False Idols

Two men walk into a bar.

More like collide, explode actually.

One man is enraptured by brotherhood and unification. He is soaked in the sweat of coal and steam. He is led on by exploration and the dread ideal of utopia.

It is the turn of the twentieth century, the crust of the earth is torn up blazing, raised and raging with fire and smoke.

The other man, raises his fist, swinging wildly, pressing home the point of his sacred heart, certitude and philosophical argument are his stone tablets. They will be laid down as surely as Sinai.

Both see logic sway in the smoke and steam that billows from factories, which line the canals and streets of the city. Fire and the steel consume the hours and days of those they love, those they whisper solitary silent prayer for on bent knee each Sunday.

One claiming the old gods, the other new. Relics exotic and the esoteric. The shroud of Turin, the minkisi of the Congo river, the shores of Benin. The chaste chaff and rod of home-grown Christendom.

Neither will have long to live. It is the ancestor’s glowing coals and embers that will burn through the remaining strata of the earth, will continue to seer down opening fissures and gaps large enough that the soil and those stood upon is will call out, in a noxious cloud of their own creating. Slowly suffocate, holding their own children and grandchildren in arms.

Two men sit in a bar, drinking whiskey.

One called wolf, one called steel.

Men of science, men of industry

Gears grind all about them, waves ripple out in every direction.

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