reply to post by Snsoc
Jake and Elwood put their shades back on, the window rolled up, and with shaking hands, I started my car.
A few minutes later, we stood in a small circle around the feather. It hadn’t moved an inch. It had rained the previous night, but the feather was
Elwood picked the feather up without effort and gently put it inside a silver box that he had been carrying. He turned to me.
“Ra the Eternal thanks you for your service.”
“What the devil is going on?” I asked him.
“None of this has happened,” Jake said. “Go back to your bookstore.”
“Look, I think I deserve some answers,” I started, but Jake and Elwood were already headed back to their car.
“Shouldn’t I receive some kind of reward? Or compensation? You know, my shoulder still hurts from where that thing hit me.” I was babbling now.
Shut up, shut up, my brain told my mouth. They’re demons and they will kill you.
Elwood stiffened and turned around. Jake did too.
Oh man, here it comes.
Both of their mouths were open. I waited for a plague of flies to swarm out.
“Did you say it touched your shoulder?” Elwood said.
“Touched it? It was stuck there. Look.” I pulled my shirt down and showed him a bruise that was slowly turning purple and black.
Elwood and Jake looked at each other and both immediately dropped to one knee and bowed their heads. They took their fedoras off.
“Forgive us,” Jake said.
“For what?” I asked.
“You have been chosen. Chosen by Ma’at the Just. You must come with us.”
Up until a certain point, I thought that everything that I was going through could have been a hoax. Somebody found two guys that looked like those
actors and gave them some novelty contacts and a used police car. The feather had a metal core and there was a big magnet somewhere nearby. And all
that waves of power stuff was a drug that someone had slipped me. Even though none of that made any sense, it was still more desirable than believing
the alternatives - that either I was stark raving mad, or that two supernatural entities were escorting me to meet someone called Ma’ at the
So that’s how I found myself in the back seat of what looked for all the world like a police car. It even had one of those metal grilles in between
the front and the back seats. You work your whole life to stay out cars with cages in them and yet, there I was. We drove for a while before stopping
in front of a seedy motel. “Seedy” is being generous. It was downright sleazy; the kind of place where you can rent rooms by the hour. The name of
it was “Farmer’s Daughter Motel,” which showed either a perverse optimism or a sick sense of irony. I must confess that I wasn’t sure what was
going to happen next.
“Who is this ‘Ra,’ exactly?” I asked the two beings I had come to mentally refer to as Jake and Elwood.
Jake turned to me. “Ra is the creator of all that is. And Ma’at is the judge of all men.”
“And what do they want with me?”
“The end of this age draws near; the time to judge the gods is at hand.”
“Look, I’m not a religious man,” I began, and it was true. At the time, I wasn’t.
“When a god is to be judged,” Elwood said, “Ma’at requires a mortal, who is drawn at random. This is to ensure fairness.”
“Pardon my saying so, but this is some pretty heavy stuff you’re laying down on me, and it all sounds like bull crap. We’re meeting some gods at
a hooker motel and you want me to participate in some kind of cosmic jury duty? No thanks. I’ll walk home.”
“The call of Ma’at cannot be denied,” Jake said.
“Sure it can. I’m denying it right now.”
“You have doubts and fears,” Elwood said. “That is an expected response. Yes, we are going to an inn of ill repute. But we need to have a safe
place to store your vessel while you are in the realm of the gods.”
“’Store my vessel.’ You mean, where you’re going to stash my body.” I grabbed at the door handle, but the door was locked. My fingers
scrabbled to find the release, but of course, there wasn’t one. Panic was pounding me in the gut. I had fallen in with insane serial killers and
they were going to make musical instruments out of my organs.
“You’re not going to die,” said Jake. ‘Well, yes, you’re going to die, but not tonight. Musical instruments out of your organs…” he
Did he just read my mind?
“Yes, I did.”
I sat back, stunned. Somehow this was more disconcerting than the thought of being dismembered.
We checked in, the guy at the front desk giving us a knowing, toothless leer. I wanted to explain to him that it wasn’t what it looked like, but he
probably heard that a lot. The room was worse than I expected. Roaches wouldn’t live there. Junkies would be reluctant to shoot up in a room this
sad. At ten dollars an hour, it was insanely overpriced. The carpet was gray and covered with stains, some of which looked to be blood. The mattress
was the same, but it was definitely blood. The curtains were pee-yellow, the chair was barf green, and the weather-beaten desk was clearly made by
someone nailing scrap lumber together in the dark. The walls were the fake wood paneling you see in adult films shot in trailer houses, and the whole
thing smelled like animals had died in it.
“Make yourself comfortable,” Elwood said, and I laughed.
“We will take you to the place of the gods now. There are many paths to choose from. I give you my word that you will not be harmed, and so, death
is not an option.”
“Well, I’m relieved,” I said, looking at the cracked mirror and toilet with the seat askew and cigarette burns on it.
“There is a narcotic we can use, or we can guide you on a spirit walk. If you have any experience with chanting or meditation, that will help.”
“No, no, no and no,” I said.
“There is another option,” Jake said. “We can stimulate certain areas of your brain with electricity. This will allow you to make the
“You’re gonna fry my brain until I start having hallucinations, is that it?”
“For thousands of years, mystics have been attempting to access the spirit world by a variety of means. They have understood that the mind is a
gateway, while the brain is a barrier. By using physical means, we can force the brain to act together with the mind. Have you ever heard of other
“Sure I have.”
“Well, they’re real. There are at least 23 of them.”
“So where are they?”
“They’re all right here. Their atoms are functioning at different levels of vibration. To you, they are energy. Slow them down, or rather, allow
your mind to ‘change channels,’ and you will perceive them as solid.”
“You will be completely safe,” Jake continued, ‘And more than adequately compensated for your troubles.”
This was not a good idea. Even if these beings were completely truthful with me, what did I know about judging a god? What were the criteria? What
made me fit to carry out such a task? Every insecurity I had rushed in all at once and I felt sick.
Jake and Elwood sat me down in one of the chairs and started hooking up wires connected to little suction cups on my head.
“It’s good that you’re bald,” Elwood said. “It makes the conduction easier for when we fry your brain.”
I looked up, startled, and Elwood was giving me a terrible impression of a smile. I relaxed –a little.
“Just one thing I want to know,” I started.
“Good night,” Elwood said and everything went dark.
edit on 15-12-2013 by Snsoc because: T & C