Friday, August 13, 2010

Brotin Tales: American Mess(iah)

Welcome to this month's Brotin Tale. Periodically my good friend Otin and I get together on a story...this month he sent me the first part, so jump on over to his blog and read the first part, so that what you are about to read makes a little more sense...then come back over. Don't worry, i will be waiting right here...smiles.

Tongues of flame lick the battered can, leaving black trails on its surface, the label having long become ash. It is rare to receive such a blessing of food from among the rubble that once was our proud nation. It was pride that became our undoing, mine in particular. If only I had listened…

Kill Michael Parker, that is what God asked, and I answered. It was not as if Michael Parker was unknown, if anything my questions came from who he was, particularly in relation to God. I am sure at some point, you watched him on television, teeth gleaming above the sharp pressed suit, pleading the masses to turn their hearts toward the way, the truth and the life. He was God’s messenger, and God wanted him silenced.

Ironically, it was the silence that came after that night, when God spoke to me, that convinced me it was true. Many would have waited to hear from Him to clarify His wishes, but the quiet worked like a scalpel at my conscience, a parasite coiling inside me. Retrieving the gun from my bedside table, I stared at it, contemplating whether to use it on myself or follow through on God’s command. Either way, it would end the silence.

A peace you will never understand, washed over me those brief moments when my finger hovered over the trigger, and I knew this was good and right….and just. I watched crimson flowers explode across Parker's head and chest, before I lost sight of him as a wave of security guards broke upon me, driving me into the concrete sidewalk by the crowd barriers, where we had waited to meet the celebrity pastor. Sirens wailed, ambulances racing the inevitable toward the hospital, as they loaded me into a police van.

How do you explain God told me to kill His messenger? Zealots on the police force worked me over, leaving me beaten and bruised, blood pooling on the cell floor beneath me. They mocked me, spoiling my food, calling me Judas.

When Michael Parker died, the nation was thrown into a state of mourning. Protesters circled the penitentiary calling for my head. Their voices were piped into my cell my small speakers the guards set up just outside my door. Doubt crawled upon my back, as I pleaded with God to save me, though He had forsaken me, or so I thought for three days…

Curled on my bunk, to protect my ribs in case they came for me again, I heard the rattle of the cell door. Men in black suits stood as shadows in the light streaming through the open bars, resembling angels. They bid me come and I was allowed to walk out of the penitentiary to an awaiting limousine, sleek and black. Opening the rear door they motioned for me to enter, so I did.

My skin crawled at the sight of the man. His smile spread in a thin line from ear to ear and I imagined rows of needle teeth behind them. Michael Parker placed a hand upon my knee, and hissed “Thank you. None of this would be possible without your help. I knew you were the one, Brian. I have watched you for some time and knew you would believe.”

“How…”

“Divine right. Intervention. Destiny. Whatever helps your simple mind wrap around it, Brian. And now we are on the way to tell the world that I have returned...dead three days, the stone rolled away. I will forgive you publicly, of course, though some may still harbor ill will. Their eyes will be open in the coming days.”

I felt the vehicle moving beneath us, but that did not deter my fingers scratching at the handle trying to get the door open. I wanted to escape the cold presence of this abomination. His laughter was hollow, “ You can not leave Brian, this will be our moment together.”

“I knew as the instrument of my rebirth you would be able to see me for who I really am. You will be my silent witness in the coming days. They will love me more, turning over their countries to the new messiah. Only you will know, that they slowly march toward their doom, unable to warn them.”

He grabbed my throat in fingers that seemed to wrap front to back and I felt a part of me leave in that moment. When he released me, I could muster nothing, not even a squeal. His laughter consumed everything….

Using a stick, I push the can from the embers of the meager fire. Letting its contents cool, I survey the remnants of a the city I once called home. After the announcement, they turned me out, destitute on the streets. No one would help the man who tried to kill God, so I watched as they flocked to him.

He ushered in a new age of prosperity, what you want, when you want, with absolution and cheap grace for how you got it, a true American God. Years of unbridled consumption eventually led to scarcity, then dependence. This is when He came calling for all that he had asked for in return, their souls.

Stirring the thick steaming contents of my can, I watch a line of harvester transports wind its way through the streets, a great steel dragon, looking for those left alive, so they can face their judgement. His laughter still rings in my ears, mocking my inability to listen and discern the true voice of the One. It is this voice I now listen for, and wait...

54 comments:

otin said...

Holy @%#&!!! WOW!

Daniel said...

A very interesting plot line from you two that holds together in an eerie, desolate ending. How do you discern the voices in your head, good from evil?

Sam Liu said...

What a wonderful idea, a combination of two excellent pieces of writing. Together, you create a truly engaging story with a stark and poignant conclusion. Ominous, mysterious and highly enjoyable read, Brian :)

Kay said...

glad I am not him! whew! what a tale.

CM said...

Awesome!!! Wow, that was amazing! Quite the twist, a little reflective of Left Behind. I want to hear more!

The Retired One said...

Oh MY! I'm gonna have nightmares tonight on this one....
I find those evangalistic preachers on TV evil enough, but this story caps it. ha

Magpie said...

Wow, what a combination this worked out to be! Scary stuff. Do you have to give it a lot of thought, or does something just jump out at you? Wonderful Brotin Tale to start my weekend with.
Thank you both. :)

Steven Anthony said...

Haunting....I will be thinking on this one for a long time to come.

Steven Anthony
http://manndish.blogspot.com/

Brian Miller said...

CM...i promise not to cast kirk cameron...lol. i really was trying to stear somewhat away from that...but...

Brian Miller said...

magpie...this one took me about a week of mulling over...and i acually changed the end with about 30 minutes to go...

r3m3mb3rm3 said...

hello dont know if u remember me or not its been a while
):)(:(

Adoption of Jane said...

I've been waiting for you & Otin's next collaboration! As usual you both did not let me down. However the nightmares I have tonight will be bone chilling!

Everyday Goddess said...

really well done, it's so bleak.

i love a brotin collaboration, thanks guys!

TALON said...

Wonderful twist, there, Brian. I wondered how it would play out. That was brilliant!

TechnoBabe said...

This may be more prophetic than we can imagine right now. Great writing and of course it is a piece of fiction, uh right???

She Writes said...

I haven't read Otin's part, but yours ROCKED! Brian this was REALLY good. Holy Shit is right! :)

Angie Muresan said...

I second what Otin says! WOW!!!

Susan Deborah said...

Otin's part flowed easily and BANG comes your share: dense, stark and what not. I wonder what if it was the other way round. Otin finishing what you had started!! Both of you know to spin tales quite well :) BROTIN, as someone remarked. Cool :)

Joy always,
Susan

Valerie said...

Brilliantly written but definitely nightmare material... wish me luck tonight.

Matty said...

Ah, you took the anti-christ route.

Vicki Lane said...

Another well done creepy tale!

Birdie said...

wow you guys! I was curious to see where you will go after reading Otin's part first ... not disappointed ... wow Brian! I hope the next time he will be able to listen to the true voice of the One ... very well said! and I did love the part where you say it was the silence that convinced him to be it the true ...
ps: best wishes for your birthday tomorrow Brian!!! as I might not make it to the PC ... :-)

CatLadyLarew said...

Bringing down hellfire and damnation with the return of Michael Parker... Yikes! Brilliant conclusion!

Eva Gallant said...

Whoa! That was stark and unsettling to say the least! Great collaboration effort!

Mighty M said...

Amazing!!!!! You sure know how to wrap up a story Brian!! :)

Mona said...

wow! You gave soul to Otin's tale!

How do they say...Shakespeare to be exact...men are but a sport to gods!

Now, put the two pieces together in 'matching' diction! Your's started running, after Otin's slow start!

Claudia said...

oh WOW - you are just such a talented writer - and not only just talented but you seem to dig of deep wells somewhere between your clever brains and your heart
i simply enjoyed the whole story - but what i liked in particular was...
...what you want, when you want, with absolution and cheap grace... and
..it is the voice i now listen for - and wait..

Deidra said...

I really appreciate the way you collaborate with writers around the network. Your writing is versatile, and you always show a bit of yourself in what you write.

This story was fantastic. Reminded me a bit of the movie The Road, and a book I read on tape on my drive back from Virginia called One Minute After (I think that's right).

So...what happens next? ;)

Tracy said...

Very nicely done, Brian. You both spun a chilling, cynical tale this month!

Jill said...

Hmmmmmmm, why is it that we seemed destined for such and end?

Excellent Brotin tale gentlemen! I am always eager to see what twisted story will come from your distinctive writing styles!!!

Well done!

Maggie said...

That was freaking amazing!! All too scary! In these days, I believe anything is possible. scaryness. Nice write!!

♥ Kathy said...

Wooooooooow! Excellent story guys!

Brian Miller said...

thanks all! its always fun writing with others...it stretches me in new ways...

fyi...birdie jumped the gun by a week...i'll be old(er) next sunday...smiles.

tracy...there is a little cynicism there of our tendency to latch onto that which will benefit us...be it politics, religeon...

deidra...i am just a little afraid of what part i might be showing...smiles.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

I saved this to savor while I was sitting here in the quiet part of the long day and you did not disappoint! Now as I got to sew a little I have much to think about....

Becky said...

I wasnt sure what I was reading at first,lol.You are amazing Brian.Great!

william said...

very well written Brian, you are good mate :)

blueviolet said...

That turned into a real nightmare!

Mama Zen said...

What an amazing twist!

kkrige said...

Interesting tale. To believe the voices in your head or not? Hmm

Joanna Jenkins said...

Holy @#$%!!! is right.

You guys rock.
jj

Luisa Doraz said...

The good.
The bad.
The ugly.
The sad.
The ????
Good one.
:)
Have fun.

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hello Brian:)

This is a marvelous story,wonderful creativity of your imaginative mind and reminded me of the killing of Mahatma Gandhi,Kennedy, Martin Luther King and the fascinating story written by Christopher Marlowe called Dr.Faustus where Dr.Faustus sells his soul to the devil to gain masterly over the world.

Best wishes Brian:)
Joseph

Just Be Real said...

Eeerie and creative Brian. Blessings to you dear one. Thank you for sharing.

slommler said...

Ahhh! Yes!! And so it will be!
You both did a fabulous job!!! Loved it!!
Hugs
SueAnn

adeeyoyo said...

Oi, it's not easy to tell good from evil! Brilliant, both of you!

only a movie said...

Dude.
That's some dark stuff.

Lori said...

Holy crap! Wow! Love this. Both of you did a great job once again. Now I must have my daughter read this brotin tale. Bravo to both of you great writers!

gayle said...

Oh wow this was pretty scary!! Great job!

Syd said...

What a story! I feel the presence of the devil in this story.

Mmm said...

Wow. tha tis an amazing story. I want to hear the rest of it

Austin said...

This was nice to read, both of you! The American god - oh so good . . . and bad!

AmyLK said...

WOW! Brian, I LOVE where you took Otins story. You guys are prefect!

Marla said...

B ~ This was so good. Please tell me you are not prophetic. :-)

Pat said...

Be afraid! Be VERY afraid! Yowzer!