Idolatry

A statue sat in the center of town. No one really knew much about her. There are stories of how the town’s people erected the statue of her before buildings. Every morning, the Alanoids would walk to her and pay tribute with flowers and prayers. Some more religious Alanoids would prostrate before her. Cats with bow ties would stalk about the town center, meowing, with canes curled about their tails. For a few emotionally distracted Alanoids, they would perform a dance for some food.

“The town’s crumbling.” Some would say. “But she’ll fix everything when she returns.”

On the edge of town, a jet landed. Moses leaped out of his carrier, and looked about the landscape. The town was crumbling… He had flown about the outer perimeter, and below the town, chunks of the land would break off. As he watched the disintegration of his hometown, he thought it looked like a piece of pastry being picked at. How much longer before the town collapsed back to earth? And what would remain? Don’t sacrifice something alive for something that has died. “She’s not coming back…”

***

She laid in bed, trying to cover her small breasts. No, I like them. She smiled and then traced her fingers over my body. This is the point of no return. Everything from 8 years is now condensed to little specks of knowledge -how to act, how not to act, what to do when you’re like this, when to walk away, how to make a girl happy in bed. She’ll never know how bad you got. She’ll just know who you are now… And you’re worried if she’ll still like you if you ever relapsed. Because who could like you when you’re like that?

***

The floor growled. The Alanoids held their breaths until the town went silent. The relief was palpable. Some laughed. Some began to gather their families. Some immediately ran to the statue. They prayed and prayed, begging for forgiveness. Sunlight illuminated her. She had a become a beacon… But who among the Alanoids could tell you of her actual features? Beautiful, they’d say. And of her character? A Goddess who could do no wrong.

Moses watched from afar. Leave, he wanted to scream to them! She has abandoned us! He wanted to tell them he had seen her among the distant stars. He had seen her among moving faces in different worlds. She was there next to him, aboard that train shuttering between light and darkness. And when he reached for her hand, he felt the cold, plastic seat. He was just as hopeless…

***

“You’re mourning her.” She stared at me with sudden realization and sympathy.

“No, that’s silly. I mean she’s still alive. It’s just… It’s just she’s really gone. And I’m being silly. I mean it’s already been a year. I just thought I could be faithful.”

“You could try reaching out to her, can’t you?”

“I have. But she didn’t respond. I understand. After what I’ve done. In a way, it makes me happy she hasn’t.”

***

Screams. Screams. Screams. Blood. Dying. Dead things.

***

We laid next to one another, gasping. It was my first time with someone else… I’m aware of how women look at me. But I’m of a stupid breed of men, who can’t separate love from sex. I don’t know why it shook me to my core. I don’t know why it affected me so much. There’s no return from this. She asked how many women I’ve been with. I was hesitant to say because I was afraid all my feelings would overflow.

***

Death had fallen from the sky and strewn itself on earth. Moses landed his craft. Among the wreckage, there was the glimmer. His eyes knew what to search for. Did it matter that the statue stood in alien territory? What would they make of her? Only he knew of her, and what he knew has become a thing of the past.