un-der-dog: 1. a competitor thought to have little chance of winning a fight or contest
2. a person who has little status in society
I know the underdog; we all know him.
One of the most troubling plagues mankind has suffered throughout history is complacency. It is more damaging than polio, more putrid than Bubonic Plague and more rampant than influenza. And it is getting worse. Our children are indoctrinated into the church of 'don't ask' from age two. Unlike polio, plague and the flu, the complacency virus is very easily cured. QUESTIONS! Questions are important! This Orwellian 'ignorance is knowledge' campaign must end. Instead of relying on a television to inform you what you want to eat, drink, wear, sell your soul to- get your mind a little dirty and discover what YOU need, not what they tell you need. Oh, but times are different now that we have technology you say? WRONG. The present era we live in is no different than two millennia ago. Time may change but people never do.
Now, that being said, this story is a work of fiction. I dreamed an idea and the idea turned into a question; what happened to Lucifer? There is no one involved with this story that believes any of the events contained herein are true. Those closest to me know my love for controversy as well as my love for the simple what if? I am not a Christian, though I was raised in the church. I am in no way attempting to change anyone's mind concerning faith, chance, kismet or whatever else title by which a person defines themselves. I hope you enjoy the story. I hope you think, ponder and most of all, QUESTION!
Mastema, mastema, mastema. He chanted the word over and over like a mantra in his head. Remember the word, mastema. A smile of pure joy lit his face as he opened his eyes. He was seated cross-legged- Indian style they used to call it before the 'Indians' turned into Native Americans and opened all the casinos- on a plush, woven white rug. He was completely naked; he never wore clothes when he was praying. After all, if God sees all at any time a few thin layers of synthetic cloth would be useless to hide anything. And he liked the way people reacted when he told them of praying naked, how calming it is to approach Lord God hiding nothing in your heart or about your body. They looked shocked for just an instant before the simplicity of it dawned on them. "That makes perfect sense! And why didn't I ever think of that?" were the two phrases he heard the most in response to his naked devotions. Those simple statements sum up exactly what it is that separates the successful celebrity and your common rube. The successful ones just found a simple, effect way of doing something, a way to twist the norm towards new and exciting, not to mention enticing. If there was one thing he was good at, it was enticing. He stood up from his rug, stretched his arms above his head while standing on his tip-toes, warming his body up after being seated so still. He finished his stretch and headed toward the bathroom to prepare for his evening. This was the evening he had worked his entire life for and he planned on it being perfect. After his quick shower he faced up to the mirror to shave. He could hear the dull roar of many voices speaking at once seeping underneath the sliding glass door that led to the balcony of his hotel. An impish grin popped up underneath the layer of cream. He had checked in under a false name but somehow it leaked who was staying where. His legions of followers were crying for the support of the oracle, the messenger and prophet that he was. He felt himself getting hard just thinking about his own fame.
An artist for the masses, they had called him; voted one of the greatest performers of all time. Nobody could withstand the appeal of his work. Rich, poor, devoutly pious, shamelessly sexual, they all flocked to him. They slobbered, cried, and adored each and every little thing he did. The demand from the public concerning his faith was blindly sated with his potent praise for God the Father. His showmanship was unmatched, sleight of hand unequalled by any who came before. He had originally come from France; he maintained a mild accent that coupled with his remarkable good looks gave him an awesome power. The women were drawn to the riches he flaunted so eagerly, the men came to be near the sexuality that rolled off his body like sweat. He preached that the beauty and softness of a woman's body was the most explicit proof of God's amazing works. Even as he ran his tongue in circles around the pink candy hardness of the model’s nipples, as she sighed and groaned and while his hand worked between her thighs he preached to the love and glory of the great I Am.
The Heretic Exhibit he was debuting tonight in New York's Central Park was to be the most unique, stunning and unforgettable performance in his career. A carefully orchestrated and wildly expensive advert campaign as well as subtle manipulation of the worldwide media had come together to make this event tremendous. The attendance was to be record breaking. Thousands of tickets had sold within the first few hours after he announced the show. Much to his surprise a valet had come to him requesting tickets for the President of the United States and his guest, the Pope, who was on a state visit. He arranged for them to have a private seating right next to the stage so as to have the best view.
The red limo drove slowly through the packed streets, edging him as close as possible to the private trailer set up as his dressing chambers. Thirty minutes to stage. He walked around the room, nodding in appreciation of the decorations. He was very strict on not a soul being in his private area before a show. His rider had been executed to the letter; Venetian wine, fresh made sushi, ocean water with white wash cloths and deoxygenated water for his servants to wash his feet in. The bed was a queen size, white silk sheets, white down comforter, white mosquito netting hanging from the ceiling. The entire room looked like an angel's wing; everything sparkled with the purity of a world without dirt. He may have had more bones in his closet than all the people waiting for him put together but he sure as hell knew how to live it up. With an attitude of smug narcissism he gloated over his event as he stripped his clothing off in preparation for prayer. Under the canopy of night, the lights put in place to light no one but him; under the stars in the heavens and the eyes of all men he would take his own life. He had advertized the Heretic Exhibit as promising something no only never before attempted but never yet dreamed up. He had brought a small satchel with him into his trailer. He allowed no one but himself to touch this item and insisted on transporting it himself. He checked the silver and crystal analog clock mounted on the wall and saw he had fifteen minutes left before Showtime. He opened the satchel and did a quick count of the contents. When he was satisfied everything was in order he bowed to the floor and began his pre-show devotional prayer. This prayer was by nature, short in length. He prayed for strength, for grace and eloquence. When he was finished, he rose and dressed in his showman's finest. He heard the beginnings of the intro tape start playing; heard the crowd's reaction of screaming glee.
He made his way down the down-slope that led to the stage just as the images on screen switched from lovely pictures of nature's majesty and stunning feats he had done in past shows, to the word HERETIC flashing over and over, morphing just slightly each time, burning a different color. The smoke from fog machines billowed out across the stage, rolling in thick waves as purposeful as a lion stalking prey in the savannahs. The image then changed again from a repeated word to photos and paintings of heretics across the ages; Criminals, martyrs, zealots and disturbing images of the macabre. His voice boomed out, cutting across the spell cast upon the crowd by the flashing images, "Welcome to the WORLD! I am pleased and humbled beyond words to welcome two very special guests with us tonight. It is an honour to be before you, Mr. President and such a blessing to be in the presence of the most Holy Father, the Pope." The crowd roared in delight of being in a group so special the president and pope were there too. He let them scream for a while as he made his way to center stage. He motioned for the sound and lighting guys to cut the visuals behind him and turn the lights down to where he was the in the center of light, flanked on either side by a red spotlight pointing directly upwards. When the masses calmed and looked back towards the stage they saw what seemed to be their hero, their messiah, floating on a pillar of snow white light fifteen feet above the ground. The red lights on the sides made it seem as if it was all the evil in the world being held at bay by the beautiful, brave man in the white glow. He was radiant; in a snow white perfectly tailored three-piece-suit and tails. From his shined shoes to the collar he was all white save for the edging on his vest, which was an emerald green. His chocolate brown curly hair was combed back with one rogue curl stubbornly hanging down his forehead like a comma on a blank sheet of paper. His smile was the sunrise after the longest night of your life. He raised his arms in a bid for silence which the audience granted instantly.
"Tonight I get to realize my dreams. From my earliest childhood memories I have know that I was brought forth into this world for a PURPOSE." Wild applause poured into him from all sides. "The world of magic was my hallway. It couldn't be a doorway; as we all know a door can only allow one to move two directions. No, magic was the hallway and the longer I have traveled down that hallway the more rooms and passageways I have seen, have been given an opportunity to travel into. My beloved friends, magic is what gave me the greatest gift man could ever receive, it brought me to God." The crowd erupted again with clapping and catcalls. Some of the ladies in the first six rows were filmed with tears sliding happily down their cheeks and shown on the screens that were placed all around the park and streaming all across the world. "I love the Lord and everyone here and watching at home knows I’ve dedicated all of my works to his Almighty Name. Tonight, I bring each one of us closer to his Majesty. Since I awoke to the wonders of pure faith and grace I have been on a quest that has taken me all across this beautiful planet our Father hath created. My quest; find the one piece of the puzzle missing, the single piece with which I can unlock and open the doors of heaven. Yes, and tonight, tonight on this glorious New York night I can say that finally, I hold the missing piece. Tonight, I shall do what no other before me has done for the pieces of the afterlife have been joined together again and shall thus be introduced to you all this very night!" He raised his arms in triumph at his last statement. The people below the stage were drunk on the power and wonder they saw emanating from their oracle. They raised their arms, crying praise for the man floating in the white lights. He still stood in the middle of the stage; arms uplifted, and face towards the heavens with tears streaming joy from the praise of his people. From above, a circular metal object was descending. The cameras zoomed in to get a tight shot for the people in the back of the audience and for those watching from home. It was a fine silver ring, three feet in diameter with a second, smaller ring. The contraption was perfectly flat but clearly designed to hold small objects securely. As it descended it became clear that it held thirteen small vials. They were silver, no larger than the vials used at a doctor's office to obtain a blood sample from patients.
"Behold! These vials contain that which is my life's work. After thirty years of research, the blood, sweat, tears and life of countless people the thirteenth has now rejoined it's fellows to complete the priceless collection you see before you. The power contained within is more precious than the entire universe we float in." A pregnant hush had fallen throughout Central Park. No man, women or child spoke nor did they move. Everyone could feel the gravity of the situation though none knew what was in the tiny vials. He looked out across the multitude that made his flock. Pride, fierce joy and absolute power coursed throughout his body. He could feel each vein and artery as his heart forced blood racing around his body. He was giddy; each and every cell in his body was trembling with anticipation. He reached out and plucked his prize, the number thirteen vial from its cradle of metal. In victory he raised the vial and cried, "I hold now the DNA of Jesus Christ! The Son of the Father and the Lamb of ultimate sacrifice! Tonight, in honour of those who searched before I, who paved the way; for in this miracle I shall call forth He who was slaughtered to save us! Jesus Christ will come from heaven at my command to rule for the clearing of this sin-filled, poisonous world. I have the key to hold the Holy Spirit in my hands. Will you be ready? Will you stand with me to greet the Lord and save the Earth?" With the crowds unified wails of delight and agreement pounding its way through his ears he turned and carefully placed number thirteen vial back in the circle he had taken it from. Someone had begun to sing a hymn and it was quickly taken up by the throngs until the melody was pouring from thousands of throats. He faced his congregation with shining eyes, mouthing the words to the song along with them. As they reached the refrain for the second time he began to gyrate to the music; his head bouncing from side to side and his arms moving in sync and he began to speak in tongues. He yelled and whispered; he cried and laughed, uttering a message in a language none could understand.
He came out of his trace as quickly as he had fallen into it. "I can smell you all and I can hear what you are thinking. So many out there tonight are wondering, could this happen? Can a man truly call Jesus from the right hand of his Father's throne? Yes! I understand you doubters, more so than you understand yourselves. I know I can do this. I know this is truly the way and the will of God. But, before I bring the mercy for believers and the ruination for the faithless I want you all to see how. How I have gotten to this great deed." He turned slightly toward stage left and beckoned to someone just out of view. A sort of dessert cart was wheeled out across the vast stage toward the man in the center. There was a heavy purple cloth draped across a lump in the center. The roadie bowed quickly to the man and backed away, rejoining the shadows in the wings off stage. Just as the cameras had closed in on the hand lifting the purple covering off the feed was interrupted by a pre-filmed video address. The lights on the center stage dimmed just enough so the television screens could dominate the night.
On screen was a perfect framing of the prophet with his arms disappearing into the cut sides of the picture; he was straightening the camera on a tripod. He gave a satisfied smile that he had lined up perfectly and stepped out of the view. On stage his voice flowed out across the crowd, "She told me we were as one, our entire lives together, never alone." The screen was now showing the image of three men excavating a whole in the smooth grass of what looked like a park. "Indeed, the greatness I was destined to achieve was no more or less than my birthright." He then made a slash movement across his throat to the lighting crew and the house lights were brought completely down, the screen glowed as the audience watched, mesmerized by the love for their entertainer. The picture on screen widened out a bit as the men in the hole seemed to slow, apparently reaching the goal they had worked for. Suddenly a metal square flew out of the hole and through the air; it landed scant inches from the camera. From the angle it was crystal clear what the object said. It had a name written in big block font, with two different years inscribed below. A hush fell across the park as the people gathered realized they all knew the name and the second date, if not the first. Before a reaction could register the house lights came up again to wrap their comfort around the man on the stage. He had one hand placed in the box on the dessert trolley, "Yes! You all see now, I have brought her here tonight to bear witness to the miracle I shall create!" With his words still dangling in the air he removed the tattered, flaking head of his wife from the box. The embalmers had done their best but regardless of the chemicals, human remains eventually rot and return to dust. "She is here to face the Lord tonight with the rest of us. She hath broken the covenant sworn to God and I, she carried the seed of sin within her womb. And now, now she will confess these sins before God and before the world!" They couldn't help themselves, the crowd cheered and wept and worshiped the man on stage holding the severed, lifeless head of his once-beautiful wife. Gently, he turned her blank staring glass eyes toward him; he took a black wide nib marker and carefully wrote 'H A R L O T' on the mummified forehead. He then raised her face and kissed her one last time on the dry sandpaper dead lips. He then placed her stump-neck down on the stage so she could watch the show.
"My mission is pure, my brothers and sisters. I have absolute faith in the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. I have one last item to bear witness to; for your strength is His strength and it is unwavering." He drew a sheet of paper from the breast pocket of his snowy suit, "This is paper, yet like all paper and like all of life it is not what something IS it was what is buried within. I stand before you tonight, a man with a dream, and to prove the sincerity of my convictions I have taken the step to sell my soul to Lucifer, Satan." The crowd seemed to take a collective step back from the stage which he couldn't miss seeing. "Oh fear not! The terms of the agreement between Satan and me are clear! I shall give him my life, my soul ONLY if my Lord doesn't come to me! I have no doubt, not a single one that our Father shall arrive! For if he doesn't come, I will bequeath the vials of DNA, my life’s work, to the Prince of Darkness,” He paused his speech to savour every, last syllable. He felt like laughing aloud. Tonight was beautiful. Just beautiful! He couldn't resist, "Tonight is BEAUTIFUL!" The crowd echoed his words back to him. He signalled his servants at the stage edge in the President and Papal areas. They nodded back and making their way to either side, melted into the shadows.
He saw them re-appear with their men lined up behind them, he raised his right hand and they took their cue to move throughout the crowd. "My good and faithful servants are walking among you and distributing the ceremonial offerings of Jesus Christ's body. We shall partake in the Lord's Supper and then He will come! Take His body, for we shall be nourished by Him alone! Drink! Drink of His blood that we may never thirst again!" He held his own portion of communion high above his head in his left hand. Each member of the audience upon receiving theirs raised it to match the holy man on the stage. "Yahweh! Lord of lords and God of gods! I offer myself to thee! Come back to us, come save us from thy holy wrath!" He lowered his left hand and placed the offering upon his tongue. Thousands upon thousands of people lined up in Central Park. The Pope and the President were broadcast live on television as they partook of this Lord's Supper. Mother's placed the wafer on the tongues of their infants. They all noticed a mild, unpleasant flavour but the in the ecstasy of the moment, the mass crowd banished all reasonable thought. The first man fell as though suffering from heat stroke. As the Pope and the President fell, a domino effect accelerated. Those who had not fallen began shrieking and screaming but it didn't last long. In a short a time the grounds of Central Park were covered with the dead and dying bodies of the faithful. Cyanide had been placed upon the wafers before they had been passed out for the final supper. An eerie silence descended over the cars and the Park grounds; the honking of horns and sounds of life elsewhere in New York, continued unabated. Those viewing the event from home were numb with horror and shock as the cameras continued to broadcast images and sound. A faint voice, a mere whisper, could be heard, "7. The days of punishment are coming; the days of reckoning are at hand. Let Israel know this. Because your sins are so many and your hostility so great, the prophet is considered a fool, the inspired man a maniac. The prophet, along with my God, is the watchman over Ephraim, yet snares await him on all his paths, and hostility in the house of his God. Hosea 9:7-8"