Becoming

I wrote this after re-watching the second season of The Umbrella Academy again, and was focused on the idea of “The Prophet” and a cult. In season 2 Klaus ‘accidentally’ starts a cult, and I went another direction, deliberately starting a cult for the money and having it turn into something more. This is what I got.


What I started was not a cult! It was an alternative spiritual group, and I will be the first to admit that I started it for the money.

I grew up in a household so fiercely religious, that when I turned 18 I ran and never looked back. Then the money ran out. I took odd jobs, and quickly realized that I could talk my way into a lot more than most people really should have given me.

By 28 I had a rap sheet, and I wanted to try something new, so when I took a free seminar on spirituality, I realized I could do this. I could be this. A few days at the library had given me a rough idea of what I would need, from then on it was just word of mouth.

I changed my looks, grabbed some crystals, and the next seminar I went to, I went from attendee to leader as those around me ate up my act. The key, was telling them I wanted nothing. The more I let out little tidbits and denied compensation the more they chomped at the bit to give it to me. I restricted their access to me, they started tracking me down. I sold my empty one bedroom loft as a life free from material burden.

They started begging me to take their material goods, to use it to benefit them, to un-tether them from their earthly goods. I was reluctant, but I took all their money, and put it back into promotional materials, staff, a facility. There were people who did this, launched alternative health shit, and they were right on board helping me sell the image of the prophet and I just sat back and chilled. My following grew in droves, and the more there were, the less I saw most of them, it made them think it was real.

When I went global, shit got weird. The “prophecies” I gave, they started coming true, and when they did, the devotion exploded, and thats the moment I realized I had fucked up. I was staring at a glowy dude welcoming me to the pantheon, holding half a morning glory muffin.

“Congratulations David, on your ascension! It has been many years since one of your kind has undergone the transition.”

“The what now?” I asked, what the fuck was this dude on.

“The transition to godhood. You have spread your word, gathered devotion, and when you sparked, you fanned the flame rather than snuff it out. Gave prophecy to help guide the life of the lower beings. You are now one of us.”

What the fuck was in that muffin. LSD? The guy was starting to look a little pissed, and I was a lot of things, but a fighter wasn’t one of them. Ok David, you can do this, this is your jam, diffuse the tension. I threw a huge grin on my face.

“Dude, that’s great. I, uh, am sorry about being so weird about all this, I just didn’t expect it to, uh, happen so fast, you know?” Smooth David, that was real smooth.

It did seem to have placated the large glowy dude. “Ah, I can see where that might be a bit of a surprise to you. It was rather a quick transition, you are ready to abandon your mortal life?” He kind of asked, well, it wasn’t exactly a question if you know what I mean.

“Uh, ya, as I said, it was a bit of a surprise, is there, um?” I was stalling, first to admit it.

The glowy man heaved a great sigh and it felt like the ground shook. “Fourty Eight hours is the most that can be given. At the end of which, you will shed the last of your mortal coil, whether you join the pantheon or the afterlife, it’s up to you.”

I could still here his voice echo for minutes after he was gone. I threw out the muffin, never eating worshiper muffins again. Worst trip Ever!


I knew it wasn’t real, it couldn’t be real, that none of it was real, and I held onto that for the first 24 hours. That was when I legit turned water to wine, and either I was a god, or I had had a psychotic break, and I didn’t know what was more terrifying.

So I started putting my affairs in order, and had three different people ask if I was depressed. It was hard to explain why a perfectly healthy person puts their affairs in order, but what was I gonna say, ascension to godhood. They would put me in the nut-house…or they would believe me, and both options were pretty bad.

I made it 44 hours before one of my “worshippers” over heard me talking to myself about ascension. I spent my last 4 hours on the mortal plain locked in my office, with my oak desk barricading the door.

I managed to down half the bottle of scotch, when I heard the voice. “It is time” And I went with it.

It felt like I was on fire, the whole room glowed, like I was a fucking a bomb, and then, then I wasn’t, and yet I was.

I was there, and everywhere, all at once. I could see my followers pushing away the desk, and then falling prostrate on the ground when they found my windowless office empty.

I could feel them, the power swelling within me as they began to pray, and as my last shred of prior self was burned out of me, I had had this thought. This is so not how I thought it would end.

Repent

This one is a picture prompt response to this weeks image below. I want to continue the story of Lottie, the troubled teenager from Monday’s six-sentence story, who has been repenting for her sins, but hasn’t quite managed to get them all…


Lottie looked up the street from the passenger’s side of her mother’s car, and felt a fission of fear  go up her spine as she recognized the buildings around her.  They were almost there, almost at church. 

There was a time that thought would have thrilled her, but that was when church was a place she felt welcome, and she was young and innocent.  Now she had sinned, and this is the place where she would be judged for that which she had done.

Each week it was worse, as the wrath she felt grew from a tiny ember to a raging inferno with each day at school fueling the ever-growing flame.  She had managed she shed her pride, her envy, and battled her sloth daily, but the wrath she knew now was her one great weakness. 

As it was fed from the cruelty of her classmates, it had gone from being a timid thing to a monster that she could barely control, and she knew that one day it would be let loose upon the world.  That would be a day of reckoning, not for her and her trespasses, but for all those who trespassed against her.

For now she would bide her time, give them the chance to earn their salvation, while she knew for her that time had passed.   She would sit in the pew, bow her head, pretend to pray, and hope that no one would notice her falseness….


The story doesn’t end here, if you want to read what happens next, got to Part Three

Penance

The word of the week is SIN, and this is the direction my mind went.  Follow the story of Lottie, who feels like she is being punished for her sins, and must repents, because after all, that’s the only option….or is it?


Lottie sobbed as she looked down at her ruined clothing, knowing that the blood wouldn’t come out, and that there wouldn’t be any new clothes until Christmas.

It was her own fault, her own sin of pride that had made this happen, and the bloodstains she would be forced to wear would be just as much a punishment as the bleeding.

If she was honest with herself, and she should be if she wanted to repent, there had been quite a bit of envy, wrath, and greed that had led to this as well, to the day of her reckoning.

She should have known better than to try and leave her place, to rise above the station she was granted, but she had always thought that she could do better, be better, if she tried.

Maybe she should add sloth to the list, as her mother was always telling her she was lazy, that she wasn’t doing enough, and that if she just applied herself she would excel, but it seemed she never got there.

There was a part of her that felt guilt for her trespasses, but there was another part, a deeper, darker part, that looked out at all those people laughing, giving her mocking or pitying looks, and felt a smouldering rage that with each incident was being fanned up into a fire that could consume them all, or maybe just her, but only time would tell which way it would go.


Lottie’s story doesn’t end here, do you want to know more? Head on over to Part Two

Trip of a Lifetime

I actually think I might have written a story by this name before, but this week it’s a response to the challenge of writing a story with the words “Typhoon, Vacation, Mask, Teller”. This is the strange little story I came up with. Its weird, dark and unhappy, with a spot on fortune teller!


Lynn gripped the arms of her seat with desperation as the plane dropped another few feet. She knew it was serious when the airline attendants buckled in, and the pilot hadn’t even tried to soften the blow with a “minor turbulence, nothing to be concerned about” announcement.

The luggage flying out of the overhead bins was followed by the dropping of the oxygen masks, and she wasn’t sure which one was causing more panic among her fellow passengers. As pried her fingers from the arm rest to secure her own mask, she thought back to how she had gotten here, on the last plane out before the typhoon hit, wondering how it had all gone so wrong.

It started, strangely enough, at a fair, with her playing good Auntie with her youngest sister’s two kids. They were 9 and 11, just tall enough to go on the rides, and young enough to find spending the day at the fair with their aunt, awesome.  It was Brandy’s idea to go to the fortune teller, and upon hearing that Lynn would “win something she hadn’t expected to” in the next month, it was Brandy who insisted she enter the contest that won her the vacation she was on now.

To Brandy, it seemed like proof that the woman they saw was a true psychic, while Lynn suspected it had more to do with Brandy making her enter every sweepstakes, radio contest, and raffle within an hour’s drive. Between that and the half dozen lottery tickets she had purchased in the month following the prediction, she was bound to win something, but the awe was adorable, so Lynn played along.

Her first reaction to getting the phone call saying she had won the grocery stores “get-away” contest had been to hang up the phone, and the second, but the third call the lady begged her not to hang up, so she listened to the spiel.

It helped she remembered this particular contest, making her niece do the skill testing question in the name of math skills, and when they didn’t need any of her personal information on the line, agreeing to do it through the air line, Lynn ended up accepting.

Getting the time off was surprisingly easy, her boss ate the fair/sweepstakes story, and all but demanded she go.  

So she went, and for the first three days of the trip it was amazing, a little hot and humid for her tastes, but well, it was a vacation she never would have been able to afford, the air fare alone was outside her meager budget. 

Then the weather changed, and it took two more days, and then a google search to figure out exactly what a typhoon was.  She still had 3 days left on her all-inclusive, but she packed her bags and headed for the airport.  She expected to have to pay for the flight, but the agency was surprisingly accommodating, and after being bumped three times she was finally seated on what she found out shortly before take-off would be the last flight out. 

She thought that she had been lucky, but as the plane plummeted through the air, she thought back to the second part of the reading she had all those months ago, “something wonderful will turn into a tragedy”, and she thought that the woman might have been psychic after all.