Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Come Hither Part II

By Redphantom Xenpsychous

A horde of pale people dressed in black carrying long swords surrounded us. Their leader, a short man holding a human skull who had red eyes, fangs, and long black fingernails stepped forward. He laughed maniacally, and said, “Now we have more blood for the sacrifices.”

Pekoe calmly got out of the inflatable raft and said, “Those sure are some nice nail files you boys got.”

The leader smiled and said, “A timid old man and a child, plus a few older men.”

“I'm not old.” Terry quickly shot back at the leader.

“And you try to claim you're not gay.” I responded.

Terry gave me a warning look, “I'm not gay.”

Teaspoon laughed, “Come on, Ter, we like don't mind.”

“I'm not gay.” Terry repeated himself.

Teaspoon gave the natural response, “You defend your sexuality an awful lot for a straight dude.”

“Kick these guys' asses, Ruby Drip.” said Pekoe suddenly.

“What?” was my response.

Pekoe clarified himself, “This is your magical theistic adventure, Ruby, show them the righteous crushing physical force harnessed from the murky depths of the spiteful obscene subdivision of your immortal contorted soul.”

I waited for a moment before asking, “What the hell are you talking about?”

Pekoe paused and then said, “I believe, in infantile simpleton speak it translates to, 'Go kick they asses, Ruby Dog.'”

I paused before telling him, “I'm fat and out of shape.”

The leader of the people in cloaks grew tired of our talking amongst ourselves and said, “Seize them. Prepare them for being chopped into pieces and then sacrificed to Satan. Either that, or prepare them to be chopped up and made into dog food. I don't care which, just do something with them.”

Pekoe smiled, “You boys in good with Satan?”

The leader replied, “Yes, we're Satanists, we're going to sacrifice your immortal souls to him.”

“I worked with Satan a few times.” Pekoe replied, “I don't think he'll like you all's sacrifice. On account of, you all dressed like you vagrant vagabonds.”

“Great, the old man is senile.” replied the leader, “That means he gets to be dog food. No one wants a crazy man's soul.”

Pekoe sighed, “My oh my, I'm gonna die. Please, oh please, let me play one last tune on my harmonica, before I get down on my knees. And let you kill me with such ease, free to take my soul, make me into dog food, or do as you please.”

“He might be good for entertaining Satan.” said one of the cloaked men, “Maybe we shouldn't turn him into dog food.”

The Satanist slapped the cloaked man who said that in the face and said, “You fool, Satan is the lead guitarist of a heavy metal band. He needs not entertainment.”

“That's right.” Pekoe replied, “Satan is in a metal band, with Lilith doing vocals, Beelzebub on rhythm guitar, Cain on bass guitar, proving even non musical people can be in a band, and Mr. Rogers on the drums.” After saying this, Pekoe took the moments of stunned silence to take out his magic harmonica and he began to play it.

The leader of the Satanists realized what was happening and shouted, “Hey, I never said your could play your harmonica.” Pekoe ignored this and continued to play, and then zombies emerged from the ground and devoured all of the Satanists except for their leader. The leader stood stunned and said, “Wow, that's some cool voodoo magic.”

Pekoe laughed and shook his head, “No sir, this some cool voodoo magic.” Pekoe played his harmonica once more, and seven demons popped out of the ground. They seized the Satanist leader with their mighty claws and dragged him into the ground and off to hell. Pekoe laughed and played some more notes on his harmonica, vanishing the zombies he had previously summoned. Pekoe then walked over to me and patted my shoulder with his arm, “Don't take it hard, Ruby Drip, some people get a little stage fright on their first time out. Next time though, ain't no flaxen avenging angel gonna save your ass. You gotta learn the art of burro spankin' combat.” Pekoe handed me a book, “Read this and digest it's critical crafty teachings with you eyes and cerebrums.”

I took the book from Pekoe and examined it. I noticed that it had a page turned down. I thought this was odd and decided to check it out. Upon looking at the page, I only became more confused. The page Pekoe had turned down was one about escaping from prison. I had no plans to go to prison any time soon.

“You all is terribly inept inexperienced noble warriors.” Pekoe started, “We gone and left the unfortunate victims bound in cold oppressive cords. Come, let us release them from their captivity.”

Pekoe walked over the remains of the dead satanists he had slain and over to a black building, which was barely visible in the darkness of the night. Teaspoon, Terry, Temperance, and I followed him. Pekoe went down several hallways where confused Satanists eyed him with suspicion.

“What the fuck you all doin'?” asked Teaspoon, “You supposed to be helpin' wit a sacrifice.”

“We didn't realize that we'd have to do actual work if we became Satanists.” said one of the loiters in response.

Another nodded, “Yeah, you know what I don't like about Jesus? He wants us all to work.”

“I just want to make art, man.” said one of the other Satanists, “I just don't like the church, man. With all their repression. I just like making paintings.”

Terry looked at them with disgust, “You're all going to hell.”

One of the other Satanists shook their head, “You're so judgmental. Wasn't Jesus against that? This is why I became a Satanist. The biggest recruiting tool for Satanists is the Christian religion itself.”

Pekoe kept walking, and I along with the other members of our group followed. We kept walking until we reached the room where the sacrifices are performed. Sitting tied up in the center of the room were four people, three men and one woman. They all looked pale, skinny, and gaunt, and had black hair. The woman's hair was long. Pekoe smiled at the group and then began to play his magic harmonica. Instantly the people on the ground became untied and rose to their feet.

“That's devil magic.” said the woman, “You're going to hell for using devil magic.”

Teaspoon looked angry, “Bitch, we just saved yowe life. You show us some thanks.”

The woman smiled, “I would, but cooperation with evil is just as bad as actually doing evil, so I can't. I will oppose your evil Satanist ways. Even if you just saved my life, because I'm trying to save your, I'm trying to save your soul. You might do crack...”

“I don't do no crack.” Teaspoon replied.

The woman sighed, “Ok, heroin then.”

“I don't do that neither.” said Teaspoon.

“Well, you used to, I see a darkness on you.” said the woman, “That's because one day I was praying, and I asked god, I asked him, 'Let me see darkness on people. So that I can cure them.' I cure people. I'm a saint. I'm not going to save your life. I'm trying to save your soul. Your immortal soul, Tyrone. Your soul.”

“Fuck you all.” Teaspoon said, “Let's tie em' back up and burn them with gasoline.”

“I know you're only saying that because Satan made you.” said the woman.

An elderly man entered the room after the woman said this, he was bald with sunglasses and he wore a white business suit. He was tall and handsome. Next to him was an eight foot tall green demon with yellow eyes. The demon was extremely muscular and menacing. Next to the demon was a skinny attractive black woman woman with curly black hair and violet eyes dressed in gothic attire. And next to her was a black man dressed in gothic attire with spiky black hair, brown eyes, and he was, like the woman next to him, very skinny.

“My man.” Pekoe said, “How long has it been?”

“Too long,” the old man replied, “Sorry, I just got caught up in the recording of a new album, that, and, running hell, you know. Plus, Rogers isn't always available. He's got virtuous stuff to do, you know. He just likes playing with us to show that God really does love everyone you know. Plus he's good at what he does. I guess he's also kind of pissed because I double crossed him on his contract...but that's just the business.”

“I'm good at what I do!” said the black man next to the black woman.

“Shut up, Cain.” said the demon next to the old man.

Pekoe smiled, “I see as always you and your lot are frolicking in the vast universal meadows of friendship and love.”

“Yeah.” the old man sighed, “Cain is a talentless dick. I would replace him, but...ah...I'm not putting that much effort into the bass tracks.”

“Bassists make art!” Cain spat.

“Some do.” the demon replied, “You just make noise. If you left the band, all you would be qualified to do is record albums for rap musicians.”

“Who are you people?” the woman to be sacrificed asked.

“I'm Satan,” the old man replied, “and I'm here to take your immortal soul.”

The man next to the woman to be sacrificed looked surprised and asked, “Aren't you supposed to be red and with horns and stuff?”

Satan sighed, “Look, I just do that for stage performances. I'm just a guy. A rich, famous, back stabbing white asshole. Beelzebub here...” Satan pointed to the demon, “is the freak, but that's just because he likes tattoos and cheap surgery.”

“You're one to talk, Satan,” replied Beelzebub, “You've got more chemicals in your body than a chemistry set.”

Satan shrugged, “Where would I be without my chiseled good looks?”

“So...” said one of the males who was about to be sacrificed, “You are that guy who plays dressed music dressed up like Satan? I always thought you guys were just a band.”

“Yeah, that's what everyone thinks, but I am the prince of darkness himself.” Satan bowed, smiled and asked, “Are you a fan?”

The man to be sacrificed just shook his head, “No, it's just that we played a set with you once, remember?”

“I'm up there with Hendrix, I only remember bands with extraordinary talent.” Satan replied pretentiously white Pekoe coughed and then loudly laughed.

“We're Fathom, the Christian rock band.” replied the man to be sacrificed, “I'm Peter, the rhythm guitarist.”

“And I'm Mary, the genius of the group. I also play lead guitar and I write all the amazing awesome vocals.” said the woman to be sacrificed, “And this is Andrew, he's the drummer.” Mary pointed to one of the other male band mates, “I wish I didn't have to have him or Peter, but you know, I only have two hands, not eight hands, which means I have to have other members of the band. I can't make an album of just singing alone you know.” Mary pointed to the last band member and then said almost as a side note, “He's the bassist.” The bassist frowned and began to shake.

“Everyone hates the bassist.” Cain screamed, “Why does everyone hate the bassist? Abel could play the harp. Who likes the harp? God liked the harp. Why didn't he like my bass guitar?”

“Because you suck at it.” Beelzebub replied, “It's the rhythm section you asshole. It's supposed to be understated. Your entire job is to make the rest of the song sound better without being too over the top. Do you know how hard it is to be recognized for being in the background? Bass kicks ass when you play it right. You don't do that.”

“My solo album only bombed because I'm a Jew!” Cain yelled.

The female member of Satan's band rolled her eyes, “And it can't have anything to do with the fact that no one wants to endorse the first known murderer.”

“I told you I'm not going to use a stage name, Lilith.” Cain spat, “If I did, how would people know to buy it hearing my musical genius on the Satan albums?”

Peter shook his head, “Honestly, I thought Satan was just the name of a heavy metal band trying to sound cool.”

“Nope.” Satan responded, “I named it after myself because my music kicks so much ass. And we're not just metal. We released an entire acoustic album. We have a shit ton of blues albums. I used to play the fiddle, and I still do sometimes. Especially when I visit the south. Our band used to be known as Old Scratch. We even let Cain play in the band. We gave him a bell and told him to improvise. I also put out one rap record. Did that one solo. I've never cared much for techno. We did put out a country music once, though.”

“I refused to take part int that.” Lilith said at this.

Satan nodded, “Yeah, Lilith refused to take part in the country CD, she went off and did some solo stuff, so I sang vocals in an off key twang. It didn't make us much money, but that's ok, because I only recorded it to torture people in hell. I lost the rights for the country songs I liked using, and they wanted to charge me out the ass to renew them. So I told them to go to hell and decided to record my own country music.”

Beelzebub smiled, “And remember we did some funk albums?”

“Oh yeah,” Satan nodded at Beelzebub, “That was when Cain left the band, so you just played bass, and we had Paimon come on to play rhythm guitar and do backing vocals.”

“I was better at guitar.” Beelzebub said bitterly.

“Yeah.” Satan replied, “Our fans were happy when we put you back on the rhythm guitar.” Satan looked at Fathom, “See, I have such varied musical tastes and this is only one of my bands. You'll have such fun in hell.”

Andrew looked confused, “Wait, so you're Satan, and you just go around playing music all day?”

Satan shrugged, “I play music a lot. It gives credibility to my record company. You know, it's run by a guy that loves the music. He wants to be a musician himself, but according to certain critics, and know it all assholes, he isn't too good at it. He still loves that music though. It makes it easier for me to take musicians souls. And to make them sell me their music. It makes it easier to reap profits from their works. Only allowing them a small slice of the pie I made them bake for me whilst intoxicating them with fame, fortune, alcohol, and hookers to make them forget. It isn't easy to be a musician and big time record producer, but evil is hard work.”

Peter frowned, “Man, I am so glad that we aren't signed to Satan records.”

“Satan records isn't my label, you fool.” Satan said, “I would not be so stupid is to blatantly label my record company as such. Not with all the books, movies, and plays trying to denounce me as such. All very well written, I might add. All very good portals of me, I think, except that I always lose in the end. Anyone who takes a look at the world can tell you I more often win.” Satan paused, “As for not being signed with me...well, I own shares in every major record label. This system makes it so easy for me. Every time you buy a CD, you put money in my pocket. I have such investments in business, any time you buy anything, you put money in my pocket. Even necessities. You want to defeat me? Starve.”

“We will defeat you.” Mary sang, “With the power of music and love.”

Satan laughed, “With music? I remember your music now, my dear, upon hearing your name. Don't make me laugh. Your music is terrible. I remember I was talking to the pope the other day, he was telling me that your music is so horrible it makes him feel better for having been a Nazi. He is able to sleep at night knowing that being a Nazi is not the worst sin a a Christian has committed. No.” Satan paused, “Your music is the type of popular, empty garbage which keeps people complacent and happy. It even has just enough thought in it to make people think that they think. And it keeps real artists, real artists whose music can inspire and spread love, it keeps them poor and on the street corners.”

Mary looked defiant, “We're not going to be brought down by your lies.”

Satan grinned, “ such an effective tool for escaping from reality, and ignoring the moral teachings inherent in the words you sling around so blindly. Your ignorance is so profound that you can not see it even when it is flung in your face because you are so blind.”

“,” Peter started, “Why were you talking to the pope? Were you and he having a spiritual battle?”

“The pope and I are friends,” Satan laughed, “We have meetings weekly to discuss how we can further mutilate the teachings of Jesus and use them for propaganda to achieve our own ends.”

Mary again looked defiant, “I'm not going to let your lies fool me.”

Satan's eyes widened, “Ah, but am I lying? Could I be? How can you know? Perhaps I am. Perhaps I am taking advantage of the folly of men to destroy your faith. Maybe the pope is just a guy, trying to do good in a hopelessly corrupt system. Maybe the church is trying to do good, and maybe the trail of bodies it has left behind over all of history are just little misguided mistakes. But then...what hope would you have against me then? How could the corrupt and the blind and the weak defend you against me? Ah, but shut your ears. For all things which pass out of this mouth are lies. All I ever do is lie. But that isn't really possible, is it? How can you know what to trust? Of course, you don't really have to fear me. For I am a fool. I stand no chance against faith and the good will of men, now, do I? Your God will protect you and give you strength.”

“He will.” said Mary.

Satan shrugged, “We will see what he does as I take you and drag you off to hell. Will you scream for his mercy?”

“No.” Mary replied, “I've read the bible. The guy on the cross who told Jesus to get up and help him, he went to hell because he was a sarcastic asshole.”

“You Christians and your ability to obtusely skip through the bible, taking everything literally and missing all of the subtext. All of the lessons. It never ceases to amaze me. Why God would create you and expect us to bow to you, I will never know.” Satan whispered, “You treat your religion with all of the reference a child gives to a B-movie. You like all of the miracles and the special effects, but you miss the overt moral teachings.” Satan stepped forward, “Now, it's time to join the damned in hell, kids.”

“No.” Pekoe said quietly.

Satan looked at him in surprise, “No?”

Pekoe shrugged, “I came here tonight to put up a mighty reinforced stockade between the devil's malicious lowly wraith and the meek bewildered lacerated souls which dwell within their empty hollow physical shells.”

Satan looked at Pekoe with disgust, pointed at Fathom, and asked, “You would want to save them?”

“Yes.” Pekoe replied softly.

“You know they'll just be mine one day anyway, don't you?” Satan asked.

Pekoe shrugged and went on quietly, “If when, these people before us stand upon the floors of the divine scholarly courtroom of the higher sphere of reality, Jesus looks down from his raised righteous golden throne and he decides to throw these people to the lowly gloom depths of the abyss of the lower realm...your realm. Then that will be the choice of the almighty infallible truth and not of a pile of stained prejudiced protoplasms and neurons. And not of a cynical hopeless deceitful devil who believes himself to be almighty, infallible, and divine.”

Satan sighed, “No, Cannabinoilis Pekoe, I will take these souls.”

“Remember the wounds on you behind from where it was leisurely and ferociously torn off and reattached.” said Pekoe calmly but with fury in his tone, “Remember back years ago when my magnificent spectral triumphant army materialized out of the precise coordinated vicious vibrations of my dependable venerable sturdy fiddle and brought yours to an unceremonious crushing calamitous defeat. Remember the oppressive invisible immortal chains which bind you forever to do my will.”

Satan shivered and said bitterly, “Ok, you win. But why would you want to save them anyway?”

“That's a good question.” Pekoe said as he smiled, “I done a lot of bad wicked deranged things in this vast spiteful misshapen world, but now I seen a luminous promising ray of light. I been born again as a Christian.”

“Take that, Satan.” yelled Mary triumphantly, “Even in this world of sin and lust, people can still wake up to the truth.”

“Damn.” Teaspoon said, “You think you know someone. You always say, it ain't never happening to me. And then you born again as a Christian. You all obnoxious and shit. It's crazy.”

Satan eyed Pekoe with suspicion, “What are you up to?”

“He's doing the work of Jesus.” Peter screamed back at Satan.

“He might be.” Satan replied, “But I know Cannabinoilis Pekoe. There's something more at work here. He's up to something. He's always been crafty, especially for a nigger.”

“Dude.” said Peter in astonishment, “You just said the the n-word.”

“Yeah, I'm evil incarnate, and big surprise, I'm a bigot.” replied Satan sarcastically, “You know what else? I also hate women and queers. I love George Bush, war, poverty, and corruption. I also moderately like Obama and the Democrats, just because they've made it too easy for me.”

“Yeah.” said Peter, “But you shouldn't say that stuff out loud because a kid might hear you or something. What would you do if a kid heard your hateful talk?”

“I'd be proud.” said Satan, “I'm Satan, I want all people to be touched by the crippling power of evil.”

“That's no reason to be racist.” Peter replied, “Racism is just stupid.”

“Do you notice I'm white?” Satan asked.

Peter nodded, “Yep, and that's another stereotype. The devil is a white guy.”

“It's deliberate.” said Satan in response, “No, I mean, I bleached my skin white, deliberate. See, I started out as black. The very first humans were black, as were the angels. But as humanity progressed, there became a wider variety in skin color. And humans you see, always ones to create imaginary divisions, they invented bigotry based upon skin color. It's one of the few useful things humans invented, along with war and poverty. The whites took on the role of oppressor, and so I bleached my skin. Because I want to take on the form of power, whatever form that takes. I want to be evil. No one in their right mind could fear the wraith of a slave.” Satan paused, “Well, seeing as the nigger won't let me do my work, I guess we're done here.” Satan bowed to Pekoe, “I will see you later, friend.” Satan said the last word with an undertone of bitterness and then he and his band disappeared.

“Well.” sighed Mary, “Thank the lord that's over.”

“Yeah.” chimed in Andrew, “It's unbelievable, we come here just trying to preach the good word, and they try to kill us.”

“I know.” replied Peter, “We were just walking around and telling everyone that they were sinful fagots who were all going to burn in hell.”

Andrew shook his head, “Some people just can't take rational conversation.”

Peter shrugged, “I know. We can't help it if they're baby killers. It's just a fact. They shouldn't get all bent over it.”

“I know.” Mary said, “And we were ordained by God to shoot them with crossbows. We're just doing god's work. And when we burned them at the stake for being witches. It's nothing personal, just trying to get the devil magic out of you. Maybe if you burn enough on Earth, Jesus will spare you in hell. Maybe, but probably not. And when we waterboarded them. They shouldn't have been pissed, we just wanted them to accept Jesus. Stretching their body out was just a way to try and stretch out their soul. That way, they'd see the truth.”

“Have you ever thought that people don't like you because you're violent?” I asked, “Because you're narrow minded, intolerant, you start fights all the time, and you don't engage in intelligent discussion.”

Mary growled at me in response and gritted her teeth, “You're narrow minded, because you don't even listen to me. You don't even listen. You just reject us offhand like we're some kind of fanatics. We're not fanatics. You'll see, you'll see, when the fire camels roam the Earth. When they roam the Earth and devour the unworthy. That's you. You're intolerant. You're starting a fight with me right now. A verbal fight, and I don't like it. I don't like it one bit.”

Pekoe laughed, “Don't you mind Ruby Drip too much, he's just wallowing in unwarranted crippling oppressive fear because he thinks he's going to be hatefully unlawful persecuted for what he believe in.” Pekoe pulled a CD out of my pocket, “See, he listens to Remez. A Jewish Metal band. This is they first album, Septuagint. It has new harmonious contemporary renditions of old cherished exalted bible stories.” At this, Pekoe gave the CD to Mary and she studied it wide eyed.

“Yeah, Septuagint is really cool and all,” I started, “But I really like Land of Nod because it's experimental and it has social sat...”

“It's all good, Ruby Drip, it's all good, brother,” said Pekoe, cutting me off. Pekoe let Mary take in the CD for a while and then addressed her, “So you see, Ruby is a good Christian man, we all good Christian men, Ruby just fearing being ridiculed for his beliefs.”

Having heard Pekoe say this, Mary became sympathetic and put her hand on my shoulder, she looked me directly in the eyes, “I Know it can be hard. I know it can be hard standing up and saying that you believe in Jesus. Because people will make fun of you. They will make fun of you for believing in Jesus. But you have to be brave. You have to be brave. You have to have courage and proudly stand up for what you believe in. Stand up for Jesus.”

“How do you have to be brave to take the mainstream opinion?” I asked skeptically, “We don't live in the Roman Empire. They aren't crucifying people. We live in America. Christianity is prevalent.”

“Yeah, shit,” Teaspoon chimed in, “Me and Redphantom both, and Terry all come from the South. We been livin' in the buckle of the bible belt.”

Mary screamed, “But the atheists make fun of us, with their books and their pens and papers, and their machine gun microphones.”

Teaspoon snorted, “Compare the shit you get to all the shit atheists have to take.”

“But the atheists have fabric weasel tanks!” Mary said hysterically, “They started this. They started this war. With their science fueled machine industrial invasion of religion. They started this. This war. But we're going to finish it. We're going to finish it, you watch. We'll finish it with love and hand holding.”

“You capable of love, uber cunt?” asked Teaspoon, who drew dirty looks from Pekoe.

In the corner of the room, the bassist of Fathom was rocking back and forth and was on the verge of tears. He suddenly yelled, “I can't take this anymore. This rock star life. I can't take all the praying. I see my family fourteen hours a day. It's too much. I just want to go somewhere away from them for four months and then do some crack cocaine. And party, and have sex with lots of different women. I can't take this life anymore. That's it, I quit the band.”

“I think you need your holy water.” replied Mary.

The bassist's face contorted in horror as Mary said this, and he said, “I'm not having any of that fucking holy water.”

Mary ignored him and brought out a bottle of water, “I really think that you need some holy water. You're sick. And the holy water will make you better.”

“No!” the bassist screamed in response.

Mary shook her head and took out a syringe. Mary slowly filled the syringe with the holy water and then said to the bassist, menacingly, “Drink your holy water.”

“No!” the bassist screamed just before he began to run. Mary was much faster than he was, and she brought down the syringe into the bassist's neck before he could even leave the room. The syringe went in with such force that the needle bent. Mary pushed down the plunger on the syringe, pushing down the holy water into the bassist's blood stream. The bassist began to writhe and foam at the mouth. Then he fell to the floor and died.

“I think you have sinned!” Mary screamed loudly at her comrade's death. Mary continued to scream loudly, and her screams degenerated into animalistic shrieking sounds. Then she shrieked words, “Je me suis cogné le doigt par la dernière nuit diable. Il était bon. J'ai crié fort. J'aime le sexe fou et la drogue. Ne l'écoutez pas à moi, je suis un imposteur.”

“What the fuck is that?” Terry asked in astonishment.

“I'm praying.” Mary screamed, “It's my own special prayer language that only God and I can understand.”

“Really? Because it sounds like French.” replied Terry.

“If it is French, then it's a miracle, because I've never studied French a day in my life.” Mary screamed at Terry and then she continued to make animalistic shrieking sounds. After about twenty minutes time, she finally stopped.

Andrew broke the silence, “Yeah...I kind of thought our bassist might be trouble when he chose the band name of Judas.”

Peter shook his head, “He had eight other names to choose from, but he just had to go with Judas.”

“He just didn't like the rest of them.” Andrew sighed.

Peter continued to shake his head, “Yeah well, Moses didn't like having to wear rags and having a wooden stick as his only weapon. Plus the beard got itchy. But he did it anyway. He did it anyway.”

Mary started sobbing softly and said, “Pray for him.” she continued to sob and then she screamed, “Pray for him! Satan grabbed his soul when he was here earlier, he must have. Pray for him. Pray for his soul. Pray to God and pray for his soul. And pray in thanks that Jesus saved us from the Satanists.”

“I'm pretty sure that was Cannabinoilis Pekoe who saved you from the Satanists.” Terry replied.

“It was Jesus.” Mary replied menacingly.

Terry shook his head and said, “No, I'm pretty sure Cannabinoilis Pekoe did that. I'm pretty sure you can't refute that.”

“He did it because Jesus sent him to do it.” Mary said angrily.

Terry shook his head again, “No, I'm pretty sure he did it out of his own free will.”

“Your faith is shaken.” said Mary manically, “You need holy water.” Mary held up the bottle of holy water to Terry.

“I've got my kid here.” Terry replied nervously as he pointed to Temperance.

Mary got a look of insanity in her eyes, “Then we don't him to see his father drowned in sin like he is, do we? Do we? Do we? Do we?” Mary rocked back and forth and held up the holy water to Terry.

“I really don't want my kid to see this.” Terry said pathetically.

Mary barred her teeth and said, “Drink it.”

“Go on. Drink it.” Pekoe said to Terry with his deep voice. Terry looked at Pekoe nervously. Pekoe looked back at him, straight in the eyes and said, “Go on, drink it. It ain't gonna hurt ya. I promise.” At this, Terry drank the holy water and nothing happened. Pekoe smiled at Mary and said, “See. Jesus likes the Epicene Machine. It's all good. The holy water healed him.”

Mary stared at Terry for a long time with confusion before slowly saying, “Yes, yes, I guess it did. It healed him.”

Pekoe smiled and said, “Well, I'll tell ya. I been inspired by your divinely placed miraculous overflowing immense talent. I see you in a bit of a down time though. Let me help you. Let me be your manager.”

“That sounds like a good idea.” said Peter enthusiastically, “After all, it does seem like you know the business well. Plus you helped Jesus save all of our asses back there. How could we refuse your offer?”

“Yeah.” said Mary, “We'll take you up on your offer.”

“Good.” replied Pekoe, “And Ruby Drip, the Epicene Machine, and Teaspoon will help out.”

Terry looked at Pekoe, “Oh no, I won't, I've got to get Temperance home by Sunday or his mother will freak out.”

Pekoe shook his head, “I'll see to it she don't. You comin' along. This'll be perfect. The large beautiful enticing magnetic things on Mary's chest will ensure we sell lots of records.”

“That's right.” Mary said loudly, “My heart. My heart is on my chest. And that's why people like my music. Because I use my heart. I use my heart and my blood and sweat, and people love it.”

Pekoe just smiled and laughed at Mary's remark. Then we all prepared to depart on our long mission to manage Fathom.

To be continued

Come Hither Part I

By Redphantom Xenpsychous

I was sitting at my computer at about seven in the morning. I was tired, having spent the entire night reading articles on the Internet, and coding for a website. The old dusty stereo in my room was hooked into my computer and blasting the song Goldilocks by Remez. I was enjoying the sound of Goldilocks, "And papa bear arrived home, to find Goldilocks in his daughter's bed, bound with bowstrings, one by one the strings came undone, Goldilocks looked up at him, and he said, 'Die!'"

I was browsing an online bookstore, looking at a book called the "The Anatomy of Fascism”, and feeling disappointed that I could not afford it. That's when I heard someone behind me, "Man, Ruby Drip, you've been strung out on that computer for days. Drifting through the ether of bits and bytes, flying through lands of pure information and pornography. Navigating through the maze of egotistical teenaged woman, hacker gnomes, Trojan worms, and swamps of liquid spam covered in the fog of email scams. You need to go on outside and cut some grass, boy."

I smiled, I'd recognize that distinctive deep bass voice anywhere, I turned to him and said, "What's up, Pekoe?"

Pekoe replied, "How can one with the sacred instrument of astroprojection which allows him to communicate telepathically with friends and enables him to know of events on the other side of the planet not now what is up?"

"I'm using it to shop for books right now."I said.

"The magic box can be utilized to mobilize the mover drones to deliver onto you the package which holds the food of the mind and soul."Pekoe chanted.

I laughed, "I pay them for it."

Pekoe sighed, "Chives always dreamed that one day boys and girls would wake up to a world where the sun shined bright, trees danced to the soft tune of a gentle breeze, and knowledge was free."Pekoe paused, looked at the stereo for a moment, and then asked, "Who is this beating out this tune?"

I smiled, "That's the Remez song Goldilocks, about the biblical character Samson."I paused and then explained, "Remez is a Jewish metal band."Then I asked Pekoe, "Who is Chives?"

At this question, Pekoe gave a broad smile, "Chives Chowder, the man who taught me how to play the blues, and gave me my magic harmonica."Pekoe proudly held up his harmonica and added reassuringly, "I washed it."

I rubbed my chin, "So, Chives taught you the blues?"

Pekoe nodded, "Yes sir, I was just about eight and three quarters the first time I met Chives Chowder. I was black, living in the Hicksburg, Louisiana with four brothers and three sisters and none of them had the same daddy as me. Never did I meet my real father. I did have a step dad. He was a mean spirited old man. He used beat me and my brothers and sisters with an old rusty metal flag pole. That's why whenever I wasn't having old cranky hoes shove redundant facts down my throat, doing my parents cruel slave labor, or being beaten by my step dad, I was off in that old vacant lot, listening to Chives. Chives standing on his soapbox, playing the blues, talking about life, love, loss, war, peace, sin, pleasure, death, and all the secrets of the universe. Sometimes Chives was mad as hell. Sometimes he was bluer than a frost bitten Eskimo. Sometimes he was happier than a AP English teacher in a bookstore. Most of the time, he was just Chives. Sometimes he'd be drunker than a recently laid off drunk sailing in a raft through an ocean of whiskey. Sometimes he'd be so high he could touch the moon. Sometimes he'd be sober, and hearing the words flying from his mouth like flaming chariots of truth and wisdom, seeing the knowledge on exhibit in his expansive mind, seeing all the spectacular paintings of the truths that Chives bore witness to, seeing all that, it would feel like he was the only sober man to walk on the face of the entire world. And no matter what, Chives was always surrounded by an aura of pure magic."

"It was rare that Chives would ever get violent physically. Chives was always there on his soapbox throne, surveying his kingdom, available for all who needed his bluesy ballads. Chives always would listen to everybody's issues. Never taking out his meter stick and measuring them, and never putting them on scale to compare them to other problems. Chives would just brew some tea over his everlasting eternal bond fire and listen to you. Chives liked his tea, drinking it like he belonged at King Arthur's noble round table. I never knew where he got all that tea, I never did see Chives work at a genuine job. And yet, whatever your worries would be, Chives could recite to you a little incantation you could scrawl down on a lonely piece of paper which would blow all those troubles away. Hours upon hours I spent with Chives, having him help me unlock all the wondrous mysteries of the blues. Whole seasons Chives spent with me, passing along his sacred heavenly knowledge of how to take jet black ink, moldy yellow paper, old rusty strings, long brass tubes, beats on a membrane, brisk whistles through bronze rods, inventive cerebral torridity and turn all that into the blues. My first ever song was entitled Mean Old Miss Becket. When Chives heard it, he chucked me up onto his grand stage, gave me a microphone, put the spotlight on me, and had me sing my song for all the townsfolk gathered in his lot. Over time I reached a place where it would be common for my name to be on the massive lit up now playing sign outside Chives' lot. Sometimes he'd even get up and start clapping his hands along to my beat, singing the backing vocals, and playing his instruments of bewilderment to my rhythm. Just like Alfred Hitchcock sticking himself in the background of one of his proud works. One day, when I was about eighteen and half a quarter, Chives was talking to me backstage after an electric funky show. Chives told me that I needed to leave town and go out to see all the wonders of the world."

"That's just what I did. For a decade, I would walk thousands of miles, traveling the globe, seeing all of it's wonders divine and wicked. Meeting all kinds of people white, brown, black, yellow, and blue. Picking crops from fields of every continent, nation, and state. Meeting all kind of creature of land, air, and sea. Learning from the kings of the monoliths of glass and steel, to the masters of cows, grass, corn, and wheat, from families grilling a magnificent slab of meat out back, to the lonely scribe feeding on noodles in his run down quarters, from the houses of parliament, to the witchdoctors in the backwoods of Africa. Finally, after all my wandering, I arrived back at Hicksburg. I went to find Chives. I wanted to tell him all my tales, how I became Pekoe, all the great and terrible things I had done, I wanted to show him how I had grown. The trouble of it was though, Chives had grown too. Excessively. He had cancer. Chives set me down with some tea, he explained it to me. He gave me his magic harmonica. And then a few days later, his spirit emerged from it's rotten earthly cocoon, and flew away to the great heavenly promised land to join the divine choir of angels that sing their unimaginable song for all eternity. Never did I ever know why God let such a terrible, cruel thing happen to a man like Chives. Before it was laid to rest in the ground, I stood over his empty shell, using it's leftover magic to play a peaceful melancholy melody in Chives' memory. As I played I looked out into the mass of colors of people Chives touched, so many that not even the biggest nation could sustain them long. I saw Chives brother in the crowd, uncomfortable, wearing the same authoritative suit he always did to work. He was holding in his lap a mind with all the righteous mighty power of Chives', but with none of that great intangible insightful wisdom. The brother of Chives sat throughout my sad song, wondering how his worthless vagrant brother could draw in such a mass of souls in mourning over his movement into the great beyond."

"Never did the sun ever shine on Hicksburg again. The clouds of despair and grief gathered above the city and brought down one thousand years of constant freezing glacial rain. Every blade of grass in town went brown, the trees shed all they leaves, the flowers shriveled into the deep dark void of nothingness, the farmers woke up to find all they crops gone. Never has a crop grown in Hicksburg since the day Chives died. All the roads became worn, cracked and riddled with potholes. All of the homes experienced two centuries of violent rapid decay. Not a single drop of food ever tasted the proper taste inside Hicksburg again. When night fell, not a soul could get the lights to work right. The city had lost the man who put the Cannabinoilis in they tea. I left Hicksburg the night Chives died, and never have I ever gone back. I decided that I would go out into the world, wondering through the lands of forlorn, sinister, desolate sadness, and try to bring a little of Chives' magic to it's denizens. And so I have."

"Choke on toxic fumes until you die, feel shards of glass remove your eyes, turn to slush and fuse with molten metal, or fly into pieces of flesh and blood to land where your remains will settle."was the sound that came from my stereo to break the silence after Pekoe's story.

Pekoe nodded his head, "That there is a fine song."

I stared at him for a second, and then said, "Yeah, that's Babel. It's a modern version of the story of the Tower of Babel. It's about God destroying our decadent modern society and then confounding the languages again.”

"Who did you say this band was?"asked Pekoe.

I replied, "Remez a Jewish metal band. They have some less heavy, more musical stuff later on in their career."

"How about that?"Pekoe replied.

"Yeah..."I said, "This is their second album, Nephilim. It's more unpolished than their other stuff and much more heavy. It's not their best, but I still like it. And it's good when you want bone grinding heavy music."

Pekoe shrugged, "That may be so, but it still sounds pretty good."

I nodded, "Yeah, Remez is good. They've been around for a while. They're getting ready to release their seventh album, Tetragrammaton. They're really good, but they never caught on with the mainstream."

"That's a damn shame."was Pekoe's response to this.

I looked off into space, "Yeah, I wish that Remez could have commercial success."

Pekoe chuckled, "Boy, you living down in the valley which lies next to the mountain from which the wicked feudal honky lords chuck all their decadent waste. You roam around the town all day like a rigid laboring machine, doing the tasks programed into the white pagan corporate demon that's been possessin' your mind. Then you come home and numb the pain by tripping out on cyberspace for hours at a time before falling into a deep depressing coma for five hours and going over the cycle all over again, just like you a hamster on it's diabolical running wheel. Why you all concerned with getting other people out the valley?"

I thought about it for a minute before mumbling, "I don't know..."

Pekoe smiled, "Come on now, Ruby Drip, you ain't had your pass by over the dark forest of life on the back of a scaly yellow metallic eagle?"

I probably looked confused as I said, "No."

"Damn straight, Ruby Drip,"Pekoe quickly responded, "There ain't no pass overs of the dark forest. And they ain't no map either. Still, has Ruby discovered what direction he wants to go?"

I paused, " I mean, I hate being a laboring machine and doing redundant stuff that doesn't help me but...I'm caught in a system. I don't know how to get out. I know I often think of leaving town."

Pekoe said, "And just like the slaves of Jefferson Davis's wicked kingdom of cotton drones, Ruby Drip is dreaming of his promised land. Where is this promised land?"

"Oregon."I said, and quickly defended my response, "It just seems like a nice place to live."

Pekoe nodded, "Oregon is a fine place to make your place, but just like the old sturdy slightly faded brown basket of sweet young pale faced tight pussied little red riding hood, a life don't do you much good with nothing inside it. What do you put in the basket of you life, Ruby Drip, will it be pork or green beans? Children or bitches? Red blood or black ink? Books or paintings?"

"I don't know..."was my reply, "I guess I just want to go around having adventures...and trying to learn what I can."

Pekoe smiled, "Well shit, Ruby, just jump on the purple dragon and take a ride."

I heard the sound of explosions and screaming outside. Pekoe gestured at me to go to the window. As I went, I heard the sound of gunfire and more explosions. When I got to the window, I looked outside and saw a giant purple dragon in the middle of my street. It had destroying four houses across from mine and was battling with an army of lawn gnomes armed with military riffles. "Go on then..."came Pekoe's voice behind me, "Get on that purple dragon."

Small tanks about the size of a tricycle piloted by lawn gnomes stormed onto my street. More lawn gnomes ran up to the dragon as their comrades were consumed by it's flame. They held rocket launchers and began a deadly assault with them. Miniature jet fighters about the size of foosball table, again, piloted by lawn gnomes flew up to the purple dragon and bombarded it with a barrage of hellfire. With three passes through the sky with it's mighty fire breath, the purple dragon caused all of the fighter jets to come crashing to the ground.

One of the gnome fighter pilots crawled out of the twisted remains of his fighter jet, pulled out a bag of potato chips, and went up to a gnome soldier on the ground. The lawn gnome whispered, "Give these to my son."and then he held the bag up to the gnome soldier.

The gnome soldier took the bag and said, "I will."As soon as the gnome pilot's life expired, the gnome solider opened the bag and ate all the chips.

A second gnome soldier noticed this and said, "What did ya do that for, ya greedy bastard?"

"They'll be plenty of chips for his little yelp when we win the war."the first soldier replied.

"Aye,"the second soldier said, "But what if we don't win this war? What if that be the last bag of potato chips in the country?"

The first solider looked angry, "That's crazy talk, you defeatist lawn jockey. You treacherous bastard."The first soldier then shot the second one, and yelled, "No dragon will take my potato chips away, and no dragon is going to stop me from sitting on the couch for days on end watching my Television."Upon chanting this, the lawn solider fired several shots into the air and then was promptly crushed to death by the dragon's tail.

Pekoe walked up behind me, and said, "Do not pity them, Ruby Drip, for they are the denizens of the land of fear and ignorance."Pekoe took out a pair of sunglasses and put them on, "Now, come on Ruby, let's go."Pekoe jumped out of the window and onto the street, I followed his lead. The lawn gnomes turned on Pekoe and me and tried to shoot us. I went for cover behind some rose bushes Terry had planted, Pekoe just stood in place, but he didn't get shot. Then he took out a book and opened it, and instantly all the lawn gnomes evaporated into nothingness. I emerged from my rosebush cover.

"What the hell is that? The Necronomicon?"I asked.

Pekoe shook his head, "Classic literature, it's like atomic hellfire from the highest tier of angel to the denizens of of the land of ignorance and fear."Pekoe walked towards the dragon. I heard the door to my house open behind me.

I looked back and saw Teaspoon on the porch, with a shotgun in his hand and looking furious, he said. As Pekoe was getting on the purple dragon, he asked, "Boy, what have I told you about fighting lawn gnomes?"

Teaspoon looked a little embarrassed, "Classic literature, sorry I forgot."Teaspoon looked at the purple dragon and asked, "What'cha all doing?"

Pekoe smiled, "Going on an epic wild adventure and taking a ride on the old majestic faithful freedom train to escape the decadent waste and cold rigid iron changes of the wicked honky feudal lords."

"That sounds like fun."Teaspoon replied, "Mind if I come along?"

"Yes, but you all better hurry up and get on this purple dragon."Pekoe said, prompting Teaspoon and I to climb onto the dragon's back.
Just after we did this, a car pulled into our driveway, Terry got out of it.

"Well, if it isn't the Epicene Machine."Pekoe said at Terry getting out.

Terry frowned, "Hey guys...epic battle in the front yard again?"

Teaspoon shouted to be heard by Terry, "Yeah, and now we're going on a quest."

"Yeah..."Terry said uncomfortably, "Yeah, I really don't need all this crazy shit today,guys. I've got my son with me, Temperance..."A five year old boy got out of the car, "You remember Temperance? He comes over often."Terry looked down at Temperance and said in a low voice, "Please, don't go home and tell your mother about all the lawn gnome guts you saw here."

Pekoe exclaimed, "Well look at that, the Epicene Machine got laid."

"Yeah, that was back in high school before he was openly gay."I said, "It was back in high school. When he was in the closet and over compensating for it by having wild crazy sex and riding motorcycles.”

Terry looked indignant, "I'm not gay, Redphantom, I'm just in touch with my feminine side."Terry glared at me before adding, "At least I didn't decide to get in touch with my crazy side after high school."

I felt shocked, "Just a joke, man..."

"Mine wasn't."Terry replied with scorn, "You've changed. I don't even think I know you anymore. I go out and I work and I come home to epic battles and all this crazy shit. I'm tired of it.”

I mumbled, "I'm the same I've always been...I've deepened my world views and stuff but..."

"I'm seriously tired of being your roommate."Terry said angrily, "All you ever talk about is politics, philosophies, jokes, your stupid dead end projects, and yourself. Prick. Get a life and watch more television."I didn't reply, and the words stung. Terry might have been an unstable drama queen asshole, but he was my friend, god damn it. And a close one. It bothered me that he suddenly seemed to dislike me, and that I had somehow become a major annoyance to him. I did not understand what had changed. I had always been into politics and talked about it often. I had always been a little more crazy and gotten involved in twisted crazy situations. It had gotten worse lately, but, I was getting better at creating crazy situations. I was getting better at being a crazy rebellious maniac. And it seemed that the more I developed as a person, the more people hated me for it. I just sat in silence on that dragon and took it all in.

I missed most of the conversation which was between Pekoe, Teaspoon, and Terry. I caught the end, which was Terry sighing and then saying, "Fine, I'll come along. Come on Temperance, we're going on a trip."Terry took the boy's hand and the two of them started walking towards the dragon when Terry said, "For the love of god, don't tell your mother we went on a trip over the weekend."After that, Terry and Temperance got on the dragon and it took off into the air.

Five minutes went by before Pekoe asked, "What's the name of Remez's latest CD of beats?"

"Aron Habrit, their sixth album."I replied.

A stereo appeared next to us and began to blast the riff to the opening song of Aron Habrit, Kneel. Pekoe said, "I wanted to hear some of their more polished records."

I did not say anything to anyone for the rest of the trip on the purple dragon, I just sat silently and took in the music. All the things Terry had gotten angry at me for, earlier and recently, were only my natural tendencies. If he had a problem with what I like to talk about, or how I do things, then I would just cease speaking to him at all. Maybe the next time I hopped on a purple dragon, I would do it alone, and never return. Just like Pekoe never went back to his home. During the ride, I took in all the nice scenery below us, and the music I loved. At track number 9, Jericho, Pekoe turned to me and said, "Blow my saxophone Ruby Drip."

"What?"I replied, confused.

"Blow on my saxophone."Pekoe repeated, and suddenly I was holding a saxophone in my hands. I blew into it just as Pekoe asked, and immediately afterwards, the stereo and the purple dragon turned into a haze. All five of us began to plummet to the ground. An inflatable raft appeared magically below Pekoe and Temperance, and they fell into it which ensured them a soft landing. Teaspoon, Terry, and myself however, fell flat on our asses. Pekoe laughed at us, "Back in ancient times when man first discovered the esoteric mysterious secrets of birds and found out how to replicate it, there were no airports. When you wanted to land, you just took a deep breath, put your jumbled fried nerves back in place and took a magnificent plunging leap. Your generation is soft."

A horde of pale people dressed in black carrying long swords surrounded us. Their leader, a short man holding a human skull who had red eyes, fangs, and long black fingernails stepped forward. He laughed maniacally, and said, "Now we have more blood for the sacrifices."

Pekoe calmly got out of the inflatable raft and said, "Those sure are some nice nail files you boys got."

To be continued...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Crucify Me

by Redphantom Xenpsychous

Todd Smith was a short man and extremely skinny. He had light brown hair and blue eyes. His fragile blue veins were visible through his pale skin, and he had purple black circles under his eyes. The circles he earned through working middle management and taking care of his family. Plus the added stress of worrying about broken appliances in his home, the costs of paying others to take care of his lawn, and his impotence. Todd Smith was very shocked one morning when he woke up, went into his bathroom, and found a naked man in inexplicably lying in his bathtub.

The man was submersed in a mixture of beer and ice-cubes. Steel metallic gray hair covered his tanned body. The man had a thick iron colored beard which covered the whole of his face. Beneath his skin were massive muscles accented by battle scars which indicated a life of work, combat, and hardship. The man in the tub had an eye-patch covering one of his eyes.

Not wanting to confront this problem directly, Todd searched the bathroom until he found a plunger. Todd softly used this instrument to prod the man in the tub for several minutes before the man finally awakened. Todd recoiled as the man in the tub snatched the plunger from him and snapped it in half. The man's steel blue eye studied Todd as the former bit a piece of the robber end of the plunger off, chewed it up, and spit it onto the bathroom floor.

I just washed that floor.” was Todd's reply. The strange man replied only with a cold stare, and Todd asked, “What are you doing in my bathtub?”

The man shrugged, “I have no idea. Did you have a party here last night?”

Todd shook his head, “No, I never have parties. Except at Christmas, and then they're usually alcohol free.”

That's a shame.” the man in the tub replied, “Round Christmas time when people visit their families is when they need alcohol the most.”

Todd frowned, “That's not necessarily true.”

Trust me, it is for people who have value.” said the man in the tub before standing up.

Todd was intimidated by the man in the tub's mighty phallus. Todd timidly asked the man, “Could you get out of here? I have to go to work in a little while.”

Call your employer, tell them your ass is sick today.” replied the man in the tub.

But I'm not sick.” said Todd.

The man in the tub narrowed his eyes at Todd, “Well then lie. If you really believe you aren't sick.”

I'm not...” Todd began before displaying an expression of horror, “I'm not sick am I? You didn't infect me with some disease did you? You didn't put anthrax in my pillow, did you?”

The man in the tub chuckled, “You have a disease far worse than anthrax, dick. You're a sissy. Your house is unprotected. Guys can just waltz in naked and pass out in a tub of beer undetected. Imagine what else could have happened. Someone could have robbed your family. Taken your daughter as their pagan sacrifice. I could have been sent here by someone you know as a greater plot to kill you. You've got to take the day off and work on security. Buy some bears, knives, chainsaws, battle axes, swords, flamethrowers, machine guns, drums of gasoline, piano wire, dynamite, hydrochloric acid, a violin, and a shovel.”

Todd paused for a moment and then said, “I have an ADT security system.”

The man in the tub gave Todd a look of scorn and said, “You're going to entrust your security to a damn machine? Make yourself a machine. Be unfeeling, relentless. Become a titanium fisted, steel cloaked, copper veined, iron footed, diamond boned, plutonium muscled, uranium chested heathen god manifestation of death which bleeds clear silver mercury. Let your heart become a radioactive crucible, burning and torturing all that come near. Give up everything you love for power. You know your opponent will. You know your opponent will do everything in his power to become more than an ordinary thief, so you must do everything in yours to become the ultimate sentry. Your mission requires it.”

Maybe the people who try to rob my house will be regular thieves...or maybe I won't be robbed at all.” Todd replied.

The man in the tub gritted his teeth at Todd, “What the fuck was that? Was that optimism?”

Todd laughed nervously and said, “It beats pessimism, right?”

I don't like you.” replied the man in the tub.

Todd quickly said, “You don't know me.”

The man replied, “I know you well enough. Now call your boss and demand the day off. Then get me some Jack Daniels.”

I think you've had enough to drink.” Todd said nervously in response.

Hey genius, do you see where the alcohol is? In my stomach? No, it's in the tub.” said the man in the tub fiercely, “Now go get me some motherfucking Jack Daniels.”

Todd grinned, “Why don't you just drink the beer in the tub? Shame to let good beer go to waste.”

The man in the tub took on a solemn expression and said, “There's piss in that beer. Plus a naked man has been laying in it for an indeterminate amount of time.”

You peed in there? That's gross.” said Todd angrily.

The man in the tub nodded, “Yeah, it is, to drink it. That's why you're going to go get me that Jack Daniels.”

Todd looked nervous, “Look, I'd love to have a drink with you, but I don't even know you.”

My name is Torstein, and you're going to go get me some Jack Daniels right now or I'm going to wrap you in metal chains and then sell you into involuntary servitude.” replied Torstein.

Todd extended his hand and said, “I'm Todd Smith.”

I'll bet your mother is an unimaginative tramp.” retorted Torstein.

Todd withdrew his hand and frowned, “My mother is dead.”

Yeah, well, she's rotting in hell. Because she gave birth to you.” replied Torstein, “And then again for this one time when you were two. When she didn't chop you up into little pieces and throw you into the garbage disposal.” Todd looked mortified, and Torstein added, “Your father's in hell, too.”

Todd scratched the back of his head, “My father is still alive, actually.”

When he dies, he's going to go to hell.” said Torstein, “Because there was this one time, when you were sixteen. He didn't buy you a car for your birthday and tell you to drive into the forest to kill an animal with one bullet. Then proceed to use a remote detonator to blow up your car with hidden explosives during the trip.”

Todd had a confused look on his face and said, “How did you know my father didn't buy me a car for my sixteenth birthday?”

Torstein shrugged, “I guess I can smell his horrid, rotten genes oozing their gases into the air from within the confines of your diseased DNA.” Torstein and Todd enjoyed a moment of awkward silence before Torstein asked, “Are you going to get me that Jack Daniels now?”

Gee, Tortlestein...” Todd started, “I'd love to, but I still don't know you well enough to share a drink with you.”

You don't have to share it with me.” said Torstein, “You could just give it to me and leave. That would be my preference, to be honest, because you're a smelly vaginal cavity which might even being oozing blood.”

Todd replied, “See, the thing is, you're kind of standing naked in my bathtub, so I can't leave you alone in my house.”

Hey Todd, learn to form a coherent sentence, ok?” replied Torstein sarcastically, “Was your English teacher a five hundred pound walrus with epilepsy? Learn how form a logical sentence. Learn how to communicate. And while you're at it, why don't you grow a dick and some balls then tell me to get out of your house?”

Todd stood stunned for a moment before saying quietly, “Could you please get out of my house?”

Go somewhere and die.” Torstein replied, “You're practically doing it right now by continuing to breathe and thus ensuring the prolongment of your passive, worthless existence on this planet which one could scarcely call being 'alive'.”

I take exception to those remarks.” Todd said.

Torstein squinted his eyes and then said mockingly, “'I take exception to those remarks.' Does this look like a session of parliament?” He paused, “You're not going to go get me that Jack Daniels, are you?”

Todd shook his head and said, “No, because I don't know you and you're a meanie pants.”

Torstein sighed, “If I play along with your dumbass little game, will you give me the Jack Daniels?”

Todd looked confused, “What game?”

Your, 'I'm a queer and I need to know someone to drink with them game.' Let me ask you something: how in the hell do you meet new people without drinking with them? Do you fuck women? Or men? I mean, do you fuck anything?” Todd looked offended at this question. Torstein rolled his eyes, “Fine, just ignore that comment. If you get to know me better, will you drink Jack Daniels with me?”

Sure.” Todd replied uneasily.

Torstein said nothing for a while and then asked, “Do I look like a social person to you?”

Todd answered, “No.”

Then ask me some fucking questions so we can socialize and I can get my whiskey.” Torstein replied, “And while you're at it, get some electrodes to attach to my body so you can electrocute me to get me to talk. It will make it more fun for me by making it permissible for me to break the toilet into pieces with your face.”

Todd stood in silence, recoiling from Torstein's words before asking, “So what do you do for a living?”

I kick people's asses.” Torstein proudly proclaimed.

Todd nodded, “I always respect a member of our armed forces.”

Did I say I was a soldier? Do I look like government property to you? Do I look like someone else's property to you?” replied Torstein, “No, I run around town all day beating the fuck out of people. Then I take their valuables as my compensation for my hard work. Sometimes people don't have to pay me, sometimes, I just kick their asses for free. That's what happened the entire week after my brother was slain. Occasionally, I got out and set shit on fire just for the hell of it. I ride around in my boat attacking other's vessels and looting their goods very often as well, almost daily. Because I'm a pirate. Sometimes, I also hijack airplanes.”

So you're a terrorist?” asked Todd, slowly.

No, a terrorist is someone who commits act of violence to instill fear and disillusionment in a population. I'm just a dick. Professionally.” Torstein explained, “Besides, I don't crash the airplanes. I just eat their peanuts and drink their beer. Then I fly the planes around for a little bit. After that, I steal some shit and parachute out.” Todd took some time to absorb this information before he was cut short by Torstein saying, “You had better ask me some questions, boy.”

Todd nervously searched for his next question before asking, “Do you have a wife and kids?”

You forgot to ask me my favorite color.” Torstein retorted, “It's jet black. As for a wife, hell no. All women are bitches. Intent on either killing you, draining your life away, stealing your shit, making you into a pussy, or doing all of those things. I had a wife once. Tied her to an anchor and threw her into the ocean after she killed seven members of my crew and took off with my boat and one hundred thousand dollars worth of loot.”

Todd put his arm on Torstein's shoulder, “I'm sorry you're cynical because someone hurt you.”

I'm not, and I didn't ask for your god damn sympathy. Do I look like a teenaged girl, a member of an alternative rock band, a poet, a puppy, a child, or Tom Geithner? I don't think so, I don't need your god damn sympathy.” spat Torstein, “My pain has turned me into the cold, merciless uranium killing machine I am today.” Torstein began to scratch his behind and said, “Now, as for kids, I had one that I know of. A son, but one day I got tired of feeding him so I stopped by a tropical island and chucked him into a volcano.”

Todd began to speak nervously, “Well, it's one sided if you just talk about you, we can't get to know each other that way.”

I don't want to know you.” replied Torstein.

Todd laughed, “But you do want that Jack Daniels. I work at a firm, in management.”

You strike me as a middle manager.” said Torstein.

I uh...” Todd began, “I haven't worked my way to the top just yet.”

Take your euphemisms, throw them into a blender and then pour them onto a cripple to heal him, you whore.” said Torstein. Torstein continued to scratch his ass.

Could you stop that?” Todd asked.

The verbal berating? Or the ass scratching?” Torstein politely yet sternly asked, “Because only one of those is possible.”

Todd gave a fake smile, “I'll take whichever one of those is the possible one.” Torstein promptly stopped scratching his ass. Todd smiled again and started to speak, “My favorite color is electric violet...” Torstein ignored Todd and instead began to scratch his testicles and scrotum. Todd gave him a weak angry look.

What? They itch.” Torstein replied innocently.

Todd continued through his discomfort, “I have a wife and six children...”

Holy Sherry Giglio, aunt of Mary mother of Christ!” Torstein exclaimed, “Someone actually had sex with you!”

Todd replied, “My wife and I have enjoyed a very majestic and beautiful twenty five years together. Twenty five years of trust and mutual respect which has spawned six wonderful children with bright futures.”

I highly doubt anything that came from you is beautiful.” said Torstein, “That includes all those gay poems you likely write, and those fruity paintings I suspect you paint.”

Todd sighed, “Look, my psychologist said it's good for me to have an outlet.”

That makes you about as worthwhile as a fucking toaster.” said Torstein, “Give you an outlet and you're fine. I'm not denying that. I'm just saying you aren't good at art.”

Most people aren't.” said Todd.

Torstein nodded, “Yeah, and your kids aren't a work of art either. I'll bet they're ugly.”

No they're not.” Todd pulled out his wallet and showed Torstein a picture, “See, that's my sixteen year old daughter.”

That's the woman I had sex with last night.” replied Torstein.

That's just awful.” said Todd is pure sorrow.

I know, I probably have an STD now. Because her father, you, Todd Smith is undeniably the source of all known STDs.” replied Torstein before adding, “Have you told your wife?”

Todd put his hands on his hips, “You know, I have had it with you and your negativity. It's like Obama says, the cynics are screwing up America. We need to remember that we're a great and noble people. We put a man on the moon, and built the Statue of Liberty. Plus, we invented Democracy.”

If you were a race. Hitler would have been elected man of the 20th century, because no one would have gone to war to stop him from annihilating your ass. Plus he would have been filthy rich, because of all the money people would have paid to him for getting rid of you. Hitler would have turned to the Jews and FDR and welcomed them as equals, knowing they weren't as inferior as you were.” said Torstein, “You could have prevented a genocide, but you were just too damn passive.” Todd stood once again in stunned silence and Torstein continued, “If you were a race, slavery would still continue to this day. Just because people would like to see your ass get beaten on a daily basis. If you were a race, you would have built the pyramids...”

Um...actually...” Todd meekly interrupted, “They now believe that the pyramids were built by paid workers.”

If you were a race, the Egyptians would have saved boatloads of money by using slave labor instead of paid workers. Then Egypt would have become an economic superpower which would have lasted well into this century. And if the Middle East had it's own economic superpower, 9/11 would have never happened. You caused 9/11, you asshole.”

Todd averted Torstein's gaze and quietly said, “That's not really fair.”

Torstein snorted, “You're a Christian, aren't you?”

Y-yes.” Todd stuttered.

I knew it, you worthless sack of shit.” replied Torstein, “You know what? One day Jesus looked into the future and saw what you did to his religion, you personally, the majority of his other followers, and the church. In despair, he said, 'Crucify me.' The Romans thought he was serious. You killed Jesus, you cocksucker. Jesus was a nice guy. And he was really cool. But you fucking killed him.” Todd started to speak but Torstein continued, “You may as well have killed Jesus. With all the stupid fucking bullshit you've done with his teachings. With all the acts of violence you have used it to justify. With the horrid institution you have built around it. With all the little twists and revisions you have made to it. You may as well have.” Torstein paused, “You have conservative values. Did you grow up in the Midwest?”

Yes.” Todd choked.

Torstein continued, “Anyone in your family work on a farm?”

Yes.” Todd replied fearfully.

And upon seeing the crops your forefathers grew, little children in Africa refused to eat them, and that's why we have world hunger, you rat bastard. You are the source of all crime and poverty, and of all things wicked in this world.” spoke Torstein with vigor, “Seeing the poison oozing out of your mouths and rolling down the hills of this country, how could they not? Seeing the poor condition of health in our country. You sit on your pedestal and look down on me. You make judgments about me. You act like I'm the bad guy. Because I hurt people and I steal things. Yet you can never understand what it was like for me to grow up fatherless and hungry in the cesspool of the decadent waste your social class hurled onto mine. I might occasionally set buildings on fire, but at least I refuse to take part in a system where to succeed you have to be willing to risk and sacrifice everything in your life, and then be willing to do the same to millions of other lives. I might steal from others, but at least I don't generate wealth for a few privileged murderers and thugs. And you know they're murderers and thugs. Even if you try to deny it. Somewhere in your heart, you know it. You know every corporate leader, every politician you endorse is a crook and a murderer. You might have higher ideals than me, but you don't work to apply them in the world. You aren't trying to be your brother's keeper. To take care of your neighbors. To feed the hungry. You passively accept the world as it is. What good is an idea without action to support it? You can't even stand up if it is for yourself. Because all your ideals are really just a way to defend yourself, and your family, and your country. All of them merely extensions of yourself.

You don't care who gets bombed for your oil. Or who has to go without food or health care so you don't have to pay a little extra. You look down on me for stealing, but that's only because all you ever think about is money. Send ten dollars of it a month and a man on TV will stop nagging you. The issue he speaks of so passionately with sad music disappears from your sight. Like an infant, you have no idea of the concept of object permanence. If a problem is not presented to you on a screen, it ceases to exist. How is that less selfish than what I do? I have my alcohol, you have your television and your pills and your therapists. You have a strainer, your mass media to remove all negativity from your world. You know it's unreliable, and you yet you still accept it, passively. Despite your moral superiority, you knowingly endorse a broken system rigged to rob from the lower class and give to the super rich. I don't expect you to understand why I do what I do. Or to think my actions are just. I know I'm doing wrong. But I want you to ask yourself, which of us is introducing the greater amount of sin into the world? The aggressive, cruel, godless criminal, or the passive, bubbling, mindless laborer? Your type likes to look for what we all have in common. I'll tell you what we have in common. We are both men, who in spite of our neurotic defense mechanisms, have given up on our world. And on our species. We have chosen to accept that our race is inherently cruel. That there are those among us who must go hungry, who must starve. That there must be war and corruption. That the system has to be broken. We have both accepted this fact, and taken our own separate roads to cope with this perceived reality.”

There as a long uncomfortable pause between the two men and then Torstein asked, “So...are we going to get me that Jack Daniels?”

I don't even have Jack Daniels in the house.” replied Todd.

Congratulations Sir Isaac Newton, you have just discovered a way to waste several minutes and the precious time of two individuals.” retorted Torstein, “You're even more stupid than you appear at first glance. Why the fuck would you do that?”

I thought I could buy some time to formulate a plan to get you out of the house.” said Todd, “But I got caught up in the conversation and forgot.”

Torstein sighed, “God damn it, you really are the source of all that is evil in the world.” Torstein paused to think and then said, “Ok, I'm going to need your car, some money, and clothes.”

Todd smiled and pointed at Torstein, “Oh, I get it. This is a test to see if I listened to your lecture. I'm supposed to stand up to you and assert myself to show I'm going to start being less passive.”

“No.” was Torstein's response just before he punched Todd in the gut. Todd dropped with one blow, but Torstein continued to batter him with blows. Torstein stopped after nearly two consecutive minutes of pummeling and said, “I guess I didn't really have to do that, but you probably deserved it. Consider it repayment for the fact that your daughter likely gave me Gonorrhea.” Upon saying this, Torstein left the room to find Todd's car keys, some money, and some clothing. Then he went off on his way.

Some time later Todd's attractive wife dressed in gothic attire entered the bathroom and asked, “What happened?”

Oh my god, it was awful.” Todd began, “There was this naked guy in the bathtub, and he had a beard and he was hairy, and he scratched his ass and balls, and the bathtub was full of beer and ice and I had no idea how he got there and he didn't either and he was mean and he made me feel bad about being an American, and after Bush left they promised us that wouldn't happen, and he kicked my ass and stole our stuff.”

Did he make a man out of you?” Todd's wife asked.

No.” Todd replied in confusion.

Todd's wife sighed and then said, “That's too bad, because that was you're last chance. Now I'm going to have to drain your life, kill you, and then steal all of your possessions.”

Oh god.” Todd exclaimed, “All women really are evil bitches intent on draining men's life energy away.”

No, all women aren't evil bitches intent on draining men's life away.” Todd's wife said with indignation, “But I am.” Todd's wife transformed into a succubus and then shot him with laser eyes, turning him into a pink moldy pile of goo. Then she took out a straw and drank his remains.