The Three P'sSubmitted by DaBeast at 2014-11-06 11:36:41 EST
Rating: 1.66 on 6 ratings (6 reviews) (Review this item) (V)
"What's wrong with you, Boss?" Her voice is worried and strained but I can't see her in the fire's light.
All I can see are the flames.
I lift my arms toward them, palms upward along with my chin, my eyes on the darkness above my head. "Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned."
Only the crackle of flamelight answers and it sounds as if it chuckles with a mad little glee.
"But there's no one home when I call. It rings forever, there's a click, and the line goes silent and empty with echoes." I look back into the fireplace, shove my hands into my pockets.
"Echoes?" she asks and her tone is uncertain.
I shake my head but the fog doesn't clear. "Of what used to be, of what might have been, of all the opportunities wasted and gone. It echoes with regret and why that wasn't one of the Deadly Sins, I'll never know."
There's silence and fire light for a long moment before she asks, "What regret?"
"More than one, sweetling," I toss her a smile or a sad twist of lip, call it how you would. "Angels aren't supposed to feel because we came ill-equipped. Put the psyche of a god into a frail mortal shell and watch that soul try to come to grips with the idea of eternity inside a body that's very literally disintegrating around it. We were supposed to understand, He said. We were supposed to empathize, He ordered. They were the Chosen and we, the Servants of same. I'm not the one that spawned the Idea. Peter did that."
She goes quiet. She remembers the Old Days, too, and when I look at her, I can see the memories shimmering inside those twin darkling orbs.
I turn back to the flames. "Peter always thought too much. Michael never had that problem but we all got along, as far as it went. Peter's real crime wasn't thinking, though, It was talking about the ideas in his head. We're supposed to understand, he says to us one night. Well, how can we? We're not mortal, he proclaims, and yeah, he's a little drunk and carried away with his own Purpose. And I'm there, and I'm drinking, too, because that fermented shit was fucking awesome and I'm not turning my nose up at it, and there I go, saying into the silence, "What if we could be? What if that's what he means?" I say and they look at me, owlish in their inebriation, and drunk on Possibility as much as wine." I can see the scene in my head as if I'd been an observer and not a participant. "Fools, the lot of us."
"You've never told me this story before," and her voice is a quiet thing, fluttering in the dark.
I kneel down in front of the fire, grab the poker to give my hands something to do, and I prod the coals. "It showcases my eternal idiocy. Too right, I keep it to myself."
"Then why tell me at all?"
The poker falls out of the fire and hits the stone with a soft little thunk. "Because I can't tell Him. He isn't listening." I close my eyes and think a second. "It's trapped inside my head and I can't solve it. You're my sounding board tonight, sweetling. I hope it doesn't make you loathe me much more than you already do."
"I can't loathe you," and her whisper is like balm on an open wound.
I can't help but smile a little. "That's alright, sweetling. I'll loathe myself enough for everyone else. No worries."
She says nothing but her disapproval is palpable.
I laugh, a little. "We were stupid! The idea ate at my brain like fever. I couldn't shake it and I didn't want to. Indeed, what if that was exactly what He had meant? And Possibility danced inside my head until I figured it out. Transubstantiation, yeah, we wouldn't go that far, but we could go in a different direction. The Forms were the Way."
I whirl toward her, still kneeling, poker like a pointer in her direction. "The Forms, girl! We had Corporeal and Non and used them interchangeably to accomplish the Design. He gave us our direction but it wasn't like being monitored twenty-four hours a day. He laid out the Design, we followed it. Our off-hours, though, those were ours. And our group, well, we liked to kick it a notch higher, take it a step further, be a little rebellious in our sublime superiority. So, our group was the one that found out that we were close enough to the Design that fermented beverages worked. Oh yeah. Talk about keggers. That one was a blast."
The disapproval quotient in the room climbs a little higher. Her mouth is set in this tight little line and those darkling orbs have narrowed.
I grin at her. "We got Adam so wasted. He put his fig leaf on his head and was dancing around that way because Eve called him a dickhead. You can say a lot about that woman's lack of sense but she had a gloriously ribald tongue and she used it efficaciously and with ease. We laughed and we sang and the fire was hot and the air was cold and Michael pushed me because he was a Neanderthal and I pushed him back because I was a prat and..." I feel the grin flicker and die.
No sound but cackles from the firelight.
I sigh. "Michael went Non so he wouldn't scuff his pretty tunic. He didn't know Adam was behind him. You know, if we'd thought about it, we would have thought, hey, it's Non Form. Fall right through, right?" I grimace and look at the floor. "No such luck. From my perspective, it looked like Michael had just vanished and Adam hit the ground on his ass. And I'm starting to look away, wondering where Michael went, when Adam sits up, blinks a few times, and starts looking around like he's scared to death."
"What?" She leans forward and her lips have parted a little and her eyes are wide and surprised.
I nod. "Yeah. Took us a little bit to realize it. Freaked out when we did realize it. Then it went to whole new areas. Peter wanted to know where Adam had went. According to Michael, he could feel Adam in there with him but it was like he was asleep. And then Michael started paying attention to the body. The breathing, the gurgling, the little things that happen automatically and that people take for granted. In the end, though, Michael was a bit of a Neanderthal. Did not take him long to find the penis. And that's when all Hell broke loose."
Her laughter is like bubbles in a glass of champagne and her eyes shimmer like stars as she sits back and curls around it, enjoying the giggle.
I sigh. "Yeah. We'd watched Adam and Eve get freaky many times. Oh, the faces they made were hilarious. Add a drunk Adam to that mix and the fumbling, the clumsiness, the complete failure was something epic to behold and we would howl for days. Now, add a drunk Michael, the power of the Almighty, drunk on a whole new set of Possibilities. Eve was more than susceptible but she'd been partaking of the grape as well, so yeah. Sophomoric only begins to describe. But now you take a guy like Michael, with his militant brand of jock mentality, and you give him a penis and the power to use it. Oh yeah. Dickhead's only the beginning of your problem."
A thought occurs to her and she stops laughing, goes completely still.
I nod at her. "Now, you're catching on. Cain, yeah, that kid wasn't entirely Adam's." I grimace again and look away. "Neither was Able, and I'll point that finger firmly in Peter's direction, you betcha. But Seth? Yeah, that one was kinda Michael's bad. Maturity goes out the window once you introduce hormones to the batter. And Adam thought it was a lark but I don't think he was being given the straight truth, either. He was a little thick between the ears and we got to the point where we felt more than a little contemptuous of the guy. This was the Chosen? This flesh wrapped bag of hormonal urges? This thing? I mean, come on. Really? What in the name of Utter Fuck is up with that shit?"
"Drunk on the three P's." She suddenly laughs so loud, it cracks through the air.
My lips twist. "Penis, Pussy, and Possibility. Yeah, that was us. We were a right group of asshats."
Her laughter burbles down slowly. "You still are, my love."
"Why thank you, Mistress Lilith." My lips twist in a different fashion and I quirk one brow as I look at her. "Your judgement of my soul is gratifying.
"But," and the laughter finally gasps its last, "you have no soul."
I close my eyes and turn away. "I know," I whisper.