December 23, 2012 by Lyn
September, 2011. Year 17 of the Addergoole School
“This is Guy Peterka for News Flash.”
The middle-aged white man has aged in the last month. His suit is gone, replaced by a polo shirt and khakis. There are bags under his eyes; he has not slept well recently. He sighs heavily before he continues.
“On scene in Buena Park, California. Strange events have continued across the planet in recent weeks.
In Reykjavík, capital of Iceland, a man calling himself Thor has appeared, and demanded tribute. Several deaths have been reported in this man’s presence, many of electrocution. However, Icelandic authorities have yet to bring in this perpetrator for questioning; indeed, a cult following has grown up around the strange man.”
Scene of a short, muscular, handsome man, surrounded by, presumably, Icelandic people, many of the clambering for an autograph. The man smiles: a gleaming, sunlight-shines-off-of-it perfect smile.
“The ridiculousness of this man, this human man, being the mythological god of thunder, neither appears to faze nor concern them.
“In Italy, meanwhile, a short, squat man calling himself Haephestus has taken to stealing cars. Italian authorities are showing much more initiative in tracking down this man than the Icelandic people, but as of yet, they have not apprehended him.”
Image of a very short, very muscular man, rather homely, ducking into a tiny sports car. The car leaves the screen so quickly, it is as if it has simply vanished.
“Despite the fact that this so-called god is not even in the correct country, certainly not the country of origin for the myth that spawned him, he has, as Thor has, developed his own following. Here in Italy, however, they’re stealing cars for the forge god.”
Cut back to the reporter, looking disgusted for a moment, before he manages to recover his professional poise.
“And here in Buena Park, California, we have something else. Here in Buena Park…”
The reporter picks up a Siamese cat. Cat-lovers can read the cat’s body language clearly: what are you doing? Who are you? The reporter is clearly not a cat person.
“Here in Buena Park, we have Bastet.”
He sets the cat down, to his clear relief and the cat’s, as the camera moves back to show us the street, so full of cats as to nearly be carpeted. Our view pans to a wide staircase leading up to a building that would be much more at home in Egypt than in California. The doors are closed. They are huge doors, with a lioness’ head in profile across the center of the doors.
On the stairs, two lionesses stare at the camera, as if wondering if the cameraman is tasty.
There are no people in sight except for the reporter.
“Everyone has heard of the stereotype of the crazy cat lady, the hoarder recluse who has more cats than she can feed or care for. Every indication holds that this so-called goddess began the same way.”
Cut to a middle-aged woman in a cardigan and fashionable necklace, looking prim and proper.
“She moved in next to us a year ago – eleven months, really. And I said to David, my husband, I said ‘that’s too many cats.’ The woman had four cats! Four cats, and no husband, no children. All alone in that big house with those cats.
“And then she brought home another cat, and another, until there were cats coming out of the woodwork. I told her, we had a homeowner’s agreement, and the woman scratched me! Scratched me!
“Well, of course I called the police. And they came and talked to her and didn’t do anything at all. When she moved out last month I thought ‘someone’s finally had enough.’ But no, they just gave her a freaking palace.”
The woman’s pursed frown dominates the screen for a moment. Then the view fades back to our reporter. For a moment, the strain shows in his eyes.
“Bastet has agreed to and interview, but only on the condition that we do so in her “palace,” or, as she calls it, her temple. This building behind us is the entryway, we have been told, to her home plane, as well as serving as her temple.”
The camera shows Guy walking up the stairs, past the hungry-looking lions, who watch him and do not move. He knocks on the door, and then the image fades, and is replaces with him speaking to an incredibly lovely woman. She seems Egyptian in ancestry, and is wearing a linen dress that echoes the lines of ancient Egyptian clothing.
They are in a room full of two things: plants and cats. The two couches on which they sit seem lost in the sea of fur. Two lynxes sit to either side of the so-called goddess. When she speaks, it is with a faint and unrecognizable accent.
“We have been gone for a very long time. It was pleasing to come back and find that we were still remembered, in some form or another.”
“So you claim that you are, indeed, the reincarnation of the goddess Bastet?”
“Reincarnation? No. No, we were gone, not dead. I am she who walked the Nile.”
“But shouldn’t you have a cat head, then? Shouldn’t you be able to make the sun rise and set?”
“Little man, I do not think you know what you speak of.”
“I know that I have property records for you going back at least ten years. I have job records, here, although you don’t seem very good at holding down a job. I have three health code violations and one mental health arrest. Ma’am, isn’t it possible that you’re simply deluded?”
“Anything is possible, little man. Anything can be true, if you want the truth to be boring so very much. But if you wish to see proof of my godhead, it is possible I can indulge you.”
She turns directly towards the camera. For a moment, it is as if a panther is superimposed on the woman. And then we see her, a foot and a half taller, broader of shoulder. Her eyes are slit and catlike, her nose feline, her ears tall and leonine. She is, despite or because of this, stunningly beautiful
The camera cuts away to Guy on the street again. He looks frazzled, and is straightening his tie.
“The Lady Bastet is clearly a very deranged individual. Will the city of Buena Park come to that realization and incarcerate her before she – and her cats – do more damage? I will remain on the story until they do.
“For News Flash, I’m Guy Peterka.”
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