Rabbi Hersh's NightmarebyLonelyMuse©
You are standing at the edge of a cliff, looking out over the world. From here you can see every fault, every sin, every transgression. It is like a voice in your ears, whispering, drawing your attention to every miniscule detail, ever imperfection.
As you stand, listening, your attention is drawn to a run down apartment somewhere in the middle of phoenix. A young man is huddled in the corner of his closet, crying quietly to himself. His fingers are raw and bleeding where he has chewed at them in hopes to quiet his grumbling belly. The closet reeks of body odor and human waste. The man has not moved from his corner in three days.
A band with a yellow patch identifying him as Jewish is tied around his left arm. There are a number of fresh scars on his face. Cigarette burns, an imprint from a skull ring, several cuts and bruises. His hair is caked with blood from a wound which should have been stitched and is now growing infected.
He sucks at his fingers, closing his eyes tight to shut out the taste of blood, to shut out the memory. It does not work. He sucks harder at his fingers as the memory begins to overwhelm him. He whispers around them. "What have I done?"
You are like a ghost, standing among them, but unnoticed. The man runs along the sidewalk to open the Synagogue doors for his parents and sister. He seems happy, excited even. Tonight has some special meaning for him. He makes a sweeping gesture of invitation as he opens the doors.
"Tonight..." he says almost to himself "it Begins..."
You follow the family inside, watching as he closes the door behind them. He very carefully pulls it closed, glancing through you as he slyly slides the lock into place. His lips move to his new mantra. "For the glory of Set."
You turn away from him, disturbed, concerned. You move through the crowd, apologizing out of habit when you would have bumped into someone. You notice a stirring near the front as a man in dark robes and a hood steps up, interrupting the beginning preparations.
He pulls the hood back, revealing himself to you. His hair is long and dark. A snake is coiled around his throat. His eyes are dark, unnatural, reflecting the evil within. He smiles winningly, pushing up the sleeves of his robe to reveal a strip of tie dye around his upper arm. He lifts his hands to draw further attention, projecting his voice as he speaks to the now silent room.
"For those who don't yet know me, I am Ash." he flashes a smile to the young man who is creeping toward him, trying desperately to avoid notice. "Thank you, Adam... For letting the Serpent into this Garden." His flesh ripples, becomes scaly, takes on a greenish tint. He smiles again, showing his fangs. "It is time... For you to learn the True glory of all that is SET!"
He drops his arms, snakes slithering down to the ground and out into the crowd. Several women scream, clutching their children to their breasts. One man decides to play the hero, rushing forward to attack Ash.
A single shot rings out as the man falls to the floor. Ash takes a step back as three skinheads in bulky black leather jackets step forward. One replacing a gun, but keeping his hand near it. Two more come from behind him carrying the sacred Torah between them. They drop it to the floor with a resounding thud.
You feel the rage boiling within you, threatening to send you into frenzy. His Blasphemy cannot be tolerated! You launch yourself toward him screaming "False Priest! Blasphemer!!!" as you pass through him unnoticed.
A hand grabs you by the arm, pulling you back from the edge of the cliff. You turn to face Ash's face. A voice whispers in your ear. "I can give you this."
You are turned around, your attention going again to the man's thoughts. He seems to have moved forward, or perhaps skipped past the worst parts.
He is standing near the door. Blood is splattered across the side of his face. He is wearing the band on his arm now. His eyes are blank, shell shocked.
He looks directly at you, tears escaping unnoticed. He says in Hebrew. "I never knew they would do this. He said we would teach, convert, enlighten..." He cringes away as a skinhead reaches through you, grabbing him by the hair. "Hey Judas!" the guy says, snickering at the irony of his own joke. "The Boss wants ya!"
The young man's body becomes limp as he allows himself to be dragged past to Ash. He tries to avoid looking to either side, or even at the ground, tries desperately to keep his eyes fixed on Ash.
He sees them. His family, his friends... Many of them are hooked to machines which are drawing their blood into large containers. Two skinheads hold down a man as he tries to struggle free of the machine before it takes the last of his blood. Many bodies lay dead beside the machines which seem to be still working at drawing the life's blood from them.
The man's step falters as he sees the body of his father, broken, laying at the feet of the machine his mother is hooked into. His memory flashes to the scene, his father wrenching himself free of their attackers, trying to protect his wife. You hear their laughter as they held him, systematically breaking every bone in his arms and legs, leaving him crumpled and bleeding on the floor to watch, helpless, as his wife was bled dry.
The man takes a step back, stepping into you, as his mother's eyes open, looking directly at you. "Adam..." she gasps for breath, tears welling behind her eyes. "Why?" She struggles feebly for a moment but is too weak. The tears escape as she turns her gaze from him.
The skinhead laughs, a derisive bark. He grabs the young man, dragging him up the aisle, unknowingly sparing him. He forces the man to his knees at Ash's feet.
Ash smiles down at him, shifting to block his view of something behind him. "Thank you, Adam..." Adam shakes his head, realizing too late what he has done. Ash leans forward, forcing the man to look up at him. "You have done well..." The skinhead behind him mutters "Judas" again as he walks away. Ash flashes an angry glance to the skinhead, narrowing his eyes, then smiling back to Adam.
"It is time for your reward..." The young man shakes his head again. "Please..." Ash's grin widens as he leans further forward, one hand tightens around Adam's throat, not constricting, holding him in place. He bites his own tongue, pressing his lips against the man's mouth, forcing them open, kissing him, passing the blood into the man's mouth. His thumb rubs at the man's throat, forcing him to swallow, like feeding medicine to a puppy.
After a moment Ash pulls away again, wiping his mouth, looking almost disgusted. "This is your reward. You have betrayed your own people. You will Not be granted the reward of a merciful death, release from your own guilt. You are mine now." A skinhead comes up behind him, leaning close to whisper in his ear, he smiles. "I have a Gift for you, Adam."
Ash moves aside, showing the boy what he was shielded from before. An altar has been built. The sacred Torah is placed at one end of it, making a pillow. The boy's sister has been stripped, tied spread eagle onto the altar. Three skinheads stand forming a line. Ash nods to the first of them and he quickly removes his clothing, climbing up onto the altar with the boy's sister. Another skinhead holds the man in place, locking his head, forcing him to watch.
Ash whispers in his ear. "She will become their toy, a thing meant only for their pleasure. One of their brood mares." Adam is allowed to shift his gaze enough to see all of the women between the ages of 18 and 30 tied up in a corner. Another skinhead stands watching over them, stroking himself, trying to decide which he will take first.
The young man screams, trying to shut it all out, his mind flashing forward, sparing himself visions of most of what came after, sparing you knowledge of the full horror of Adam's betrayal.
He is huddled in his closet, sucking at his fingers, trying to shut out the taste of blood, the memory of His blood, the knowledge of his own foolishness and subsequent betrayal. He shifts a little, darkness moving among more darkness, holding back a whimper. One hand sneaks up to rub at the infected wound on his head, inadvertently popping a blister from one of the cigarette burns.
He remembers vaguely, as if from a nightmare, when they held him down, tormenting him, as Ash was distracted elsewhere. The had all taken to calling him Judas, sneering at him as they spit on him, rubbing salt into his fresh wounds. "At least we are Honest about what we do." one of them says into his ear as he drags the edge of a blade along the man's throat.
Adam shakes his head, shaking away the memory, moving forward.
He is standing in the Synagogue again, held by Ash, forced to look over the carnage. The women are whimpering and crying. They gave up screaming and begging long ago. Each of them is wearing an arm band. As are the few men who were permitted to survive. He is secretly thankful that none of them were cursed as he was, none of them given the blood. He thinks of Caine, slayer of his brother Abel, who was cast out from the Garden and marked by G-d as betrayer.
You look on him sadly, thinking "If only you knew, boy..."
You are overwhelmed by sadness, by sorrow, and beneath it all the rage continues to boil. You look around the room, seeking the False Priest, praying to yourself for forgiveness for what you intend to do. It is not for you to judge, but you feel compelled. Righteous vengeance, justice, all in His name. You ignore the fact that you are justifying it to yourself, continuing the silent prayer of forgiveness even as another part of your mind decides how you will do it.
You step past the man as you see Ash walking toward you. You are grabbed again by the arm, pulled away from the edge of the cliff as you are about to step over it. You are turned to face the one who speaks to you, who whispers of your righteous vengeance. She smiles. You scream.
Devil, demon, surely a thing of evil! Each of her ten heads smiles at you, acknowledging your thoughts, agreeing with them. "I am I" she states with the ten voices, pulling you close, pressing your face between her breasts.
You feel your throat pierced from behind, trying for a moment to struggle, but quickly lost into the kiss. You manage to catch glimpse of Ash as he drinks deeply, pulling your soul from you. You manage to whisper "False Priest" as you fall into darkness. The last thing you hear, is a voice very much like your father's voice, repeating your own words. "False Priest" Speaking of you.
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