XXXIII: A murder

To those who may be receiving one of these post-notifications for the first time: This is not a blog; it’s actually part of a book, and will make little sense to you without knowledge of what has come before—which you can easily obtain, along with a goodly amount of satirical theatre as matters progress, by simply entering into your web browser, opening the menu, and starting at page one. J.J.

Scene 8

Then Gaim proclaims that his new, giant statue of the Ultimate Mother shall have a face after all—and indeed, one clearly marking her as of his own Gamopolite race!

That she shall also have some personal name, lest his Official Lore regarding her somehow become polluted by foreign ideas—while no one but he and his priests and priestesses would be allowed to utter it, under pain of the most horrible death!

That the lore of her Infant, especially, shall be protected from such defilement.

That his city itself shall be secured by four walls—if necessarily including gates and keys, tightly controlled by his most trusted aide.

And well, that even the Afterworld now has this Gate and Key—while he himself, he claims, has been appointed the keeper of that one: a fact that would-be despoilers of the faith and other treasonous types would do well to bear in mind if they hoped to one day be admitted there!

Scene 9

And then summoning his Official Crier, Gaim sends him down into the surrounding towns and villages with an announcement that Gamopolite fighting men with a tast for adventure will soon be escorting their still-bound prisoner back to his own land as a gesture aimed at finding a peaceful solution to all this.

Although, if peace wasn’t to be—why then, he’d show those other bozos some real organization!

For they wouldn’t be entering that place as some mob, but as a carefully trained army moving as one with arm, leg, and shield.

With uniform clothing so that his men might distinguish friend from foe during any coming battle; while their unit commanders would be clad in various bright colors so that they might be better kept in sight amidst tge dusty fray.

With he himself in the lead, masterfully astride a spirited horse; flanked on the right by someone bearing the stern visage of Our Lady of War waving in the breeze atop some tall pole; on the other by someone drumming on the skin of an ass drawn taut across a wooden frame; and trailed by a scribe who would duly describe the whole business in glowing terms and of course hope to describe many heroic Gamopolite deeds as it all unfolded.

Scene 10

And well, as Gaim leads his troops down the road, Our Lady necessarily looks the other way while they pillage a few fields and barns in order to stay fed and even take the occasion to dally with some wildly waving women driven to no little passion by the sight of their uniforms and all their fighting paraphernalia.

But somehow, he manages to keep his army intact and even pass unchallenged unto the heart of the foreign land; whose own High Priest turns out to most impressed with Gaim’s ring—scarcely to mention that formidable looking column behind him.

And so after politely inviting his guest to join him in a sumptuous meal, he offers him an accommodation.

“I shall continue to govern my own people,” he proposes, “if only because I speak their language and hence can better understand their various problems. However, as your new provincial governor, I’ll gradually acclimate them to your obviously superior Gamopolite way—while as a guaranty of this last, I’ll send a dozen youths back with you to learn it, and appoint them to various key administrative posts upon their return.

“And in fact, I could send a dozen every year,” he continues when Gaim seems to hesitate for a moment.

“And even see to it that they bring along a sack of gold and silver coins, lest their presence there become an unreasonable burden,” he swallowed hard after another moment.

Gaim wanted three of each.

“Two!” the other cried indignantly.

And with that exchange, the crisis was over.

Scene 11

And afterward, Gaim’s new governor invites him to help decide what to do with a few problem types who’ve recently been detained for the public good and are currently awaiting some final disposition.

And the first turns out to be two priests, respectively representing the Serpent and the Bird, who are clearly resentful of each other, and indeed soon take to shouting and flailing at one another in his presence—with the Serpent accusing the Bid of trying to steal his worshippers, and the Bird blaming the Serpent for a recent drought reputedly brought about by the latter’s refusal to accept the fact that he was no longer deserving of them.

“Alright, enough!” Gaim himself suddenly shouts in a commanding voice—and steps directly between them.

And when they immediately quiet down, he calmly informs them that the Great Mother, to whom all worship was ultimately due, has just assigned them to some new and very important duties.

“From now on,” he addresses the Serpent, “you’re going to be busy transporting Our Lord up and down your rivers and along the coast in his never ending business of trying to straighten everything out.

“While you,” he tells the Bird, “shall bear the sun itself across the sky every day from dawn to dusk.

“Let the artists so indicate!” he turns to his scribe without further ado—and the latter makes a note of it as both priests now depart the area, quite satisfied.

* * *

And the next to be considered is a young desert chieftain who not only sneers at the very notion of the Great Mother, but actually believes—as do all thirty-nine of his followers, he claims—that the world should be run by men!

“Oh sure, our menfolk too once exalted women,” the fellow admits when invited to explain himself, “—and you know what it got us? Years of oppression amounting to virtual slavery; generation after generation of ignominious suffering, groveling, and more suffering—with no hope of ever knowing a life of dignity, much less any real happiness!

“And so we revolted and now live free out there among the dunes—along with several women who eventually joined us, because whether you realize it or not, after all this time of trying to live up to the impossibly high pedestal that men like you have put them on, most women are about ready for a nervous breakdown! And I might add, we treat them decently.”

“But have you no sense of the Law?” Gaim asked the other with obvious disdain.

“Oh sure, we have some laws. Obey me as your leader. Learn my community rules, even if you need to set aside one whole day a week to do it. Honor your mother, but don’t be afraid to stand up for what you believe is right too when you think she might be wrong. Don’t lie, steal, or murder—and don’t be casting covetous glances at your neighbors’ spouses or other prized possessions, since that will only lead to trouble.

“But down to these broads? That’s over!”

And after a long, hard stare at the young man—during which Gaim got back as good as he gave—he turned to the governor and ordered, “Execute that one.”

However, before anyone could act, the other broke free and escaped.

* * *

After which, the governor tells Gaim of a young woman who’d been overheard only the previous evening ridiculing men’s overalladoration of her sex and hinting as how she’d recently figured out something that would definitely be of great interest to them!

“I’m afraid she’s over in the dungeon,” he informs Gaim as they now head in that direction, “—where as you might expect, she may be guarded only by other women.”

But alas, upon their arrival, they learn that she has just committed suicide—would you believe, plunged a knife into her own heart, although no one could explain just how she’d managed to obtained it in there.

“Oh, it’s probably just as well,” the governor sighs as he accompanies Gaim back out into the daylight. “I mean, our Queen was threatening to have her tongue cut out—just for ridiculing us men, can you believe that?”


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