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© 1997 by Ezekiel J. Krahlin
my claim to fame is another name
on the lips of many fools.
all the world's a checkerboard game
played by the devil's rules.
is it a sin to intend to win
for the sake of same-sex love?
isn't it sage to turn the page
like the fluttery wing of a dove?
LETTER TO THE GLOBAL LESBIAN/GAY COMMUNITY
Through my tales and illustrations, I rework (as well as create new) mythologies of the world, on behalf of SameSex civil rights. My stories and illustrations bear the stamp of ethnicity, of a culture that stands unique above all other communities. (It is difficult--perhaps by choice--for EveryStraightMan to perceive any group as "ethnic," if not defined by a geographical origin...hence, another bone tossed to the Dog Of Homophobia.)
I carry the TorchOfLiberation for all SameSex Lovers (and to breeder converts), eager to ignite the world. "The Mask Of Horus," my first release, will light the fuse BOOM. It numbers but one among a growing collection of stories called "Parables For The 21st Century"...said collection yet part of a MajorWork- InProgress: "The AbsolutelyFinal Testament," (with a FlorescentPinkTriangle on the front cover, of course).
Let me make one thing perfectly queer: I AM HERE TO SLAY THE BEAST, THE PERVERT, THE BEAST OF HOMOPHOBIA. So I say unto you, Oh-Breeder-Of-Ill-Winds-And-Keeper-Of-All-Cures-Such-As-AIDS-And- Cancer (locked in secret vaults of the CDC, ACS, AMA, and The Vatican): "Not 666, but SexSexSex! I stand before the entrance to your offalish cave. Come out, come out wherever you are, you TeenyDickOfABreederPsychoticMassMurderer! My Pen-is mightier than any sword you could ever wield!"
And, if I can be so presumptuous as to speak for the entire Queer Community at large, I address The World: "Watch out Immoral-StraightMajority, you ain't seen nothin' yet. Pardon us, RabbitMeat, but watch our Fairy Dust!"
Just as Jesus broke bread to share among his ardent disciples, I break bread with you, DearQueer reader, with this deliciously wicked morsel of a tale.
This TrueFairyTale is dedicated to MyLittleChipmunkRandolphLouisTaylor, BraveMarine, BraveActivist (1946-1993). Semper fidelis.
THE MASK OF HORUS
Ezekiel J. Krahlin
"That was a noisy little brat!" he said.
The swinging door never came to rest until 5 p.m., when the factory whistle called it a day. Horus was ready for a long, steamy shower. There was a lot of hot action in the company stalls tonight. "As usual," thought Horus, attempting to undress while rough, masculine hands reached out through holes in the wall to cop a feel. They hungrily assisted him in disrobing, and tossed his bloody overalls into the moleculizer. Horus leaned forward against the tile wall, and let the hot water cascade over his broad back, as talented hands massaged the meaty globes of his buttocks. While other hands proudly caressed his back and thighs, the nub of a chunky finger teased the ring of his anus till the sphincter relaxed. As the finger slid forcefully in, Horus shivered with each knuckle bump. The finger, now deeply lodged, moved in slow, small circles, tickling the prostate. He squeezed his anus to grip the fat sausage as it tried to withdraw.
"Are you worthy to unsheathe Excalibur from The Stone?" Horus challenged in his darkest masculine voice.
"Apparently not," teased another male voice behind the wall, whose finger jerked in mock imitation of a virgin in distress.
"Uhh, uhh," Horus grunted, "by Thor's Hammer, you're fuckin' good! God damn! What's your name, man? Whose mask do you wear? I want you boy, I want you bad! Oh fuckin' Eros! Lick my ass! For Daddy's sake, lick my ass, boy! I'm gonna burst!" He said all this while shuddering under the hot rains with the finger working him over, and hands gliding firmly over his bulging, muscular frame. A glob of cum spread across the mushroom crown that capped his thick, rock-hard shaft in the grip of two broad palms.
"Ahhh," moaned Horus, shivering in delight as the finger worked its way out, leaving him empty like a turned-over chalice. He reared his masked head toward the shower nozzle. "Mohammed's Marbles!" he thought, "The fringe benefits in this place are incredible!" He dropped another quarter in the coin slot of "Hands 'R' Us," and bent over for a second assault. But it never came; nor did Horus. "Damn!" he said, and punched the machine before exiting the stall. A coin rolled along the floor and into Horus's big toe. He thought better about bending over--instead looked up in the direction of the quarter's path. Like a vision from Mt. Olympus stood a naked soldier beneath a shimmering cascade of water. Wet ringlets of golden-red hair graced the shining mask of Alexander.
"My, you're a pretty one," teased the boy behind the mask, his eyes riveted on you-know-what. He then walked across the watery floor and almost into Horus's arms. Their plump erections found each other's crotch, like doves returning to the nest. Horus twirled a golden curl of hair in his finger (a wedding ring!), and sighed: "Ah, sweet Jesus. To kiss you is to kiss an angel."
"Oh, my silver steed," the boy centurion clicked his mask against Horus's, "thy tongue is the tongue of a serpent. It cuts my heart like thine scimitar divides chaff from wheat." His hand was on Horus's ass, slipping a thumb up and down the crack. Dripping with passion, Horus gently encircled the youth in his arms, resting his hands upon the shoulder blades. He shivered at the touch of such soft skin beneath firm and budding muscle, and whispered: "If wings should sprout beneath these hands, still would they pale in comparison to the beauty of man thou art. Ahhh! Sweet sixteen!"
"But I must go!" Abruptly, the boy soldier pulled away, blew him a kiss, and disappeared.
"That boy's begging to be spanked," muttered Horus, who decided to pick up the coin and return to his stall for a few, extra minutes.
Horus walked down dark alleys on his way home from work. He turned around at the sound of an approaching vehicle and reached for his MazerPak. His parakeet mask dazzled in the amber lights of a patrol car that rapidly advanced and pulled over. The window lowered.
"Hey birdman!" catcalled a centurion hidden in shadow, "Don't you ever take that mask off?" He then leaned toward the passenger door, revealing the mask of Baldur.
"Oh, it's you," Horus grinned, and swung his GearBag at the open window. The centurion flinched.
"Come on, Horus, hop inside. I'll take you home." The back door swung open from an invisible hand.
Horus stepped back. "Gee, Clarence, I hope he's not a heterosexual."
"Nah. That's my boy. He's in training tonight."
Horus peered inside and saw a naked adolescent in the mask of Dionysus nonchalantly sprawled across the back seat, spread-eagle fashion. One leg was stretched to the floor, the other bent against the seat back.
"Great Gonads, you're hung heavy!" whistled Horus.
The boy shrugged his shoulders, shifting his hips to make a wider basket to accommodate Horus as he dived in. The patrol car catapulted off the street, hovered a moment, then zoomed across the skyscape of NuAthens.
Cramped between car roof and boy, Horus maneuvered like hand-in-glove, his warrior skirt creeping up in the process (with a little assistance from Dionysian hands).
"Your hands are all over my ass, and I don't even know your name," breathed Horus, spilling late seed in the boy's nest. "That's the best way," he thought to himself. The unexpected lubrication gave him an instant erection, and a natural hip-gliding reflex. The young rookie just moaned, too senseless from Cabernet Sauvignon for conversation yet not too foregone to position and bend his legs on either side of the centurion's hips, offering Horus a NuWhitman's sampler of teenage paradise. Horus fumbled with the GearBag until he found the travel-size safe sex aerosol, then fumbled in his mind as to how to shove it under the boy's ass to spray the crack...during which time his erection seemed to go the way of uncontrolled heterosexual breeding.
"He's a beauty, ain't he?" Clarence joyfully addressed Horus's buns in the rear view mirror.
"Umph. Yeah, a real apple from Eden," Horus mumbled, still fumbling. The boy tried to assist by raising his hips, but found this impossible, due to the bruiser-body's crushing weight. Happy, anyway, to be smothered in all this masculine muscle, the youth smiled in delirious ecstasy.
Clarence flicked on the air conditioner: "His name's Cleveland, by the way. You know, he has a perfect track record, even as a rookie. Not one breeder has been able to resist conversion to male/male love, so far, at the sight of this buffy darling. He doesn't even have to strip all the way!"
Bathed in sweat and frustration, Horus surrendered to disappointment (for the third time tonight). Being so intimately bound to this copper-toned innocent was, in itself, a begrudging satisfaction. He tousled the youth's jet-black curls, and gazed into those amber, Elysian eyes. "Yeah, I see what you mean," sighed Horus.
"You know, little Cleveland here's been eager like a pup to bond with you, ever since he laid eyes on you in the showers. He hasn't shut up about you for weeks!"
"Great," the CenturionChief managed to say with little enthusiasm. Eyes now shut, Cleveland snored.
"Oh Horus, I apologize. But the little satyr's still on duty. He's put in an exhausting five hours so far, I might add." Clarence looked in the mirror to see the drooping shoulders of a beaten hero. "Ahhh. We'll make it up to you soon."
Horus worked loose the GearBag under Cleveland's hoof, unsealed it, and returned the spray can to its pocket. "I know, I know," he muttered.
Changing the subject, Clarence asked: "Say, what do you think of this NuPassover Yahweh declared?"
Horus shrugged his shoulders. "I certainly approve all the way, but I sure am sick of how much work it takes to clean up these Kalki-sucking perverts!"
"I know what you mean. Hey, when the HetMajority keeps ignoring AIDS, saying 'Oh, it's only a faggot disease, let 'em die,' eventually Big Dick's gotta step in, just like he did in Egypt to free the Hebrews. But this time, he's liberating gays, slaying the HeteroFirstBorn of every breeder parent, by letting the disease spread throughout the straight populace. You should know, Horus," Clarence glanced over his shoulder, "you're the Angel of Death in both cases."
"I prefer to think of myself as the Angel of Retribution," Horus corrected, then mused: "Two things I hate most about this job. One: I think I'm getting tendonitis, hacking away with my scimitar so much. It's not worth the overtime. And those sickos really are not worth the trouble."
"Well it won't be much longer," Clarence assured, "Gays are now rising up all over the world. Before long, they'll become 'as one of us,' to quote The Old Man."
"Huh? Oh, yeah," chuckled Horus. "Yeah, it's good what's finally happening down there. But I'll sure as Hades be glad to take this Siva-Be-Damned mask off my face for once and all!"
"Well, you know the orders..."
"ATTENTION ALL PATROLS IN QUADRANT FOURTEEN!" The squawkbox suddenly blared in their faces. "Huh? An emergency!" Clarence said, grabbing the mike. "Yeah! DeWitt here! What's the problem?" "JUST GOT AN ALERT FROM YOUR QUADRANT THAT A MAVERICK RADIOBOT IS BROADCASTING HETEROSEXUAL MUSIC SOMEWHERE IN SECTOR 119 OR 120! GET THERE ON THE DOUBLE AND SQUELCH THAT CRAP. WE'RE SENDING REINFORCEMENTS, STAT, TO BACK YOU UP!"
"Right! Over and out!" Clarence turned to Horus. "Sorry to do this to ya good buddy, but I have no choice."
Clarence swerved the patrol car at a sharp angle, ejecting his centurion pal from the back seat at the same moment. "Feces!" thought Horus, descending to earth in a thick bank of clouds, "This is a forbidden sector! I'll get chewed out good for this one!" As he fell, the fog cleared, revealing the TransAmerica Pyramid, the Bay Bridge and, of course, the Golden Gate.
Horus alighted in a single-resident occupancy at 2306 Market Street, San Francisco, some time in the very late 20th century. He looked at the crummy walls, the crummy furnishings, the crummy view across the street: "Wells Fargo Bank" open air ATM outlet, homophobic wino on SSI begging for coins, long line of disillusioned wage slaves, faggots and dykes in faded pink-triangle T-shirts.
A man around thirty-six to forty talked on the phone, unaware as yet of the miraculous presence that stood directly behind him. Horus thought: "Suffering succotash of sinful souls! Is this dude gonna get the DoggyBone!" and waited patiently.
"Just cut the crap, okay?" the man finished, and slammed the receiver into its cradle. Furious about something, he picked up a pen and began scribbling notes to himself. Horus leaned over his shoulder to read: "Milk, oranges, sharp cheddar cheese, honey, tomatoes, sesame butter, Akmak crackers." Exasperated, he tossed the pen aside and turned in Horus's direction, blinded by anger.
Accustomed to mortals' slow ability to perceive other-worldly manifestations, the WarriorGod did not move until the man, open-mouthed, gradually perceived the specter of a strong, masculine figure with brilliant, silver hair, and the head of a parakeet. The avian face shone with luminous tones more brilliant than any on earth: scarlet, lime, white, and vermilion. The man's eyes watered from the brightness of the colors, and realized he was having a vision.
"Are you Ra, the Egyptian sun god?" he squinted at the living icon.
"No, I am Horus, Vindicator Of The Innocent, and Guardian Of Dead Souls." Silver wings sprouted from his NuCombatBoots, and he recalled an obligation from Hermes to convey a message to someone at this address. So he knelt on the ruddy carpet, extending cupped hands before the man, and said: "I bear you many gifts."
The man looked into the god's hands, but could not peer through the explosive beams of light that streamed from his palms. "I can't see anything," he claimed, "Must be gifts of the spirit." He mused, "Is one of them to bring Randolph back to me?"
Horus then rose to his full, towering height, and proclaimed: "You will soon paint my face."
The man looked up at him and shook his head: "Ohh, I'm not that good."
"You will be," stated Horus, who then removed his head which was, after all, only a mask...to reveal his true identity.
Horus took the man's hands, and they both sat in chairs, facing each other, knees touching.
The man tenderly clasped Horus's hand in both of his, and smiled. "Oh, Randolph, it is so good to be with you again."
"The rest of this you won't remember." Horus pulled the awe-struck man onto his lap, and showered him with tender kisses. They lay down on the small bed and talked, and laughed. Several times, the lonely man wept on Horus's shoulder. Never had the centurion seen another being so much at peace from a just a small kindness. He caressed the man to sleep and returned to his own world.
When the man awoke (head resting in arms folded on the desk), he sat up and stretched. The glare from a computer screen shone on his face, and he squinted. "Strange daydream!" he thought, reaching for the keyboard to continue a letter:
even when cast before swine, do not lose their luster. Now sweetheart, what I am about to say, I have said many times before, in many different ways. But I believe it bears repeating, for I know what is in your heart, and I know what you need to hear.
I understand you have seen the worst of war in Vietnam and this will burn in your heart forever. Yet, in faith, God will heal even that wound. While this is the worst, you have suffered other tragedies still more terrible than any I have known. Nevertheless, not to seem arrogant or "know-it-all" on my part, I encourage you to "keep the faith."
Didn't you once tell me that, from a distance of 3,000 miles, while you lay there with your self-inflicted bullet lodged so close to your heart? Not knowing whether or not your hospital bed would also be your death bed? (January 16, 1985 will always ring like a bellwether in my mind.)
I enclose a copy of that incredible (and your first) letter to me. It has been six years since that shocking event: have your dreams since dimmed?
The last four years I have hardly heard from you (most recent being your mysterious phone call August 1990, more than a year ago). Yet I write to you, faithfully--must be volumes by now!--for when I first laid eyes on you, God spoke to me: "Genie, this is your lover. He will put you through hell, but in time he will return everything. Stand by him."
So I stand by you, in spirit, for more than six years now, knowing that you count on me, as your best friend, to tell you what you need to hear. Despite your seeming indifference (and sometimes, in your rare communique, your apparent cruelty). I am not "infatuated," but a clear voice in my heart says to keep being here for you. I don't know where you are (somewhere on the east coast, I guess), but can only trust that my letters, c/o your cousin Kitty in Arlington, continue to reach you. To say that I miss you is the Mother Of All Understatements. SEMPER FIDELIS, My Silver Steed Randolph (Of The Blazing Temper Tantrum)! My painting and writing are progressing nicely, but right now I'm going through a dry cycle. I hope my painting of "Unicorn Without A Horn" still delights you, as it did while you were laid up in that Pennsylvania hospital.
I just had an interesting daydream about you. Perhaps it was a vision. The Egyptian god Horus appeared before me, with the usual bird's head...but instead of a hawk, it was a parakeet! (Visual pun on "para"-dise?) Then he removed his head, which turned ...
A shiny object suddenly caught the man's eye. He stepped away from the computer to pick it up. "Some sort of aerosol," he mumbled, turning it in his hand. The labeling was too small to easily read, so he rummaged in his dresser for the magnifying glass. On the canister he read:
Meanwhile, back in NuAthens, Horus sat, sulking, on a NuMarble bench in the Bodhisattva Gardens Tea Room & Fantasy Emporium. He laid a half-eaten cucumber sandwich on the ledge of a bubbly fountain. A Cupid HoloSculp, poised on one toe in the center of this fountain, stopped his pissing for a moment.
"Aw come on, guy," he said, tapping Horus on the shoulder with a NerfArrow, "two weeks probation ain't so bad. You did violate a territorial sanction, you know."
Horus, head resting in cupped hands, did not reply.
"What's half a month in the life of an Immortal?" Cupid implored. "Imagine how much more inferior we'd all feel if the Chief Commander of Armageddon didn't slip up once in a while?"
When Cupid saw that Horus still refused to respond, he whacked him on the mask with the arrow.
"Ouch! Stop that!"
Cupid urinated on the sandwich: "Snap out of it, before you bring the wrath of Artemis on us all!"
"Oh, Erosito, it's not the job," Horus sighed. "I'm in love."
"In love? Finally? Well congratulations, you strapping brute!" Cupid paused to reflect. "It sure wasn't my doing, not with these wimpy arrows the Administrator of Native NuAmerican Affairs is handing out these days."
Horus sighed dreamily. "No, I'm not sad at all. I'm stunned with adoration for a very fine fellow. I wonder if I even deserve him!"
"Wow! You really are smitten, aren't you? Reminds me of the good ol' days when I could frolic in the glades, shooting off dart after dart to every hapless victim in sight...now, I can't even afford the license fees, let alone NuKiwanis Club membership, park registration, and business insurance."
"No, Cupie, give yourself credit where credit's due. You are the Guardian Of Romantic Love, in a time when people and, I might add, even Goddesses and Gods, not only no longer believe in that dream, but rant and rave against it. But I have been blessed to meet a dear soul who is truly a Pearl of Great Price." Horus spread his arms before the fountain. "So, my little buddy, congratulations on a sterling performance!"
Cupid radiated joy, and blushed a rosy bronze. "Well, I did say a prayer for you, my Good Lord."
"You must meet him, Cupid; then you, too, will be silenced by the great wonder Jehovah has wrought in this being."
"Well come on," implored the cherub, "tell me already: Who's the lucky boy? Viadaemon? SriLoki? Teremeus? Avalon? Al'Darrin?"
Horus shook his lowered head. "No, my angelito, he is not a boy. He is a Real Man who lives every moment in the true spirit of Christ."
Cupid dropped his quiver into the fountain with a soft "plash," and exclaimed: "A boy...not? You have changed, my Good Horus." Then, with dawning awareness, Cupid gasped. "A man? A real man? Not one of us? A mortal, for Deity's sake?"
Horus slowly nodded. "Yes, I'm afraid so. He walks with dignity, moves with grace, speaks no false words. Yet, he is humble, clumsy, and funny. The gods always put him in awkward situations...not to belittle him, but to see how this refreshingly innocent spirit blossoms like a hyacinth amid a copse of nettle, each and every time. He is The Amazing Genie Of The Heart's Magic Lamp!"
"Awk!" exclaimed Cupid in a mock swoon, "True love doth coat a wooden tongue with an eloquent wax, my spellbound amigo! I fear far less The Serpent's tongue!"
Deaf to Cupid's joke, the centurion completed his praise: "There is not a cowardly bone in his body, yet his heart shines with compassion."
"Well, obviously, you have thought this through, his being a mortal and all that," Cupid pondered. "I was about to interrogate, but I can see now, his spirit dances in your heart. But tell me this, oh LoveStruck Judge of Man..." (Horus looked up at Cupid, who leaned closer from his pedestal, brow wrinkled in confusion:) "Why do you hesitate to grant him the Gift of Immortality, so you can bring him to live with us in these Happy Hunting Grounds?"
A tear trickled down Horus's neck. "I hesitate because I am afraid he might not want me."
Cupid frowned. "Or you hesitate because YHWH might choose for you the other option: that you become mortal!"
Horus waved away that thought. "Oh, no, no! I wouldn't hesitate for one NanoSecond to be by his side, come NuHell or HighWater, if I only knew for sure his little lamb heart would rest beside mine..." Horus stopped in midstream. "Cupid, I know mortals can have visions of Immortals."
"Yes, it happens quite often," agreed the putti of bow and quiver, "but, like dreams, are usually ill-remembered."
"Yes, well..." Horus deliberated, "but can a god have visions of a mortal?"
"Hmmm. A very interesting question!"
"Here, look at this." Horus reached into his GearBag. He pulled out a folded sheet of loose-leaf paper and handed it to Cupid. "Apparently, Genie slipped this in when I was distracted."
"Genie?" The cherub carefully opened it and read:
To my silver-haired stallion, Horus, Lord of Light. Ah, sweet Jesus. To kiss you is to kiss an angel. Love, Genie.
Taped to the note was a shiny quarter.
Cupid shrugged his shoulders and sighed: "Well, looks like we just gotta find a NuCommander In Chief," and, with a wave of a droopy arrow, shuffled him off to the mortal coil. The parakeet mask lay at the base of the fountain.
"Oh boy, oh boy!" Gene grinned to himself, skip-walking happily down Castro Street, tossing the Seventh Sealant into the air time and time again. No matter how he cast it, the freefalling can of aerosol always found his hand. He thought of hurling it across the street, to astound people when it flew back to him. But he caught himself and said, "Now, now, Genie. Thou shalt not tempt thy Father who art in heaven!"
With that, he flung the Sealant over the roof of Cliff's Variety and, sure enough, it swung around like a boomerang, back into Genie's gifted hand. "Hmmm," he examined the canister, "must have some sort of homing device. Radar maybe."
Of course, no one paid attention, since Genie was your token Castro Village Fool. Being manic/depressive (as are all true artists) and, after 8-1/2 years of residence here, people chose to ignore his sporadic and emotional flights of fancy. (Besides, anyone who did notice, thought it was a can of mace, and gave him wide berth.) He looked around at the self-absorbed humans rushing to really "important" things, like: Who will I trick with tonight? What's the latest dirt at Castro Station? If I let that jaded old queen suck my dick, will he pop for dinner?
"You suckers!" Gene hollered, laughing all the way to Without Reservation for his morning cup of coffee and the daily news. "Can't wait to meet Gorbachev," he mused, "I'm sure he'll appreciate my input on the Presidio Foundation."
Randolph sat at the counter sipping coffee, when Genie stepped in.