What about the Rats?
“You little knuckled headed Ediot” Willie’s drunken father shouted “git back here so I can git my hands on you! I'll teach you to wake me up!”
Willie just kept going as fast as his little '5 year old’ legs would carry him. That was young Willie’s life to this point. What could be worse? Just keep reading!
(Mis-spelled words in the first two lines on purpose to show how ignorant Willie's father is.)
The driver pounded on one of the doors with the huge gargoyle shaped door knocker which was attached to the door for just such a purpose. The sound reverberated inside the building for a full minute before the sound faded away.
Disturbed by the loud knocking, a flock of bats came swarming out of the church belfry which towered two hundred feet above the two men's head. After a five minute wait one of the big doors swung open, ever so slowly, on complaining massive hinges. It made a sound like the cry of a lost soul who had just been condemned to hell.
There in the doorway stood an old bald headed man with a toothless silly grin. The small amount of hair which he had left around the lower edges of the back of his skull was stringing down to his shoulders and matted together in clumps.
In a cackling voice he welcomed "Come in, Mr. Willie Wilson. The Bishop has been waiting for you! Please walk this way."
The old man turned and slowly started down the forty foot high corridor in a slumped over, limping gait. Willie walked very slowly behind the old man, trying not to pass him or collide with him.
The floors of the hall were made of smooth marble, inlaid with mosaic tiles but the walls were of rough hewn limestone. There were many wide cracks between the huge stones of the walls. Every twenty feet or so, there was a dim light, of unknown origin, shinning out. At every one of these locations there was a statue of what appeared to be a gladiator of Rome or some kind of religious idol. The old man would hesitate a second at each of these statues and give a little bow.
After twenty minutes of this torturously slow travel, the pair came to a door which was almost as massive as the entrance doors. The old man knocked on the door with a knocker very similar to the entrance knocker. Again the hall reverberated for a minute to the sound of the knocking.
After a few minutes wait, a muffled "Come in." could faintly be heard behind the thick door. The old man laboriously tugged open the door just enough for Willie to squeeze through and as soon as Willie stepped inside, the door slammed shut behind him with a loud thud.
The hall had been dimly lit but this large room could only be described as dingy and stifling. It had a strange musty odor which seemed to drive all the air out of Willie's lungs, as he had to make a conscious effort to continue to breathe enough air so he wouldn't pass out.
As Willie's eyes became accustomed to the darkened room, he could just make out the form of a very fat man, who could only have become that huge through years of despotic living. He was sitting behind a massive oak desk which was twelve feet long. The desk's side panels were covered with ornate carvings of what appeared to be gargoyles and demons. The walls of the room were lined with book cases from ceiling to floor. A bed of huge proportions was located on one side of the room. There was a huge fireplace at the far end of the room which was large enough to burn logs eight feet long. This fireplace was the only source of illumination in the huge room but the remains of a fire had burned down to a dull glow of embers. The floor was carpeted with a rug so thick that one had to make extra effort to raise his feet a few inches each time he took a step so that he wouldn't trip and fall.
The fat man finally spoke "We've been waiting for you, REVEREND Wilson." (He put extra emphasis on the word "reverend", as if he were saying it in sarcasm.)
"My name is The Right Reverend Bishop, Albert Stanley. Just in case you're wondering how you got this prestigious position at our glorious church, I'll be frank with you. I've been watching over you, for many years. In fact, since you were a small child. I know that you are a man of low self esteem and that you have had a difficult life. You don't know this, but The Church of the Most Holy Named Saint has been paying your living expenses and your tuition at the seminary since you began there. Before that, we were instrumental in getting you assigned to the right foster home so you could be raised in a ‘neutral atmosphere.’ You have very low intelligence and you had a very hard time getting passing grades in high school and at the seminary. You wouldn't have made it this far without a lot of help from my under cover people. In short, REVEREND, you have been hand picked and trained especially for this position and you must do exactly as you are told. But it's not as bad as it might sound. You will be paid a salary of fifty thousand dollars a year, as well as have access to our private stocks and all the pleasures of our facility."
"Now, let’s get down to business. Here at the church we don't like to hear our ministers talk about high and lofty morals. I know you weren't taught those kinds of things at the seminary, because I run the seminary and I control the content of what is being taught there. I pass judgment on who is hired to teach and I pick the books that are used in all the classes.”
“Not many people know who controls things at the seminary - you should be proud to be one of the select few. I'm able to fool a lot of people into thinking that you students are learning true religious values at the school. The professors are picked because they are liberal scholars who don't believe in God. Most of the professors think they are deity themselves, because they think they understand all mysteries. The fools! They should realize that money is more important than anything!
But back to business.”
“We like to have things go nice and smooth here - and in my other churches, so that no one gets too serious about religion. We have a great body of tradition here which must be upheld - our traditions are much more important than any teachings from the Bible. We believe that the church is an evolving organism, which is here to serve us. Any teaching and preaching has to reflect our wants and needs today, not some musty set of precepts of righteousness which reflected peoples needs two thousand years ago. Besides if you watch your ‘Ps’ and ‘Qs’ this can turn out to be a very great opportunity for you. This is your ‘training ground’ so to speak, a stairway to bigger and better things. I own churches in all the big metropolitan areas. These churches are my real money makers.”
“If you learn to do as you are told here, you'll be promoted to one of these big churches. You will be pretty much ‘in charge’ and run things to suit your self, as long as you suit me and bring in money. The positions start at an annual salary of two hundred thousand and you can have as many women from the congregation as you want. They're all eager to please their minister in every way. But remember, we only teach what the people want to hear - none of these moral rules from the Bible which only suppress people’s rights and individuality. People who go to my churches have the right to do anything they feel like doing. We're here to sell them forgiveness, if they happen to feel a little guilty later. It will be your job to make them feel just guilty enough to buy a pardon from me but not guilty enough to do anything crazy like repenting and actually turning to God as some misguided souls seem to want to do."
Willie stood there frowning during this one sided conversation with ‘The Boss’.
Willie never thought much of himself because he had come from an abusive home where his father drank himself stupid every day and his mother had such emotional problems that she lived on wine and valium. The family was on food stamps but his parents always traded them for money, (fifty cents on the dollar), so they could have the money for cheap booze and drugs. His family lived in a flop house in the slums, paid for by welfare. The only reason Willie survived as a baby was that there was an old black lady living in the same building who had compassion on him. Each day she would see that Willie got nourishment and was cleaned up. She would sing the old Negro spirituals and hymns to him to comfort him. She even bought food for the little tyke out of her own money (which she couldn’t afford). When Willie had just learned to walk the old lady died, leaving Willie to fend for himself.
Willie had been beaten and neglected most of his young life but he learned early where the best restaurants were located. He had to sift through restaurant dumpsters to get food in order to survive. Willie would pass by a restaurant and look in and see all the people enjoying everything they wanted to eat. Willie couldn't understand how they could have so much and he had so little. He always brought the best looking food home to his mother and father but they usually weren't interested in food.
When Willie started to school, he was a dirty little street urchin with a runny nose. As he came into the class room for the first time, one of the prissy little girls looked up, pointed at him and said "Booger" for obvious reasons. The nickname stuck with him all through his school career, which was lackluster to put it mildly.
Willie had a brilliant mind but no one knew it. No one expected anything from a child of his appearance and background. The first time he took a test he got a perfect score. The teacher made such a fuss about her suspicions that he had copied form a girl next to him (who also had a perfect paper and perfect looks and manners, therefore the expectations to deserve perfect marks) that he never again made that mistake. He knew all the correct answers but he always answered some of the questions incorrectly so the teacher and his classmates would like and accept him.
- - - Continued - - -