A Divine Epiphany

God just spoke to me….

He was in the bathroom while I was shaving.

He said that he wouldn’t intervene (except in this one instance) to tell me what he thought, and he asked me to pass it along.

He told me personally that all your problems and moral concerns are not his, and that you have to work them out yourselves, using your own reason.

He said he doesn’t need to punish you or reward you, because you are well equipped to punish or reward yourselves.

He said, “Either you can work this out yourselves or you can’t. If you can’t, it is your own fault and you will suffer the consequences.”

“On the other hand,” he said, “you can reap the rewards of your own efforts, and take responsibility for your own life and meaning.”

He said, “I say this: live the life you have and make it the best you can. Do your best while you can. It is the only life you get.”

He also said, “Any god who needs state support is a false god. Any god who needs you to worship him is a false god. Any god that threatens eternal torment to anyone for anything is a false god.”

He said, “If some god wants to punish you in hell-fire for eternity, then fuck him and the donkey, ass, or horse–winged or otherwise–he rode in on.”

Then there was my epiphany moment….

Just as Abraham had his epiphany moment and concluded there was just one God, I had mine and realized that there were none.

The God I was seeing was my reflection in the mirror. The God I was hearing was me.

“Well, what did you expect?” he asked.

Finding My Way Back Home…

So….

I must have got off the Metro at this stop….

I guess I was thinking I needed to change lines here, but I was just told by the ticket lady that none of the lines went where I was headed. I realized then that I needed to go back up the line and take my car to get wherever it was I was going.

I was wondering why I didn’t figure this out in the first place, but I started focusing on getting back to wherever I got on instead of worrying about that now.

I looked at the transit map to see which line I needed to use but nothing looked familiar. I wasn’t even sure where I had gotten on or how far I had traveled. It was like I had just woken up here. In fact, I wasn’t sure where I was headed to begin with, but I tried not to think about that.

The map looked so strange that I had a feeling I was a long way from home. There was a man close by, waiting on the next train, and I said out-loud, “Boy, I’m really lost here,” which drew his attention. Seeing my confusion, he asked me where I was headed and I said, “I guess I’m trying to go back home.” He asked, “Where’s that?” and I had to struggle to remember….

I hesitated, “I think the place is called St. Barnard or something like that,” and I tried to show him where it was on a map that I had just seen flashed in a news report on a nearby television, but the picture had changed by the time I started to show him, and I laughed nervously and said, “Well…I guess I should show you on the map instead.”

I think he was beginning to wonder about me by then, but he was pleasant enough and followed me over to the map.

I looked at the map again but still had no clue where I was or where I needed to go and I said, “I think it is just right outside Clearwater.” He said; “Clearwater, Florida? That is several hundred miles from here. You couldn’t have come all that way on the Metro. You must have driven most of the way.”

I was uncertain if I really lived there or not, or where my home was. I just couldn’t remember.

Right then, I looked up and saw someone approaching me. I suddenly realized I had been traveling with him. I recognized him, but I couldn’t quite remember his name. He had been looking for me, but we had gotten separated after we had talked to the ticket lady.

He told me we needed to go to a different level to make the connection we needed, and I started following him. He was walking fast, and I was trying to keep up. I shouted ahead, “Don’t lose me!”

As I was following him, it sunk in that I had Alzheimer’s now — like my mother and grandmother before me. It was a shocking revelation and I was thinking, “Well, this is it then; my mind is going.”

Then I realized I had had that revelation before!!! And the shudder from that realization finally woke me up from this disturbing dream.

Superman at Burger King

When I first entered Burger King, Superman was lying on the ground.

A young boy, about five, noticed the situation first and rushed to help him. He got him to his feet, but the breeze from the air-conditioning vent was too much for the Man of Steel and it blew him back on his face in the entry way. The boy picked him up again and, by this time, everybody in the line was watching with concern.

Superman stood there for a while and I found myself admiring him. I thought how good he would look in my room. I knew I wouldn’t be able to buy him. I thought about stealing him. The employees didn’t seem to be paying much attention…. The customers were, however, as he fell on his face for the third time. The same boy picked him up, but by now, the people waiting had little faith he would remain standing.

Another boy, a few years older, and his Dad, who had a desire to step in, were expecting him to fall.

“Jason, see what you can do,” the father asked his son.

“I’ll fix him so he doesn’t fall,” Jason promised and ducked under the maze of bars for the line, rushing to help.

Jason picked Superman up and adjusted the cardboard sticking out from the back of his boots.

“He won’t fall now,” Jason declared.

Jason was right, he didn’t fall again while I was there. The Last Son of Krypton stood beside the door looking pretty tough, now that he was firmly planted on his feet.

He was holding an advertisement I hadn’t noticed before. I sadly realized that I wouldn’t be able to remove it without destroying him.

I turned away. I wanted him less now, and it was my turn to order anyway.

The Short Story of Billy Christ

As we know from the testaments of Bruce, Bubba, Gordon, and Jerry, Billy Christ was Jesus’ younger brother. He tried to imitate Jesus but he was not quite as powerful or successful….

He never turned water into wine, but he could turn beer into urine. He never performed any miracles, but he could sometimes manage to provide a good coincidence.

Once or twice he – and four or five of his Hecklers – had a deja vu experience at a gathering, and once, in a fit of over joyousness, he was able to pass cheese through his nose. (Not a miracle, but a damn good show for my money.) It is said he ate forty loaves of bread and forty fishes in one sitting and that he invented the first water skis. It is also said that he could hold his breath underwater for up to twenty-three shakes of a lamb’s tail.

His story begins, according to the testament of Bruce, in the little town of Bethlehem. All the stables were overflowing with messianic wannabees, so he was born in the best inn in town. At the moment of his birth, lightning struck the roof of the inn and it caught fire. The inn was soon entirely consumed and the flaming inferno could be seen for miles around.

Shepherds watching their flocks by night saw the distant blaze and wondered what it was that caught fire, “I wonder what it was that caught fire,’ said one shepherd. ‘I’ll wager good goat meat its that big new inn,’ said the other.” [Bruce 1:21].

Not much is known of his childhood. Bruce doesn’t say much and the other testaments say nothing at all until he began his ministry at the age of 32 after his cousin Johnny Baptist tried to drown him in a river.

It seems he caused a disturbance wherever he went and usually someone got hurt. Bruce caught him in a fishing net and immediately became his first Heckler. Bubba, Gordon, and Jerry (and sometimes Marvin, oftentimes referred to as the “fifth” Heckler) soon joined him.

His most revealing thoughts come from his “Sermon from the Fountain,” where he tells us not to look too closely at what your right hand is doing. He was arrested for 30 pieces of silver he tried to take from the fountain after concluding the sermon with, “Give to me that which is Caesar’s!”

He became so intoxicated when he was released that he fell unconscious for three days and it was sometimes hard to tell if he was dead or alive.

He finally died under the wheel of a donkey cart while chasing after a prostitute. His last words were to the driver, “Curse you, you fat head! Why don’t you look where you are going?”

The Universe Destroyed – Our Hero Saved

Part 1

Celery Blink was finally free of the planet. The air was scorched. His glasses were melting. He was pushing his ship to its limits.

Any second now, he might be shot out of the sky by the Assassins, who were hot on his tail. He had barely escaped getting vaporized just moments before by making it to his newly outfitted ship and lifting off before Air Control could seal the port.

“EXPLOSION! EXPLOSION!” The computer clanged and the ship rocked.

Celery’s glasses were sliding down his nose….

“Give it up, Blink; you haven’t got a chance,” said a much too calm voice over his receiver.

“Bye, Bozo,” Celery mumbled as he entered the last digits into his JUMP program for warping into hyperspace, He could hear someone laughing as he shifted his Accelerator on for the jump.

What Celery didn’t know was that the Assassins had tampered with his program and that now there was a definite loop in the middle of his jump.

So, he jumped and he jumped and he jumped and he jumped and he jumped and he jumped and he jumped and he jumped…..

Part 2

What the Assassins didn’t know was that Celery’s ship was powered by a Monopole Accelerator. It was his new design.

An overheated Monopole Accelerator might easily explode, wiping out the universe and a few other things besides.

Eventually, the ship blew, the universe was destroyed, and there wasn’t a shred of evidence left….

Except, of course, for Celery, who had pushed the eject button at precisely the right instant and was blown into another universe entirely.

Ak-Nobb

A tremendous red sun was setting in a tremendous red sky and Ak-Nobb was perched 1,454 feet in the air.

His coat was dark brown and his wings were black.

He was huge, even for a peryton, and when he stood on high and spread his wings – he looked most impressive.

From his ruined skyscraper, he looked out on a ruined city, riding on a ruined world – and he was lord of all he surveyed.

From his vantage, he waited and watched until a tremendous moon rose over the ocean. Then, dropping his head, he quit his perch.

His antlers cut through the wind as he swooped toward the city below. The shadow that he cast was that of a man and, as he flew, his shadow was joined by others as he gathered his flock for the hunt.

Hundreds of human shadows slid against the gutted buildings that served as nests for the peryton.

No humans lived here anymore — the peryton was a man-eater.

Released!

The bark cracked!

Do enchantments wear off? Do spells and charms entropy? Do the fey finally succumb to the laws of thermodynamics? Is it a contradiction in terms? Is it a lack of proper perception? Perhaps one magic finally submits to another…

The tree shook violently and began to split from the top down. Ripping and cracking, it tore itself apart. It burst and shattered and split to the earth, exploding into a rain of toothpicks.

“There!” said the wizard, stepping away from where the tree once stood.

“Beware Nimue, if you are still in this world, for Merlin walks again!”

A Short Selection of Short, Short Stories

Over the years I’ve ended up with a collection of short, short stories. I’ve considered putting them all in a book one day to be titled, “A Short Collection of Short, Short Stories – For People With Short Attention Spans.” Here is a brief sample.

This first story was one I wrote in 4th grade (my first story). The other two were written in the late 70s or early 80s.

IT  

It is.
It lives.
It draws breath in the dark cellar.
It climbs up the creaking stair.
It opens the cellar door….

It lets out a terrible scream!!!

It falls and tumbles down the steps.
It saw YOU when it opened the door!
YOU scared It to death!

It dies.
It isn’t.

The Hero Dies

Dr. Russell Oversleave stared pointedly at the frankly stupid geek that stood in his way. “Excuse me,” he said indifferently and began stepping forward, eye contact broken…

The frankly stupid geek drew the club he held behind his back and bashed in the doctor’s brains…

“UH-HUH,” he laughed and lumbered on down the hall, “UH-HUH, UH-HUH.”

Elkin and the Puma

Elkin stared at the puma. The puma was dead. Elkin had killed it.

It was July. A hot, hazy Friday. The sun was well into the sky, beating down relentlessly on the skyscraper city.

The puma was dead and Elkin was late for work.