Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Look! There she is. See her? Don't make it too obvious, although I don't imagine she'll notice you looking. I swear, she comes here every night just after six, probably from some office or the trade school. She sits down at the table by the mirror. Always. She orders a cappuccino. I can tell by the cup they bring it in. And sits there staring at herself. No one ever meets her. She hardly even sips the cappuccino. I think she forgets it. Sure she has a beautiful face. I catch myself looking too, sometimes, longer than I'd wanted to. I suppose I can understand why she gazes in the mirror that way. Wish I were that mirror. Once I walked by her table and asked her what time it was. Silly actually. She doesn't wear a watch. I noticed that right off. The look she gave me said stay away. So icy it could have cracked the mirror -- if she hadn't turned her eyes to me for that moment. But only long enough to make it clear I should go. There's no approaching her. No coming between her and that mirror. How would you do it? I've given up.

Story #94

Monday, November 29, 2004

They met once a year to celebrate losing a collective one-ton accumulation of fatness. It was hard to believe but once in their lives the friends had achieved a horrid extreme of obesity. Back then they had beautiful souls. Now they were "beautiful people" living in accordance with the going standards of physical aesthetics. They enjoyed life. They laughed. Had girlfriends and boyfriends. At their annual picnic they performed an odd ritual, staged a symbolic feast of all the culinary sins they had failed to partake of during the past year. Piled high on the empty plates were imaginations of steak and sausage smothered in the richest gravies. They laughed and frolicked like twenty-somethings in a Coke commercial as they savored their illusion. One member of the group took a final photograph before all order degenerated. Fortunately the dog evaded their efforts to capture and roast it, intelligently running to the station house to bark for the police. When help arrived they found the gorged gourmands moaning on the ground, sated, bellies bloated with the bark and saps of the trees which sadly did not survive the debaucherous onslaught.

Story #93

Sunday, November 28, 2004

The man looked at his wife. Then he glanced at the Sphinx looming large before the Great Pyramid. Together these magnificent stone monuments commemorated all the mystery of mankind. Untold secrets lay buried within their souls. Poets and philosophers throughout the ages had sensed this, been moved and inspired to great thoughts and deeds by the stony presences. He looked again at his wife and saw equal mystery, albeit of a younger age. Thoughts, not so much inspiring as they were puzzling gripped him, squeezed his mind as if it were a lemon. It happened every time she wore the Mickey Mouse t-shirt. What in the name of 10,000 years of humanity had made that cartoon figure so popular?

Story #92

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Agent Triple-Oh-Seven was investigating the disco when the soap bomb exploded. Evil demolition agents were bent on wiping out all the fun. During the past week it had been one terrifying near miss after another. They were the ones responsible for fixing his rifle at the carnival shooting gallery to explode cotton candy in his face. And the mere thought of the balloon vendor with the popping balloons made him jump. Twice. The high speed roller coaster chase had left him momentarily dizzy and the out of control popcorn machine at the Disney film introduced him to the joys of all the cheddared cheese popcorn he could eat. He gained three pounds. Agent Triple-Oh-Seven grinned. It was a good thing the evil demolition agents were clowns, someone might otherwise have been hurt.

Story #91

Friday, November 26, 2004

Marge invited her best friends over for a surprise. "I have a fairy tale cake," she told them, "it will turn each of us into a princess for exactly one year."

"Really?" they answered, eyes growing wider, "Where did you get it?"

"Never you mind," Marge told them, as she sliced through the topping and down to the base of the cake." She passed around the slices, giving her friends the instruction: "Think of the fairy tale you want to be in, take a big bite from the cake, and close your eyes. When you open your eyes you'll be right there for a whole year. When it's all over and you return it won't be but five minutes later." Marge waited until all her friends had disappeared before tasting her slice. After living happily ever after in the tale of Cinderella she found herself back in her living room together with the others, also just returned. An embarrassed silence ensued.

"We cheated," Linda told Marge.

"We didn't exactly think of a fairy tale," Laura continued.

"It was more like Lady Chatterly's Lover," Liza went on.

"We saw it on TV last night," Linda added quickly.

"Look, we want to do it again!" they all repeated in unison.

"OK, but this time take me with you," Marge replied as she pondered the switch from the metaphorical to the megaphysical, "I'll get another cake."

Story #90

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Laura had only agreed to play strip poker with the boys on the condition they give her three extra cards per round, plus a joker. Up to now it had been a straightforward game. Tom lost his t-shirt, Levis and Snoopy socks all at once in a coup of Laura's trumping his pair of aces with a straight flush. Bill, a notoriously bad poker player came prepared with extra undershirts, vest, boxer shorts, gloves, hat, garters he had looted from grandpa's trunk in the attic, rain gear, and a jump suit. He looked quite stiff. Unfortunately his arsenel did not hold up under the relentless bomardment of threes of a kind, straights, flushes and aces high. Four rounds of Laura's joker reduced him to a meager jock strap. Now this was it. The final round. The final stitches on the boys. The bets were made, The fully clothed Laura, confident with the smell of victory, teasingly lay all her clothes on the line, all or nothing, just as the boys had planned. She scanned now the cards Tom had dealt her: 2 of clubs, 3 of diamonds, 4 of hearts, 6 of spades, 8 of diamonds, 9 of hearts, 10 of clubs, Q of clubs, and the joker. The boys layed their cards on the table and called while Laura gulped at the realization that she could not beat two royal flushes.

Story #89

Postscript (Dec. 6th 2007): All you folks coming in here via a search result might like Story #396 which is about stripping.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Katja had a wild imagination. She had only to imagine pixies standing behind her making silly signals with their fingers and...there they were. But of course no one else could see them. That wouldn't do. Katja was highly protective of her imagination. She let no one else inside. Concerning the hand signals, she imagined they were a secret language for communicating in daydreams, where the sound of conversation would otherwise break the spell. And wouldn't you know it? She was right. Because it was her imagination. Her pixies. She began to wonder what they might be trying to communicate. It was lodged in the back of her mind somewhere, seemed so familiar to her, from a daydream she had had long ago in which she herself was a pixie performing those very same hand motions. A vague memory. When was it? What in all fantasy could those moving hands signify? The pixies meanwhile had developed an imagination of their own. That's how good Katja was! They imagined their hand signals generated a magic force that would cause Katja to vanish permanently in about five seconds from now.

Story #88

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

The overpowering need to have her drove him mercilessly towards her. Now he crept on all fours like some wild animal, no thought but of the moment he would pounce upon her. She knew how to coax his desire. Even now the way she looked at him inflamed his lust for her far beyond what he could bear. Closer and closer he inched towards her, on his belly now like a serpent, yet it was as in a dream where you will yourself to move but everything meanders further and further away. He imagined himself slithering onto her, but why did she appear so unreal as seen through a veil of steam? Slowly a stronger force made itself known to him, soothingly compelling him to close his eyes and let go of all thought. He had almost been able to touch her. The girl was surprised. She had expected the strychnine to work much faster.

Story #87

Monday, November 22, 2004

Claire always showed up at parties with her four men, creating something of a sensation. Everyone tried to discover what was going on behind the scenes. They pondered the notion that most men like to be in unconditional control of their ladies and wondered how it applied in this particular constellation. They asked roundabout questions, and, well, there were four men and one Claire to ask, but each of them responded with an evasiveness worthy of successful politicians. The five had obviously arranged beforehand how to counter such inquiries. One clever guest was, however, able to divine a solution to the mystery. He excused himself from the party early, but did not return home. He hid in the bushes outside the house and waited. When the five left, he followed them and saw exactly what was going on. He rushed back to tell the others. They had arrived in Claire's car, and Claire did the driving.

Story #86

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Things had never been the same since the paint factory exploded. The new formula for non-removable green paint would of course have been revolutionary in the conventional sense, but now they had to add an entirely new sense to the dictionary. In consequence of the igniting spark, the Earth's totality was instantaneously coated with a green rivaling even the collective green of the prehistoric trees that used to cover the planet before anyone had evolved the idea of chopping them down. This green was here to stay and people were delighted. Poets marveled at green rainbows. The Eskimos coined dozens of new words to describe snow of green hue. Drivers thrilled at the ease of maneuvering their vehicles in a world with no red lights. Green eyed boys fell in love with green eyed girls and enjoyed a green-skinned romance blessed by green stars. But despite all these wonderful changes, people still would not eat green eggs and ham.

Story #85

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Harry had a hair fetish. He'd sneak into hair salons and walk barefoot on floors saturated with ladies hair clippings. In crowded places he would stand close to a woman and bask in the aroma of her scalp growth. Often he crept behind ladies of the diva class and stared at the lovely patterns formed by the intertwining strands of their complex hair arrangements. It was exhilarating. His heart beat faster until the rhythm of his breathing slipped out of control. If the woman turned around, he told himself, he would strike up a conversation, casually ask her for a lock of her hair. But he never could. The sight of two piercing eyes turning to stab at him paralyzed that thought. His usual reaction was to compulsively pull a 'comb and Kleenex' kazoo from his pocket and frantically belt out a crazed rendition of "Bald Headed Woman," then flee. He should have gotten a job in a wig factory. It would have been a happy end.

Story #84

Friday, November 19, 2004

How do you like him? I built him myself out of old beer cans. He's quite the gentleman. Brings me flowers. Opens doors for me. Hell, he can knock down doors with a single solid punch. Does everything I tell him. He's very pliable that way. And the loving? Hihi, he's very pliable. Well, OK, the metal is kind of cold and chilling to the touch. But if you place him near a fire for a few hours he's much more usable. Unfortunately I can't use him for that anymore. I placed him a tad too close to the fire last time and parts of him melted. We just go for walks now. And sometimes to parties. That's the coolest. When the party gets hot, I beat out calypso melodies on his chest.

Story #83

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Her real name was Xrztzuum Brrrrrrqrriww, but since it couldn't be pronounced she used Lucy. Lucy couldn't afford to be conspicuous. She was a spy from Mars. It was bad enough having naturally red hair and fingernails among a population of blondes. Why had they sent her to Sweden? Nevertheless it seemed to be going well. On her first night on the planet a boy fell in love with her and gave her a teddy bear. The pullover she wore came from still another boy succumbing to instant infatuation. The silver earrings? Same story. Whenever she parted from a boy she'd met the first time she dutifully noted his name and telephone number in a little red book, while the boy immediately went shopping for some token of his esteem. Back home after a long night of socializing she sat unwrapping the latest batch of presents. Afterwards she called all the boys and worked out her surveillance plan. Monday night she would spy on Carrson, Tuesday night on Søren, Wednesday night on Nils...

Story #82

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Felix would do anything to kiss Mia, but having himself turned into a kitten was certainly an ingenious idea. He looked in the yellow pages under "W" for witch. "See under Wiccan," it said. In anticipation of the feline movements he would soon command, he allowed his fingers to slink across the pages to the entry. Madame Sybille's advertisement stood out, a specialist in animal primitivism who offered the additional advantage of nearby offices in an area with strict leash laws. He arrived at a waiting room filled to capacity, took a magic number, and waited for it to be called, not in the usual way, of course. When it was his turn, he faded out of the room and found himself in a darkened chamber, floor, walls and ceiling draped in velvet of deepest purple. Madame Sybille approached him holding a candle under her face, illuminating her features mysteriously.

"I am Madame Sybille," the ageless Wiccan introduced herself, "what is your desire?"

"To be a kitten," Felix answered, thinking how it would improve his chances with the beautiful Mia, who adored kittens.

"Ah, yes, the kitten does enjoy certain advantages with the feminine sex," she remarked to him in an offhand way.

Felix was impressed. She seemed to know everything that was in his thoughts. He worried how he could afford to pay her.

"You are fortunate," she continued, "your karmal insurance fully covers the first magical transformation. Shall I procede?"

"I am ready," he answered.

The unfathomable female applied her powers. He suddenly felt very purry. "Meow," Felix said trying to call out Mia's name, and slinked away to Mia's house where he scratched on her door to be let in. Felix stayed with Mia the rest of his life and could kiss her whenever he wanted. But it would have been much nicer with human lips and a human tongue.

Story #81

Note from Indeterminacy: This story is dedicated to Robyn.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

"I'm warning you, don't order anything on this menu," the strange woman said. She sat down uninvited at their table, waving a cigarette in their faces. Then she continued, "People order from this menu, the food they get ain't normal. There's something in it. You wake up someplace else and never find out where. It happened to a friend of mine. She sent me a post card later saying, 'Help! I don't know where I am.' And get this," she lowered her voice to a whisper: "Someone had dripped grease all over the postmark. You couldn't read it!" The couple fidgeted nervously as the woman continued, "But that ain't the only time something like this happen. I started watching the place. A whole busload of tourists ate here once. And never came out! Good for me. I had dibs on their luggage. But not good for them. By the way, is that your Porsche parked outside?" All of a sudden she began to choke. Then a dazed look crossed her face. "Where am I? What was I telling you? Look, forget anything I said. I have these spells sometimes where I don't know what I'm saying. The food here is just fine. I'd take the steak if I was you. It's out of this world."

Story #80

Monday, November 15, 2004

She was as ancient as time itself. On the first day, she appeared out of the snow, a crystal statue embracing the freezing bitterness all about her, warming it slightly. After a wave of eons the winters became merciful and mild. Tree by tree a forest closed in on all sides, swelling as the air warmed. Soon the vegetation flourished on humid air that engulfed everything. She felt the wet kisses of the sauntering breeze. The jungle thrived for a time, but thinned to a prairie, revealing a sky above. The sun and moon and stars repeated their play of destiny for her again and again. Not even a god could change the outcome. Soon there was no green left, only the white sands all around, and the blue sky and the eternal woman herself. The arid wind caressed her softly but could not kiss her. Suddenly, in the distance, a section of horizon was quietly immersed by an aquamarine presence. It dilated gradually nearer. Before long it was in reach of her, the sea she had awaited past any human conception of chronology. In one beat of her heart, the entire scale of time slowed. Eons gave way to days. Others came to the sand that now embraced a sea, built fleeting castles, lay on towels, tossed Frisbees. The bikini came into the world and clothed her. A digital camera was in her hands. Now the moment had arrived. She recorded an image of the saline waters, as a souvenir of her age-long experience. By evening the tide would wash over her and she would swim in the sea she had longed for.

Story #79

Sunday, November 14, 2004

George was happy now. The aliens were back. He remembered the first time they visited him, how terrified he had been, but deep down, under that scratch proof Teflon surface, they really knew how to fry eggs. Since the first visit he had studied all their recipes, prepared now a smorgasbord of tasty delights for the evening session to begin in a few minutes: Salads of scrambled egg and popcorn, boiled egg-shell crunchy-cakes, and liquid egg slime to wash it down their metallic throats. In good faith the aliens had packaged all the hay of his fields using their matter movers and energy encapsulators. George had attention to detail and wanted to make this visit especially memorable. In addition to the food, he had arranged a cozy evening of entertainment to win over the aliens completely. Videos of My Favorite Martian, Mork and Mindy, and War of the Worlds must show them how interested he was in their culture. If all went well, they would award him the franchise for the McAlien Earthside Saucer Stop and he would never have to work the fields again.

Story #78

Saturday, November 13, 2004

It had all been so easy, the innocent favor for Satan in exchange for two boys, but now nothing was working as she expected. Upon materializing in her bed, Marco had struck up a conversation with the dazed Sergio who still could not understand how he had gotten there. It quickly evolved into a discussion of soccer. Marco was an ardent Italy fan, but Sergio argued the virtues of the Brazilian team. "Hey! I'm Italian! My parents are from Brazil!" she interrupted to no avail. Even the most erotic and yearning facial expressions could not penetrate their concentrated colloquy. What did you have to do to get guys to notice you!? Just then Satan walked in, emanating the air of a master maitre'd. "Everything to your liking?" he inquired politely, offering them ice creams he produced from a special cool box hanging from his neck. "No! No! Satan," she wanted to say, as a repulsive intuition flashed through her, but it was too late. The mental image of the girl licking an ice cream cone had given the boys an idea of something to keep her quiet while they continued their perpetual conversation.

Story #77

Note from Indeterminacy:
This is part three of a trilogy. Part one here. Part two here.

Friday, November 12, 2004

You. Yes, you. I want to give you these flowers. Why? I saw you sprawled there next to that sweet sign of yours and it just awed me. Suddenly I knew I had to rush home, put on my nicest gown, and bring you a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Really? Don't be so hard on yourself. So what if you live in a cardboard box? Surely you have a vase. An empty wine bottle will do. Is there room for two in your box? Oh, I'm sorry, I was just wondering. I didn't mean to appear forward or anything. It's just that I saw you and it was so like magic. No, I can't explain. It overwhelmed me. Maybe it's your disheveledness, those torn clothes, that gruff look. Oh I'd give anything to run my hand up and down your beard stubble. I feel we belong together, in a box, in an alley, on the roof of a condemned warehouse, watching the stars. I would go anywhere with you. It doesn't have to be fancy. It's the little things in life that count. I realize that now since I started taking the Prozac.

Story #76

Thursday, November 11, 2004

The three girls had never been with a man before in the biblical sense, but very often in the sense of the Harlequin romance, that is to say, had imaginations certainly as depraved as anything they might encounter beyond the theoretical. So it was not surprising that they accepted Satan's intriguing offer to tease one of his victims with their unapproachable purity. First they talked to the man about all the things they would never do with him. Anytime he became excited they laughed and gesticulated with such demeanor as to transform his urges into a feeling like cold, wet spaghetti. If he tried to touch one of them, the nearest other girl rapped his knuckles sharply with the handle of her pitchfork while the remaining girl fired a Satanic blend of pepper spray that burned like brimstone. Innocent virgins could certainly be cruel. Finally they improvised a raucous bra dance for him, singing and jiggling in bras that could not be pierced by the naked eye. This accelerated him past the breaking point. He collapsed to the floor, whimpering at his bitter fate. The girls had done their job well. The entertainment the man received could only be classified as PG-13, which was kind of ironic since he had signed the contract, in blood, with an X.

Story #75

Note from Indeterminacy:
This is part two of a trilogy. Part one here. Part three here.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

With great mental effort, the bundle of crisp new currency had willed itself to fall away from the rest of the money meticulously piled and stacked. It hoped to be noticed. "Touch me," it thought, blending in with the whispers of the remaining bundles, forming a collective chorus that must have been worth several million dollars. The amorous, dreaming glances of the onlookers prodded the paper-money-passions to be handled, fondled, folded, turned, and finally passed to someone else who would repeat the whole procedure. They wanted it and knew how to get it, as well. That was in their nature. They merely had to lie there passively, out in the open, with minimal covering. Before long some hand would always grope at them. But it was all a sham, and the bills didn't even know. For they were counterfeit banknotes on a table in a museum in a glassed-off area with a strict "do not touch" policy. They would remain untouched until picked up one day and dumped into the recycling press.

Story #74

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

It would be difficult recruiting three virgins for the night job but Satan had made a promise. The man wanted virgins and he wanted them every night, so that's what he would have. After all, he'd traded his soul for it. Satan gave a self-satisfied chuckle, well aware of the difficulties in finding virtuous girls. He checked his daily list, complete with half-life likelihoods for each of the entries, rejected outright most of the names before eyeing through the distance three girls who might still meet the criteria. The purity rings on their innocent looking fingers added an especially lovely touch. He clapped his hands together and they appeared before him. Appealing to their comic sense of schadenfreude Satan made his proposition. In return for their night of service, or rather lack of service while physically present with the contract partner, they would each be rewarded the next night with their choice of two boys from the other list. Satan warmed to the sound of the three voices toning their affirmation, and chuckled again at the brilliance of his business model. "Virtue has its rewards," he laughed jovially to the girls, enjoying his mood.

Story #73

Note from Indeterminacy:
This is part one of a trilogy. Part two here. Part three here.

Monday, November 08, 2004

It had been a perilous escape from the book of nursery rhymes but now all the characters stood safe and sound on soothing gray cobblestone. Most notably there was Mr. Poppit the Haberdasher who found he'd married the Boston Slasher. And the much loved Little Girl Red, dreamt of evil things in bed, woke one day with a doll by her head. Next to her stood the Nun from the Abbey of Novgorod whose feet as a horse were to be shod, because she wouldn't believe in God. Children often remembered her in their prayers. The Brothers Snoot with heads of fruit for mother's cupboard they did loot had also made good their flight from the gruesome tome. The others, Ms. Garden the Prison Warden and the horribly abused Mrs. Peyton Wife of Satan had escaped from more or less minor rhymes, even less politically correct, that no one could ever remember. The entire group had just been granted asylum and looked forward now to a life of bliss in the real world where bad things never happened.

Story #72

Sunday, November 07, 2004

My name is Fatima. You'll know me soon enough. I'm scheduled to appear in your dream tonight. You just caught me limbering up. Expecting a wild erotic fantasy, aren't you? Well, there's been a change. I read the script this afternoon and went straight to the writers. "I won't do it!" I told them, "I don't even know this guy. Plus I have this recurring thing going on in another guy's sleep." Anyhow, the part of the dream where you're all over me like an octopus, I talked to the writers and asked for extra arms, razor-sharp fingernails and a new ending. I'll be ready for you tonight. And there'll be no escape.

Story #71

Saturday, November 06, 2004

- Irene, I love you, let's have our heads sewn together. Right at the cheek. What a symbol of devotion that would be! I'll do it if you will. Don't answer yet. Think of how lovely it would be. Dancing through life, cheek to cheek, always feeling each other's warmth. Or the little things, sharing a cherry flavored Popsicle, watching a sunset together or a romantic movie. Posing for those pictures they put in the Internet, capturing forever the love in our eyes.
- Bill, what about kissing?
- Kissing? Damn! I forgot about that.

Story #70

Friday, November 05, 2004

It was a scorching day on the planet Mercury. The sisters could feel the sizzling slivers of sunlight pierce into them, tanning them under their asbestos skin. "I want to go back," Mila thought to her sibling. It was too hot even for sound to carry. Mira answered with the image of their last visit to Earth, and the boy with the cold hands. Mila sighed. They both longed to shiver in the arms of their Earth boy again. "We will go back. Now!" Mira's mind telegraphed each syllable with dry deliberation. It was, after all, simplicity itself. They had only to imagine themselves with him, and so it would be. Thoughts began their cohesion, swirling ever swifter around the desire. Soon they would be before him. Somewhere on Earth, that sweet Eskimo boy was waiting for them in his igloo, dreaming. And he had lots of ice cubes ready.

Story #69

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Boy: Is it working?
Girl: No.
Boy: Don't you feel anything?
Girl: No, I don't.
Boy: But the book said we had to lie on top of each other.
Girl: Hmm. I'll try bouncing up and down a bit. Maybe that helps?
Boy: Hey that hurts! You wanna break my back?
Girl: I thought this was supposed to be fun. I think it's boring.
Boy: Wait a minute. Wait a minute. I think I know what we're doing wrong!
Girl: Tell me?
Boy: You've got to lie so your legs are dangling over my head.
Girl: No way! I couldn't do that on the first date.

Story #68

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

"Come! Eat us! Eat us!" the Pringles thought in mental waves emanating to fill the room. "They promised us in the factory we'd be eaten. Don't worry about fat. They'll love you when you're fat!" The entire can of Pringles thought this as one. Just as each Pringle looked and tasted alike, so did they think alike. But it ended there. Once inside her body it was every chip for itself. A mad rush would begin to settle the new, wild frontier that she was. Some would congregate in the central regions of her tender midriff, others would savor the choice land of her tanned thighs, as lovely inside as on the surface. The venturous ones dreamed of a life in the warm suburbs of her curvaceous bottom. The Pringles sent out another wave of wishes to direct the lady, "Come on! We're spicy! Just the thing for a hot Cajun mama!"

Story #67

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Lisa loved to dance. She never talked. She just danced. Her way to meet someone new was to circle around the person, smiling and dancing. There was no need to give her name. It hung on a tag around her neck. Impossible to read, but at least she didn't appear entirely rude, darting around so close in someone's personal space. Sometimes the befallen ones tried to grab and kiss her, but they never could. She was too nimble and bent swiftly away from their approaching fingers as if she were a computer animation. Sometimes her dances grew daringly wild, stunning the one in the circle she danced. There was a secret way to tame her, but no one had yet found it out. You had to dance with her, even wilder.

Story #66

Monday, November 01, 2004

The volunteers from the Liberty Landmark Church were wholly enthusiastic: men, women and children alike. In a moving sermon their reverend had warned of the nation's lack of intelligence from inside the Islamic terrorist infrastructure. In order to expose the inhuman nature of the enemy the Homeland front needed eyes and ears in the Mosques, in El Quaida caves, on Saudi Arabian street corners. The reverend urged his parishioners to come forward and commit themselves to help. These were the ones who had answered the call. To be successful, they must become inhuman themselves. It had been a gruelling indoctrination, but they finally absorbed the primitive ideology and would now be subjected to a surprise quiz to certify their authenticity. The Homeland Security Grand Inquisitor General posed the questions randomly and directly, indicating with his usually accusing but now somewhat friendlier finger the person who should answer:

"You sir, should young, unmarried women have sex before marriage?"

"Unmarried women of any age must remain pure or they are dirty and worthless in the eyes of Allah."

"Good answer!" He pointed again to someone else, "What about feminism?"

"Allah does not want women to be feminists. The man must be the head of the household. Women must stay in the home and bear children for the glory of Islam."

"Perfect. And what about unbelievers?"

"Those who do not believe the true word of Allah are beneath our respect. We must unite and defeat them in any way possible."

"Excellent. One more," he said, pointing again, "What do you think of homosexuals?"

"They have sinned willfully and abominably in the eyes of Allah. They will burn in Hell."

"Brilliant!" declared the inquisitor after his random inspection, "I think I've heard enough. No one would ever suspect that you were Christians."

Story #65