As July is coming to a rapid, hot as hell close, I thought, hey, why not one of the Beastface Bay tales to tide my lovely readers over until I snorgle out some all-over-the-place political rant on bagel dogs, slipper socks and houseplants, culminating in a last paragraph that attempts to promote something or other…ahem.
The following is not, I repeat, not an actual interview with a giant squid. I feel in these current climes of EVERYTHING IS FAKE NEWS ONLY I HAVE THE TRUTH WAH that I truly do need to state that, no, I did not, somehow, obtain an interview with a giant ex-pet of one Jesus. H. Christ. [H stands for Horsefly. I kid. I kid!] It’s just a fun little piece I wrote for this project I started a couple months ago. It’s a mixture of Faulkner, Twain, Euripides, Proust, and Stephanie Meyer. With a pinch of Louis L’Amour and a snip of V.C Andrews and a suggestion of Dickens. Also, some Thurber, and those people who write Positive Slogans for a living. Those people. Okay. I’ve hemmed and hawed enough. Here ya go!!
INTERVIEW WITH FURBO D’FURR
The following is taken from an interview with the author of Truth’s Rainbow. I have omitted the interview formatting, and if you like, you can read this in its novel-length entirety in the Obscure Writer’s Annual Review, back issue VII. “Furbo” is a squid, and one of the ex-pets of Jesus. She learned to talk but hid it, instead choosing to shout out ‘vengeance’ with the other squids. Bess, name protected to protect her from detection and lawsuits and smitings, dictated her story to a sympathetic aquarium worker, who then turned that into a novela, which, unfortunately, has not been selling that well. This squid prefers Bess to Furbo. She is also planning a graphic novel about zombie vampire squids who have to defend their underwater castle from attacking shape-changing whales. I have high hopes this new venture will take off. Having read the first few chapters, it looks like a blockbuster winner of epic proportions.
Jesus grew tired of us. That’s why Henny escaped and wreaked havoc there in Beastface Bay. If Jesus had cared at all, still, for us, Henny wouldn’t have gotten anywhere.
After all, we lived in giant, all-comforts-provided pools. We had everything we could want. The best sea water, the best food, the best squid toys, like giant shells, floating kelp bundles and sailors to drown. They were not real sailors; they were animated by Jesus to fight us. Rather like a youngling’s toy, if you put those, um, batteries in it and it moves and acts real, something like that. Jesus, like so many, just grew weary of caring for pets. We’re a lot of work, we take up a lot of space, we’re constantly breaking things. That is the nature of pets. He tried to teach us all to talk, but only I learned. At least, I think it’s just me that picked up learning more than one word to parrot back. Sometimes I think all the others are disguising that they, too, can talk. It’s a sort of defense mechanism. If we’re perceived as stupid, no one much expects much from us. Also, we know quite a bit about Jesus and heaven and all that. Which is rather dangerous. No one would want to believe in Jesus anymore. As he’s rather awful and petty and small-minded. It might just be because he’s rather old and has lived too many years watching all of us. I mean, all who are in his jurisdiction.
Heaven? Oh that. Well, if everyone knew about it, they’d go elsewhere for service.
Well, it’s boring, for one. An eternity spent twiddling your tentacles. Well, thumbs or paws or whatever you possess at the end of your extremities. There’s nothing to do. You can walk around and look at the gardens, but you can’t work in those gardens or even go into them to enjoy them. You can look but you can’t touch, yes, exactly! Oh there’s the mansion of Jesus, but again, he doesn’t like to share his stuff. Or let anyone near his stuff. Since you’re dead, you don’t really need a house or even a bed; you won’t get a house or anything. You just wander about on the paths. Trying not to anger Jesus. There’s lots of signs put up, telling you what not to do or what you can do. Mostly you’ll just sit in the little designated areas and stare at the gardens you can’t enter for fear you’ll ruin them. Jesus has them all just as he wants them; he has no wish to garden further.
Jesus does not think of others, despite the propaganda. Sorry, the writings about him. He rolls his eyes at those writings, a lot, but does nothing to edit them. They serve their purpose, he gets praised, and he gets traffic past the Gate. Oh, that’s the name of the point of no return. Once you pass by the Gate, you can’t go back again. There’s like a force field there. A barrier. Many have tried, once they find out how boring and tedious heaven is. That you only get porridge to eat and tap water to drink. Porridge without cream, sugar, honey, berries, bananas, salt, boiled eggs; nothing is added to that porridge because Jesus likes plain porridge and so, apparently, does the rest of everyone in heaven. If Jesus likes something, everyone likes it. If Jesus hates something, then everyone hates it. He has no concept that others think or do differently than he does. Of course, he is an eternal deity and they are rare, few and far between.
Well, yes, you do eat in heaven. You might not sleep but you do need to eat. Nobody ever asked Jesus about that, as he’s a bit prickly. Or they did and he sent them away. He doesn’t like questions. He likes praise or just silence so he can talk.
Yes, there are other deities out there, to get back to that; they’re busy amusing themselves or napping to pass the time. They’ve worked out the boundaries out there and once in a while they all get together to have something like a party. A reunion? Ah, yes, yes, a reunion. They brag to each other, they talk about how hard it is to be a deity in today’s modern world, they stage contests like who can stand on one leg the longest. That is, if that deity has legs of some kind. Some don’t.
So yes, Jesus took us all in. We’re all from the same batch of eggs. I guess that does make us all brothers and sisters. Jesus had us all neutered, so none of that matters. He’s a responsible ex-pet owner. I’ll give him that. Oh it was painless. We were all put to sleep for a bit and woke mostly totally uninterested in all that reproductive business. Totally fine with me. It’s not like we need more monstrously big scarlet squids in the world or out of it. We’re monsters. Look at me! I’m a gigantic scary mess. Learning to talk brought a certain self-awareness, yes. Yes, I think that’s accurate. I’m very aware when others look at me and make faces and scream and then throw things like harpoons and bullets and missiles. It’s not a nice feeling when you’re so feared and hated on sight. It’s just not nice at all.
So, on the day Henny escaped, we all watched. Henny surged over the top of his tank and then pulled himself toward the Gate. Now, our tanks used to be right by the Gate. Henny and the others continued to feel, well, amorous, even though they couldn’t make any more little squids, so to speak. I found that I did not. But I also think the other squids were horrifically bored and it was something to do. I was busy teaching myself to talk and think, so I didn’t have to fall back on, um, other activities. A teacher worked with me, by the name of Carla Fay. She was quite patient and it passed the time for her, as well. Jesus, to my knowledge, didn’t know about Carla Fay coming to see me. Or if he did, he found nothing wrong in it or Carla Fay would have found herself in quite another place.
Oh yes, there is a hell. Jesus dug a pit and lined it with pulsing slug skin and lined the floor with dust bunnies. Always moving dust bunnies so that anyone sent there couldn’t sit down or find any rest but had to keep moving about, in the dark, trying not to touch the wall or stand for too long on any given dust bunny, as they tend to bite if stood on too long. Jesus sends those there he takes issue with, but only if they break too many of his rules while wandering about his heaven or if they just annoy him. It doesn’t matter what you do while you’re alive. You’d have to really catch Jesus’ attention, as in be a dictator out to beat the records of all other dictators for being truly awful. Then, Jesus would feel obliged to just put you in his hell pit. Without letting you wander about not touching any of his stuff or getting in his face or asking questions for a while or a long time or almost no time at all.
There were sixteen squid. But one, Stovetop, pissed off Jesus one time. Stovetop tried to, um, get friendly with Jesus. Jesus peeled poor, in love, Stovetop off himself and popped him in that pit. Stovetop is still there, as far as I know. So, not only would you have to contend with slug walls and a dust bunny floor but you’d have to contend with a lonely, confused, sorrowful squid who perhaps never understood exactly what he did wrong.
Ghosts, yes. Ghosts are very real. When someone dies suddenly or violently or just dies in general, one can become a ghost if one chooses. You can go right through the Gates or the Narrows or the Chasm of Chomping Fangs, whatever that point of no return is called in your area. But once through, and the deities are all in accord here, you cannot step back through and go back to where the living live. Now, as a ghost, you won’t be able to do much more than make yourself visible to the living. You can talk to the living, of course. You can spy on them, as you can keep yourself invisible at will. At least you’ll be entertained, for a while, wandering about among the living. A ghost is transparent. That’s the way you tell them from the living. You can see right through them. They also tend to float. They float about unless they purposely anchor themselves downward. They can’t touch anything or anyone. They have thoughts and feelings and get sad or bored or happy, just like when alive. They don’t have to eat or sleep or anything else, though once you pass by the Gates, you do have to eat a bit. Again, trying to ask Jesus why that rule is in place will get you a trip to that pit of slug walls and dust bunny floor. The real rule with Jesus is not to question anything he does. Ever. Act like another of his ex-squid pets is my best advice.