The River of Life

I have tweeted how this year I intend on publishing my short stories on a new blog along with my poems and hymns. Here I present my first short story of my battle with mental illness in a fictional account.

Part I

Merryfield awoke late for him. Five o’clock by his timepiece. The larks were already sounding their song. He got up and went into the Holy Place – his lounge – for the waking cigarettes and cups of tea. First couple of rollies in silence, then the Mac would go on to play suitable tunes.

Two cups of tea; several cigarettes; a few tunes: Toby Mac, Elements; Shai Linne, Doxology; Paul Wilbur, Praise Adonai; and Rebecca St. James, One and Universe. Then prayer. He prayed his most selfish prayer to date, for his spiritual wife was due to be engaged this day with a man who purported to be a Christian yet at this time she was still married to her third husband.

Merryfield justified his own position: she had been brutalised by her former and present husband, as had her five children. One had possibly been stillborn because of the abuse. She had had to leave. Why did he then covet her? Because. Because love. Because mercy. Because grace and, he hoped against hope, because truth. She needed a steady hand, her sons and daughter needed a good role model as father, they all needed comfort and good Christian teaching. Was he a hypocrite? No, for he had no sexual desire; even kissing was forbidden between them because he was a eunuch by choice. This other man? A so-called Christian who intended on fulfilling his sexual desire with seeds planted whilst she was still married. A very different kettle of fish.

He prayed:

“Heavenly Father, prevent this engagement. Stop any marriage of my spiritual wife with any man other than myself. I know this is a selfish prayer. I pray in Jesus Name. I know you hear my prayers. I know you will answer this one. I know that I have just denied my wife her greatest desire, yet it is a sinful desire and so I pray this selfish prayer to you.”

The Sun was now starting to rise. The false dawn, as the sailors call it, was showing. A little bit of respect to the letting agents; the next cigarette must be outside. He made his coffee. Two cups of tea then an instant coffee; full wakefulness would have been achieved by then, especially with the dawn coming and the Daybreak to occur. A Sabbath day, time for a rest, if that transpired to be at all possible.

He had been promised his rest, yet he knew that would come at the Final Trump, not before. He had his work cut out. Personal battles with demons, spreading the Gospel, watering the seed he had sown, nurturing and cherishing his wife and her children, providing for himself and them through his allotment and writings and art. Then the housework. A woman’s work is never done! He wasn’t a woman, but his wife had enough to cope with than to be troubled by his housework and he could only afford the cleaner for his elderly Nan. No, as well as the other work he had to be his own helpmeet, too.

Mourning took hold. “Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” He lied to himself. No sexual desire, my hat! It was why he desired a wife. It was why he could not have one. Yet never did the lust depart, and so he bent the rules and as a committed celibate he took an adulteress to wife. He took her daughter and called her his daughter. The scent of her menstruation aroused him yet he knew his vow of celibacy was firm for he had been tested. This was an holy eroticism, never to be fulfilled yet always present when he thought of his wife and damsel.

He thought of his cricket-loving cousins, partial Irish by decent. Better to bowl a maiden over than hit a triple six in a batting. He really was a naughty, naughty boy. No getting around that one. But Lilith his first wife was gone into the outer darkness now.

Joy returned. The battle was in darkness for the succubus. Yet the joy of Zion and the peace of Jerusalem was paramount. Yet not all had ascended and one was needed. He sent the call. And that one dwelt in the belly of the Beast. Babylon will fall. She must.

Frankie. That dog with the devil in him, as Mum always said when he ran around wildly. Welby was his first suggestion, then Francis of Assisi. But no, Mum chose Frankie. Did his Mum really return from death to speak to him? Ask of him a request to save her loved ones? Who could be sure? But despite the chemicals and excessive alcohol he had told that voice in his head that he would do his utmost. He must descend to the dead now. Yet those who are Christ’s shall never die. “A weeping heard in Ramah! Rachel weeping for her children, for they were no more!”

Part II

“How?” asked Diana. “How else?,” answered the bearded man she now regarded as teacher, “Mind control? Brainwashing? Propaganda? Mass media? Advertising?”
“You speak as if you doubt those?” queried Diana with a slight smile illuminating her face. Beardy looked upon her. A puzzlement? A possibility? A sudden dawning of a way forward? He could be unsure of the signal. Diana herself puzzled at the Beardy One spending so much time studying her mouth.
“No, not doubt. All of those are real and are already in play.” The Beardy One smiled and even grinned. “But Truth shall prevail! Hurrah! Hurrah! Three cheers to the Wise Men! Hurrah!” Diana felt uncomfortable.
“Continue,” she said matter of factly. “Continue I shall, but another time. Other people require my attention and my span is short.” He arose from his cross-legged position by the tree and walked off. Diana called after him. He turned. “You are indeed a Queen of Hearts,” he smiled again, “but there are fifty-two cards in a deck and I cannot spend all day with only one.”

Merryfield walked far that day. Yes, he had told the lady the truth, but he was also being true in that his span was short. He couldn’t talk with people all day. At times he needed retreat. Soon the stars would be out with the moon which strikes. A poor show for one who once worshipped the Queen of Heaven. A poor show. It would not do and so he stopped at the local Co-operative store for some tonic water; a good antidote. Plus the tobacco, of course, for the spiritual warfare.

He approached the local park and the memories kicked into play. Shock, pain, tears, emotional outbursts. Drink and poppers had had that effect on him in days past. Here, in the Gardens. With Eminem in his ears. Foul-mouthed Illuminati male whore, as he knew full well now. He would battle Marshal, that false prophet who had deceived a whole generation. He would use DISL. The other who see through the charade of Slim Shady and his alter egos. Maybe Shai Linne also, for Biblical balance. The tablet from Magog would come in useful once more.

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