Thursday, May 2, 2019

Microstory 1094: Julius

If it makes you feel any better, I don’t like this any more than you do. I’m not as unfeeling as Clyde, or as twisted as Nannie. I’m just trying to make my life better, and unfortunately, that means yours has to end. When Homer first approached me with his offer, I...well, I just didn’t believe him. But when he showed me what I could do, I still turned him down. I’m not a bad person, Alma, I promise you. I know these chains don’t make it look like that’s true, and I understand there’s no way you and I could ever be friends, but we’re all just doing our best here. Homer explained to me that the universe only exists through balance. There is no way for everyone in the world to be happy; it just doesn’t happen like that. Everyone’s fine with corporate executives firing their minions left and right. They’re fine with protected presidents sending poor soldiers to die in an unjust war. But they get all up in arms when we make a human sacrifice or two. Can you tell me, what exactly is the difference? In all three scenarios, people die, so why is it so much worse what we’re doing? I’ll tell you why, because we and Homer aren’t part of an institution. You’re only allowed to hurt people if you’ve gathered enough others who want to hurt people. Isn’t that sickening? We’re killing two people, while world leaders regularly kill by the thousands, but somehow, we’re the monsters. Priorities, am I right? Well, I’ve been through enough, and I’m not going to take it anymore. This town may accept me as the token gay jock, even though I’m definitely not the only one, but it hasn’t always been like that. I had to learn to filter out a lot of hate when I was a kid, growing up in the deep south. I’m one of those gays who can’t contain it, even if I tried—my mom knew who I was before I even did—so I had a huge target on my back before we moved up here. The only thing that kept me alive was football. You might think my opponents would be too homophobic to even touch me, but they were always itching to knock me down. They underestimated me, though, because I hit them back, and I hit them harder.

We’re not going to sit back and let people come after us anymore, and we’re not going to be silenced. I’m sorry you won’t be around to see it, but Homer is building a better world, with more logical rules. He’s recruited some terrible people to help him, and I probably shouldn’t be telling you this, but they won’t be around to see it either. I think we can all agree that there is something seriously wrong with this world, and if our species is going to survive, something has to change. The process is not going to be easy, and it’s not going to be pretty, but it starts today, and I wish you could be proud of what you’re a part of. It’s my job to explain what we’re going to be doing to you, and the first thing you should know is that each one of us went through the same thing...except that your ritual ends differently. First, we have to submerge you in water, and hold you there until but one air bubble remains clinging to your nostril. Then we pull you out, revive you, if we have to, and lather you with mud. We’ll set you on the ground next to a campfire. If you’re up for it, you can be sitting, like Maud was, or you can be lying down, like Gertrude. Homer will then use his wind magic to blow the fire towards your bodies, until the mud hardens. After a little bit of chanting, which I suspect isn’t truly necessary for the ordeal, you will reëmerge from your cocoon a new person. This is where things change from the rituals we experienced. One of us will be chosen to kill you, while another will be chosen to carry out the second sacrifice. We don’t know who that’s going to be yet, but I will almost certainly be chosen. Wanda and Della were chosen last time, while Clyde and Sidney were responsible for protecting the sacred grounds. The girls hesitated, which gave Viola the opportunity to interfere with the ritual. The guys got distracted in an argument, and were unable to stop her. Nannie and I will probably have to wield the holy blades, while Homer takes matters into his own hands, and prevents any Viola-like magician from stopping us this time. Like I was saying, I get that none of this is going to make sense to you, but things are going to get better. If ghosts exists, which it seems like maybe they do, perhaps you’ll even be able to watch humanity’s magnificent transformation from the other side. Hell, we still don’t know what all of Homer’s powers are, so he might even be able to bring you back. Oh, we should stop talking. Wanda’s here with the second sacrifice. I believe that you and Ralph have become friends, right?

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