THE BLOOD OF ALLAH

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THE BLOOD OF ALLAH

Doubt has four divisions: disputation, distrust, vacillation, and surrender.

~Imam Ali

        I am Harb.  My name means “War” but I am nothing.  I am twenty years old and I am nothing.  My city Kabul is over 3,500 years old but I am nothing.  Can you understand me?  My path has ended.  My family has suffered beneath American bombs.  I no longer stand up for a funeral procession.  The Holy Prophet only stood up once and this was when the bier of a Jew was being carried and the place was narrow, so the Prophet stood up because he disliked that the bier should pass over his head.

        I have nothing, I am nothing.  I am not desirable to girls.  My knowledge is of no value.  My commander told me I suffer a plague of knowledge.  I am nothing.  He showed me that it is Allah who has led me through my illusions to His purpose.  I have asked my commander for a suicide mission.  I am ready to die now.

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        Three Marines, Corporal Wesley Ferguson, Corporal Gustavo Acosta, and Lance Corporal Devante Hart are stationed in the barricade corridor at the entry control point of the Wazir Akbar Khan diplomatic district of Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan.  They are protecting the one entrance to the Thanksgiving Day reception for Marines and Afghan police and the officials of several nations.

Corporal Gustavo Acosta says, “That was really good food, hey, guys?”

Lance Corporal Devante Hart says, “I didn’t eat.”

Corporal Wesley Ferguson says, “What?  It’s Thanksgiving, man.  When are you going to eat like that again?”

Lance Corporal Devante Hart scoffs, “I don’t have anything to be fucking thankful for.  Fuck Pilgrims.”

Corporal Gustavo Acosta says, “Oh, come on, man.  What the fuck?”

Corporal Wesley Ferguson says, “It’s about giving thanks to God, not just eating.  And what is wrong with Pilgrims?”

Lance Corporal Devante Hart says, “Who cares about those old white motherfuckers.  My mother gives enough thanks to God for both of us.”

Corporal Gustavo Acosta asks, “What happened to you, man?”

Corporal Wesley Ferguson asks, “Yeah, Devante, don’t you believe in God?  And the Pilgrims were as tough as soldiers to survive that first winter.”

Lance Corporal Devante Hart says, “Well, God is white so why wouldn’t they survive?”

Corporal Wesley Ferguson asks, “What the fuck is that supposed to mean?”

Corporal Gustavo Acosta intercedes, saying, “Devante, what happened, man?”

Lance Corporal Devante Hart looks at Corporal Wesley Ferguson and says calmly, “My little sister was killed by a crazy white kid who shot up her Christian school lunchroom.  Why do you fuckers always go crazy?”

Corporal Wesley Ferguson bristles and says without consideration, “Maybe because trying to please you people never ends.  You won’t be happy until there are no more white people.”

Lance Corporal Devante Hart laughs, “From your lips to God’s ear.”

Corporal Wesley Ferguson says, “Hey, man, I don’t have any slaves!”

Lance Corporal Devante Hart sneers, “Yeah?  What about Mexicans?”

Corporal Wesley Ferguson retorts, “Fuck you.  When all the whites are gone just see how much the Mexicans, and the Indians, and the Chinese care about blacks.  They don’t have ‘white-guilt’, believe me.  They don’t care about blacks.”

Lance Corporal Devante Hart scoffs, “Thanks for caring.”

Corporal Gustavo Acosta says, “Shit, come on, guys.  The security camera…” and he points to the security camera affixed to the building adjacent to their position.

Lance Corporal Devante Hall waves at the camera and says, “It doesn’t record sound.  For all it knows we’re arguing about the price of your sister.”

Corporal Gustavo Acosta growls, “You fucker.  And you say you lost your sister.  What is wrong with you?  And no Mexican is a slave to fucking whites anymore.  The President gave amnesty.”

Corporal Wesley Ferguson grumbles, “Yeah, I guess it’s OK to break and enter as long as you clean the toilet…”

Corporal Gustavo Acosta shudders with anger.

Corporal Wesley Ferguson finishes, “…and I guess if you squat in the house long enough the owner has to adopt you.”

Corporal Gustavo Acosta points at Corporal Wesley Ferguson accusingly, “You took land from Mexico!”

Corporal Wesley Ferguson says, “Yeah?  So it’s about reconquista, not immigration, isn’t it?  Besides, every fucking nation on God’s Green Earth took their land from native people!  Even Mexico!”

Lance Corporal Devante Hart laughs, “Even Pilgrims!  Praise God!”

The three bickering Marines are suddenly alerted back to their duty by noticing a man and a woman talking and gesturing to an Afghan policeman beyond the barricade.  The policeman motions for the man and woman to be calm and then he approaches the three Marines who now stand vigilant.

The Afghan policeman says, “That man and woman say that their son has joined terrorists and they are afraid he will be made a suicide bomber.  They have given me this photograph.”

Lance Corporal Devante Hall looks at the photograph of a young man appearing the same as hundreds of other young Afghanis and he replies, “Yeah, well, tell them we’ll let them know if we see him,” and then he smiles and glances down the sights of his automatic rifle at the photograph.

The Afghan policeman looks perplexed and adds, “They say his name is Harb.”

Lance Corporal Devante Hall says, “We’ll be sure to ask him if his name is ‘Harb’ before we shoot.

Corporal Wesley Ferguson says, “Maybe we should keep the photograph for intelligence.”

Lance Corporal Devante Hall smiles and holds the photograph up toward the security camera and says, “There.  Now here’s your photo back.”

The Afghan policeman narrows his eyes at the three Marines and glances up at the security camera and then he shrugs and walks back to the man and the woman and returns to them their photograph.  The man puts his arms around the woman and the father and mother leave holding the photograph of their son between them.

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        The big truck rounds the corner of the security corridor like a charging rhinoceros roaring and pounding dust.

The three Marines present their weapons, take quick aim, and open fire.

The Afghan police run past the three Marines.

The big truck is gaining speed as its windshield explodes under the torrent of bullets.

The three Marines are leaning forward, their feet firm beneath their shoulders.

The big truck ceases to accelerate and it rolls and shudders right up in front of the unwavering Marine trio.

Lance Corporal Devante Hart dashes to the driver’s side and yanks the door and fires a fast burst into the cab.

Corporal Wesley Ferguson yanks open the passenger-side door and thrusts his weapon into the cab.

Corporal Gustavo Acosta clambers onto the hood of the big truck and aims his weapon into the blasted windshield.

The driver is slumped toward the passenger seat covered in broken glass and bloody gashes.

Corporal Gustavo Acosta hollers, “Fuck.  He has a detonator taped to his palm!”

Corporal Wesley Ferguson shouts, “His thumb is shot off.  Thank God!”

Lance Corporal Devante Hart says, “We should be dead.  Hey!  You know who the fuck I think this guy is…?”

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I am nothing but the will of Allah.  It is so beautiful.  My hand is the hand of Allah.  The blood of Allah flows where my thumb was.  It is so beautiful.  The blood of Allah flows into my palm.  The blood of Allah enters the detonator.

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The big truck vaporizes in the stupendous explosion.

Corporal Gustavo Acosta, Corporal Wesley Ferguson, and Lance Corporal Devante Hart surrender into light.

The truck engine is flung into the building hosting the Thanksgiving Day gathering of Marines, Afghan police, and officials of several nations and there it smashes the Thanksgiving buffet tables, injuring many.

The blast causes the father and the mother to drop their picture of Harb, their son, into the dust beneath their feet.

The security camera that witnessed it all now dangles; the eye of God plucked out.

Dislike in yourself what you dislike in others.

~Imam Ali

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Inspired by a true story

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But, the most ancient scrolls are kept on: THE TABLE OF MALCONTENTS

 

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MY BROTHER’S THANKSGIVING TOPIC ADDRESS

Grant

MY BROTHER’S

THANKSGIVING TOPIC

ADDRESS

(2014)

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        I, who have nothing but the clothes on my back donated by the grace of those who gave to the Salvation Army, said the following during an 8AM meeting of Narcotics Anonymous in a city park while surrounded by homeless people.

     Narcotics Anonymous teaches us two basic things: Get out of yourself and help others. Doing so helps us feel good about ourselves and that eliminates the need to use drugs or drink alcohol.

     Today’s topic is The Will of God because we need God’s will to help us get out of ourselves. You can’t get out of yourself by yourself. So God helps us step aside from our selfish ways. Once we do that we look back on our past lives and say, “Oh,… shit.” Then we clean up our mess. Moving forward we help other addicts clean up their messes, too. So the world gets a little better one addict at a time. And we feel good. So we don’t use. One day at a time.

     Today is Thanksgiving and I’m thankful that I’m not sitting in line somewhere waiting to buy a big-screen TV. Those people are just missing the point of Thanksgiving. The Pilgrims didn’t line up for big-screen TVs on the original Thanksgiving. The Pilgrims gathered with Native Americans to thank them and God that there was enough of a harvest to make it through the winter.

     Those of us here today in this place in this circle should also thank God because we are among the wealthiest people in the world. You know that, right? Most of us have a safe place to sleep and food to eat and clean clothes to wear by the mercy of the donors to the Salvation Army.

     There are billions of people on this planet who don’t have that.

     So I thank God that I am not in line purchasing a big-screen TV because there is no big-screen TV big enough to bring me that sense of happiness.

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THE GRIMPILS FARM

THE GRIMPILS FARM

A coyote is walking up the road from the city to the country.  On the back of the coyote is a crow.  On the back of the crow is a cockroach.  The three of them are friends from the city.  They are traveling up to the Grimpils farm for Giving Thanks Day.

A few hours pass and the three companions find themselves admiring the countryside.  A turkey meets them in the road.

The turkey says, “I am Snood.”

The coyote says, “I am Moontalker.”

The crow on Moontalker’s back says, “I am Caucus.”

The cockroach on Caucus’s back says, “I am Scurry.”

Snood the turkey says, “I will guide you from here.  Welcome to the Grimpils farm.”

Moontalker the coyote replies with a suave voice, saying, “Happy Giving Thanks Day.”

Caucus the crow replies with a rattling voice, saying, “Yaw, yaw.  Say, Snood, will there be Red Wing Blackbirds there?”

Scurry the cockroach replies with a soft hiss, saying, “Caucus can’t keep his pecker still.  Happy Giving Thanks Day, Snood.”

Snood the turkey turns and a raises a wing, saying, “Follow me, please.”

Snood and Moontalker, with Caucus and Scurry, turn off of the dirt road and climb through the old wooden rail fence.  Many of the rails are weathered and dislocated.

Snood and Moontalker, with Caucus and Scurry are now in a rolling green meadow, glazed with tiny yellow and purple wildflowers.  The warm air trembles with grasshoppers and butterflies.  Ahead they can see the Grimpils farmhouse and the enormous red barn.  As the four of them approach, the distant farmyard seems to be boiling.

Snood acknowledges the illusion and assures the others, saying, “It is all of the turkeys and their guests the cows, the pigs, the sheep, the chickens, and all of the others who were Born Again!”

Moontalker trots more quickly, saying, “A good turnout for Giving Thanks Day.”

Caucus starts to hop up and down Moontalker’s spine, saying, “Yaw, yaw, I see Red Wing Blackbirds!”

Upon Caucus’s back, poor Scurry hangs on like a burr on a bucking bronco, saying, “Cau! Cus! Will! You! Please! Be! Cool!”

When Snood and Moontalker, with Caucus and Scurry, finally arrive the vortex of animals is gravitating toward the big red barn.  The big red barn has an enormous doorway but no door.  Above the door can still be seen the faint white lettering: GRIMPILS FARM CAGE-FREE POULTRY.

Erected in front of the big red barn is a pole with what was once known as a scarecrow.  It is comprised of straw feet, a straw-stuffed pair of tattered overalls, a straw-stuffed red plaid shirt, and on the top of the pole is a human skull with a straw hat.

Moontalker growls softly, and then he says, “Sorry.  Habit.”

Caucus clicks and rattles nervously, saying, “I still have nightmares.”

Scurry scrambles a figure-8 over Caucus’s back, saying, “I don’t like religion.  Can’t we be thankful without it?”

Snood says, “Please excuse me,” and then he flaps and flutters up onto the head of the scarecrow.

Snood tips his head back and calls out over the crowd, saying, “Gentle animals, welcome, all, to this Giving Thanks Day; to this gathering of the Born Again!”

The variegated crowd assents.

Snood begins to preach, “Hear me, Born Again.  We must never forget.  On this day seasons ago we lived in what Man called Factory Farms.  All of us!”

Across the crowd rolls an ominous vibration.

“All of us!  And we were treated by Man like we were his personal vegetables!”

Across the crowd rolls an ominous vibration.

“Behind me in the shelter of this benign red barn was once a prison for innocent turkeys.  Innocent turkeys who never knew the comfort of a natural environment or the satisfaction of instinctual behaviors.  Today, Born Again baby turkeys stay with their mothers for months, but seasons ago these poor turkeys never experienced the safety or warmth of the nurturing mother they instinctively longed for.”

Across the crowd rolls an ominous vibration.

“Instead, they endured confinement in a ‘cage free’ barn, crowded beak to beak, the tops of their beaks broken off so that they could not kill themselves, their toes were sheared off; they were diseased, neglected, sometimes for days without water, abused by the attending Men; they bore a short life of intense suffering that ended in brutality: in the end they were hung upside down and their throats were slit and they bled to death.”

Silence crushes the crowd.

“Those who bled to death were the lucky ones.  Those who had not died yet were dumped alive into the steamer that scalded their feathers off.”

Some animals begin to cry out inarticulately.

“Three hundred million turkeys were raised for slaughter every season!  More than fifty million alone were slaughtered for a day that Man called Thanksgiving!”

Some animals begin to wail, “Why us?  Why us?”

Snood then takes a deep breath and with his wing he indicates the sun brightly above, saying, “And one day Great Sun took pity upon the poor animals under Man’s bondage.  Great Sun grew angrier and angrier.  And one day Great Sun cried out to the earth.”

The crowd opens their mouths and makes the loudest sounds that they can make.

Snood continues, saying, “And then for forty days and forty nights great Solar Flares engulfed the earth, flooded the earth.  First the Machines died.  Then Men died.  And then even the Men who could live without the Machines went mad from the radiation and they perished!”

“And finally, the God that had given Man such cruel, sadistic, unfeeling dominion over the world…, that petty, jealous, vengeful God of Man was dead!  Dead!  Dead forever!  So help us Great Sun.”

The crowd opens their mouths and makes the loudest sounds that they can make.

Snood shakes his wings in climax, shouting, “And Great Sun gave unto all the innocent animals his Gift of the Light, the Light of our Born Again Minds!  And we were all one upon the earth at last as it once was in the beginning!”

And Scurry cries out to Caucus and Moontalker, saying, “Happy Giving Thanks to all of us, every one!”

Inspired by: Woodstock Animal Farm Sanctuary

 

 

 

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CECILIO: THE SWALLOWED TOWN

CECILIO: THE SWALLOWED TOWN

 

     The great tree towered above the neighborhood in the town of Cecilio, California.  It was a pine tree, the only one for miles.  It rose over 300 feet.  It was bowed eastward at its pinnacle by the persistent desert winds from the dry mountain pass above town.  The land itself was made of centuries of dust settling out from those desert winds.

     The tree was estimated to be 400 years old.

     The great tree stood in the acreage of the old man whom the neighborhood nicknamed “Abuelo Macho”(“Tough Old Man”).  He was a descendant of the tribe Kuupangaxwichem (“people who slept here”).

     His home was an original adobe dwelling now deemed an Historic Landmark.  That home had been built by the Mexican settlers who inherited the land wrested from Spain.

     The family of Abuelo Macho had lived in that home for generations.  Now he was the last of his family who claimed the descent from the Kuupangaxwichem.

     Abuelo Macho would say that his people had lived by that great pine tree before the Spaniards.

     The neighborhood came to think of the tree and the old man as one.  They might refer to either as Abuelo Macho.

     The humble town of Cecilio had grown from the Kuupangaxwichem settlement that had surrounded the great tree.  The town was named for Cecilio Blacktooth, a Kuupangaxwichem chief.

     The tree was a place where people would rendezvous because it was so prominent for miles around.  On Día de Muertos candles were placed around the tree in memory of a series of children found sacrificed there a century ago.

     It came to pass that a coalition of developers came to Cecilio and seduced the City Council with beautiful plans and visions of prosperity.  The town was to be renovated with much celebration and many gifts.

     The developers could not touch Abuelo Macho’s home but the great tree was interfering with all the planned utilities above and below ground.

     The developers were certain that new taxes would force Abuelo Macho off of his land.  However, he lived a spartan life and there was an old well on his property.  Abuelo Macho said, “My people were removed from the land where our fathers were buried.”

     The developers’ meeting minutes recorded that, “The old indian seems to worship that tree.  If we remove it we can break him.”

     Abuelo Macho stood stoically watching the tree removal service preparing to scale the tree.

     He heard a worker explain to his neighbor, “It’s so big we can’t just chop it down.  We have to remove it from the top down.

     The neighbor glanced at Abuelo Macho sadly but the neighbor had been paid a good price for his home.

     Abuelo Macho said nothing and looked up at the great tree.  His jaw was working like he was talking to himself.

     It took the Utility Specialist three hours to ascend the great tree, branch by branch.  Near the bowing crown of the tree the wind suddenly became dangerous, rocking the bigger branches and flailing the young growth.

     The branch to which the Utility Specialist was secured split and he fell down into lower branches.  He had to be recovered, gashed and unconscious.

     The next Utility Specialist was attacked by rats living in the tree. He had to be hospitalized.

     No one else wanted to ascend the tree, some saying it was cursed.

     They needed a new plan.  Eventually one of the project managers recalled seeing a demolition documentary about bringing down large buildings in the middles of cities.  The technique used scientifically placed and timed explosives.  The demolished buildings would collapse straight down.

     After much planning and many days and many dollars, explosives were placed by men in mobile elevating work platforms called  “cherry pickers”.

     Abuelo Macho painted his face in the Kuupangaxwichem Death Mask and sat down on his land, fasting.

     Abuelo Macho finally was escorted away to a safe distance.

     The timed sequence of explosions shattered the great tree in a storm of splinters and left a pillar of smoke and dust.  For a minute there were no sounds. There was no wind.  The roiling pillar stood where the tree had stood.

     Abuelo Macho howled and collapsed.  Then came the sound.  Everyone felt it before they heard it.

     The ground rolled and shuddered.  The land made of dust seemed to turn into a fluid.  People sank into the earth as they tried to run.  Buildings were pulled apart and vanished into the cloud of dust boiling up from the surface.

     The rescue operation continued for days.  No survivors were found.  No bodies were recovered.

     The site of the Cecilio tragedy was abandoned and considered a mass graveyard.  No developers would touch it.

     The only regular  visitors were a few archaeologists.  On Día de Muertos candles were lighted at the places where the homes of relatives might have been.  On Halloween night teenagers drove to the location to party and to tell scary stories about a town of ghosts.

     A man went there once to hunt coyotes and he was never seen again.  People were not surprised.

     A tribe of coyotes sang to them all.  They were happy to have their land once again.

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WITCHES’ MOON

WITCHES’ MOON

🎃

 

There are four Moon Witches.

The four Moon Witches are called Pink, Flower, Blue, and Strawberry.  They actually have no “names”.  They are known by their presence.  You might try to call that “spirit”.

Of course they don’t “speak English” but I will try to tell you what I know.

On the dark side of that Moon that you see above on a clear night live the four Moon Witches: Pink, Flower, Blue, and Strawberry.

The Moon Witches are the ones who took the moon out of the Earth when it was Hell that ruled on the surface of the Planets.  The place from which the Moon Witches took the Moon is what became the Pacific Ocean once Hell had been driven under ground.

Victorious Mother Earth upon her skin now gives birth to her uncountable children and then in time she swallows them all.  Hell is Her belly.

The Moon Witches are as old as our universe.  Our world is their amusement park.

The Moon Witches are fascinated by humans.  The source of humans is older than the Moon Witches.

You may realize that the Moon Witches are not “women” but their energy is primarily creative, poetic.  For example, it is said that every word you speak was once a poem of theirs.

On Earth the Moon Witches take the feminine shapes of a virgin girl, a nurturing mother, and a wise old woman.  Flower, Pink, and Strawberry.  Blue can take any of those forms but Blue is the bisexual energy.

On October 31, 2022 the Moon Witches rode to earth.

Yes, I know that today is October 12, 2018.  Your perception of time is one dimensional.  I am speaking of what has happened but you think I am some kind of oracle.  I am definitely not a “frenzied woman from whose lips the gods speak”.

The local news programs talked about four meteors that were widely observed during daylight burning up above Rialto, California.  They all made a joke about dragons coming to Earth for Halloween.

Evening was nearing.

Heather was thirteen years old.  Cerise was her mother.  Grandma Frazier was walking with them along Riverside Avenue, looking at the shops.

Grandma Frazier halted to look in the window of a beauty salon.

Heather, looking at her cellphone, walked ahead saying, “There’s a music store up ahead.”

Mama Cerise scolded,”Heather, stay together with us, dammit!

Grandma Frazier admonished her own daughter, saying, “Don’t curse!”

The three of them then cackled heartily at Grandma Frazier’s little joke.

They strolled on.

Up ahead was a boy in a monkey costume dancing with an advertising placard to entice passing motorists into the music store.  He evidently was wearing earbuds and an iPod.

Heather approached Monkey Boy and smiled.  She called out, “What’s your name?”

Monkey boy looked at Heather and shook his hips and with a yell muffled by his costume said, “I’m Tweeker the Musical Monkey!  Do you play the skin flute, girl?”

Tweeker the Monkey Boy was aped on methedrine.

Heather looked around quickly and then extended both arms, palms out and said, “You like to monkey around with drugs?  I say ‘Jste, co jste’.”

Monkey Boy became a large chimpanzee.  He squalled and leaped onto a parked car and then leaped onto a passing car.  The car swerved and rode up onto the landscaped median, hitting a tree.  Monkey Boy was catapulted up into the tree and clung there screeching.

Heather called out, “Trick or treat, Tweeker.”

Mama Cerise commented, “It is getting to be that time.  Let us leave this main street and roam into the neighborhood.”

Grandma Frazier said, “Let us watch the humans disguise themselves as who they really are.”

The veil of twilight was lowering upon the town.

Mama Cerise was observing, “The little children are all devils or angels or princesses.”

Grandma Frazier said wryly, “The teenage girls are slutty nurses or slutty candy-stripers or slutty maids or slutty devils or slutty angels or slutty pirates or slutty fairies or slutty princesses …and, look, a slutty witch is coming right now!”

Cousin Jaye came up to them and greeted the other three, saying, “Your disguises are really scary.”

Heather continued, “Teenage boys are ghosts or skeletons.  That’s the only way they can be bold with the sluts.”

Mama Cerise noticed, “The mothers with the little children are tired slaves.”

Grandma Frazier said, “And the husbands are invisible men.”

Ahead was a commotion and yelling.  The Moon Witches saw a mob coming toward them in the dark, filling the street and sidewalks.  They all wore black hoods and the same black scarves over their mouths and noses.  Several of them were waving signs.

Cousin Jaye read, “OCCUPY HALLOWEEN”.

The mob was taking candy from all the trick-or-treaters that they could grab.  Children wailed, teenagers yelled, adults hollered and called for police.  There were short-lived fights, overwhelmed by the marching marauding mob.

Mama Cerise said, “This is new.”

Heather said, “A sick trick.”

Cousin Jaye said, “Occupy Halloween?  I don’t think so.”

Grandma Frazier said, “Cast this spell with me.”

Cousin Jaye said, “This should be fun.”

Heather said, “You go, Grandma!”

Mama Cerise said, “Make them who they are.”

Together the four Moon Witches chanted, “Všichni z vás, kdo jste musíte čelit.”

An enormous cloud of mosquitoes appeared and descended upon the mob, sparing the innocent trick-or-treaters.

The Occupy Halloween mob screamed and slapped themselves, blinded by the mosquitoes stabbing them.  The March fell apart and dispersed, frantic and terrified.

The mosquitoes vanished as suddenly as they had appeared.

The members of the mob turned to one another.

They all had the same face!

Heather exclaimed, “What a cool illusion!  They all think they have the same face!”

Cousin Jaye laughed, “That will give them something to think about!”

Grandma Frazier said, “Until tomorrow.”

Mama Cerise added, “All Saints Day.”

Heather moaned, “Aw.  We always have to leave too soon.”

The Occupy Halloween mob was still running and shrieking in disbelief.

Cousin Jaye said, “Disbelief is our secret portal.”

Mama Cerise observed, “The scattered screaming gives a nice Halloween mood!”

A slutty angel came up to Cousin Jaye and said, “There you are.  Are you coming to Pussycats?”

Cousin Jaye put her arm around the slutty angel and said to the other three Moon Witches, “See y’all on the Dark Side,” and she strolled away.

Grandma Frazier said, “A fog will be a nice touch until midnight”, and she chanted, “Plášť čarodějnice měsíc”.

A cool mist muted the town lights and the night silhouettes.

Mama Cerise chuckled, “We should go to Midnight Mass at The Church of the Wiccan Sages.”

Heather pleaded, joyfully, “Oh, can we?”

Grandma Frazier smiled, “That would separate the goats from the sheep.”

Mama Cerise proclaimed, “Let’s party.”

The New Light Missionary Baptist Church building was almost 100 years old.  Abandoned in 1967 it was leased to The Church of the Wiccan Sages.

Heather, Mama Cerise, and Grandma Frazier were welcomed into the Vestibule of the Church.

Blessed be thy feet that have walked this Path

Blessed be thy knees that kneel at the sacred altar

Blessed be thy sex which gives and receives pleasure

Blessed be thy breasts formed in strength and beauty

Blessed be thy lips that shall utter the Sacred Names.

The Nave of the Church was glorified with skulls, skeletons, grave rubbings, ghosts, and items of the dead and the spirit world; pumpkins, squash, root vegetables, to mark the end of the growing season; nuts and berries, dark breads, representing the darker time of year; dried leaves and acorns, symbolizing the shedding of the trees of autumn; a cornucopia filled with an abundance of fruit and veggies, to represent the bounty of the fields and gardens; and mulled cider, wine, and mead, as a way of honoring the blessings of the orchards and vineyards.

Heather nodded, “Let’s party, indeed.”

Grandma Frazier scoffed, “They are like a lost prehistoric tribe worshipping a Coke bottle that was thrown from an airplane.”

Mama Cerise whispered, “Manners, everyone.”

Heather said, “Look.”

On the Altar was a large straw woman.

The High Priestess of the Coven was leading the worship of that ‘Queen of Winter’.

The congregation chanted in unison.

Dneska je ta noc, kdy se listí létat jako čarodějnice na přepínačích po obloze.  Když elf a sprite poletovat přes noc na moony sheen.

Grandma whispered, “Not quite.  Together now, family.”  Then Mama Cerise and Heather joined Grandma Frazier, chanting, “Královna zimní žehnej vaše stádo.”

In a blaze of blue light the straw Queen of Winter rose into the smoky air.  There were gasps and screams of delight.

The straw head of the Queen burned from within and she spoke.  With Grandma Frazier’s echoing voice she said,”Welcome, all my beautiful girls.”

Some fainted.  Some squealed.

The Queen of Night said, “I shall grant you four wishes of me this night.  Ask and you shall receive.  Yet ask carefully.”

The High Priestess of the Coven yelled excitedly, “Make me like you!”

And she turned into straw.

There were rustles and screams.

A Wiccan yelled, “Make me wiser than you!”

And she turned into a coyote and yipped at the Queen of Night.

There was a rolling commotion but another Wiccan cried, “Make me happy!”

And she turned into a moron child.

Many Wiccans now crowded in exit toward the vestibule.  There was crying.

Someone yelled, “Save us!  Go away!”

The Queen of Night burst into flames and fell in ashes upon the pagan altar.

The spell was broken.  All became as it was.  The town crossed midnight safely.

I strolled home.  What a night.  Who  am I?  I am known as Moon Consort, Keeper of the Black Cat Chronicles.

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REFERENCES:

Once in a Blue Moon – The Origins and Meaning Behind the Phrase

Ritual Honoring the Harvest’s End

Ask Me Anything: Pagan “Baptism”

The Gods Must Be Crazy

SUCKFACE

SUCKFACE

 

     It was October 31, 1917.  All Saints’ Eve.  We were the 37th Infantry of the First Division.  We had been ferociously attacked that day near the French town of Citrouille.

     I regained consciousness.  I was lying on the ravaged battlefield in the desecrated farmland.  It had become night.  I smelled the churned soil and then the stench of the dead.

     Now permeating the darkness was a fog from the damp field plowed by artillery shells and from the smoke of fires across the battlefield.  The fires shivered a ghastly illumination.

     I hesitated to cry for help.  I did not know who now controlled this farmland or the nearby town of Citrouille.  For three years Citrouille had been the center of a no-man’s-land washed over back and forth with blood.

     I rose on my elbow slowly and peered around.  I tried to sit up but I could not feel my legs.  I stared into the night of fog and smoke and watched nervously the shifting shapes, trying to discern a person.

     Then I descried a figure meandering slowly over the mounds of carnage, coming towards me.

     I lowered myself.  The figure carried a pail.  And a long knife!  It was just a boy!

     He stopped and knelt.  I saw him set the pail down and he began to cut something with his knife.

     A fire flared nearby and for a minute I clearly saw the boy cutting flesh from the face of a dead soldier!

     He nibbled it and then dropped the grisly repast into his pail.  The boy repeated this horrifying action again and again.

     I thought that I would faint.  Then terror gave me a jolt of adrenaline.  I felt for my pistol.  It was gone.

     I looked down at my legs.  They were splayed at an unnatural angle.

     I whimpered.  The boy turned and looked in my direction.  He stood up and began to walk toward me holding his knife out in front of himself.

     When the boy was a few feet away I could discern his dark face.  It looked like the middle of his face was sucked into his skull!  Monstrous! Where a mouth should have been there were teeth exposed up to what would have been his nose.

     Was I delirious?!

     No!  This was real!

     The Suckface Boy stood facing me.  Where his eyes would have been there was an overhanging brow of what I could only think was scar tissue.

     The Suckface Boy pointed his knife at me and he nodded.  I yelled, “Stay away from me!”, and I shook my fist at him.

     I saw that the Suckface Boy was wearing a tattered American uniform, cut to roughly hang on his body.

     I yelled, “Go away!”, and I threw a clod of dirt at him, ineffectively.

     Suckface waved his knife at me and then turned and hopped away on the mounds of debris.  He picked up his gory pail and continued on away from me.

     Beyond the receding monster boy I saw the silhouette of a distant farm house.  Beyond that structure I could see the jagged horizon of the ruins of Citrouille.

     Suckface approached the farm house and he seemed to vanish into the silhouette.

     I then didn’t care if I became a prisoner of war.  I was yelling for help.  From anyone!  I quickly became exhausted.  I laid my head back on the dirt.  I became very cold.

     I must have passed out because I remember my mother tucking me snuggly into my childhood bed.  I said, “Mommy, my legs hurt”, and she began to rub my legs.  My bed began to move up and down and my mother drew away from me and I couldn’t see her face anymore.  I began to cry.

     I awoke suddenly.  I was wrapped in coarse cloth and I was being carried!  I was tied tightly onto a stretcher borne by a group of ragged children.  I cried out.

     I turned my head side to side.  They were all disfigured and monstrous, with missing flesh and distorted features.  They each wore a tattered uniform, from French, German, British, or American soldiers.

     They were taking me to the farm house.  I was yelling for help until one boy pushed a foul rag into my mouth.  I gagged.  I started to shiver.

     The farm house was a house-barn.  There were two large spaces, one for people and one for animals.  There was a small fire in a great stone fireplace, weakly illuminating the house.  They set me on a bench in the barn area, still bound on the stretcher.  One of the children yanked the rag out of my mouth.

     I saw another soldier unbound upon another bench.  He looked dead.  I realized he had no arms or legs.  Then I saw his profile.  The flesh had been cut from his skull.

     Suddenly, the dismembered soldier turned his head toward me!

     I yelled in terror.

     His unlidded eyes stared at me.  They quivered and glistened but I could not imagine him being conscious, that it must be reflexes.  It was ghastly.

     A young woman in a soiled white dress appeared next to the mutilated soldier.  Her long unkempt hair hid her face in shadow.  She had red crosses smeared by blood on her sleeves and back.  She adjusted a bloody tube that coiled from the soldiers chest to a pail on the floor beneath that bench.

     The young woman then turned toward me.  Her face was ravaged and raw below her nose but her smooth upper face peered over the carnage of her lower face.  She came and stood over me.  I was terrified.

     Then she spoke something in French to me.  She had an incongruous voice that was soothing like honey but I couldn’t understand her.  She must have realized that I didn’t speak French.  She made what would have been a smile.  I stared into her eggshell blue eyes.  She stroked my hair.

     Suckface came and stood beside her.  He asked her a question in French.  She answered no.  Suckface stared at me.  He asked another question.  She nodded ok.  Suckface held out something in his hand and made an “eat, eat” gesture.  I almost vomited.

     Then Suckface laid what proved to be a slice of vegetable on my lips.  It was a piece of pumpkin.  I bit it and chewed.  I hadn’t realized how hungry I was.

     I stared at him as I chewed.  For a moment he didn’t seem threatening.  Then I remembered the soldier on the other bench.  I stared at the other soldier and I was disheartened again.  His eyes no longer glistened.  Yet I felt a terrible relief.

     The young woman turned and looked at the dismembered soldier and said something to Suckface.  They both went beside the soldier and the young woman extracted the tubing from his chest.  Suckface took away the pail of blood.  The young woman covered the soldier with a shroud of burlap.

     I yelled anxiously, “Who are you?!”

     The young woman looked at me over her shoulder and she calmly said, “Eloise.”

     She then spoke and gestured over to a group of children .  They brought another stretcher and then they slid the shrouded remains of the mutilated soldier onto the stretcher.

     As the children took away his corpse I became aware of a great pile of uniforms in the corner of the barn.

     I lifted my head and saw Suckface now piercing strips of flesh onto sharpened sticks and handing them to the other children.  The children took their portions and went over to the small fire in the great stone fireplace.  They held the skewered meats near the flames.

     The room filled with greasy smoke and the charring human flesh emanated a nauseating, sweet odor so thick it became a taste in my mouth.

     The children then took turns drinking from the pail of blood.  I was physically revolted.

     I laid my head back in despair and I realized that the young woman Eloise was standing over me.

     She touched her breast and said sweetly again, “Eloise”, then she touched my chest and shrugged her shoulders.

     I answered her gesture, saying, “Jack.  Jack Lanthorn.”

     She repeated, “Jacques, Jacques.”  She nodded and her cheeks stretched in a remnant of a smile.  Her exposed teeth and gums were a hideous contrast.   Her clear blue eyes trembled on the precipice of a bleak countenance.

     My feelings of an empathy and a horror together were unbearable.  I was thinking, “We die alone in the dark”.  I said, “Well, Eloise, at least I am not alone,” and I started to laugh nervously, uncontrollably, and then maniacally.  I was losing my sanity.  If I had my pistol I would have shot myself in the head.

     I laughed, “I will taste very bitter to you.”

     Eloise put her hand on my head.

     The children started to gather around me.

     I thought, “This is it.”

     Eloise began to rub my chest as if I were a child.  She began to sing softly the French nursery song “Alouette”.

Alouette, gentille Alouette

Alouette je te plumerai

Je te plumerai la tete

Je te plumerai la tete

Allouete,Allouette

O-o-o-o-oh

Alouette, gentille Alouette

Alouette je te plumerai

     It was sweet and soothing but then I remembered what the song was about.  The song was about plucking a bird!

     …I shall pluck your head…your beak…and your neck…and your eyes…and your back…and your wings…and your feet…and your tail…I shall pluck you.

     The children joined the song softly.  They sang as well as they could with their deformed mouths.  It sounded so innocent but they were so monstrous.

     A boy at the door suddenly whispered harshly, “Pierrot!”

     Everyone turned toward the door.

     An old, short, stocky man entered carrying a rifle.  He was not deformed even though his weathered face resembled a potato.  He wore suspenders over the ill-fitting remains of a French soldier’s uniform.  I thought he must be a farmer and maybe this place was his home.  I instinctively cried to him, “Help!”

     The man glanced at me and then he addressed Eloise.  Eloise spoke at length and the man glanced at me repeatedly.  I lost heart by the minute.  The old man seemed to be part of this nightmare.

     Eloise gestured toward me.  The old man nodded and came toward me.  Eloise said behind him, “Jacques.”

     The old man looked me over and then addressed me in rough-hewn English but I could understand him!

     He said, “I am Pierrot.  You are Jacques, yes?”

     I said, “Help me.”

     Pierrot continued, “Americans come.  You be Okee Dokee,” he said as he looked at my legs.

     I beseeched him fearfully, “What is this place?  Who are these people?”

     Pierrot said contemptuously, “You safe.  They save you.  Hide you.  You afraid of them?”

     I cried defensively, “Who are they?  Why are they here?  I saw terrible things!  They are cannibals!”

     Pierrot spit on the dirt floor.  He said, “You same everybody.  They…,” and he gestured expansively toward the children, “They born syphilis.  Babies!  Born syphilis.  They mothers syphilis.  They mothers fucking dead.  They have nobody.  Maybe die soon.  They have no place.  Live here my farm.  Nobody like!  Nobody help!  Soldiers afraid.  Two years no food.  No water.  You ‘cannibal’ like them two years no food no water!  Fucking war!  Fucking syphilis!  You see?  They help you.  You see?”  He spat again, “You see nothing!”

     I was stupefied.  I looked at the boy that I had called Suckface.  I said, “I’m sorry.  I’m sorry.”

     I looked at Eloise, “Forgive me.  I couldn’t know.”

     Neither the boy nor Eloise understood me.  I think they must have felt that I was only showing gratitude to them for helping me.

     Pierrot said curtly, “I bring Americans now,” and he turned and went outside.

     I was the real monster.

     It was not long before several astonished and horrified comrades of mine carried me away from that place.

     It was over for me, yet the Great War was never done with me.  From then on I walked with braces on both legs and a cane in each fist.

     My mind never left that farmhouse.

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