Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen

Untitled (A Work in Progress)

In Uncategorized on March 2, 2018 at 3:41 pm

Reeve_and_Serfs.jpg

There once was a young peasant named Terragon who was but a humble laborer. He toiled in the muck in Earthland to the Lord of the region.

“How I dream of a finer sort of life,” mused humble Terragon. “I wonder how the Lord and Lady of the region live?”

Terragon looked up at the towering castle of stone in the daylight. Inside he visualized the Lord of the region drinking dry martinis from a golden chalice laden with jewelstones, streaming pay per view movies on his looking glass, eating leg of ham and turkey bits.

“Quit that fantersizing!” screamed a one-eyed foreman. “There’s toiling to be done.”

He cracked a large whip.

That night Terragon fell sleepwards in his thatched-roof cottage. Just as he was on the precipice of a pleasant night-dream, forgetting his woes, a specter manifested in an internal flash. Terragon leapt up in fright.

“Hello?” he said, cautiously eyeing the phantasm who appeared surrounded in ectoplasm flame with a leather v-shaped headpiece, red horns, and cape black on the outside and red within.

“Salutations, young sir, you may know me as Asmodel.”

“Welcome Asmodel, to what, might I query, bringeth me the honor of your personal audience at such a nightly hour?”

“Terragon, be not surprised that I know thou name nor of the wisdom that I possess of your secret heart. For I abode in the infernal realm of abyss and from this place many things are known to me,” Asmodel shed his cape dramatically. “For it was today that I saw you philosophizing the material world in the field. Tell me, Terragon, if you had a dream, one sole wish, what would it be?”

“Well, I ‘spose, Mr. Asmodel, mayhaps I would be enchanted, a little, by the Earth-like comforts, only the small indulgences, like mayhaps I wouldn’t have to toil about, field-wise no longer. Oh, also that I might enjoy some delicious berry tart that I so oft see being delivered to the Lord of the region’s castle. But such are only dreams, Mr. Asmodel, for I am naught but a humble serf.”

“Terragon, you are entitled to a dream, and there may be solution to your hapless position. What if I told you that I could offer you a STUDENT LOAN?”

“A student loan, Mr. Asmodel, sir? Pardon me if I’m in obscurity as to the meaning of these learned words, sir, for I am not literate being a peasant as I am.”

“Quite simply a student loan is a contract whereupon you offer unto me your immortality for gold.”

“I didn’t know I had an immortality, sir, least ways, not that I could find.”

“I mean to say your inborn soul, Terragon.”

“Excuse me for saying so sir, but it seems like a faulty constructed model of economics, for, why if serfs could trade souls, gold would be as plentiful as mothdust.”

“Yes, I suppose you are right. Well there is another way. You keep your immortality, but you must pay back your student loan in two years.”

“But I am merely a serf! How will I find the gold to pay back my loans?”

“You can make month to month payments.”

Terragon pondered dreaming of his own castle and princess. He did not want to toil in the field tomorrow, and didn’t know if he could bear another week or year of toilage. In the end Terragon accepted. A scroll appeared from black smoke and a quill, and Asmodel drafted the contract.

I, Terragon, do openly swear in covenant in my own will and by witness of the infernal familiar Asmodel,

Whereas I am a miserable serf of Earthrealm

Whereas I subsist off gruel and do toil in the muck,

Whereas I have no gold, no past, no future,

And in effect nothing to lose,

I hereby make this bing covenant to take out a student loan.

“Now you must sign your name in blood and seal the document.”

Terragon whimpered, “In blood sir?”

“Yes,” answered Asmodel, “Only in spilled blood can the student loan be sealed.”

Terragon took a needle from the nightstand and poked his pinky finger several times.

“Ouch,” he whispered.

Finally, several drops of blood spilled out and he was able to sign. Terragon was informed that the Full Moon, not this Full Moon but the next Full Moon, he would receive the first disbursement of his student loan, which came in four disbursements. Afterwards, Asmodel departed theatrically by fire and cape.

Terragon decided the next morning to depart seeing as how he now had a student loan. He was free to seek his own destiny, and it would be prudent to escape the foreman and other serfs, and start from the beginning in some other realm.

He gathered his things, a few crusts of dry bread, some scrips and scraps, half of a potato, and his lucky rock and journeyed into the wide open Earthland.

Terragon traveled the countryside until two Full Moons had passed. Inexplicably there was no sign of gold nor of Asmodel. He decided to visit an augur at the edge of the grove to see if he could contact Asmodel about the first disbursement.

“I have been expecting you,” cried an old, withered crone from the inside of a hut surrounded by chimes, and talismans, and fetishes.

Terragon travelled the countryside until he came to a large valley. Light seemed to loom over it forever. An ancient man sat in a rock. Terragon looked at the man who seemed to be staring into space absently.

“Morning, sir,” said Terragon with a cheerful tone.

The man continued gazing. This was a peculiar sight to Terragon, who had not done much travelling and had little knowledge of customs different from those of his small village.

“Might you be waiting to cross this valley, sir?”

The old man looked up, a glaze in his eyes.

He spoke in a creaking, raspy voice weathered but sure, “Me? Oh I’ve been waiting here for five thousand years.”

He draped a tattered, colorless canvas throw around his shoulders. His skin was covered in soot and his grey mouth opened to reveal he had no teeth.

“Strange, it seems I have forgotten what I was waiting for.” The remaining strands of wispy, white hair whipped about his head. He leveled a bony finger and pointed to a vast expanse of sand beneath a tempestuous black storm.

Millions of tickets fluttered the landscape each bearing a meaningless symbol in an ancient language.

“I shall warn thee, if thou shalt continue…That no man was ever known who continued from here and lived to tell the tale…”

Lightning crackled in the distance and the wind made a sucking, howling sound.

“Turn back now, child, for you are about to enter…”

The lightning and thunder really struck up, competing in volume with the old man’s futile theatre when he said, “THE DESERT OF BUREAUCRACY!!!”

He cackled a dusty, foreboding whimper, “But before you can enter, you’ll have to fill out a proof of eligibility form and provide valid I.D.”

Terragon had no I.D. and so crossed the desert alone. He travelled many weeks, suffering many hardships which I will not relate in details as they are of little interest.

At last he came to an abandoned circus. A large Ferris Wheel spun slowly and there were the rusty faces of clowns on shooting gallery games. He headed to a giant tent in the center of the ghost circus. There was a mechanical fortune-teller.

“Excuse me, I am looking for the financial aid office.”

The mechanical gypsy sprang to life, a yellow gleam in its eyes. “Yes the financial aid office – I’ll tell you where it is, but first you must answer this riddle.”

Terragon scratched his head. He was beginning to wonder, why must this be so difficult? He dared not question the gypsy for fear of making it angry.

“Sure,” he replied politely.

By Dylan

 

 

 

 

 

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