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The Mystery of Easter

March 27, 2015

It’s 70 CE, the Romans rampage through Jerusalem and a messiah would be really nice about now. You heard there is this new Christian thing, with only one god and not a whole slew of poverty-stricken deities. Conscious of your cash, as you are, this ‘savior-fellow’ might be worth a look-see. You got your choice. Pick your Jesus!

A. The savior who was sacrificed for mankind, like a Prometheus figure, at the Beginning of Time.

B. The prophet recently crucified because his blasphemy toward his own religion and that of Rome. FYI – And his body is missing.

C. The prophet who escaped crucifixion and is currently wandering either northern Europe, India, China, America or Tibet.

D. The coming savior who will appear at the End of Time and who tosses a majority of mankind into Hell.

The choice is entirely yours. All you got to do is pay your taxes!

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The Horror of ISIS by Mr. Binger

March 8, 2015

The Horror of ISIS by Mr. Binger

The Horror of ISIS is a short story set in modern Iraq, wrecked and pillaged by terrorists and made askew by the mythology represented in Matthew Sawyer’s Pazuzu Trilogy. This is another tale by Mr. Binger that brings the alternate reality into real life. Atheistic in tone, the demons in his rash of stories are only possible because God abandoned the world. Others waited to take His place. Pazuzu awoke in the Middle East.

The Horror of the Islamic State
Mr. Binger

Captain Mitchell and his squad of ordinary United States Army Reservists remove themselves to Shingal, Iraq. Radical terrorists had recently held the town. The savages had swallowed some eighty thousands Iraqi Kurds into the belly of an over-gorged nation-monster. But as had the children of Chronos, the people in its guts did not perish. They fought back after time. The Yazdani, Christians in their own right, returned and surged again. They had come much like Constantine, under the banner of Christ.

Disguised, the captain and his team of acculturated soldiers today go to the recaptured Shingal and survey the territory. Their first objective was to assess the conditions; take pictures of carnage. Secondly and equally important, they were to locate Professor Christopher Mithrasen. The entire United States military was looking for the man. ISIS claimed they had captured him seven months ago. Any further information was available upon a “need-to-know” basis. Captain Mitchell himself never needed to know much.

The squad debated without input from their superior officer while they came up from Baghdad. Traveling at night, they come through the county-sized oil fields of northern Iraq. Though bombed into oblivion thrice in as many decades, the oil wells are working again. These likely never stopped pumping crude despite any damages. Oil and smoke and fire has forever choked this land.

While driving the armored Humvee everyone rides, Corporeal Ben Dinholme conjectures about their operation and its surroundings. He says, “That Mithrasen… did he find another gospel in a place like this?”

Private First Class Singer states, “I think they were all written here; the originals, that is.”

“Shut up,” Private Scott Kalkoff warranted on faith alone.

Singer comments, “Just so you know, the stories probably come from the Caucasus. Armenia, probably. That’s not so far north from here.”

“Snub it,” Sergeant Schindick shouts from the front passenger seat. “I’ve had enough argument between you two. We are just eyes-on-the-ground, no mouths.”

“It’s okay, sergeant,” Private Kalkoff tells his superior. “I am curious what the Yazdani say about Christ, even if it is blasphemy.”

“Hey, now,” Corporeal Dinholme jokes. He bounces in his seat behind the steering wheel, acting as would a child waiting for a favorite movie sequel to start playing.

“I said let’s not get them started,” cautions the sergeant.

Scott claims, “No, I’m curious. What do you know about the Yazdani faith, Singer?”

Next to him on the backseat – there with Captain Mitchell furthest right on the passenger side of the vehicle, Private First Class Singer tells Private Kalkoff, “They got a Jesus.”

“Well, that is mandatory,” Scott blurts.

Singer nods and he continues delivering his objective summary, “And they got seven angels who rule this world. There’s Melek Taus, the Peacock Angel…”

Kalkoff interjects, “And Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen.”

“Not quite,” Singer retorts. “Anyway, they – your seven holy beings – they do all the legwork for God, like all the little gods of the Hindu pantheon do for Krishna.”

“Krishna is not God,” asserts Scott.

Singer tells him, “You’re right about that. He’s closer to Jesus.”

“Shut it,” Sergeant Schindick orders. “I’ve heard this one before.”

“We’re coming up on Shingal, sergeant,” Captain Mitchell informs everyone.

Schindick answers “Yes, sir.” And the other conversation ends.

Silence carries the covert team of solders in their marked military vehicle toward the dark and ancient Arabian city. Today, after the terror wrought by ISIS, and at night, the only artifacts that may conceivably remain here are ash and bone. The civilized world hoped these marked the beginning of the end of sedition. Captain Mitchell and his team of soldiers were drawn to the aftermath.

A quarter-mile out from Shingal’s boundary, a living obscenity to God distracts the Humvee driver. Corporeal Dinholme spots a native man he believes commits a sin in the eyes of these people’s regional deity, Allah. The Iraqi Kurdish man had taken off his checkered head scarf and now waves it in the air. Well within the range of the truck’s headlamps, the Kurd signals as if the American vehicle had finished a race through the desert. This squad of Reservists win automatically, chiefly because they were the only team running.

“Can they do that?” Corporeal Dinholme wonders aloud about the native man. “Can they take off their hats like that? Is it against their religion?”

“Stop,” Captain Mitchell commands. “That’s Bob.”

Sergeant Schindick echos the order before the vehicle is slowed. His voice rings until the transport stands before the man waving a kaffiyeh. Meanwhile, the Kurd wraps the scarf around his balding scalp once more.

“Bob?” Kalkoff wonders to himself while seated next to the captain.

Captain Mitchell tells everyone, “He’s a contact.” The explanation remains brief.

“Bag-pants Bob,” Sergeant Schindick clarifies for the squad. Rumors and recollections betray themselves on the faces of the men.

Corporeal Dinholme comments, “I thought his nickname was Bob Baggins, like the Hobbit.”

Schindick answers, “Well, that’s the guy.”

The native informant rushes to the driver’s side of the vehicle. Although this summer has been hot, the reservists had come to Shingal with the windows rolled up. They came through haze and incendiary vapors protected inside the Humvee and the men still reek like gasoline.

“Kill the lights,” Captain Mitchell tells Dinholme. The corporeal follows the order and he turns off the truck’s headlamps.

“Roll down your window,” the captain then also states from the back seat. Dinholme does so, too. Bag-pants Bob immediately throws his damp head into the vehicle. Sweat had washed his face clean and stained his loose shirt.

Simultaneously, the man exhales. His breath overwhelms the acrid interior aroma with the scent of antiseptic paint thinner. The informer also slurs his broken English sentences. Bob interrogates the badly concealed soldiers.

“Who are you? CIA? Mossad?”

“We’re just regular army,” the captain tells him. “United States of America. No SEALs nor Marines, not even Green Berets.”

“You can take him back to America,” Bob slobbers. “Shingal does not worship the devil. Sunni worship the devil.”

“What is he talking about?” Scott quietly worries from the backseat. No one listens to the faithful army reservist. The squad is transfixed by the rambling of the informant.

“Don’t believe it… don’t believe… anything you see.”

“What are talking about?” insists Captain Mitchell.

“You know,” Bob begs him. “The beheading, the movie studio. It is here.”

“Where they make ISIS videos?” blurts Dinholme.

Sergeant Schindick shouts at him. “Quiet.”

Bob, meantime, nods. The Kurdish man pulls his head from the Humvee and glances about into the dark. “It’s okay, now. They are gone,” he says over his shoulders.

The captain seeks affirmation and he asks their contact specifically, “ISIS is gone?”

Bob nods again and never truly stopped doing so once he first started. Captain Mitchell wants confirmation. “We wouldn’t be here if the radicals were still around. Did they execute the hostages here? Where is the studio?”

“Yes,” Bob said. The affirmation seems too general. The word becomes more vague after each second. He then says, “Doctor Mithrasen.”

“Professor Mithrasen is here?” Singer asks shocked.

Sergeant Schindick glares at the soldier. On the opposite side the backseat, Captain Mitchell raises his hand. The officer invokes silence with his gesture and he is obeyed.

Captain Mitchell tells the front seat, “Sergeant, get directions to the studio’s location.”

Bag-pants Bob speaks over the captain’s instruction. “It is an aircraft bunker – no planes. No airfield. No pilots.”

“Yeah,” Private Kalkoff snickers next to Singer. He teases the informant. Their exchange stays unnoticed.

Singer whispers to him, “It’s the moonshine.”

The intoxicated informant then spears his hand into the vehicle. He waves an open and empty palm up and down below Dinholme’s nose. In response, Captain Mitchell throws loose American dollar bills into the front seat. And coordinated, Sergeant Schindick collects the money and he verbalizes the officer’s wishes.

“Pay him,” he tells the corporeal.

Having exchanged his information for cash, Bag-pants Bob abruptly walks away from the army vehicle. Stumbling the length of the Humvee toward the rear, he says again, “Don’t believe what you see,”

Hearing him, Corporeal Dinholme steps on the brake. Doing so illuminates the truck’s rear red lights. Bob’s back is painted with blood.

“Where are you going Bob?” asks the corporeal. The reservist imagined only the desert while he watches the native informant walk the greased way the Army Reservists had driven.

Bob tells him, “Sinjar.”

Dinholme did not know what Bob could mean. And it was too dark to see. He asks the soldiers inside the Humvee, “Sinjar, that’s this province. Right?”

Scott tells him, “He probably going to the mountain.”

“Captain,” Private Singer addresses the officer. “Sir, what was he talking about? What are we not suppose to believe?”

“ISIS was making movies,” replies Captain Mitchell summarily. “And it’s not important. The man was drunk.”

The captain tells Sergeant Schindick, “Sergeant let’s find that bunker. Professor Mithrasen has become the priority.”

“It doesn’t sound far, sir,” the soldier assures his commanding officer. Sergeant Schindick tells Dinholme, “Go,” and he points. “It’s right there. I can see it.”

Everyone knows the sergeant can’t see squat, but Bob’s map was simple and the landscape is flat. An intelligent man could make a reasonable assumption where an aircraft bunker stood on the nearby cusp of the city of Shingal. Confidant in his own assumption, Corporeal Dinholme takes the squad slightly left of where he had been pointed.

Nearer the city, visible yellow candle light plainly flickers in windows. There are instances of electric bulbs lighting outdoor entrances, but the team of reservist are yet too far away. They cannot define what the glowing blue-tinted orbs might be. Closer toward Shingal, the squad finds lights of all sorts are extinguished in an ominous circumference around their target. The concrete aircraft bunker where Bag-pants Bob had sent them is engulfed by the same flat darkness behind them.

“Singer, Kalkoff,” summons the sergeant. “Scout the bunker.”

All wearing woolen coats and vests over their uniforms, and with their ranks and other insignia concealed, Sergeant Schindick and Corporeal Dinholme get out of the Humvee the same time Singer and Kalkoff respond to their command. Captain Mitchell is left alone in the vehicle adjusting a checkered head scarf when the headlamps go extinguished. He watches while his higher-ranked non-commissioned officers ready their M4 carbine rifles and cover the scouts.

Privates Singer and Kalkoff bring their weapons and helmets with them, visually more wary of traps before each footstep than the building ahead of them. Schindick and Dinholme monitor the bunker. They are the ‘eyes’ in this maneuver. Yet in the dark, Singer, Kalkoff are more practical. And they could be more effective only if their boots were feelers like those of a cockroach.

The Army Reserve had come upon the oblong profile of a solid windowless bunker. There is one steel door that Kalkoff checks then reports, “Locked.” Singer tells the sergeant, “Clear, this side.”

Sergeant Schindick tells Corporeal Dinholme, “Bring the vehicle and the captain. Follow us to the front.”

“I’m behind you,” the sergeant then tells Singer and Kalkoff. “Move to the front of the building.”

The enlisted men do as they have been told and now raise their rifles. They spend equal amounts of time looking ahead of themselves as they do each of their own boots. Meanwhile, the Army vehicle comes swung around on packed ripples of sand and bounces beams of white light against their backs. Sergeant Schindick, too, is caught in the bobbing swaths of illumination.

Once the staggered U.S. team is around the bunker, the sergeant spins and raises a fist. The vehicle stops tens of yards before tall and marginally parted hangar doors. Sergeant Schindick then draws his open palm against his throat and the truck’s headlamps are killed. He tells his two advanced scouts, “I got your backs – get in there and check it out.”

Singer and Kalkoff do as they are told. Kalkoff leads them then he stalls inside the concrete structure. He pulls a flashlight from his shoulder suspender. Singer does the same and together they throw sanguine spotlights into the air of a spacious chamber. The filtered beams paint dashing colored ovals across the scaffolds of an arced ceiling.

Once the pair have scanned wreckage thrown about the interior of the bunker, Singer tells Kalkoff, “There’s no one here… just video tapes, broken electronics…”

“Anything radical or fundamental is full of Luddites and torture porn,” complains the private first class.

“It was a studio,” comments Kalkoff. The private reservist kicks over a broken camera and finds an M16. “They left their weapons, too.”

Singer teases his compatriot and his use of pronouns. “They?” In his godless perspective, someone like Kalkoff and the terrorists were essentially the same. “Essentially” was the most important operative word in that sentence.

“ISIS,” Kalkoff tells him.

Singer abandons the distraction. “Let’s push the doors open, get the truck’s lights in here. I still can’t see shit.”

“Good idea, for once,” answers Private Kalkoff.

Agreed, the two United States reservists each pick a hanging panel and they press open the aircraft bunker. “Clear,” Singer tells Sergeant Schindick.

“All right,” Schindick grumbles. “What do they got in there?”

“Can we get the truck’s lights in here, sergeant?” Private Kalkoff answers.

A brief time passes while Sergeant Schindick goes and consults Captain Mitchell in the back of the Army vehicle. Meantime, Private Kalkoff scans the interior the bunker again. He sweeps a red beam diagonally across the width of the single room. The light touches upon a unique video monitor – special in that it appears undamaged and it still sits elevated upon an upright table.

“They missed a television,” he tells Singer.

“Was that there?” Private Singer responds. His befuddlement is interrupted that moment when the Army Humvee shines its high beams into the unsealed chamber.

Hidden nearby in a ray from the light’s source, Sergeant Schindick speaks to his subordinates. “Professor Christopher Mithrasen,” he reminds the soldiers. “Anything?”

Captain Mitchell appears with Sergeant Schindick when the pair step outside the beam of illumination. “We will need to hunt, sergeant. What is on these video tapes?”

“Rehearsals, sir?” Schindick conjectures.

Private Scott Kalkoff is careless and he interrupts the speculation. “Look, the television is still hooked to a camera. I think there’s a tape in there.”

Before the sergeant demands respect from his direct reports, Private Singer reminds Kalkoff with an emphasized, “Sir.”

“Sir,” Private Kalkoff tells the captain. “I think they were filming something when a raid, or something happened.”

Sergeant Schindick suggests, “The Kurdish insurgence.”

“Play it,” Captain Mitchell commands. “Can we play the tape? Is there power?”

The Humvee driver, Corporeal Ben Dinholme, joins the squad the same time Private Singer reports, “Fortunately, sir, we’re in luck. There is power but everything is busted… everything but this stuff.”

“Convenient,” Corporeal Dinholme personally comments while he makes his own assessment of the scenario.

“Well enough. Play it,” orders the captain.

The sergeant reiterates the command with the phrase, “Let’s see what we got.”

Right away, the television is switched on and a video tape is played from an overturned camera on the floor. Nuclear green overwhelms the first scenes until a close-up shot is pulled and Professor Mithrasen’s bloated face fills the screen.

Both loud and strangled, the infamous scholar and atheist insists his captives, “Say it. Say there is no god.”

He shouts to militants standing off-camera, “Deny his existence.”

“Deny the existence of god or you welcome chaos and evil into the world.”

Young men laugh and a record of their sounds is played on tape. Now in the overturned bunker with stark light against their backs, the squad of American Army reservists stand sharp and silent. They quietly witness what had become of this place.

An unseen terrorist on the tape shouts in Aramaic, which prompts Corporeal Dinholme to wonder aloud, “What did he say?”

Captain Mitchell responds, “They’re going to cut off his head.”

“That’s what I thought,” adds Sergeant Schindick. “Sir.”

“What did they do to his face, sir?” Corporeal Dinholme asks the captain. “Torture?”

“Maybe,” Captain Mitchell replies. “Watch the tape.”

Hypnotized by the concept of post-production propaganda, Sergeant Schindick this time does not repeat the officer. The video continues to play. And a recorded Professor Mithrasen warns his captors, “Say there is no God or you will hold open the door!”

An accented voice says on the video recording, “Tell your president to take your evil home.”

“No,” Mithrasen shouts. “The US brought it back.”

Amidst indecipherable shouts, the professor is also heard begging. “It belongs here. Or space. Don’t wake him.”

Corporeal Dinholme whispers, “What is he talking about?”

Singer speculates. “Is it the gospel he found?”

“Unlikely,” Scott instantly scoffs.

All three enlisted men are hushed once the sergeant glares at them. In the fraction of a second that Schindick wastes turning his head, the playing video tape has progressed straight to decapitation. The scene on the TV portrays callous, tanned hands fondling an Olean, New York KABAR knife. The professor’s throat goes sawed with its blade. Mithrasen still speaks at the beginning of his execution, after the knife had cut his flesh and he had yet not bled.

“Pazuzu comes from here,” he tells his killers.

Tufts of threaded black smoke seep from his nose and his mouth. The opaque vapor oozes from the expanding wound across his neck but there is no blood. The professor’s head is a quarter-ways sawn off and the man does not bleed. Feces comes out of the opened throat instead. Its appearance is unmistakable. There it was and a smell. The terrorists on the video decry the stench the same time the team of United States Reservists detect a comparable odor now inside the bunker.

Corporeal Dinholme says, “What?”

Professor Christopher Mithrasen’s head is severed from his body the same time Private Kalkoff comments, “It suddenly smells like a pig farm in Ohio.”

Overhearing him, Captain Mitchell responds. “Not many farms of any sort left in that state.”

“Yes, sir,” replies the private. “It’s either because of global warming or God’s judgment, sir.”

In place of suppressing laughing at his teammate, Private Singer shouts, “Whew,” and he waves his unencumbered arm over his head. The other soldiers start holding their noses shut.

“Who is Pazuzu?” Dinholme asks anyone while his nostrils are pinched closed.

Also nasally, Captain Mitchell tells him, “Watch and see.” Terrorists on the video screech over the words.

“Nas-nas,” they squeal. “Nas-nas.”

“What are they talking about,” insists Corporeal Dinholme.

Private Singer tells him, “Nas-nas are djinn, evil spirits. They drink your blood by licking the soles of your feet.”

“Yummy,” Dinholme wisecracks.

Simultaneously occurring on the video tape, a pig’s nostril comes regurgitated from the murdered man’s severed esophagus. The animal’s snout next appears then out comes its head. The creature squeals and squirms inside Professor Mithrasen’s prone corpse. Its head substitutes for the man’s lost own.

Terrorists shoot the living obscenity but the thing is already dead. Each of the five U.S. Reservists had witnessed what emerged from Mithrasen’s stump. They had seen it never lived. The pig’s wide eyes had gone flat white. There was no sheen across the ivory orbs. The professor’s body then animates. The dead pig inside the corpse squeals and it lifts this part of the late Christopher Mithrasen unto its feet dressed in shit-smeared orange prison garb.

“God,” Scott finally invokes. No one standing around the soldier hears his solicitation.

Corporeal Dinholme says, “I know. The smell, right?”

Reanimated and upright on two legs, the dead pig in possession of the just-as-dead man attacks the terrorists. The evil spirit disappears off-screen followed by screams and wreckage. Bits of electronics fly in and out of the recording as regularly does bloody carnage.

“Holy crap,” Dinholme chants.

Sergeant Schindick corrects him. “You’re half right.”

At the center of an omnipresent stench and watching what snippets of slaughter are available on the recording, Private Kalkoff dares hypothesize. “The pig monster looks like Muhammad. Maybe he’s come back to do some spankings.”

Singer responds, “Because it can’t be Jesus, right?”

Never removing his eyes from the video monitor, Sergeant Schindick tells his pair of privates, “End it. Peace be on his headstone. And that’s the only place he’ll get any. Right, brothers?”

Private Kalkoff answers, “Praise the Lord.”

Private Singer rolls his eyes. And feeling outnumbered, he shuts his mouth.

Finished presumably eating the terrorists, every piece of each, the bipedal corpse of Professor Mithrasen stumbles back into the view of the camera. The bloodied monstrosity collapses and oinks. All of him remains visible on screen, kicking the ground and beating his arms against the shattered electronics. Quills, long, like those of a porcupine, pierce themselves out of the dead professor’s shoulders and his back. These further shred apart his already torn clothes.

The quills come out then the living dead pig wriggles itself free of the human cadaver. It crawls out from the severed neck of the professor. While it does, almost as an anxious newborn might crawl from its dead mother’s womb, the animal grunts.

“What was that?” Corporeal Dinholme wonders. “I heard an animal.”

Sergeant Schindick tells him, “It’s on the recording, soldier.”

There on the television is a mutant. An impossibly big pig with quills on its shoulders and from its back; tusks project out its nostrils. Seventy-two sagging teats (Dinholme counted them), their purple nipples brush against the ground until the undead monster learns to stand and walk on four split hooves. Its dead breasts fall flat against its bristled and warty hide when the pig lifts itself upright. And its horrible birth was caught on tape.

“I think it’s here,” answers the corporeal. The man already doubts he detected anything.

Free from one mortal coil and under flickering set lighting, the demonic pig walks off-screen. More animal sounds come issued from the recording. Hearing these, Corporeal Dinholme knows he hears others and the noise comes from nearby.

“How about if I secure the Humvee, captain?” he implores the officer.

“Do you think something is here?” Captain Mitchell asks him. “I do too.”

The video ends. The television monitor changes to black and Mitchell says, “And it’s not coming back with us.”

“Professor Christopher Mithrasen stays here,” he tells his squad of reservists. “What is inside him, or if he is inside something else, it stays here.”

Private Singer asks him, “Sir, isn’t Professor Mithrasen dead?”

“Apparently,” capitulates the captain.

Uncommonly curious, Private Kalkoff asks, “Captain. What was it exactly, sir?”

Captain Mitchell says only, “We do what we’re told, that’s all I know.”

“Yes, sir,” replies the private.

Despite the recording having reached its end, the team of soldiers still hear a pig. The fetid smell of manure never dissipated. It only becomes worse.

“Let’s get the tape and pull back to the vehicle,” Captain Mitchell suggests.

Sergeant Schindick tells Private Singer, “Get the tape.”

He mentions to Private Kalkoff, “Take some pictures.”

Trailing the strategic withdrawal, Private Scott Kalkoff walks backwards with his rifle slung over his shoulder. He kicks debris behind him as he rummages into his utility belt. The Army reservist produces a compact digital camera and he takes flashing snapshots. All the while, snorts and grunts go around outside the aircraft bunker. A thought comes to Scott. He thinks, “How can I even hear anything through concrete walls? Maybe explosions, maybe.”

The reservist is almost outside the long sliding doors and joined with the rest of his team when the animal noises echo inside the structure. And he escapes without ever having his curiosity ignited. Outside and out from the beams of light the military Humvee throws, the soldiers listen to their commanding officer.

Captain Mitchell’s voice shakes when tells his squad, “The remains of Professor Mithrasen is one American resource we don’t want to fall into enemy hands.”

“What remains, sir?” Sergeant Schindick begs his captain. “Are we going after the pig, sir? Captain, pardon me, sir, but it looks like it ate everything that can’t be plugged into a wall socket.”

“It looked like it killed all the terrorists single-handed – captain,” Private Kalkoff reiterates.

“You didn’t see anything, Private,” commands the captain. “You heard noises and gunfire on a videotape. None of us saw anything. No one will say anything.”

“Yes, sir,” replies the team. The five soldiers then simultaneously climb into the Humvee. The doors shut and the animal sounds go away.

Everyone agrees for a moment and the engine is started then Singer says, “We’ll be asked what happened.”

Dinholme states, “Shit.”

“We saw a pig,” Private Singer specifies. “Wreckage. I have to tell investigators about that. I can’t lie.”

“You saw a pig,” hisses Captain Mitchell. “You men saw a pig and you saw all that ridiculous stuff on the videotape. HQ will watch the tape.”

As the team of reservists drive away upon the path they came to Shingal, Sergeant Schindick raises a responsible detail. “Sir, there were those noises, like an animal,” he says then he snorts like a pig.”

“Captain,” finalizes the sergeant.

The team travels back to Baghdad near dawn. On the way, Captain Mitchell confesses. No one is sure the man means to speak aloud. “I heard rumors Professor Mithrasen was working on a secret weapon for the U.S. government. Maybe he was, maybe he was it. I need to give my report to HQ. They might know something. Let them watch the videotape.”

“Holy Mother of God,” he mutters. “Whatever he found must stay here.”

Private Kalkoff hands the evidence to his superior officer. And he draws the captain’s focus when he asks, “Are you catholic, captain?” The officer does not answer.

Himself suffering post traumatic stress, Sergeant Schindick yells inside the vehicle. His rage goes directed at Private Kalkoff. “Dammit, soldier. Didn’t you hear what Professor Mithrasen said? ‘Don’t believe.’ Bag-pants Bob said, ‘Don’t believe.’ Don’t.”

- END.

Read others..
Lazarus The Pig

Matthew Sawyer’s Pazuzu Trilogy
And visit the author’s store front at Smashwords

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Positive Reinforcement

March 2, 2015

Positive Reinforcement
Mr. Binger

“Be a good boy,” his mother told him. “Eat all your food.”

“I’m a good boy,” he says and he eats.

“I’m a good boy,” he says and he eats some more.

“I’m a good boy,” he says then he pats his big belly

And he feel sick to his tummy.

He feels sick in his head.

He waves his arms and he cries,

“I’m sick of being a good boy.”

Then he kills a cat.

“On accident,” he claims.

People give him sympathy.

Then he is given more to eat.

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Canaanabis Roach – Doctor Who fan fiction (NSFW)

February 26, 2015

The Doctor appears late in this sordid tale. All the attention is given to the protagonist of Canaanabis Roach. He’s special and he’s just been given the power of speech. Now he talks about his adventures in past lives, This one happens to include the namesake Time Lord and an impossible girl.

Canaanabis Roach

Canaanabis Roach
(Doctor Who fan fiction)
Mr. Binger (aka Matthew Sawyer)

I’ve got a chamber in my pipe. I’ll explain what I mean when I say “chamber” in a minute. I mean it is really called a “chamber,” but some of you might not know what I’m talking about. This is my “weed pipe,” my pipe for smoking weed, marijuana. I am not going to lie about it, you saw me.

You caught me with my dick in my hand. Literally, it looks like a dick – my pipe does. It’s blown, opaque purple glass and it has a bulge on the end where you suck out smoke. It looks like the vacuum-sucked head of a circumcised penis, like a doorknob stuck on the end of some guy’s pecker. A purple one. That’s the chamber. You suck the smoke out of the pee-hole of a big, sensitive dick. I’m getting another pipe or I am just going to roll joints from now on. After this bowl.

What was I saying? Yeah, that bulge in my pipe is a “chamber” where pot smoke gets concentrated. All that THC swirls into there like scented incense into a cathedral, a whole lot of incense… frankincense, mire and that kind of shit. Fundamentalist Christians throw crap in there that makes the smoke sparkle. Catholics think Jesus is hiding in there, that cloud, above the tabernacle to be precise. I’ve never seen him. What I was saying? Oh, so much smoke gets packed in there, you get blinded. I mean, you can still see, but you can’t see through that haze in the chamber. And that’s before you take the hit, but you’ll be fine. Marijuana is safer than you think.

I flick my transparent and unbranded lighter and touch flame against the bowl in my pipe, and my lips against the bulging glass phallus, then I take a hit. I draw a sooty vapor of cannabinoids into my mouth then lungs and I feel something sharp and serrated against my bottom lip. That something had come poked out of the chamber. I spit and there goes all the smoke I tried holding in my lungs.

Sat beneath the wasted intoxicating vapor, I examine the desecrated end of my purple penis pipe. A long, jagged stem projects from the opening. It looks like it may have come from the marijuana I had packed into the pipe. It was stemmy – the marijuana Sativa strain called Sunday Schoolgirl is full of stems. Sunday Schoolgirl is stemmy. And I wonder if I had loaded so much weed into the bowl of my pipe it now came out the other end. That was impossible.

The openings between the chamber and the bowl of the pipe are tiny. And there is a metal screen in the bowl that holds the weed in place. It’s where ash and resin collects. Cinders hardly ever pass through the restricted passages – which was a merit for the design of the glass pipe. A big stem could never fit through this artful and obscene piece of smoking apparatus. That would be like asking a pregnant woman to swallow a camera to examine a fetus in her womb. There are barriers.

Unmindful of the unborn, I pinch that stray stem of Sunday Schoolgirl between the nails of my thumb and my little finger and I pull it out with a snap. I’m sure I hear the pipe scream – in my mind. Did you hear it? I tell myself I heard the inanimate twig cry in my imagination. I am baffled at first when I inspect the foreign object in my hand.

What had touched my lip is a leg, an insect leg; the leg of cockroach – a cricket, I hoped – but its dismembered source follows from out of the pipe. From out of a maybe a four caliber opening at the end of the chamber, an oversized blond cockroach crawls. “How did you get in there?” I say to the insect clinging upside on the pipe. I don’t expect an answer so I should have ended that statement with a period.

Although I am repulsed the smoking creature is just above the open palm of my hand, I have my senses and remain in control of myself. The only thing I don’t pay conscious attention to is the question, “How did that huge thing ever get out of the chamber?” If marijuana smoke was dangerous, this thing should have been trapped and gassed to death, fumigated.

“Don’t kill me,” I hear it cry. The bug is talking to me. I drop the pipe when the cockroach tells me, “I am so high.” Both fall out of my hand and toward the floor.

The insect screams, “Eeee…”

The jetsam vanishes until a second later I see the bug clinging on the cuff of my right shirt sleeve. Brimming with discourtesy, I shake my arm and holler, “Get off, get off!”

Somewhere from under my arm the cockroach seems to speak to itself. It moans, “My leg, I lost my leg. Oh, the pain… the vision… the power of speech!”

“Is this a miracle?” I babble aloud. “What’s going on?”

The cockroach lets go of my sleeve and it swings itself onto the table in my kitchen. Landed skillfully despite missing an appendage, the cockroach informs me, “You tore my leg off! Giant, monster! Now I’ve only got five”

“Nah,” I object. I say no again then realize I am indeed guilty. “Yeah, okay…”

“Okay,” echos the insect. “Hey, it is okay. I can talk. The trauma and the marijuana – I can talk.

“Like the animals when the Messiah was born,” I conjecture aloud.

“What?” the bug asks me. “You’re faith is not exactly canonical.”

“Huh? Shaken is what you should say.” I ask the talking cockroach, “Who are you?”

“I am Canaanabis Roach,” he tells me.

“No,” I stutter while I am still confused. “What are you?”

“I can tell you.”

“Please do.”

“I can tell you a story,” Canaanabis Roach promises.

My agreement comes out with an emphatic, “I suppose.”

Pushy, I ask him more. “Where do you come from.”

“Possibly from where we all come from,” Canaanabis says. “We live forever, you and me. Each life follows one past. And I think we’re all going to the same place.”

“You’re a bug, a religious bug,” I say when I answer this riddle. “Are you reincarnated? Did you do something bad?”

“Bug?” the cockroach described itself. “I would have you know, my shape today is the peak of evolution. All life on Earth will arrive at this pinnacle before the planet ends.”

“The Earth is going to end?” I ponder in morose.

Canaanabis ignores my sad realization and he still talks about himself. “I have always looked like I am, but perfected at each birth. You are too. Maybe regeneration is the correct word for what happens at death and not reincarnation.”

“I got to take a hit,” I state so and I do just that. I ignite the glass bowl again and swallow smoke from pipe without again looking at the instrument. Luckily, I never get in touch with another relative of this Canaanabis Roach.

My head swims and I repeat myself. “You’re talking.”

“We covered that. It’s the smoke,” the insect says then jumps because I bring my hand with the pipe down hard upon the table. I almost kill the miraculous bug. The whole incident is an accident.

“Careful,” it shouts at me.

“Sorry,” I beg from the creature. “It does seem a reasonable thing for bugs to worry about, getting squashed; that and fumigation.”

“You made my heart jump,” Canaanabis says.

I ask him, “Do you have a heart?”

“Of course,” he replies, “It’s full of love. I’m not even sore about the leg. The power of speech is something anyone would imaginably give a limb for.”

“Look at you, poor creature,” Canaanabis tells me. “I shouldn’t feel bad, you only have four.”

“Nevertheless,” he says and talks until he is calm again. “Have you ever had a premonition? Have you ever received a sign something bad is going to happen?”

“Whoa,” I answer. “You want another hit? Cuz’ I do.”

“Sure,” the bugs says. “I think marijuana makes me smarter.”

“It’s safe, too,” I relate while I hold smoke in my inflated chest. The swelling subsides and another question rides out of my mouth upon a stream of vapor. “How? How are you going to smoke. Do you have lungs?”

“I don’t,” Canaanabis notes.

Both of us consider a puzzle before the cockroach suggests, “I got an idea. Get that bowl smoking. Get it hot and let it smolder and put it down. I got it from there.”

“What are you going to do?”

“Take a hit,” insists Canaanabis. “Take a big one, a really big one.”

I do what I am told and place the smoking pipe on the table, carefully, next to my new friend. I make a toast and blow out smoke. “This one is for the Kafka!”

Canaanabis Roach crawls over and on top of the smoking bowl – his missing leg presented him no disability. His other five work fine. The insect hovers over the hot embers and in this way Canaanabis absorbs vapor into himself. He speaks to me while he procrastinates on top of the pot. He lingers there until the last waft of smoke dissipates.

“I am so high,” he says. “I hope this doesn’t wear off.”

“You know what it feels like?” he asks me.

“I’m sure I do,” I admit. “But I’m not so sure how it feels for you.”

Canaanabis says, “It feels like warming your cold butt… like when you’re warming yourself on Christmas morning and you get warm inside.”

“Is that your butt?” I say dismissing the sentimentality. “It looks like your tummy.”

“Tummy?”

“Uh-huh.”

“Let’s not talk like children,” scorns the cockroach.

In defending myself, I put all responsibilities on the many little shoulders of my new buddy. “You said you were going to tell a story.”

“I will,” Canaanabis answers and crawls down onto the table. He gazes up at me and he proposes, “I will tell you about my hunt for where I came from. I’ll tell you about my past lives.”

“Talk about non-canonical,” I tease the insect.

“Keep your opinion to yourself,” he tells me. “This really happened to me.”

“Okay,” I relent and admit to myself I am talking to a bug. I am happy with this fantastical experience – quite content with my little ‘trip.’

“I was in Japan at my beginning,” Canaanabis Roach tells me. “Long ago, there was a man called the Doctor. He wasn’t from this planet.”

I choke then say, “Hold on, man. Are you talking about the science fiction television show, Doctor Who? That’s fiction, man. There’s a copyright on that shit. The BBC.”

“You don’t even know what’s real. You’re talking to me,” the cockroach reminds me. “You have magic marijuana. And what are you holding? Look at that pipe, dude.”

“Yeah, bah…”

“This happened in the past, anyway,” Canaanabis rants. “What would you know? This was before your time, long before.”

Surrendered, I say, “Okay, You met Doctor Who. Go on and tell me the rest of your story.”

“I never learned his name, but he knew mine,” the cockroach submits. “I never saw him again.”

Settling onto his haunches, and after myself being seated, Canaanabis continues his narrative. “This was in the Higo Province on Kyushu.”

“Kyushu?” I ask the insect.

“It’s the big island at the very south end of Japan.”

“Okay,” I confirm. “What’s a Higo?”

“The Province was named for the resident castle town. The Kikuchi clan administered the territory. Kikuchi Takefusa, the samurai, he was away fighting Mongols in China. Prince Koreyasu was the shogun.”

At this opportunity, I make a complaint. “Hey, is all of this going to be in Japanese? I don’t know any foreign language. I know sushi, if that isn’t an American word. Domo arigato, maybe.”

“I’m just giving you names,” the insect explains. “Write them down if you have to.”

“I’ll give them numbers,” I tease. “Uno, dos, tres…”

The cockroach grumbles. “It’s good the Doctor is just the Doctor.”

“What were you doing in Japan?” I ask and encourage my friend to tell his story.

“Discovering where I came from,” he replies while standing in contemplation. “I was born in Japan. Or so I thought until the Doctor told me I was a Mongol. I was a Chugen at the time…”

“A Chugen?”

“A foot soldier,” Canaanabis Roach tells me. He then says immediately, “I was about to be promoted a rank and become an Ashigaru.”

“Hold on,” I say and interrupt. “You were human in a past life?”

“I said we are all the same,” Canaanabis states as if he were some mystic oracle. “And I have always appeared as I am today?”

“As a bug?” I say aloud. I cannot be certain I had not meant to ask the abrupt and rude question. “I mean, you were a Japanese soldier and you were still a cockroach. Were you small?”

“No,” screeches the outraged insect. “I was as tall as you are now.”

“A giant cockroach?”

“That’s what the Doctor said when I met him,” Canaanabis conveys and simmers.

I laugh. “That’s the hook, isn’t it? Go on. Tell me your story. I’m listening. It’s already wild.”

“Okay,” the cockroach promises. “I was fetching water for the gashira – I did that every morning and night. I could carry four buckets, one in each hand…”

“You walked upright?” I blurt shocked.

“Do you want to hear this story?” Canaanabis Roach asks me as if he were proposing an ultimatum.

“Yeah,” I claim. “It’s that you said you walked on two legs. Can you do that now?”

The bug only stares up at me.

“Fine,” I say once I relent. “Tell your story, just don’t surprise me and say you wore a kimono or something.”

“Don’t be,” he warns me. “I told you, we are all the same – begun at once in one place and the same in the end.”

“Don’t punish me with church. I’ve had enough of that,” I say and cover my ears. “I just want to hear you tell your Doctor Who story. Please.”

“Fine,” Canaanabis replies. “Be quiet.”

I respectfully mouth the letters, “O,” and, “K.” My five-legged friend then continues speaking.

“I was coming past the pit-houses…”

“Wait,” I shout when I can no longer restrain my disbelief. “Was everybody a cockroach?”

Canaanabis Roach stares at me a long while. He then asks me, “Is that what it says about the Japanese in your Western history books?”

“I guess not, no,” I opine. And I admit, “History was not my strongest subject.”

“Obviously,” the insect says. “Let me answer your questions. Just don’t interrupt the story again.”

I wave both my hands in surrender. After I exhale a held breath, Canaanabis says, “The Doctor’s time machine materialized on the path ahead. The road to the Danjo. There was a loud, labored sound like your breathing is now and the time machine appeared.”

However the storyteller meant my involvement in his tale to sound, I understand the cockroach to say I was acting noisy. I hold my breath and Canaanabis tells me more. “A gaijin wearing a black cape and accented with frills stepped out the blue box and he walked straight toward me. This one meant business. A small brunette girl had come with him.”

I think, “Which regeneration? Which Doctor is this one? There are like a dozen.” And I don’t mean Canaanabis Roach’s vague definition of reincarnation. I’m talking about canon, There’s a linear progression of Doctors in the series. The clues I had been given indicates this story includes the Third Doctor.

The woman with him could be Liz or Jo or Mary Jane Smith – if at this point the cockroach truly now adheres to canon. Canaanabis tells me outright, “Her name was Clara.”

“Oh,” I wince and pretend the noise I made was a natural and involuntary human function.

“Fascinating,” Canaanabis says the Doctor told him and I give my attention to the speaker again. My friend tells me, “We spoke the same language but I still distrusted the foreign visitors.”

“I asked the Doctor if he and his companion were ikko-ikki, rebel peasants – my masters would need to know.”

The Doctor told Canaanabis, “She may be icky…”

And Clara complained, “Hey!”

But the Doctor merely grinned and never stuttered while he yet spoke. “I’m a bit more important. The three of us have a riddle to solve. You two have a connection.”

“To that?” Clara objected and pointed. Canaanabis ignored the woman in respect for the Doctor.

“How so?” the upright, man-sized cockroach asked the time and space traveler.

“You are both impossible,” he told my friend. “You each are reborn again and again. Do you have any memory of who you were?”

Clara warned Canaanabis. “He started asking that question. It usually goes somewhere, I don’t know where. Just answer him.”

“Are you a monk?” Canaanabis said he asked the Doctor. The bug clarifies for me his question was based on the Doctor’s declaration of afterlife. Overly reverent, he asked him, “Are you a sohei?”

The Doctor said, “Something like that.”

The time traveler then directed the upright cockroach, “If you don’t remember any past lives, as my lovely friend, Clara, does not, let’s start at the beginning. Where were you were born? Here, in Japan?”

“My master would know,” Canaanabis answered. “He adopted me when I was born. I have no idea where my mother has gone or if she is even still alive.”

“That shouldn’t be a problem,” Clara is said to have stated. The Doctor hushed his companion.

“And your master is in mainland China,” the Doctor said knowingly. “He should have almost reached the Yangtze River by now… tell me, is there anyone at his Dojo that can answer questions about your past?”

Canaanabis said, “If there was, I would have found out and talked to him by now.”

“Let’s go to China,” the Doctor decided then hustled everyone into his marvelous box. “Everyone into the Tardis, the both of you. I will not have this mystery haunt me the rest of my lives. It’s like both of you are fragmented – split tachyons radiate off you into random directions. Look at you, Canaanabis Roach. Heavens, now you’re a bug!”

“I am what I am,” my friend said in defense of himself.

Clara told him, “It’s alright, ignore him. He’s made me mad, too. He just doesn’t know any better.”

“Excuse me?” the Doctor said inside his inverted spaceship. He explained to an awed Canaanabis, “This machine is larger than your whole village.”

Clara also answered the Doctor’s question. “You’re rude.”

“Me?” the Doctor argued and piloted his box over the East China Sea. Canaanabis said he watched their fight on a view-screen. The Doctor also challenged his female assistant. “Me, rude? What about you, you pint-sized mistress?”

“It’s called the TARDIS,” he told his other, insect guest. The machine landed with a thud. Clara scolded the pilot.

“Doctor?!”

He told her, “Look what you’ve done, you’ve made her mad.” The Doctor was talking about his machine. He said about his Tardis, “She’ll remember that.”

“Oh,” Clara groaned. She pulled a red lever on the angular console in the center of the room and the outside doors opened. “Let’s go. Let’s find out who I am and why I’m connected to a mutant cockroach in feudal Japan.”

“We’re in China now,” the Doctor corrected her. “Near Shanghai.”

“Is my master here,” the insect asked the Doctor and peeked outside. He saw only the length of a wide, golden river.

The Doctor told my friend, “I expect so.”

Outside the Tardis, Clara asked Canaanabis, “Excuse me, doesn’t anyone say anything about… I’m sorry for being direct. What do people say about your appearance?”

He told her honestly, “The peasants think I am the child of a spirit under the earth. Lord Kikuchi’s army thinks I’m good luck.”

“If that is the case, they’ll be happy to see you here,” the Doctor said and shut the door of his machine. Canaanabis makes a personal comment in the midst of his story.

“We were outside again. All I saw was earth, water and sky and it still seemed smaller than that time I was in the Doctor’s time machine.”

He then told me the Tardis had materialized on the banks of the Yangtze near a rope corral holding thick, big-headed ponies. A circle of tents stood behind the fenced animals. A large blue jin-maku, the camp curtain, was clearly visible displayed on a center tent within the ring. Its letters proclaimed this was the army of Kikuchi Takefusa. The Doctor wasted no time marching around the fence then straight into the camp’s perimeter.

“Halt,” two armored guards told him and barred the passage with crossed naginata. “The curved pole arms were an intimidating barrier,” Canaanabis emphasized for me.

“I know Takefusa,” the Doctor told the guards. “He and I met at the dojo we shared when he was a boy.”

“They didn’t believe him,” Canaanabis said to me. “That’s why the Doctor started yelling for my master.”

“Takefusa,” he shouted. “Takefusa, come out here. I have questions about our mutual friend. I’ve brought him here.”

“’Canaanabis Roach?’ Kikuchi Takefusa said. He looked so full of hope that day I saw him, when he said my name. Then he saw the Doctor and the samurai’s face went pale.”

My friend said, “His hand dropped onto the hilt of his katana.”

“Who?” shouted the samurai. Kikuchi Takefusa could not disguise the recognition he had for the Doctor. He inquired, “How is it possible? You, you have not changed.”

“I am blessed, I imagine,” the Doctor replied. “I am blessed to see my friend grown to become a powerful lord.”

“I am a lord, Time Lord,” Takefusa told the Doctor. “I never understood what that could mean. I thought you were telling a child a tale.”

“Now you do,” the alien traveler replied and took advantage of the implied explanation for everything about him that had not changed.

“He knows everybody,” Clara proclaimed and threw up her arms and shrunk low.

“Canaanabis,” Kikuchi Takefusa said to the insect. “We need your luck. The ships have not arrived to take back our hoard. My men will eat all the horses if the barbarians come first and he must fight them.”

The pole arms were then uncrossed and the Doctor and the overstrung Japanese warrior conversed without obstruction. “That’s too bad,” the Doctor stated in sympathy. “Tell me, where did you find our friend, Canaanabis Roach?”

“What?” yelled the samurai. “He comes from here.”

Kikuchi Takefusa spoke directly to the cockroach. Canaanabis tells me he said, “My friend, didn’t you know? You come from here? The Mongols were going to eat you.”

“Ergh,” the cockroach said he gagged.

“Clara was hiding,” he explained to me. He claims, “I don’t think she was trying to stay concealed. She was short, much shorter than the Doctor. And she was shorter than me when I wanted to be a samurai. The woman was standing behind us and no one knew she was there.”

Kikuchi Takefusa told my friend, “Your mother was a witch. I found her here in China with her snake. She held you captive, Canaanabis, and the woman made you part of an experiment. I heard she transformed you into what you are now. She did this to you in her quest for immortality.”

“Now we’re getting somewhere,” the Doctor is said to have interjected. “A clue.”

“Transformed?” my friend said he wondered aloud. He tells me out of the context of his story, “I don’t think I have ever looked different, in this life or a last.”

I flatter the bug, “You look fine. Go on, so now you think you were human?”

Canaanabis Roach pauses and I am impressed with the idea my new friend is cross with me. After some time of hearing my intermittent breaths, he reminds me, “Please, pay attention.”

“I do,” I claim. In order to assure my guest, I apologize. “I’m sorry. Please, go on.”

The cockroach finally says, “Clara pushed between us, the Doctor and me. I think she wanted to say something but then my master spotted her.”

“Kikuchi Takefusa shouted, ‘The witch,’ and he pulled his sword from its sheath.”

“Clara was a witch?” I can’t help and ask astonished.

Canaanabis replies, “She was my mother.”

“My master, Lord Kikuchi Takefusa, sought to cut off her head but I stepped between them.”

The insect pauses. At this opportunity, I point at the cold pipe with a fat, fresh ounce of weed packed into its bowl. Whether or not my friend registered I was offering another round of intellectual enhancement was an infertile question. Canaanabis began speaking again. He sounded melancholy.

“I’m sure you’ve heard the claim in popular fiction – when a samurai draws his sword, he must also draw blood.”

I nod my head.

“He drew mine,” my friend says. “I sacrificed my life for the life of my mother. Lord Kikuchi took off my head.”

“Duh-ah,” I sputter in sympathy.

Canaanabis tells me, “He might have killed Clara, too. I don’t know.”

“I don’t think so,” I say and hope I cheer the insect. “The Doctor was there. He knows Venusian aikido.”

“It doesn’t matter.” Canaanabis tells me.

“Why is that?” I ask.

“Because the Doctor is coming back.”

“Huh?” I gush. “Really?”

I am sure the cockroach curtsies and he tips his head multiple times. “When?” I ask him.

“Today,” he says. “Maybe my awakening isn’t an accident.”

“Today?” I am astonished. Even so, I cannot believe a bug. “You’re having a laugh.”

“I know I saw the Doctor again,” he testifies. “I remember a dream in which he told me we were going next to the prehistoric Middle East. Clara is supposed to be there.”

Filled with doubt, I verify, “And he’s coming for you today?”

“I remember,” Canaanabis says.

“That’s convenient,” I state and pick up my unsightly smoking instrument.

My lighter refuses to produce flame. Excessive white sparks fly from the spun flint wheel but not one finds enough aerated fuel to foster a fire. I shake the empty lighter in hopes of conjuring flammable vapor but my effort is wasted.

“Let me get another lighter,” I tell my insect guest then try pushing myself out my chair. The effort produces no effect. Without any thought, I plant my hand solidly and suddenly upon the surface of the table in the spot where Canaanabis Roach had squat.

This was the end of this life for him. Completely unintentionally and now wholly remorseful, I discover I had squashed my friend. “Clumsy, me,” I scold myself.

“Clumsy, stupid me,” I say then I hear the Tardis wheeze. The Doctor was indeed coming. And I realize I have got something unfortunate to tell yet another character from my imagination. Before he gets here, I find a damp dishcloth and I wipe our mutual friend’s guts from the palm of my hand.

- END -

(Also Available From Smashwords)

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Your 2016 Decision

February 26, 2015

You are a voter in a room with a ballot and two election law-breaking politicians. One is a Republican and the other is a Democrat. One always tells the truth and the other is lying. You don’t know one from the other. What question do you ask each so that you can make an informed decision?

Answer: “If I asked which choice was best for me, what would the other politician say?”

If you ask the Democrat, he or she will tell you the choice is yours to make and to consider the ramifications of your decision. Think of the children, the ones who aren’t aborted.

If you ask the Republican, he will say Barack Obama is an African-born Muslim, America-hating, atheist terrorist. He will destroy the Constitution the minute he gets into office despite having already served six years as President of the United States.

And no matter who you ask, Rand Paul will tell you the only law is that of the jungle.

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The Hinters of Creation and That Of Salvation

February 17, 2015

This nonsense begins 1750 BC – the historical dating of the Babylonian creation myth called the Enuma Elish. Here is my understanding of the story. First, for your selfish consideration, understand this immediate segue then I will then get to that part about forgiveness. So, into Babylon – its myth barely resembles the later Judea-Christian creation story in the book of Genesis. It certainly has no footing in science. I loathe to retell any of this drivel but I shall for sake of clarity. Essentially and unauthoratively, there first and once was a confused balance.

There had been a Yin and a Yang. They were indistinct and conscious primal forces and they were muddled together into chaos. The Babylonians had given them names. There had been Apsu (aka the fresh waters) and Tiamat (the ocean). They alone and mute composed all existence. The gods were then born – noisy deities. Their racket particularly pissed-off Apsu and “he” drowned the newborn noisemakers. Apsu was a male force, by that way, and Tiamat was female. The duality was inescapable in the thinking of a primitive mind.

Being gods, of course, they did not die. Then also lived the god under the oceans, Ea. The extant this god played in creation is he imprisoned Apsu. The capture of Apsu upset Tiamat and she raged. Her fury was great and intimidated the gods. But the deities bore the wrath of Tiamat until a mortal was born into the bloodlines of the Babylonian gods. His name was Marduk.

Marduk dealt with the pantheon of gods and gained immortality for slaying Tiamat. He also demanded he be raised above the other gods and be worshiped chiefly among all others. Marduk established a hierarchy and made himself more important than any other god in the pantheon.

Marduk gained his power when he split Tiamat in half and he made the sky and the world. The ancient Egyptians had a comparable myth in which no one was killed and cut in half. There was Nut, the goddess of the sky, who laid upon her brother Geb, the god of the earth. Sex was consequential and they had children and that is when the world was formed. The new Egyptian gods pressed their parents apart and made room in existence for themselves.

The King James Bible most succinctly describes the same event. Genesis 1:6-7 “6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. 7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.”

All this being convoluted mythology, I don’t believe Marduk was ever human in the Enuma Elish, nor was Uta-Napishtim. Uta-Napishtim was the archetype-equivalent of Noah from the Judea-Christian Bible, and he was Ea’s favorite mortal and hence preserved on an ark with pairs of animals while Tiamat raged. Mankind was not born in Babylon until Marduk executed Kingu – the unnatural commander of Tiamat’s army. Human beings in this culture rose from the body of a dead demigod.

Whereas apparently prototype-humans, these Nephilim, were decimated by the wrath of Tiamat in Babylonian mythology and mankind originated from a corpse, primitive Canaanite religions claimed men had been created from afterbirth. The origin of man was an inconsequentially consequential as the incest between Nut and Geb.

Ugaritic Mythology, that source of the Canaanite religion and the scion of Phoenician beliefs, tells of the Biblical Baal and his sister, the sky goddess Anat. Anat killed their brother, Mot, death. Prehistoric Canaan believed its people had come what remained of Mot. And no matter how human beings were created in which culture, mankind was enslaved by the gods.

The supreme god of the Ugaritic Mythology, El, that empowered equivalent of the Babylonian god Ea, was not involved with the creation of human beings. Like in the story of Marduk, Baal, a son of god, was indirectly responsible for the generation of mortal slaves.

Now, concerning salvation – immortality. Sometime in Canaan before monotheism became prevalent and Judaism finalized, lowly human beings sought how to unleash invisible shackles, for they associated this material metaphor with death. Like Marduk, they sought divinity for themselves. The same way Christian Jews had scoured the Old Testament and the letters of Paul after the destruction of the Jerusalem temple in 70AD, I imagine Canaanites hunted for loopholes in their precursor myths.

Religious tribal mystics revisited the original stories of their god Baal, a brother of Yahweh in the Canaanite Pantheon, a son of El. Relevant above other tales, there is one in which Baal has just defeated the water god, Yam. Yam sought to enslave Baal.

After Baal had defeated his brother Yam, he warned another brother, Mot – Death – to stay in the underworld, to be content reigning in Scheol. Baal demanded their father, El, build him a house and the supreme deity does that for his son. Baal then throws a feast in his new home. He invites Mot but he serves only bread and wine at the meal. Death is a strict carnivore.

Mot is offended and he demands the death of Baal because, you must understand, death is all Mot is about. Death is who he is. A sister of Baal, the sun-goddess, Shapash, advises Baal to hide until Mot forgets the slight. Mot’s rage does not subside and there is drought across creation while his brother stays hidden. Annual rains were Baal’s job.

Baal and his sister decide Baal will have sex with a cow a ludicrous number of times in at least two positions so that he might produce a clone of himself. When the duplicate is born, Baal leaves the sad thing to die alone either in the desert and/or at the mouth of Mot – both being literal places for death. Ravenous as he always is, Mot swallows the imposter without looking and he is fooled and thinks Baal is dead.

Another sister, the war goddess Anat, also believes Mot has swallowed Baal. Intending to cut her brother from the gullet of death, she splits Mot in two. And once Mot is killed, Baal comes out of hiding and brings rain. This is said happens every year even this day. It is called the ‘Baal Cycle.’ Incidentally in this story, mankind had come from that living muck surrounding the gore of Death.

Gods don’t die, forever at least, so when Mot resurrects himself, he finds and confronts Baal. Baal wins numerous fights against his brother but Mot still demands compensation. He asks for a son of Baal. Death wants to eat the child of his victorious brother. Until then, Mot consumes every living thing in the kingdom of Baal. Death persists.

There is where the Canaanite found themselves – with the fate of the lives out of their control. They were at the mercy and their graces of their chief god Baal. And they prayed to stay overlooked by his jealous brother. Some sent offerings. Yet only a son of god was an acceptable sacrifice to attain immortality. The more perfect, the better.

 

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Joseph the Necromancer

February 16, 2015

“It occurs to me, regarding the Book of Mark, you know, when Joseph of Arimathea, a member of the Jewish Council, one who first voted to crucify Jesus then placed the killed messiah in his own tomb – I was thinking, could Joseph have taken the body out again?

Then in the dead of night? A later redaction of the gospel added the line Joseph was “Looking for the Kingdom of God.”

Maybe he was. Maybe Joseph had a very special interest in the Kingdom. He might have had an idea exactly where it was. The devoted and respected man could have wanted to know so badly, he risked making himself unclean for Passover and handling a corpse. What tale might he have told to avoid scandal?”

- Mr. Binger

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