I'm continuing to post chapters of Resolution 786. Here's Chapter 36
“Mass infanticide,” said Martin in his high, chipper voice, eyebrows slightly raised, eyes open wide. “Let us move forward with the proceedings for Count One.”
Duly prompted, Hueghlomm stood and approached the Lord in the witness stand. He was utterly confident, supremely competent, closing the buttons of his freshly pressed suit jacket with preparatory determination, tucking his perfectly knotted tie in between crisp lapels. He spoke to the Lord with a sureness that was void of arrogance and built on a foundation of material, factual knowledge. “Sir, written records indicate that you stated a clear intent to commit mass infanticide. Those same records indicate that you then acted on that intent, committing the infraction in the land of Egypt on or about 1250 B.C.”
“Again with the B.C.,” the Lord huffed, sighing in grim resignation.
“How do you plead?” asked Hueghlomm.
“Not guilty,” the Lord muttered.
“Explain.” Hueghlomm was calm, contemplative.
“Babies died. I wasn’t part of it,” the Lord explained. “Am I responsible for every cold you catch? By the way, boys and girls died. But when two patriarchal societies record events, that’s what you get.”
“You didn’t perpetrate this atrocity to free slaves?” Hueghlomm was leading the Lord, wanting to establish intent.
“Slaves? Are you insane? Be careful how you judge and label. It takes only a turn of the wheel for the oppressed to become the oppressors. And who in their right mind goes on a killing spree to free slaves? Besides, those infants weren’t slaveholders. Why make them pay the price? What good would that do?” The Lord paused and smiled at Hueghlomm. “I was nowhere to be found that night.”
“Then why the written records?”
“Why not, you simple-minded fool? Everything can’t be reduced to the quadratic equation, my boy. I’d have created a boring universe if it could.”
“Then why the written records?” said Hueghlomm, insistent, slightly frustrated.
“Because it made for a good story and it served a purpose.”
Hueghlomm calmly mulled the Lord’s answer. He concluded that the answer didn’t advance the inquisition and decided to push further. “We are searching for Truth. Let us share Truth.”
“You wouldn’t know Truth if she sat in your lap and smiled.” The Lord became tense, agitated. “Truth!” he exclaimed loudly. “Here she is, smart guy: a bunch of folks were sore at another bunch of folks for keeping them down. A few of one group’s children got sick and died. The other group said, ‘See, see see. Bad, bad, bad,’” He wagged his finger mockingly. “Then the scribes got involved and put me in the middle of it all and the next thing you know, you’ve got a broiling good drama full of death and God and retribution and revenge and freedom and escape, all wrapped in a pita. You have to admit, that’s one heck of a story. Sure beats, ‘Sick kids died.’” The Lord threw his hands into the air, again miming the invisible quotation marks that he seemed so fond of.
“You didn’t kill those babies?” asked Hueghlomm, growing frustrated.
“Do you really think I like the scent of burning flesh?” answered the Lord.
“You riddler!” said Hueghlomm, angry.
“You create your own riddles,” said the Lord. “The only thing I had to tell Moses was to take off his shoes. You’re a different story. Take off your blinders!”
“Order! Order!” Martin shouted, an angry grandmother breaking up an argument between children at the dinner table.
“So you admit to conversations with Moses?” Hueghlomm spoke over Martin.
“Things happened,” said the Lord, no apology, no denial.
“And you told Moses and Aaron to ask Pharaoh to free the Israelites?”
“Why wouldn’t I?”
“And you hardened Pharaoh’s heart so that he couldn’t comply?” Hueghlomm moved towards the Lord in a short, halting lurch.
The Lord sat steady, unflinching. He smirked. “Did I launch the Crusades? Did I commit the Holocaust? Did I fight two world wars?”
Hueghlomm peered at the Lord in mute blinks.
“Do you really think I can be jealous?” The Lord eased back into the witness chair, hands over his stomach, fingers gently interlocked.
“Please stay on topic,” said Hueghlomm.
The Lord had stopped looking at Hueghlomm, gazing aimlessly into the viewers’ gallery. “Do you really believe I can be angry?” he asked the East Room.
Hueghlomm turned to Martin for assistance. “Sir, witness refuses to stay on topic.”
“I am the topic,” said the Lord, not allowing Martin to answer. “I’m not jealous or angry. Those are your behaviors. You misinterpreted what you thought were my behaviors and applied your own mislabels to them.”
“Relevance?” asked Hueghlomm.
“I don’t get jealous. I don’t get angry. You do.”
“Relevance!” Hueghlomm shouted.
“When red, white and blue are the only colors in your palate, the grass in your paintings can never be green.”
“What does that even mean?”
“It means that you’re a bunch of lousy painters!” The Lord was leaning forward, sitting at the front tip of the witness chair, his brown eyes sharpened into tight, dense points.
Hueghlomm stared at the Lord, taken aback, slightly fearful.
“The beginning of wisdom,” the Lord muttered, reining back his anger in a controlled and subtle retreat. He rested again into the witness chair, speaking more calmly. “Don’t paint a picture and then blame me because you don’t like the image.”
“You talk in circles,” said Hueghlomm.
“I talk in circles? You’re a comedian. You, who fashion a mirror, only to scold the reflection.”