A Stone Cut without Hands Ch. 00byfledgling©
A Virgin to lie in my bosom, George thought. That'd solve all my problems. Who would believe I'd find an answer like that in the Bible?
1 Kings, King James Bible
1 Now king David was old and stricken in years; and they covered him with clothes, but he gat no heat.
2 Wherefore his servants said unto him, Let there be sought for my lord the king a young virgin: and let her stand before the king, and let her cherish him, and let her lie in thy bosom, that my lord the king may get heat.
3 So they sought for a fair damsel throughout all the coasts of Israel, and found Abishag ....
George could certainly empathize with the old king. The idea of an innocent girl who would cherish him and keep him warm at night was intoxicating. But he wasn't a king and he had an awful lot of problems. The chances of acquiring a girl didn't seem likely, especially in this age when an old man wanting a girl was considered a dirty old man.
The thought that he was perceived as a dirty old man, refocused his attention on his problems. If only he hadn't caught that damn germ. That was the cause of all his problems. It hadn't made him sick, it was more like spiritual cancer. He'd never have noticed the disease if he hadn't stumbled on a virus that killed it.
Initially, he'd expected his discovery to make him famous, but government elite wouldn't be elite if they didn't crave power; they didn't want to be cured of the craving. Most believed the sheeple (people who act like sheep) needed wolves to save them from their own stupidity. The shit hit the fan when George had cured a few who blamed him for the loss of their elite status.
The problem was the cured thought the cure was worse than the disease, especially those who had abused their power. Half those he'd treated were convinced he'd robbed them of ambition rather than cured corruption. They'd made it plain he'd pay dearly if they caught him, so now he had to stay below the radar. And they would have had the power to catch him if he hadn't cured them, in spite of his low profile.
His self-pity was aborted when he reiterated his motto; every problem was an opportunity. Whenever he really needed it, ingenious solutions came in the form of a still small voice that was always right. It was almost as if he was being guided by as unseen force. He was so sure of his intuition's answers that people thought he was arrogant. But his schemes always worked, at least, they did if he could persuade others to follow. He'd rather be considered normal, but ignoring the ingenious, always-right solutions always lead to disaster.
Apparent arrogance wasn't the only fault he was accused of. The ingenious solutions often involved leading people to cooperate in spite of their reluctance. That was the cause of his reputation for being coercive. It was funny how they always blamed him for their decisions after they'd fallen under his spell.
Of course there were people who hated him. Those he persuaded to cooperate, to whom he showed a mutually beneficial course of action. When they realized that George's interests matched their own only briefly, that his goals looked to a future beyond what they could see, those people felt he was guilty of deception. They believed he'd used them without acknowledging they'd been using him.
George was well aware that he was thought to be arrogant, pretentious, deceptive, paranoid and sometimes, coercive, but his mission required him to use all the arrogance and persuasion he could muster. Whenever society's expectations threatened, he was reminded of a story he'd heard in Sunday school as a child. He sympathized with what Noah faced when people called him crazy. But Noah was responsible for only his own family. George was terrified his failure to cure a thousand Hitler's would make him responsible for the deaths of millions.
He'd foolishly attempted to warn of the disease by publishing proof in a scientific journal. If he was hadn't used a pen name, the label "crazy" was the least of the weapons he would have faced. The real problem was that politicians live by the Law of the Jungle. To cure one robbed him of not only his ability abuse his power; it also destroyed his ability to defend himself against others abusing their power.
The accumulation of power into fewer and fewer hands was bringing American to its knees, but without proof, the idea that fascism was caused by a microorganism was crazier than the ark. So, George kept the secret and worked to implement the cure without help other than the unseen hand he thought of as his intuition.
His mission required resources and liquidity wasn't the only one he lacked. He'd finally reached the stage where his aching joints forced him to seek help. His impecuniosity was the result of people he'd trusted that were too proud to accept his solutions. So he was stuck here, alone in a swap meet, casting his pearls before swine in an attempt to squeeze out the few dollars he needed to keep his belly button from meeting his backbone.
Chiding himself for complaining, George reminded himself that he wasn't starting over. He was sitting on a quarter million in inventory and his suppliers loved him. The infrastructure of his former business was easily worth a million. If only he was younger, his business could be back to a million a month in no time.
What he needed was youth, maybe a girl just released after years of incarceration by the public schools. Abishag from the Bible resurfaced in his thoughts. A young virgin to lie in my bosom. The mental image of Abishag juxtaposed against a teenager steeped TV sitcoms and newspeak propaganda was disheartening. Today's girls would run screaming from a stranger and thanks to the movie, "The Fugitive", George was definitely strange. He was, after all, missing body parts and driving a 30-year old house-on-wheels resembling a Brontosaurus. He was as far from being King David as it was possible to be.
He knew of several famous personalities who'd found a girl in Malaysia, but that took money. Besides, he was hungry for a girl he could share ideas with, someone who could understand the mission. Unfortunately the same culture he wanted to share was training children to want fame and fortune. Girls were taught they could buy love and security with sex and he couldn't see himself as a lecher.
George watched a girl across the aisle. Ivan and his wife occupied the swap meet space, and she was their granddaughter. They'd taken her in after her parents were busted on drug charges. He knew she kept Ivan in the black, but she was also fond of telling everyone how much she hated being there and how fast she'd be gone when she turned 18. So the problem wasn't just finding a girl, but also creating a reason for her to stay. "What kind of girl would choose to help an old man and be grateful enough to stay?" He knew there had to be an answer.
As clear as a voice in his head, a bolt of inspiration struck out of the clear blue sky. All he needed was to find a girl who was expecting something worse. If she were facing years in prison, abuse by a father or hunger after running away, it wouldn't take anything to be a better choice.
Once he had the solution, George knew an unseen hand had just supplied the means to complete his mission. What he didn't know was that the solution was also designed to fill the void in his heart, one he wasn't even aware of. He could pick and choose because the choices available weren't limited even by his imagination. He'd find a cute girl who would be grateful for anything his meager resources could offer in return.
What an adventure! He was suddenly filled with hunger for that innocence king David was offered. Nothing could compare to the love and trust of a young girl, eternally grateful for being rescued. He knew just where to find potential choices being paraded across the auction bloc in literal chains like slaves. The idea that humans were still treated like property in America, the land of the free, would be scandalous to the average person. But George was one of the few who recognized that TV news was mostly propaganda. He knew there were hundreds enslaved every day in every city. They came in every size, shape and color.
The juvenile justice system was designed to create criminals, a class even lower than slaves. Juveniles were taught they weren't responsible by being rewarded for their crimes. After breaking the law, they were assigned to government programs that provided food, clothing and shelter their parents couldn't afford. Once alienated from their families, the government rewards would end on the magic day they turned 18. When the rules changed, chance assured that some of those at the short end of the economic scale would be caught unable or unwilling to adapt to their arbitrarily granted adulthood.
All he needed to do was visit a courtroom where criminals were being arraigned and watch for the right girl. She'd probably be the child of divorced parents, a bitter feminist and a deadbeat dad. He'd pick one that was reasonably intelligent, just brainwashed into believing she could be happy if she followed the rules and didn't make waves.
He'd prefer a country girl who'd recently been caught up in the system. The rewards offered to juveniles tended to encourage those starting at puberty to become habitual delinquents. While the media showed young offenders a parade of the rich and famous, all they were offered as an alternative to crime was an 8 to 5 with a living wage cut in half by taxes. The road to wealth was very narrow, and contrary to the government's propaganda, crime did pay, at least for a while.
Country girls were not as numerous as city delinquents, but could be found in any backwater county courthouse. He couldn't afford the cost of getting her off for a serious crime, but knew how often poor kids were dumped on for petty crimes. Especially if the legal vampires believed they'd sucked up all of the green blood that could be drained from their families.
There was no reason to risk looking at jail-bait, so he wouldn't bother with the juvenile court. Not that he wouldn't prefer a younger girl who might be more open minded and adaptable. It was just that the system knew that too. They had created a powerful bureaucracy called Child Protective Services to make sure that the square pegs were pounded firmly into the round holes, no matter what the damage to the peg. And CPS didn't like it when someone tried to liberate one of its pegs.
What really satisfied George's sense of fair play was that besides procuring a girl, he might well be saving her from a life of crime and/or misery.
Intuitively, George knew it was a scheme as crazy as Noah's giant boat, but he also knew it was a solution more perfect than any the voice in his head had ever provided. It never occurred to him that he was following someone else's plan.