Demon cloud
The ancient symbols have lost their meaning…

Paul’s fingers rummaged through the collection of religious symbols Lasseter had assembled. Nothing was to his liking. One by one, more symbols joined the swastika on the floor. The Cross, the Star or David, the Ankh…the pile grew.

Paul stood, grabbed Billy-Bob’s shirt from the couch and began whipping the jewelry onto the floor.

“Garbage” he yelled, kicking wildly, “Meaningless garbage!”

Akira had never seen him so agitated.

Paul waved the shirt over his head, his face growing redder and swelling with every breath. Billy-Bob sat up in alarm.

“I’m here with an inter-dimensional alien, who can’t stop chronically sucking his toxic whiskey, and a pregnant AI robot who is totally incapable of any human emotion and returning any of the love I have for her, who is also pregnant with my child who will be transported to another planet to start a new species of humans,” Paul pointed his finger at Lasseter, his voice growing louder, “..and all you can do is bring me ancient religious symbols to use as props as I try to stop Homo Sapiens from destroying themselves and the entire planet, while you two abandon us and start a new party somewhere else?”

There was a stunned silence.

“Doesn’t work for you?” Akira responded.


“Why not?” Lasseter croaked.

“Does her Garb work for you?” Billy-Bob sounded impatient.

Paul sneered in his general direction. The sound coming from the open window was that of rustling wings. The clouds parted and the moon reflected sunlight into the room.

“Religious symbols are exclusive, and therefore, by definition, divisive!” Paul yelled, stepping upon an imaginary soap box: “You’re either a Christian or a Muslim, A Hindu or a Buddhist!” he took a deep breath before continuing, “That’s the problem! These symbols don’t unite…they separate…they all have histories; they all have evil histories! I need to reach everyone, I need something that is recognizable, I need a symbol that unites, not divides! I don’t need symbols with histories of Crusades and slaughters and genocides!”

He violently turned the table upside down, scattering what remained of the religious trinkets on the floor.

The three stared with an awkward silence. Finally, Akira spoke: “Why didn’t you say this earlier?”

Paul shook his head. “If we want mankind to survive, we need something new, something simpler. We almost need to erase history. Erase memories for the killing and destruction to stop.”

Lasseter, shrugged, laughed a little. Billy-Bob sat, looking confused.

“You could easily erase memories.”

Paul stopped for a moment, as if the power of a new thought left him motionless.

“I want something everyone understands immediately,” he continued, back on track. “something everybody loves, and, and, by the way,” he paused, smiling for the first time that night, “it has to make a good sound bite, too.  You know, it has to make a good hash tag that goes viral.”

Paul kicked the bible still on the floor. “This won’t do!”

Lasseter unscrewed the top of his flask. Took a sip. Looked innocently at the three of them before speaking.

“Any ideas?”

Akira righted the overturned table and removed her headdress, placing it directly in the center. She took the extra time to make sure the angles were squarely aligned. She also removed her shoulder pads, and her skin glowed seductively.

Billy-Bob sat erect, watching her every move.

She swiveled her head towards Paul, her dark eyes glowing.

“I might.”


26 thoughts on “Symbols are not reality.

    1. The answer will be as brilliant in its simplicity, deep with double entendre, as it is impactful in its messaging. Shit, only an AI could figure this one out. I take my hat off to Akira.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Quote: ” I need a symbol that unites, not divides! I don’t need symbols with histories of Crusades and slaughters and genocides!”

    He violently turned the table upside down, scattering what remained of the religious trinkets on the floor.”
    Hey, finally, he’s got it!
    I have seen the past, not only as history, not only as this life’s memories, but as in “past lives” and remembrances of that can only divide, more and more, and forever! My Teacher, El Issa, made me go back in time and forgive those men who tortured me to death in 1943. I never thought I could actually do it. Meet them, the same as then, same age, same uniforms, same place, except not as a prisoner but as a free woman. It is doable but not the way to go for most. Paul is right, and quote: “we need something new, something simpler.” What we need is not more teaching of impossible ethics but something that simply changes people’s minds… right on the spot; no memory of any “bad” stuff. All new, all forward looking.

    Quote: “We almost need to erase history. Erase memories for the killing and destruction to stop.”
    This is GENIUS. Yes and yes and yes: destroy the past and you destroy addiction to past “shit” that causes all the evils we know to be today and which we also know grow in proportion to increasing population. Paul is seeing what the Teachers taught me: we need something totally new. We need to literally erase history and destroy this current civilization (which is entirely constructed from past assumptions) so nothing remains to look back upon with any sort of longing or fondness for “the good old days.” We need to realize there never were any good old days, only bad ones; only processes that destroyed Earth, sentient life, people, their hopes and dreams. We need a new song, new music and we cannot even use any of the existing (old by definition) instruments. Only human voices can sing that song; make that music. “Til human voices wake us and we drown” (T. S. Eliot) or could it be… “and we mutate.”?

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you, thank you, thank you…but I owe it all to you. I had to write this before you did this: “Good for Paul ’cause I’m tempted to shift dimensionally, enter into the story and seriously kick ass!!!”

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well done George. I’m quite curious what symbol (which by their very nature separate) could unite us right now. Is a yang possible without a yin. I can only think of a blank paper

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am astounded and properly gobsmacked. I can’t add anything to what the other readers have already written. This chapter is the transcending and transformational moment for Paul which may redefine the role of the others. I am totally titillated by what Akira must be planning. She always seems to have the right moves for every situation and she is moving right now toward something quite dynamic it seems. Wonderful stuff Bro! Holy face plant, I am blown away at the genius moment you have created.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Her brain is, after all, a quantum computer with so many q-bits of information you can’t even give it a number!! LOL! And sexy to boot! Her answer will surprise you! It’s taking a turn for the positive while they’re dodging bullets!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. IMO it’s OK to string out the suspense but not at the expense of the whole story. Ten days of rain to two of sunshine doesn’t make for a happy camper. Better to balance the sunshine with the rain…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. 😂 lol I don’t know… famous authors like Dan Brown (for ex) r claiming that the reader needs his answer 🙂 & we have to deliver it to him, one way or another (at least in the next chapter).
        I don’t deliver anything… I guess that’s my problem.

        So it’s your choice… 😉

        Liked by 1 person

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