the boy and the man never leave the red cross's side, eating all their meals by the lip of the entrance of the cave. the man continues crying.
man: boy, this symbol is everything. it will guide us to our next step. or perhaps it is the next step.
boy: you are right, man, but i'm afraid i'm all cried out. i feel this means i do not care as much as you.
man: do not sell yourself short, brother. but perhaps this is an indication you need to sleep now.
boy: yes, sleep now...but i'm not tired.
man: we are all tired. sleeping is good for another thing, have you noticed?
boy: i return to the stars. for a brief moment. i see you there. but then i forget.
man: i see you there, too. that smiles my face. will you watch worship while i gather?
boy: i'd like for you to hunt this time. we are both weak.
man: same. we need our protein. but at the same time i'd rather not fashion a weapon. i can't see myself to killing an animal, another breathing living soul of the stars.
boy: me, neither. but this is a moral dilemma that seems unwinnable. we need to eat to live and they need to live to eat.
man: the red cross is our shape, it tells us to protect. i'll have to compromise when the situation arises.
boy: all this eating business is quite the hassle. it pains my neck.
the man jumps down and lands on a soft bush. he circles around to an area he has never explored before. for the first time in ever he notices another rustle in the trees. it has been unusually cold. with no wind. a grey mass stumbles through the branches of the red elm tree, negotiating the pitfalls of being a monkey, then bellyflops on the savannah ferns in a pratfall. it seems to be more scared of that than locking eyes with the man, who is taken aback and takes a step back.
man: living thing i presume?
the grey animal turns its head and sniffs the man. it extends his arms, meaning the man's arms, with its arms. it licks the man's elbows up and down and opens its mouth to utter something, but closes its eyes and shakes its head as if the grey beast realizes the futility of communication.
man: i don't want to hurt you, i want to eat you.
with a battle cry the man suddenly jumps on the animal's skinny back. the animal's shoulders flop in the wind as on instinct it flees with the pace of a bat on fire. the man is able to hang on but just for a short while on this trip into the unknown, at least from the man's perspective. he is kicked in the balls, the leaf covering his balls is not much of a shield. the man dismounts in pain and his head hits the hard dirt, opening his eyes one last time and taking in one last breath of the damp air to see the creature scamper away.
man: ouch. glad i got off that bus. i swear the legs that kicked me weren't the animal's. those 'twere a pair what that belonged to another. like the animal has a twin.
the man sleeps for a while then resumes his duties. he sets foot in an area he has never been and returns home.
the boy, waiting with his hair wet, inhales a large breath of the damp indoor cave air.
the boy: well? i don't see any meat. i am disappoint.
man: there are four legs! anyway, we'll have to settle for some strange new yellow dotted plants i picked from the field i was deposited in.
the two prepare their communal supper of sorghum. the man fashions sorghum syrup in his squeezing fist and feeds the boy.
boy: sweet sorghum. nice. i guess i have the greynimal to thank for this treat. i hate food but i'm okay with dessert.
man: that's a positive way to look at blame. the wind is right one day, left the next. do you like the basket i'm weaving from the used stalks?
President Bump is preparing his address to the Boy Scouts. he decides to go ahead and read to them his first draft:
Bump: everyone get one armband that's being passed around in the basket. there you go. wear that armband with pride. you know you don't get a merit badge for being President which i find bigly disappointing. i mean being President is way harder than rubbing two sticks together.
Scaramucci, the new guy, gets up on that cavernous makeshift wooden stage in the middle of the woods with the huge tarp in the back gathering all the wind and covers the mic with his big hand.
Bump: do you like to be called Mooch?
Scaramucci: no, Scara. sir, remember what we talked about. *smiles* excuse us.
Bump: i love your thick black slicked-back hair. that still flows freely in this torrential wind. my hair doesn't move like that.
Scara: the nature's table thing?
Bump: right. set up the meal. step up the meal. use that Collezione Artisinal Collection bucatini. thicker than spaghetti, more to the hollow, like fat cylinders, makes half a pot. which is unfortunate, i'm hungry. and some wine sauce.
Bump: did you guys like Wimbledon this year?
the Boy Scouts: boo! boo! the grass was bad!
Bump: the British Open?
the Boy Scouts: boo! the grass was bad!
Bump: it's Europe. i dunno. soylent green or something. well there's plenty of grass around here. hey what's your salute again? three fingers like this? where i come from that's called the shocker.
Scara picks up the metal golf club behind Bump and whacks Bump's leg with it.
Bump: what the fuck, fam?
Scara: sorry, i thought i was to bump you.
Bump: no that's Jared. same fam, different name.
Scara: it gets confusing. signals get crossed.
Bump: Sleazy Sessions hanging on by the wind.
Rick Perry: here's your Orange Russian, sir. finest vodka in the other land. sir i really need that pig shit we talked about.
Bump: i dunno, Rick.
Rick Perry: I REALLY NEED THE PIG MANURE!!! the Russians are hounding my family.
Bump: i feel ya. the family is all that matters. i dunno, fellow running-mate, we need that shit for us.
Rick Perry: i'll take bacon away from you!
Bump: okay dude, sheesh, no need to get drastic. okay, Boys, what's your loyalty pledge again? put your hand over your heart and, i'm speaking into this microphone so everyone can hear and there's no confusion: pardon me.
Scara: next course, pollo a la brasa.
Bump: did you hear what i said? i pardoned myself. i said i was sorry, that's a big step for me.
Scara: and we conclude with the Gia Russa.
the Gia Russa is brought out.
Bump: i am disappointed. i was hoping for a spicy saucy Russian woman, not spicy sauce.
Michael Phelps and the shark are at a crossroads.
Phelps: i really disappointed everyone. getting a lot of twitter hate.
shark: CGI sucks. nature is where it's at. if it makes you feel any better, i get hounded on twitter, too. i can't respond back cos i have fins, not fingers.
Phelps: what if i eat some shark fin soup?
shark: you'd be banned by every nation save one or two. bad for ratings. what if i swallow you?
Phelps and the shark eventually agree to film a second special where they take in an anniversary showing of Jaws at an empty theatre. it does decently in the ratings.
shark: here's my instant review as i leave the theatre. what was that onscreen? totally unrealistic. bad acting. did they use robots for the humans?
Senator John McCain is at a signing at Border's. he signs all the copies of the new Nine Inch Nails EP before announcing he has a Diamondbacks game to get to. a twinight doubleheader. he puts on his baseball cap so it doesn't cover his eye...
at the Senate hearing Comey swallows the mic as he announces something very urgent.
Comey: everyone here, you all senators, you all know what this is. you all know what's coming. i can't discuss it in open session. but you all know what this is. we've been preparing for this forever.
at the 11th Hour studios, Comey raises his hands behind his head and relaxes his big legs on Brian Williams's desk and leans back on his chair until the chair touches the outside window. the only guest for the hour is Ashley Parker.
Comey: that job was my joy. but now you are my rock, Ashley.
Ashley: what about your wife?
Comey: Bump took her. what's important is that we have no time. we have to go for it. if not now, not ever, for there is no tomorrow.
Ashley: i never thought i'd get so many opportunities so early in my career.
Comey: look on them as offers, Ashley. see i love that just now. when you smile when your name is called but then it disappears into sour reporter mode face after a few seconds. that is so pretty.
at the Vatican, Kirsten Powers catches the Pope unawares.
Kirsten: why you crying? are you making up for shutting off the Vatican fountains?
the Pope: oh, lover, you weren't supposed to see me cry. i hide it from you and pretend everything is okay and the world is fine to protect your feelings. i don't want you worrying about me. i don't have a shower you see, just this huge bath.
Justin Bieber walks across the promenade.
the Pope: why'd you cancel your tour, hippie! i hear you're a big-time guru in the mountains now. the rocks over there rustle and bend to your spiritualist presence. all that New Age stuff is hogwash you know. it's not the correct faith! I Am First!
Justin raises his arms...to block the camera drones.
Justin Bieber: no, just, leave me alone.
Comey and Ashley saunter up to Comey's FBI office.
Ashley: i thought you said there was no time to spare.
Comey: Mulder and Scully are in there finishing up. Mulder has the only key now.
Ashley: what a waste. save it for the movie, not the miniseries.
Bump receives a call on his twitter.
Bump Jr: dad i...
Bump: are you sure you're my son? it's just i always pull out...
Bump Jr: dad thank you for getting me this job as a bus driver but i...
Bump: sorry yous, another call. what up, dude?
Caitlyn Jenner: i deployed the troops like you said. but according to my calculations. you said the generals could make their own independent decisions based on how they assessed the battlefield.
Bump: that's right, that's right, General Jenner. whatever you decide. i wash my hands clean.
Caitlyn Jenner: you can't see me so hear me. a brave soldier saved your life today. an infantryman in a wheelchair, active-duty in a live-war theatre battlefield situation. she fell on a grenade meant for you. she will be granted the highest honor for her ultimate sacrifice to this life.
Bump: oh yeah, i remember that from earlier this afternoon. at the lunch table. i thought that was a pineapple.
at the monastery, the hooded figure is preparing Justin Bieber's baptism. Justin at first resists but relents after becoming shy around the Men from the East. but he refuses to wear the diaper.
the hooded figure gathers holy water from the same blue flame that lights the staff.
the hooded figure: my fellows, we continue making progress. and we gather here every Wednesday to share in our fellowship and comment on our communal project. we are the last hope in a sea of misery. the news reports say it's folly. but we build and make mistakes and build again and modify until our machine exceeds. we are beyond the news reports. we shall break free from the news. we are up to a racing car. soon we will be at a biplane. and our power source which gasses us is out of this world. one day our fuels will not disappoint us. they build on the land, we build on the future. men and governments finance roads, we travel over unmanned clouds. as long as we dream, we build. as long as we sleep, we dream. as long as we sleep, we are hungry again the next day. o the joy of eating and sleeping on a cot!
the mass proceeds and with Justin's help every congregant joins in the meditation, which is the singing, and the collective
CHOIR FOR THIS PARTICULAR CEREMONY BELTS OUT QUITE THE HARMONY, CLICK HERE, RIGHT HERE AT THIS LINK
at the entrance of the rock church a horse sprouts wings. but not a cylindrical conical horn in its forehead.