The ghost hunter team listened intently to the indefinable sounds coming from the EVP recorder.
"Holy shit, did you hear that?"
Questioningly, the portly hunter of lost souls looked at his less corpulent comrade. He was, by his own admission, totally paranormally gifted, but not particularly blessed with other mental gifts or fictional creativity.
"Gee Stan, the ghost neighed and then even burped!"
An understandingly telltale flash of a slightly smarmy grin on the paranormal investigator's face indicated that he now understood Oliver the Spiritualised's intentions. Like Merlin before the final spell, Stan closed his eyes and contorted his countenance into a facial expression that most likely resembled that of King Arthur's court magician after the thorough failure of the aforementioned spell in his agony.
"I sense a negative entity - the unspeakable evil!"
For Oliver Babe, the unctuous words of the talentless medium gave him the cue to fully develop his acting talents. Giving a pointed scream and shaking his head, the fat ghostly terror now ran around gesticulating wildly to place himself breathlessly with his expansive buttocks on a rather worn writing desk. On this ominous night, the illustrious pair of discoverers of otherworldly fake activities were filming in an abandoned school in Gelsum and had accordingly chosen a run-down classroom as their target of extremely paranormal investigations. There, allegedly imaginative students had seen completely freaky beings after consuming various mind-expanding substances many years ago. It was rumoured at the time that a pink unicorn named Jacko was hauntingly galloping around there and was supposed to be one of the most horrible beings of darkness. On top of all that, the ghost of a deceased teacher was rumoured to be haunting the former Coll-Bros-Ripper High, whose fury in chastising recalcitrant pupils prevented him from entering teacher heaven.
"Oh my God, they pulled my ears and poked me in the butt!"
Actually, according to the script, it was supposed to be Stan Lorbeer's turn again with a gruesome vision of mythical creatures and a teacher, but unfortunately he had forgotten various details. So the most paranormal of all media simply spouted his standard line, which he picked up a long time ago from the mouth of the president of the Bishops' Conference during a visit to a strip club.
"I command thee by St. Jude, unveil thyself, O creature of the night!"
Now, the oblivious necromancer had the EVP recorder in his right hand since the beginning of the event, so that in view of the distance of several metres between the spiritualist hunting companions, the ventriloquism skills of his companion attacked by the imagined phantoms of the night faced a special challenge, which Babe, however, mastered brilliantly.
"Ühühü, Jacko. Ooooh, teacher Bulldog."
In the tradition of various prophets of monotheistic religions, the ghost-hunting duo began the exorcism with played holy fury, first smashing the rotten furniture of the classroom in an outburst of senseless violence while reciting meaningless Bible verses.
For the crowning finale, the inquisitors of hallucinated phantoms began breathlessly shrieking with the final expulsion of imaginary demons.
"Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed ..."
"What a piece of junk!"
Frank Zapper took a big swig from the whiskey bottle and resolutely pressed the remote control. The social pedagogue in the service of a clerical sponsor televised the esoteric clambake of the 'Ghostfinder Bros' - not to be confused with the 'Witchfinder Bros', who usually held a nice bonfire with the discovered contemporaries at the end - actually with delight. But our hidden atheist hero, who had to be a paying member of that pious club by order of his mammon-loving employer, was nowhere near the necessary alcohol level to enjoy the show properly. Normally, the compulsorily Christianised kindergarten director would enter his modest, expensively paid official residence half-drunk to finally kick the bucket after work, but in those pandemic times, the church childcare centre remained closed and our man remained unemployed with reduced pay. Completely hungover, Frank had risen a short while ago and, after a disgusted look at the innards of his squalid 2-room flat, decided to deal with his woes in the usual way. So the victim of confused epidemic control measures decapitated a cheap bottle of 'Old Moonshine' from the discount store and switched on his only friend to distractingly enjoy himself up with programmes that were far from any quality in large parts.
"...and they smoked, too. For this reason alone, our infallible, eternal head of government considered the use of water cannons against the insolent demonstration of the deniers to be 'helpful' and without alternative. Even the holy double-goat found the action of the forces of order to be appropriate, but not strict enough. According to the faction leader of the 'apostles of the permanent apocalypse', such 'right-wing' incitements should be countered with all the rigour of the constitutional state, as Doppelbock understands it. Moreover, the enemies of controlled democracy would prefer to disguise themselves as so-called 'peaceful demonstrators' without an openly right-wing extremist agenda, in order to divide society with their subversive agitation! Regarding the objection of incorrigible dissidents, who for some unknown reason have not yet been muzzled, that the demands of the demonstrators refer to constitutional rights, the wisest of all apostles replied that any criticism of the absolutist decisions of the progressive united front would be fascist per se and that the so-called 'constitution' would soon be harmonised with the eternally true dogmas of the united recorders anyway. President Senilius Superbus added to the delight of the inferior people by stating that society would have to stand together as a monolithic block according to the united front against right-wing splittists, for my sake, whereby left-wing deviants would of course also have to be closely observed, because they would be the next ones to be 'taken care of'. Presumably, the clownish Lord of Evil, times ago voted out of office in Atlantis, is behind it."
Claudius Prawda, well-dressed in a tailor-made suit and chief news anchor of the state television, now skilfully regarded the imaginary audience with a serious look.
"Because we all know: Democracy is good, guided democracy is better! ..."
After a good swig from the bottle, Zapper changed the channel without comment - the walls were thin and one did not know whether a begrudging neighbour might denounce one for 'thought terrorism'. In view of the rather primitive government propaganda for the simple-minded, Frank thought his piece, but avoided deviating from the given corridor of opinion, as he was attached to his bourgeois, albeit rather modest, existence.
"Working is no not good for me! I'm no not stupid!"
Lazyinski Dogginski grinned moronically into the camera and picked his nose with relish. Dubbed 'Absurdistan's most impudent welfare cheat' by various media on behalf of the increasing dumbing down of the native population, the fifty-something entertained parts of the television audience every evening as an object of hatred.
Lazyinski Dogginski grinned moronically into the camera and picked his nose with relish. Dubbed 'Absurdistan's most impudent social fraudster' by various media on behalf of the increasing stupefaction of the native population, the fifty-something entertained parts of the television audience every evening as an object of hatred, who found themselves powerfully confirmed in the prejudices desired from high above. Of course, a few years later it would turn out that the brazen culprit was actually named John Brown and an actor employed by the broadcaster; but nobody was interested in that any more at the time.
"They want me to work at Harst. It's a mile away from Gelsum, where I live! No, no! And then I had to work in a chip shop for a measly 2,000. If it was in the office, as a boss or something, we could talk about it. But four thousand net must be in there..."
While Brown alias Dogginski continued to recite his well-rehearsed text, it gradually faded out and an unctuous voice from offstage opened the next scene.
"This is how Absurdistan's most impudent social fraudster philosophises about the disadvantages of honest work! But the Fakenstein family has a completely different opinion!"
In a living room pimped by the broadcaster was the carefully selected extended family whose single, female head just rebuke her job-seeking son.
"Young man, that's not the way to do it! We live on subsistence level!"
More subtly than with the previous actor, the poor-bashing was done by showing the expensive 100-inch plasma TV that 'ABC II' had loaned to the family out of pure charity for the duration of the filming.
"But I don't want to work as a labourer in construction anymore!"
Impressively, a close-up of the brand-name shoes of the 'black sheep' of the family was taken. Who might have given these shoes to the stubborn son before filming began, with the condition that he wear them for every shot?
"The fine gentleman wants to do a high school diploma! All I can say is: Cobbler stick to your last. He's got to squeeze his cheeks together and finally work. What do you want at school? That's not for us. Take your sister as an example, she's highly gifted with an IQ of 146, they say. She cleans for 10 hours for minimum wage and drinks away her inner cells in the evening, because she's from our neighbourhood and can't get a decent job anyway.
"While Mother Fakenstein rebukes her underachieving son, Great-Grandmother Babuska lovingly cares for her granddaughter Baba Jaga's 10 children ..."
With an unwilling sigh, the tormented viewer once again operated his remote control. Of course, first taking a big swig from the bottle.
"We have understood! By 2040 we will be completely CO2-free - quite, quite honestly! As true friends of the environment, we have ordered 100,000 generously subsidised e-cars, for whose lithium batteries we will gladly devastate South American landscapes and flatten the local population. Electricity generation? No problem, because it comes from the socket! In addition, our innovative company has hired specialists for solar and wind dances in case the weather should actually refuse renewable energies. Our megalomaniac great company has also ensured climate-neutral disposal of the resulting electric waste! Industrious African children use crowbars to dismantle the environmentally friendly cars at lightning speed for next to nothing and bury the troublesome batteries in the deep jungle or throw them into wide rivers. Therefore, don't be an old environmental sow, but buy our sh... immediately."
Giggling hysterically and slightly panicked despite his alcohol consumption, the victim of green-coated consumer terror switched the program. Without really realising what torture sequence the TV now had in store for him, Frank took a huge swig from the bottle this time at the thought of the CO2- and prosperity-free future the rulers were planning to give him.
" ...so Zhèng commanded an army of up to 600,000 soldiers. To clarify the correct scales here, the universally educated authors of this documentary found out after intensive research that Rome could only muster a total of 6000 men in the 2nd Punic War, which was taking place at the same time..."
The devoted zapper uttered a slight curse and quickly operated the remote control, as he was not in the mood for a documentary. However, this had nothing to do with the bullshit he had just been told on television, as our man already belonged to the generation whose school education was highly one-dimensional in the sense of the powerful and the dumbing down of the masses.
The author should mention here that he was allowed to be an ear-witness to such nonsense as part of a documentary about the first Chinese emperor. Perhaps the target strength of a Roman legion some 120 years later was simply confused with the number of soldiers fighting in this long-running war. In the famous battle of Cannae (216 B.C.E.) alone, 80000 Romans and confederates fought. As for the rest, the writer of these dubious lines deep knowledge of Chinese history.
"A child must do what a child has to do!"
The small farmer gleefully looked at his 12-year-old daughter with his faithful blue eyes as she laughed merrily in the sweat of her brow, cleaning out the filthy pigsty with her hands.
"Marie-Cloe you are doing very well. I am very proud of you for helping your mother so that she can carry quintals of sacks in Scrooge's grain mill 12 hours a day! We can put that $2 a month to good use, you good child!"
"Daddy, can't we go to Mr Pennypacker's general shop and buy a used pitchfork, then I could work faster and plough the field with it?"
"20 cents is a lot of money, that's what the honourable grain merchant Vlad Tepec pays us for 50 bushels of grain. We also have to pay double tithe to Reverend Goldfinger, because the Lord told him to buy a new luxury carriage in honour of the heavenly hosts."
"Yes, my heart-bobbled dirty chippy?"
"Did George Washington actually clean out his pigsties too?"
"No, my child. He had nice, coloured employees who were happy to do this for him free of charge. Once a year at Thanksgiving, they would take the chains off the entire African-American workforce and give them delicious turkey bones. They used to call these people slaves, but that term hasn't existed since the Civil War."
"Oh Daddy, slave you'd have to be! Turkey bones, what a feast!"
The good farmer looked proudly at his busy little daughter.
"But my child, don't say such things! We are free Americans and we are living the poor man's American dream! Pa also fought for the Union in the great war because he didn't have $300 to buy his way out of military service."
Abe Lincoln looked at his daughter, slightly annoyed, but still nodded encouragingly.
"Will there be cucumber waste again at Christmas?"
"Oh my child, the harvest was bad, but maybe there are jobs at the 'Lost Souls' mining company. They're always looking for new hewers because of the collapsing shafts. I'll gladly wear my hide to market for my daughter's cucumber waste, won't I?"
"Thank you, thank you! Daddy, I love you!"
"I love you too, little one! Daddy, must hurry to the sawmill now, or Mr. Long John Silver will dock him the day's pay again, like yesterday when he was three minutes late."
Happy with himself and his cinematic world, Abe turned to leave, but turned there.
"Never forget, my child, this is the land of the free and the brave! So muck out the pigsty diligently and firmly believe that the stench of faeces is in truth the breath of freedom, for the Lord wills it as the Reverend always says!"
Although the zapper Frank laughed heartily in the meantime, the matter gradually became sinister to him, despite his advancing drunkenness. After a moderate sip from the now half-empty bottle, he put an end to the pitiful, menial farmer and sought his misfortune on another channel.
"A captal-regal lymph gland syndrome with smurfy capillary reduction!"
"And that means Doctor Jacktheknive?"
"I guess we'll have to amputate his penis!"
The dictatorial senior doctor, an arrogant-looking mid-fifties man, regarded his patient's mentally poor wife with amused twinkling eyes.
"No, colleague, I must strongly disagree. This is against human dignity, there is still an alternative therapy..."
"Dr Greta Schweizer, be silent! I, as supreme white coat and reincarnation of Hippocrates in macho guise, have absolute authority here."
The diabolical senior doctor glared angrily at his recalcitrant subordinate, an attractive lady in her mid-20s. She, however, returned his gaze with cool superiority.
"I will follow the voice of my conscience. I will not be intimidated by you, you old white man. You should leave the meeting room now and crawl under your little rock, or I'll inform clinic director Paracelsus about your shady dealings!"
Horrified, the conscienceless physician flinched and regarded his bright adversary with a viciously fearful gaze.
"You've won this time, but you'll regret it!"
As in the 20 previous scenes with the same knitting pattern, the loudmouthed serial villain hissed off like a whipped dog.
"Dear Mrs Cochon-Stupide, do not be afraid. We will take good care of your husband."
With kindly glittering eyes, the noble doctor looked at the poorly dressed patient's wife.
"If there's no other way, oh great white doctor, then just cut it off. The main thing is that Robot can get back to work soon so we can pay the mortgage on my house."
Dr. Schweizer gave the worried wife an almost loving look.
"But dear lady, as I mentioned, there is an alternative therapy that is very promising for me. Your husband will be free of all worries and financially it shall not be to your detriment."
"You are a saint, doctor!"
"Well, I'm just about to be beatified, but what isn't can still be. By the way, your husband is an organ donor, isn't he?"
"Yes, your holiness. Why?"
"You may call me Greta. So, alternatively, we would amputate your husband's head, he probably doesn't need it that often anyway. We would then store it in our freezer until a vaccine against...Hmm, what was the name of the disease - never mind. Anyway, until a vaccine is found and then we would resurrect him according to the mythological Lazarus method. To cover the expenses and pay my 50% commission, we will simply auction off the now useless organs of your beloved husband quite democratically to the highest bidder. There's a whole 5% gross in it for you, from which we'll just deduct a small 90% handling fee! Well, what do you say?"
"Oh Greta, you are more loving than Jesus. I thought Robot was going to die and I was going to lose the house. Maybe I can even put my husband's head in my icebox, save on storage costs, right?"
"Now don't get greedy! Because, as many a corrupt minister always preaches to his taxpaying flock, it is better to give than to receive. But, dear lady, I can already offer you a one-time payment of 50 dollars for self-storage!"
"God bless you!"
"Then it's a deal?"
"Of course, could I have a small advance so I can go shopping to ease the anguish of my soul?"
"Unfortunately not! Dear Mrs Cochon-Stupide, I took the liberty of preparing the tedious paperwork for you a few days ago. Why don't you just sign here..."
As with many productions of state television, the compulsorily fee-paying viewer felt extremely bored here; a full alcohol level didn't help either. Admittedly, the medical heroic sagas were nowhere near as bad as the endless crime series, but our man still took a swig from the bottle and entrusted himself once again to the remote control.
"...and Prince John celebrated the party in grand style. His royal lordship enjoyed himself imprisoning and flogging recalcitrant taxpayers in the royal dungeons. But why was King Richard absent from such exquisite pleasures? Rumour has it that His Majesty is in Palestine on business. Our nobility expert, Eleanor of Aquitaine, sees more of a certain rivalry between brothers in the background here. Or are the haemorrhoids that, according to his valet, are plaguing His Majesty to blame for the royal indisposition? There are also rumours at court of an affair with a French actor..."
Nameless horror seized the great zapper. Was it even a divine punishment executed through the television? Determined, Frank put the bottle on, but didn't get to drink because he, like the rest of humanity, was affected by the anomaly in the space-time continuum....
Completely hungover, Frank rose and, after a disgusted look at the innards of his squalid 2-room flat, decided to deal with his worries in the usual way. So the victim of confused disease control measures decapitated a cheap bottle of 'Old Moonshine' from the discount store and turned on his only friend to distractedly himself up with the programmes, which were far from any quality in large parts.
Concentrating, the ghost-hunting team listened to the indefinable sounds coming from the EVP recorder.
"Holy shit, did you hear that?"
The insidious thing about time loops is, of course, that the person affected doesn't notice. So let's ask ourselves whether there is a tomorrow at all?
© 2020 JU/H.K.H Jeub
Sample from ‚Wicked Weird World beyond reality timelines’
All rights belong to its author. It was published on e-Stories.org by demand of Qayid Aljaysh Juyub.
Published on e-Stories.org on 04/28/2022.
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