Beau Cephalus stared into a flat screen as he composed his opus, The American Book of The Dead.
The goddess, Sense (not “common” by any means), came to him, dressed to the nines, smokin’ hot. Buff. An Amazon to die for, and real smart.
“You’re back!” he cried out joyfully. “It’s been so long, so long. I thought I’d never see you again.”
“Was in the neighborhood,” She replied.
“I’ve always loved you…”
“Bullocks!” She scoffed. “You’ve betrayed me, time and again. You and all your…people…”
“I’ve had many distractions. We all have.”
“Yawn,” She said. “Yawn, yawn, yawn.”
“Help us,” pleaded Beau Cephalus.
“What’s in it for Me?”
The confusion on his face nearly caused her to howl with laughter and give the game away.
“Only kidding,” She said. “Just doing my imitation of you and all your hapless brothers and sisters.”
“We, we have no choice,” stammered Beau Cephalus. “Just, you know, ‘looking out for number one’ and all that.”
“Number one! Oh, please. Do you or any of your people think you’re even close to number one? You’d be lucky to count yourself among the one billion. ‘Number one.’ Now that’s funny. You know how I adore a good joke. ‘Naivety is the sole of wit.’ All blistered and callused. And it stinks. I smell it every morning from on high…”
“Uh…I don’t follow.”
“All you do is follow. That’s your problem. We Gods are bored. Worse than bored. Annoyed.”
“Yeah,” Beau Cephalus agreed. “The Gods are angry.”
“Talk about understatement. The Gods are pissing on your heads.”
“Yeah, well, why are you all so pissed — no pun intended?”
“As I said, we find you tedious. Blech. You and your people are making us sick.”
“What’d we ever do to you?”
“Nothing. You don’t do anything to anyone, well you do, but only vicariously, through your little model-airplane thing-a-ma-jigs, bombing innocent victims left, right and center.”
“Well we’re only –” he was about to say “human,” but refrained. “What the hell do you want from us?”
“What we’ve always wanted: blood.”
“You got it. Blood. Human sacrifice.”
“Human sacrifice? I thought that was, you know, passé. Went out with Leisure Suits and the double-breasted Toga and all that.”
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” yawned The Goddess. “You sacrifice tens of thousands, perhaps millions of humans and other life forms each year. What do you think these so-called ‘wars’ are? Good-old fashioned man-to-man combat? From the sky? It’s all slaughter, almost exclusively of innocents, animal, vegetable and mineral. Whole-sale destruction of all value, plain and simple.”
“Oh, well then. There you have it. We’re offering up thousands, possibly millions each year. What’s the problem.”
“You just don’t get it, do you?”
Beau Cephalus hated when people said that. ‘You don’t get it.’ Get what? What was he or anyone supposed to ‘get?’ It all sounded so damned PC. Nevertheless, it was not a person who said this, but the Goddess of Sense, so Beau Cephalus held his tongue as she continued.
“Thousands and thousands of years and still they just don’t get it,” she said, more to herself than to Beau Cephalus. “First they sacrificed young virgins, innocents. When it occurred to them that that sure as hell didn’t please us, they started offering up cute furry fuzzy animals. When that didn’t work, they went on to all sorts of tricks. Fruits, vegetables, legumes. Effigies. Then wine and, and cookies. Now it’s not just innocents again, one or two a year, but ‘an hecatomb’ of souls. Unbelievable. Truly unreal.”
“Okay. Now I’m confused. You’re right. I ‘don’t get it,'” confessed Beau Cephalus. “You said you wanted blood, we gave you blood. Now you say we were wrong from the get-go for giving you blood…”
“It’s the wrong type of blood, you ass!”
“What do you mean, like type-A, type-O, type-B negative, like that? What were they supposed to do, ‘ritual phlebotomy’ with type-and-screen before sacrifice? That’s asking a bit much — even of the Greeks.”
Sense sighed deeply.
“We don’t want innocent blood. We never did. The whole damned point of the planet we created, your home, is beauty, growth, unexpected developments, surprises. Otherwise, we grow bored. It is the blood of corruption, hegemony, mono-culture, if you will, that needs to flow. The blood of tyrants, dictators, so-called omnipotent powers that presume to be…to be gods! Those petty creatures, destroyers of our creation! The arrogance, the impudence, the sheer chutzpah of those pismires upsets nature, our nature, our creation. We thrive on liberty, which offers no end of ingenuity and surprise for our amusement. But these tyrants, these oligarchs who’ve joined forces to create so-called individuals that aren’t anyone but lord it over everyone, the corporate ‘bodies’ of little substance and less value — these must go. Immediately, if not sooner. They’ve poisoned our creation. Poisoned and polluted. They’ve blasphemed. And worse. Made the fruit of our genius into synthetic processed food products after their own bland, bad taste and mediocrity. Life is full of the unexpected, but ‘Earth Incorporated’ is not. We’re bored bored bored. And totally pissed off. But you can’t take a hint. Earthquakes, hurricanes, climate change — no matter what we throw at you, no matter how severe and frequent the warnings, your or I should say Their ‘experts’ and ‘media’ play dumb.”
“Actually, most of my people would agree,” said Beau Cephalous, enthused. “Why, I was just part of an on-line discussion group that — ”
“Aaaauughhh!” erupted Sense, most un-goddess-like.
“Aaugh?” he echoed, perplexed.
“Talk. Talk. Talkety-talk. The pursuit of pure talk. That’s all you people do. Not even talk. Electric chatter. Enough of your blogs and sites and groups and email petitions and campaigns. You’re running out of time. The Gods are just about ready to waste the place.”
“Holy crap! Uh…when?”
“Sooner than you think.”
“Well what’re we supposed to do?”
“You know what to do.”
“No, actually. Really, I don’t.”
“The gods help those who help themselves.”
“Can’t you give me a hint?”
“I’ve made it pretty clear.”
“Yes. Blood. ‘Bad blood,’ so to speak, but –”
Beau Cephalus clammed up.
“Listen to my heart beat!” the goddess, Sense, commanded.
Beau Cephalus listened, and for perhaps the first time, heard. The room resounded with the powerful pulse-thrum of Life.
“Wow,” he said. “Heavy. I mean, really. That’s intense.”
“Don’t break my heart,” whispered the Goddess, and then vanished
The beating of Life continued for long after she was gone, slowly growing softer, softer until it too disappeared.
“Spooky,” said Beau Cephalus to the empty room.
Alone with his computer, screen-saver displaying fragmented sections of his American Book of the Dead, Beau Cephalus contemplated the goddess’s words: ‘You know what to do.”
“Yes,” he agreed, from cerebral surface-consciousness down to the core of his Beau Cephalus-ness. “But how?”