Archive for the ‘God’ Category


The Beast Father of Westerly Farrell National Park

May 6, 2018


The Beast Father of Westerly Farrell National Park

(for an older brother)

At ten years old, a spooky relative or a scary friend may have told you there had been a woman killed in nearby Westerly Farrell National Park. Her killer was never caught. This had not happened yesterday back then on that day you heard the tale. The horror legend was years old. Whoever had told you probably said the murder was mere months ago, but even then you knew. You knew a woman had died, but until that day, you did not know precisely where in Westerly Farrell National Park that this happened, nor any other detail. Gory minutiae was late to shimmer inside your mind’s eye. Whoever hoped to make you pee your pants surely told you about the Beast Father.

The Beast Father caught her,” they said then claimed, “And he fed her dismembered body parts to the animals.”

So much was nearly all of what you ever more heard. “There in Westerly Farrell National Park.”

Even so, there is where your family probably created your vacations. Westerly Farrell is where my own went camping and fishing. There are hiking trails, I’m sure you know about them, but my family never went hiking. Nobody was interested. My brother and sister and I went swimming.

We swam with the fishes, because there were so many. Have you seen them in Beckman Lake? They were always visible just beneath waves, they sometimes splashed from below. We went swimming almost all day almost every day. I wonder if the fish are still there; probably not with the drought. I do not know if swimming is even allowed anymore.

I wondered if the Beast Father was still there. Supposedly, he was; he still is. A bogeyman never dies – especially with all the fishes and tourists to eat. But Climate Change is real, and a killer madman cannot deny that. Even he has got to feed himself. I went looking for a man.

I was curious, and there was no risk. There had been no news of the Beast Father nor his victims since a thirty year old Halloween story was reprinted in the local newspaper twenty years ago. The writer laughed at himself then and pretended he was Stephen King. The impersonation of the more revered author was a costume. The reporter wore his stressed jeans and a tattered fleece jacket in a black and white photograph that he had snapped of himself on Merry Bluff in the park. Both scribes wore beards in that year. The photo appeared next to the printed text. Gary Foegel, I think was his name. I do not know what became of him and I have lived here all my life. The man might as well have vanished; for me, that is.

There had been nothing since I was a kid, and even that was old news – but, oh, the power of a tall tale. If the story is scary, it’s easier to remember – remembering is a survival mechanism. And this whole thing probably happened yesterday for a new ten year old kid. She or he may already dread to tremble alone in bed throughout this night.

That day I went to find the Beast Father, the sun was shining and I followed a trail in the park. This was ‘that’ trail; you know the one. Everyone says to this day, “If you want to meet the devil, take the path on the left, the untended, trodden footpath.”

The path was wide enough to fit a horse the year I climbed the trail – it’s all uphill. I noted and remember water must have washed through this way on its way downhill – smooth rocks resembling polished foreheads appeared from the yellow dirt. Even being dry, they were slippery. I almost broke my neck and I knew why nobody ever dared seek the local legend.

Even then, climbing back down was more risky than gaining the top of the hill and finding the second trail around the back. You now about the second trail, right? It’s not a secret. It’s on the maps, if you look.

So the road to Hell ends at a dead spring on the top of the hill; that sounds like a Greek fable, right? Like and unlike Sisyphus – hey, I bet that’s where the water came from and washed those rocks on the trail. Well, I guess that spring is not dead anymore, if that matters to anyone; after a hundred years.

There is a glade on top of the hill. I saw that and a bear. I almost crapped my pants for real, but before I did, I heard a hollow tone – someone chanted a song; a man, the man, I suspected. His rasping grunt vibrated the air with words I clearly understood. I remember what the Beast Father sang.

Atop the world to all the coasts

Our nation has long sailed

Our father dead

Our warriors bled

Through peril, his son prevailed.

Brother, we pledged to you our oath

You who adorned the crown

We took up oars

We lowered sails

And conquered foreign shores.

Oh, brother, when you, too, face death

Our love pledged to your son

For his promise

For your promise

And that of our father.

Our nation is yet one.

I can’t know if I sang that right. How did it sound? In honesty, I have no idea where it comes from. I never heard the song before. Have you? You will have if I sing it to you again. Play it back in your head and save me some time. I’ll tell you about the Beast Father.

I’m not talking about the wild fiction we tell each other as children. The Beast Father is nothing of whatever you have read of him in newspapers. I met him there, on that day. He is an element of nature. We all are, I suppose we all expect, but the Beast Father is integral. Where we mortal beings survive a matter of cycles, he stands outside the wheel and, at once, within.

Here is when I am telling someone all about the Beast Father, and they will buy me a beer – but not to listen to the whole story. No, I’d get my beer and they would tell me to go and sit down, stop talking. The same thing happened to him, whether you believe it. More than one brave stranger sought to explore the forest and get the Beast Father drunk.

I brought no beer with me that day; I don’t know anyone who could make it up that wash with that sort of load. Honest again, I never expected to find him. I did not expect to encounter a Brown bear, either.

Before the animal spotted me, it just laid down and curled in the long grass. I know the song rocked the bear to slumber; I myself felt a heavy serenity in my heart – like a load you are only content to carry for a king.

The presence of the Beast Father is exhausting. I do not believe there was any majestic magic connected to the whole deal. I graduated High School and all my electives were Science classes, and so, I was skeptical. It was hard to breathe, out there in the trees, and I think the Beast Father sucked oxygen out of the air, or maybe had his song. The bear fell asleep because of a de-oxygenated brain. My own head hurt after the affair.

I told you what happened, I talked to the man. The Beast Father came from my left in the shape of an average human being. He wore contemporary outdoor clothes. Most notable were the thistles and thorny briar stuck in his brunette hair, his beard, and the layers of cuffed socks. The needling weeds were as fruit plucked in passing. I had picked up a few on my pants.

The Beast Father wore oversize boots and multiple pairs of socks to fill that empty space. Each sock had been rolled over the top of the one below. All the them came folded at the shin over the top of worn combat boots. The thistle and briar were so thick here, they formed spiked wreaths around his denim clad calves.

The song had stopped and so had his approach. The bear yet slept yards away and I noticed the leaves on their branches stopped waving. I myself had not then noticed there was never a breeze. That is one of those after-facts – when you look at the evidence of that day, like the weather in the newspaper. You then realize something impossible happened.

Already overcome with awe, I asked the ordinary shambling figure in my peripheral vision, this man I knew at the core of my being was the Beast Father, I asked him, “What was that song? Were you singing?”

Aye, I don’t remember the song,” he told me. “I only remember the words and I guess that’s how it goes.”

It sounded like an anthem,” I commented.

He told me, “Aye, it is old.”

Fixated visually upon the sleeping bear, I was cautious when I asked, “Who are you?”

Mit B. Reign,” he told me. “The B is for Boris, and that Reign is not like rain falling from the sky. It’s what a king is suppose to do.”

A king,” I repeated yet somewhat absent. “People call you the Beast Father.”

I am,” he answered my accusation with no hesitation.

Stupid in youth, I informed him, “People say you killed a girl in Westerly Farrell Park.”

The legendary Beast Father laughed with the same extinguishing inhalation consumed by his song. A Mit B. Reign then said, “Seventy years ago! A girl did die, but it wasn’t this park and I was here.”

I heard about it then because I was asked so long ago.”

Are you old?” was the foolish thing I did wonder aloud.

Aye,” the Beast Father said. “One as me stands besides Time and we intervene upon our wish or need. I, myself, step inside Time only to be next to Nature. This, an example of our own selfish needs.”

Selfish needs?” I said to myself. Back then, I did not have the purist mind. My thoughts were libel to drift with the current in a water bed. I was somewhat then certain I knew how the Beast Father, Mit B. Reign, got his nickname. I did not need to ask, but the legend explained himself.

I feed birds and squirrels dried legumes, flower seeds, and those birds get suet throughout the year.”

Shaken from my own distraction and eager to disclaim my depraved imagination, I was clumsy and I asked the Beast Father non sequitur questions.

Where do you come from? Here, the park?”

Whether the Beast Father was an accustomed witness to stupid reverence or he overlooked my fumbling interview skills, the man answered. He told me, “No.”

I mean,” I said, “Were you born outside time? Is that where you come from?”

When were you born?” I recall I asked and I felt pretty coy about that.

The Beast Father told me, “I remember Prussia and the Empire in Austria – if that is what their nations are now called. Neither place is from whence I had come.”

Eager to actually be helpful, I asked, “Was that song you were singing your national anthem?”

Aye,” he said. “I don’t know, but your idea sounds truthful; and not only because you said as much.”

Well,” I proposed, “Your anthem is about a king, and Prussia and the Austrian Empire were there until, like, 1920 – if there was a king in the 1920s, that must have been an eastern European country…”

The Beast Father sought to correct me. “Great Britain has a king,” he said. I now realize what he was saying. Too late, I told him, “But your song was about sailing and conquering foreign lands.”

Aye, I suppose,” he mentioned.

I ventured to say, “You look Slavic, a little, maybe some Celtic blood in you.”

You probably came to America in the 1920s,” I suggested to the Beast Father. The man nodded his unkempt head. “What did you do then? How did you come to Westerly Farrell National Park?”

The bear still slept, and myself yet drowsy because of the song, I leaned against a stump. The Beast Father remained standing. He had stayed in place since we started our conversation.

The Beast Father revealed to me, “I worked as a hired hand…”

So, you are a mortal man,” I shouted, “Or were.”

Undistracted by my internal musings, the Beast Father continued to say, “I bought a small farm but lost everything in a fire. I never gained much and I always sought less.”

I came to the wilderness but lost everything, too, in the first year.”

I managed to blurt, “Man, horrible break.”

Without acknowledging my empathy, the Beast Father said about himself, “I was lucky to survive winter – the animals helped me.”

Now I help them survive the winters.”

What about the Law of Nature?” the early conservative inside me interrupted to protest. “What about the Cycle of Life?”

Nature is big and tough,” the Beast Father assured me. “Survival is a rigged game.”

But Nature doesn’t mind if somebody has to cheat to get by. She always finds ways to drop all of us to the ground.”

Uncomfortable with the direction the Beast Father sounded like he was taking our topic, I demanded, “So, you feed the animals. What else do you do? Do you have any powers? Do you do anything else?”

Do you control the animals?”

He said, “They don’t do what I tell them to do. You can’t make a feral animal follow your will. They must want to help.”

Oh,” I said unimpressed. “You have good English,” I told the Beast Father, “And nice clothes.”

Mit said, “I talk to everybody.”

Do many people come up here?” I wondered and asked.

The Beast Father informed me, “I get a lot of practice all the time talking with human being. I am given gifts.”

But people think you’re crazy,” I abruptly informed the man. “Well, those who don’t know you are really here.”

Mit replied, “I hope not for those I’ve talked with. Who says this. your friends? Have your friends talked to me?”

As I’ve told you,” I warned my new friend, “Nobody is even sure you’re here. Not just my friends think you’re a myth, but the whole world does… except, I guess, for a select few.”

The Beast Father then blessed me and said, “I think that now includes you.”

I’m not hiding,” he said. “People often find me when their not looking. No effort besides a climb is all; you found me and you only overheard I was here.”

His misconception had to be corrected. I confessed to the Beast Father. “What if I said I went looking for you before?”

Mit Reign said to me, “I would tell you, you didn’t really try at all.”

Then is when that bear I was telling you about, it woke up. The Beast Father did not have to tell me it was time to leave, because I remembered he reminded me there is no telling a wild omnivore what to do. There were no more words exchanged, just a hush from one of us – you can ask the Beast Father if you ever see him – I don’t remember which of us made a sound. We both waved farewell.

Go have your own experience with the immortal hairy man in the woods; he is there. If you don’t have a pass, go on Veteran’s Day when the park is open for free. I cannot be certain my own meant anything, but after these years, I have thought about that encounter.

There’s nothing very special about the Beast Father, except, maybe he has some authority because of who he is – living forever, and all. With authority, you don’t have to play by rules. But to gain that authority, an ordinary man must be selfless. You have to be kind and feed the little animals.


Matthew Sawyer

Read other stories not quite like this one at the author’s publisher page on



Two Women and the God of Trolls

April 20, 2018


Two Women and the God of Trolls

Mr. Binger

Two racially diverse women, and yet in affinity with one another, speak to each other. They stand together upon a wooden walkway surrounding a blue two-story apartment building. Here, there are sixteen units, eight on each floor. The two bilingual ladies linger on the northwest corner and watch the sun set under Los Angeles. The light of day is still intense, but the women stay safe, hidden from yet potent UV rays because the shadow of an intervening hilltop home. A cramped parking lot and dry concrete seasonal wash separates these landmarks.

The two women speak a common language this writer without merit does not understand. Taking the liberty, as the author of this story, I interpret what they say. This is not the future nor the past, but this conversation between women happens now, during a time while California Governor Brown ends homelessness on the West Coast of the United States.

“He’s down there,” the shorter woman said to the other. Despite a difference in height, measured in substantial inches, the two share the same girth. Their hips are wide, but both ladies still wore the same jeans they each owned before the birth of their first and only children.

The first woman to have spoken clarifies herself. “The troll, he lives in 2.”

“Is he a troll?” the second woman asked the first. She had seen the man. He had shouted at her, “Be quiet,” when he once complained about her screeching infant.

“Is he really a troll?”

“Yes,” claimed the first.

“You can see. Trolls don’t wear clothes. If you peek through his door, you see he is always naked.”

“I don’t look into my neighbor’s homes,” preached the second woman. “Neither should you.”

The first tells the other, “I don’t – one time, I saw. He doesn’t like anyone making noise but his door is always open.”

“That’s because trolls like to live in caves, and caves don’t have doors. A small apartment is like a cave,” said the second.

“You believe me!” shouted the first. “You know he’s a troll.”

The taller second woman answers her friend. “No, I said trolls like to live in apartments because they’re like caves.”

The shorter first woman asks, “I thought they like to live under bridges? You always hear about one under an overpass.”

“Caves are better,” said the taller of the two.

The shorter one answers, “Then why…”

“Because there are only so many caves.” The taller woman speaks of trolls. “Their population is booming. My husband says it’s Climate Change, but I know it’s the pollution. It’s always pollution, that’s what trolls eat.”

The first woman says, “I thought they ate children.”

“No,” claimed the second. “That’s just in folk tales, to scare children to sleep. Do you ever see him by the dumpsters?”

The short one says, “Yeah… at night. I think it was him. I guess trolls bundle up when they go outside.”

The second interrupts. “There you are. He was getting his food.”

“Ugh,” commented the first. “Don’t they get Food Stamps? The state pays for them to live here.”

“I don’t know,” said the taller woman. “But the city must save money because all the recycling that trolls do. I guess they’re good for the environment.”

“Why would trolls live here?” wondered the shorter woman. “It’s obvious they don’t like people.”

The taller one tells her friend, “As I was saying, there are only so many overpasses. Our caves are better because they come with running water.”

“They’re so pale,” said the short other. Hung upon her elbow and over a metal rail, the woman waves her draped arm back and forth. “He is – the one who lives down there.”

“Imagine,” said the taller lady, adorned in a printed shirt filled with images and scripts the pair can surely understand; though foreign to this writer. “They live in caves or under bridges. Trolls hate the sun as much as they do noise.”

“Light doesn’t hurt them,” plead the first lady to have spoken in this narration. “They’re not like vampires. The sun doesn’t kill them.”

“No,” replied the woman who answered her friend. “I heard that trolls believe the sun is God, an evil god, and that’s why they’re not religious.”

The first gasps. “Ay!”

“When is your husband coming home?” The taller second woman asked. The pair then speak of the imminent future.

“After work,” said the first. “He’ll bring Joe home from his grandparents.”

The second woman volunteers, “Mine should be home; there must be traffic.”

“Always,” the short lady said. She then inquires from the other woman, “The 101? Yeah. Is Bonita sleeping?”

“Finally,” the other answered. “For a short while, thank God.”

Although the fact went unsaid, everyone in the rent-controlled apartment complex who had met both women agreed Bonita was a noisy child. The girl never rested and she became louder growing more tired. Poor Bonita may suffer croup, but no one in this neighborhood would know. Without truly helpful suggestions, the girl’s mother remained without hope. Everyone nearby suffered the child’s cries and coughs all the time. All the same, there were other loud children living here, too. Some were sick, but trolls had nothing to do with them.

“You know what,” declared Bonita’s mother, “Do you remember who was living in 5? Were you living here then?”

The shorter lady, Joe’s mom, says, “If you were here, I was. I moved here before you did. What are you talking about?”

“Did you see what happened when 5 left his truck idle in the parking lot?” the second asked her friend.

The shorter woman answers, “No, I might have been away. You’re talking about that guy with the broken truck, yes? It was loud. I thought he got it fixed.”

“I don’t know about that,” the second stated. “Yes, about the noise, but, I saw what happened. I was coming to see you and they were in the parking lot.”

“There’s your answer, in your memory,” the shorter lady said when she teased her friend. “You were coming to see me, so I must have been living here…”

“I know,” countered the taller woman.

“Anyway, I saw the troll raise his middle finger when he followed 5 back into the parking lot. He flipped off the pana. They almost had a fight. This was in the daytime. I didn’t know he was a troll at the time.”

“What happened then?” asked the shorter lady.

“That’s it,” the tattletale said. “They went home.”

Outraged, the shorter woman who spoke first shouts, “What, well…”

And in a soft voice, she then asks Bonita’s mother, “What did he look like in the daylight?”

“Hey,” Bonita’s mom alarmed her friend, “You said you saw him naked.”

“In the shadow,” Joe’s mother explained. “I really didn’t look, but I know he’s short like me. His skin was glowing.”

“He looked strong,” the taller woman answered. “He was almost naked, but he was white – like albino white. He was wearing new ragged pants, sweatpants. They actually looked old, but I had never seen them before, so I thought they were new for him.”

“He was wearing old black boots with stripes, the kind that were really expensive thirty years ago, before I was born. And they were unlaced. I don’t think I saw socks.”

“Red stripes?” asked Joe’s mother. “Were the heels worn off the boots?”

“Yes,” the taller lady affirmed.

The shorter one tells her, “I saw them at the dumpster a while ago. The troll must have recycled them, too. I thought he took them.”

Bonita’s mother tells her, “I thought he got them from that thrift store. It’s closed, if you didn’t know; remodeling, I suppose.”

“Oh, no,” Joe’s mom said. “There might be trouble.”

The shorter women spoke of the young man she spotted coming around the southern end of her apartment building. An obese thirty-year old teenager had moved into his mother’s one bedroom apartment in a separate structure. The whole of the apartment complex shared this one of two paved lots, and the misshaped man was waddling to his car.

All the gossiping renters knew the impostor fat kid had lost his wife to a meth binge. The woman was still alive, but she had gone missing, as she would so frequently do. The rent was also due and the grown man needed his mother to help feed and raise his own child. He came home with half a family.

In the parking lot, directly outside the apartment entrance belonging to the troll, the distressed young man was known to play his music too loud. No one asked if he sought to taunt the tenants inside the adjacent apartment building, or whether he knew who lived there. That the music he pumped was modern Country, that hip-hop crap that real artists such Steve Earl lament and the late Merle Haggard would have despised, that genre alone indicated the malcontent sought to aggravate an encounter.

Joe’s mother knew the troll was provoked once the plump noise-maker prompted his car horn to beep while he repeatedly remotely opened and closed the doors and audibly switched the alarm off then on and off again. Once that racket was done, the music came on. The grown kid did what he should not have done and he sat idle in his car, allowing the engine to grumble. The bass in his poor taste in music rumbled windows while he sat smoking a cigarette with his own rolled down. Here came the troll.

His voice was the noise made by a warped foot-board chest; the wood being so dry that its metal hinges sound as if they tear through petrified furniture every time the lid is opened.

“What’s that?” shouted the troll. The crack of his voice echoed once dulled against golden grass upon the opposite hill.

The white figure wearing a Caucasian-colored robe yells at stationary vehicles in the parking lot. “Is that circus music?” A sleeve was missing from that bland robe. The troll had slipped his colorless arm through the frayed amputation and it appeared a whole new limb regenerated through sloughing skin.

In reply to a critique in his listening taste, the sensitive man-child rested upon his steering wheel in such a way he pressed against the car horn. The blare was continuous. This noise enraged the troll; his nose and ears flushed pink. Bonita’s mother wondered if she saw the gray hair on his head come to stand on end. She had, as far from when she watched elevated outside her friend’s second story apartment.

“You,” yelled the troll. The two women went ignored. The young man was made guilty. “Stop!”

The music connoisseur swings upon his car door then rocks himself upright from his vehicle. The instigator puckers his face and tosses his half-smoked cigarette toward the troll. The smoking missile drops short onto a concrete sidewalk.

“What are you going to do, big man?” he challenged the troll.

“Big man?” the trolled shouted back. The two were no more than some yards apart.

The challenger explained, “You’re shorter than me.”

“Do you know what that means?” the troll growled as he begun a charge into the parking lot. The fat man held himself stationary. As there was a small distance between the combatants, the troll had more time to say. “I have to get you on the inside. I have to tear at your guts.”

Joe’s mother tells Bonita’s mom, “Uh oh.”

Both ladies saw with their brown eyes the troll wore no shoes this evening. Thick sallow talons curled over his toes. The warped nails were long and formed spirals that inclined his insteps. Both women said only to themselves, “That’s why he walks funny.”

They then hear the troll yell, “I have practiced tearing at guts.”

Joe’s mom answers to her friend, “I’m calling the police.”

The troll kicks forward and into the distended belly of the large roisterer before the shorter woman vanishes into her apartment so that she might fetch a phone. She is gone from sight when the truly big man falls to the asphalt. The circus music White people today call Country continues to thump an automatic amplified percussion. Whomever sings has been Autotuned so that he or she or some robotic AI sounds as a child from another planet. No one believes the intent the artists had was to ever have done so was intentional.

The taller woman calls into her shorter friend’s apartment. “I hope my husband doesn’t come home until this is done.”

From shadows inside, Joe’s mom mentions, “You are lucky if they don’t wake up Bonita.”

“It’s okay,” her friend answered. “We would hear her from here.”

“I know,” attested the shorter woman whom now returns to reddening outdoors light. “The police are coming.”

The taller woman whispers, “I think it’s over.”

Assumed to be miraculous, the larger man lays on the ground doubled up, otherwise, uninjured. Blood had splattered his face and the chrome hubcap on the front driver’s side wheel. Bonita’s mother assures her friend. “He bumped his nose when he fell.”

The shorter woman says, “He looked like he would fall on his face.”

The fallen accoster sobs. “Please, I’ll turn the music off.”

Unsatisfied with the conduct of men, the troll is seen examining the weighted knobs on the ends of his fingers; all that remained of his sheared claws. Plainly frustrated, the troll snags the talons of his foot into a speaker mounted inside the opened car open. Below torn noise, shredded plastic and black paper spill out from under the troll’s bare foot, and the questionable music from the radio is reduced from quadraphonic into a thinner, unbalanced stereo.

Driven because of the racket, the troll climbs into the young fat man’s automobile. The two female spies stationed on the second-story walkway are not able to see clearly inside the automobile. The kicked man outside was also yet blinded by blunt pain. All heard the three remaining speakers squelched one after another.

Unable to define the shadows she spotted inside the automobile, Bonita’s mother assumed she saw sickles flung into the dashboard, and that was so repeated in the back seat. The rear window cracked into the shape of a skewed web upon impact against the foot of the troll.

The disabled overweight man coughed into the ensuing silence. He had already started crawling home before the troll jumped from his vandalized vehicle. The man regains the clarity of his vision in time to see said troll then hurl a key chain into the concrete wash separating the parking lot from a blossomed then dead hill. The metal keys are heard to knock away pebbles and a plastic water bottle, likely one of those that nearby apartment tenants often cast toward the Pacific ocean.

The fat man gasps, “No.”

The troll then goes back into his apartment. This time, the two ladies hear his door slam shut. The only noise then outside is churned by chirping sparrows, and rush hour vehicles passing the scene outside with the troll on a major freeway a quarter mile west and away. A late garbage truck collects trash a shorter distance toward the east. The diesel machine beeps each time it frequently traveled in reverse. Although, its stops were orderly and those beeps were more pleasant to hear than that so-called music the angry man played to interrupt a quiet late afternoon-into-evening. That repetition was also moving away toward the foothills and up into night.

The two women waited outside while the fat man regained his footing before he staggers back home. Neither intervened nor made their presence clear; although, the ladies did not hide. The police then arrive and the parking lot becomes dark and without lamps to fend away the suffocation of night. Both the taller and shorter women remain on the elevated walkway and neither of their husbands were yet returned. Small Bonita never dared attempt to join the birdsong with screeches.

Joe’s mother calls down to the Los Angeles city police officers who scope the parking lot in their cruiser. “I called you.”

“It’s over,” the taller woman pronounced for the officers. The English of both women was fine. Their identical accents blended with those that varied throughout San Fernando Valley. The police officers, too, spoke with lisps of foreign speech.

“This is the incident with a troll?” solicited the officer riding shotgun.

“I don’t think anybody was hurt,” Joe’s mother said.

Bonita’s mom tells her and the police, “That man was kicked.”

“I think he’s okay,” the shorter woman rushed to say in her native tongue.

“You better check,” Bonita’s mother suggested to the officer visible in the vehicle at starboard.

The police cruiser goes into an empty parking stall, one that belonged to neither Joe’s nor Bonita’s absent fathers. After gathering themselves, the pair of officers exit their car and personally address the two women.

Gazing upward, the driver, a cleanly shaven corporeal, asks both women at once, “Are you Ms. Calafia Montalvo?”

“Yes,” the shorter woman replied in English.

“Your name, ma’am,” the corporeal asked the other, taller woman.

She tells him, “Radaria.”

He answers, “Thank you.”

The other police officer, ranked yet unknown because the sparse light, he asks Ms. Montalvo, “Someone was hurt? Where is he?”

“The building in back of this one,” the tall Radaria answered instead of her friend. Little Bonita then wailed.

“I should go, anyway,” she told the shorter woman.

“Yes,” Calafia said in her accustomed language.

That same time, Radaria told the passenger law enforcer, “I’ll show you.”

Led to the gargled howls of her awakened daughter, the taller woman strolls away with an officer come to assess the potential damages of an aggravated assault. Although, by international law, the endangered Scandinavian troll was graced with some exaggerated exceptions – especially this strain now considered native to Southern California.

Governor Brown graces this lucky blanched bunch derelicts with luxury apartments. Granted, these homes are offered in more squalid parts of LA. All the same, this could be heaven for a barbaric troll, except for all the people, human or however they come. All know trolls will not tolerate the company of others, not of their own, nor even their reflection in a mirror.

Joining the shorter woman named Calafia Montalvo at the top of a short flight of stairs, the corporeal tells a complaining citizen, “Trolls can make trouble, but we need them, right?”

“Huh,” the shorter woman grunted and she frowned.

The police officer says, “Global warming, right?”

Calafia asks this public servant, “What are you saying?”

“It’s getting hotter, yeah?” he explained in yet his affirming way of speech.

“Yes,” the woman told him. “Fossil fuels…”

“No,” the corporeal insisted, “The trolls are right, the sun is getting closer.”

“That’s just a story,” she educated the man. “It’s their religious thing.”

The badged man evangelizes. “Maybe, you haven’t heard that story – trolls are trying to keep the sun away. They don’t worship their god, they hide from him. That’s all there is to it. They’re like monks, polite Hare Krishnas without all that singing and dancing.”

Small Calafia had suffered enough. She tells the corporeal, “Officer, I called the police because a man was attacked.”

“Because he was making noise?” the corporeal said and, this time, he waited for the citizen herself to confirm the statement.

“Yes,” she said. “It’s always about noise.”

“That’s what I was saying,” the corporeal insisted. The bald-faced man tells the woman, “The god of the trolls is coming because all the noise we make. Trolls are here to keep things quiet – that would save us from work, but now the police in California guard endangered species. Trolls don’t like being guarded, either.”

“He’s fine,” announced the Los Angeles police man without rank as he ascended stairs behind his partner. “The guy is scared out of his mind that he was attacked by a troll, but he’s not hurt. There’s property damage and I told him to make a claim at city hall.”

“That’s all?” gasped Calafia.

“That’s it,” replied the corporeal.

She objects. “Don’t you want to know where the troll lives?”

“We know where he lives, ma’am,” the corporeal told a diminished Calafia. He says, “We know about this troll. How about we leave him alone?”

“Uh,” Calafia grunted.

More prejudiced and overcome by a foul waft no one in the apartment complex cared to notice, the rank-less police man motioned toward full dumpsters. He mentions, “He might not be here if you would stop feeding trolls. Recycling helps.”

Calafia nearly vomits. “Gah!”

Without reply until the police have descended the stairs, she suddenly believes she acts wry and questions the police. “What about giving them a home?”

This whole division of Los Angeles law enforcement walks away as these two wave their good-bye. Small Calafia Montalvo would not let this city and state to govern with so much indifference. This night she vowed to vote in whichever election. She, herself, has an idea and says in a strong voice, “At least, they should have to cut their toenails, too.”


Read other stories not quite like this one at the author’s publisher page on



Said Of For Which Looked

April 2, 2018


Said Of For Which Looked

I have written about cockroaches before. I even wrote a short piece of Doctor Who fan fiction featuring a cockroach as a lead character, but I have nothing practical to present about them in neither the Arts nor Sciences. They periodically encroach my apartment bathroom and, hence, the bugs regularly come to my attention. I might otherwise be inspired to write about something fantastical or political, depending on wherever that veil of reality may part. Instead, I concentrate on those insects I doom to drown – those sentenced to death because I know they come for the water in my pipes.

I am certain the insects come for the water, it’s an animal instinct, and it’s common human knowledge thanks to documentary film making recorded in macrovision. If my own cockroaches were hunting for something more substantial, I would expect to find a few in my kitchen or near a trash can, but I don’t. And it’s not that I am not looking. I expect to find bugs when I awake. Recall that older classical song by Steely Dan, Do It Again, and that is how I start my days…

“In the morning’ you go gunning’ for the man who stole your water…”

Now, I am not so cruel and I would never deny a last wish sought by a condemned living thing. In truth, I aid each in a final quest and quench their individual thirsts. And there remains opportunities in which any epic hero might escape Charybdis, the whirlpool conjured in my toilet. A cockroach might go flushed and vanish down the drain then return, either resurrected or preserved; I know not what power preserves them. But I am that hateful titan who always watches. Once spotted, no heroic cockroach has ever escaped my wraith. All go drowned, fed to the sea monster whirling under the Pacific ocean off the coast of Los Angeles in southern California.

Otherwise, obviously other than Franz Kafka, few would find anything poetic to narrate about the pests. Each begin inside a translucent egg stuck against other identical hardened tear drops of phlegm clung upon an elongated ovipositor. Unhatched, the tiny cockroach babies – and they are babies inside those eggs because these insects grow up fast – they do not linger through stages of larva then pupa. Cockroaches begin as writhing oblong globs of bloodless mucous. None emerge without being encased in shells.

Nearly until birth, until the day each hatch, fetal cockroaches resemble hairless newborn gerbils; cockroach pups with six blanched arms. Their joints are yet unformed, without the support of a chitinous exoskeleton. Their blind eyes appear as dark specks, the same color as those eyes infant gerbils yet develop for days beneath shut eyelids. But a cockroach never opens its eyes. An earth-tone carapace completely covers the insects; the head, and eyes, and limbs and abdomen, except in places meant to bend. There is where spider bite them and wasps sting their prey. Nevertheless, a cockroach can see through itself as if its helmeted head had come with visors. And cockroaches always only see us giants as enormous globular shadows.

Born, a cockroach eats garbage, filth, and that is the waste then excreted through pores. This hardens on their pale skin, like that of a three-dimensional gravy stain on a garbage can. Both pollutions become elevated in layers until they cast soiled shadows. The waste becomes an armor, their exoskeletons, and holds them upright everywhere but places that bend. They, also, live their whole lives with so few brain cells that scientists can count them.

Although cockroaches cannot connect together enough neurons to develop a language nor give each other names, if there was a God who is one with a son and one other, I suppose cockroaches, too, would be blessed like any other animal and speak for an hour at midnight after Christmas Eve. Still limited in their innate capacity to think, our God would impart the generation of insects currently hatched into existence with a single identity, come to each like an instinct. They all at once would at least be aware a savior had been born and their own identity. One might say to another, “Hi, Bill, Hallelujah, have you seen Bill?”

“Yeah, Bill is over there,” the other Bill may answer.

The first awakened cockroach, who is also named Bill, could very well correct its brother. “No, the other Bill.”

More brethren, all each called Bill, might then confirm the inquiry of the first. “Oh, yeah. Whatever happened to Bill?”

“Bill is right here,” another Bill may tell them.

Everyone then would inevitably ask, “Who?”

Remember with your own, cockroaches have so few brain cells, even at midnight on Christmas Eve, none could possibly help themselves and each would inevitably forget what they were speaking about, or that one ever spoke. A suspicious insect Bill might yet ask, “What?” But, once that hour of Christmas magic was almost passed, the most any cockroach might yet say to one another is, “Oh, hi, Bill.” Perhaps their blessing from our magical God was to not to speak but to forget. But, where then is the karma in a regeneration into a speaking cockroach about to be flushed because of trespass into the home of our Lord’s most beloved creation?

“Not under the heaven of our God,” I would be surprised to hear echo from my bath.


And Yet Sought.










A Song For the Death of Children

March 2, 2018

I met a people who prepared themselves for the end of everything. Everyone I spoke to told me, “All the adults will be sorted first,” and they will go to heaven or hell. There, they will await their families, for sin and forgiveness were inherited because of surnames.

“We know our children will die,” many had said to me. “They will be alone, for we will have perished. Each one will die by themselves, so we taught all our children a nursery rhyme. They might sing in our voices while they wait. Our children might sing to themselves before they die…”

“One, two, three and four.

 The kingdom of God is at your door.

 Close your eyes,

 Be at peace.

 Go home with our Lord.

 Go to sleep.”

“How will the children die,” I wondered. “How will everyone die?”

“Horribly,” their preacher said.

“There will be nothing of you,” the clergy says, “Nothing left but your last breath.”

“That’s why the verses are so short.”


– Matthew Sawyer



An Answer: Pagan Mythology in the Shur

January 25, 2018


An Answer: Pagan Mythology in the Shur
Matthew Sawyer AKA Mr. Binger

“The power to manifest your will is what makes you a god,” Mr. Binger, a community lecturer and alleged pagan-sympathizer, announced to the sparse persons in his audience at the University of Superior in Wisconsin. The stiff wooden seats in the auditorium discouraged attendants from sitting, so many stood bunched near the dark exits at the back of Webb hall in the Holden Fine Arts Center.

“I said it.”

They were listening, but the fact was only evident in that none would leave. The fifteen Fahrenheit degrees below freezing, outside this late January afternoon, could never dissuade a single of these burly Midwesterners – all were plump in their gender-agnostic winter clothes and accustomed to the stark weather. Mr. Binger imagined they murmured so that he felt motivated to tell everyone again about a dead religion.

“The Chosen are gone,” he told everyone lingering. “The heathen will never leave their desert. There are no terrorists here, not in northern Wisconsin, so no will be coming to hang me upside down and unzip my guts.”

Someone then grumbles. Mr. Binger thinks the coarse complaint had come from a girl, ahem, a youthful eighteen or nineteen year old woman, but the sound was difficult to distinguish. This year, just as every year, everyone suffers colds, fevers and coughs throughout the winter. Awoken from hibernation, the contagious bug inflames faces and makes cheeks red. The blush was never because the cold weather outdoors. The people of Wisconsin knew so much to always bundle themselves up to their eyeballs.

“You kids have started smoking again,” Mr. Binger said to himself. “That doesn’t help.”

“Okay,” he admits to his audience, “The content is graphic, blasphemous to the Abrahamic religions, Hinduism, the Canadian Eskimos, but as I understand, you are all adults. Also, this lecture qualifies as point-two-five of a credit for sociology, anthropology, creative writing students? Studies like those, here in this school?”

Without a response, Mr. Binger adds, “That wasn’t rhetorical, that’s really twenty-five percent of one whole credit. So, all you young people are privileged to choose, what, four lectures of this sort for a full credit. I suppose that’s better than spending your time on social networks. But, I suppose nowadays you can do that at the same time, too.”

“Yeah,” answered a muffled voice. This one had sounded suspiciously feminine.

Mr. Binger requests in general, “Well, turn off your phones and keep the volume low. I have to say that every time. And no taking videos, please. I hate seeing myself online. No pictures of me; it’s enough that I keep coming up on stage.”

“The other thing you should know,” Mr. Binger warns his audience, “This is a lecture; this is not a story. You might think this is fiction because it all sounds pretend, but this is true anthropological history. Living people in the past believed this mythology. Just like the Roman Empire and its Catholic Church, these pagan beliefs and practices still impact us individuals and our nation in the modern age. Our world began in this past.”

“What I have to present to you is information, facts. Whatever I say does not go beyond what I tell you. This is not going anywhere. There are no pagans, there are no more Chosen. I am not advocating any religion. Besides, heathens consider us all Unchosen – people who are told what to believe. I’m telling you about the things pagans believed before any of us were told.”

A stomach growls the same moment Mr. Binger stops abrupt. An echo of digestion joins the reverberation of the speaker’s voice in the tall lecture hall. Mr. Binger then ignores a subsequent noisome body function, notably not his own. The distance between him and his disperse audience allows him immunity against anything but the sound. Spread so far apart from each other, nobody acts assaulted by wafted winds.

Immediately past the ill-timed eruption, Mr. Binger says, “Okay, the universe has always been.”

“It’s hidden dimensions are only now unconcealed,” he clarified. “Forget a flat earth, the Big Bang, an expanding universe and that ridiculous contracting universe theory. Heat death? Pff. This is what pagans in the Shur believed.”

“The universe has always existed, it will always be, and there is only one universe, concealed by veils of darkness. There is space, right, but it is genuinely infinite. Space has always been there, stretched beyond the reaches of light.”

Mr. Binger pauses again. This time, he sees more uncomfortable seats have been taken. So few people stand near the exits that light from the vestibule outside is seen streamed through glass windows set in the doors. More attentive faces stare up at the elevated man, but their communal affect is of boredom. Mr. Binger has endured the reaction before; it has been each time when a reader stops reading.

“I know I’m not speaking your language, folks,” he told everyone. “You’ll get what I’m saying, I’m from here, Wisconsin, south of Madison.”

“Cheese-eaters,” a young man whooped from shadows next the exit.

The audience replies with Mr. Binger and moan a correction in unison. “Cheesemakers.”

Chuckles are quick to die. In the brief meantime, Mr. Binger says with a smile, “Think of it like this – beyond the light in the room, there is an invisible veil. Beyond that veil is darkness and another veil. There is then more darkness and another veil.”

“You get the idea,” Mr. Binger explained for everyone. “The veils are as infinite as space and the darkness themselves.”

“Pagans had a name for that darkness, for the darkness was alive. The darkness was life itself – enough life for all the dead matter in the universe.”

“That living darkness between the veils of space was called Mitencohli,” Mr. Binger deigned for his audience. “Mitencohli was consumed by Rudra, but not the mightiest-of-mighty Hindu god we know on our world. This alien Rudra was a sentient element from beyond a deeper veil. Rudra was the god who tasted life at the dawn of creation.”

“Before that breakfast, there was matter in our visible universe and beyond the veils of space, but nothing was alive. Well, Mitencohli; the living darkness was alive. We now know about the alien Rudra, and his mother and father, the flesh-less Wenwi and his obese wife, Tecolent, but they were not technically alive – not in the narrative sense.”

“These three were sentient elements before they became gods; Rudra was to Wenwi and Tecolent as Helium is to Hydrogen. He was always inevitable, as was his brother Awaran – as the pagans believed. All three consumed the living darkness trapped in the skeletal chest of Rudra, for Rudra barely contained Mitencohli, but he holds on. That is why we have light.”

Mr. Binger clears his throat and he helps to redirect the droning thoughts of his audience. He waits while one old-fashioned university student finishes scratching graphite against desiccated hemp pulp. Mr. Binger then asks, “Where did Mitencohli and the sentient elements come from?”

“Like I said, they have always been there. Without the life of darkness, the sentient elements remained inert.”

“How do we know this?” he further asked.

At the same time, Mr. Binger declares, “Tablets.”

A single cough then a throat clearing from squeaky seats prompts the speaker to explain, “Sandstone tablets were smuggled out of the Shur years ago – after the fall of Khetam and the Chosen were decimated.”

“They were old – the stone tablets were – ancient. Pagan.”

Yet excited by the illicit discovery and the mythology that was unveiled, Mr. Binger interjects, “We learned, Rudra tasted the living darkness when Mitencohli went hunting for food. The darkness first touched the sentient element – that’s an important point, a universal truth. Life was hungry, then itself was eaten.”

“Ahem,” he said upon realizing the topic of his speech had gone disjointed. “Or, rather, amen.”

For the sake of clarifying himself, Mr. Binger specifies, “The stone tablets were fragile and they were already crumbling – some were broken and we recovered only pieces.”

“We don’t know who the author was. Or, maybe, the artist: because the mythology had been recorded in hieroglyphs.”

“Those hieroglyphs were pagan, almost Sanskrit. Some scholars might legitimately say the etchings resembled a poor rendition of the Japanese alphabet. I am, of course, referring to my critic, social justice activist, Dr. Eric Dwyer.”

Mr. Binger ignores the diversion inflicted by the memory of his critics. He tells everyone, “That’s not important. I had nothing to do with the translation. I haven’t even seen the remains of the tablets, ever. They are not anywhere on display.”

“All the same, I am talking about the pagan mythology. It doesn’t matter what anyone else has to say. We don’t need the original stone tablets, not any more; we have digital copies. It is what it is – mythology.”

Eager to return to his speech, Mr. Binger first makes a personal observation. “I can tell you one thing, the pagan hieroglyph of a cat looks like a cat.”

“So, you know,” he reinforced for his audience.

“The mythology of the pagans,” Mr. Binger repeated. “An artist, who had been paid to reproduce the hieroglyphs, he called the mythology, ‘Mortui’ philosophies – ideas on death, I suppose.”

“M. Sawyer,” Mr. Binger identified for everyone. “Mortui is what he had written in his sketchbooks. No one in academics calls the mythology that. It’s just pagan; that is what the Chosen and heathen called them.”

“That artist, by the way, tried to capitalize on his copied drawings, too,” Mr. Binger said in segue. “Nothing wrong in that.”

“He sold designs of monsters made directly from the hieroglyphs. Being hieroglyphs, you know, his monsters looked just like the graven images. No copyright infringement there. You might even find a t-shirt online with one of his designs. All I know, no one is buying that, either. I certainly don’t get a commission.”

Only a constantly accelerating sound of steam in boiler pipes accompanies an abrupt return to the topic Mr. Binger first introduced. “The pagan mythology,” he said.

“There was Rudra and Wenwi and Tecolent, I told you about them. They were sentient elements; the last born from the first,” Mr. Binger summarized. “Wenwi and Tecolent were first, you understand. It was a dual role.”

“There was Mitencohli, too, but the living darkness was not a sentient element. Some early scholars identified the alien god with space and the veils, or the darkness between the veils.”

The speaker grumbles in his throat then clearly states, “No, the living darkness is alive. The darkness is life. Mitencohli had been consumed by Rudra and that led to creation, as in life across all the veils of space. Animals, plants, plankton, people – three sentient elements from beyond a deeper veil imparted life to all of us, all the worlds throughout all of space.”

“But, the living darkness forever consumes Rudra from within. You see in this metaphor, life itself is ravenous in any shade. Yet, because of the life inside him, Rudra was made a god. He’s hungry, always skeletal, but never dying. Rudra always, desperately, gropes for the life that escapes him. The living darkness that comes leaked from his bones feeds both his parents, too, Wenwi and Tecolent.”

As if unconscious, Mr. Binger motions to shuffle non-existent notes upon an invisible lectern stood invariably out of reach. The speaker never requires reminders when he speaks about M. Sawyer’s Mortui philosophies, although cards would have helped straightened the track ahead of him. ‘The line lain after,’ Mr. Binger thinks in quick retrospect, ‘That may have also been straighter.’

Nevertheless, the speaker progresses to his favorite part of the mythology. “After feasting upon the living darkness excreted from their nuclear son, Wenwi and Tecolent, now hungry and alive, consume each others waste. Still, life was never enough. Tecolent, the tablets tells us, she feels so badly starved that the goddess perpetually consumes herself.”

“The origin of good lays here, at this part in this mythology,” Mr. Binger specified for his note-takers. “Selflessness. All else is just trying to eat you, because the fateful alternative is greed.”

“Unable to bear life without his wife, Wenwi feeds himself to Tecolent. He does so throughout eternity and she grows obese. Wenwi appears only better preserved than his son, Rudra, but he, too is consumed by the living darkness inside him. And all his flesh is gone – Tecolent eats him raw. She eats what Wenwi gives her and, too frequently, she grasps for more – just like her son. She then became the Mother of Grossity.”

“Upon the cannibalism, Wenwi and Tecolent no longer bear living children – the darkness they expel was made impure and only monsters now come to bear. These creatures are born starved for life.”

“The first abomination was Awaran,” Mr. Binger bulletined. “This shapeless hunger, one given a name, attacks Rudra. Upon his half-birth from the waste of his parents, Awaran kills his suffering brother. Rudra was easily overpowered, you understand, for the living shadow always eats the god from within. I say so in the present tense, because them being gods, you know. Their stories never end there.”

“They ate their children,” Mr. Binger stated in his raised voice. “Newborn monsters are usually eaten at birth because Wenwi and Tecolent had also tasted the living darkness. And, so, they were the hungry gods of creation. I would claim we are the lucky children who got away, before our parents began consuming themselves. We didn’t get out of the house, but we are hidden behind the curtains – of space.”

“I’m talking about the veils beyond the reaches of light,” Mr. Binger immediately explained for his audience. He admits aloud, “I’m afraid I’m losing your attention. Hold on.”

He promises the occupants of Webb hall, “I’m almost done. I only have to tell you about one more alien god. There are others, but they a lesser gods, powerless sentient things of the universe. Their names are accordingly unknown.”

“This last one, Awaran, too, consumed the infinity of living darkness inside Rudra, and he also became a god. Awaran was a monstrosity, but the corrupted flesh of his family did not define his shape within the veils us mortals can see with our own eyes. The tablets tell us so much.”

“We, the first children of Wenwi and Tecolent, before the corruption, we perceive Awaran in the form that had helped him part the veils of space and discover our world. The tablets describe him for us. They tell us what happened and why this alien god is a milestone.”

Mr. Binger corrects a personally important misconception. “This is where scholars begin calling these entities from the pagan mythology Elohim, like, from the Bible, the Christian Bible. That’s in Exodus, if you want to look it up, the pluralistic gods. They’re probably not the same thing, but you never know.”

“Chosen called them Elohim,” Mr. Binger remarked. “So do heathens, to this day, if you can find any to tell you so and they don’t eat you first.”

“There are those stories today about the monstrous children of Elohim manifesting inside Khetam, about the time heathens breached the Chosen’s Wall. Nothing is substantiated. War time horror stories, Dr. Dwyer concluded.”

After stopping himself, the speaker inhales then says, “The tablets tell us nothing about these Elohim visiting our world. Although, they do teach us how Awaran parted the veil into our space. Understand, the pagan were warning us the Elohim were coming. Rumors about what had been witnessed in the ransacked Promised Land were meant to be confirmation their monsters are here on our world. I guess, we’ll see.”

“From behind the deepest veil of space,” Mr. Binger said with a lowered voice, “Arose another entity like Mitencohli, the living darkness. Awaran discovers the one called Ithadow – for this was the name all sentient elements sing throughout time. This is the name heard throughout the cosmos – the noise in space, like a vibration. The sound led Awaran to this new source of living darkness.”

“You see, the tablets say, Ithadow – actually, the name cannot be pronounced and Ithadow is just convenient to say –  this entity had come hunting for the living darkness Rudra consumed. Ithadow survived upon the living darkness. Without this food, it consumes both the first and the escaped monstrous children of Wenwi and Tecolent. Awaran had discovered Ithadow draining life from these worlds between the veils of space.”

An anxious shuffling of feet and the one or two persons heading toward the back doors reminds Mr. Binger he had again broken his promise. “I know I told you Awaran was the last Elohim I was going to talk about, but Ithadow, like Mitencohli, is not an Elohim. That’s just what scholars and lay-people say because it’s also convenient, but it’s lazy. Neither Ithadow nor Mitencohli have ever reproduced. They don’t fit all the categories that would make them into gods we would accept. Neither have minds as we know a mind, nothing there in all we have been told.”

“I’ll tell you what pagans believed Ithadow looks like, because this entity was not like the living darkness. Ithadow has a shape.” The speaker had spun a finger over his head that same moment he spoke. Mr. Binger then says without motion, “A manifestation that cannot be perceived by the mortal mind. The image of Ithadow in the eye of a living being brings madness.”

“Nevertheless, pagans created a hieroglyph for Ithadow. The entity is portrayed as a jellyfish with long arms and claws. The whole thing is inside a crenelated shell that sits at the center of a web. I’m not going to draw it for you. Besides, I’m not an artist. All I could do is scribble something you would see if you did lose your mind. And there isn’t even a chalkboard here on stage with me, so you won’t get that.”

“About that web,” Mr. Binger rejoined himself, “It’s a part of him, like an external digestive tract. Ithadow spins the web, casting his guts beyond the veils of space. The web is how Ithadow hunts for food. Strands of the web of Ithadow throughout the universe taste the living darkness in all things that are alive. Following these strands is how Awaran passed through our own veil.”

“The story on the tablets say there came an eternity when there was no more food for the Elohim. The strongest of them, Awaran, traveled to the cusp of space searching for even his own offspring he might consume. There, he glimpsed the web of Ithadow shining as a star where there were no stars to be seen. Following this light, and a vibrating chant, Awaran breached our veil where Ithadow had already come through into our space.”

Mr. Binger stalls then says through a firm face, “Pagans warned us the web of Ithadow had already touched our world. They feared what else was coming.”

“Like the ancient Sumerians, pagans in the Shur believed evil more than often prevailed over good; not in any sense of morality nor justice but of sheer strength. The only recourse against any ill was to appease a stronger evil. Awaran was said to be that candidate, so I guess pagans had some hope. And, yet, it was only by the example set by Wenwi that they persisted so long as a people. Heathens, as you know buried all of them alive in the sands of the Shur – archaeological excavations had verified that as fact generations ago. The way was made clear for their Living God, as heathens would say.”

“Yes,” Mr. Binger affirmed in the course of a sigh. “Pagans worshiped there own desert demons – Uzapu, Lord of the Waste, Beomouth, Thilimoth – and mythical beasts, like the lekko and lanters…”

“Paws and claws and the other, like a lion with a skull like a moose.”

“Oh, there is scientific evidence a few of their bizarre cryptoid actually existed, for instance; the damned mehtad, the slovenly mwele and the sly strumatru. They may be real and alive today, out there, hiding. That’s all I’ll say about that.”

Mr. Binger pauses only to refill his lungs. Full again of stale winter auditorium air, the speaker recommences.


“When the web of Ithadow touched our world, and it woke these sentient elements, the web also evolved the minds of sensitive human beings. Heretical prophets foresaw the coming of Awaran; they predicted the emergence of the greatest evil. These visions were passed onto their children.”

Mr. Binger stipulates, “I’m not here tonight to talk about our own earthbound pantheons, that’s a speech I can give later. All of you are probably on the edge of your seats waiting for me to tell you what Awaran looks like.”

“He looked like his parents,” summarized the grinning speaker. “Until he tasted Ithadow. Awaran drained an endless flow of life from the web of Ithadow, but it was not enough. The Elohim follows the intangible intestinal tract upstream, if you will, and he discovers Ithadow.”

“Did I mention Ithadow was as large as our own Milky Way galaxy? A single strand of its web would easily swallow our planet. Truly, pagans had told us we are indeed inside the exuded gullet of Ithadow, his web, with all the ghosts of living darkness around us, waiting to be digested.”

“That’s us,” Mr. Binger said as he points his finger at himself and everyone in the audience. The few remaining listeners might be counted in a single breath. He tells each of them, “So you know, those ghosts in the web; we’re them. A little piece of living darkness constitutes each of our souls. We are Mitencohli, at least, that was what pagans believed. And that is why Ithadow has come to consume us after we die – once that darkness escapes our fractured shells.”

“Anyway, Awaran could not possibly consume the mindless Ithadow. Ithadow is immense and powerful. If anything, Awaran was in danger that he, himself, was eaten.”

“His brother, Rudra, contains all of Mitencohli, sure, but the living darkness is different. I told you that, yeah? Mitencohli was vast, yet, the living darkness is without dimension. Ithadow, on the other hand, is real; made of matter and not energy, nor something astral or ethereal. Nevertheless, Awaran makes Ithadow bleed and the Elohim escapes our space with blood on his hands. We’re not told how.”

“Before Awaran passes our veil back into his own space, the alien god is so famished that he licks the blood of Ithadow from his fingers.”

The speaker stops talking and he stands still an exact three seconds before saying, “Then Awaran changes.”

“Awaran begins to become Ithadow.”

Mr. Binger admits, “Now, there was not enough blood – Awaran did not consume all the blood off his hands.”

“No matter,” he judged. “The Elohim grows myriad skeletal arms, Awaran becomes vast and he realizes, simultaneously, the mistake he had made.”

“Before tasting Ithadow, Awaran had consumed the living darkness leeched from the bones of his brother, Rudra – as did his parents, Wenwi and Tecolent. The living darkness also consumed Awaran from the inside, so they were once not so different. Both Rudra and Awaran were skeletal and starved. The blood of Ithadow helps Awaran retain his portion of living darkness, but the cost is terrible.”

“All that remains of Awaran are his countless bony arms and his skull. Ithadow allowed the hungry Elohim to keep his head. If there was any thought given toward the mercy, I suppose, Ithadow probably imagined he and Awaran were the same – two suffering space gods.”

“I can tell you, pagans tell us Awaran covers his shame with blood. The Elohim is draped in blood as if the gore was clothe; the robe of Awaran. There’s a pagan hieroglyph that depicts that robe as a rain of blood.”

Hoping to illustrate the image for his audience, Mr. Binger pokes a single finger into the air as if he taps at raindrops. “You know Awaran is near when blood rains from a clear sky.”

“There you go,” he punctuated. “The creation of our world, where we come from and where we go after we die – according to the extinct pagans of the Shur desert. The living darkness inside each of us will be consumed by an armored jellyfish – with pincers.”

“If the Elohim don’t eat us first.”

“Ithadow will get them in the end, then what will happen?”

“Will Mitencohli reemerge and again cover all the veils of space with darkness? I don’t know.”

“Where is our God in all this?” Mr. Binger spontaneously conjectured. “The god of Abraham, El, or the Christian Yahweh? One in the same, I suppose. Our living god? The tablets briefly mention the arrival the true god – a prime creator.”

“The Chosen tribes sacrificed him in testament to their power,” the speaker answered himself. “They claimed this god was mortal. Killing him was proof that mankind itself was divine. Chosen doctrine reduced the heathen Living God to being merely an awakened sentient element, like Uzapu.”

“Yet, Christians, like heathens hiding in the Shur, expect he will return.”

“The big difference how these two religions worship God is where Christians believe Jesus is coming back, heathens fear the living god will never return. They beg his memory with prayer and bloody sacrifices to bring him home again and build his kingdom in the Shur.”

“If you ask me,” Mr. Binger said mocking his own invitation, “And I realize I have not been asked, but I’ll just say, there is no God. Of all the disappointing revelations in my life, that has been my the most grand.”

“Heathens would accuse me of arrogance, just like the Chosen. At the same time, my brown hair and green eyes are proof enough for them that I descend from a Chosen tribe.”

“I don’t care,” a brave Mr. Binger postulated. “I’m not worried, and neither should northern Wisconsin. We’ll never see a heathen here nor anywhere in the United States. They can hide in the desert, and die there waiting for the god who will never return.”

“Thank you,” Mr. Binger then expressed to the single other shape remaining in Webb hall. He or she was standing in shadow near a door.

Moving off stage, the man ruminated aloud, so loud he is heard all the way in the back. “It’s getting cold out there, I’m worried about my car battery. You know, when it’s cold, it sucks the life out of everything. What would pagans know about that, huh?”

“Or heathens, or even Chosen – they live in a desert.”

Descending stairs stage left and into empty chairs, Mr. Binger finishes speaking upon saying, “Although, with weather like this, it is tempting not to just go into the Shur.”


Are you curious about the Chosen, heathens and these faiths in the Shur? The final incarnation of Matthew Sawyer’s Pazuzu Trilogy is available from Amazon

The Waste Book One
The Waste Book Two
Gaunt Rainbow


Other stories from Matthew Sawyer (AKA Mr. Binger) available from Smashwords

Hardcover and soft cover books available from Hulu



The Sins of the One Outweigh the Faith of the Many

January 8, 2017

Many Americans ask what has become those rhetorical questions, “Why are Republicans pro-life? Why does the life a newborn take precedence over that of a mother? Why is abortion not an option even when the health and welfare of a child is questionable?”

We know that “pro-life” attitude only pertains up to the birth of a child. After then, they and their families are all on their own. But, why?

The answer is Biblical. It’s that commandment, “Thou shall not kill.” Breaking that commandment as well as any of the other nine sends someone’s soul the Hell.

But, surely, it would be the doctor who would pay that price, and maybe the mother, too. Let me borrow a tired euphemism of our new president and say, “Wrong!” Those Ten Commandments are in the Old Testament, written long before Jesus walked Creation in the flesh, before the promise of forgiveness through confession or grace through faith.

See, those commandments were then written by a wrathful god. That was when He (or to be fair, She) was still prone to flood the Earth.

Okay, God promised there would be no more floods. But, that one deluge was before Sodom and Gomorrah, so us mortals can’t be so trusting. Even then, He/She was still rash and not as omniscient as believers hope. God had to send an angel to investigate His/Her suspicion. And finding only one righteous soul in the city, He/She again brought destruction to the planet; a smaller devastation, to be sure, but still horrific.

So, despite a pretty rainbow and even Jesus, the distrustful faithful believe the wrath of God to this day is visited upon swaths of mortals for the sins of a few and even the one. That’s how paranoid those religious folks have become.

AIDS, 9-11, hurricanes, oil spills and droughts are modern evidence of situations in which God has lifted His/Her hand because He/She has become so disgusted with those made in His/Her image that only death quells His/Her rage. He/She used to get blood sacrifices but that was not always enough.

There is why women today are forced to give birth, why drug users are locked away instead of freed on their own recognizance, and homosexuality is disdained. It’s not just an individual’s soul that is seen at risk, rather the country itself. Because despite the love and patience of Jesus, our savior still has an angry dad/mom.

(Hell, inferring God may be a woman probably pisses Him off. Blame the opioid epidemic and shrinking middle class on that. And give Him the blood a goat, for Christ’s sake. Maybe that will help Him chill.)


Mary of Bethezuba One Day Lost Her Mind

August 12, 2014

One Christian mystery that believers are content is left among the addressable riddles of their unknowable Lord is the Eucharist. That sacrament with consecrated bread and wine transubstantiated into human flesh and blood is merely scorned by skeptics. The obvious inferences of cannibalism is pedestrian. Authors such as Kenneth Humphreys and Joseph Atwill do consider the problem, but they and few others deeply discuss the origin of this terrible miracle.

Someone knows for certain. When I was a curious adolescent, somebody from my Protestant church mentioned the ritual of communion began so that pagans might be lured into the Christian belief. The language of blood and gore was only a metaphor. Savages liked those sorts of things.

“Nobody can know for certain what Jesus said or what he did,” my pastor preached as much in a sermon. He stated the equivalent of…

“The New Testament was a wonderful compilation of second and third-hand testament. Hearsay.”

Every author except Paul was suspect. That apostle was a special case, and even then, he appeared late after the crucifixion. Understand, the congregation in my hometown believed the Good Book was just another book. Faith and Trust in the Lord were the true messages. All the rest was dark and barren.

“Jesus did live and does still,” the faithful there say today. “He was resurrected.”

Essentially they tell us that He lives in our hearts and its all very probable the One-True-God will come back. “Jesus does live,” after all, as vaguely circular and mysterious as that sounds. There is the whole consideration with the Living Word and who might that be. The identity of this spiritual being and the Holy Ghost are yet comfortably unknown. There is probably something relevant about them in the dusty Old Testament – I bet somewhere in Psalms.

The Protestant church in my hometown held up the latter early Epistles of Paul. They contain all that anyone needs to know about the Faith. Followers insist his approach at gathering the flock was the best, the most productive. He surmised himself in a letter to the Church in Corinth, Greece.

“19 Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.”

1 Corinthians 9:19-23 (NIV)

The subterfuge and Paul’s naked hypocrisy are considered merits where I come from. “Any means to an end,” people there say. “As long as those ends justify their means.”

They mean those means are for the good of local Protestants at service on any particular Sunday in a year. Those same honest, hardworking folks dependably vote Republican, too, regardless their personal interests and living wages. Any suffering done wherever it comes from is in love for the Lord. Principles like this scapegoat in Southern Wisconsin are truly born twisted and deformed.

My contempt grows overt despite my attempt to stay sublime. Forgive me, and please permit me to talk about the Liturgy again. I do appreciate a patient reader. I, too, am inclined to think the morbid sacrament was not merely a metaphor. There are black roots to this aspect of the Last Supper.

Whereas, I fail to find accreditation or an example, I have read Shakespeare created a woman he called Cannibal Mary for use in his plays. The character was a suspicious parody of the Virgin Mary – although, this seems as much gossip as the Canonical Gospels.

My writing itself is about to become positively sanguinary, so I will first express I do understand there is community in communion. Any event in which food is shared generates camaraderie. The symbolism is visually primal; images erupt in which families are brought together, strangers are met at meal times and friends are made. Bonds are renewed.

Yet the message of fellowship is divorced from what makes the Eucharist memorable. Just before, I abruptly mentioned a ghostly Shakespeare’s Cannibal Mary and I will return to that point, for she is my true subject. The New Testament verses which bring me to consider the woman are purportedly born out of the very mouth of our exalted savior. It is written…

26 … Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” 27 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the[a] covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”

Matthew 26:26-28 (NIV)

The author of Luke was a little more succinct…

19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.”

Luke 22:19-20 (NIV)

Come on, look at what He said, it’s elementary. Jesus was talking about cannibalism. He said it more plain than when my mom told me,  “Take your brothers fingers out of your mouth!”

Why would the messiah even bring up something like that? Where does the idea of eating Him come from? But people remember He said it.

I cannot think of anywhere in the Old Testament that mentions anything pertaining to the stomach-churning presumption. The topic isn’t really discussed or even so much attributed to heathens. We are not suppose to eat each other, I know that. There are criminal laws against it in the United States of America.

I suppose people eat the Passover lamb, but what does that have to do with anything religious? I was taught Jews once made blood sacrifices to God, but I never heard anything special about the flesh of the animal. And the goat was certainly never a human being… well…

I assumed the kosher carcass was discarded as a matter of course. I never cared, it was what the Jews did and don’t anymore. The leftovers would not miraculously return the following year and be the same lamb. An idea like that was pagan, especially if a person was substituted for an animal sacrifice during an equinox or more often a solstice.

Today, the more liberal observers of Judaism cannot possibly believe their individual quests to discover God have anything to do with killing people – that goes against the Sixth commandment. The act is desperate and mad.

And a Mary of Bethezuba is one who smashed that binary commandment one day she lost her mind. People across the civilized world heard about the incident and remembered it for a long time. Indeed, I told you I have read Shakespeare referred to the woman involved as late as the 16th century. This was Cannibal Mary. Her story maybe inspired the ritual of consuming loathsome symbols. She perhaps contributed an apparent message to the Last Supper.

The Romano-Jewish scholar Josephus documented Mary in his history “Jewish War,” 75 CE.  Josephus was born in a Roman-dominated Jerusalem and emigrated to Greece, so the ‘Romano’ part of the preface describes the scholar as a citizen of the ancient Roman Empire. Indeed, the Emperor Titus Flavius Vespasianus made the man his historian.

Josephus documented the Flavian campaign to destroy the temple of Jerusalem in 70 CE. Actually, I believe trouble started four years earlier in 66 CE when statues of Caesar were to be erected in temples of every order and denomination. The Emperor was to be worshiped as the supreme god. Fundamentalist Jews could not stand that, nor would any devote Christian or Muslim in this age.

The scholar Josephus wrote about a siege Titus waged against those who denied his divinity. The Emperor surrounded the three walls of Jerusalem with his Roman army. The whole population was punished. The Roman army stopped food and water from entering the city. And to exasperate the deprivation, Titus let pilgrims enter the starving chaos Jerusalem had become so that they could celebrate Passover then never leave. No one was let outside the walls.

Josephus wrote the captured population turned against itself. Hungry gangs roamed inside their prison looking for food and treasure. They are written to have found a wealthy widow with her newborn child. Her name was Mary of Bethezuba. She became perpetually robbed. Thieves took her food until Passover came. The beleaguered woman then snapped. Mary went crazy.

The woman slaughtered her son, baked his corpse and started eating him after the ritual fast ended and the day was done. Thieves smelled the roasted meat, followed a sickly-sweet aroma through the dark and found the source.

Discovered, Mary presented to her habitual robbers the uneaten portions of her child. “He is a myth to the world,” Josephus stated she claimed. He said the woman’s revolted oppressors fled. People for centuries have remembered for themselves what happened at the siege. Nobody needed to read what a Roman scholar wrote.

I feel inclined to believe the tale is repeated today. Here is the origin of Transubstantiation, its symbols carry vague and needling and unshakable meaning. And it is the muddled story of Mary and the sacrifice of her son at Passover that makes the Last Supper unforgettable. We remember vicariously the bread is the flesh of her infant child. The blood is his. The woman’s convoluted damnation possibly made the Liturgy memorable.

The constant controversy involves dates. The tedious piece of this research in summary testifies Rome sacked Jerusalem and destroyed the temple a second time in 70 CE. The Gospel of Mark, in which whose author first records the events of the Last Supper, was also written about 70 CE. Scholars think 70 CE is more precise because the author of Mark mentions the destruction of the Temple Jerusalem. The dates of both these events incriminate themselves in conspiracy because their proximity.

The authors of the Gospels had certainly overheard something about the infamous Mary of Bethezuba. If they were Jewish, Gnostic or freshly Christian, I imagine news from Jerusalem would have been the priority of his day. Atrocities in the Promised Land would have most certainly overshadowed reports from a besieged of Masada. I think much of the struggle was incorporated into their books. Scholars have even stated the conflicts with Rome are what the Book of Revelation is about.

Christian apologists argue the Gospels have been preached by word-of-mouth since about 40 CE. The possibility may have merit, but there is no proof. The Apostle Paul never talked about the Last Supper, nor the birth of Jesus nor His life on Earth. Before the Gospels, we sinners only heard about what He had done for us and what we needed to do to show Him our appreciation. The First Apostle Paul wrote down as much. We can’t know what people said then to each other in conversation. Technically, we can’t even really know what Paul said was not made-up.

And you, reader, have no reason to believe me until you see for yourself. Read, just go ahead and read. Even then, people believe what they want to believe.


– Matthew Sawyer


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