Thursday, September 07, 2006

New Beginning 104


Religions Unlimited


When I saw that both the Family of Odin HighFather and the Blood Sisters of Boadicca would be canvassing my neighborhood the following Thursday, I realized that it was high time to take a vacation. There's something about a religious turf war that can ruin your week.

Not that I could complain really. That was the price of living here: the rent was cheap, sure, but not only was every fringe belief able to live and practice there free from persecution, they were also welcome to recruit their neighbors. After three years of living here, I'm not sure what bothers me more. True, the Hare Nixons down the street were kind of creepy and it's hard to get used to the incessant chanting. But compared with the pamphleteering and low level gang violence outside, I'd just as soon deal with someone's pet spread out in a blood eagle than listen to yet another impassioned sermon about the One True Faith out of (as of the last census) Two Hundred Fourteen Thousand Nine Hundred and Five Probable Faiths.

Or maybe that's just me.

Anyway, what with my hourly confessions for free communion wine at the Church of Occam, and meditating in the sacred smoke from the Cult of Eternal Whoa's bale-fire, I forgot to leave town Wednesday. The Family of Odin showed up with their axes gleaming, just as the Blood Sisters of Boadicca were down the hall with their gut-buckets. Between the two, I was sure to be converted by noon, either to a religion or to recruiting-juice.

I stood in my doorway wishing I had a god to call on to get me out of this mess, listening to a rat gnawing in the wall behind me. And salvation came.

I turned, bowed to the wall, and intoned loudly, "O small-but-mighty god who saves me from blacklung by eating the asbestos insulation that surrounds me, keep me strong against the blows of axes and the draining of blood, that I might lean on your strength forever."

That got their attention. "Lean on a wall?" said an Odin-HighFather. "No swinging axes?"

"No bleedin' folks dry?" asked a woad-painted Blood sister. "Just lean? I could do that."

By nightfall, the hall was so full I couldn't get out to make my false confession. And my throat was so dry from all the intoning, I decided that next Thursday, I was going to start a cult in which people brought me kegs.


Continuation: J.E. Barnard

21 comments:

Cathy said...

I am unable to judge whether this is well written or not. I kept stumbling over everything, thinking "what's that?" "Is there such a thing?" "Blood eagle?" Huh, huh, huh?

The continuation is great and the last sentence should be the first!

Beth said...

Cathy, you are so right. Love that last sentence.

Blood-eagling is a nasty Viking rite that you probably don't want to know about it.

I like the humorous tone, but it seemed just a tad overdone. Too many concepts flying at me too fast. I was a bit itchy for the actual story to get going.

Bernita said...

The Blood Eagle was usually applied to people.
Pets are too small.

whitemouse said...

I thought both the beginning and the continuation were great.

This book would be right up my alley, I think. It sounds irreverent and humourous, and probably has a pretty interesting world invented for it.

I'd read on. I'd be even more delighted to read on if the beginning and the continuation authors were collaborating on the novel.

Bernita said...

I liked it and did not feel I was being fed too much, too fast.
The sort of thing that makes one want to sit down and see how all the references turn out.

Dave said...

It's so delightfully bizzare that it just might work.

The trouble with satire and humor this broad is maintaining it through the length of the novel and weaving it through the plot.

I just finished Company, A Novel, Max Barry and liked it because I did ISO !4000, 9000, TQM and other management systems that it skewered, but it didn't carry through to a climax (and yes, I mean that word and its conotations). But that didn't stop it from being enjoyable.

THe murder mystery The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse, Robert Rankin ended out of character but was lots of fun anyway.

So even a partially funny and satiric novel would work.

Gerri said...

I'd buy this book.

In the end, that's all the author needs to know.

Anonymous said...

If you can keep the humor going, it will be a good read. I like the continuation as much if not more. -JTC

magz said...

Kudos to both authors! Bet this one was fun to write, huh.
I loved it! I'm with Gerri, I'd buy this.
I'd even even consider joing the Cult of the AngstRidden Authors just to hand it out to the unenlightened as a pamphlet heheheee.

born_liar said...

The author has clearly been to my neighborhood.

I liked this a lot --it's got a lovely mix of humorous and intriguing -- and I'd definitely keep reading.

bunnygirl said...

I was going to submit a continuation involving obsidian blades and chocolate, but got caught up in my devotions to Bastet and my as yet futile attempts to appease some very angry computer gods.

Oh well.

I'd read on. This book sounds like fun!

Word Verification: dglcgu

Here's hoping its the name of missing file on my latest WinXP installation.

December Quinn said...

I really liked this! I'd totally keep reading.

Rei said...

I liked it all except:

I'd just as soon deal with someone's pet spread out in a blood eagle

I'd never heard that term in my life before. Seems I'm not the only one.

Also, isn't it more commonly "Boadicea", not "Boadicca"? Google seems to think so.

Midwife said...

This is probably due to me just being me, but I would need some kind of reference in the next few paragraphs about where and when we are. At first I thought it was a historical fanstasy and then I thought it must be set in the current era.

But then, I am easily confused.

Naomi said...

I loved the opening and the continuation. I'd read on from here.

Dan Lewis said...

I like it. Although the second paragraph needs some clarity, it's interesting. (It's difficult to tell the referent of "I'm not sure what bothers me more", it's difficult to understand the construction "I'd just as soon deal with someone's pet spread out in a blood eagle than listen..." it's difficult to tease apart the "tolerant" neighborhood and the "outside" and locate the boundary between them.)

As Stephen King says somewhere, many stylistic faults will be forgiven in the name of an interesting premise and a good story. Make sure the story and world are not obfuscated by the style and you'll be good to go. For me at least, Tolerance City, or whatever it's called (might be nice to give it a name), is a very intriguing backdrop for a story.

I would read on, but the longer I went, the less I would tolerate the problems with the language.

~Nancy said...

got caught up in my devotions to Bastet

Wait - you're bunnygirl, not catgirl. Why would Bastet give a rat's whats-is about bunnies? ;-)

Good start, very humorous. I'd give it a whirl.

~JerseyGirl

writtenwyrdd said...

Loved that continuation. I totally eclipsed the original section. Sounded like Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser. I loved those books, now I have to go reread them...

I read blood eagle and went Ulp cuz I knew what it was. Maybe a bit of description for the less bloody-minded?

I assume this is to be humorous, and I would probably read on. The beginning is a trifle dense with new terms and ideas, though. I'm not saying cut things, but do bear it in mind as you revise.

McKoala said...

I'd keep reading. It's nicely written, although I don't have clue where it's going.

And I have no idea what a blood eagle is, but it doesn't sound good.

Megan said...

Also, isn't it more commonly "Boadicea", not "Boadicca"? Google seems to think so.

Google actually favors "Boudicca." "Boadicea" is the Latinized version we get from Tacitus. Never heard the author's version before...

Virginia Miss said...

Hare Nixons requires a beverage alert. I love the concept of a religious turf war!