The Unincluded People

anti-circumcision-rally

Found at Jewish Business News – No photo credit available

Jeremiah Katz never thought he’d see this day, not in America. His youngest grandson, named after his deceased senior uncle, Ezekiel Katz zt”l, at his bris (some of the Goyim call it the Jewish name day), and the mohel, Bernie Posner says afterwards that he’s getting harassing phone calls and texts.

“What’s all this?” Jeremiah, his son Michael, Bernie, and some of the other men were on the back patio sipping drinks and speaking in hushed whispers in case the neighbors were listening.

“It’s true,” Bernie put his hand on Jeremiah’s forearm as if to emphasize his words. “The cowards won’t even use their real names. These anti-semites say it’s harmful to our sons and even barbaric. I know two other mohels going through the same thing.”

“Have you called the police?” Michael had never faced this sort of thing the way his elders had and still had a tough time believing it.

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The Industry

abortion industry

Image found at the European Centre for Law and Justice – ACLI Site Banner – Credit unavailable

Dr. Edna Thomas had drawn the proverbial short straw this month, and was assigned to the “Disposal Unit,” a slight euphemism for the plant that provided for the orderly disposal of what was left of the aborted “material” once the stem cells and other useful biological components had been removed.

Since inadvertent contact with the remains was always a possibility in so massive an operation, she had donned the required smock and gloves, though she wouldn’t use the mask and protective lenses unless the needed to personally examine the “leftovers” on the “production” floor.

“Reynolds, have you go the latest audit info uploaded to the database yet?” She turned to the IT tech sitting next to her at the control console in the glassed-in observation room.

“Just now, Doctor. Nationally, we’ve extracted and processed 108,773 units this month alone. That should keep the bosses happy.” Glenn Reynolds seemed to authentically enjoy his work here, and was totally unphased by all of the blood and tiny body parts passing by in buckets on six parallel conveyor belts.

“What about our plant?”

“Statewide? Wait one. Yes, here it is. Just over 2,100.”

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With Power and Great Glory

sierra nevada

Sierra Nevada Mountains, Yosemite Valley – found at Roadtrippers

Iris Berry pulled up her other boot as she gazed at the breadth of the firmament above her in awe and terror. So far it was clean of Moskeren scouts, but she’d be a fool to believe she could elude them forever, even in the Sierra Nevada mountains.

She had hiked in from Dardanelle, now a ghost town, three days ago and was directly north of what used to be Yosemite National Park. Iris used to go there at least twice a year to hike and climb with Darren. She smiled at the memory and then frowned, pushing the thoughts of his extermination out of her mind. When the first wave of invaders hit, they vaporized most of the Bay Area along with every other major population center on Earth. Her husband of eighteen months was just one among billions.

The young woman extinguished her small camp fire, a risk she took hoping the Moskeren didn’t use infrared, and pulled on her backpack. Iris had been on a wilderness retreat with three other women from her church during the planetary incursion. They heard the news over the small radio they’d brought with them.

Helen died a day later as they were hiking out. Maybe it was suicide, but more likely she was so distraught, she wasn’t paying attention to the loose shale she was walking on and slipped over the cliff. There was no way to get to her body.

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Paradise is in Orbit

bullwinkle

Vintage Melmac Child Drinking Cup Bullwinkle Moose – Found on eBay

Fred, the male mail carrier sat in the Outer Ring Coffee Shoppe eating his chocolate mousse out of a vintage cup bearing the image of Bullwinkle the Moose. Except for the baristas behind the counter, he was the only human in the room.

“How wazz ur confekshun, Fred?” Phebb was one of the refuge aliens who had arrived just after the Station was completed and he’d been running the Outer Ring for the past ten years.

“Terrific as always.” He stood but still had to suppress the urge to shake hands with the proprietor, since all of the Uan’eo species considered any public skin-to-skin contact a breach of their sexual taboos. “Well, I’d better get going. Lunch time’s just about up and I still have to deliver to the rest of the Station.

“Glad u liked it. Zee u nex time.”

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Release

sparks

Sparks from a fire rising into the night sky. Photo credit: unknown.

It had been nearly a century since the fall. He didn’t think he’d had a sense of time while his soul was being seared in its fiery crucible, but he had been aware of the passing of every day, every hour, and even the tiniest second of torture, shame, and regret.

That it had taken him so long to reach a state of correction and purification was a testament to his stubborn nature and moral weakness. All he had to do was give up his sins and make true teshuvah, but even once mortal life had departed his flesh, he continued to cling to his darkness.

Yet little by little, with the passage of time and in the company of incredible horrors, and even more horrible spirits, he progressed toward that goal which most human souls eventually achieve; a reconciliation with the Source.

Today was the day. He continued to rise through the stench and stale, smoky air of Hell, his sojourn in the realm of misery finally finished. Like a Divine spark, he flew high above the blaze, the inferno becoming a fading memory, as he soared into the fresh atmosphere of freedom and redemption. He was going home.

I wrote this for Saturday Mix – Opposing Forces, 26 May 2018 hosted at Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. Today, the idea is to take a pair of antithetical statements and use them in a poem, short story, or other creative work. They are:

  • fresh and stale
  • rise and fall

I bolded those words in the body of my story so readers could pick them out better.

I admit, the first thing I thought of was “bread” or “cake” but I decided to write something more interesting instead.

In Christianity, it is generally believed that you either go to Heaven or Hell when you die and that your stay is permanent and eternal, However, some branches of Judaism believe that except for the most evil souls (Stalin, Hitler), if your sins outweigh your merits at death, Hell is a horrible crucible wherein you may continue to confront your dark nature, and ideally, with the passage of time, make teshuvah (repentance) and eventually merit release to the Heavenly court to be reunited with the Source.

I thought I’d create a brief chronicle of my character’s “graduation.” I’m sure I’m not doing the concept justice, but after all, this is just a brief sketch.

Saving the Prophet

shipwreck

The Shipwreck, a painting by JMW Turner that forms part of the Tate collection in London.

The ceiling for his craft was infinity, and its floor was an age. It provided a buffer, so that the passing of a season or a millennium was all the same. In this way, he could not only travel up and down the corridors of his own history, but diverge into many others. Once at his destination, he would descend upon that world like a single drop of rain.

The sphere shimmered half in and half out of the timespace continuum as it alighted on the shore near Muxnar Reef in ancient Malta. The unmanned probes he had sent back searched across the local decades, and discovered the exact place, date, and time of the storm and the shipwreck. They were struggling in the surf now. It would all be so easy.

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The Seedy Profiler

hand spreader

Image found at Pennington.com

It was in the days of cedars when Cedric the seeder spread his precious gift as if in a daze.

Just kidding.

Winter hadn’t been kind to his lawn, and Bill was using a hand seeder to spread some “love” on some of the barer patches. He didn’t want to get it too close to the cedar in the northwest corner though, because pulling weeds as well as unwanted grasses was such a boring chore.

His wife had been visiting her mother for the past five days, which suited him just fine, since he preferred working by his own schedule than hers.

It was monotonous labor, and he found himself pacing the yard in something of a daze before realizing he was out of seed.

“Guess I’ll just call it good, then.” He walked around the side of the house and then back into the garage. Putting the hand implement back on its appointed shelf, he manually turned on the sprinkler system to soak the grass seed in.

He left his work shoes by the door, washed his hands in the kitchen sink, poured another cup of hot, black coffee, and returned to the computer in his study. This was the other reason he was glad his wife was gone. This latest cold case had been kicking his ass, but the retired FBI special agent still felt like he was getting close to discovering the identity of the Zodiac killer.

I wrote this for Saturday Mix – Double Take challenge for 12 May 2018. The idea today is to use two pairs of homophones in a poem, short story, or other creative work. They are:

  • cedar – an evergreen tree
  • seeder – one who broadcasts seeds

and

  • days – more than one day
  • daze – to bewilder

As usual, I bolded the words in the body of my story so they’d be easy to find.

Yes, I started out with a little joke, and then got slightly more serious. The words, for me at least, didn’t evoke any drama, so I made something up.

The Girl Who Liked Pteranodons

turu

Title card for the 1964 episode of Jonny Quest, “Turu the Terrible”

“Grandpa, I want to color.” The almost three-year-old girl showed the new box of crayons to the old man.

“But I thought you said you wanted to go to the park after dinner.”

Her blue eyes brightened. “I go to the park.” She dropped the box on the floor and went hunting for her shoes.

“Hey, wait a minute, Danni. Can you put the crayons away?”

She stopped in mid-stride, anticipating her liberty, wheeled around and ran back. “Oh yeah.”

They left by the side door, and she spent several minutes examining the air conditioner before being escorted by her Grandpa out the gate and to the sidewalk.

As the luminous ball of gas lighting the world slid slowly toward the western horizon, he watched her play on slides, climb ladders, and try to imitate a much older girl who was hanging upside down from the bars. Danni didn’t get very far, but she had a lot of fun introducing Regan to her Grandpa.

That night, after the child had brushed her teeth and put on her pajamas, the old man and the little girl shared one of his fondest memories from childhood on DVD; a couple of episodes of Jonny Quest. She really liked the show with the Pteranodon.

I wrote this for the Saturday Mix writing challenge at Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. The idea is to take five words and use their synonyms in the body of a story. The original words are:

  1. paint
  2. release
  3. fan
  4. light
  5. clothes

I’ve bolded the synonyms I used in my tale to make them easier to spot.

I thought about the angst I expressed yesterday over what has been perceived as bigotry and prejudice against politically and socially conservative writers by the mainstream science fiction and fantasy industry, and after a lot of thought, and then writing another piece fo flash fiction this morning called The Unknown Children, I realized the world had much bigger problems for me to be concerned about.

The story above is a compressed version of how I spent yesterday afternoon and evening with my granddaughter. Yes, she really likes the old 1964 animated TV series Jonny Quest, which I watched when I was young, and especially one called Turu the Terrible.

If anyone wants to judge me, fairly or otherwise, they can judge me by what I write and by my humanity and compassion, and if I’m still not good enough, then I’d say they have a much bigger problem than I’ll ever have.

Strange History’s Prelude

seatac

A Delta flight comes in for a landing at Sea-Tac Airport which had record passenger growth in June. (Ellen M Banner/The Seattle Times)

The day Leon Spencer made bail, he followed the instructions of the lawyer who posted it for him and stopped off at his post office box. Sure enough, there was a cashier’s check for more money than he made in a year as a Marine Gunnery Sergeant. Those days were long gone and so, he thought, was his career until he read the email from Carson Everett. There wasn’t much that fazed him anymore, not after Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, but he could still be impressed.

“Fuckin’ eh.” The six-foot tall, African-American Marine turned merc, turned “security consultant,” stared at the check in his hand and the note that came with it, which repeated Everett’s instructions to take the first flight to Seatac.

He visited his crappy apartment for the last time to pack a few things, noticing the bales of useless papers, magazines, and other junk he’d be happy to part with. Leon took everything that still had worth to him (which wasn’t much), and beat it out to O’Hare, happy to give Chicago the middle finger.

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Blood Libel

passover seder

Passover seder at the home of Rabbi Mayer Hirsch, San Francisco, circa 1920. (Courtesy of the Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life)

Klaus Buchner was running for his life. One minute, he was a guest at his friend Josef Steinbauer’s home expecting to experience his first Passover seder since he was a child. Now these insane fools were chasing him, screaming terrible insults in archaic German. Where did this damned desert come from? Why couldn’t he get a cell signal?

Martin Frederick had been hosting his family and close friends in his home for Good Friday, mourning the loss of their Lord Jesus Christ, his being betrayed by the damnable Jews some fifteen hundred and thirty-seven years prior, and now they were chasing one of them. He and his kind were no doubt responsible for the disappearances of six-year-old Hans Kruger and his sister Elsa, two years his junior. But this was nowhere near Magdeburg. There was no such terrain anywhere in Germany. How had they gotten here?

Both Klaus and Martin, men worlds and centuries apart, felt as if reality had abruptly changed from light to dark, from liquid to solid. How could they be here and who were the men Martin was following and who were pursuing Klaus?

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