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by Richard Tornello



Richard Tornello



“Yes Virginia, The Imbeciles Really Mean It.”

An answer given to a question posed to Mr. Clemens


By RdotTornello © 2013


The Village Idiot Press



Some said the rain would affect the planet, the people and the minds of those who were left.


No one noticed any changes except for lots of rain, contaminated land masses, fewer crops and colder weather; nothing out of the ordinary.


Emptus Cadus looked out the window. It was raining. It seemed as if it was always raining. The Dee Lye Surgic acid-rain continued to fall. The rain was a result of the continuous wars fought in other countries over three generations ago. The war and the fallout created a nuclear winter and with it great changes. Almost constant rain was the reminder of the mass migrations of homeless and starving people from south of the border and the western shores of the continental United States, as it was still called.


True believers in Kookbanelli Unscience, Blessed Be Thy Name, came to power after those great floods, and the mass migrations of foodless, homeless were put down. Tactical nuclear weapons were employed to eliminate these migrations of immigrants that no one could feed, house or employ. No one wanted them. They were just so much surplus baggage. They didn’t even speak English. The use of the weaponry was considered a humane and most moral obligation, a moral imperative, like euthanizing  sick animals.  


Those who were left in North America, mainly anyone not near an urban area, and demographically catalogued as rural poor, uneducated an/or extremely reactionary. In today's world that same demographic voted their unconsciousness and elected the Unscience Kookbanelli Party, Blessed Be Thy Name. There was no real opposition. Where would they come from?  Everyone subscribed to Unscience. It made sense. Science only brought on liberal thought, and waste and the unmentionable equality of the unequal, and that was immoral. Morality was the highest goal espoused by Kookbanelli I, II, and presently III, Blessed Be Thy Names.


Heady with power, the Kookbanelli I Party, Blessed be Thy Name, eliminated any possible opposition that could be mustered. In a few years time, and with the aid of a good PR firm, strong financial backing and goons recruited from the poorer uneducated side of the tracks, and along with disaffected former military types, the Kookbanelli Party, Blessed be Thy Name, shut the schools and colleges down. They were banned as pits of immorality and liberal thinking.

True to the moral imperative as espoused by Kookbanelli I, the Party forced all females into dumpatories where they were indoctrinated to rethink and confess to their crimes of assumed equality. After a few generations, the Kookbanellies, Blessed Be Thy Name, had completely fulfilled the wishes and most improbable goals of the earliest founders of the Unscience Party.



Emptus now stood in front of the Compulsory Video News report. “All is well with the world,” said the rip-and-read reporter with the one eyed head-scarf . “Beloved KOOKBANELLI III, Blessed Be Thy Name, won the election, as predicted and foretold by our soothsayers. Blessed be Unblasphemy.”


Emptus put on his sacred head scarf and prayed to Unblasphemy. “Thank you for electing one such as him, True Deniers of the false religion of science, and unto him the laws of pro-creation.” He finished with the latest catch phrase, “Less Thought Means a Happier Life, my best wishes.”


The video screen acknowledged his prayer with a dispensation coin to be used at confession. Emptus rarely went to confession. He had a jar full of the coins.


The female,  (females were not allowed to have names and were all called No Name), about whom he was deciding whether to keep for one more birth cycle or terminate her existence as was the custom, backed into the Sacred Video Emplacement with a cup of coffee. Females were necessary for procreation only and a bother. She had birthed six pairs of healthy children in quick succession. She was almost spent according to the laws.


Emptus was distracted by the news and then by the hail and hello shouted by Clod, his fellow male-mate-in-arms, to whom all true love devotion and honor could be applied morally and legally. He didn’t see or hear No Name enter with his demanded coffee.


“Clod, make your prayers. The Kookbanelli Administration, Blessed Be Thy Name, has been reelected, as foretold by the soothsayers, Blessed be Them. We will have six more years of pure Unscience as per the gospels promulgated by the Most Reverend Kookbanelli III, Blessed Be Thy Name.


Clod changed his street head scarf, dark with only one eye hole to his sacred two eyed one, only worn in the presence of the blessed video screen. Kookbanelli III, Blessed Be Thy Name, said one eye is enough to see the world. Why waste brain energy. Less brain energy meant the requirement for fewer calories and this was a blessed thing since the Holy ones required the calories in order to more properly root out the blasphemous and save the world for the true Unscience Believers. Blessed be Kookbanelli.


Clod made his prayers and was acknowledged. He came up to Emptus Cadus and inquired, “Are you going to terminate this female. You have produced twelve off-springs. You have done your duty to Sod & State. What more can you want of this being?”


Emptus was thinking more of food. His stomach was empty. His mind was empty. He was always hungry. He felt ashamed of that fact and was sure no one else felt that way. The truth was he couldn’t tell since every man wore the one eyed anti-blasphemy head scarf. Biometric facial emotional recognition was in this manner eliminated, and that was a moral imperative. And hunger,too, was erased from the land. The Blessed Ones declared it. So it must be him. He thought he should seek penance. For some unexplainable reason he always held back.


“Oh, No Name? I’m not sure. She keeps the house in order.”


Clod interrupted and cried, “But we only have rations for two, Me and You. The offspring are now old enough and have been relocated to the Sod & State Parententary. They are no longer our concern. Get rid of her.”


Emptus had other deep blasphemous thoughts and desires. They focused on No Name. Food and hunger he could confess to; desire for a No Name meant rethought and possible lobotomy, for the truly incorrigible. He had seen the end result in some others. He acknowledged the easy mindlessness to which the truly lobotomized displayed, voting and agreeing with the Sacred Video, no arguments to fight, no questions to ask or answer, and being all accepting. That was something he wished he could accomplish on his own without the assistance of the Sod & State. Sometimes he had his doubts. Those he kept them to himself. Not even Clod was aware of them.


Emptus looked at Clod with a loving eye. Here was a man who respected him and devoted himself to his welfare. Emptus was able to procreate while Clod had been born without the ability to produce the necessary fluids. Emptus was considered a national treasure, a Creator. There were fewer and fewer like him as time went on. The Creators were given leeway in some of their actions and statements.


Clod was deemed a superior being. he had scored in the upper one percent of the Mendacty Intelligence Tests. He had his choice of any partner he could desire. Clod picked Emptus years ago for reason he could not even recall today. Having this No Name for all this time was getting on his nerves and in truth, was stretching the food rations to the limit since they weren’t due to procreate again. Tomorrow, he was taking a vacation to get away from No Name, the rain and Emptus who was becoming a bit strange. He wasn’t as affectionate as before. Maybe he needed a vacation too.


Emptus looked at Clod and cooed, “Clod why don’t you meet me in the den. I will bring some drink and refreshments. After which I will terminate No Name. She is a bother as you have observed. When you return from for your vacation, the apartment will be as it should be. Now give me a kiss. I’ll be down in a minute with some refreshments and fun.”


Clod was joyous. All doubts regarding Emptus evaporated. No Name would be gone and he guessed this was going to be a good going away evening. Down to the den he went, his feet barely touching the steps.


Emptus came down a few minutes later wearing what Clod could only guess were painted on jeans. There was no guessing about any part of Emptus’s anatomy. “Clod, sit down next to me and let’s listen to more Kookbanelli, Blessed Be Thy Name, speeches. They are such a turn-on. Power is just such an aphrodisiac. Don’t you agree?”


Clod gulped his drink and nodded. He’d agree to anything at this point. But to his surprise his eyes were getting heavy. Soon his drink fell out of his hand and he slumped in his chair and lost consciousness.


Emptus looked at his partner and then at No Name. He called, “No Name, come here and help me dispose of the body. No one will miss him. I’ll say he never returned and I will have the rations for the two of us.”  He had never mentioned his feeling to No Name and all this came as quite a shock to her. He had been living in his own reality. The rain was coming down harder.


No Name looked at the body aghast. “I can’t do that, It’s against the Kookbanelli, Blessed Be Thy Name, way of things. I must not, I cannot live with you. My function is over. I must be terminated. It is necessary, proper and moral. This is a moral society. I am a moral person. You are a blasphemer and must be reported.”  She ran screaming from the apartment.



Emptus Cadus wandered happily back to his home from a Kookbanelli III Party program. The video greeted him as he entered. Emptus bowed to the image of the Kookbanelli III and said grace, “No Questions, a Happier Face. Blessed be Kookbanelli III.” 


Emptus smiled a sort of empty smile. He has a duties to fulfill. She is waiting in the bed room. Emptus would do his job, no questions asked. It felt good too, that helped.


He was about to enter and begin his assigned task when he stopped and pondered some nebulous memory but he couldn't quite remember what. Was it something about someone he once knew?  He stared out a window. The rain began again. “No questions,” he repeated to himself and walked in.





Small Print and Disclaimer

This is a story of complete fiction. Any resemblance to any entity, country, person, town or anything, historical or otherwise existing in this universe is completely accidental, coincidental, and not intentional.


Read more stories by this author

2013-12-05 12:01:13
Michele to Dogpatch: Unfortunately there are invasions into privacy that I would never have envisioned when I was younger. There's an entire generation growing up who believe that being spied on constantly with cameras, and having their lives spilled out over the web are normal occurrences. Richard's message is bleak certainly, but he's a Catcher in the Rye, trying to pull people away from the edge before they plunge over a cliff.

2013-12-02 13:41:31
Dogpatch to Mr. Tornello This tale reminds me of H.G. Well's "1984." A bleak future on a bleak world. Fortunately, our planets varied population will prevent such a terrible future.

2013-12-02 07:54:13
micheledutcher - This paints a very bleak picture of a dark, rainy future. A precautionary tale. I like the style of the writing, very thoughtful.

2013-12-02 07:53:32
micheledutcher - Mark 211 wrote: My current reading matter includes a biography of Lenin, ‘The Aquariums of Pyongyang’ and ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ so all in all this was a timely short story in terms of content and theme! As a satire, it works but struck me as a little heavy-handed at times though I did very much like the play on the ‘one-eyed man in the kingdom of the blind’ theme with the description of the hoods they wore.

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