The Book of Ponzio

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A STORY

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      1. By the time he was twelve years old Ponzio had begun to think seriously about the eternal. He had mad ideas, sad eyes and tears. 2. At the age of twelve, Ponzio had a yearning passion to be with God, but he found that he was not allowed to worship in his village, because he and his family were not Catholic, like everyone else that lived there. 3. In conclusion, Ponzio was a good Christian, unrecognised as such by those near him.

4. Ponzio's best friend was Fabio and Fabio was allowed to go to the church where the Priest told the faithful that all the Protestants of the world were doomed. Fabio knew that only Catholic people could go to church in this village and was interested because his friend Ponzio was Protestant, and was thus a servant of the Devil. 5. The Priest emphasised this point, and said that Protestants, including Ponzio and his family, weren't allowed inside the church where Fabio worshipped. 6. It all meant that the Protestants had to explore the mysteries by themselves.

7. The mysteries unfolded anyway for the Protestants, and the miracle of Jesus dropped like a jewel in Ponzio’s village, somewhere near the cottage ale-house. 8. Those Catholic minds didn't realise it at the time, but God was everywhere. Their brains however were hollower than space oblivia, or the abyss.

9. Does it pay to be deaf, dumb and blind?

10. Fabio didn't think so, but he was Catholic and locally, the Catholics were in the majority. 11. He delighted in going to church to pray, whereas Ponzio would just hang about in the bushes at the railway line.

12. "Those bushes have got their own magic," said Ponzio. 13. "Last week I was hungry and someone threw a sandwich out of a train — and I ate it! It was like a work of God!"

14. Fabio was amazed when he heard about the sandwich and told everyone at church about it, but his Priest told him not to treat it as a work of God.

15. "Fabio," said the Priest, "Ponzio's revelation is just a sandwich. Do not treat that sandwich as a sign of anything promising a new Kingdom. 16. The sandwich was nothing but bread and cheese, my little one, and that is really all.

17. "It was a ham sandwich," said Fabio, "and I like ham very much."

18. "When the Bible condemns the pig," said the Priest, "it is referring to Protestant people like Ponzio, who are from the sect of the swine. 19. Likewise it refers to those who wear a turban. All those who kiss stones or pray on the carpet, they need to chill and get their minds revived. 20. Remember — if you listen closely to the Pope, he will give you the basic instructions you will need before leaving earth."

21. Fabio listened to a recording of the Pope which the Priest always kept to hand, and then he ran home and read the books of Job calling on God's name and screaming hallelujah. He believed that stuff about turban wearers too.

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1. The next weekend Fabio and Ponzio walked to their respective worship as usual. "This is where I have to leave you," said Fabio when they got near the village church. 2. "I hope you have a good time down at the railway line."

3. Ponzio squinted at his facetious best friend. The Sunday morning sun was behind Fabio and from this vantage-point Ponzio thought that he looked like an angel. 4. People were strolling up to the church and they had their babies with them. 5. Some of the babies were dressed like their beloved Pope, in white robes and with soft, pointed hats.

6. Ponzio waved and went down to the railway line, and Fabio ran up and into the village’s Catholic Congregational Centre — known colloquially as The Triple “C” — where he took his usual seat in Row B.

7. "Look into my eyes brethren," said the Priest when he appeared from behind his curtain, 8. "and would the owner of vehicle registration JCG 513 P please call at the Assistant Curate’s office and move it to one of the unrestricted spaces."

9. The service began and Fabio settled down. He thought it was great to be back in church.

10. Ponzio in the meantime, who was not allowed in the village church, went down to the bushes at the railway line, hungry and in the hope that someone would throw a sandwich out of a train, as had happened the week before.

11. "Why should I worry about dying and going to heaven or hell?" thought Ponzio as he waited for a train. 12. "The Earth is already in space, and I’ve read the Bible five times, which should be enough to satisfy anyone."

13. Ponzio then looked along the sad rails, which crossed the housing estate and drove off to the flat eternity of the Central Belt. 14. "Who knows," he thought, "the rails may even go straight into the sea."

15. Ponzio read his Bible in the bush. His blood blew hot and cold, and the book was full of weird promises, which made him wonder about what was going on in the church. 16. Ponzio read his Bible and God intervened and spoke.

17. "Son," said the God to Ponzio, "life is a pool of sin, corrupted with foolish men. 18. The understanding I am about to give you will grant you mental freedom."

19. Ponzio closed his eyes and listened, and God told him that the white image of Christ generally used, is really a picture of Cesare Borgia, and uhh, the other great Renaissance image of Christ, is actually one of Pope Alexander. 20. But Ponzio didn't know who those people were and so God went away and thought out his strategy again.

21. In the silence Ponzio waited for a train and prayed that he might find his way back to God. When God came back, God was ready, 22. and Ponzio sat in his bush while the following words approximated that morning's divine revelation. God said:

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  1. One time my people had a religion but now they're not bothered any more, with a knick-knack-slam-splack, I want to give it back. 2. God is my name and I will obtain justice for all. 3. I can solve the problems of the world with just one phone call so if you have a problem that you need resolved, just break the glass of that there phone booth, Ponzio. 4. Put your faith in the appearance of another prophetic sandwich, and I will send one to you as I did of yore.

5. And Ponzio opened his eyes and scratched his head and shouted: "It's a deal!"

6. Meanwhile down at the tiny stone shack that Fabio referred to as The Good Old Triple “C”, the brothas and sistas of the Holy Moly were praying happily. 7. Fabio was among the loudest of those praying and didn't think about his friend Ponzio, the very man who was about to instigate the horrific eschatological move that was about to wipe the smile off his pape-adoring face.

8. As they prayed, the Catholics in the village church bent over while their asses lit up. 9. The Catholics rode full speed through the liturgy, concentrating on slaughtering the asses of other peoples and dreaming of detsroying other religious bodies. 10. The whole congregation then cranked up their prayers and glowered like ravening tourists. 11. The Catholics drove up the aisle and hit the pulpit hard with prayers and watched their words source their creator.

12. As there was no sign of a train, Ponzio thought he would phone Fabio to see if church was over.

13. "If church is over," he thought looking down the ineffably flat and rectilinear plumb rails, 14. "Fabio will be able to come and play and I won't have to wait for sandwiches any more."

15. Stepping into the nearby phone booth, Ponzio broke the glass with his fist (as God had told him to do) and then using a bloodied hand, dialled the number of Fabio's cell.

16. "What's up with you?" shouted Fabio when he picked up. 17. "You should never phone me while I'm praying!"

18. "I'm sorry," said Ponzio, "but you can always switch your phone off while you're in church can't you?"

19. "Don't be stupid," said Fabio.

20. The seven serial psychopaths who were praying in the same pew as Fabio turned and shooshed him, making Fabio feel even more irate with his friend.

21. "You bastard," 22. said Fabio to Ponzio, "the other Christians are shooshing me now!"

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   1. And just for that, thought God, I am going to start breaking the world up, piece by piece, limb by limb. 2. The night is dim, and the chances of these human beings doing any better than this are very slim. 3. Oh Mister Nip, the Lord of Darkness! 4. Oh glib son of an artisan! 5. Oh Romans Chapters 9 – 11! 6. Jesus The Bible Christ, I am now going to proclaim my Future Kingdom. 7. My people are waking up every morning to the same old shit — straight bitching each other and forgetting about my love. 8. Damn, I wish my wife would have shot me and taken me out of my misery, instead of shooting herself and leaving me with these fractious children. 9. It all started a long time ago when the tongue of Hebrew the sky was dark —

10. But not now. I don't got the nuts any more to wow these tubed up little humans with their domes prone to bad dreams. 11. I fear I can't handle it anymore and they can smell that shit, so they drop to their knees and use it to their advantage.

12. You might say I'm loosing my mind or that I'm on the edge and I'm about to jump off, but I'm not. 13. I'm just sick. 14. I mean even Noah knew how to make an abused child smile.

15. (Noah yelling at me "Yahweh didn't I tell your ass to stay out of my business? 16. And this type of shit went on more than three millennia!)

17. And so the only solution left to me is to instigate that eschatological promise. 18. And I feel great, because today is the day to make this shit happen. 19. Cause after today humanity is going to look like it's been hit by a bus. 20. I feel nervous and a little scared, but I have to put that big old 38 to their heads again, while they stand there with their hands on their hips saying : 21. "Oh Lord Ya ain't even got the guts to pull the trigger!" 22. And I will say: "I love you my spawn!" and then I will throw a sandwich out of a train, and that will be that.

23. Now gettin' back to the present situation.

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   1. Ponzio left the phone booth and looked into the sky. 2. A grey cloud crossed the bruised heavens — a cloud through which its very vagueness evoked all of life. 3. The wooded shadows of the railway line beckoned and Ponzio was happy, tirelessly happy. 4. Ponzio loved the world, and in return, the world thrilled him with the symbols which abounded on the housing estate and in the heavens.

5. Ponzio walked over to the railway line for one last look. 6. He was about to go off to Burger Pit for another ass-buster of a whopper meal, when he spotted a small dot on the perimeter of the horizon. 7. Shortly thereafter, Ponzio heard the call of a whistle from down the rectilinear and plumb rails.

8. And Ponzio realised that it was a train.

9. Back in the church the other Catholics had finished shooshing Fabio.

10. "Boy!" said Fabio, "I guess it ain't my day!" 11. He put his cell phone back in his pocket and turned his attention once more to the altar. 12. During Ponzio's call, Fabio had lost the course of his prayer and the other Christians were speeding ahead of him and would be in heaven first.

13. Back at the railway line the train passed. 14. The wind rushed into Ponzio's face and he saw something floppy fly from an open window. 15. Ponzio could see that the object was made of brown bread, topped off with a rough sprinkle of poppy seeds, and that it came with coleslaw.

16. And the sandwich landed right in his hand.

17. The train vanished into a tunnel and Ponzio surrounded the sandwich with brown sauce so that he could hardly hold it.
18. To get a grip on the sandwich, Ponzio made a gun handle out of the cheese and held it up and aimed it. 19. He cocked the hammer of the sandwich and walked across the estate and knocked on the door of the Triple “C”.

20. "So, it's you!" said the Priest when he opened the door. "You're not allowed in here."

21. "Hah hah!" laughed Ponzio.

22. "What's so funny?" asked the Priest.

23. The members of the congregation who had finished praying turned to look and saw the brown and gloopy sandwich dripping in Ponzio's hand.

24. "This is so funny, mothafucka!" said Ponzio.

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    1. And this is where everyone in the church got off. 2. They thought they were slick but Ponzio held his sandwich aloft and they did tremble hard, and they did tremble twice as hard when the sandwich croaked into life and broke every one of their monkey Catholic asses.

3. "This is the moment of God," said Fabio uncontrollably. 4. "And when God is through with us, we're going to wish that we never saw the walls of Jericho, John the Baptist or the baby Jesus."

5. The Priest vanished into an organic mess of brown paste, and wicked devils rose up and began dicking down the congregation. 6. Gap clothes, cars, bad-ass suits, Revlon cologne, diamond rings, expense accounts and champagne began flowing through the church and out of the door.

7. Fabio ran up to Ponzio and fell on his knees.

8. "Surely this isn't because of you and me!" he shouted, as the stream of material goods burst out of the window. 9. "The only thing I got is love to give," he added in a last ditch attempt to sound like a righteous man.

10. In the inrushing of the spirit, which had choked the country with mass cheddar, jewels, fake Rolexes, martinis and leather shoes, 11. Ponzio was drowned, while God stumbled hopelessly about the control room.

12. "For Jesus' sake!" cried God, "who the hell designed this thing! I can't switch it off!"

13. On the monitor above his head, God saw a red light indicating that the time stream was about to flip to negative if he didn't pump more diachronic deep structured eschatology into the primary consciousness. 14. The dial which indicated whether this would be possible or not was listless, and God tried to think back to when he had last checked the actual eschaton.

15. He radioed into control, but there was nobody there.

16. "I'm up here by myself," shouted God. "I don't know if there's anybody awake but I need support. I'm calling on all departments, where the hell are you?"

17. A recorded message played but God didn't listen. 18. In the viewscreen he saw that dead ahead was an absorption of blackness. 19. God couldn't remember seeing a blackness like this one before and he thought back to his academy days, trying to remember if that was a good thing or a bad thing. 20. He took the controls once more but they had locked. Further, a sequence of warning buttons were now flashing and an alarm was sounding. The blackness was breaking into the cabin.

21. God turned round. There at the door of the control room was the Captain holding two mugs of coffee, mugs like dumbbells. 22. The Captain having returned to the main deck looked terrified.

23. "I told you not to touch anything!" shouted the Captain. "I told you not to … I told you not to …"

24. Flares from the engine room blew up from the lower decks as the blackness turned critical and the Captain disappeared. 25. Sinuous and bloated time, energetic and with a yellow gleam to it, enveloped the control room. 26. The mugs of coffee dropped — but a winter blackness had already enveloped the universe.