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

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