Art and the philosophy of life

Archive for the ‘Short Stories’ Category

Max…a short story.

when you’re a drawing
a heroic creation
you live in the fast lane
frame to frame
fight to fight
running to
or from
car crashes
one night stands
watching people die
this is Max
he’s a detective
a detective of lost causes
he’s been through hell and back
and he doesn’t stop
until his cases are closed
you can trust him
he can protect you
bad guys fear him
he has his own kind of magic
and yes
women fall in love with him
some men do too
it can’t be helped
Max makes James Bond
look like a ten dollar hit man
and he never drinks martinis
or otherwise
the devil himself fears him
and god gets off his thrown
and offers him a seat
his ride
has a mind of its own
a more violent car
has never been imagined
and everyone gets out of his way
except for Marsha
the love of his life
the woman who keeps him real
but when the pages of his story close
between the covers
Max doesn’t disappear
he keeps working
and loving Marsha
because his life never truly ends
once set free from the imagination
of the artist
the creations themselves
are released
and live forever


Photo:  Ahmed Lotfi

Okay, I put part two on the same post, right after part one…so scroll down to find it.Clevven 461…a short story…in two parts…or maybe three…this is part 1

a paper plate with a picture of a man wearing a crown

Clevven 461 worked in the castle.  Well, it wasn’t actually a castle, but there’s no other word to describe it.  Let’s just say it was castle like, and for the purpose of this short story, I’ll just call it the castle.  Anyway, the castle floated, was partially invisible, laid on its side, rather than straight up and down, and there were no doors, just huge cracks in the exterior, that were used both as windows, entrances and exits.  Other than that, there was nothing remarkable about the place, unless you count the fact that it was made of mostly pink and gray stone, when the stones could be seen, of course, and sometimes they were blue and black.

Clevven 461 was in charge of the staff who worked in the castle.  It was an important job and gave him a bit of power.  But Clevven 461 was nice, and rarely ever abused anyone or took advantage of his position.  Because of that, things ran smoothly and there were seldom any bumps in the road, as the old saying goes.

The two royals, if that’s what you want to call them, were also nice.  One was called “A,” the other “B.”  They had names and titles, of course, but thought them too confusing for the commoners, so they went with A and B.

Every now and then, the castle would start to float away, which could be quite inconvenient.  “C”, A and B’s only child, enjoyed when that happened and called it the Great Escape.  It wasn’t much fun for the staff, however, and trying to get the castle back to it’s proper position was difficult at best.  If was raining at the time, things got rather dicy, since that’s when the Rain hogs came out.  And you know what that means, right?  Ever try securing a castle while being dive-bombed by Rain hogs?  Yeah, I didn’t think so.  But take my word, it’s NOT easy.  Even with the help of the resident Witches, it’s still not easy.

to be continued…unless the Rain hogs get everyone first.
I thought I felt a few drops when I left.


Phot: hesamLink

Part 2


Clevven 461 had no family of his own, so he was happy to watch over C.  In the beginning, before C got her wings, taking care of her was rather easy.  Sometimes Clevven 461 would simply strap her to his back and carry her around all day.  But as she grew, that went from difficult to impossible.  Now watching over her was almost a full time job, since he spent much of his valuable time looking for her.  C, on the other hand, thought she and Clevven 461 were playing hid and seek, and saw no reason to change her behavior to make life easier for anyone.  At first, she liked to hide in the invisible part of the castle, but when he couldn’t find her, she ended up spending hours sitting behind a glass wall, waiting and waiting and waiting.  She didn’t realize that Clevven 461 knew exactly where she was, and knew that if he left her there, he could attend to other matters.

C didn’t know why Clevven 461 didn’t have wings.  She felt sorry for him and for herself, because she wanted to fly with him.  He was her best friend, after all.  Sure he had other attributes, he was fast, could hold his breath for a long time, and he could burn things with flames from his finger tips, but he couldn’t fly.  He was also strong.  She had seen him fight two Rain hogs and win.  Everyone respected him for his fighting skills.  But even though he was constantly busy, C felt that Cevven 461 was lonely.   She wasn’t sure what he was, or where he came from.  She’d never been without him.  She knew that he was old, but she didn’t know how old.  She also knew he wasn’t all one thing, that he was made of parts of things, but she didn’t know what.  Actually, she didn’t know what she was either.

“Clevven 461,” said C.  “What am I?”

“You are my charge, sweet one.”

“I know that, silly, but what AM I inside, like a breed or species, or bug.”

“You are not a bug.  Of that I am certain.  As to the rest?  You’ll have to ask the chemists.”

“Don’t you know?  I mean why do I have wings?”

“So you can fly, I would imagine.”

“You know what I mean.  A and B don’t have wings, and neither do you.”

“Fairies do.”

“Am I a fairy?”

“Maybe a little part of you is.”

“And what of my claws?  When I’m angry, they come out all by themselves?”

“Perhaps you’re part kitty.”

“Really?” she said excitedly.

“I do not know.”

“And no one else has orange eyes.  Just me.”

“They make you more beautiful.”

“You’re no help at all, are you, Clevven 461,” she sighed, unhappily.

“I’m sorry, sweet one.  I do not have answers for you.”

“What are you?” she asked, tilting her head to the side.

“I’m not sure,” he said truthfully.  “I seem to have always just…been.”

“I’ve seen some of your gears, maybe you’re a bot.”

“No.  Well maybe partially, but I have consciousness.”

“And you eat and things.”

“Yes.  I do,” he said, smiling at her.

“Why do wear those clothes?”

“They suit me,” he said.

“Oh, like mine suit me,” she said, running her hands down the camouflaged body suit.

“Just like that.”

“Clevven 461…”

“Yes, my sweet?”

“I think I’m tired,” she said, closing her eyes.

“I think you are too, so just think of something beautiful and I’ll wake you at midnight.”

She grunted and curled into a ball.  “I wish you could fly with me,” she whispered.

“As do I my sweet,” he said, covering her with a sliver quilt.

He watched her for a few minutes, then he left her room and went about his duties.  He checked, to make sure the planets stayed in their orbits and the aliens kept their eyes on a blue rock that was threatening some of the others.  He had a snack, made sure the Rain hogs were gone, then went to a meeting with A and B, to ask when they were going to tell C, exactly what she was.

So, that was part 2.  Part 3 will be next.

A short story about change and hope…and neon.

nothing is impossible signage

“You need to take down the sign,” she said, plopping her bag onto the counter.

“Why?” he asked.

“Because it’s false advertising.  It’s an outright lie.   The sign should read, HARDLY ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.  Unless, of course you know the right people, are rich, have an in someplace, or don’t really want anything that’s impossible.  And let me see you fly, and not in a plane, or turn into a unicorn.”

“Uh, I think I see where you’re going with this.”

“I’m sick of false advertisements and stupid sayings that are not true.”

“Do you want  tofu dog?”


“This is a vegetarian deli.  I think the sign just means that we can make pretty much any kind of sandwich, as long as it’s on the big board over there,” he said pointing next to him.

“That’s still a lie because if you only get to pick what’s available, then nothing is impossible but who cares, if you only have ten items to choose from?”

“No idea.  I just work here,” he said, picking up a hot dog bun.  “They’re really good.”

“Don’t you think you should question things like that sign?”

“Not really.  I already know that hardly anything is possible, like paying off student loans, actually being able to afford a one room crumby apartment and having enough money for food.  That’s why I work here.  I get to eat.”

“So you know the sign is a lie and that it leads people to have false hope.”

“I don’t know if anyone thinks about it that way.  Or, if they even care.  Most people who eat here killed their dreams a long time ago.”

“That’s so horrible,” she said, closing her eyes.

“I don’t know, people seem to be calmer once they have given up and decided things will never get better.  They don’t have to hope any longer. They don’t struggle, or strive for what they wanted.”

“That’s the worst thing I’ve heard in my entire life.”

“It’s still true.”

“How much do you make, working here?”

“Enough to pay rent and buy clothes at Goodwill,” he said looking at his t-shirt.

“Don’t you want more than this?”

“I think most people want more than what they have.  They want more for themselves and more for their families.  But life doesn’t care what people want.”

“You mean the men in charge don’t care what people want.”

He shrugged.  “Same thing, I guess.”

“You realize that this is what the bad guys want.  They want people to give up.”

“Well, then someone is getting what they want, aren’t they,” he said, smiling weakly.  “What about the tofu dog?”

“Steam the bun and add a bit of regular yellow mustard.”

“You got it,” he said, starting to fill her order.

“There are a lot of ways to be dead, you know.  Giving up is one of them.”

“Hard to keep fighting when you know you can’t win.”

“That’s what they want.”

“Doesn’t change what is though, does it,” he said, defeat in his voice.  “What do you want to drink?”

“Water, please.”

He handed her the tofu dog and placed a bottle of water next to her bag.  That’s seven dollars.

She gave him ten and told him to keep the change.  He nodded, thanked her, and rang up the sale.

“This really is good,” she said, her mouth full of food.

“I know,” he snickered.  “So, are you going to change the world?”

“That’s the plan,” she said, taking another bite.

“Let me know how it goes.  If you need help, I’m in.”

“Thanks.  Write down your name and number, in case you change jobs.  That way I’ll know how to find you.”

He handed her a slip of paper.

“Nice talking with you,” she said.  “Dinner was delicious.”

“We aim to please,” he laughed.

“I’ll be in touch.”

“Looking forward to it,” he said, watching her walk away.




Choices, a very short story.

a woman standing in front of a tunnel in a dark room

she stood in front of the
deciding whether it was better
to go into the
and take her chances
or stay
and live the life she had
in the end
the decision was easy
we can only hope she’s happy
wherever she landed


Photo”  Jack Dong

Visitors…a short story

“WHAT?” she yelled, throwing open the front door.  “I’M BUSY.”

“Uh,” he said, staring at her. “You invited me here.”

“No, I did not.  You must have the wrong address.  And I don’t want to buy anything, either.”

“You’ve called me here time and time agin.”

“Who are you?”

“I’m Death,” he said, surprised that she didn’t already know that.

“Oh. You should have led with that,” she said, moving out of the way. “Please come in, and ask your friends to join you,” she said, looking at the raven and crow sitting on a branch in the oak tree out in front.

The two birds few through the open doorway, went directly to the kitchen, and made themselves at home, sitting on the backs of the brightly painted chairs.

“Some people would be afraid to ask me in,” he said.

“First of all, you don’t scare me in the least and second, the invitation to enter is only dangerous if you are a vampire.”

“Do you know any vampires?”

“Probably,” she said. “What would you like to drink?”

“Mandarin Orange tea, please.”


“No, thank you.”

“Good, because I don’t have any.”

She put cookies on the kitchen table and the birds each took one.  She then got two mugs from the cabinet, and once the water in the kettle started making noise, she made the tea.  She put one mug in front of him, then sat down with her own mug and watched the steam disappear into the air.  “I have questions.”


“Take as many cookies as you like,” she said to the crow.  He bobbed up and down and then daintily took another cookie from the plate.

“Questions?  Hopefully not the usual ones like, what happens after death or are those I love okay?” he said, sipping his tea, reaching for a cookie.  “Delicious tea.  Thank you.”

She stared at him.

“What?” he asked. “Do I have crumbs on my mouth,” he muttered, wiping at his face with a napkin.

“No, sorry.   I guess I didn’t expect you to look…so…”



He smiled.  “I have to fit in.  What would people think if they saw me walking down the street wearing  a long hooded robe, carrying a scythe?”

“They’d think you were going to a Comic Con convention, or that you were just one more weird guy who lived in his mother’s basement.”

“Exactly,” he said, grabbing another cookie.  “Wait…what?”

The raven stood by the cookie dish and looked at her.

“You don’t have to ask.  Take as many as you like.”

Satisfied, the bird started chomping down on a cookie, bits falling onto the table.

“Tell me about the Ferryman,” she said.

“You mean Chuck?”

“The Ferryman’s name is Chuck?”

“Yes.  What did you think his name was?”

“Not Chuck,” she said.  “That so…average.”

“He was Chuck Taylor when he was alive.  Played football in high school.  Was pretty good, but not good enough to make the college team, let alone the pros.  He started drinking and…”

“I get it,” she said, opening another box of cookies, while the birds watched her intently.

“Ferryman, is his job description.  It’s what he does.  Chuck, is who he is.”

“Still disappointing,” she said.

“It wouldn’t be if you humans stopped making everything up.  I don’t even own a hooded robe and I never saw a real scythe.”

“Wow,” she said.

“I fee the same way.”

“What’s your name?” she asked.


“So you’re not Jake, or Chad, or Billy?”

“I’m Death.”

She went to the sink and got the birds a bowl of water.  The crow stood in it immediately and tried to flutter, until she told him it was for drinking, not bathing.  He bent forward and stuck his beak into the bowl.  The bowl was small and the bird was big and she was mesmerized by the whole scene.

“Do you want to know their names as well?” he asked, staring at the birds.

“Sure, why not,” she said softly.  “Can I pet them?”

“Ask them, not me.”

The crow hopped out of the bowl and stood in front of her.  He bent his head and she gently scratched his neck.

“I’m so happy right now,” she said, smiling.  “Soooo happy.”

“That’s a first,” he said.  “You humans are almost alway upset and whining about something.”

“Hey!” she snapped.  “We have good reason to be crabby.”

“If you say so,” he said, downing the last of his tea.  “More please?” he grinned, holding out his empty cup.

The raven hopped over for pets, pushing the crow aside, ever so slightly.

“So what are their names?  Nancy and Sid, Kitty and kat…”

“Raven and Crow, actually,” he said grinning.  “Thank you for the tea, by the way.  I’ll make the next cup myself, now that I watched you and know where everything is.”

“Fine,” she said.  “Now about my question.”

“I’m ready,” he said, seriously.  “What do you want to know…but don’t ask to see anyone who crossed over, because it’s not allowed and no matter how much you beg, I can’t do it.”

“I wasn’t going to ask that,” she said.

“You weren’t?”


“Sorry,” he said sheepishly.  “Go ahead, then.”

“You are everywhere among the living.  Absolutely everywhere.  Everything is dying, or laying dead somewhere.  There is no place among the living that you are not.”

“And?” he said, shoving a cooking into his mouth.

“How many living things are where you come from?  What living things are allowed to intrude on Death?”

He made a small sound, then started coughing.

“It only seems fair, don’t you think?  You’re all over the place, so we should be where you live too.”

He shook his head and coughed some more.

“It doesn’t work that way,” he finally rasped, gulping a mouthful of tea.”

“Why not?”

“I don’t do anything with the living, I just pick up the dead,” he wheezed.  “You’re the ones who kill everything and are so weak, you die from a germ.  And do you think there’s a city of the dead with a few living beings walking around among them?”

“I’m not sure what I think, that’s why I’m asking you,” she said.

“You live among the living and things die,” he said.  “The dead aren’t walking around with you, although I know it can seem that they are.  Death doesn’t actually exist.  Transformation does.  You just leave here and start over somewhere else, unless you’re crazy enough to come back here right away.”

“So, you’re saying there’s no time that we don’t exist?”

“In some form or another, no.  You always exist. Right now, you’re in a human form, when you’re finished here, you’ll be in another form.”

The crow tapped the empty cookie plate with his beak.  She got up and opened a box of crackers.

Both birds nodded their approval and dug in.

“What you call death is just a change of form, a way to become something else.  If you didn’t have such strong emotions, you’d hardly notice anyone, or anything, was gone.”

“You’re wrong,” she said.

“I’m not,” he said.  “Things disappear from one place, to show up in another.  In your current form you couldn’t be in any other place than you are right now, because the things you need to exist, in your current form, only exist here.  And don’t forget, you guys are the one’s who call what happens, death.  That’s just another word you made up and defined.  It’s not real, any more than anything else you made up.”

“So if my heart stops beating right now, I won’t be dead?”

“No more than an acorn is dead.  An acorn just looks one way for awhile, then turns into something else.  Both its forms can exist in this place, however.  Sometimes you stay here as well, and just become something else, but admittedly that’s rare. I mean your body can stay here and turn into things, but not you, the real you. You usually try different places and forms, since your energy is different than that of an acorn.  But everything that exists anywhere, has a shelf life.  So you keep reincarnating into something new.”

“I don’t believe in god.”

“Neither do I,” he said, dunking a cracker in the last of the tea.

She got more cookies and poured him another cup.  “Death is painful for those left behind.”

“Your species becomes attached to things, people too.  You love other species, each other, things and…”

“I get it.”

He nodded, then listened to what the raven was saying to him.  “He said you love crows and ravens.”

“I do.”

“Attachment causes pain,” he said, eating two cookies at once.

“Without attachment, what is there?”


“No.  A different kind of death,” she said.

“How would you know?  You don’t feel dead because of the things you’re not attached to.”

“Because I’m happy with the things I love.  Having nothing, means just that.  Having nothing.”

“You just don’t get it.”

“Maybe you’re the one who doesn’t get it,” she said.

“Why did you come here?” he asked.

“I think I was bored with the other places.”

“I can understand that.  There’s a place that only plays classical music and it can drive some insane in a day or two.”

“I don’t want to go there,” she snickered.  “Have you ever been human?”

“Never and that won’t change.  I’ve seen too much of your species to ever want to stay here.  You’re all…”

“Not all of us.”

“Yes.  All of you,” he said, running his hand down the crow’s back.

“We must come here to feel things.  You know, emotionally.”

“How’s that working out for all of you?” he asked.  “You know, the violence, wars…”

“About that,” she said.  “How can we stop all of that?”

“You can’t.  It’s built into all the things you feel.  It’s part of the game you’re playing.”

“Sometimes I feel as if we’re some alien kid’s science project.”

“You’re giving yourself too much credit.  You’re not that high up on the charts.  You were made broken and thrown here to survive the best you can, which isn’t very well, by the way.  No controls were set up and no one is monitoring you.  Now and then, someone will throw something into the mix, but no one sticks around to see the outcomes of anything.  When your species is gone, something else will take your place.  Hopefully, something better.”

“Wow,” she said, “you’re kind of a moron.”

“You think so?”


The raven walked up to her and rubbed his beak against her cheek.  She melted into him and started petting his wing.

“Your aura just changed colors, your breathing slowed and you’re being flooded with endorphins.”

“Or you could just say I love the bird.”

“We have to go,” he said.  “Dead things are starting to pile up.  Things don’t stop dying just because I’m having a cup of tea.”

“But I have more questions,” she said, kissing the bird’s face.

“I’ll stop by again,” he said.


“When I can,” he said.

“Can the birds stay here until you return?”

He laughed.  “Of course not.  I can’t manage without them.”

She slid the cookies off the plate into a bag and handed it to Death.  “For Crow and Raven,” she said.

“What about me?”

The birds snickered, then pecked lightly at her face and hair.

“So not fair,” he grumbled, and they were gone.

She heard cawing in the distance and said, “i love you too.”

“What about me,” he whispered.

“Yeah, no,” she said, as she started cleaning up the table.  “Not you.”
















Music…a short story.

Antique, Box, Collectible, Electronic

did you know
that all music
originated from a jukebox
in the sky
the basics
were played to the masses
who then falsely believed
that they came up with
with the sounds themselves
music wasn’t a gift
it was something to keep our species
to calm us
help us navigate
through the mess
we were dropped into
it was simply added
to see what we would do
with it
like all experiments
or some thing
is writing down
their findings


Picture:  Pixabay

A very short love story.

a couple of dandelions sitting on top of a field

“I love you.”

“I love you too.”

“Remember when we were young and yellow?”

“I do.  You were beautiful.”

“So were you.”

“You’re still lovely.”

“I feel lighter.”

“So do I.”

“Shall we fly away together?”

“I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

“I love you.”

“I love you too.”

“I can hear the wind.”

“Goodbye.”                                  …

“Goodb…            ..         ..                …
..            ..            ..
….               …..          ….            ….


Photo:  Emannuel Phaeton




Unicorn…a story.

Unicorn, Dream, Sky, Magic, Fantasy

“What are you?” asked the boy.

“I’m a unicorn.”

“Unicorns don’t exist.”

“I know,” said the unicorn.

“Then how can you be one.”

“One what?”

“One unicorn.”

“I just am,” said the unicorn. “Whether you believe in me or not, has nothing to do with the fact that I exist.”

The boy nodded.  “A lot of stuff’s like that.  People say things are real, when they aren’t, and unreal, when they are.”

“Happens all the time,” agreed the unicorn.”

“My name’s Jerry, what’s yours?”

“I’m a unicorn.  Unicorn is my name.”

“You don’t have something you’re called that makes you different from all the other unicorns?”

“Apparently not.”

“I don’t think humans could get along without names.  We have to call each other something.”

“Why?” asked the unicorn.

“So we know who we’re talking to, I guess.  Besides, we have to put our names on school papers, or the teacher won’t know who wrote what.”

“Would that be a bad thing?”

“Not for me,” he laughed.

“A lot of your gods are invisible and people believe in them.  Why can’t they believe in unicorns?”

“Some of us do,” he said.  “My sister loves you guys.  I guess people believe in invisible gods because they’d be really disappointed if there was a real god in the world.”

“That makes sense,” said the unicorn, flicking his tail.

“To me too.”

“You said your sister believes in unicorns?”

“She’s six.  Her whole room, and most of her clothes, are covered with pictures of unicorns.”

“People like that help keep us alive.”

“I didn’t know that.”

“It’s not that we would die with out people believing in us, but once something disappears from the minds of others, it’s kind of like dying, or just being deeply forgotten.  People who lived a thousand years ago aren’t remembered by anyone, so they are good and truly dead.”

“I never thought of it that way.  Maybe if I stop thinking of William, he’s a kid in my class, he’ll disappear.”

“It doesn’t work that way.  You need time to forget and more than one person has to do it.”

“I knew it was too good to be true,” sighed Jerry.

“Everything has a time to be and a time not to be.  If everyone was remembered, things would be rather…cluttered.”

“True,” agreed Jerry.  I guess everything fades away eventually.”

“It does, but that’s not a bad thing.”

“It isn’t?”

“No.  It just makes room for new things.  Human egos are fragile.  People put importance on things that don’t matter.  The only thing that’s truly important, is what you do in the moment, because that’s all that actually exists.  There is no past or future, there never has been.  There’s only now.”

“You mean like, now I’m talking to a unicorn?” he laughed.


“Are you like a pegasus, but just without wings?”

“Not really.  And a pegasus isn’t like a unicorn, just without a horn.  We are different species, but it’s hard to tell since we do look like the horses you have on earth.  We have more magic than is allowed on this plane, that’s why we can’t live here.”

“I didn’t know that.”

“Not many people know that,” said the unicorn, kindly.

“My mom said that whatever can exist here is here, and whatever can’t survive here is not here.”

“She’s right.  Everything has its place.  There are limits on everything.  There are things you can’t live without.  If oxygen were to disappear, everything would die.  Everything needs certain things to live, and if those things aren’t available, then whatever needs those things, can no longer survive in that place.”

“Fish and I can’t change places,” said Jerry.

“You cannot.”

“Why are you here?”

“I stop by once in awhile,” said the unicorn.  “I like it here, but I can’t stay very long.  My magic interferes with the electrical energy that exists in this place.  In fact, it’s time for me to go.”

“It was very nice meeting you,” said Jerry.  “I don’t suppose many kids get to meet a unicorn.”

“They definitely do not.  You are one of the few who can see me.”


“Really,” he said, shaking his mane.

“Do stars live inside of you?” asked Jerry, staring at the unicorn.

“Some do, and if they are showing, that means it’s time for me to…”

“Disappear,” said Jerry, who continued to stare at the spot the unicorn had been standing a second ago.  “Bye,” he whispered, as he turned and walked toward home.

A short story about choices…

Free vector graphics of Astronaut


“Cool picture,” she said.

“How long before he dies?” he asked.

“Not long.  Is he dancing, or trying to run?” she said.  “Hard to tell.”

“Still, It does look cool.”

“Definitely cool,” she agreed.

“Art is an interesting concept,” he said.

“Do you want to go into space?”

“Like this?  No.  Do you?” he laughed.

“I get car sick, remember?  But I’d probably be okay if the ship was the Enterprise.”

“What about the Borg?” he asked.

“I think they killed all of them.”

“Don’t forget that it’s cold out there, and there’s no sound.”

“No birds or babbling brooks,” she sighed.  “No screaming kids or music.”

“None of those things.”

“No five star hotels either.”

“No mints on the pillow,” he snickered.

“So we’re staying?” she asked, smiling at him. “It’s kind of fun being on earth, don’t you think?  I mean these bodies, while tight and small, can do so many things.”

“Good point,” he said.  “I’m sure I can get used to only having two eyes.”

“Don’t be silly,” she said.  “Of course you can. You can always turn around, if you want to see behind you.”



Photo:  Pixabay







A Christmas story…

Christmas, Candle, Decoration, Holiday

They sat across from each other, eating Christmas cookies and drinking hot chocolate.  The air was scented with pine and a drowsy feeling filled the room.

“Why do you think people need to believe in their gods?” he asked, biting the head off of a gingerbread man.

“Fear.  Humans are always afraid of something, mostly each other, and believing there’s someone invisible who can rescue them, makes them feel better.  Think of how many gods there are.  Each of them considered to be the true god, the only god, the real god.  It’s ridiculous.  Why don’t people realize that the god they believe in, is the god that came with where they live and how they were indoctrinated?  If they had been born somewhere else, in a different country, they would believe in the god that exists there.”

“That’s true.”

“I know,” she said.

“So, what do you believe in?”

“I think Mary had a girl and Joseph ran away with her to avoid her mother’s wrath for getting her daughter pregnant.”

He laughed and shook his head.  “Ah, a mother’s wrath.”

“Don’t underestimate it.  But Joe was smart.  He didn’t want to take responsibility for what he did, so he blamed someone invisible and sold it as a religion.  Mary, went along with all of it because her reputation was at stake and she would have been shunned for having sex before marriage.”

“Wow,” he said.

“Wow, what?”

“That all makes perfect sense.”

“Because it’s true.  Christmas is a pagan holiday celebrating the return of the light and longer days.  The catholics took over all the pagan holidays because they couldn’t stamp them out.  The trinity was originally, Maiden, Mother, Crone.  They just took what they wanted and tried to erase what was already there.  But the nice thing about their story is that women don’t need men to have children, so believing in a Goddess makes more sense than any of their gods. Either that or they would have to fess up to their big lie.  Well one of their big lies, that is.”

“So, what does Christmas mean to you?” he asked.

“It’s a party with people I care about.  It’s about presents and laughter, good food, and silly songs about flying reindeer, who are all female, by the way.  It’s about over eating cookies, and catching up with those you haven’t seen in awhile.  Mostly it’s about getting rid of long dark days.  Minutes of light are added from Christmas on, which means summer is only months away.  It’s the hope for warmth, flowers and SUNLIGHT.  But it really is about presents.  We don’t do ugly sweaters in my family.”

“We don’t either,” he grinned. “Do you have any traditions?”

“Not really,” she said.  “My cousin used to go to the zoo and sing to the animals.  No one knows if the animals were happy about that, but then no one ever asks them what they want, do they.  They haven’t gone in years.  The weather has been too cold and horrible.  I guess the only tradition is that we get together on Christmas Eve.  Christmas day is for taking the decorations down.  But the one thing I would really like to do is have street artists go into a church and do their thing.  Imagine how wonderful it would be to let people see real artwork done by people with a different vision.  Big bold works of art, or delicate birds and animals running across the ceiling.  Get rid of pews and all the rigid, controlling structural things.  Altars that only some can access.  Make everyone equal, no one higher than another.  It could be a free zone, with beauty everywhere.  No lies, no control, no brainwashing, just art and fun.”

“Well that would be a rec center,” he snickered.  “Not a church.”

She smiled.  “True enough, but think about nature moving in.  Stained glass windows of tigers and trees.  It’s just a thought.”

“An interesting one,” he said.

She nodded.  “Status quo.  You don’t mess with the beliefs of the people.  That’s why nothing ever changes for the better.  Being set in one’s ways, halts forward progress.  I mean I’m the same way.  We all are.  We think that what we believe is the thing to believe.”

“Did you make these cookies?”

“No.  Why?”

“They’re good.”

“Christmas is all about cookies.  One thing I love about Christmas is that all of our companion animals get presents, not that they don’t get presents all the time, but these are wrapped and special.  Although special is in the eye of the beholder, like everything else.  I mean my cat has a dish that says, cat’s rock, but I don’t think she cares.  Cats already know that they rock, and they don’t need to tell others about it, so basically her dish is for me.  And what about the camels.”

“Camels?” he said, frowning.

“Yes, the magi, or whatever those guys call themselves, rode camels.  The camels, like everyone and everything, men subjugate, had no choice.  They were born, tied up, saddled, sat upon and ridden.  Enslaved, like everyone else.  Horses, all animals and minorities, women and children, all of us held between the fingers of patriarchy and crushed, never allowed to become.  It’s wrong and deadly, to have only one thing in power over everything else.  It will destroy us.”

“What do you have for dessert?”

“Cherry cobbler, brownies, ice cream and strawberries, chocolate lava cake, cookies, banana bread and…don’t think I didn’t notice that you changed the subject.”

“We usually just have cake and cookies.”

“Dessert is the most important part of the meal.  Everything else is just going through the motions to get to the dessert.”

“What’s your favorite cookie?”

“Snowballs and burnt chocolate chips.  How about you?”

“Peanut butter and sugar cookies.”

“We have nothing in common,” she said, emptying her mug.

“Maybe more than you think.”

“How long have you been a priest?”

“A long time.”

“How’s it going, with all the rapes and things?”

“Could be better.”

She nodded.  “You guys should clean up your act.  Tell the truth for a change and stop being such…”

“Power is too much of an aphrodisiac.  And we are powerful.”

“Selfish and…”

“Yes, that too.”

“I don’t like you.”

“I know,” he laughed.

“You know you’re not anyone’s father, don’t you?  Why do you think people should call you that?”

“I guess it’s just another tradition.”

“One that means you better do what I say or no dessert, or I’ll beat you?”

“Something like that.”

“Well, I’m going to go somewhere where people aren’t you,” she said, smiling at him.  “Merry Yule and may the Goddess bless you and try and show you how to get out of the mess you got yourself into.”

He laughed out loud.  “I’ll watch for a sign,” he said.

“I’m the sign,” but I guess you’ll never see that, will you.”

He stared at her.

“See ya, priest.”

“See ya, non-believer.”




Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: