The Monk – Part 11

“Are they up to anything illegal?” asked Oriana.

“Illegal yes, immoral no,” said Kent plainly.

“Ahh, yes, you live a life straddled uncomfortably between those two things.”

“Between chaos and order, yes, I suppose I do. But who says that I am uncomfortable? It’s actually kind of fun when looked at from the right perspective.”

Kelly nodded enthusiastically with this statement, “I get it, I wouldn’t do anything that hurt anyone else, but I don’t really care about the law either.”

“Kelly!” gasped Oriana, “You don’t really mean that!”

“Yes I do, why should I follow the law?”

“Because, well, that’s what you’re supposed to do,” replied Oriana sounding far less confident than she thought she ought to be.

“Well, I suppose I should in case I get caught by the police or something, but I wouldn’t hurt anyone or their things. Really, when you think about it, a law is simply the opinion of a group of old men.”

“With guns,” added Paul. Continue reading “The Monk – Part 11”

The Monk – Part 10

Oriana and Kelly looked at Paul with a mixture of surprise and sadness, neither of them had known this about Paul. Kent reached out and put a comforting hand on Paul’s shoulder.

“I’m sorry Paul, you clearly care about her a great deal. It sounds like she doesn’t think she’s worth praying for herself to get better though.”

Paul shook his head, “Nope. She doesn’t think it matters if she dies of cancer.”

“Wow,” said Oriana, “I hadn’t thought of it like that, I thought that prayers had to be directed to god or something. I didn’t think you could just pray for yourself.”

“Oh, having some gods to pray about certainly helps with prayer too,” remarked Kent.

Kelly sniggered, “What, do you believe in gods?”

“Of course I do,” answered Kent calmly.

Kelly laughed at this, “But gods aren’t real, they’re just myth.”

“I agree with that too,” answered Kent with a trace of a smile. Continue reading “The Monk – Part 10”

The Monk – Part 9

“So joining this cult, the Aeshir? Well, did that give your life meaning?” asked Kelly.

Kent shook his head, “No. Well, not at first. By the time I completed my seasoning I was actually miserable and quite depressed about my life and the state of the world. I was ready to quit then, give up on my inheritance and just try to go back to being ignorant about my life again.”

“What does seasoning mean?” asked Paul.

“Seasoning? That’s the term we use for the initiation period. You need to pass a test to join, then spend one season in a monastery, swear an oath, and presto you’re part of the Aeshir. You can choose to stay more than one season if you like, but if you want to get your inheritance then you have to join one of the religious orders. There are five to choose from. I chose to join the druids as the membership challenges appeared the least odious to me.”

“Oh, so did becoming a druid give you a sense of meaning to your life?” interjected Kelly.

Continue reading “The Monk – Part 9”

Writer’s Diary: Religious Sci-fi?

Readers of my story “The Monk” might have noticed recently that the story line has moved into the next phase of development. Key parts of the background for the story are being revealed. This is a bit of a new genre because most stories about religion tend to be about existing religions, while for this story I am inventing two entirely new religions that exist in opposition to each other. The clerics of the two faiths are battling with each other and soon there will be a war of words developing as the two faiths battle for the hearts, minds, and souls of the characters.

Fans of the Star Wars franchise will point out that the Jedi and the Sith reflect two opposing religions. However, in no part of the movie franchise do the Jedi and Sith battle out their differences in a debate or dialectical struggle. They just fight violently with each other immediately on contact. This battle of goodies and baddies was enough for me as a child, but as an adult I find myself disturbed by the mindlessness of their constant warfare. The imperial and the republican forces may well represent the globalist and nationalist political forces that have existed throughout human history, but because the movies never delve into depth about the ideology driving the two factions one cannot easily distinguish the two. Luke Skywalker never once shows any remorse for the people he murders throughout the series with the exception of his own father. We never learn about Luke’s thought process, and it’s bothered me whether or not he is actually a good person. Continue reading “Writer’s Diary: Religious Sci-fi?”

The Monk – Part 3

Kent produced a flashlight and guided Oriana about fifty metres up the pipe. Here it opened up to a small chamber. Kent passed the flashlight to her and then climbed up a ladder opening to a manhole at the top. Oriana followed him up and found herself in a stone chamber about 5 by 10 metres in size. There was a small rectangular sky light in the roof providing some natural light. Kent touched a switch on the wall and a series of LED lights came on fully illuminating the room. He offered Oriana his hand and helped her to her feet inside the chamber.

The chamber had four stone pillars that created two arches across the narrow section of chamber, with the skylight in between. The space was thus divided into six sections of roughly equal size. Starting from one corner and working clockwise was a queen sized mattress lying on pallets. The next segment held a fridge, an electrical switchboard, inverter, and a bank of car batteries. Next to this was a kitchen and pantry area consisting of a work bench, sink, and gas burner with a methane cylinder. Opposite this was a shower and a toilet. Then next to this was what looked like some kind pyramid of sculptures set up on ascendingly narrower shelves. There was some kind of decorative gym mat on the floor here. In the final segment was the manhole they entered into. There was a pulley on the roof for raising heavy loads, and a book shelf stuffed with books on one wall. In the center of the room was a small work table with a stool and an armchair. This table was directly below the skylight. Several paintings of buildings, landscapes, and scenes of people hung on the walls. Continue reading “The Monk – Part 3”

The Monk – Part 2

Oriana ran back to her father’s factory just around the corner from the street where Kent lived. She hurried up into an office, shut the door, and sat at her table in front of the window. The same window from which she had observed Kent walking by multiple times each day for months on end. This office was not actually hers. It belonged to Maggie, a part time accountant at her father’s factory. Since Maggie only used the office three days a week, Oriana had set up her own space inside it. Oriana had first started coming to the factory with her father when she was just seven years old. Although she had no interest in the manufacturing of paper, its processing, and packaging, nonetheless staying at the factory had always been a desirable place to escape to when she was a little girl. She had her desk for reading and writing, Maggie was grandmother aged and often doted on her, and she also liked walking around the industrial estate observing all the different things that went on in each factory.

Oriana took a loose leaf of paper and started jotting down a few notes about what had just happened. First, Kent did indeed live down Cutters Court. However, this cul-de-sac had some kind of building underneath it. Something big enough for a man like Kent to live in. Some questions started flowing out onto the page from her pen:

Why did Kent live underground? Maybe so he could be in hiding? Was he a fugitive? Could he be a terrorist or a criminal? Continue reading “The Monk – Part 2”

The Monk – Part 1

Oriana perched on the seat of the bus shelter like a cat ready to pounce. Soon enough the object of her interest appeared almost precisely on schedule: A tall skinny man with red hair over burdened with a hiking backpack that was obviously well loaded with goods, and carrying a case of a dozen tins of beans. The man’s clothing was simple, it was also well worn, and his hair looked tangled. It was a rather warm day and the man was clearly suffering from the heat of the day, but still he pushed on with determination. He came to the road he always turned down at this time of day. This was the point Oriana had chosen to intervene. She skipped across the road and brought herself up alongside the man dragging the heavy load.

“Hi!” she chirped

The man looked up at her and blinked before allowing a friendly smile to grace his lips. He returned her greeting politely, but pushed on without asking her any questions. Oriana, who wasn’t used to not being paid attention to, was not sure what she should do next. She found herself just walking uncomfortable next to him.  They had walked about a hundred metres in silence before she decided that she hadn’t made this bold move to learn nothing. Continue reading “The Monk – Part 1”