Lunacy of One

note: A very rough draft. The final copy will follow in a couple weeks. This story began as a joke between myself and a friend that I then took to an excess and wrote a full short story off of. I also decided to include Christmas and an over aubundance of my recent political musings. Enjoy!

He coughed into his sleeve. The shirt might has well have been dyed red at this point. He was about to continue on, but decided to have one last sit, reclined against a tree, and pulled out his radio:

After the rebels made an early advance into the Capitol with a surprise of chemical weapons, the Republic Army has begun to ward them off. Notorious terrorist and rebel leader, Father McKinley, was seen being taken into the Capitol.

The radio fell silent. Something was different; the broadcaster’s voice was steady; he believed what he was saying. The lie he told just now came from higher up than the media room. The Republic was scared by the rebellion for the first time since it began.

The man looked around. He knew the radio would give up his location, but the drones were only so fast. He still had time to think back.

 

            “And what kind of freedom is this?” the man asked. His voice echoed on the sanitized, white walls.

“Better than the republic,” McKinley responded.

“Is it? The men’s speech has to be so encoded at this point to remain hidden that you may as well begin enforcing your own speech laws. We’re so low on resources that we don’t even have a choice in what we eat. Our men look at you more as a savior than a leader.”

A jiggle of the assault rifle gave it away: the guard at the entrance was struck by the truth of that comment.

“And what would you prefer? We let President Gaviria win?” McKinley’s rhetoric failed him.

“Fuck ‘who wins.’ We’re set to replace a power-hungry maniac with a despot convinced his religious rhetoric is actually different.”

“We’ve been through this. I’d prefer to drop the religiosity, but it’s the only thing that keeps our men going at this point.”

“Ya know what? Fuck all this. This rebellion and the Republic have blurred into one. I’m leaving.”

“You’ll die. If the Republic doesn’t kill you, the plague will. Six months at most.”

The two men were out of emotion, the words stopped. Behind McKinley a clock without any numbers ticked away.

“I will,” the man continued. “But at least I’ll be free and equal.”

“How do you mean?” McKinley asked.

“Human’s are no different. I’ll finally be equal with the rest of nature. Free to die of my own volition.”

“Well, if you must.”

The man got up and left.

 

            McKinley was alone in his room that night. So well made, his weight didn’t much rumple the sheets of his bed. His friend walked in the door.

“Emmanuel, I’d thought you’d left already,” McKinley didn’t hold back the surprised joy.

“It’ll be easiest to slip past the fence when it’s dark out. It may still be lit up, but the guards will be sleepy.”

He sat on the lone metal chair in the room, the only other decor present aside from the bed.

“Would you care for one last drink?” McKinely asked.

“I thought we lost it all in the last raid?”

“I managed to sneak this out.”

“You had the men haul that around?”

“I never said I was a perfect leader. Hell, this is why we have democracy in the first place.”

McKinley pulled out an old, dusty coke bottle.

“What is it?”

“Peppermint Schnapps,” McKinley replied.

“You’re fucking with me.”

“It is Christmas after all. Our savior is born, Emmanuel.”

“You just won’t let it drop. You really are a bastard.”

Emmanuel grabbed the glass and took a sip, then handed it back to his friend. McKinley noticed that they had begun to breath in unison.

“I’ve spent all day considering the things you’ve said, Emmanuel. All my life, this rebellion is all I’ve known. A continual us versus them. The men have lost hope. What you’re doing right now. Leaving. Leaving the system entirely, that’s more rebellious than anything this rebellion has ever done. The Republic will come after you, with all their oppressive force.”

“I know,” Emmanuel replied.

“What you’re doing, Emmanuel, will give the men hope. They’ll see the future in what you do. A world where a system still exists, but space for every man to be his own rebel.”

“Will you have the strength to give up the power once you’ve taken it, Jack?” Emmanuel asked. He gave no response. Both took a few more sips of the drink in silence.

“Who would have thought?” McKinley finished. “I guess it makes sense. In a world of us versus them, the most rebellious thing you can do is make for yourself a ‘me.’”

 

Eight months had passed since that conversation. Emmanuel had lived on berries and whatever he saw fit to kill and cook. He changed the station to the rebellion’s station. It was static, but hidden in the hiss and mumble was an ever subtle Morse code.

Capitol building taken.

            Mourn with us.

            Father MicKinley dead.

            Suicide.

            Last words:

           Long live the spirit of rebellion.

Emmanuel could feel his fever rising. He’d watch enough men die this way to know what was coming. Then he heard and echo, in the distance, the noise bounced all around the forest. The drones had found his radio signal. Though the Republic had lost, they’d get their one last revenge, but Emmanuel was happy. He laid down to sleep, one last time, with a smile on his face.

           

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear

Note: Still a rough draft, but I’ve got to stay true to posting once a week. This is based on the Christmas Carol entitled “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear,” written by Edmund Hamilton in 1849. If you listen to it, the song is not all “WAHOO CHRISTMAS,” it’s more like “wow, this world sucks, but I guess Christmas.” He wrote it to lament the current issues and ever approaching civil war. Check out the original:

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear

It came upon a midnight clear
when first I heard the song.

My steps left marks while
The snow flakes bristled
The oak branch crackled
The song bird whistled

To form a whisper
of a song for
Peace on Earth
Goodwill to men.

The young men smile
while their mind wrestle
Defiled thoughts of loudly
Silent depression

But hush you voice
And the hear whisper
For Peace on Earth
Goodwill to men.

The colored crumbled
while red and blue shout
and claw across the aisle
with no one crying.

But hush your voice
And hear the whisper
for Peace on Earth
Goodwill to Men.

My feet have reached a grave
Unnamed, unmarked. I wouldn’t
Mind my death only lying
In the grave so long.

But hush your voice
And hear the whisper
For Peace on Earth
Goodwill to Men.

But maybe I’ll go
To where the Holy Fire
sings the melody too
bright for eyes to see.

But even if not I have
heard it tempered by creation.

For I’ve hushed my voice
And heard the whisper
for Peace on Earth
Goodwill to Men.

I Reject him Too

“Describe the god you’ve rejected. Describe the god you don’t believe in. Maybe I don’t believe that god either.” -Tim Keller

Have you heard about this God
That so many prefer to reject?
A poisoner of everything,
A delusional construct
Dreamt up by misled men.
Could we speak of him?
For I think
I reject him too.

Some would call him arrogant,
Even I’m disgusted to watch
Stadiums of worshipers,
Unthinking while singing
Like fickle grass,
Convulsing and raving
To a god who commands
Thoughtless allegiance
From his golden throne
Appeasing his ego.

“I’d prefer a harsher metaphor.
A congregation
Like a horde of abused strays
Patchy and slobbering
Yelping and crying before
A sadistic man withholding
A piece of rotten meat.”

I too reject that god.

Well, many others bemoan
The political god.
A god who commands his populace
To vote always vote right.
The God who sways people
Speaking through a self-
Seeking pulpit

“No. Even worse.
One who commands
His populace to vote for
The right or else be cast off
As a false follower.
A god who writes a doctrine
And gospel upon a platform
Of war and capitalism.”

Now, I too reject that god
But I also reject the god
Demanding ‘I feel the Bern,’
But that’s another matter.

“O don’t start with that Bern.
There’s a far worse burn.
Need I mention that god
Who cackles and laughs as his
Creation bubbles and broils
In their own fiery troubles
In some putrid nether world
With some veneer of justice
Within some perverse theodicy?”

Well would it surprise you
To hear that I too
Reject that god?

If I may, though,
There are many other gods I reject.
A god that is intolerant.
A god entirely condoning,
yet never challenging.
The gods of thoughtless sex and money.
The gods of materialism and self-righteousness
Of single-mindedness.

A god so happily contained,
So wrapped up tight in rationalization,
That he’s fully explained
By western words and ways.

A god that’s sheltered in
White-washed, sanitized Borderline
pedophilic Christian bookstores
praising Walls of manipulation
Gates of distorted science
Cowering from the great thinkers
Thinking that they’ll prove him false
so he won’t let any real literature in.

God damn every single one of those gods.

So what don’t I reject, if I may.

I don’t reject
That two thousands years ago
There was
a Man,
a Man that claimed to be God,
a Man that was followed,
a Man that healed,
a Man that was beaten,
a Man that was crucified.

Half the time, I don’t
Even know what that means.
Half the time, I don’t
Even know if it was real,
But I know it’s incredible
And I cannot, cannot reject
That which is beautiful.

So tell me of the god you reject,
Because I think I reject him too.

Lo’ How a Rose E’er Blooming

note: a rewrite of “lo’ how a rose e’er blooming.” My favorite Christmas song. Here is a good recording of the original.

Even the flakes fell blackened
Forgotten snow to wasted lands
Stricken, by wind and man plans
The garden now a darkened wood.
 
Amid this cold of winter
Amidst a foretold night
A frail rose began to bloom,
Beneath the waning moon.
 
A portrait hung in darkness
Vibrant red on grey
Its colors filled the world
To fulfill what prophets say.
 
But depraved hungers prowled about
The spit-wet chops of beasts,
Shadows filling the darkness,
Feasting before the dawn.
 
One pitiful, biped creature,
Was stumbling and drooling about,
When its foot crushed the flower
And a thorn stabbed its heel.
 
Humanity roared in anger
So it plucked the rose and spun
The flower to a crown.
Behold the king we’ve hung.