8th post, the first story he told his son: A Morningstar

Like the previous post, i played this straight, making it up as i went along, no hesitating. Cripes, i’m rereading this and finding i don’t like it much anymore. Shame. HERE IT IS ANYWAY:


A Morningstar


There was a tiny knock on our door.
“Daddy, Daddy, please open up” said a door-muffled voice. “Oh shit, honey, better pull up the covers.” It seems that our son had caught mum and I at a rather inconvenient moment. She looks at me and mouths “You go.”

“Why?” I ask.

This time she whispers, a little bit forcefully, “Well, I’m not exactly dressed, am I?” And that was not strictly true. She was dressed in my favorite purple thing, the one I ordered online. I get out of bed, pull on my boxers and open the door. I look down at our son, Donald, who stares at me for a moment, then rubs his eyes, a little dramatically. “I can’t sleep daddy.” He says. And then he yawns.

“Is that right?” I say, and smile back. I squat a bit, look at him face to face, and tilt my head to the side. “And how come we can’t sleep?”
“Because…because…” he searches for the words. I figure I’ve tortured him enough now, so I rescue him. I know exactly what he’s looking for. “Would you like a….hmm….I don’t know…story?” As soon as I say “story”, which of course I mouth so Rose doesn’t hear, the little guy’s eyes light right up. “STORY!” He practically yelps, and makes a tired little hop. And now I’m fucked. “OK Donny Darko, get in bed and I’ll be right over, I’ve just gotta kiss mummy goodnight first.”

“Ewww” he says and makes a little face, and scampers off to his room. I go back to the bed, and Rose says “Story? Well I’m going to bed then.” Then she turns right over so she’s facing away from me. Jesus. So much for my BJ. “Honey, I’ll only be a minute…maybe you could stay up…” But she yawns theatrically, sticking her hands into the air, and switches off the lamp. She can be such a little bitch. I throw on my favorite robe, and throw a “love you.” in her direction, and close the door slowly enough to catch her own “Love you too baby.” Sometimes I think I spent thirty years of shitty luck for these few perfect moments. Right now it’s worth it.

Donald’s room is awash in the glow of his night-light; a little, yellow, bee-shaped thing that plugs into the socket next to his bed. Green glowing constellations hover above his bed, stickers on his ceiling that in the dark create the illusion of a boundless night. Donald loves astronomy, which has forced me to Wiki stuff I’d never look up just so we can talk about it. Last night we took out the telescope and found Orion’s belt. The next day he’d already come up with another constellation for us to look for, and on Sunday its Venus. “That’s bright enough to see without a telescope dad.” He’d said, in his teaching-voice.
“It has another name as well Donny: “The Morning Star.”
“Why’s that Dad?” He’d asked.

“Because you can sometimes see it in the morning as well.” And because that didn’t feel true, or true enough, I added. “And that’s because it’s where the Morningstar lives.” Which may have been a bit premature. Of course Donald, being a precocious little bastard had to ask, “Who’s the Morningstar dad?” My only response to which, was of course, evasion. And since you can’t get the kid to stop asking, I had to say “I’ll tell you tomorrow night all about him.” And then promptly forgot the whole affair. Now, I sit over Donny’s bed, stroking his black curls away from his face, hoping it will lull him to sleep, thinking about another story just in case, something more child-rated, or at the most PG… “Dad, can you tell me about the Morningstar?”

Lucifer always is his own story. “I don’t know Donald; it’s quite late and…”
“BUT YOU PROMISSSED!” And my heart turns to shit. I mean what can any father, who hasn’t completely thrown in the towel, say to that?
“Okay, but it’s going to be short.” I pitch my voice, trying to make that some kind of threat, but Donny knows he’s already won. He smiles triumphantly, and waits, patiently, for me, to make something up.

“Okay, once upon a time on the planet Venus, was an angel…” “What’s an angel?” This is what I get for being an atheist. Well, they are like us, humans, but stronger, and they can fly. They have huge wings with feathers, big beautiful bird wings, and they try to protect us, normal humans, from trouble. “What trouble?” Well, from other things that live on other planets… “Like STAR WARS!” he concludes, with all the conviction a six year old can muster. Umm…a little. But really, there are good angels, and bad angels. Just like there are bad people and good people. So the Morningstar protects us from the bad angels. “Who are they?” he asks, and he’s clearly not getting any sleepier.

“Donny?” I ask.

“Yeah…” he says in a little squeaky voice, completely in the know that he fucked up. But again I try to be nice. “Donny, if you want me to tell the story, you got to let me tell, it, and at the end you can ask…let’s say three questions. Fair?”
He thinks about it, like he’s pondering furthering our little negotiation, and then nods. “Yeah!”
Okay, so on Venus, there was a king, his name was Yahweh, and he was very old. One day he summoned all the angels, from all the trees of Venus- they lived in big nests you see, ‘cept instead of wood they were made of stone, and marble, and glass- anyway, they came to his palace, which was built upon the branch of the biggest tree of all. The tree was so big that, if you tried to climb it, it would take ten days to get to the top. (At this point I stopped for a moment, and took in Donald’s innocent gasp of wonder. I caught him climbing a tree the other day, and even scolded him a bit for it. But still it was a pretty impressive fucking feat for a six year old.)

So the angels came from all over, and Yahweh said, “Bring me two angels, one who is the wisest, and one who is the strongest!” So the angels, all gather upon that tree, had a dilemma. How shall they choose the strongest angel? And how the wisest? There was a great commotion, as everyone started speaking at once… “They should have put up their hands!” observed Donald, sagaciously. Then there came a great voice, as if from above them all, “WE SHOULD HAVE A COMPETITION!” Then all the angels went silent, as they all thought, at the same time: my what a great idea! “ But what kind of competition?” asked some. Then the same booming voice said, “I WILL TIE THE TIGHTEST KNOT! WHOEVER CAN PULL IT APART SHALL BE THE STRONGEST! WHOEVER CAN UNTIE SHALL BE THE WISEST!” Then they all looked up and saw the person speaking- it was another angel, in fact, it was Lucifer Morningstar- who was already well respected among the angels for his cunning, and his honesty. It is said that although Lucifer sometimes acts selfishly, he never lies, and always keeps his promises. The angels all agreed, and decided to meet back outside the palace of Yahweh in one week, to find who among them was both the strongest and the wisest. The next day Lucifer had to gone to find his rope, and he picked the roots of Yiggdrasil- the very tree upon which the palace stood. He then banished everyone from being around the palace, because he wanted it so that no one could see him tie the roots together. A week past, and the palace opened its gates, and all the angels flocked in. Many had been training hard that entire week, doing puzzles and untying little knots to strengthen their minds, as well as lifting rocks, and hurtling boulders to exercise their muscles.
Then Yahweh stepped out, dressed in the king-of-Venus’s robe and the sun crown. He was to judge the untying of the knot. Many then tried to untie the knot. After many failed, only five angels remained. The knot had been so complex, and so strong that no one so far could have untied it! And the whole time Yahweh had watched, and it seemed to all the other angels that he was getting more and more angry as more and more angels failed. The fifth-last angel then stepped up. It was rumored he was smartest angel in all of Venus. He wore huge glasses on his face, that allowed him to see in great detail for miles and miles. He inspected the knot carefully, for many minutes, and then muttered “EUREKA!” At that all the angels went silent, and looked at the genius angel, whose name was Duriel.

He placed his finger under a single bit of tree-root, and said, “Here is the key! If I pull up on this one piece, the whole thing will be undone!” And with that pronouncement he pulled. And pulled. And pulled. To no avail. Yahweh was furious. “NEXT” he bellowed, shooing away the genius angel before he’d even had a chance to protest. The fourth last angel’s name was Amandiel. It was said he was the strongest of all the angels, and his arms were truly huge. They were bigger then his wings even! “Hah! I shall pull apart this little knot, with ease!” He proclaimed. And he squat down in front of it, and he huffed and puffed, and he grabbed the two ends and pulled, with all his might. He pulled and pulled and got red in the face, and the root actually began to stretch! It seemed as if it might actually break, and then, the ground itself began to shake. And the roots stopped stretching. It seemed as if no matter how much Amandiel pulled it didn’t make a difference anymore. Yahweh was laughing as well! “Aahahaha” He bellowed. “Amandiel, were you to pull for a thousand years, you could not break this rope!” And then he chuckled again, heartily, as if to a great joke only he knew. Amandiel, who now felt ashamed, walked away. The third last was Gabriel, and with him he carried a shining sword, made entirely of flame. The angels gasped, as without hearing anyone’s protest, he swung the blade at the knot, as if to cut it asunder. There was a resounding CLANG! And the blade bounced off. Yahweh again, chuckled- he was getting less angry and more amused. Gabriel said- “I had planned to simply cut this rope! But alas somehow it stands against even my blade!” And then he walked away. The fourth last of the angel’s was… (Ah crap)…was…Muriel! Yes, Muriel! Muriel was supposedly the wisest of the Angels. He gave the best speeches, and even helped Yahweh craft the laws. It was said he was an advisor to the king himself, such was his wisdom. “Ah Muriel” said Yahweh. “How would you untie this rope?” Yahweh asked.
And Muriel said, “Surely we have been tricked!” And all the angels held their breaths. Then Muriel said “For the rope cannot be untied! No one has seen that the rope is tied right around the trunk of Yigdrassil itself! If we untied it the whole palace would crumble, and we would all be crushed. The tree would collapse!” Into this silence came the sound of Yahweh’s voice. “Ah Muriel you, of all the angels has spotted it. This whole time I have been so angry, because I have had to had to protect the know with my own powers, lest someone bring down this whole palace- therefore no one could have untied it, whilst Yahweh watched! But there is one more angel is there not? One more to try and untie this knot?” And at that stepped forward the Morningstar himself.

“Well Morningstar, you have played a mighty prank on us, so much so that I would be inclined to believe that you are the wisest- were it not for the fact that Muriel spotted your trickery! Surely he is the wisest then?”
And the Morningstar said nothing, he simply went to the knot. And stood in front of it silent. All the angels, and Yahweh himself waited, to see what would happen. Then Lucifer looked at angel and king, and said to them all. “Have any of you asked the knot to untie itself?” And to that the angels were silent, and to that Yahweh too, had nothing to say. “Oh great tree, that holds us up, and houses us all. Please, could you untie yourself?” And with that, the knots undid themselves, as easy as anything. Yahweh, looked at Lucifer and said, “Truly, Morningstar, even I have never thought to ask the tree for anything. You are the strongest among us, in word and deed.” And so Lucifer was granted one boon. And he chose to have Venus, named, after him as well. So that’s why…

I looked down into the tiny bed, with its tiny blanket covered in tiny Jedi. Donald was fast asleep. Meaning he probably didn’t hear the end of the story. This is good. It means I get to rewrite it later on.

7th post, another short story: The Morningstar versus The Viking

Fuck i can’t believe i’ve left this till now again. It’s past midnight, but at least i’m not hungover, exhausted, or inebriated. Still, i’m not sure i can let loose another tale, but hey, lets see.

Ok now, a sentence, an idea, a kernel of some sort of thing. I’ll regard my notepad, which i scribble in during the day.

“Ants in hats”- wtf is this shit. I can barely read my own hand writing. Ok, so no inspiration to be found there.

Let’s try something different.

People tell me fascinating things all the time. Really great things that run contrary to the mundane, dull shit i otherwise think makes up most of my time. Surely one of those will surface now? Some odd anecdote, that will explode into a….oooooh……..yes.

That will do.

Or no it won’t.

Godammit. Now i’m just waffling on, hoping the words get all used up. Hrmm. I don’t know anything. That is what this feels like. The perfect story, wouldn’t that be a 100% copy of real life? A play by play, down to the dirty details about a certain occupation, or a person, or something. Hrmm.

Fuck it.

Here we go….OR NOT.

OK I’m not even kidding, i just wrote like five hundred fucking words, and i’ve deleted it all. I’m starting again.

I’m going to tell a fairy tale.

Round2, fight:

The Morningstar versus The Viking


“Fuck.”

“Daddy?”

Fuck. I hope Donald didn’t hear me cuss. “Daddy why do you always say that?” I turn off the T.V, just before the guy who killed me starts teabagging my virtual corpse. I pray Donald doesn’t learn the word faggot from the game either. I put down the controller, and extend my arms like an invitation. The little guy rushes in, and i decide for once, to try for truth.

“Donald, what i just did, was swear.”

“What is swear?”

“Swearing, would be the right word. Well Ok. You know when you get angry, or you stub your toe, and you say ouch? The word i said is kind of like an adult’s version of ouch.”

“Why don’t you just say ouch?”

Because when you get older shit hurts more, and ouch no longer cuts it. But i didn’t say that, instead i laughed. Dammit i hate these awkward conversations. I feel like i deserve time to rehearse my answers, maybe throw in a power point presentation or recruit some documentary for the need. Time for another plan, a distraction.

“Hey Donald, are there any brownies left over? Maybe you could get me one….and grab yourself a piece too.”

“Daddy i’ve already brushed my teeth, and you already had one today. Mommy told you not to eat more or you’ll get FAT.”

Fucking kid is too well behaved. Alright, let’s pull the other one.

“Donald, would you like to hear a story?”

“STORY! STORY!”

I place my fingers to my lips, make a shushing sound. “Get in bed, whilst i pack away everything, i’ll meet you there with a story.” The guy scampers off, and i spend the next minute, as i slowly pack away the games, trying to come up with something, anything at all. I put the controllers in the box, and i wonder if there is any way i can get the missus to substitute. Except she’s in the shower, and goddamn does she take a long time in the shower.

My legs hate me, and they start moving my body into the kids room. The night light is on, and the only other illumination comes from the glow in the dark stars that adorn the ceiling. I sit down, and place one large hand over his head, stroking his hair. I hope he can’t see me sweating, i mean the room is dark. I let it go on for as long as i can, but my mind is empty, and i have no good tales to tell.

“What kind of story do you want to hear Donald?”

Donald’s eyes lit up, and it was too late before i realised my mistake.

“I WANT TO HEAR ABOUT THE MORNINGSTAR!”

Oh dammit. This is what i get for being an atheist. Awhile back, i tried to lull the little guy to sleep with some twisted tale involving none other than lucifer himself. Rather than the old fire and brimstone bullshit i put the morningstar on Venus, and told some story involving the world tree. Long story, well not really, but anyway.

“Ok Donald, what would you like to know about the morningstar.”

“Ummmm I don’t know. Something cool.”

It’s times like this that make a man. See, i could disappoint the little guy, it wouldn’t be that hard to do. Just harden my heart a tiny bit, just walk a way with some adult excuse, and make some false promise about another day. After all i feed, clothe, and shelter him, and i don’t owe him a story on top of all that. Except i kind of believe, that i’m going to get at least a little bit of help from the man himself.

Lucifer has a way of taking the spotlight you see.

“Alright, how about i tell you about the journey they took, Lucifer and all the other angels till they reached Venus?”

“Is it a cool story?”

“Yes it is.”

“OK!”

“A long time ago, before there was a moon in the sky, the brightest thing in the sky that could be seen from earth was the planet Venus. Brighter than any star, the people that lived on earth would use Venus to navigate the seas. Though, before the moon it was a lot easier, because there weren’t any tides…”

“DAAAD?”

“Donald, you know the rules, no interupting.”

“But Dad, this sounds kind of boring, it sounds like school.”

Fuck it, the kid has a point.

“Alright never mind all that then, let me tell you about the Angel’s space ship. It was absolutely massive. You know daddy’s office, the big building? That would be but one angel’s room in the spaceship, and there were hundreds of them. Now this massive ship, it left the Angel’s first home, on a long journey through space, and on it’s way they had many adventures. On their way to Venus, the Angels first contended with the Aesir, who protected, and patrolled the Valhalla Nebula.”

A part of my brain is hemorrhaging what the fucks. I try to ignore it.

“Dad what’s a Valhalla Nebula?”

“A nebula is a massive, massive cloud of gas, gas so thick that the spaceship had to put out it’s oars, and practically row through it. Valhalla was the name of this particular nebula, and this one was patrolled, by the Aesir. The Aesir, were space vikings. They wore massive spiked helmets, and never grew, nor made, nor wrote anything of their own. Instead they would bully everyone else, and take what they needed from them. They were very bad, and very dangerous. The angel’s spaceship rowed it’s way through the nebula, hoping to hide from the Aesir by moving through the darkest parts. But they were spotted, and they were boarded by the space vikings, who used grappling hooks to climb into the Angel’s ship.”

I paused. The kid was silent. This is a good sign.

“The leader of the Aesir was named Thor, and he was armed with a massive war hammer, which is like a normal hammer, except it shot thunderbolts, and it could break anything. With this hammer Thor broke down the front door of the angels, yelling at them ‘Thor is coming! Thor is coming! Hide your food! Hide your kids! Cuz Thor is coming to take it all!’ After he walked through the ship’s front door, Thor had to face the ship’s first guardian, the angel belial. Belial lived in a massive castle, inside the space ship. Upon seeing Thor, Belial thought he could outwit the space viking, and insultingly said to Thor ‘THOR! You are very good at breaking things, no angel will deny this, but can you build? I bet you i can build faster than you! What good is a hammer that cannot strike a nail?’ At this, all the space vikings started teasing Thor, and many did in fact agree it was kind of silly that Thor had a hammer but he never used it to build anything. Thor challenged Belial, saying ‘Silly little angel! I can build faster than any of you! I challenge you to a dog house building competition!’ And so they competed. In the blink of an eye Belial summoned up his thousand tools, and in the next blink he summoned up a tree, and in the next he cut the tree into planks of wood but then BANG! With one mighty swing Thor smacked Belial’s castle, and it started to collapse. Both Vikings and Angels rushed to get out of the way of the falling wood, all except Thor.

When the dust cleared, all that was left of the castle was a tiny section, EXACTLY in the shape of a space dog’s house. Thor laughed and drank mead, and the vikings rejoiced. Belial hung his head in shame and let the mighty Thor pass. And pass he did, into the room of…of….of……..”

“Oh who Daddy?”

“Guess!”

“Hrmm. I don’t know.”

“Oh MICHEAL of course, the brother of lucifer!”

“The morningstar!”

“Yes the morningstar! But first Thor had to contend with Michael, who was also known as the demiurge. Michael had the power to produce flame at will. Michael could breathe fire, and in fact, is the father of all dragons. But that’s another story. Anyway. So Thor, he runs into Michael’s room yelling ‘HIDE YOUR KIDS! HIDE YOUR WIVES! THOR HAS COME TO TAKE IT ALL AWAY!’ and Michael panicked along with all the other angels. He breathed fire onto Thor, but Thor puffed up his chest and blew it all away! Michael threw fireballs at Thor, but Thor smacked them right back with his hammer! Finally Michael set fire to the entire room, but Thor just took of all his clothes, and warmed his hands in the massive inferno! Finally Micheal gave up, as all the other angels complained about the smoke, and he stepped aside and let Thor pass. Thor almost reached the sanctum, where the Angel’s carried their greatest treasure!”

“What was the treasure Daddy?”

“It’s a secret!”

“DAAAAAD”

“No really, that was what it was, a GREAT SECRET!”

“Ok.”

“Ok.”

“So what happened next?”

“So Thor heard a voice, a voice so insolent (that means arrogant, like full of himself, like remember Tim, how he tried to tell you to play better cricket? Like that), anyway, a voice that LAUGHED at Thor, laughed and laughed till all the other Viking’s were laughing too, and they didn’t even know why. It was the laughter of the most brazen (that’s like brave), ballsy (uh…also means brave) angel of them all….”

“THE MORNINGSTAR!” said Donald! And i cheered right along with the little guy.

“THAT’S RIGHT! And the Morningstar leapt down from his flag pole, for he liked to sleep on top of this massive flag pole, and he looked Thor in his angry eyes, and he said ‘First to blink, loses Viking. And he STARED.”

I gasped for dramatic effect, and then i began to whisper.

“You see Donald, in all cultures, for all creatures, whether angel, or aesir, or animal, or human, there is no challenge more universal than a staring contest. It is the only way to truly measure the strength of someone’s soul, you got to look them in the eye, and not look away. Lucifer had gone too far, but if Thor did not accept, than truly he would be mocked!”

Donald muttered a wow, in tones of awe.

“Yeah” I agreed, quietly.

“So, Thor sat down, and all the space vikings grew deathly silent, and Thor removed his helmet, and he stared right into Lucifer’s bright golden eyes.”

“It’s hard to say how long they stared for, but many of the angels, and the space vikings had gotten so tired they went to sleep. Thor began to sweat, but Lucifer was undaunted (that’s like brave) and the Morningstar didn’t sweat a bit. Thor took off his armor, till he was almost naked.”

“By this time almost all the other angels and vikings had given up, making tents, and eating meals, as they watched in silence, awed by the dicipline of the two combatants. Days went by, then weeks, then a month.”

“Still they both stared. Thor had put down his hammer, he had taken off his clothes, and he removed his helmet. Then one day, he blinked. As soon as he did the whole ship erupted equally into cheers and roars! Thor was furious! He grabbed Lucifer and threw him across the room! The Morningstar flew backwards, still unblinking! And Thor yelled BUT HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE!’ And then he realised that the Morningstar wasn’t actually there. THAT THE WHOLE TIME HE HAD BEEN HAVING A STARING CONTEST WITH THE MORNINGSTAR’S STATUE! He looked around for his clothes but they were all gone! He looked around for his hammer, but that was gone to! Lucifer sat, on top of his flagpole, wearing Thors clothes, holding his hammer and his helmet.

‘Thor’ He proclaimed. ‘You look, like an idiot.’

Donald laughed out loud. Oh hells yes.

“Soon after the space vikings left, their bullying ways defeated when their champion did indeed become a naked idiot. The Angels passed through the nebula, and word of the space vikings defeat reached all around the universe, till the space vikings themselves were no longer feared. Lucifer had done it again, and the angel’s celebrated, by promoting Lucifer to the rank of Archangel!”

“YAY!”

“And if you’re good Donald maybe i will tell you another story about the Morningstar, about what he did with Thor’s hammer, and about the love of his life!”

“Ewww no, i want to know about the Angel’s secret!”

“Another time, another time. For now, you must sleep.”

And i got up, and i turned down the nightlight, and i kissed Donaldon the forehead and went to the door.

“Dad?” Said Donald.

“Yes?”

“Do you think Lucifer would protect me from monsters.”

“Son, Lucifer protects all the free people from monsters, and everyone knows that children are the free’est of them all.”

“So he would Dad?”

“Yes.”

“Awesome. Goodnight Dad”

“Night Donald.”

POSTSCRIPT: You may be wondering, “what the fuck did i just read?” Well, it’s a game i’ve played before when i tried to come up with something to write. I imagine i am actually telling a story, in real time, to a kid, and then i run with it. No hesitation, no pausing, no fucking thinking it through. Because that’s how real stories are fucking told anyway IMO. So, i’ve written one of these before, and i’ll post it tomorrow. There you will see that this isn’t the first time Donald’s Dad has told him a story, but the second. Anyhoo i am fucking TIRED.