The Reluctant Sacrifice

Chaplain: “This poor man has been battered by violent winds, sharp daggers of sound, pitch perfect, piercing and fearsome”.

Priest: “But he is protected is he not? Do not his vestments provide shelter? Do not his long coat and heavy boots provide a sanctuary for his weary feet and broad frame?”

Chaplain: “No, for his mangy coat flutters against the weather’s fury, his trousers welt and thread and tatter, and the rain drops press against the poor man’s flesh as a thousand needles”.

Priest: “All this pricking and prodding, yet is not his belly fat and his wallet plump? For his needs may be few, and his manner of thrift”.

Chaplain: “Perhaps, if frugality were not betrayed by his gaunt, haggard face, and sunken eyes, eyes which appear to swell and balloon from their very sockets. And that frown, forming the deep furrow in the leather-like crease of his skin”.

Clergyman: “As for his wealth, he clenches each and every copper coin as they rub against each and every callus in his outstretched palm. Have you ever seen a man shiver and struggle so? Indeed, in his empty stomach lies great echoes, a quartet of sickly chords and coughs heard through his crooked teeth”

Priest: “Yet his fate is set and cast, and may the winds give him lift, may the Gods give him grace and may the sinners provide charity. For I am not his keeper, nor you his saint”

And so the priest and his chaplain gathered their offerings, placed them upon the altar and prayed to the Gods for the orphans, the homeless, the hopeless and the heartless.

Meanwhile, my sweat boiled and my cheeks burst, and I chocked and puked under the strain, the strains of a burdened life not worth living. An overripe soul which burst forth from its skin, overexposed, despoiled, rotting, inflamed with death.

And with my final breath I prayed, “May the Gods bless their apathy so that their stomachs swell and be soured whilst they serve in their svelte satin gowns. May they be adorned with 12 types of precious stone and beaten bronze that reflect their audacity! May their incense be repugnant and odious! And may my flesh and blood be a worthy sacrifice!”


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