Archive for murder

Bully Best Friend

Posted in Lucerne Village, World Myths with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 30, 2012 by javedbabar

“You are! You are! You are!” screamed the boy in pain.

There was no dispute that Samuel was now leader of the gang. He was fair-skinned and blonde, ten kilos heavier, and six inches taller than most other boys, and all of them were afraid of him. He beat up boys and forced girls to kiss him. It made no difference if they were gang members or not, but gang members got off more lightly, with fewer bruises and bites.

Many parents complained to Samuel’s parents, but they shrugged their shoulders and said he was out of control; they didn’t know where he got it from. Besides, The Authority banned all forms of domestic discipline, so there was nothing they could do. The official guidance Samuel received at school was written only, nothing verbal, or, God forbid, physical discipline to counter his physical conduct. It barely dented his bad behaviour.

His Grandpa was a tough character, and was asked to have a word with him. Rather than acting as a good influence though, his Grandpa’s pep talks made him proud and pompous.

Things were set to get worse when Dale arrived at school. His parents had lived off-grid in an “undisclosed location” since his birth, and had home-schooled him till thirteen. The Authority had then threatened to lock them up, and take Dale away, unless they returned to “civilization”.

Dale was the same size as Samuel, but dark and hairy. Either they would fight each other in rival gangs, or together become twin terrors. It could go either way.

On his first day at school, Dale stood in front of Samuel in the playground. Samuel was a wary of this strange new boy, and rather than pushing him out of the away, he instead said brusquely, “Excuse me.”

“Excuse me, what?”

“Excuse me,” Samuel launched himself at Dale, screaming, “Pleeeease!”

They fought for ten minutes, resulting in a complicated stalemate, with both boys and then four teachers, tangled on the floor, before they broke apart, laughing. After this, Samuel and Dale become inseparable best friends.

They continued fighting each other for fun, much to the relief of others, who now became spectators rather than participants, cheering for one or the other combatant, often laying down bets. The Samuel-Danny fight became a popular ritual. Teachers bet on it too, and Miss Jewel and Mr Wong won $100 each.

“That shopkeeper charges too much money,” Dale said to Samuel. “He wants two dollars for chips when they’re one dollar everywhere else, and a potato costs ten cents to grow. He thinks we’re stupid. We should raid his shop.”

“We should smash it!”

“We should burn it!”

They decided to do all three things, and raided, smashed and burned it that night. The tied-up shopkeeper begged them to stop, each by name, and when they realized he recognized them, they smashed and burned him too.

The police came to school the next day to quiz teachers. Because of regulations, they were not allowed to quiz children. Samuel and Dale smirked at the back of the class.

A week later, the shopkeeper’s daughter saw Samuel and Dale and set her Rottweiler upon them. After a long fight, they killed the dog. Samuel only suffered cuts and grazes but Dale was bitten badly, and a few days later, died.

Samuel was withdrawn from school and stayed at home for two weeks. He went to visit his grandfather who lived beyond the swamp at the base of Mt Negra. He told him all about the gang, the fight, the shopkeeper and the dog. And most of all about how much he missed his best friend Dale.

His grandfather clipped his ear and said, “Don’t be such a wimp. You get that from your father, not from me, for sure. I had killed four guys by your age. Now go back to school and kick some ass.”


We Say Wow!

Posted in Lucerne Village, Unknown with tags , , , , , on April 9, 2012 by javedbabar

“Isn’t that easy?” said Dimpy (Dimples). She finished turning the handle on the GAIATM processor and smiled at the other ladies in the kitchen. “Just one turn and the work is done.”

“That’s it?” said Kira, the hostess. “The vegetables are all cut?”

Dimpy smiled, enhancing her dimples. “Yes, that’s it. That’s why We say Wow!” She assumed they’d all seen the ad: “GAIA cooking systems – We say Wow!” She was here to give these ladies a product demo and free dinner, and hopefully make some sales. She said, “Ok, we’ve prepared the Sa-lad.”

She’s got a bit of an accent, thought Kira. I hadn’t noticed that before. It must be her quirk. Kira was enthusiastic about her commission – ten percent of anything sold tonight – and said, “I can’t believe it’s so easy. I mean peeling and chopping veggies is no big deal, it only takes a few minutes, but this is so quick. You just pop them into the top, crank the handle once, and they’re done. How does it work?”

Dimpy said, “The handle has a very high gearing. One turn by you creates a hundred turns within. It’s like an unhappy marriage. One cruel word triggers many others. God, I used to be so miserable, but look at me now!”

The other ladies were unsure how to react to this, but it was true, she did look fabulous, so Kira added, “We say Wow!”

Everyone laughed and then Dimpy continued. “Next is the Mister-y soup.” Again Kira noticed her accent. She thought how strange. Dimpy got a big pot of water boiling and sang to herself, as if chanting over the bubbling.

“Now I’m not sure I’m going to get a straight answer to this question,” said Kira. “But why is it called Mystery Soup?”

Mister-y soup,” said Dimpy. “Mister-y soup.”

“Ok, why’s it called Mister-y soup?” said Kira.

“Well that’s a mystery of course!” said Dimpy. “No, no, I’m only kidding. It’s called that because cooking is magic. It’s alchemy. We transform raw, inedible ingredients into something nutritious and delicious. Soup is a miracle. You take water – plain old water – and infuse it with spices, flavours, and textures. It becomes something else entirely. We say Wow!

“I’m not trying to be funny,” said Kira. “But isn’t all cooking – well, like that? You take ingredients and make them into a dish.” She was trying to keep the chatter going – like they do in children’s movies – but may have said the wrong thing.

Dimply looked annoyed, and said, “Yes it is, sister. But who does it mostly? That’s right, its women. Men choose to be absent, or useless, in the kitchen. There are celebrity chefs of course, but how many of us are married to them? My ex-husband never lifted a finger. I’m much better off without him.”

It’s not just the pot that’s boiling, thought Kira. There must have been some fireworks in her marriage for sure.

Dimpy said, “Now for Sir-fry.” Did she say Sir-fry, thought Kira. That accent again. She must have meant stir-fry. “Frying is a killer. There’s no need for it really. You can get the same results without using any oil at all – crisped skins and juicy texture. The GAIATM pans are made with a special alloy containing iron, silver, and calcium, minerals which build your bones and boost your blood. Every meal cooked in these pans will improve your health ladies. Say goodbye to anaemia and osteoporosis.”

“That sounds amazing,” said Kira. “How much are the pans?”

“They’re expensive,” said Dimpy. “You’re paying for the very best. But we make them affordable. We know that many women have financial constraints so we offer microcredit. Just buy one pan at a time. We want you to have them. We want you to eat well and be healthy, like I’ve been feeling since my husband died.”

“Oh, I’m sorry,” said Kira. “I thought you were divorced. You’re widowed. Was it recent?”

“Just last year,” said Dimpy. “That’s when my life changed. That’s when I said Wow!” She finished cooking the stir fry and said, “Now we’ll make a light fruity custard called Man-go Fool.”

“Why do you pronounce it like that?” said Kira. “Man-go?”

Dimpy ignored the question and began to beat double cream. She said, “My husband died suddenly. I’ve never gotten over it really. The GAIATM system saved me. It has become my way of life. It’s what supports me and my baby daughter.”

All the food was ready now. Dimpy asked the ladies to take their seats. She brought out the Sa-lad, Mister-y soup, Sir-fry, and Man-go Fool. It was the most delicious meal any of them had ever had. This was because of a special ingredient that she’d not yet mentioned.

GAIATM cooking systems had been developed by leading chef Roland Agneau-Beurre. He was a horrible, brutish man who had disappeared mysteriously. The business had been taken over by his widow, who recruited a network of other recent widows, as a way for single women to support themselves. However none were widows before becoming GAIATM distributors. In their last moments, their husbands had all said Why? Their wives had replied Wow!


All White

Posted in Lucerne Village, Sacred Geometry with tags , , , , , on March 23, 2012 by javedbabar

There was a knock on Shane’s door. At first he thought it was a fallen bird, or a branch hitting the roof, but then there was another knock, and then a third. He checked his watch – it was 9.15. They were way too early; Martin had said that they’d come at 10.

He shouted, “Just coming!” slipped out of bed, and pulled on his dressing gown. He turned down the music – a tune produced just for him by multi-instrumentalist Seth. He didn’t have time to listen to it now though. The “motivated buyers” were here. He had to show them the main house.

Shane was greeted by two enthusiastic faces, both brown. “Hi, we’re Dev and Priya,” said the man. “And you must be Shane.”

Shane said, “Yes, welcome to Lucerne.”

“I’m sorry we’re so early,” said Dev. “We set off on time, but the journey was much quicker than expected. Have they upgraded the road from the City? It’s better than the last time we came, isn’t it honey?” She nodded, and he continued. “Well, we’ve come all this way to see the house, so may as well take a good look. I hope you don’t mind.” He started to laugh, like a donkey braying, but cut it short.

“No, that’s ok. I was up anyway,” said Shane. “But you’ve got me in my pyjamas rather than my business suit.”

“Were you going to wear a business suit?” said Priya. “It wasn’t necessary.”

“I was just joking,” said Shane. Priya cackled like a hyena, but cut it short. After Seth’s soothing music – gentle layers of wind, rivers, and waterfalls, added strings and hand drums, with flowing chants which appeared and eased – their laughs were fierce assaults. Their braying and cackling had chased away his peace of mind. He said, “Come in. Would you like some tea?”

Over tea, Dev said, “I’m a doctor and Priya is a lawyer. We’re thinking of getting away from the City. Somewhere more natural and beautiful, with a better sense of community. Of course we’ll keep our place in the City. Keep our options open.”

Shane asked them to wait five minutes and changed into yesterday’s clothes. He could shower later. His rented cabin was near the road. The main house was a hundred metres into the forest, along a gravel driveway. He said to them, “Please follow me.”

The property for sale was a boxy 3-storey house with red bat’n’board siding. It covered 4,000 SF officially, but almost 6,000 SF if you included the basement. It was an abode of ample proportions.

“Wow!” said Dev. “Much bigger than expected!”

“Great value for $500,000,” said Priya. “Three big floors – just imagine what we could do with them.”

“What were you thinking of doing?” said Shane.

“We thought of making the inside entirely white,” she said. “Plain white, endless white, white as far as the eye can see. Walls, carpets, sofas, bookshelves, everything white.”

“Why so much white?”

“It’s a colour that appeals to everyone. I began my career working at an insurance company. Vehicles came in and out. The white ones sold most quickly. No one hates white.”

“But do people like white?” said Shane.

“That’s not what counts. What matters is that they don’t hate white.”

“That’s right,” said Dev. “We repainted our rental apartment white and doubled the rent. That’s what we might do here if we decide not to stay. Repaint and sell it.”

Shane was intrigued by their philosophy. It was opposite to that of the current owners. His landlords loved colour. You could compile a whole Pantone book by taking swatches from their home. Red leather sofas sat on green wool carpets, blue metal vases balanced on yellow plaster pillars, carved silver doorframes were set with embossed golden doors. Lilac acrylic cabinets contained fancy teal china. Tangerine wood kitchen counters had an antique peach kettle and modern mango pots. A square navy table was set with tiny crimson teacups. Small monochrome etchings faced huge fluorescent digital prints. They were both artists and collectors. Makers and patrons. The being and the becoming. Their home was a living record of their fabulous lives.

Their happiness was here. Their inspiration and illumination was here. Their wounds and healing. Their grieving. Their celebrations. And most recently – lovely photos of their first grandchild – their completion. They were a wonderful couple who had built a true home, and also provided one for people in need, like minimum-wage Shane.

He showed Dev and Priya around the main floor. The lounge where the current owners watched Casablanca for the fortieth time, and said to each other, “Here’s looking at you, kid.” The kitchen where they’d roasted the fattest turkeys in the Valley, stuffed with cranberries, sage, oranges, and that special ingredient: Old Speckled Hen beer. The garden where a marquee had been raised, filled with golden planets and silver stars, and their happy, handsome son had been married. Shane showed them upstairs.  The bedrooms where dreams had filled their imaginations, and where they had loved each other fully. The bathroom where they had cleansed their bodies, and washed their worries away. The balcony from which they’d watched sunrises and sunsets together. Shane showed them downstairs. The guts of the house – the boilers, tanks, pipes, and cables – that fed and nourished this haven. The storage areas filled with past and future lives.

Shane had nothing against this young professional couple. They seemed like nice people. Next-generation immigrants with endless ambition. But they were not the right people to own this house. They understood nothing about it.

“Look,” he said. “I shouldn’t really tell you this. But did you know that the previous owners were murdered here? That’s why it’s so cheap.”

The motivated buyers seemed less motivated now. “Who by?” they asked.

“No one knows,” said Shane. “But they shouldn’t have tried to sell this house.”

My Hands

Posted in Mystical Experience, World Myths with tags , , , , , on March 21, 2012 by javedbabar

Solomon twisted his hands and then clasped them firmly. He wondered how much truth there was in palmistry. Actual physical truth. That parts of your hands corresponded directly to parts of your body, and also to celestial bodies.

He looked at his right hand. Across the top were Jupiter, Saturn, Apollo, and Mercury; below these were Mars +ve, the Plain of Mars, and Mars –ve; then Venus, Neptune, and Luna. Were all of these connected to heavenly objects, and also to Gods?

He held up both hands against light pouring from the windows. He observed his fingers, fingernails, and finger prints; his palm skin patterns; skin texture and colour; his palm’s shape. He tested his hand’s flexibility. It bent back almost to his wrist. If only his life was so easily manipulated.

His head, heart, life, and fate lines tore through this gentle landscape. In one sense they were only creases, he knew, but in another way they were holy scripture written across his body’s most active organs, with every act imprinted upon them already, his duty only to manifest it. There was the story of his life, already told. Solomon’s dominant right hand – his conscious hand – was fighting for control of his mind. Maybe he could overpower his left, unconscious hand, carrying his karmic conditioning.

He looked through his hands at the dramatic landscape. There was Mt. Alba, its snow-capped bulk gleaming in the distance. Hundred foot cedars stood mighty, and poplars shivered in light winds, their leaves turning and flashing continuously, like a sequinned dress glimmering.

Solomon didn’t want to make the call. He had hoped it could be avoided. But he had waited too long already. Was this cowardice yet another sin? He took a few deep breaths, then dialled 9-1-1. He paced his breathing and kept calm.

She asked him, “Where is the emergency?”

He said it was here on the Lucerne Valley Road.

She asked him, “What is the nature of the emergency?”

He said was is a murder.

She asked him, “What happened?”

He said it hadn’t happened yet. It was going to happen. The person who had attacked him was about to be killed. He didn’t give his phone number, or location, or listen to any further instructions from the dispatcher, and hung up the phone.

Fallen humanity had a tendency to sin. He’d better take action. People ate too much and became obese. While a billion starved there, a billion here ate too soon, too expensively, too much, too eagerly, too daintily, too wildly. They filled themselves up till they vomited, or gorged themselves till their organs exploded, like an egg in a microwave. They just couldn’t stop eating themselves to death. That stomach must be torn, like Samurais did when dishonoured.

People lusted for the flesh. After eating animals, they rushed to devour each other with boiling sexual thoughts. There was a reason for god’s gifts. We must use our bodies with respect for their holy purpose. To make beautiful babies. Not sweat and rut endlessly like jungle beasts. Like pigs who needed fattening, or stallions needing taming, there was only one answer. Remove the carnal source.

We are each created in the image of God. Our talents are unlimited, and our gifts are incredible. But we are incredibly lazy. Lying-in in the mornings, enjoying wasteful coffee breaks, engaging in endless chatter, checking stupid messages, and sending pointless texts, all to avoid working, providing service to our fellow beings. Not shouldering our burden. That weak back serves no purpose. It must be broken.

We envy others. We desire to deprive other men and women of what is rightfully theirs. The things that we are too lazy to work for, we want to steal from others. We bear hatred towards them, not realizing the self-destructiveness of provoking feuds. Our loathing is self-loathing; hatred of our own hearts. Let’s remove this one.

We desire to be more attractive and more important than others. We confuse authority with humanity, and fail to acknowledge the good work done by our fellows. This proud chest must be punctured.

We are greedy. Whether deserved or undeserved, and whether productive or destructive, we pursue status, power, and wealth excessively. I have two hands, one for helping myself and the other for helping others. Both have failed. Remove those grasping hands.

We have the solutions to all of these things. We are patients with a ready prescription. For gluttony, take temperance. For lust, chastity. For sloth, some diligence. For envy, show kindness. For wrath, bear patience. For pride, humility. For greed, show charity. We have the doctor’s authority on paper, and stand at the pharmacy. We are next in line. But rather than handing it in for fulfilment, we pocket it quickly and walk out of the store, picking up a Snickers, some condoms, a cushion, and a celebrity magazine, and kicking a dog, sneering at a beggar, and buying a lottery ticket on the way home.

This is what I do daily, thought Solomon. I am a sinner beyond compare, and beyond redemption. When the first responders arrived, they found his butchered body. The only thing visible in the mess was a severed hand holding a phone.