From this lunacy and moral corruption, a gaunt man and his companions stood forth and with a fluid motion shot all six councilors during a mid-morning tombola. All townsfolk ran to ground, barricading shack windows and bolting doors, hiding in shadows with shaking hands.
Folk loyal to this town’s dying council ran to assault this hazardous band of traitors, particularly its gaunt boss who was toting a pump-action shotgun but a muscular man in a cloak, standing with his pallid principal brought out a monstrous gun from his folds.
Roaring gunshots rang out, a rat-a-tat-tat as rounds from a mini-gun bit into skin, churning up opposition into chunks of bloody carrion.
As whirring cataclysm wound down to a stop, a ghastly calm sank into this town, dying groans for alms soon fading away to nothing.
“I am Parris Morth.” Said this group’s gaunt instigator in a carrying roar, holding up a scroll of wax-papyrus. “I am God’s author and I bring a manuscript to you; My Lord’s words!”
With his shotgun, this man also brought a pair of wild pigs and his small group of folk, (my Council, said Morth) stood holding firing-arms and bags of grain. Not a man within its rank had caught a wound.
“I am Parris Morth.” Said this man in a carrying roar, holding up a scroll of wax-papyrus. “I am God’s author and I bring a manuscript to you; My Lord’s words!”
This soliloquy was famous in Salvation (as this town was now known) and Morth’s manuscript was on public display with thousands of copy-manuscripts stuck around town in billboard stands.
“God is my guiding light and has shown my companions and I just how His will must find fruition.” Said Morth. “God has drawn us to this unholy swamp of sin so that you might find contrition and absolution, so that you might find God’s glory!”
Nobody was arguing nor moving, hiding away from Morth and his lunatic consorts.
“I am your salvation, you sinful dogs! I am a conduit for God’s work and practicing God’s work shall grant you impunity from Satan!” Said Morth, prodding a companion to his right.
“Barclay, show this foul brood how magnanimous our God truly is!” Said Morth.
Putting down his ironically big ‘mini-gun’, Stocky Barclay took two full sacks from his pals and laid both onto damp ground, tipping out grain and oats in abundant clots.
“Milk! Bring us milk!” Said Morth and a companion brought forth a tin pail of whitish fluid, standing it up in a muddy rut.
“And if you want aqua, look to your God!” Said Morth, flourishing a hand toward Cambrian mountain-tors, thick with snow.
“God grants us our bounty, says pick what you want….and pay for it!” Said Morth ominously.
“You shot our mayor!” Said a chirping vocal accusation from within shadows. “And our doctor, our only fucking doctor!”
“Who said that?” Said Morth and a thin old woman stood in front of him, dissolving out of shadowy sanctuary to scorn Morth.
“I said it!” Said this frail hag, lips twisting into a snarl. “What of it? What now?! Will your God comfort our sick and dying?”
“Calm down, fair woman.” Said Morth softly. “What do folk know you as?”
“Old Christina! And why should I trust a God that is still abandoning us, in this dark hour?” Said Christina. “Why should I trust you?!”
“McColl, bring a chair for this woman of admiration!” Said Morth. “Quickly, now!”
Morth’s man took a look around and found a plank of marginally dry wood for Christina to sit upon. Morth, guiding Old Christina down took up a crouching position.
“I will say this, Christina, my charming inquisitor. God has brought us to you, with pork, grain, milk and most importantly, industrious capability to carry out His work!” Said Morth.
“And guns?! Did God bring you guns, too?” Said Old Christina, cackling in absurdity.
“For our crusading missions only.” Said Morth. “Papal Saint Louis had his swords against Saladin’s morning-stars, so too must our knights carry guns, if only to fight Satan’s brood!”
“God will bring you Salvation, Christina; you and your family, all of you!” Said Morth loudly, taking a handful of tasty-looking oats and bringing it to Christina’s mouth.
“Munch this down, fair Christina for it is Christ’s body.” Said Morth softly, prompting Christina to start consuming, crunching up dry grain in lustful starvation.
“Wash it down with this, child; it is Christ’s blood, blood of our holy martyr, God’s only Son.” Said Morth, handing Christina a tin cup of warm milk.
“All of you in this town, join us for Christ’s word is an invitation to all!” Said Morth. “Nourish your stomachs, throw off your cannibal ways and find your souls within!”
Watching Old Christina’s trust in Morth brought wary townsfolk crawling out from hiding. Morth bid a group of filthy boys and girls to find wood and an ad-hoc flooring was laid for all to sit upon. Grain and cups of milk soon swam around a buzzing community as willing hands and mouths partook of Christ-cum-Morth’s bountiful gifts.
“So, Christina. Will you join God’s mission?” Said Morth.
Chomping down mouthfuls of grain, food falling from a mouth sans molars, Christina spat an opinion at Morth.
“God says pick what you want but how will I pay?” Said Christina. “I own nothing, not a tooth nor a nail on my old body.”
“Ah, fair Christina. God asks only two things of you.” Said Morth, standing up to talk to his convocation.
“Firstly: no consumption of human skin!” Said Morth. “This is Matilda…”
Morth shot a boot into a chubby sow’s ass and it spat a grunt of pain.
“And this is Morrison.” Said Morth, hoofing his fat hog in its ribs.
“In union, a brood will follow and pigs will grant us our milk and pork.” Said Morth. “Our company has many pigs, far from this town in Cambrian isolation. I will bring my brood and pork will nourish your loins again. Actual pork, think of it! Not this long-pork, this abomination of body and mind! Cannibalism is Satan’s path to oblivion!”
“Until that day, you may sow grain and oats and our stocks, fairly abundant will last until malt and corn has grown. With God’s glory shining down, this town can outlast Apocalyptic ruin!”
A raucous chant of gratuity was soon carrying through joyful inhabitants, stomachs now aching from gluttony.
“You said two things that God asks…” Said Old Christina to Morth.
“It is commonly known that Star Wormwood burns in our world.” Said Morth. “Look to it, on that horizon and know it is an ignorant and barbarous civilization that allows Satan’s star to form! Watch it glowing, constantly judging you, trying to turn you to Satan’s will. As it has in this community…..” Said Morth, pointing southward toward China’s coastal islands.
“It’s known as Big-Smokyo to us.” Said Old Christina, stroking hair as a small child sat on Christina’s lap, plaiting apron strings.
“Big-Smokyo? Actually, it’s not Tokyo but a portion of South China’s nautical margins. Tokyo was lost to a tsunami, lots of tidal assault that saw it sink into nautical anonymity. Similar thing in Australia, Brazil, Africa….” Said Morth’s companion, McColl.
“McColl is a library of information, from distilling alcohol to purifying raindrops.” Said Morth and his companion put down a can of liquid paraffin and drinking fluid. McColl took a stick, thrusting it into his can of paraffin to hold it aloft as Morth struck a match to it.
A flaming torch lit up and inhabitants shrank back from it in fright.
Only Old Christina sat still, dismissing McColl’s burning stick.
“Lots of glamour, sir but what is God’s point? What must I pay to gain this award?” Said Christina. “You said two things! Why do I think you hold back on saying it?”
“An insightful woman.” Said Morth to Old Christina.
“All faith must carry a sacrificial and ritual obligation.” Said Morth to all. “Old faith, that of Mohamad and Abraham, plus that of Buddha, Guru Nanak and so on….all of it was wrong! Christianity, too was way off its mark!”
“If Christ had not hung on a crucifix at such a youthful antiquity, God would trust Him with what I am about to say, that which was told unto my companions and I, by God, Almighty!” Said Morth. “God said that Satan’s hold on our world had got too strong. By using Satanic-symbols and rituals, our faiths had unconsciously drawn Satan into our minds, Man was manipulating God’s word and using His instructions as a tool to bring about mass-control and boost profit margins. Ministry folk got rich quickly, poor common folk just took what was cast down from up on high; scraps thrown to dogs!”
“Pocky-lips, I call it.” Said Old Christina. “A blight on humanity for our sins, if what you say is truthful, sir.”
“It is, fair Christina! And do you know why this is so? Why Big-Smokyo lit up and why Star Wormwood burns?” Said Morth.
“No, sir. Such information is long lost.” Said Christina, forcing milky grain pulp into a squalling baby’s mouth. “But did God show you why?”
“In a vision, God told of a Satanic ritual taught to all. By using a particular lingual symbol in our words and our print, our world was worshiping Satan and his abominations, willingly inviting in that Dark Lord and allowing him to usurp control. As sharp a woman as you claim, Old Christina, did you pay mind to my way of talking? I cannot and will not imply Satan’s-symbol into my talk, nor into my writings. Nor will any any of my companions and nor should any faithful child of God, for it is a diabolical symbol. Do you know of this symbol, Christina and will you avoid it for God’s glory?” Said Morth.
“I know of it, I’m not an idiot!” Said Christina. “But folk in this town might not follow you, sir.”
“It is, in our British lingual matrix, fifth along and sits amid D and F. Curly as Satan’s tail and vital to communication. Without it, words just don’t sound right. Or so Satan’s consorts would say, in that old-world of ours. It was a popular symbol, pivotal to transmitting data, both orally and in print.” Said Morth. “But do I say it? Nay, I do not for God forbids it, Old Christina. I can still talk and hold rapport without involving Satan’s-symbol. Humanity was using it willy-nilly; is it surprising that Star Wormwood was born, that Satan’s maw is spitting out lava and poisonous fog in that which you call ‘Big-Smokyo’?”
“Do you trust in this vision, sir? Can you trust in God? What if it is a trick by Satan?” Said Old Christina.
“I was a dog much as this poor individual.” Said Morth, pointing to a gluttonous man scooping grain into his mouth as if it might run out. “But as soon as I cut out Satan’s-symbol from my words and my writing, inviting God into my soul, my standard of living took an upward climb. God told of His plan; I was to turn into a missionary and go forth into this black world, crusading against Satan’s imps and turning sulfur back to gold! By promoting God’s word and His work, by adopting His ways and cutting out Satan’s-symbol. By doing this, God would grant my favours and so it is, Christina! My companions and I bring salvation to you, if only you adopt God’s will as your own.”
“It is hard to not say….’it’.” Said Old Christina, cracking a walnut with a dusty boot and tossing its carcass. “‘It’ is such a common thing…for us all! What of naming things and doing tasks? It’s an impossibility! It is just luck that…’it’…isn’t in my….you know?”
“Call it ‘Satan’s-symbol’ from now on.” Said Morth. “And it is lucky that your matriarch did not dub you with Satan’s-symbol.”
“But most folk in town DO own it and cannot avoid saying it or writing it! What of communication?” Said Old Christina. “How will I talk to a man, imply that I want a thing if I cannot say what it is?! How will that man know I am talking to him or what I want from him?”
“By changing it to a holy word, a word without Satan’s-symbol in its composition.” Said Morth. “My companions all adopt an allonym, changing titular birthrights to that which God allows. Thus this man, Richard Chaliss was not born Richard Challis but took this naming by baptism and communion, it is so.”
Morth told Challis, an old, hoary individual to stand up for scrutiny. Challis, taking and putting away his point-forty-four Magnum got up and took a bow.
“I am Richard Challis and I am a monk, worshiping God’s divinity and for many months, I was constantly practicing my communication skills in isolation so that I might talk without using Satan’s-symbol. I am not a savvy man by anybody’s account but as you hark my words, you will not catch Satan’s-symbol in any. I am living proof that Parris Morth’s godly ways truly can manumit you from your Satanic bonds! To disavow Satan’s-symbol is to gain an ability. Think not of it as a ‘disability’…..think of it as auditioning for God’s glory.” Said Challis, choosing his words tactfully, as a man might start picking plump fruits from an abundant bush, looking for juicy, tasty words to show-off his articulation and command of linguists.
Richard chaliss’s soliloquy was an instant hit with rapt townsfolk and got Old Christina, clucking in approval. An ovation caught Challis off-guard and blushing, Morth’s monk sat down.
“Bravo, Richard.” Said an appluading Morth. “A fitting oration from you, son.”
Challis, a usually non-vocal man proudly took his acclaim as townsfolk, patting him on his back sought to know about his pilgrims’ isolation and how God (and disowning Satan’s-symbol) had brought him such clarity of mind.
“Now, Old Christina, it is your turn for scrutiny.” Said Morth. “Do you know how much dignity you hold whilst communicating? I did not pick up Satan’s-symbol on any occasion during our chat today. In fact, you did not say it at all, my fair lady.”
“Did I not?” Said Christina, harrumphing in mild shock. “Just lucky, I’ll warrant No skill at all, sir.”
“No skill at all is right, Christina! You must also fall into God’s tight band of holy champions, a woman born to naturally disavow Satan’s-symbol, not by opting to do it consciously but by God’s favour!” Said Morth. “Today is a monolithic day for God’s mission! Say ‘hoorah’, good folk and throw off your bindings! Forsaking Satan’s-symbol will grant you divinity! Follow Christina and I, follow our holy council of monks and nuns in God’s footfalls and I am promising you now, your body and soul will claim uplifting joy!”
“Can you do it, good souls of……” Said Morth, stopping to think about his quandary.
“What am I calling you lot?” Said Morth. “What is this town?”
“It is an anonymous town, sir.” Said a young thin woman with a proud matriarchal stomach, dropping a curtsy for Morth with an imaginary skirt. “I am Monica…..I can’t say my last bit, it has Satan’s-symbol in it. So sorry, sir.”
Monica was looking fit to cry and Morth bid his muscular cohort, Barclay to show comfort.
“What day is your labour-day?” Said Morth to Monica, who was laying in Barclay’s strong arms.
“Soon.” Said Monica. “What am I…um, naming him?”
“God will assist you, fair maid. God and your man…” Said Morth.
“You shot my husband, I’m afraid.” Said Monica, not sounding at all afraid of losing a matrimonial bond. “So it’s just him and…um, just us two now you shot Guy.”
“God will grant you charity from us.” Said Old Christina. “You know I would aid you, Monica. I’ll warrant this man and his group will also assist you and your baby boy.”
“And God?” Said Monica, looking up at Barclay.
“God, too, my child.” Said Barclay, stroking Monica’s mousy hair. “And I will, too.”
“So will all of us, uniting with God’s salvation upon us!” Said Morth. “In fact, that’s it! Salvation! I thought naming this town would drag on for months, arguing about this-and-that but God has just said it, right now….it just swam into my mind on wings of divinity.”
Salvation!” Said Morth. “Allow it to form in your mouths, dancing on your gums. Salvation! Say it to your soul and don it as a cloak. It fits so comfortably…..Salvation!”
“Salvation.” Said Old Christina.
Chanting in unison brought a grin to Morth’s lips. Old Christina was in a kind of histrionic fit of jubilation, acting as a manic witch in a voodoo ritual might, thought Morth.
“Salvation! Salvation!” Said a ranting Christina and kids took up this mantra along with all inhabitants, swaying and dancing in Salvation’s bloodbath, clots still drying as a frail Sun swam from murky clouds, shining a light upon a community in its infancy, a community now firmly in Parris Morth’s grip.
From that point onward, Morth and Old Christina (now Lady Christina Pygmalion, a prompt of Morth’s doing) built a council of custodians, a jury of officials to work on varying tasks in town.
Tulsa Forsyth, a man in Morth’s primary band of visionary monks had skill in plumbing and building. Morth, a physics savant told him how to build a conduit from Cambrian tors to a filtration-unit back in Salvation’s town hub and Forsyth put it in form. If Morth was an artist, Forsyth was his paintbrush. As was McColl, a farming and husbandry authority to whom Morth laid plans for agricultural industry.
“I can bring down pigs to join Matilda and Morrison.” Said Morth of his bonus brood in Cambrian foothills. “You can put a farm or two, an abattoir. Malt and corn can grow and milling, baking, that sort of thing…”
“What about irrigation from this aqua-duct? That Cambrian link-up?” Said McColl during an impromptu council symposium to discuss Salvation’s food rationing shortfalls. “Can fluid go from that piping down to fallow land? It would boost growth thirty-fold, I’ll warrant!”
“Good point.” Said Lady Christina. “But nothing will grow with poisonous air blowing about. Only piss-root and mushrooms grow on this land and you can’t cook any of it! It’s poison, too!”
“A solution is in situ right now.” Said Morth, winking at his companion, Forsyth.
“We built an air filtration unit.” Said Forsyth. “All it wants is charging up….but I don’t know how.”
“I know.” Said Barclay. “I did this sort of thing way back; hydro-static shit…”
“No profanity, if you will.” Said Morth, now proclaiming Chairman as his titular birthright. “I find it disgusting!”
“Sorry, chairman.” Said Barclay. “But this is important. I can built an arc-matrix…I can draw it anyhow and Forsyth can build it…..I can do that and you can pick up a proton outlay from rushing fluid. As snow turns to liquid, moving quickly, it is charging up with static galvanism that can pack a punch, sir.”
“God’s will. Good man.” Said Chairman Morth.
“It’s fantastic.” Sad Lady Christina, cackling with vibrancy. “Ligths…at last and I can start microwaving food again! I got an old unit, found it in a shit-pit…..”
“Lady Christina…” Said Morth. “Dignity…thank you.”
“I’m sorry and all that but It’s frigging inspiring. Start imagining a world with…what do you call it again?” Said Christina.
“Galvanism, Ma’am.” Said Barclay.
“Thank you, Barclay. I’ll look into it.” Said Morth quickly. “For now, an important thing is up for discussion; our stability in honouring God’s word!”
“But galvanism….” Said Barclay.
“I said I’ll look into it, didn’t I?” Said Morth, angrily. “Who is Chairman again? Is it you?”
“No, sir. Sorry.” Said Barclay. “Go on.”
“Oh, thank you for allowing my continuation, Barclay.” Said Morth sardonically, scoffing at his councilor.
“What is it, son?” Said Lady Christina.
“I hark Satan’s-symbol a lot, folk slipping it out during idling talk, or in privacy…thinking I cannot pick it up as I pass by a window or a door, ajar. Also, I find signs hanging about with writing, ungodly writing containing Satan’s-symbol. God know’s how many I took down last month. Too many!” Said Morth.
“I paint it out with black paint.” Said Barclay, “If I find a sign with Satan’s-symbol on it, I just blot it out, slap a bit of oil or tar on it.”
“It’s good to know folk try to uphold God’s will. Thank you, Barclay but if you find a sign that flouts our laws, burn it down or smash it apart.” Said Morth. “And as for your hydro-static plans…I am sorry for standing ignorant. I am but Christ’s conduit and His wants outclass my own. For this, I say thanks to God. Build it, you shall!”
Barclay, grinning and obviously proud of his plans sat back on his stool, almost falling. Salvation’s council, laughing jovially was balancing its mood again and Barclay found it amusing, too.
“School. Salvation wants a school and folk want tutoring, told how to talk and mark words on signs and such, without using Satan’s-symbol.” Said Christina.
“Ah, I can do this.” Said Challis. “My old writings, my diary and scrapbook will assist in linguistics and support. I can try and pass that on to folk, if I can pull in a crowd, that is. Folk might not find it…stimulating.”
“It is mandatory!” Said Morth. “As of now, Salvation’s townsfolk will pass a linguistics trial. If it is a failing and Satan’s-symbol still falls from ignorant lips upon finishing tuition….”
“A graduation!” Said Challis. “Folk could toss hats aloft and shout ‘hoorah!”
“Mortar-boards and a scroll.” Said Morth. “A good notion, Richard. What about our naming-booths?”
Challis, giving a thumbs-up to Morth told him that this particular action was running fluidly.
Ad-hoc booths built on Morth and Lady Christina’s proposal ran daily; folk bringing things for ‘naming’, including humans but mainly day-to-day utilitarian tools. Spoons and forks now lay with a ‘shiv’ at lunch. A cup now sat upon a ‘crock’ and a chair was company to a ‘tablasa’. Folk, trading in old birthright-naming took a distinction that did not contain Satan’s-symbol, lining up at booths and signing a form, part of Salvation’s population count protocol.
“Salvation is growing, in mind and body.” Said Christina. “But a lot turn still to human skin for nutrition, forsaking God’s grain. I pray for that poor lost faction to find humanity within and stop consuming body parts…”
“Praying is good but it is upon us to stamp out cannibalism in all its forms!” Said Morth. “Today, any folk that will not bow to God and disavow cannibalism will go from this town and roam in gulags, far away from civilization. Do you all concur?”
Salvation’s council did concur, passing various laws and motions that day. Community inhabitants all had jobs to do, mainly collating piping, bricks and any parts vital to Morth’s campaigns. Old buildings had a transformation back to glory as functioning workshops and Lady Cristina’s school was built, inducting all townsfolk without compunction as a mandatory part of affiliation.
Cannibals who would not stop consuming human body-parts had two options, according to Morth: disavow cannibalism and bow to God’s will or go forth from Salvation and into unforgiving wilds, cast out a pariahs. Any individuals not conforming to this law would hang. Morth had a gallows built on his instruction; thirty-foot of iron scaffold surmounting a brickwork foundation with planks of wood for a platform and stairs. By using bricks and mortar, Morth insidiously built his gallows to last. It’s iron jib could hold up to six dangling cords with loops, six positions for six throats and trapdoors for six pairs of boots.
Morth’s public showcasing of his ‘Gallows Mount’ had Salvation and its council split in opinions. Most folk, councillors too thought capital disciplining was a good thing but a minority had doubts about hanging as a judiciary sanction. Lady Christina and four councillors had stubborn complaints about such harsh a conviction as hanging. Townsfolk loyal to Christina also stood in opposition. Morth, charismatic as always cut opposition down with his practical and pragmatic words, turning a ‘situation’ into support for his campaign.
“Salvationists!” Said Morth, flourishing his arms on his platform atop Gallows Mount. “Satan is still among you!”
Morth, pacing up and down told inhabitants just how Satan was infiltrating Salvation.
“To you who still try consuming human-carrion, in light of God’s proposal to you I say Salvation is no habitat for you and your dastardly ways! Go from this town, cannibal scum and walk in fog, in that ruinous plain of ‘no-Man’s-land’. Cavort with Satan all you want but do it as pariahs and not in this Town!” Said Morth.
“To you whom law has no standing, know this: God is kind to His faithful flock but unto that which attacks His holy will, God rains down lightning and damnation! So I said on my first visit, our faithful go crusading for Christ, with gun and sword but this is no war; this is insubordination to God’s divinity and must carry a singular sanction. Only by hanging and conducting a Christian burial can Satan’s consorts find sanctity and absolution. It is God, not I that insists on this action. I am just clay for my pot-man’s hands and kiln. God commands and I fulfil His wish in this mortal world.” Said Morth.
“Know also that God frowns on you who say and print Satan’s-symbol, you of poor moral constitution. You know who I’m talking about, Salvation. I saw signs and paid mind to words caught in conspiratorial collusion, words said in still back-roads and shadowy doorways. For God pays mind to all in His domain. Do not try lying to God for your Lord knows all! And what God knows, I know!” Said Morth.
“God is forgiving of you whom try to abstain from Satan’s-symbol but to non-comformists willingly flouting God’s laws, a harsh and painful contrition awaits! Luckily for you, I am not in any mood to hang folk for this failing…not on this occasion but a warning to you all!” Said Morth. “God is watching! Always!”
“What about cannibals whom willingly abstain and avoid human skin?” Said a curious inhabitant in Salvation’s crowd.
“If you abstain and disavow your ghastly ways, God’s invitation is yours to own.” Said Morth. “To whom am I talking?”
“Stan Panfry, sir. What if I…I, um…..what I am trying to say is, what if a cannibal says ‘no’ and won’t stop?” Said Stan.
“Hang him!” Said a chanting mantra from Morth’s portion of supporting townsfolk.
“If that man, or woman cannot and will not stop consumption of God’s mortal sanctity, what point in him living in this Town? Cannibalism spurns God. It brings blood and brain poisoning, viral outbursts from rotting carrion. Cannibals among you lost humanity and humility both and cannot claim it back without God’s aid. If you will not bow to God or will not go from this Town, what option do law-abiding folk hold as a trump-card? Salvation can’t grow with cannibals running about, carrying malady and killing folk randomly! This gallows is a just and holy contraption to instil compliant thinking among unruly partisans.”
An uproar burst into motion, scuffling and shouting, Morth’s official guards having to pacify townsfolk with stunning blows from crowd-control sticks. Morth’s council ran into hiding but Barclay and McColl stood back with Morth, now toting a mini-gun (Old Gutbust) and an iron-sight rapid-firing assault pistol.
Shots rang out and a body hit Salvation’s ground, a young woman with no skull thanks to McColl’s surgical aim with his pistol.
Rat-a-tat-a-tat! Tat! Tat! Tat!
Whip-crack gunshots cut through Salvation, folk lay dying and writhing in mud. Many just lay still, blood oozing from wounds. A foot lay in front of a man and that worthy just sat, looking at in shock and confusion. It was his foot. McColl shot him out of pity.
Morth stood, watching and smiling throughout this horror as a man might watch a pantomiming-show. Morth did not stand in to stop McColl nor Barclay from shooting townsfolk, opting to watch with dark satisfaction as his councillors cut down Salvation’s ignorant population randomly.
“Salvation, who among you wants this tyranny?” Said Morth. “Not I! Look what Satan’s corruption and disorganisation has brought to this Town? Making his brood attack us, forcing us to start shooting at you! Look at this! Cannibals did this! Satan’s cohorts in a last-ditch rally to usurp control from this holy Town! God’s Town! And boy, God knows how to fight!”
“You shot Bill!” Said an angry man, cradling a body in his arms. “Bill didn’t chow-down on no man-skin!”
“Thank cannibals for that, good sir.” Said Morth. “Bill is with God now, martyr to His war against Satan. God will adorn Bill with wings and a halo. Trust in your God, sir and fight against diabolical arts!”
“I will, sir. Thank you!” Bill’s companion put him down and ran indoors, bolting his door and window.
“What a royal f….” Said McColl.
“Don’t say it!” Said Morth. “Think of a good word, not a Satanic cuss-word.”
“Sorry, sir.” Said McColl. “It’s not good, if I am truthful. It might cut opinion polls.”
“Polls? Pah!” Said Morth, flapping a hand in disdain. “Opinions can always sway, trust in God and your Chairman, Councillor McColl.”
“Good shooting, actually. You got four.” Said Morth, pointing at Salvation’s bloodbath, a horror that would now go down in history as ‘Bloody Thursday”.
“Cannibals, you think?” Said Barclay.
“Hard to say.” Said Morth. “Martyrs, though and for that, God is thankful. As am I.”
“Find folk to shift that lot, anyway. It’s a martyr’s burial or I might just burn it all. Did I say, Forsyth is now using coal whilst our wait for Barclay’s hydro-static contraption drags on…”
“I’m working on it, sir. It’s hard to find parts, you know? I could do with a boost in foraging-party units, actually.” Said Barclay.
“Find a party out of that lot!” Said Morth, pointing out carcass upon carcass, lying in front of Salvation’s gallows. “You shot six of your applicants just now!”
“How is it that MColl has your thanks for good aim and my shooting accounts for fuck-all? In fact, I did a bad thing and McColl did good? It isn’t fair, boss!”
“”Your appalling mouth isn’t good; such profanity is unholy and not council-worthy.” Said Morth to Barclay.
“Unholy? Fuck has nothing to do with Satan. Sir!” Said Barclay in insubordination. “In fact, fucking is holy! Saints did it! I’ll warrant Christ did it; that guy had a lot of womanly fans, sir. All that kudos and gratuity….”
Morth, raising a hand put a stop to Barclay’s rant.
“It is only as you talk so fluidly and so damn good that I am not kicking your ass right now.” Said Morth. “You talk a good talk, Barclay; it’s hard not to honour that display of lingual skill. Not a hint of Satan’s-symbol, not a word out of synchronisation with God’s law.”
I had a good tutor.” Said Barclay of Morth’s prior tuition in lingual manipulation. “So…is fucking good?
“It isn’t an unholy word but I find it disgusting. I would thank you dutifully not to toss it around for cuss-words show an uncouth upbringing and God did not instruct us to talk and act as animals.” Said Morth.
“I’m sorry, sir.” Said Barclay, scratching at his facial scars. “I’m a bit itchy, you know….”
“Go to Christina, put a bit of lotion on it. And good shooting, Barclay.”Said Morth.
“Thank you, sir.” Said a proud Barclay. “And as for that hydro-static arc matrix…”
“Do not worry, Barclay. For now, do what you can to smooth this out with Christina and our council. McColl, you can do burial work.” Said Morth.
“Hang on, Barclay got that job, you said!” Said an arguing McColl. “I should talk to…um, Lady Christina and that.”
“You can’t say ‘and that’ to back up your claims. It’s a cowards trick. You should go back to school, try to brush up your communication skills.”
McColl spat a litany of profanity at Barclay, words containing Satan’s-symbol flying in scorn.
“Stop!” Said Morth, roaring in fury.
“I will allow that, McColl on this occasion but if you talk as such again, I will insist on your disbarring from council affairs. Such flagrant disloyalty to God cannot stand, man! Can you call to mind our foundations, our unifying sacrificial bond? As monks, our fold disavows Satan’s-symbol; it is what God wants and insists upon! It is a linch-pin in our faith!” Said Morth to a blushing McColl.
“If you cannot say lawful words, put a gag in your mouth.” Said Barclay, sarcastically. “It might actually suit you, McColl.”
“Barclay!” Said Morth, snapping at his frantic companion. “Stop this and hold hands with McColl.”
Council officials lurking away in shadows stood out to watch McColl and Barclay link palms.
“By God, unity stands within our fold.” Said Morth. “Allow this conflagration to vanish into thin air and work in harmony, my sons.”
“So, big-mouth. do you think you can aid my talking skills, brush-up my…um…..” Said McColl.
“I can build you a good dictionary, show you paraphrasing and linguistic substitutions….and that.” Said a grinning Barclay.
“Good.” Said Morth. “But for now, do as I ask and go about your duty.”
Salvationists, on prompting from Lady Christina stood forth, crying and holding slain kin. McColl got down from Gallows Mount, jumping off its platform and saw to forming a group to start burying. Many would not go, clutching cold torsos and wailing for vindication from God.
“Go down and work with McColl. You can talk to folk calmly, Barclay. Soothing a fraught mood is vital right now. I’ll sort Christina…and that.” Said Morth, sharing a jocular laugh with Barclay and bumping fists in solidarity.
Slowly, Salvation shook off its trappings of mortal consumption
Morth and his council built up a robust farming industry, piping in polar frost from Cambrian mountains and distilling it, using it for drinking and irrigation. Barclay’s proposal for hydro-static rotation of running fluid during its trip from mountain to filtration unit saw fruition and Salvation soon had its light’s back on, familiar sounds of chugging motors floating through town.
Matilda and Morrison, his pigs had sown many young. Morth had brought down his mountain-brood and pig populations had hit a high. Wild corn and oats had grown abundant and milling industry along with baking had sprung up as quickly as McColl’s crops.
Salvation got its first inn, Chairman’s Arms
Cannibalism was soon an outlaw act with all non-conformists thrown out of town limits into misty gulags. Any consumption of human skin within town would carry a similar conviction.
“And as for this town….” Said Morth on a particular day, casting his vision upon a town of industrious motivation. “This town is now Salvation: population, two thousand. Two thousand of God’s solicitors, I’ll warrant. Pray to your Lord, Salvation for all your gifts.”
Salvation did pray, daily at a mighty church built upon Morth’s command, in propitiation of God and His magnanimous ways. Morth’s church could not hold all of Salvation’s faithful and crowds stood without, usually in rain or grim conditions with Morth orating through tannoys on mountings, giving his instruction from comfort and warmth on a studio platform, out of rain and winds..
It did not worry Salvation’s inhabitants so long as God’s word was truthful and food was bountiful. Morth was a captain of industry; his councilors,apt pupils of husbandry, foundry work and pharmacology. Morth’s bold aspirations found fruition, boosting Salvation’s spirits.
Morth’s communist foundations could not stand for long and a coin was brought in, facilitating functions of trading and appraisal. Capitalism had soon outgrown its socialist roots and Morth sat atop a pyramidal point, passing instructions and laws down to his faithful fold.
“God is my instructor and I am yours.” Morth said on occasion, justifying his anomalous laws that had a handful of inhabitants thinking about his sanity. But upon flourishing a fantastic trump-card, usually a card that would draw profit for townsfolk, Morth’s antagonists would calm down and comply. In his insanity, a form of wisdom was found. It was said that Morth was a savant; a man with crazy but fruitful idiosyncrasy, hard to dismiss as lunacy in light of logic.
Institution of Morth’s laws was, at first a good thing, bringing synchronicity and co-ordination to Salvation. Morth’s minting of coins was a stabilizing factor, as was abolishing cannibalism. As things spun on and Salvation had grown to a population of four and a half-thousand again, Morth’s laws slid into obscurity.