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:
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.