The (rough draft) finished version


Seclusion

Dearest Akathartos,*

I am overjoyed to hear about your first assignment. This will be a season in which to learn strategy and observe the behaviors of the things ‘made in the image of God.’ This is the first and most critical of all the council with which I will present you: do not, in any way, create disarray of your current situation. The first patient is always a learning experience. You will, numerous times, experience great blunders and suffer greatly for them. So long as you are completely aware of this and you are ready to take responsibility for your stupidity, I am fairly certain you will come out nearly unscathed. Your initial assignment is one that holds great possibilities. The sons and daughters of those in ministry have abounding amounts of potential, though one miniscule indiscretion on your part and they could be eternally rooted to the path of our foe.

Let us take a minute to discuss the prospects of the circumstance in which you presently find yourself. The human to whom you have been assigned is the daughter of two ministering people. She can easily be persuaded that her parents’ ministry is strictly that of her parents. They have been given a ‘calling’ that does not pertain to her in any way and it is everything she can do to reside in their house for the next few years. However, when the opportune moment presents itself, she will be precipitously hastening, suitcases in check, for the front door of her parents’ home.

As the daughter of a minister, it has involuntarily become her job to be an example to all the children in her church and a representation of her parents. Let her consider this to insinuate that she must obtain perfection. As you and I both know, for the humans, this is an accomplishment far from accessible. The harder she tries the further into a depression she will sink. However, when employing this method, she will either come to terms that she is in fact human and needs strength that is not her own, or she will pound her weary head against a wall in great frustration.

An aspect of the ministry that fits with this quite nicely is one that we can use multi-facetedly to our advantage. This is the constant stream of people who enter and exit her life in the blink of an eye. The first way to utilize this wonderful phenomenon is to convince her that she will never really have any true friends, but only acquaintances that come and go without a word. This will render her alone and helpless. Furthermore, you are fully capable of bringing her to relinquish all acts of kindness and any desire to be in fellowship with believers. When she realizes that people are almost disposable – only a temporary asset to the whole aspect of the work in which her parents are involved – she will entirely terminate any endeavor to serve or invest in other Christians. You must, of course, be sure to guard from her mind the obvious notion that the Enemy is always ready to support her should she request assistance. In her state of abandonment, bring again to her mind that this is her parents’ work. She is cemented to ‘her daddy’s church.’ She will not be permitted to attend neighboring churches. I caution you: tread lightly with this because she might be brought to the awareness of her role in her parents’ leadership in the church.

With this we arrive at the topic of obligatory service within the church. Because she is tethered to the toils of her family unit, she must be ‘above reproach’ and perform the ‘duties of servanthood’ whether she wishes to or not.  It is imperative that you are invariably accumulating in her brain thoughts such as the following: “I am never able to do anything because of all that stupid church stuff they keep telling me I am going to do.” If you cause her to believe that she is perpetually being volunteered to do things for which she has not offered consent, she will come, gradually, to detest the very heart of a servant which her parents are so earnestly striving to instill within her. Loathing the enemy’s work leads to despising the enemy Himself.

A final thing that may prove to be successful in your venture to steer this daughter of a minister off the path to the Enemy’s home above, is to point out in her everyday life the sacrifices her guardians make for the work of the enemy but do not make for her. Also point out all the time her father spends away from the house. Whether he is out of the country instructing and serving other believers, or out of town learning to better his skills as a ‘shepherd of the flock,’ that is time that he is not spending home bettering the life of his family. Plant in her mind the idea that he would rather look after the sheep in the church family than to his family. Reason that her father and mother have put their church ministry above the ministry of the family. Let her dwell on this until it drives her to a state of madness and despair. Let her suppose that she can strive to earn their attention. She will soon focus on this aspect of life and it will consume her. Once again, the short-term friends may come into play. Continually recalling that tactic will assist you in countless endeavors in this particular case.

In everything, remember that the further you are able to generate thoughts of isolation within her you may drive her to a state of mind in which ministry is a thing which results in fathers abandoning their families, views being imposed on others against their will, and a serious deficiency of friends. There is only desolation and hardship. Under no circumstances can you overlook the fact that if you push her to her very boundaries, you quite possibly risk losing her. Transporting her to the confines of herself could result in the realization that her strength is not, and never will be enough. If this happens, always recall the Lack of Allies tactic. I cannot express sufficiently the magnitude of this tactic. As always, I wish you well.

Your dearest acquaintance,

Klepto**

______________________________________________________________________________

*Akathartos is the Greek word for ‘unclean or impure’

**Klepto is the Greek word for ‘I steal’

Advertisements

For Mrs. Gorby


I love my writing class. Have I ever mentioned that? If not, shame on me.

Here’s what I am writing right now. It is kind of a spin off of C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters.

Dearest Akathartos,

I am overjoyed to hear about your first assignment. This will be a season in which to learn strategy and observe the behaviors of the things ‘made in the image of God.’ This is the first and most critical of all the council with which I will present you: do not, in any way, create disarray of your current situation. The first patient is always a learning experience. You will, numerous times, experience great blunders and suffer greatly for them. So long as you are completely aware of this and you are ready to take responsibility for your stupidity, I am fairly certain you will come out nearly unscathed. Your initial assignment is one that holds great possibilities. The sons and daughters of those in ministry have abounding amounts of potential, though one miniscule indiscretion on your part and they could be eternally rooted to the path of our foe.

Let us take a minute to discuss the prospects of the circumstance in which you presently find yourself. The human to whom you have been assigned is the daughter of two ministering people. She can easily be persuaded that her parents’ ministry is strictly that of her parents. They have been given a ‘calling’ that does not pertain to her in any way and it is everything she can do to reside in their house for the next few years. However, when the opportune moment presents itself, she will be precipitously hastening, suitcases in check, for the front door of her parents’ home.

These are only the first two paragraphs. I have more, I just don’t want to share them yet.

Let me know what you think… Comment away, please!

I hate garden gnomes


I Hate Garden Gnomes

            Far above the glittering rainbows and fluffy white spring clouds, a seventeen-year-old princess resided in her magical castle. Her flowing golden ringlets were primped every morning. Her gorgeous face was done-up every evening before dinner. She wore a fluffy fuchsia frock every day.  Her days were filled with sparkles, unicorns, tiaras, and lip gloss. The young princess adored all that was good and true. She was the epitome of innocence and contentment. There was most absolutely nothing in the whole world she loved more than her beautiful dwelling in the sky. The princess, however, had a problem. She didn’t know what lay below the clouds. Mind you, the princess didn’t know it was a problem until her lady-in-waiting, Ethel, brought it to her attention one day.

“Princess Fantasia, have you not thought about what lays on the green grasses below?”

The princess was very surprised with her servant’s question, “My dear lady, what makes you so certain that I think?”

The lady-in-waiting decided that she needed to take matters into her own hands. The young girl was to be queen one day. Unmarried queens in the sky were unheard of. She would find young Fantasia a prince charming even if it meant drugging her and taking her down to the real world. But the controlling servant, who only went down twice a week for more of the princess’s hair product, had not yet encountered the pain and agony that makes the world and love, for that matter, all that it is.

‘Kindly Ethel’ sat at her old desk and formulated a plan. Through this process, she did what any respectable schemer would do. She monlogued.

“I will take young Fantasia on a unicorn ride (side saddle of course) over the rainbow. I will lead her over to the clover field. Together, we will admire the lovely flowers and find some four-leaf clovers for good luck. Then I will ‘recall’ some errands I have yet to do. Oh my! This will pan out quite nicely. I must remember to make an appointment with Prince Below. ”

According to the plan, the two of them set off. Fantasia admired the beauty of the rainbow and marveled that the unicorns were actually magical enough to gallop on colored droplets of water. Her mind and heart soared. She began to daydream of days to come, in which she would have the castle all to herself. She would read all the books in the library and dance with the broom to her favorite waltz. Maybe she would even be a bit rebellious and cook herself dinner.

“Being queen will be simply marvelous,” she told her unicorn, “Of course I would watch over the cloud people and bring justice to the rain vs. hail case, but more than anything, I would just want to stay near the castle.”

While Fantasia had been busy daydreaming, they had galloped all the way off the rainbow. Fantasia and Ethel landed in the clover field. Just as planned, they admired the beauty. Likewise, Ethel remembered that she had not yet purchased that week’s supply of ‘Sparkle Face Paste.’ Begrudgingly, Fantasia followed the woman into town.  She worried that the villagers all had wavy brown hair and would laugh at her shiny golden curls. She worried that they all wore pink and they would laugh at her fuchsia.  Worst of all, what if they thought her nose was too big?

The princess, who had never been under the clouds, was amazed at the amount of air and the warmth of everything. She also saw that instead of laughing at her, people simply went on with their business. Needless to say, she liked the world below the clouds.

Ethel completed her ‘forgotten’ errands quickly. She didn’t want to be late for the one o’clock appointment she had made with Prince Below. She whisked Fantasia off to the lovely castle stuck to the ground. The butler quickly escorted them inside and took their coats and did other such butler-like things. Fifteen minutes later the prince slid down the rail of the stairs bounded up to meet them. He reminded Fantasia of a small puppy. He was eager to please and so cute that she just wanted to tousle his messy red curls. His freckled face was full of unexplainable happiness, and his deep blue-purple eyes were full of love and hope. He bowed so low that his nose almost touched the floor. Fantasia giggled of course.

Then he spoke.

“My name is Prince Below. I suppose it’s because I live below. I am the eldest and most handsome of 14 boys. You must be Princess Above.”

“No. I am Princess Fantasia. I do, in fact, live above. ‘Tis a pleasure to meet you.”

“I know! Wow! I’m glad someone else thinks so. “

It was then that Ethel chimed in with a, “I’ll leave you two kids alone now.” And she and the butler exited the room.

Fantasia and Below talked for the next hour. They talked of their immensely different lives, their tragically controlled days, and of course their favorite jousts and croquet matches of the season. After their conversation, both walked away in love with the other.

Her head more in the clouds than ever before, Fantasia completed her lessons and read her encyclopedias without even thinking about them. She accomplished her tasks with dancing, singing, and wide dreamy eyes. On the ground, the prince was in much the same condition. They decided it would be best to get married as soon as possible. So they did.

It was a lovely white wedding on a lovely sunny day two weeks later.  Fantasia moved beneath the rainbow to be queen. She and Below made a very good king and queen. They governed fairly and were in all the big parades.

Fantasia’s parents and all of her servants in the palace above, mourned deeply. Fantasia had left them. She did not come to visit. She had forgotten them. Ethel was greatly despised in the happy world. Ethel hated herself for what she had done. She had cast out the only joy in her life and in lives of the king and queen. The nobles gave up. What reason did they have to rule anymore? Did it really matter that the hailstones didn’t let the raindrops into the same clouds? To make a long story short, they were all pretty depressed.

Fantasia was ecstatic to finally be queen. It was so much more than she could have ever conjured up in her imagination. She got to read and ride the ponies and help her husband make big decisions. Fantasia loved her husband and her family on the ground. She greatly missed her family in the clouds but she could never figure out how to address the letters she wanted to send.

After Fantasia and Below had reigned over the land below for six months, a deadly epidemic swept the castle above. Ethel, and both of Fantasia’s parents passed away.  The doctor said that the disease had come from rabid garden gnomes. Grief stricken, Fantasia saddled her trusty unicorn and set of for her home in the clouds. With her, she took several garden gnome exterminators (just in case). She realized what her parent’s death meant. It meant leaving her beloved home below. She took a walk. What would she do? How would she tell her husband? She galloped home that night, distraught.

She arrived home and Below had already reached a conclusion to the problem they both faced. Fantasia was surprised. Her husband explained to her the agony he had faced thinking about having to choose between familiarity and change. He had paced for several hours. (She could see the wear in the carpet) This conclusion had produced several rolls of extra strength string and a very tall ladder.

“What’s all this?” Fantasia asked.

“This is the stuff I will use to make us happy. I will move and tether your castle near this castle. I will put this very tall ladder outside the door. We will govern both above and below. Situations are easier to asses while looking at them from above. We can definitely do this. At least, I know I can.”

“Oh thank you!” She flung herself into his arms, cried on his shoulder and admired his canine loyalty.

“Dearest Fantasia, you are going to put water stains on my silk shirt.”

“Oh, sorry.”

The couple hired workers who tethered the magical castle, like a giant balloon, to the ground near the castle of Prince Below. They continued to rule fairly and justly over both the land and the sky. Oh! By the way, they upgraded the ladder. A giant escalator was installed outside their front door. Fantasia and Below waved in parades and even ended raindrop discrimination. As with all princess stories, they lived happily ever after.

THE END 


Of Mice And Men.


Dear Of Mice And Men,

Thank you for being such a fabulous book. Though you are very depressing, I got on with my day. You were very well written. You were lucky to have an author as great as Mr. Steinbeck. Thank you for your quick moving plot and for not being so overly descriptive that I forgot where the story was happening while you explained the location. Thank you for being my friend for two days… I will miss George and Lennie and Candy. I will miss the pups… The only people I won’t miss are Curley and his wife… No offense, but they got on my nerves.

Though you were a good friend, I must now leave you… I want to get to know your brother, East of Eden.

Love,

Me