Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Asael XI

This is part of my ongoing novel. Think of it as Killer Angels taking place in a musket and magic fantasy world with characters that combine the religious sensibilities of American revivalism with Beowulf-like blood feuds. All this while engaging in Talmudic style dialectics. “Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition” is about to take on a whole new meaning.

Introduction, A Note from the Author, Prologue, I, II, III,IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X

“Prayer!” barked Serariah. “There is a gun being pointed at this family and you pray to be worthy of direct divine interference in your life. And how are we to be worthy that God almighty stop bullets in mid-air? By turning our backs against those who have helped us?”

“What about not turning your back on God; what about paying what you owe him?”

“I do not know how to pay my debts to God. Let me at least walk away from this earth having paid my human debts. And,” said Serariah grinning, “yes I do intend to deal with Sion.” And with that Serariah stood up and headed toward the door.

Asael motioned to Sion to return the cylinder back into the pipe. She had just finished the task when they heard the door open and their father walk outside. Sion ran over to her father and gave him a leaping hug that cut him around his calf, staining his suit with grease. Asael winced at the effort it would take get the stain out, but his father seemed oblivious to that.

“Where is my little girl?” Serariah called out.

Sion giggled as she swung behind him before dashing off toward the basket. She picked up Shunra and thrust her out toward her father with both hands. “This is Kitty Stew Shunra.”

“I see,” said Serariah. He turned to Asael. “You have an interested sense of humor, but why do you encourage her?”

Asael lifted his hands. “I am completely not responsible for this. Why is it that Sion can be Sion and I get blamed?”

Sion stuck her tongue at Asael. “Can we keep her?” said Sion, dropping Shunra into Serariah’s lap. Serariah gently cradled the cat in his arm. “Sion, you should have asked Ima or me first.”

“But Ima gets to have a baby. I want one too.”

Asael could barely stifle a giggle as he waited for his father to respond. Serariah’s eyes fell on Shunra and his stern expression suddenly changed to one of curiosity. He began to turn Shunra in different directions as he examined it. “Where there other one’s like this in the litter?”

“What is a litter?” asked Sion.

“Were Shunra’s brothers and sisters like her; did they have stripes and ears like hers?” explained Serariah.

“Nope! Kitty Stew looks nothing like her brothers, her sisters or even her Ima. Ya’qirq called her a devil cat and wanted to drown her. So I just had to take it.”

“Qirqisani is a very superstitious man, who trusts in signs passed along from old women more than in God’s law.”

Serariah handed Shunra back to Sion, smiled at her and kissed her on the forehead before heading back into the house. Not believing his eyes, Asael followed several seconds later. He opened the door when he heard his mother exclaim. “No we are not keeping that cat. Can you even stand up to a four year old? You spoil that girl.”

“It is an interesting specimen and therefore a matter of Natural Philosophy to study. You have no need to be concerned, the cat will stay outdoors. ”

Sion had followed behind Asael and upon hearing her father she whooped with joy, tossing Shunra a foot in the air. “I get kitty, I get kitty,” she sang.

Serariah turned to his wife. “With Sion at the helm it should not survive more than a few weeks.”
“And are you prepared to deal with Sion when she kills that thing?” Sion caught Shunra. “I could never kill Kitty Stew; I love Kitty Stew.”

Asael spent most of what remained of the day light hours putting together a shelter for Shunra. Later that night, Asael turned in to bed to find that Sion was still awake despite it being two hours past her bedtime. She was stroking Shunra in the crook of her arm. “Are you insane?” hissed Asael. “Do you have any idea what Ima will do to you if she finds this? And I am not going to save you.”

Sion looked up from Shunra. “It is not my fault. Kitty Stew climbed up the tree to the window so I just had to let her in.”

“That’s impossible!”

“Na oh! Kitty Stew is a special kitty.”

“Not special enough to violate the principles of nature.”

Sion’s eyes began to well up. Asael shrugged his shoulders. “Look Sion. I like Shunra too. So if we get caught I’ll take responsibility. We are in this together alright.” He made a fist and bumped it against Sion’s. Sion lay back down and Asael sat down by the desk in the room and opened the copy of the Oraitha that Colonel Kochba had given him that afternoon. He looked at the glossy cover page. Eying the image of the triumphant martyrs blowing their horns, he took out a pen and, dipping it into the inkwell, wrote his name at the top of the page, “Asael bar Serariah.” Like all Khazars he had a secondary name, which was usually a father or important ancestor. Many Khazars now professed last names. It was a sign of being modern. Asael usually went by his last name, Dolstoy, but for something like the Oraitha it seemed more befitting to use his secondary name. When the final judgment came they would probably call him by his secondary name and it would be useful to have it written down in his Oraitha so he could show who he was. With that Asael blow out his lantern and went to bed. He was about to fall asleep in the dark when he heard Sion call out: “Why do Abba and Ima always fight?”

“Huh?”

“Abba and Ima love each other right, but Abba always is yelling at Ima and Ima is always angry at Abba.”Asael let out a laugh. “Abba and Ima fight because they love each other. Abba yells at everyone.”

“He doesn’t yell at me.”

“Well you are special.”

“Abba loves to argue; it is a sign of respect for him. Ima loves the fact that Abba respects her enough to argue with her.”

“Abba and Ima are weird.”

“Look Sion. Remember that time six months ago when Ima threw a clay pot at Abba because he punched out the beadle when he tried to close her meeting.”

“Yeah they argued for hours.”

“Then they disappeared into their room for two days straight and did not even come out to make us dinner so I had to cook for you.”

Sion shook her head gleefully. “Your food was ichy so we went to live at Aunty Ziklag’s until Abba and Ima decided they loved us again.”

“And,” said Asael, “now Ima is pregnant and we are going to have another brother or sister.”
What does that have to do with anything?”

“Do you know how you were born? Abba enrolled me in a school that had Nephian teachers. Ima said that she did not bring me into this world to let me become a heretic and I got to Aunt Ziklag’s before things got ugly.”

“So,” said Sion, putting things together with her highly practiced four year rationalism. “Abba and Ima like to fight because it makes them have babies.”

“Yes!” Asael shook his head, not willing to leave of the chance to pass a fib off on his sister. “It has something to do with the air. When Abbas and Imas fight it sets off currents of hot and cold air, which fuse together creating earth. This in turn is mixed with the spirit energy given off by particularly intense arguments, creating the necessary ingredients for a baby. It is simple natural law at work.”

“But if that is true than other people’s Imas and Abbas should argue too. My friend Ashti has six kids in her family and her Ima and Abba never argue.”

“Good night Sion!”

2 comments:

The Bray of Fundie said...

I think I need to A. familiarize myself withthe genres and read the earlier installments. Hard to khop what's going on in mitten derinen

Interesting coincidnec but my post for tomorrow (going up 12:45 AM EST) involves malakhei khavala as well.

Izgad said...

So you have picked up on the fallen angel theme. We already have in the beginning an enforcer malach with a flaming sword. If I were God and wanted to send someone to do some smiting this is who I would send.