowl, left to the kitchenette, and soon returned with some more soup, which Fiona gratefully slurped on.
‘And it’s good to finally meet you Fiona Smith. We have been waiting for you long enough.’
Fiona sat in her cell. I mean, for fuck’s sake, she thought to herself – they even called them cells. 18 hours of every day she was to be locked up – no visitors, only a toilet and bathroom for cleaning purposes, a small kitchenette which had running water and a supply of fresh fruit only, and a small bookcase with 7 books on it. 2 of them were different copies of the Jewish Bible, 4 books were commentaries on the Jewish Bible, and 1 other was a book on the meaning of life according to a Karaite Hakham. Apart from that there was a television set which had one channel – the Tanakh, which was the Jewish Bible – being read by a Rabbi by the looks of it which was the only show, endlessly repeated once a week, every week.
In the 6 hours of her freedom, she had her main meal, which was reasonably decent, and then she had ‘Group’. And that was all it was called. ‘Group’.
Apart from that, she did have her earth liberties, but they only came 2 weeks every year on her holidays. In that time, she would be given access to the local city and countryside, were she could engage with the rest of the population of Purgatory as she saw fit. Her teachers did make it apparent to her that the laws of the general Purgatory community she found herself in on the outside on her holidays were based on current day American law from were she had come, with all the liberties she had available to her under such a legal system. And so she had asked them, ‘But what if I want to sin?’
And they had replied ‘Then you will get two weeks every year to do so, but don’t expect to get out of purgatory until you are completely repentant.’
It was then she knew the eternal cost of her freedoms if she wanted them.
Group, so it seemed, was the main focus for her teachers – the 7 angels. Group was were she sat, with one of her teachers at a time, with 6 other residents of purgatory and 1 of their angel teachers. 7 students – 7 teachers – the standard group for the most part.
And in Group they discussed, of all things, the moral issues of sin and what motivated people to do what they did. And that was essentially all that it was about – the concept of sin and obedience – and nothing more.
Fiona really didn’t like group that much, in fact she hated it, but understood were they were all coming from. It was the angel’s job to get their stewards to heaven, and they taught their viewpoints, wether people liked it or not. It was just the way it was.
Fiona had been single all her life for the most part, but had practiced a lot of fornication in general, without commitment. It was the way of her. When she turned 36 she agreed with herself that it was about time to settle down, to find a guy, and get married. But then she had her accident, which had cut short her ambitions.
In group she had met a guy, who had been 95 when he died, but now looked about 20, the same age everyone looked in purgatory. His name was Marcus Jenkinson, and he was a sweetie. Never married, so he claimed, but had been a great libertarian in what he allowed for himself in life. There had been a number of male to male encounters, but he had gotten over it in later years, without really repenting of it. She had laughed at that, but he assured her that now, in purgatory, with what he was learning, he was happy enough to go with the flow and learn God’s morality. But he had also liked girls, and she had found herself attracted to him.
4 years she lived there, going through group, talking with Marcus mainly, not really caring for much else. She paid lip service to her angels, which she hoped would be enough in the end, but there was never any change. And then Marcus had gone, approved of after 17 years in purgatory, and they made their farewells, and she was alone again. With her 7 angels, and only 2 weeks of the year to enjoy herself.
Life sucked, Fiona thought to herself. Life sucked.
‘So, Fiona. Why don’t you tell the group what you have learned about God’s sense of justice.’
‘That he doesn’t have any,’ responded Fiona blandly and sarcastically, to which the others in the group reacted accordingly.
Otromon didn’t flinch. He was used to the hard cases, and in Fiona’s 4 years here, she had gradually emerged as such a case – simply looking for an easy way out. Not giving a damn about the rules, really. Just wanting to qualify for heaven and have done with it all. They weren’t stupid, her assessors. They knew her heart – they knew the truth. She wouldn’t get away with it, despite what she tried.
Otromon spoke to the group. ‘Fiona is what we all know well now as a hard case for us angels. She doesn’t seem to cotton on to the concept of morality that easily.’
‘Oh, I understand morality alright. God makes the rules – we obey – wether we actually like it or not. At least that is what YOU guys call morality. It sure as hell ain’t mine.’
Otromon smiled, and looked at his worksheet, making a tick. 4 years had passed. Yes, perhaps it was time to engage with her somewhat.
‘Ok, Fiona. You seem to have quite a firm sense of what you consider your own righteousness. Why don’t you share with the group what you think should be the rules on life. And, yes, we will be taking notes, and yes, we will be listening – not just playing lip service.’
Fiona looked at Otromon carefully for a moment, a little stunned, and then shrugged. ‘Well, ok. I guess. If you want to actually care about someone else’s viewpoints.’
The rest of the group looked at her, ready to listen to what she had to say.
‘Well,’ she began nervously,’ take sex for instance. ‘Really, it is nobody elses fucking business who or what I shag. It doesn’t hurt anybody, so so what if I want to get it on with Miss America. Who am I hurting?’
Otromon smiled. ‘How about a 5 year old girl, Fiona? Is that kind of thing ok?’
Fiona was taken aback. ‘You are kidding, aren’t you? That’s sick?’
‘But why?’ responded Otromon. ‘Aren’t you just being judgemental? Making rules for others? I mean, if it doesn’t hurt anybody, who are you to judge?’
‘Some things are just plain wrong,’ said Fiona flatly. ‘Everyone knows that.’
‘Everyone knows that. The wisdom of sexual morality according to Fiona Smith. Everyone knows that.’
‘Besides,’ responded Fiona. ‘You would need the parent’s consent, hypothetically. And no parent would be mad enough to give consent. Children are just too young to know what they are doing.’
‘But you are old enough to know, then,’ responded Otromon.
‘Yes,’ she said confidently. ‘I am grown up. I know better.’
‘And what about God,’ replied Otromon. ‘He is a lot older than you. In fact, he is eternally old, dear Fiona Smith. But you don’t seem to credit him with the wisdom of knowing what is good for you, do you?’
She looked at Otromon, almost smiled that little sarcastic smile she used often in group, but begrudgingly acknowledged the point made. ‘I get the point,’ she responded, smiling a little.
‘Fiona’s gospel,’ responded Otromon,’ is the Gospel of consent. It is the gospel of liberty to many. That we are free to do whatever we want, as long as we don’t hurt anybody else. I mean, after all, its our life, right? What she doesn’t know, and what people with this philosophy don’t know, is that there are far reaching affects on society, in how people’s attitudes shift and change in general on many morality issues, when they are granted the freedoms their rebellious hearts of youth desire. Ultimately, morality becomes more and more flexible to accommodate the individual, until the individual has deified itself, rejected God’s authority, and becomes its own law. Satan is the master of such realities.’
Perhaps for the first time in a long time in group, Fiona had bothered to listen to what they were saying. Perhaps for the first time she began to get a bit of the picture of what her 7 charges were trying to teach her. She wasn’t convinced, by no means, but it did seem interesting. Perhaps they had some valid points to make. Perhaps.
Shamro and Kengal were sitting at lunch with their steward, Fiona, well into the 5th year of her time in Purgatory. These days it was funny – she had questions – she finally had questions. For so long she had listened barely, casting off most things dismissively, but now she was starting to ask about God’s position on moral rules, and why he taught what he taught. And so, in accordance with their mandate, they sat with her, answered her questions, and advised her accordingly.
‘But if we are made in the image of God,’ continued Fiona,’ does that not automatically grant us the rights of God. Our own sovereignty?’
Fiona was arguing down a particular theological line she had been thinking about for a while, having heard early genesis so much now and becoming familiar with its teachings.
‘To a degree,’ responded Shamro. ‘God Almighty, though, is the ultimate authority on such issues of controversy. He is Judge, as he has the knowledge and experience, as well as power obviously to do the job properly. Your own sovereignty is in the fact that, for the most part in the eternity ahead of you, you will be free to do as you wish, to pursue whatever dreams you desire, to build your own kingdoms of glory, your own pinnacles of perfection, and so on and so forth. Eternity is what you shape it out to be for yourself, in the end – and in doing as such, you follow the mandate of the divine nature after which you were fashioned. But he is your eternal FATHER – your CREATOR – and your LORD. He knows, and always will know, what is best for you. So, wether you actually like it or not, or wether you actually agree or not, he has provided the divine covenantal rulings for your life on what moral practices simply will not work over an eternal life. Permitting such things to prosper will simply fail for you and cause you harm. He already knows this. Once you have proper instruction and start to understand, you will see this for yourself.’
Fiona nodded. She had heard such reasoning before and, while she had initially rejected it, was beginning to see the point of what they were arguing. God knows best, to put it bluntly.
‘Well,’ she continued. ‘What does he require of me? What do I have to do to be accepted into heaven?’
Kengal smiled to himself and spoke up. ‘You do realize, don’t you, you haven’t even bothered asking that question of us before. In your 5 years, you never bothered.’
‘I was just going through the flow,’ said Fiona carefully. ‘Just working it all out. I just wanted to see what all the paradigms of purgatory were all about. I have a good idea now, though.’
‘I see,’ responded Kengal. ‘And do you want to know? Do you really want to know what God requires for life in Heaven?’
‘And would you be willing to obey?’ interjected Shamro.
Fiona bent down to her handbag, pulled out a cigarette and a lighter, lit up her allowed cigarette for the week, and nodded.
‘Yes. I guess so. I guess I may as well find out the terms. I may end up willing to comply. You never know.’
‘Then you will be taught accordingly,’ responded Kengal.
‘And don’t say you didn’t ask,’ said Shamro.
Fiona shrugged. After 5 years in purgatory, she may as well find out the requirements for heaven. After all, what could it hurt? Really?
Sigzag and Shimbar stared at their pupil. It was test day. 7 hours of testing, on various theological subjects, to see if she knew enough to gain her qualification. She had been here 8 years now, and confidently stated she knew enough to go for her qualifying exams. They 7 angels, after a conference, approved of her. She needed 85% average on her exams to qualify for heaven. It could be tough.
She’d had a lunch break after the first 3 hour exam, a tea break after the second 2 hour exam, and there was 1 minute to go on her final exam.
Sigzag noted she was still writing, but, with about 20 seconds to go, she put down her pen, smiled to herself, and waved to them.
Sigzag looked at the clock on the wall. ‘And your time is basically up anyway.’
Shimbar came down, took the paper, and said, ‘We will need about 3 to 4 hours to assess your results. We will be doing it the rest of the afternoon until dinner time. You don’t have to go to your cell. You can travel throughout the complex as you see fit.’
‘Cool,’ she said.
* * * * *
‘It’s a toughie,’ said Dorda, right off the bat. ‘I mean, our own judgement on the issue is a rare thing.’
‘But in such cases, that is what it comes down to,’ said Otromon.
‘Has she really learned enough?’ asked Shimbar, and the others looked at Dorda.
Dorda looked at the mark Fiona had gotten, and thought on it. What to say to her – what to say to her.
* * * * *
‘Fiona. You scored 83.5%. 1.5% short.’ Dorda said.
She almost swore.
‘But,’ he continued, ‘The mark was above 80%.’
‘And what does that mean?’ she asked hopefully.
‘Well, we are not allowed to tell people initially, but when it is an issue we can. You have enough, being above 80%, for our own judgement on the case. If we, as a group, approve of you for heaven, you will qualify. You won’t have to wait another decade in your case before resitting your exams.’
‘Oh,’ she said. ‘Well, have you reached a decision?’
‘The group, in the end, had mixed views. But they agreed that I could make the final decision. I just want to ask you some questions.’
She softened. ‘Look, Dorda. I know, I know. I haven’t been the best of students. I can be hopelessly rebellious, headstrong, and determined to do my own thing. It is the way I am. God knows, it is the way he made me. But, yes, I do want to go to heaven. If I have to, I will wait the decade, study hard, and pass the next time. I see no point in staying here forever, and will work harder to get my grades in a decade. So I accept your decision either way.’
Dorda looked at her, looked into the heart of Fiona Smith, and acquiesced. ‘Then you have my blessing. Now go on, get back to your room. A shuttle to pick you and your belongings will be here in a few hours. I am sure you don’t want to spend any more time here than you have to.’
She almost blinked. ‘Fuck. You mean, I’m approved.’
Dorda placed his hand on her shoulder. ‘And may God be with you, Fiona Smith. May God be with you.’
'You know,' began Callodyn Bradlock. 'There is something that has always been familiar about you Sharon.'
Sharon Corr looked at her bestie. 'You know, maybe. Maybe something familiar about you too. I've had dreams. I was called 'Jane Talbourne' in them, and they were of a magical world were everything was the same but different. And I knew you in these dreams, and your name was Callodyn Bradlock, and you were married to a lady called Rachel Rothchild. Rachel looked vaguely familiar as well – I can't place were I know her from, though. And sis, Caroline. She was in the dreams as well and called herself 'Zelophrayel' all the time, and called me 'Aphrayel' all the time, and it was very confusing.
'You were born a year after me, weren't you?' asked Callodyn.
'I believe so,' replied Sharon.
'And the Corrs started when we met.'
'Yep,' she said.
'When I first met you, I also had dreams, and it was about me when I was extremely young, about 1, and an angel appeared before me, and said 'Here I come,' and I've always thought she looked like you.'
'Oh, so I'm the angel Aphrayel or something,' said Sharon.
'Maybe,' said Callodyn.
'Well your the angel Samael. That much I do know.'
Callodyn looked at her perplexed. 'Samael?'
'My dreams are weird,' said Sharon. 'Anyway, forget about all that. Are we still going off to see Shelandragh at the end of the week. She's not well, and I'm quite worried.
'We'll be going soon enough,' replied Callodyn. 'I do want to drop in on the Cullens first. Edward and Bella have been going through some difficult times, and I'm concerned over some things. There is tension amongst the wolves and the vampires again, and its not the kind of tension I like. A Warlock like myself, who has been hired so many times for various requirements, does not like getting involved with wars between two of the dread creatures. And it's only getting worse internationally these days. Things are coming apart out there. Pacts are no longer honoured so much, and the Devil himself would have a hard time sorting the shit out.'
'Which is why Shelandragh's sage advice could be indeed quite useful,' continued Sharon. 'She could advise you.'
'I guess,' replied Callodyn. 'And I would like to meet this new pupil of hers. Lucy Potter sounds like a gifted child of incredible potential. I wonder if she's related to the Harry fellow.'
'We'll find out soon enough I'd imagine,' said Sharon, as she turned to the chess set sitting between them and made her next move.
* * * * *
’91 was a good year, son. We fucked a lot of women. Your father and I. A lot of fucking women. Then I met this fella – Danel – later on he started the Adamide Fellowship. He was nuts. Totally. But I learned about Adamide faith, and that is what I raise my children on. Fuck women, I tell my sons. Its how we make kids. Get the most kids – if you fucking can. Teach that King David cunt a lesson – the braggart. Thinks he rules the fucking roost. Dream on. So take my advice son, fuck women. As many as you can. Hot ones. The babes. Get the best looking kids. Acquire land endlessly. Never stop acquiring it. Give your own kids good inheritances. Treat them well. Raise them fucking good. Keep the faith. Watch those Rainbow Brigades with their apparent rules for mankind. We are Adamides. Noah can fuck himself. Oh, and watch those gay movies on the sabbath only. It will piss of God. We like to piss of God. It is what we are famous for. The Lord Satan instructs us as such. And now, go in peace, to Love and Serve the Lord. Amen.’
‘Times Change son. I’m getting older. I have given it some though in the last few trillions of years, and this year, the year 23,536,984,863,863,057,169,987,992 is a good year to share with you some wisdom.
Don’t eat the forbidden fruit. It will only fuck with you in the end.
That is all.’
‘Dear Charles. I am writing this to you from my esteemed position in the Monarchy of Trantelvandastrya. I am an Arch-Duke, in service of the King. It is a position of honour and wealth, and indeed I have accumulated quality lands, and lavish luxuries. And my current consort is a gem of a lady.
Holiness takes time and practice. It does not come immediately. Patience is required. But the benefits are excellent and worth the labour of the soul.
Charles. In this year of 93, in the new calendar of Trantelvandastrya, I am a content man. At peace. Happy. Our father, Adam, finally got to me on the list he keeps of his children to visit. It has taken aeons beyond counting, but that is only natural. Your own time will come in the fullness of God’s eternity.
Charles, I am happy. I am at peace. All is good. All is well.
Be at peace, son. Be at peace.
May God’s grace go with you forever.