The Baker, The Butcher and The Brewer, Part Four – The Bottle 2
(I will open a bracket here to invite you in the very distant future of my characters for a short while. Plus, I will provide an orthodox account on certain celestial activities. Nothing painful.)
Since the beginning of time no one was ever let even a day (day worth of walking) close to the river that served as a natural border between heaven and hell. A day worth of travel on both sides of the river was deserted. Unused priceless real estate. Similar to a demilitarized mine field. South and North Korea’s border rings a bell.
Heaven and hell were firmly separated by timeless law governing those dry lands.
I will leave the past and give you an insight into the future. One hundred years after all the characters of this tale had perished.
I the liquid spirit with a worthy mind lived, taking the shapes of my incarnations and borrowing their minds in search of immortality.
As you can imagine over the span of over two centuries from current times of this narrative massive geopolitical, economical and cultural changes engulfed the world. The strive for unity prevailed. The color purple was in fashion. Global political parties and corporations mended the world into a beehive full of mindless workers controlled by few. You are not going to live to see that so get comfortable and eat your ice cream.
Over the years since creation God and the Devil had lost actual control of their kingdoms to the overly complex bureaucratic structure run by chancellery of angels and demons, that were delegated the actual power. The managing of the existing, plus ever pouring (by the second) number of souls in both entities created a lag, a clutter. That required immense planning ahead and a business touch.
Magic didn’t work, they needed lawyers and accountants.
An unprecedented capital decision was taken to merge both operations into one economical and jurisdictional entity.
The reasons presented were consolidating executive teams, cutting cost, offsetting capital losses and such.
In the good years they had build immense amounts of swings tied up to dreamy clouds, anticipating a surge of entries in heaven. But! They overbuilt. Several wars in the twentieth century on Earth painted generation after generation as pessimist sinners.
After the merge they revamped the swings into all sorts torture devises. Mostly dildo-guillotines, naturally. Budget was on its way to balance and God could build himself a new wine cellar. How do I know he has a wine cellar! Every time there was thunderstorm the master distiller that made me said that God was rolling his empty wine barrels readying them for the new harvest. He had a long beard so I believe him.
The new management kept a close eye on the best corporate cultures on Earth. They introduced an entertainment program for clerical angels and demons, which proved to increase their (on duty) productivity by eight percent.
It consisted of one-hour slots curated by God or the Devil, or both. They arranged special public appearances in the form of treats or punishments. They put together highly achieved, decorated, famous, genius or extraordinary people from different generations together. A sort of reality theatre. They had these individuals collide, chat, torture each other. Those events were creatively directed and highly entertaining.
One of these creative treats, later regarded as a master piece of production. Mostly accredited to the Devil for his subtle direction and creative choices bound to historical events. Was putting together the Baker, the Butcher and Brewer.
They were dead for over one hundred years and all three resided in hell. They were transported to the riverbank away from the populace. The location earned the Devil praises for art direction.
The royalty of the chancellery was seated on the surrounding clouds. The rest could watch the happening reflected on every cloud in heaven and hell.
The Baker was sitting on the bank, one leg in the water. The Butcher was strolling about casually. The Brewer was sitting on the green grass shirtless.
Strangely the Butcher wore a three-piece suit when everyone else (all residents) wore badge linen pajamas. It was rumored that he bribed the ruling chancellor with prostitute stories.
‘We are on the clock fellas! I will start. Why did you kill yourself?’ The Butcher stopped an inch from the Baker and looked down on him.
‘To better my parents.’ He uttered.
‘To better your parents! How unselfish! You killed yourself out of unselfishness, altruism, self-denying. You artist are all the same.’ Contemplated the Butcher.
‘I can see now that selfishness is a tool to survive. I wasn’t selfish enough and I got caught up in it. Too late!’ Responded the Brewer.
‘Even the saints across the river are selfish. They need a constant feed of praises, halleluiahs and humble eyes.’ Furthered the matter the Butcher.
previous chapter: The Baker, The Butcher and The Brewer – The Bottle 1
first chapter: The Baker, The Butcher and The Brewer – The Baker 1
all chapters: The Baker, The Butcher and The Brewer
more by PETER ODEON
photograph by Bhaveysh Acharya