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“Merry Solstice, Uncle Scribner!”
“Merry Christmas, nephew!”
“But the solstice is tomorrow, and it would please me to no end if you would join us for the local queer people’s Yuletide pageant and party at the old union hall tomorrow afternoon.” The youth with the perpetual twinkle in his hazel eyes was determined to say his peace before the salt and pepper haired older man raised his avuncular objections. “After all, you have never made your orientation in gender preference a secret. . . The spirits be offended, this rectory is always so cold at this time of the year.”
The older man who was host at the rectory squinted and paced his reply in a low tone so as not to lose his temper in anger. “We have been over all this many times, Fred. I have chosen to make my life’s work in service to the church. It is not prosperous but afforded me many rewards and stability, nonetheless, . . . .unlike other gallivanting gay blades I can think of. If you think I would risk compromising my life of dignity by attending a celebration so steeped in Godless idolatry, you would do better to drown yourself naked in that no doubt profane punch you heathens will refresh yourselves with tomorrow.”
A hearty chuckle burst from deep in the nephew’s chest. “The spirits know how dearly I love you Uncle Scribner Ebenezer. Who else could come up with such colorful imagery? Somehow I will try to work such a thing into one of the games. But, I know. ‘Love the sinner, but hate the sin’. . .”
“That ‘s right, nephew! I am proud of upholding a life of celibacy in my best efforts at devotional service. Our Lord led a celibate life at a time when it was expected that all young men, no matter how righteous, marry and sire children.”
For a minute, the smiling twinkle left the eye of the good natured younger man. “Are you sure it has nothing to do with the special mention in your special books of unkindness towards the queer men because of their manner and sexual conduct? Or maybe that is a particular concern of your colleagues in the church?”
“Don’t be blasphemous or disrespectful, nephew. Maybe you could benefit from the structure and order a life of faith through the guidance of the church could bring you.”
“I did not come here to argue with you Uncle. Perhaps my new lover will straighten me out to a life of more constructive and steady pursuits. It would mean so much to me if you dropped by at least just briefly so I could introduce him to you.”
“A young man with certain professional or vocational experience under his belt, huh?”
“Uhh no, . . . He has just been awarded his Masters in Biochemistry ‘cum laude’.”
The older man’s lips parted and eyes drew back in his head briefly. “Oh, how promising. Don’t tell me. He has tens of thousands of dollars in tuition debts and no prospects in this infernal recession? A great mentor he will make for you.”
“Oh please Uncle Scribner, chill and lighten up. This is the festive time of year. Don’t you love the lights at dusk and the chill in the air in fresh fallen snow? Bob Crocker out there who is shoveling the paths of the church compound will be there. You know he is blessed with a queer son and daughter and the whole family will join us in celebration.”
The older man responded in his sternest tone, “Count your blessings where they will do you the most good. For the last time, I could never join your feast of revelry’s impiety. Good afternoon, Fred.”
“Merry Solstice, Uncle.”
“Your solstice festival is so much humbug. Good afternoon and Merry Christmas.”
“As you wish, Uncle. Merry Christmas!”
Fred had re-situated his scarf and hat and was about to walk out, but when he opened the vestibule door of the rectory, two men were seeking entry. “You two look familiar to me.”
“You are not Rev. Moorfield or Rev. Ebenezer.”
“I am Fred Blade. We have met before because I have volunteered canlı bahis with the gay and lesbian hot-line. I will see you friends, tomorrow. Good luck with this geezer.” The nephew trudged past them as Rev. Ebenezer had approached to greet them at the door.
“Rev. Moorfield, we presume.”
“Evidently you are not affiliated with this congregation. We can only pray that Rev. Jacob Moorfield is enjoying the peace of paradise in the loving arms of our Lord. For it was on this very night, 7 years ago that my partner of this parsonage breathed his last.”
“We heartily offer our condolences for your loss. Then we presume we are addressing Rev. Ebenezer.”
“What can I do for you gentlemen this evening?”
“On the occasion of this festive time of year, we seek provision for the counseling of our troubled brothers and sisters who share our alternate sexual orientations. For the best outcomes and solutions from circumstances that can even be life threatening, professional resources are expensive.”
“Are there no crisis centers with our state hospital? As both a man of the cloth and someone how you put it so delicately, who “shares our alternate sexual orientation,” the doors of many of the churches of the community are open for counseling to young people troubled by a full range of assaults to a positive spirit.”
Both guests suddenly realized they were still wearing their hats and pulled them off as a gesture of embarrassed respect. “Well pardon us for saying so Rev., but many would rather die than experience a commitment to State Hospital and they fear only further recriminations and or evangelical appeals from the churches to abandon their nature.”
“Well perhaps it might be useful to instruct them that they will receive a loving welcome from many of the churches of this community, lightening your obligations. Good evening gentlemen.”
“You mean, you yourself wish to remain anonymous?”
“I mean, expect nothing from me, short of steering your troubled youth to the auspices of this church and our graceful attentions. Good evening.”
The two young men walked out silently. The sun had sunk below the horizon in the western sky with a quickness that is always surprising at this time of the year. “Come in from the dark, Bob Crocker. . . You are a hearty soul and I see you have not suffered the worse for having been outdoors in the cold for the last 3 1/2 hours.”
“It was a pleasure to greet your nephew, sir ~ such a friendly light-hearted fellow.”
“He is a shiftless fool with little or no direction in his life. He would do well to pray to his Creator to forgive his many sins. But we have other things to talk about.
“Tomorrow, I suppose you will be wanting to attend that annual lewd gathering of debauched souls with your family?”
“Just tomorrow afternoon if it is not too inconvenient, sir.”
“I will give you the whole day off, but it is outrageously inconvenient. We have yet to finish the holiday decoration of the church and compound. I will need you all the earlier the next morning. You will also be given Christmas and New Years off over the next 10 days.”
“Oh yes, sir. Thank you. You can count on me. Merry Solstice, Rev.”
“Your pagan solstice is a humbug.”
An hour later, Rev. Ebenezer stepped out briefly to fetch some cheap vittles for a light dinner. He nearly slipped on the compound walk. Except to minister to his flock on a holy occasion, he despised this time of year. As he unlocked the rectory front door, he thought he saw a facial image in the ornate door knocker ~ someone he recognized but could not place.
After preparing a light meal poorly heated in the kitchen microwave, he returned to the parlor to stir the spare embers in the fire. He saw that face again in the flames. He heard that voice for the first time. “Eben -eeeee-zer. Scribner Eben-eeeee-zer!” The old bahis siteleri servants bells rang and the chimes on the mantle clock chimed simultaneously. When the noise stopped and all was still but for the ticking of the mantle clock, the middle aged man who was the only resident in the spacious dwelling looked around very startled. The adrenaline rush faded and he thought, “that fuzzy-headed nephew is right about one thing, I need to lighten up. I shouldn’t let types like him and that Crocker get under my skin. That, and stay away from cheap frozen pizza.”
He returned the dishes to the kitchen, made sure the fire in the fire place would extinguish safely, and climbed the stately staircase. He used the bathroom briefly and retired to his bedroom with its comfortable antique bed. He had his flannel night shirt out and had just stripped to the altogether, had his night shirt raised to lower over his head and the rest of him to fend off the chill of the room when he heard the voice again, as if its originator were standing next to him. “Scribner Eben-eeeee-zer! I see you still take care of your body without anyone to share your firm flesh in intimate passions.” A dim light appeared out of nowhere on the other side of the bed. It seemed to enclose a vague apparition.
“Who the devil are you and how did you intrude on to these premises?” The startled man dropped the garment to cover the most immodest place of his nudity at midsection from the vision of his surprise guest.”
“Ask me who I was?”
“Alright, who were you?”
“I was your classmate at our small seminary who went on to be accepted with you in joint pastor-ship of this congregation, despite our attractions to others of our own sex.” The specter spoke with a moaning effect but his voice did approximate that of Ebenezer’s old partner in ministering. The vision sharpened and did assume familiar characteristics, but chalky and gray.
“You don’t believe in me.”
“You could be my imagination playing tricks on me after a disagreeable day. That and a bit of undigested bad frozen pizza. Am I supposed to believe in someone wearing such a ridiculous outfit?”
The specter opened its mouth and let loose an ear-splitting wail. “EBEN-EEEE-ZER! I do not wear this leather and carry these chains to submit to the overriding urges of one who would tie me down and dominate me to suit the grittiest of gratifying acts of corporeal manipulation. . . . I would probably be a free soul and shorn of these restraints in death if I had enjoyed the former in my lifetime. Now do you believe me?”
The rattling of the chains was deafening and the shocked and startled resident waited for its conclusion before his reply. “I do. I must. Can you sit down in that chair?”
“Then please do so. . . You speak of wearing those cumbersome devices as an obligation. I don’t understand. You were a pious contributor to the church. I marveled at your inspiring sermons. Your commentaries in ecclesiastical journals were esteemed in all of Christendom. Had you lived Jacob, there would have been no limits to your standing in the dioceses. You were nearly perfect in the business of ministering to our flock.”
“All mankind was my business, especially to those who shared our peculiar physical attractions, Scribner. Not just earning special institutional ecclesiastical attentions. Without realizing it, I forged these chains in my life for self-serving self righteousness, never inspiring others to the bonds of love and warmth with passionate physical connection.”
The resident, now shivering in his nakedness, was the most startled yet by his deceased partner’s unexpected declarations. “But Jacob, we learned that these ‘connections’ as you call them are just momentary carnal release and satisfaction. They are really one of the curses from the Fall of Man and have no place for the love and esteem we hold for each bahis şirketleri other for the love of Christ.”
“Jesus preached we could attain grace first and foremost for the love we have of each other, especially the love of the scorned most among us. We seek that love by any means, necessary. Yes, Scribner! ~ by any means. I am burdened to walk this earth for all eternity such as you see me now, because I withheld my love in all its urgency for passion and devotion. It is the great pleasures in the fulfillment of the passions that forge the bonds of love and the caring sympathy and celebration for others who seek the same for themselves.”
Moorfield’s spirit seemed agitated with his living partner’s profoundly baffled expression. He opened his mouth as if to wail again, but restrained himself. “Scribner you can remove that silly garment from concealing your genitals from me. . . . You still don’t get it, do you? I loved you. I yearned for you with all the hot tingling feelings of lust that can beset mortal man, especially in the genitals. Were you so impervious to my desire for you? I know you caught me gazing at you. You remember we had open showers at the seminary dormitory more in the fashion of a High School locker room. Did it never occur to you that always coincidentally when you wanted to shower, I would be there to do so, as well?”
“Really Jacob, there is no need to be profane in your confessions about us.”
Now the specter did wail and rattle his chains once again. “PROFANE!?! That I would gladly have taken your erect cock and put it my mouth to stimulate a load of semen from it for my thrilling delectation. How is that for profane? Yes, Scribner, for years I was urgently curious how such a thing would have tasted. I would have splayed myself, naked at least below the waist, on a mattress, a couch, or a even a carpet and thrilled to have you penetrate what was no doubt my once very hot and tight mortal rectum, the friction which would have caused an ejaculation from your splendid long erection of your warm semen deep into my very viscera. How is that for profane? I would willingly have done the same for you and marveled how desperately your stretched open little hole would have snatched at my throbbing manhood. I wanted your arms about me. I wanted our tongues to mate in sumptuous kisses.”
The specter nearly hissed what he had to say next. “Nooooo, my partner in life, just as I have learned these past 7 years, you have it all backwards. Profanity is the very restraint from the pursuits of romance, love, and yes lusting pleasures of the maximum intensity. . . . I have come for your reclamation. You will wander the spirit world in misery as do I unless you change your ways and do your best to seek out love, very much in part through the satisfactions of lusts with intense application. For the sake of your immortal soul, Scribner Ebenezer, you will need to do the best you can to be a generous lover in every respect.”
The resident still naked, his swelled penis pressing against the concealing garment stimulated by such graphic assertions, had stopped shaking. But he was more puzzled and disconcerted than ever. “Jacob, I am aging and have become set in my ways. How would you suggest I make this exotic metamorphosis?”
“This very night, you will be visited by 3 spirits at the top of the hour, the first to visit when your church clock strikes 1. They will take you places and show you things that, if all goes well, demonstrate to you the true value of real love and passionate physical affections. . . .
“Heed them well, Scribner Ebenezer. Your immortal soul depends on their ministrations toward you.”
The specter moved away, its light fainting, as if to float through a closed window and into the open sky of the vast cold night. As nearly a life long minister of the church, Rev. Ebenezer could not help but contemplate the irony of the specter’s last remark. Absentmindedly, still clutching the night garment, he pulled back the covers of the bed and climbed into it in his nudity, in total contravention to the normal routine of his night time slumber.
to be continued . . .
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