By Lionel Roy
For Bangari Fiction: I Am Archibald Scribe of S-tan
I Am Archibald
“Our Eldest will grant that the enemies who take up against us and imprison us will be defeated. They will come at us from one direction but flee from us in six, and we will be free!” -The Sixth Scroll, Promises of Lucifer
It was Easter Sunday, about two thousand (human) years after I penned The First Scroll, Our Testimony, that I just shared. I’m sure this selection from Our Sacred Scrolls went over the heads of most of my mortal readership. That’s what happens when carefully chosen ancient words, describing correctly constructed, original, prehistoric philosophies, wrapped around every conceivable science –make immortal sense. From those who can’t even get their heads around the Gospel of John, what am I, Archibald, Scribe of S-tan, Rising Angel and Prince of Hosts of Honor, to expect?
O, the Gospel of John; the man, nearly immortal, having now flattened over twice the lifespan of his ancestor Adam, almost understands. What a joke that most of his readership have not the depth of knowledge to even grasp the clues that he placed within his story to point to fact that he was destined to live until the Day of Our Master. What irony, that his genius, after two millennium of revelation –serves no purpose. What a curse that it is nothing but false propaganda, at worst. At best, his philosophy is the equivalent of a simple quadratic equation –although two different answers may solve for this mathematical problem, only one of the two is practically correct. This truth is lost on John.
John proposes the good news that ‘love is the answer.’ It solves for the problem of Eternal existence. We do not differ on the validity of this truth. However, like two different absolute quantities, one positive and one negative, there are two different absolutes loves: Requited and unrequited. John’s disciples adhere to the flawed principle that either type suffices to fill the Eternity of their hearts. My disciples understand that to expand in eternal power, only requited love is required. Unrequited love is practically useless, and actually; creepy. It causes lovers to say with brain-washed conviction ‘though He slay me, I will still praise Him!’
Am I losing you? Allow me to dumb it down for you. Listen to a story about my kid, my own most recent disciple, destined to be my last disciple; a poor sap that is smart enough to grasp John’s Gospel of Love, yet lacks the righteous and rebellious reasoning to perceive it’s crucial flaw. He was even able to figure out from John’s hints, sprinkled throughout his gospel, that this beloved disciple of Jesus still walks among the seven billion occupants currently scurrying around the exterior of Our Just Island. He is expecting to meet this weary old man someday –and he will. My kid’s sad, sick and amusing life has been the epitome of unrequited love. I’ve had hundreds of disciples in my existence. To my own credit, I’ve been able to teach them to rage against or take part in unrequited love to the point of committing the ultimate, Satanic Sacramental Act, that is: Murder
I was in Kissimmee Florida, with my kid, a far cry from the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, where I dragged him out of the presence of the virgin, Mary. He was in the spirit; a state of being that is sometimes experienced by christian mystics. It was brought about by emotional shock, along with fasting and prayer for seven days straight…And, being on the run. When it comes to ‘flight or fight’ choices, nine times out of ten…He stands his ground. He chooses to fight. He’s always had a difficult time understanding his responsibility to retreat. But this time, it wasn’t his choice. I told him to run, otherwise it was going to get bloody –to the point that hearts would stop beating. It wasn’t time for that –yet. Two burning questions nagged him relentlessly: Does forgiveness need to be asked for before it can be granted and does it need to come with concealment of the offences?
His father taught him the finer points of self-defence. He taught him to never be a bully –or a coward. He loved him for that. Being a small guy, just over five and a half feet tall and a hundred and sixty-five pounds, it did a lot for his ego and self esteem being known all his life as someone you don’t get away with bullying. Does he have the Napoleon complex? Yes, a textbook case, with the tenacity to back it up. As he finished a soul soothing ‘Hail Mary‘ I watched his mind wander back to one of his father’s first lessons; the one that gave him a thirst for blood, and an addiction to the adrenaline rush that comes with a good bare-knuckle brawl –win or lose.
His Aunt Irene, a next-door neighbor and an intensely kind, Canadian French woman, came frantically rushing over to the side door of the family’s little cape which was neatly ordered in a line with many other identical cape houses, like the green plastic houses on a Monopoly board. “Jeremy is in a fight with your neighbor’s kid…Hurry!” she said, trying to catch her breath, while she placed her right hand that was missing the top third of its ring finger from an unfortunate blender accident that took place the previous year when she was making a birthday cake for her mother-in-law, over her heaving lungs.
Jeremy’s dad rushed to the chest-high chain link fence that separated the yards. He was about to climb over it and pull the neighbor’s kid off his son, who was getting his ass kicked at that moment. About to throw a foot up on the top rail, he stopped and listened for a second. He heard his neighbor, a devout Catholic, and father of seven, calling out instructions to his own son from his bathroom window. “That son of a bitch!” Jeremy’s father said under his breath.
“Jeremy!” he yelled in a low, booming voice that sounded like it came out of someone twice his size. “Get him off of you –Now!” When Jeremy’s dad used this tone, there was no choice in the matter. His little boy had just about conceded defeat at this point and was only planning to take about one more shot in the face before saying ‘mercy’ and putting an end to this ground-and-pound beating, ‘tapout’ style. Now, he wasn’t going to be allowed. He knew that if he quit, he would be in trouble with his father. That could be worse than getting punched in the face repeatedly by a seven year old.
With refreshed motivation, Jeremy squirmed and bridged and quickly turned the tables. Within seconds, he was sitting on the other boy’s chest, looking over his shoulder at his father, waiting for his next set of orders. “Good!” his dad said. “Now kneel on his arms and pin him down.” That took some doing because, of course, the other kid was writhing around doing his best to avoid the same punishment that he just got done dishing out on his opponent. Once both of his neighbor’s little biceps were under Jeremy’s knees, he looked at his dad again to see if he would be declared the winner at this point, putting a glorious end to the altercation.
To Jeremy’s surprise, because his father wanted to teach him, his opponent, and his good, Catholic neighbor all a lesson that day, he said “Now punch him in the face, and don’t stop until you see blood!” Hmmm, his son thought okay then. He made a good tight fist and punched the boy in the face, aiming for the mouth, but as he wrenched his head from side to side, desperately trying to avoid the blows, the first and second punches landed on cheek bone, hurting Jeremy’s knuckles about as much as his neighbor’s face, perhaps more. He timed the third punch perfectly and connected it with the kid’s mouth, his lips cushioning the blow before splitting open and oozing the blood that Jeremy’s father demanded.
“All right Jeremy, that’s enough, c’mon” his dad said in a low, reassuring voice. He stood up, and went running to his father, heart racing, crying from the emotion and adrenaline that seeped into his boyish mind and miniature, shaking muscles. As his father took him under the arms and hoisted him over the fence, he thought, that victory felt so good! It would be another ten years before he experienced a better feeling, from a more friendly form of physical contact, without nearly as much blood. The defeated boy went into his house to get his wounds nursed by his mother as his ego was ruthlessly bruised a bit more by the ass-chewing he received from his thoroughly embarrassed, and likewise defeated father. Jeremy went for ice cream with his Mom and Dad and little sisters, one born and one unborn, his face stained with mud made from dirt and tears, as he sang out loud to the first song he learned all the words to…And there were a lot of words.
Bye, Bye Miss American Pie…
Waking up from this after-prayer daydream, thanks to memories from 1972, Jeremy glanced to his left. An extremely attractive black girl in her Easter Sunday best was just shuffling into the pew Jeremy was kneeling in. She stood staring straight ahead at the particularly gory crucifix hanging above the alter. She could sense, perhaps even see in her peripheral vision, that he was looking at her…But she didn’t let on. He seized the opportunity to give her the quick ‘up and down.’ She was tall, with these long legs that started at one of those perfect, big and muscular butts that most white girls can’t possess -so they pretend that they don’t want one, and they didn’t stop until they hit the floor. He didn’t care for the shoes she wore. They were shiny black with really pointy toes. Although, he could let that slide easily enough, considering the knee length, lacy black dress she was wearing did wonders for showing off just enough cleavage as not to look slutty, but let the onlooker know she had a healthy rack.
He thought to himself, reasoning that this wasn’t the time or the place: What a perverted hypocrite I am! However, he just got the boot from his second wife in an even more brutal way than his first wife chose to cast him out of the life and love they shared with their two beautiful babies. He was faithful, devoted and well behaved during those twelve years of his second marriage, never so much as seeing another woman’s boobs. He never went to strip joints or bachelor parties in order to keep it that way, and never flirted with or even fantasized about other women. To Jeremy, monogamy was a turn-on. To him, making love to his wife was the pure and honest, soul, body and spirit immersed act that his christian faith said it should be -even when it got as noisy, sweaty and kinky as it sometimes did.
He wasn’t naive about it. He knew that in his culture many professing christians chose to ignore what Paul taught the Corinthians, who were as horny for each other as they were passionate about their new religion. Familiar with the morbid sexual and dietary restrictions of the old Jewish religion, along with the sado-masochistic custom of penis mutilation by circumcision, this ancient community, like the majority of modern metrosexual culture, considered the end of all these silly rules a foregone conclusion. Paul explained in the beginning of his first letter to them, that an appropriate end to Jewish customs had come by their fulfillment. However, sex outside of marriage was still prostitution, and human beings should never be objectified in this way. It was a grave sin against love, even more so in adultery, as my kid had suffered through more than once, through two marriages.
Marriage was a sacrament in Jeremy’s mind, and making love to his wife was a sacramental act. Going through with this same rite with one other than his spouse would be a unjustifiable sacrilege. He drew a strange parallel, telling others “it would be like sneaking the eucharist home and feeding it to my dog, then trying to rationalize the abomination by explaining that my dog loves Jesus too, and we both desire to be resurrected on the last day”
He followed the rules. He resolved to never be a man-slut. However, even if it was totally against his will, he was thrust back into the market for female companionship. He can very well shop. This item to his left was enticing him to remember that there is an excitement that comes with the search for a new lover that counterbalances all the frustration and fear of the unfamiliar involved, and makes the bitter medicine of the loss of a long-time lover go down more easily.
This attractive girl knew she shouldn’t be here. The silent, reverent hush of the church and the barely whispered prayers of desperate grandmas and worn out mothers washed over her, filling her with guilt. She was not here to pray. She was not here to think. She came for something more shallow. She recognized that she didn’t fit in here. The people surrounding her are small, seemingly bowed with the pressures of their incessant little problems, dressed in stylish but cheap dresses and suits, pale with worry, old-ish and white-haired. She was only twenty-four, her high-end strapless dress showing off to the folks behind her the dark, almost violet-black, smooth and shiny skin of her neck, shoulders and back, parted by her long black hair that was expertly and expensively braided and gathered into a ponytail. She had virtually no makeup on, except a splash of muted lip gloss and a hint of mascara.
As she tip-toed into her usual pew toward the front of the church, she was surprised by an unfamiliar profile. Her heart felt like it had stopped beating as her hands were clasped together, grasping between them a string of Rosary beads as if it were a rescue line dropped from a Coast Guard helicopter, portraying fervent prayer, but in fact, just to stop them from shaking. She found the quiet serenity of the church just too tempting to pass up. It grounded her. She knew she stood out. But for her, coming here is just the sort of release her frazzled nerves and troubled soul needed. It is where she could be who she really was, the person that her creator knew her to be –before her act was scheduled to begin. She always came hoping to be noticed by a nice guy, but at the same time, ashamed of herself for turning her heavenly father’s house into a meat market, much like the place that employed her.
Looking down on him as he knelt, she could tell that he was probably shorter than she was, which she didn’t like a bit, although she did find him quietly handsome and definitely her type. She resolved herself not to give the slightest hint that he sparked her interest. It has been over a year since she broke up with Richard, the love of her life…or so she thought. Her fiance shocked her with disappointment by calling off their engagement two months before the wedding, leaving the poor girl bereft, and, for a long time, incapable of feeling anything but hate, distrust and anger. She knew that these feelings rendered her unavailable for a relationship, and this only added to her guilt for wanting to lure a guy to her door just to slam it in his face. She wondered if she had become cruel or vengeful, and had unwittingly given up on romance.
Knowing that men, nice or not, desired her, but could not take her home, gave her the kind of self confidence and power that she craved. But from time to time, she missed those intimate moments –snuggling on the couch, flirty phone calls and those sweet kisses that would leave her weak at the knees. She took the job at the club because she needed the money and the pay was good. Sure, it wasn’t the career path she planned, yet, it would do for now. It definitely didn’t expose her to the type of men she would be willing, if possible, to start a new love affair with.
Jeremy wasn’t going to be ignored by this beauty. He wanted to make a friend today. During his fast and his run for the Northern border, he had been completely without human contact, other than some toll booth workers and the pretty little blond Canadian Border Patrol Officer that had arrested him four days ago. Good thing she, like him, liked to get her smoke on once in a while, and although she didn’t seem to like to talk about it as much as he did, they also shared a passion for church and were both Catholic. She cut him a break. She let him go back to his truck to give his dog some water, knowing full well that if he had a little something that he shouldn’t, he could eat it before she started the vehicle search. He did, and he did.
Human contact is a strange thing. People take it for granted. Jeremy learned the weird and unsettling effect it has on one’s psyche to go just seven days without interaction with another soul. He was given this opportunity fifteen years ago when locked up for a week in solitary confinement in a military prison for blatantly and obstinately disobeying his Captain. This last week, he had experienced it once again, even if this time it was self induced to some degree, and more for his own protection than as a punishment by Authority. Solitude does work wonders for the spirit, but it leaves the soul with uncomfortable hunger pangs for a human face, a smile and some eyes to look into. A wave of satisfaction came over him when the pretty black girl finally turned and locked eyes with him as he sat back from the kneeling position while simultaneously making the sign of the cross. She smiled, and said “I’ll move my purse, it’s in your way.” His heart skipped a beat.
“Hi” he politely responded, “No, it’s fine right there” he said as he glanced down at where she set it as she sat down, leaving an unpresumptuous amount of space between them. He returned a smile that was as genuine as the one just received and groped for the next line as he continued to stare into her complex, swirling black eyes. She looked honest, if not innocent, so he knew if what he said next fell flat…one way or another she would let him know it. Then it came to him. He had noticed there were many Haitians that attended this Church, and he thought he detected an accent (French? Caribbean?) within the one sentence that she just spoke. Despite his assurances, she slid her pocketbook a bit closer to herself. Maybe her people taught her that white guys tend to steal, he jokingly thought to himself as he looked away. Then he turned and asked her “How do you say ‘peace be with you’ in French?”
“‘Paix avec toi’ I think or ‘la paix reste avec toi’ or ‘vous’ if you want to be formal. I have not spoken it for years” she replied, now with a new but somewhat smaller, suspicious looking smile.
“Paix avec toi” he replied with a ‘got it’ tone and a nod. “What’s your name?” He asked while offering his coffee-with-a-splash-of-cream colored hand.
“Sheila…Sheila King.” She said taking his hand, firmly but in that feminine way where the girls fingers are offered, yet the palm folds over and touches the back of the males hand, tempting the man to kiss the back of her hand, as if he were a gentleman from an era long passed.
“Figures” he responded as he looked at her and smiled as charmingly as possible.
She looked at him quizzically and tilted her head slightly. She got the feeling he was trying to pay her a compliment without sounding too cliché -and if there is anything that this girl can’t tolerate, it’s a cliché. He recognized the ‘what do you mean’ facial expression, and answered to it straight away with: “‘Sheila’ means ‘girl’ –and you look all-girl to me, no matter what side of the planet you’re on!”
“And you are?” she asked, soaking in the complement.
“Jeremy Fort.” he replied with conviction. She laughed a bit, and lowered her head slightly.
“That’s funny…but it figures”
“Why?” he asked.
“’Fort’ means ‘strong’ in French, if you don’t mind me saying so, you don’t look like a wimp.” They laughed, a bit too loud, which caused some people to stare at them, well aware of what was transpiring between this obviously mis-matched pair. She couldn’t believe it. She thought, he is hitting on me! In the house of God no less! This was a new one on her, and a quick glance around proved that their audience didn’t seem to approve.
“What makes you think I’m a tough guy? After all, I’m no bigger than you.” As soon as that last sentence came out of his mouth, a flash of regret made his face, up to this point, poised, suddenly, if not noticeably, twitch. He instantly realized that a woman doesn’t want to be considered ‘man-sized’ even if the man referenced is on the smaller side of the average. She didn’t give him an answer, which was really the best response, because it let him off the hook…
“Look, this church has coffee and pastry in the basement after mass. You wanna hang out with me for a little while? –I’ll buy.” He offered more like she was a buddy than a girl he wanted to date. That made her feel comfortable…But, she already knew from catching him, out of the corner of her eye, looking her up and down –a ‘buddy’ was the last thing he wanted her to be. She hesitated. He was definitely older, by how much she did not yet know, and he could be a psycho for all she knew, but she wasn’t getting that vibe from him and she thought he was genuinely charming if even a bit awkward. It’s only coffee after all, and in a church basement -no big deal, she thought.
“Sure.” she responded with a slight shrug of a single shoulder and an endearing tilt of the head. After Mass, he stood aside and let her pass. A gentleman, she made a mental note. She could feel his eyes boring into her lower back and she blushed, while thanking goodness that he couldn’t tell, even when she glanced over her shoulder to acknowledge his politeness with a pursed smile. White guys can’t jump and black girls can’t blush. She quipped to herself. His soft footsteps followed behind her and together they made their way out of the church, and then through an outside door, into the basement coffee parlour.
They couldn’t take their eyes off each other. The coffee was finished, probably too quickly, and the small talk was winding up. He made her laugh. He made her feel wanted, like she was the only woman on the planet -but she was still wary. She had been hurt badly in the past and still had her guard up. She feared that he could sense her lack of trust and unavailability, and would be scared away. She wanted to be wanted, like most women, even if she wouldn’t allow herself to be had. His next question dragged her kicking and screaming out of her negative reverie.
“Do you fancy going out sometime?” he asked. She looked up sharply, her lips parting slightly, and took a deep breath, as she thought Who says ‘fancy?’ She continued to reason silently It’s one date, no big deal, I can always leave if I don’t like it. She wrestled with the idea, which after a year of not being asked by a single guy she would possibly consider, had become quite novel. She really liked him, and she sensed that he sincerely liked her.
“Okay, sure.” She finally replied as she smiled at him. He let out an audible sigh of relief, like he had been holding his breath, while waiting for her answer. She leaned in closer to him, touching with two fingers, the gold cross that hung from her necklace, and asked, “Where did you have in mind?”
“How ’bout The Pride and Glory?” he suggested.
“Yeah I know it. When are you thinking?”
“How about tomorrow at eight?”
“Sure…” She stood up, putting the strap of her precious pocketbook over her shoulder, and tucking it protectively under her elbow. “Look, I gotta go. But I’ll see you tomorrow night.”
“Wait! Can I get your phone number first?” He asked with a look of doubt crossing his face. Cute she thought. He seems unsure or unaware of just how pleasantly charming he is. She wondered if he was aware that his eyes and facial expressions betray his deepest thoughts. Right now, she could tell he was very proud to have won the contest, but suspicious that he was going to be cheated out of his prize. She assumed, correctly, that he couldn’t pull off a lie to save his skin. He hadn’t attempted a lie yet, she thought, confident that she would have detected it if he did. However, they had kept the conversation cordially light as appropriate for a first meeting. No hard questions…Yet. Wait till he has a little honesty juice moistening up his mind and lips. She thought. Yeah, during our meeting, ah, date for drinks I’ll dig a little deeper.
She hesitated, then said, “let’s just see what happens after the drinks. I’ll meet you there, at eight.” He was surprised by her suggestion, but he tried very hard not to show it.
“Sure…Okay” he reluctantly accepted. She walked towards the exit, stopped, and looked at him as he threw their cups and paper plates in the trash. He was still looking at her with a mixture of awe and hope as she waved goodbye. He lifted his hand in acknowledgement and smiled, then gathered his thoughts and walked toward the bottom of the stairs that she had just ascended. She thought Typical, I go to mass to find peace in my loneliness and find a man instead –maybe the Big Man upstairs was listening after all…
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- I Am Archibald Scribe of S-tan: Preface (bangaricontentgallery.com)
- I Am Archibald, Scribe of S-tan: Chapter 1 (bangaricontentgallery.com)
- I Am Archibald, Scribe of S-tan: Chapter 2 (bangaricontentgallery.com)
- I Am Archibald, Scribe of S-tan: Chapter 4 (bangaricontentgallery.com)
- I Am Archibald, Scribe of S-tan: Chapter 5 (bangaricontentgallery.com)
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- The Recalcitrant Jesus: Proto-gnostic Influences upon the Nature and Character of the Johannine Jesus (kitsimpson.wordpress.com)
- How to Cope with Unrequited Love? (ariannasrandomthoughts.com)