A Profit Named Zarquon (and yes, I know exactly how to spell ‘Prophet”!)

In the days before dinosaurs roamed the earth, there was a great city called Majikthys. The people of this city were wicked and awful and terrible and did things to each other that even animals wouldn’t do, although they had much fun doing them.

One day, a man called Zarquon was gathering water at the well, far, far from the city of Majikthys. Suddenly, he heard a noise like the beating wings of a bird above him and the sun was blotted out and he turned his head in amazement at the sight. Just then, a giant hawk flew to one side and Zarquon was blinded and dazzled by a light as bright as the noon day sun. His face felt hot and his eyes seemed to burn.

And the hour was noon, and he stood staring straight up at the sky and he saw a vision of wondrous colors sparkling and spinning and thus it continued for an hour or more as he seemed to be under a spell. Finally, a great fear and pain overtook him and he knew he must be in the presence of a mystical being sent by Ggaz, the one true Ggaz whom his people worshiped. Finally the fear and pain were too much and averted his eyes in a moment of weakness. He fell to the ground, skinning and bruising a knee as he did so, but he did not curse, but instead exclaimed,” Oh Ggaz! I am in pain and blind. How shall I find my way home?” He raised himself up and limped blindly in circles, though being blinded, he knew not he walked in circles but thought he was heading east toward his home.

He still could see nothing but murky haze, and his face stung as if pelted by sand. He wandered like this for how long, he knew not, until he could walk no more and sat on the ground and began to lament with great lamentation. “Oh Ggaz!’, he cried, “Tell me why you sent your mystical angel to blind me and make me wander thus!” He listened. He could hear the wind blowing and as he listened he thought he could hear a voice, soft and quiet at first, but growing clear the harder he listened. Finally, words seemed to form. They said, “ga t mag ties n til dem to rep shent tor tay il ee est roil d”. His mind reeled as he tried to make sense of the message and suddenly, as if by a miracle, it was crystal clear to him: Go to Majikthys and tell them to repent or they shall be destroyed! He recoiled in fear. How could it be that he, humble toad herder that he was, could be a prophet from Ggaz?

“But my lord.” he said to the wind, “what shall I say? “ The wind blew stronger still and he strained his ears to listen. The answer was clear, “jes duit”. And with these words ringing in his ears, the wind died down and he saw that, miraculously, he was back at the well. His sight had returned!

So Zarquon journeyed from the place whence he dwelled, and his place of dwelling was called Theeberbs. Zarquon traveled far, riding upon an ass, with his followers rejoicing behind him singing, “Huzzah! Huzzah! May Ggaz grant you much wisdom on earth and many, many virgins in heaven!” And they continued to sing and to praise him day and night until some of them died of thirst and others died of hunger, whilst more were eaten by saber toothed camels. Still, those who could continue to follow him did so, rejoicing and praising until Zarquon stoped his ass, and raised his hands and cried out, “Go home!” And they left, leaving him alone with only the stars above him and his ass below him.

Finally, after a journey of 40 days and 39 nights, he arrived at the gates of Majikthys. At the gate, a man peered at him, and because his face which was burnt by the sun on his long journey, mistook him for a man who worked with fire, and asked him, “Have you come to fix the furnace?”.

“No!’, cried Zarquon, “I’ve come in the name of Ggaz to warn you all of a great and terrible thing that will befall you if you continue in your wicked ways.”

And the man let him pass.

Zarquon entered the city and saw tall buildings, taller than any tree in any forest. He saw water flowing in troughs as though they were rivers. There were livestock and people of all kinds. He wandered the city seeing the iniquity of their theaters, their markets which were controlled by workers guilds, their places of learning where book upon book, scroll upon scroll were available for any innocent person to read. But the greatest iniquity of all was that he saw not one house of worship to Ggaz!

Finally, he reached the center of the city and he climbed upon the great steps of the greatest place of learning and cried, “Oh wicked and sinful people of Majikthys! How you displease your Ggaz! He demands obedience and sacrifices, but instead you spend your effort on book learning and frivolous social pastimes, ignoring your duty to the one true Ggaz. You dare to explain the mysteries of creation in your books and scrolls, but you know only what you are able to reason from observation and trial and error. This pleases Ggaz not! He demands obedience and faith without answers. Oh how you pervert yourselves! Repent now of your most un-Ggazzly sins! Burn your misguided books and tear down your theaters and places of entertainment and embrace the true grace of Ggaz!

The people who gathered around we are first amazed by Zarquon’s rambling speech. But as he continued to speak, they became bemused and then broke into laughter.

Zarquon, incensed at their mirth, raised his hands and cried, “Oh great lord Ggaz, bring down upon this city a plague to infect all them who refuse to repent!”

Silence followed. For a moment no one said a word. All those gathered stared at him with mouths agape. Finally, a few began to mumble and a stir went through the assemblage. Then, as if acting of one accord, they all turned away with a great indifference and left him.

Zarquon, knowing that a great plague was about to befall them, mounted his ass and rode out of the city gated and camped upon a hill overlooking the doomed city.

And a day and a night passed. Zarquon looked upon the city and saw the evil doers carrying on as usual. He patiently waited for Ggaz’s great rath.

And more days passed and the sinners continued to work and play and learn. And Zarquon, infused with great faith and patience, continued to wait.

Upon arising on the forth morning, he looked down on the city and was amazed to see no one about. No merchants selling their wares, no workers going about their work. He dropped to his knees (wincing as the one knee hadn’t quite healed from the glory at the well) and cried to Ggaz, “Oh great Ggaz! Thank you for smiting these sinners. May all peoples learn from their wicked example and sin no more!”

Zarquon hosted himself upon his ass and rode down into the city. He saw no bodies, only empty streets. Had Ggaz smote them so severely that they turned to dust? This thought warmed his heart and he smiled and said a silent pray to Ggaz, praising his awful, terrible, and through smiting.

Then a face appeared at a window. It had the visage of a young boy. Zarquon stared at him in astonishment. Could this be an angle sent to tell him of Ggaz’s great pleasure with him and of the bountiful wonders that now awaited him in heaven?

Zarquon bowed his head before Ggaz’s angel and asked, “Is Ggazed pleased?”

The angle looked at him quizzically and said, “Who is Ggaz?”.

Was this a test? Was Ggaz testing his faith by asking such a question?

Zarquon paused before he spoke, but when he did speak, it was with limitless faith and conviction, “Ggaz is the creator of all things, the giver of life, the source of all love and joy in the world. It was he that destroyed all who until yesterday dwelled in this wicked city.”

The angle laughed and said, “You are surely not of your right mind. We are all still alive and well.”

This was no angle! He was now sure that it must be a demon sent from the evil one to tempt him into darkness and damnation. Zarquon knew the evil one was a trickster. He would not be taken in by his tricks, but would face the demon and show him that he knew of his lies. He squared his shoulders and cried, “Then where are all the people, all of those sinners and evildoers? Your lies can not lead me astray for I have the power of Ggaz on my side. Now answer me, in the name of Ggaz, the all powerful!”

The demon laughed a truly mocking laugh and said, “It’s the weekend. It’s the day we all sleep in!”

More windows were opened and people began to emerge from their dwellings to see what commotion was.

Zarquon’s head spun as more and more people surrounded him. They were smiling at him now. One of them walked up to him and offered him a cup with water.

“Here, you have been camped in the desert outside of our city for days on end. Here, take this cool drink and revive yourself and then come with me and you shall join me and my family for the breaking of the fast”

Zarquon now understood the unimaginable greatness of Ggaz. The plague with which he plagued them didn’t kill their bodies, but instead the evil spirits which dwelled within them. It was a miracle beyond miracles! He raised his hands to the sky and cried out, “Thank you oh mighty and most marvelous Ggaz! For you have shown us your greatest gift, love and mercy!” And he followed the man to his dwelling where he dwelled for forty days and 39 nights before returning in glory to his home.

Amen.

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