Monday, 2 April 2018

Beyond Their Will

© Denis Fitzpatrick, 2015

Elijah was seriously tempted to give himself a good kick when he discovered that the kitten which had adopted him and his family was actually a lady. This was discovered when she gave birth to kittens of her own. Naturally Elijah and all of his family were delighted with these cute, furry additions. They also all knew, however, that they were a burden, financially and otherwise, more so in the motor home they were travelling Aus in, the motor home not being as big as it first appeared. One of those kittens could well get underfoot at the wrong time and cause a nasty fall. Yep, they were all agreed that the kittens had to go. They would have to be surrendered to the nearest AuSPCA and may God have mercy on them.
     Luckily they were in the large but still country Ballarat and there was an AuSPCA shelter. They gave Lucy, formerly Luke, or Lukey, two weeks with her six young, but when that time was over everyone involved was very upset about having to break up the family. It had to be done. They all turned up to the local AuSPCA wanting to get the whole thing over with as quickly as possible.
     The AuSPCA, despite their pleas, couldn’t help. They were full. It was a few days after Valentine’s Day and they were bursting with unwanted puppies and kittens. For some reason this year’s Valentine’s, 2014, was worse than usual for them. In fact they were so full that most of their staff had taken some of the wee fellows home.
     When they had all returned home with the kittens, and deposited them with their mother, they all instinctively moved to the kitchen table in order to come up with a plan to avoid feeding this new family. Their own family could only afford the one pet.
     ‘Well,’ opened Elijah, ‘we can’t really look after this family and we can’t just abandon them. Have you met anyone, Blanche, in this park who would be willing to take them?’
     ‘Not really, Dad,’ replied Elijah’s daughter. ‘There is an old lady I met, who told me she’s living here on the proceeds of some rental properties in Sydney. She has a cat of her own but she’s also always been drunk when I visited her and I think Lukey . . . Lucy needs someone more stable.’
     ‘Why don’t we give them away on Speaking Nights, use the Nights to give them better homes?’ Janette d’Israeli was often capable of such clear thinking in times of crisis. Elijah thanked his wife, also saying,
     ‘You could probably sell them single-handedly, Janette, after such clear reason.’
     Thus it was decided that they would proffer the unwanted kittens to the public, while they all preached upon a street corner, asking everyone to find the loving Christ within them right there and then, and all were sure of their success. They spent the rest of the day with Lucy and her family, saying goodbye again.

*

Naturally they were all excited when they all turned up under a randomly chosen streetlight to listen to Elijah preach about the truth in Christ they had all realised throughout their travels, specifically the truth of charity. Elijah was indeed eloquent in his portrayal of such, clearly pointing out that science has shown that giving lights up the same area of the human brain as receiving does. And here are some kittens, brothers and sisters, newly born to the world and looking for good homes, good homes that Elijah could see many of them portending, promising unfettered love.
     But there were no takers. The unnamed kittens remained unnamed, remained unsheltered in a home that did not welcome them. Janette and Blanche both very much wanted to join their words with Elijah’s, but at the same time they knew that they would throw him off.
     They left early this night of charity ignored, charity despised. They also left feeling that perhaps humanity wasn’t worth saving, that maybe the whole human population was only concerned with their own hip pocket, only concerned with how much that they could maximise their own pleasure. Everyone else can go to hell. They, instead, could only go home to constraint.

*

Before the next Speaking Night the family all naturally found themselves around the kitchen table again, two hours before dinner at six pm. They were all keen to see if any of them had come up with an idea to safely evict the cats. They were each reluctant to start, probably because they all felt so cheap at not being able to safely rear Lucy and her children.
     ‘The only way we can advertise them,’ said Blanche after Elijah had plainly raised the topic of disposal, ‘is with our Speaking Nights. But people will still think we’re crazy. We need a way to show them that we’re just a normal family. A normal family that is under stress and needing another sturdy family’s help. We need to attract such a sturdy family to take these poor orphans.’
     ‘But they’re not orphans,’ interposed Janette. ‘We’re abandoning them since we can’t look after them.’
     ‘Isn’t that every orphan’s story?’
     ‘I’ve got it!’ suddenly exclaimed Elijah.
     ‘What? What?’ replied his family.
     ‘What does everyone want?’ His wife and daughter stared at him blankly.
     ‘Money!’ he exclaimed.
     His wife and daughter still looked at him blankly.
     ‘We’ll just offer the good passers-by some solid cash to take our kittens. Everyone loves cash.’
     ‘We’ll disperse them in no time. With money for their food. Dad, you’re a genius!’
     ‘No, just mildly cynical.’
     They all decided that they would offer ten dollars cash with each kitten taken home and they had an uncertain number of lookers-on. Nonetheless the kittens all found new homes after Elijah proclaimed that the ten dollars cash that he was giving away with each kitten would set them up finely for future life. Sure, Elijah was aware that there might have been a junkie or two who would pick up a kitten for the cash, but Elijah was also sure that this same said kitten would wield the necessary charm upon the junkie. Who knows, maybe these kittens would allure a few junkies away from the junk.
     But throughout Elijah’s speech bringing in people to purchase their kittens Blanche was very disturbed. Very disturbed indeed. She was very disturbed because her father was declaiming that the filthy lucre of money could easily buy love and happiness. Her father also pointed out to passers-by that their evil thoughts of this day could be channelled into good, the good of taking home and loving a completely innocent creature, especially since good and evil are the only definitions of each other.
     Was Blanche’s father now teaching evil as a source of redemption?  Sure Right and Wrong were mutually interdependent but surely her father was not now teaching evil as a path to righteousness? This certainly looked to be indeed the case. Blanche was mortified. And terrified. This was her worst nightmare, her father and mother working for the cause of Satan, his evil leading to a sham brighter life.
     Blanche though found her voice at home.
     ‘Dad, we’ve done wrong. We’ve preached wrong, we’ve preached that evil means can lead to a good end.’
     ‘What do you mean?’ responded her father.
     ‘We shouldn’t have given away money with each of the kittens. You shouldn’t have told them that money, rightly-gotten or otherwise, could buy love and joy or that Right and Wrong rely on each other: adopting Lucy’s children won’t counterbalance any evil. Dad, we’ve invested money we really can’t afford in what will probably be more unhappiness, ourselves now all facing lighter meals. Money really can’t buy anyone’s love, and good doesn’t rely on evil, or vice-versa.’
     ‘Maybe not,’ replied Elijah, sure that the kittens had gone to safe homes. ‘But it could well lead those who picked up the kittens onto the path of love.’
     ‘It might be best if we all take a break from the Speaking Nights,’ said Blanche. ‘I really do think we need to regroup and figure out more about what we plan to preach, since we’ve begun teaching that evil can result in righteousness.’
     ‘But we’ve only been preaching good,’ responded Elijah.
     ‘I’m not so sure, Dad. You have to admit after all that money can’t buy one happiness.’
     ‘Those kittens will make anyone happy, even the most devout misanthrope. I’m sure of it. Heck, even I miss them and I was the keenest to get rid of them.’
     ‘Still, money can’t get one lovin’. Real lovin’.  I think we need to plan our Speaking nights more. You know yourself, Dad, that we’ve been far too glib in saying that buying those kittens will bring unbounded love.’ And Elijah, despite himself, agreed.
     ‘Let’s just take a break from the Speaking Nights for a few weeks,’ said Blanche. ‘That’ll give us all time to settle our heads, give us all some time to set up what we really want to say. Give us all time to deny the hatred sold by Satan as wholesomeness. We can all repent our sin of abandoning Lucy with filthy lucre.’
     And repenting did them all good, but only for the first few days. After dinner of their fourth day’s abstemiousness they didn’t know what to do with themselves, watching the TV but speaking to each other in an attempt to lead them to a better life, speaking to each other as they spoke to the public. It was Elijah who first raised their need for Speaking,
     ‘We need to peach again, everyone. Working only for brightness, aware that evil may be used to shroud brightness, working for the joy of a bright cause appealing to everyone. Let’s express that immensely, throwing ourselves into something greater than we suspected. Let us all show each other that we are greater than we expected. Let us show the filthy lucre as the least of our worries, celebrating with everyone in the joy of causing brightness.’
     His family naturally agreed but it was Blanche whom provided a sensible warning: they would have to write out their speeches for each Speaking Night from now on, planning on how they were going to influence the crowd whom usually ignored the small family. By planning their speeches beforehand Blanche was easily able to show her parents that they could avoid Satan’s hope of their ad-lib proclaiming evil means as leading to good. And once again Elijah and Janette d’Israeli thank the Lord for their clever daughter.

~~~


If you have been enjoying Fitzpatrick's stories here you may also enjoy his short story collections, and other books, available online as both Kindle books and paperbacks (go to http://amzn.to/1NfodtN). Other ebook and paperback options are available at  http://bit.ly/1UsyvKD Fitzpatrick is also having a collection of short stories, Aberrant Selected, published by Waldorf Publishing in 2018. You can follow its journey at www.aberrantselected.blogspot.com




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