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The Keepers

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The Keepers

  For Gail, the one I love.

  Table of Contents

  Prologue: The Keepers

  Chapter 1: Lysei.

  Chapter 2: The self-god.

  Interlude: The Keepers.

  Chapter 3: One of the victims.

  Interlude: The Voice.

  Chapter 4: The beginning of death.

  Interlude: The Keepers.

  Chapter 4: The beginning of death cont.

  Chapter 5: The death of a soul.

  Chapter 6: The death.

  Interlude: The Keepers.

  Chapter 7: The saviour.

  Epilogue: The Keepers.

  Prologue: The Keepers

  These stupid lower ranks think they know all…what a laugh, thought The First rank keeper.

  Do I also think I know all…well I do share much of the same DNA, he thought again.

  I am first rank keeper…how dare they question my judgement. I am their superior. In the end the truth is that I don’t know all…But the truth is also that I know more, I am an original, I wasn’t taught keeping, I derived the need to keep, he thought angrily and justified.

  “I don’t agree that the step up of the sex character to the momentum is a solution, Sir First,” the First-rank-opposite said.

  His job was to disagree. It was part of his job description. The keepers were separated into two factions with respect to The First rank keeper. One side was to agree with what The First rank keeper said, the other side was to oppose The First rank keeper. Agreeing or disagreeing was just part of the job, the real business was to come up with reasons. If The First rank keeper said that the step up of entertainment would decrease (or rather change the shape of) the momentum, the side supporting The First rank keeper would first support, then derive as many reasons which support what The First rank keeper said. The same is true for the disagreeing side.

  “Elaborate, if you may,” said The First-rank with as much superior arrogance a hominid can muster from its rank. Your choice may be the final, but some opposition still annoys. He imagined what it must be like to be employed just to disagree with your superior. He thought about which was the hardest; agreeing or disagreeing.

  “Surely, if the sex character is stepped up, the integrity of it will diminish, it’s what we were all taught. The more something is, the less value it has.”

  “I was not taught,” reproached The First, “ but I see what you mean, but you must understand, they sought and found freedom to the extreme, but contrary to what they think, more freedom gives more problems.”

  The whole assembly shifted uncomfortably in their seats. What was said was said matter-of-factly, without any attempt at an explanation. The First noticed, and let the confusion fume its way through room.

  “Elaborate, Sir First,” the one next to The First-rank opp asked. The First smiled, this was only the second in time in his career that a lower ranking opposite had spoken to him directly. It was total misbehaviour, everyone else in the room sat still, awaiting the reproach. The First-rank-opposite smiled to himself. He knew that being questioned by lower ranks was a sign of weakness.

  “Recorder, please record that a lower rank whom I have no inclination to refer to directly has misbehaved in the congregation and shall be penalized accordingly,” he said to the meeting stenographer. “I will elaborate.” He folded his arms to add effect and explained “the concept of freedom seems appealing. Well from a case where society has been poorly managed by the rulers, it definitely does. But freedom also give way to disrespect, ill-discipline and such. You are welcome to disagree but ‘freedom’ is really just a nicer word for ‘rebel’. Freedom is attractive, because from their viewpoint it is a way of attaining happiness in ways which they choose. But with a population of the eleven-billion people on earth, happiness must be relative. You see that when it is not relative, one would be allowed to achieve happiness at the cost of anything, good or bad and thus the problem with freedom is that freedom knows no limits.” He stopped and took a breathe.

  They all looked at The First, but their minds were elsewhere. They were contemplating what he was saying. The First observed the effect, and chose to elaborate further.

  “During school,” The First continued, “You were told the meaning of life. That it is to keep the momentum going. You also saw that the best momentum is one where there is a god and you also learned that the best god is one which is chosen to be arbitrarily absolute. It can also be easily deduced that if there is a god, there must be an anti-god too, where when the god says live, the anti-god says the opposite. How long have humans been living with (even though the practice was not severe) a god? For a long time, so long a time that a child needs not to be told but can derive the need for a god on its own.”

  The First paused again, he was on the podium standing as would a lecture stand to first-year students on the first day of college. His stern, assertive voice and his tall and lean figure drew attention to himself, even when not talking, the eyes of his peers were on him. He was the man. He walked around the podium to the desk near the desk where the meeting stenographer was seated. The brilliant light from the chandelier made the water in the decanter on the desk sparkle and gave it the colours of the rainbow that alternated as he approached it. In an easy manner he took the decanter and poured himself a glass of water. He drank and as he drank, his masculine neck made his large Adam's apple move up and down. During this act, not one in the room looked away from him. He was the man. He lowered the glass.

  “Now, stepping up the sex character to a point where it means happiness will make sex the reference point. Gentleman, understand that the human race is fresh from war, fresh from oppression, fresh from hurt, they are vulnerable, the anti-god effect will act. Considers us lucky that we can focus the attack. If not sex where then should it be focused? On fighting again? On their emotions so that they curse God? Yes the value of sex and its integrity will be lost but there are more things of value than sex, if we focus the attack on sex, then sex itself will relieve them.”

  He paused again and drank the remaining water in the glass. From the expressions on keepers' faces, the paused seemed to annoy them, they wanted him to talk, to make a choice because after all the supporting and opposing reasons, really, all that mattered was the choice he would make.

  “We know what sex is. We can control sex.” He allowed the statement sink in by stopping.

  The First-rank-opposite took this chance to ask a question.

  “So, Sir First, what is the plan?”

  “The plan, first-rank-opp, is simple. We will simply need an orphan who we will raise to save the world.” The First smiled self ingratiatingly .“Meeting adjourned, I and The First-rank-opp shall remain.”

  The rest of the keepers reluctantly rose from their seats and headed for the exit opposite the podium. The stenographer was not sure whether to stay or to leave but The First nodded for the latter and she also rose and left. The First stepped down from the podium, went down the stairs of the stage and made his way to where The First-rank-opp was seated. The First-rank-opp shifted uncomfortably in his seat. He knew that when it was just the two of them, there was no opposing The First’s judgement. He knew that whatever The First said, he would just have to take in as would a private do with a general.

  The First took the seat next to The First-rank-opp and sat down with a heavy sigh, as would a man do after sex. This made The First-rank-opp even more uncomfortable. Even more so when The First turned his head and looked at him straight in the eye with his deep black eyes that where as a pit which stored years upon years of wisdom, eyes that told that to every problem, there is a solution. Pitch black eyes which told that the solution was not always a benevolent solution. He looked down and sighed, fearfully, but The First maintained looking direct
ly at him.

  “The antigod effect has never been more powerful, in all my years of keeping, that is.” He folded his arms and he let his elbows rest on his knees for dramatic effect, “But luckily, we are smarter.”

  “Care to elaborate further about the plan, Sir First?” The First-rank-opp was annoyed by the way The First spoke, in fact he was annoyed by how all those carrying wisdom spoke. To him, it was as if the wise did not want to impart their wisdom, but having no choice but to impart it, they spoke it in such undecipherable, ambiguous enigmas. He waited and hoped that The First would elaborate.

  “Find me an orphan, I will control his experiences and wealth and problems, and I expect you and the others to follows instructions. Do not ask for assistance in finding one, I leave that only to your judgement. But, an exception, choose one who is nearer to the glide-scope of an absolute god. ”

  “You are the boss, Sir First.” He looked at his hands then continued “How can freedom be bad? You said freedom knows no limits, Sir First, but surely they have the law.”

  “I agree that the law may become a limit to freedom” replied The First “but, you have to observe that their law is simply an attempt of a passage into the system by the antigod effect. We know that after all the trials and tribulations, respect to and the belief in their god will dwindle, and the anti-god effect will find passage through the law. I have told you that the antigod is now more powerful than ever, the plan is to focus that power on something we might be able to control.”

  “We know the sex character?. Sir First?” The First-rank-opp asked.

  “Exactly” replied The First.

  Chapter 1: Lysei.

  “Am tellin ya gurl...if the sex’aint good nuf, I’s leavin da guy,” said the woman who was weaving the other woman’s hair.

  “I don’t know what you waistin your time for, ‘for I get down wit a guy, I tell ‘em “I gotta see da package first.”” said the woman who was being weaved.

  They both spoke in naturally slutty voices.

  When I was young sluttiness was only an act.

  The salon stand was just near the atm, so that anyone who came to use it during the hairdresser's work time could hear the conversations. And anyone who cared to or by chance used this particular atm often during working hours could tell that the conversations, no matter who was talking, were focused on sex, money and drugs…always.

  I remember growing up...and it was different, Lysei thought as he lost focus of the women’s conversation. Perhaps all those with parents are destined to doom.

  The man in front of him using the atm was on the phone. He spoke loudly and his manner and his colourful shirt, his big hat barely hiding his thick dreadlocks, his funny looking skinny pants giving a horrible shape to his fat legs, told that he cared not about what anyone thought about him.

  But, thought Lysei, but, one must care about what others think, even if it is not to be please anyone, but to be conscious of the influence that one gives. Surely if everyone did as they pleased, then the children-

  The clown in front of him withdrew his money and left. Lysei, as he walked toward the atm, the two women at the weave stand noticed him.

  “I spread em for that, anytime,” said the woman being weaved.

  “I’d swallow him full,” replied the weaver.

  Lysei heard. He heard what they were talking about, not that they were talking about him. The machine asked him to input the amount to be withdrawn, he typed 100 and hoped he had enough. He had never actually been poor.

  I’ve never been actually rich either, he thought. Someone must be watching over me.

  The sound of the auto teller machine counting the money relieved him and after a moment he took his bank card and his money and left for work. The book-store was three blocks up from the atm. It seemed out of place, not only in the neighbourhood, but the thought of it itself.

  It is out of place. Look at this place, look at these people. I want to die, I want do too have sex but not with them, it wouldn’t be the same. I don’t want to do what they do in porn. I want to do something, why am I the only one in prison. I’m horny right now. There is no God, God left the world sometime after my parents went too. But dammit there should be one anyway, he thought as he made his way up to the book-store.

  It was a sunny morning with a clear blue sky. There were no trees nor any plants in the street as he walked up towards the book-store, just weeds growing through dull sunburned pavements, just typical grey and white and blue.

  Nobody has time to plant. Everyone is just trying to laid, he thought.

  Small buildings, the greatest being three stories high, lined the street on either side. It was already busy with people making their ways to work, to the salons or saloons, to the brothels. Some came to town to idle on the streets and some to sell whatever it was they sold. Almost all businesses advertised using sexual innuendo or sexual facts and almost everyone wore sexually provocatively. High heels and short skirts, bum shorts, some of the more daring went to stores to buy breakfast in their see through lingerie even children as young as twelve. Men wore tight jeans with a clipping inside that exposed the shape of their manhood. Sex meant business, sex was the drug. No kids here, a virgin was an oddity. The high billboards on the corners and intersections were worse, exposing women nakedly, the limit being not showing the vaginas and penises directly. The entertainment and fashion industries were making a lot of money.

  He looked at his wristwatch and quickened his pace.

  “Dammit, Monica’s going to have a fit. Late three times in a week,” he said angrily to himself.

  The book-store was just one block away now. A car was parked on the pavement and was playing loud music with the typical obscenities. Women who walked by danced to the song being played, swaying their hips and shaking their butts. Lysei knew the lyrics to the song and rapped:

  “Turn around, put your head on the pillow

  Let me have at that pussy

  I ain't stopping till you faint, aint stopping then either

  Gonna give you this coke you see

  Then I’ll f**k you forever”

  He stopped and considered how easy it was to make money from music those days.

  The book store came into view and he saw Monica standing at the door. She was one of those boring girls who were about to become extinct in a few years. Those girls who believed that there was more to life than meets the eye, girls who did not find pleasure in arousing as many men as they could but only one special one, one of those ‘crazy girls’ who believe that sex should not be the motivation but something more important – a somewhat connection to their spiritual selves. She was an angel, innocent and wise with those perfect green and upturned eyes at the corners. Her make-up was not at all slutty but was meant to give her an appearance of youth and glory complimented by her white flowery sun-dress and the sparkling tiara she always wore.

  She won’t become extinct, I’ll give her children and raise them how I wanted to be raised. If only I could tell her how I want her, he thought.

  But he could not. He was ashamed. He had met her four weeks back on his nineteenth birthday in a not so pleasing way. An only child, he had lost his parents in a motor vehicle accident when he was five years old, the details of which he had never known and never wanted to know. Luckily, or unfortunately when the accident occurred he was at day-care. He remembers his teacher asking him out of the class to see the police officers waiting for him and his fellow classmates staring at him and whispering to each other. He remembers how he thought he had done something wrong, that maybe because he had told a lie the previous day, the police had found out in some unfathomable way: he thought he was in trouble – he was. Attempts were made to locate relatives and a distant grandfather who he had always thought non-existent was found. He was old and semi-senile and always talked about the war. He would wake up sometimes and shout at the ‘friggin reds’ and how the foreigners were taking their women. He died seven months later and his separated wife t
ook his money and left. No other suitable relative was found and Lysei was placed under the system. The orphan. He never missed his parents or his grandfather, they all died when he was young, before his life began.

  I’d rather not think about my childhood, he thought.

  Anyway, four weeks back, on his birthday, the warden at his orphanage decided to surprise him by finding a job for him, if not for anything but to get him to start earning something as quickly as possible. He was a gaunt, tall and lean man who believed wholeheartedly in discipline and order and even though corporal punishment was illegal, some of the orphans would testify that the threat rattled him not a bit but rather increased the depths of his lashes. He was never married but spoke of the importance of loving only one person, most often in tones of regret and despair. He was old and would probably die alone. He would go on and on about how trying to sleep with everyone was an infinite loop that would end only in stress; depression, suicide, hatred, jealousy, murder and so on. He would always tell the boys (he was in charge of them) that the value and integrity of love is in finding it in just one person, thereby, closing the loop. He did not go to church but he read the bible and taught the orphans their prayers and when people asked him to prove that there is a god, he would reply “To prove that there is something like a god, you first have to prove that you cannot live without one” and would go on to show that the prove of a god is a personal one.

  The warden had done him a favour. At nineteen, the state does not consider you an orphan anymore and if you want to stay, you have to pay with money or work. Ever since, his embarrassment for the way he had met his boss had salted him bitterly more and incessantly. This

  “Three times in one week, you don’t like working here do you?” Monica asked with a forced bossy voice which rather came out cute.

  “Sorry miss,” He apologised truthfully. “I uh…woke up late and I had to get the money,” he said sincerely and tipped his hat in as if to avoid the rays of the sun but really it was to hide his shame. The money was for some favour Monica had done for one the nurses at the orphanage.

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