Sex 304: Autistic License

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Continued from Sex 303: Yaga Math

Scene 1: Baba Yaga’s Hut

Earnest the Sinner is still reeling from the revelation that he is not the true Leader of this group.

Earnest: But you’re contradicting yourself! You said we need five persons for the Quest to succeed.
But there’s only four of us: me, you, Lecher and Ang.
Yet now you’re saying our Quest is actually to find the fifth person, who is our true Leader?

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Sex 206. Loving Father

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Continued from Sex 205. Loving Death

Prologue

I have been drowning my sorrows at the Bar of Hell.
Consumed by my own inadequacy and self-loathing.
Even Jesus seems to have abandoned me.
But just when I think I am completely, utterly, eternally alone, I hear a voice.

“Have a drink.”

Father

Me: You?! Here!?

Father: Yes. I AM.

M. I thought Jesus Himself couldn’t stand to be around me.

F. No, He couldn’t sit there doing nothing. So He cleared the room so I could come.

I am throughly bewildered.
The place still looks like Hell.
I still feel like Hell.
But my Father…

He looks like He owns the place.
And even more shocking… like He’s happy to see me!

M. Um, uh, I, er, wasn’t exactly expecting to see You here. Sorry, to, ah, drag You down here.

F. Not at all! In fact, this is one of My favorite places to meet My kids.

M. Say what?!

F. What do you think I want most?

M. Um, a relationship with Your kids?

F. Close enough. And what do you think is the greatest barrier to that?

This answer I knew.

M. Sin! Sex. Drunkeness. Orgies. Worldly indulgence. Carnal attitudes.

F. Nope!

M. Huh?

F. Oh sure, those things grieve my heart, because they can corrode your spirit. But frankly, they often do as much good as harm.

M. Come again?

F. Most people pursue those things because they are hungry for connection. And frankly, when My children try them — and find they don’t satisfy — they are often far more ready to turn to Me.

“People pursue those things because they are hungry for connection. And frankly, when My children try them — and find they don’t satisfy — they are often far more ready to turn to Me.”

M. My head hurts. You’re not making any sense. I think I’ve had too much to drink.

F. Actuality, you haven’t had enough.

He gestured to the wooden cup He had placed in front of me when He first spoke. I had been so shocked at His arrival I hadn’t even noticed.

M. Um, is that what I think it is?

F. You guessed it. The Holy Grail. The New Covenant. The Last Supper. The Final Cup.

M. But… I thought that was for the pure of heart. The ascetic. The devoted. The ones who gave up all worldly pleasures out of love for you.

F. Not even close. To be sure, there is a place of honor in My Kingdom for such as those. But worthy as they are, they are not able to drink this cup.

M. I’m sorry, are you saying I am? You have got to be kidding me. Don’t you know where we are? What I did to get here? What I’ve been doing since I got here?

F. Yes. Practicing!

M. Practicing what? Abusing my body? Destroying my liver? Corroding my soul? Avoiding my pain?

F. Drinking a bitter cup.

I stare at Him in horror.

M. You don’t mean…

F. Yes. This the cup of suffering that Jesus Himself asked that I take away from Him in the Garden of Gethsemane. I offer it to you now.

M. But… why… how?

F. Because you have been foolish enough to drink from every cup this world has to offer. Pleasure. Power. Prestige. Purity. Pride. And yet wise enough to realize that none of them satisfy. In fact, they make you thirstier than ever.

M. But… this? How can I possibly…

F. Here. Let me show you.

He slides His hand over the cup, looking for all the world like a street hustler hiding a coin. When He is done, I am astonished to see an enormous bucket, and a tiny thimble.

F. The big one is mine. Just watch me, and do what I do.

As I watch in horror, the Lord of the Universe begins to chug a bucket of all the world’s agony, like a fraternity pledge guzzling beer on Spring Break. It’s like I can see all the cruelty and selfishness and evil that ever happened — including my own — pouring down His throat.

“It’s like I can see all the cruelty and selfishness and evil that ever happened — including my own — pouring down His throat.”

It is obvious that the pain must be indescribable. Yet He never stops. In fact, the gleam in His eyes glows ever brighter. Despite the unspeakable awfulness of the experience, I see a joy emerging from deep within Him.

Joy beyond anything I ever imagined.

Joy that is worth risking everything for.

Joy I would do anything to share.

If I have a Father who is willing to do that for me…

M. Wait for me!

Seized with a sudden resolve, I grab the tiny cup and hurl its contents down my throat.

Continued in Sex 207. Loving Life

Redeeming Animism, Part 6: My De-Liver-Er

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Continued from Part 5

Prologue

The eagle stands apart on a nearby rock, delicately nibbling a newly-harvested liver.
The mouse looks on in horror;
The spaniel-coyote with amusement.

The snake loosens its suffocating grip on the former owner of that liver.
The man slowly regains conscious, groaning in pain.
The snake raises its head to stare into the man’s face.
The man opens his eyes, and gravely greets the snake.

Dialogue

Earnest: Thank you, Nehushtan.

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Redeeming Animism, Part 5: Eagle Sighs

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Continued from Part 4

Prologue

After a long arduous climb
With a mouse, dog and snake
We pause at a cave
For a much-needed break

I’m seeking the eagle
That serpents do fear
Hoping he’ll tell me
My quest’s end is near

Will he be heroic
Decisive and quick
Or fat and despondent
Like Thor when he’s “thick?”

Then I hear his cry
Shadow on the wall
And discover he’s not
What I expected at all!

Aquila

Aquila: Ooh, you brought lunch!

Earnest: You’re a girl?!

Yes, the manly eagle I had sought turned out to be a female. And not just female, but a tween girl; some sort of teenybopper.
And I don’t like the way she’s eyeing my companions. Apparently, neither do they.

Sminthus: Eek!

Nehushtan: Hiss!

Qhuinn: I believe the correct canine response is: “Grr, stay away from me and my friends!”

A. Ooh, you can talk. Who’s a cute puppy? Who’s a cute puppy!

Qhuinn the coyote-cum-spaniel

Q. I say, stop that. I’m not actually a dog. No, please, not your feathers. I’m really the incarnation of… Ooh! Right there. Ahh…

Qhuinn flips onto his back and starts flailing his legs while she scratches his belly. So much for my fierce protector.

E. Um, excuse me, we’re actually here on a serious quest.

A. Of course you are. Who’s a serious doggie? Are you a serious doggie? Are you enjoying your quest?

Q. Best… Quest… Ever.

I start to interrupt her, but then realize that tickling my friends is vastly preferable to her eating them. I decide to wait it out.

A. Okay, there you go. All done.

Qhuinn mumbles something inaudible from where he is sprawled on the floor. Aquila giggles and slaps him away.

E. What did he say?

A. “Marry me!” [snorting]

This encounter is not going at all like I planned. Sminthus is still too terrified to be of help. I gaze imploringly at Nehushtan. He sighs and raises himself up on his coils to look Aquila in the face.

N. Greetings, fair maid…

Before he can finish, Aquila transforms from dreamy schoolgirl into fierce predator. She lunges into the air and pounces on Nehushtan. One razor-sharp talon pins his head to the ground — facing away from her — while the other hovers a fraction of an inch above his throat.

A. Uh-uh-uh-uh-uh! No lookee-lookees from the snakie. I’m not old enough yet to face all my future fears. [She turns to me and winks] My parents don’t even let me date yet!

E. Oh! Parents. Er, could you perhaps call them? I’m sure there the ones we were supposed to meet. You see, we are on…

A. I know, a really serious blah blah blah save the world blah blah quest. My parents already know all about it. That’s why they sent ME!

The sight of a killer eagle batting her eyelashes is apparently enough to shock Sminthus out of his stupor.

S. My lady… are you really the one meant to help us? Then were you… just kidding about… eating us?

With a flick of her claw, the young eagle casually tosses the massive snake against the back wall of the cave. She walks over to stare out the opening, a heavy weight seeming to descend upon her young shoulders.

She doesn’t meet our gaze. Her voice is soft, almost a whisper, with none of the frivolity she so recently displayed.

A. I… am sorry. I did not realize this would be so hard. Yes, I am here to help you. But you know little of what you ask, and less of how much it would cost me. If I am to survive long enough to be of use to you, you must feed me… a sacrifice.

Cold dread freezes my bones. Could I really sentence one my companions to death, if that’s what it took to achieve my goal?

Well, maybe the snake…

No. That is not the way. At least, not The Way.

E. Eat me.

She turns at looks at me, then giggles. The toss of her head reminds me of Artemis, for some reason.

A. You? You have already laid down your life many times over. You will not get off so easily.

E. You don’t need all of me, right? Perhaps just a.. a part of me? My… heart?

A. You want to give me your heart? Silly man, I told you I was too young to date!

She snickers, then looks at me with a dangerous gleam in her eye.

A. And anyway, your Greek friends should have taught you the proper sacrifice required of those who would share the secrets of heaven to mortal man.

A sick horror overcomes me. I glance down involuntarily at my chest. I begin to shudder.

A. That’s right. I get to eat your liver. Every. Single. Day.

To be continued in Part 6

Pride, A Part (Socratic Monologue)

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‘Twas a dark and stormy night.

The elegantly dressed woman walks the empty streets, bundled up against the rain and using an umbrella. It is the 1950s. She looks like Peggy Carter from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

A man waits in an alley. He wears a hat and a suit, but no overcoat or umbrella. He looks like Marlo Brando in Guys & Dolls. As she approaches, he is lighting a cigarette with a match.

Woman: Thank you for coming.

Man: For you, baby? Always.

W. That… is what I wanted to talk to you about. I… I don’t think we should see each other anymore.

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