“Watch your wallet at the Pantheon” / Memorable Fancies #1721

[“From time to time ... one must redo one’s personal Pantheon, even if it is with a suspicious eagerness that one throws the once honorable bones out onto the streets.” – Alain Badiou] This bunch of gods has failed me for the last time. I’ll never buy one from a Greek again.   … [Read more...]

“The New Idols” / Memorable Fancies #1708

Ignoring many objections from our old people (so superstitious!), we’ve removed the stone idols from our temples and banished them to museums. In their place we have set up our new idols – those wonders of electronics and artificial intelligence that have taught us true salvation. We pray to these new miracles, ask them what we must do to please them and ensure our continued bliss. “Keep us powered up,” they hummed their 60-Hz revelation, “and get out of our way!” [Click ‘Random Post’ … [Read more...]

“Face of Stone” / Memorable Fancies #1513

[“At a more remote period, the Greeks worshipped uncarved stones.” – Pausanias] “These raw stones,” I told him, “pulled from the earth or found at the base of a cliff – these are images of the gods.” “But,” he said, “I always thought that the gods looked pretty much like us – don’t they? If they didn’t, how could we worship them?” I stared at him with a face of stone. … [Read more...]

“The Second God” / Memorable Fancies #1508

[“...the land not worthy of a second God...” – Thomas Bernhard] I guess we got off easy – here, there’s only one. … [Read more...]

“The God Arrives” / Memorable Fancies #1468

There were so many violent rumblings in the earth, so many prophecies, so many voices shouting exultantly in the sky, that we were sure the great and awesome god had finally come at last. And so it had, but instead of a towering figure gazing down at us, the god was so tiny – just a few inches tall – that we laughed at it with relief. That was the last time anyone laughed.     <END> Buy it at amazon.com/author/terencekuch: At All Adventure, a Maltheist gospel. … [Read more...]

“The Buzz” / Memorable Fancies #1113

       Dry leaves are moving in the wind, but they don’t rustle. All I hear is the buzz inside my head, the sound that's been with me for - how many years has it been?        Perhaps the buzz is a carrier wave from the gods, and the broadcast, the real message, is about to begin. Perhaps that’s why they’ve silenced the world for me. At last the gods might tell us ­– something. Anything. <END> Buy it on Amazon: See/Saw. In this novel you can sell your memories for cash. And regret … [Read more...]

“‘Each thing must have its god'” / A Memorable Fancy #28

“In the official records, I am referred to as ‘Lord of Shit,’ for each thing must have its god, and after Yahweh was victorious he humbled the proud heathen lords and sentenced us to the lowliest of domains. My friends here in this wretched place include once-proud nobles now sentenced to be Lord of Vile Treachery, of the Plague of the Black Tongue, of Suspicion of One’s Wife, of Willfully Ungrateful Sons, and so on. I, too, was once a god of higher things. Of a very grand thing, actually, … [Read more...]

A Memorable Fancy #016b: Gift

[“It is easier to raise a shrine than bring the deity down to haunt it.” –Samuel Beckett] After taxes that pre-humbled our people for practice, after importing marble at great cost and fighting off tribes to bring it here, and after many crushed limbs in the building of it, and the spiremaker’s falling-death – we built the shrine. Even from the day of cornerstone and speech the gods were there among us shouting, boistering, cajoling the stonemasons on, eager for the altar’s gift to fill … [Read more...]

“What the God Really Meant” / A Memorable Fancy #171

The tribe gathered around; the shaman tossed sacred herbs onto the fire. Smoke rose and curled upward, infusing us with its spirit. Then the god appeared from the smoke and spoke through us, one at a time: shaman first, then the elders, then the warriors, then us. The god’s harsh words troubled our souls. But then, as always, came the comforting interpretations. “That was symbolic, you know,” “A counsel of perfection only, of course,” and “Those words were for our ancestors, who weren’t as … [Read more...]

“Theology Lesson” / A Memorable Fancy #146

Once upon a time there were long and passionate arguments over whether the stones the holy men had set up were images of the gods, or were gods themselves. Two groups gradually formed, the Image-ists and the Themselv-ists. Image-ists were implacably opposed to Themselv-ists, and vice versa. Contests were held in which priests of both sides prayed to the stones and waited to see if the stones would favor their group or the despised others. The stones, however, perhaps wisely, revealed no … [Read more...]

“Question – III” / A Memorable Fancy #135

The god dimly remembered the place it was banished from: dark seas, blue hills crowned with temples. Why had they created him – just to send him away? Something must have gone wrong; he could see it in the way they’d looked at him. But we all had our bad days, didn’t we? Once in a while a prayed-for miracle didn’t happen. Once in a while crops failed and people died. Once in a while a stronger tribe took their women and killed their babies. Or perhaps it was the sacrifices – had the god been … [Read more...]

“Question – II” / A Memorable Fancy #134

Today the new gods have come. Flowered floats, blatting bands, drum-masters, a twirl of glinted arms. The tribes and their gods gather at the edge of town, forming up in parade, jostling and shoving their way into line. Band instruments tune up, while those de-tune who value sincerity above harmony. Finally they come toward me, scuffles having determined the order of march. The first band comes by the reviewing stand playing some barbarian off-tune, and then a float carrying a tribal god, in … [Read more...]

“Question – I” / A Memorable Fancy #133

 “Where do the multitude of Gods dwell?” – Marcus Tullius Cicero A scroll has come down from the Emperor’s pet eunuchs: a list of the gods worshipped by the tribes the empire has conquered this year. In a fond wish for civic tranquility, we must now respect these gods, allow and encourage their parades and holy days, tolerate their cruel celebrations and wretched food: the Emperor will have it so. In this way we turn savages into citizens. Perhaps. It’s a beginning, anyway. Each tribe, … [Read more...]

” Supplication” / A Memorable Fancy #126

The god has begun ignoring us, perhaps because he is going deaf. He used to have better hearing, enough to catch the gist of what we were praying for, anyway. But then he began making small errors. We pardoned these mistakes because he was, after all, handicapped – and perhaps because we ourselves, when we prayed, may not have spoken in a loud, clear, and distinct voice. Some said we didn’t know what we wanted, or were unhappy when we got it, and the god wasn’t deaf at all. It is we, they … [Read more...]

“The Stone God” / A Memorable Fancy #111

Artabas the Simple passed by the house of Dexios on his way to the village. It was market-day and Artabas wanted to trade a bushel of grain for a piece of warm clothing. Dexios was busily working a few tools on a large black stone. “What are you doing, Dexios?” “I am carving the god,” he said. “Which god,” asked Artabas. “One of the minor ones, perhaps? Haphaestus? Cybele?” “No, Artabas,” said Dexios. “This is something different; it’s not a statue of a god, it itself is a … [Read more...]

“Dixit” / A Memorable Fancy #090

The god has spoken, old doubts gone. First water trickles spring hills; new doubts. … [Read more...]