Book of Carrot: Chapter 2.2 by Stan Faryna

This is a continuation of the posts originally titled, An Untitled Novel About The Long Road of Hope.

[ Chapter 1.1 is here. ]

Chapter 2.2.1

Ultra Violence, Black Magic, And A Dirty Old Man?

Lumi awoke just before sunrise. A faint lavender scent lingered on the crisp, clean white sheets. She thought to stay in bed. It was so cozy. But thoughts – of the day they left Bucharest and what today and tomorrow hold – tumbled into her attention.

She’d review messages and find coffee.

Ok. Playing Social Messages from 04 July 2023 from 4:56 am in reverse order.

NOAA

Warning: intense solar storm activity may pose threats of the level comparable to the devastation experienced in 2012 and 2013. link

WSJ

In after market trading, stocks plunged by 36 percent or more for microelectronics, communications and power as fears of solar storms escalate after 72 year old former NASA astronaut Kathryn Sullivan reminds the world of the consequences of her ignored warnings in 2011. link

IMF

IMF Managing Director Zhu Min warns that the Euro will collapse if the soaring national debts of European nations cannot be reversed. Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and UK were singled out by Min as the most problematic cases. vid

Google News

The Office War results are in for 2022. Google Office replaced Microsoft Office as the default software of the modern office. Here’s the breakdown: Americas, 89%; Europe, 91%; Middle East, 93%; and Asia 99%. vid

Bloggard

Top bloggers hit home runs. According to an EU Study, the average income of a rockstar blogger (one million followers or more) rose last year by 12 percent to 365,000 Euro per year. vid

StartYourNovel

What can Stanley Kubrick teach you about writing? link

Lumi took off her K-9s and slipped naked from the bedsheets. She wrapped a towel around her, grabbed jeans and a shirt, and headed for the bathroom. Her lingerie had dried and was hanging on a clothes line stretched from wall to wall just above head level. Some hours earlier, Grace had shown her and Max how easy it was to wash them. Just like her adopted mother would do.

She smiled as she entered the shower. It was mind-blowingly cool. The best shower room ever! And Dr. Bronner’s Magical Soaps made it even more mind-blowing.

Max entered the bathroom and gave her a sleepy greeting.

“I’ll meet you on the lawn,” Lumi said as she finished dressing. Max nodded in reply. They had only slept three hours.

 …

Sarah Vaughan, Fool on the Hill
………………………………………………..

………………………………………………..

On the lawn, shepherds were preparing cas (ricotta) from sheep’s milk in huge, steaming cast iron pots. They slowly stirred the pots with giant wooden spoons.

Lumi noticed John’s father watering a ring of Linden trees. He seemed to be talking to them, but she wasn’t sure. When John’s Father noticed Lumi, he put down the watering can, came over, and asked her if she was up for coffee. She gladly nodded her head.

“Did you sleep well?,” he asked.

“Not much,” Lumi answered with a grin. “We talked away most of the night.”

“Yes… I understand,” he said. “These are worrisome times… Myself, I couldn’t sleep at all.”

“What do you think will happen?” Lumi asked as they walked together to the coffee service.

“Are you asking me when we can go home?” John’s father asked with a grin and poured her a cup of coffee.

“Milk and sugar?”

“Just black, thanks,” Lumi replied.

He handed the cup of black coffee and then poured himself a half cup of coffee. He filled the rest of the cup with milk and dropped in three tablespoons of sugar.

“Or are you asking me if it’s the end of the world?”

Lumi didn’t know whether she should laugh or cry.

“It’s too soon to tell,” John’s father continued. “We’ll know in two weeks if it’s the latter. Or we’ll find out that we can go back to our normal lives sooner than that. As soon as the power comes back on.”

John’s father took her arm and nodded toward the gate.

“When you’re standing inside the walls (or upon them), things can look worse than they are – especially when there is NO enemy at the gate,” he said as they passed through the gates.

Looking upon the rolling, green hills relieved the tension that Lumi could feel building up in her neck, temples and sinuses.

Lumi laughed. What he was saying made perfect sense, she thought.

They walked to toward the nearest garden. Lillies were blooming with large, huge white flowers. Their fragrance was almost overwhelmingly… peaceful, sweet, and vanilla.

“I’m not half as intelligent, quick, or pretty as you, young lady. But I have some interesting ideas,” he began.

“Don’t worry too much about what’s going on out there. Stay here,” he said as he patted his heart. “This is what matters. Wherever you are. Whatever is going on.”

Two brimstone butterflies fluttered up from the grass, spiraling up in a corresponding flight plan that made Lumi think of a strand of DNA. Up, up, they went. Rising to heaven like prayers, the yellow pair of butterflies disappeared high above.

“The things that are written upon the human heart are more beautiful and true than all of our poets and artists could imagine in ten thousand years,” John’s father explained.

Lumi giggled. She wasn’t sure which was more funny and delightful, his words or the butterflies. She felt as light as a cloud. She almost floated away on a smile.

It was a good feeling. Better than a top dollar gram from Grey Area at Oude Leliestraat 2 in Amsterdam’s old city.

Whatever he wanted to tell her, she was sure that he would swoop in for a kiss at any moment.

Gentlemen were like that in her experience – especially men of maturity and accomplishment. Anyway, he was too old for her. It wouldn’t work out even if this moment seemed perfect to her, she thought to herself.

John’s father turned to her. She gasped, closed her eyes, and slightly opened her mouth.

“Lumi, do you remember how Milky used to wait for you to come home from school?”

Lumi’s heart went from pounding to stop in one second.

How did he know about Milky? Grace was the only one here who knew about Milky and John’s father hadn’t spent any time with her. Grace would have mentioned it to Lumi if they had talked.

“I feel now just like Milky did. I’m so glad you’ve come home,” he said as tears rolled from his eyes and down to his smile.

Lumi felt a childish joy in her heart. She felt fear and butterflies rolling in her stomach. She didn’t know what to think. She wanted to say something, but what could she say? So she stared at him.

“Will you pray with me?” he asked as he gently took her hands in his.

Lumi nodded her head in peaceful surrender. But she wasn’t the praying or church-going type. What the hell! She thought. What the hell is happening right now?

“Heavenly father, thank you for bringing Lumi safely home to us,” Jon’s father prayed. “Thank you for growing her into such a smart, strong and beautiful woman. We thank and praise you for all the good you do. Amen.”

“Amen,” Lumi said quickly and took her hands back with some reluctance.

“Lumi, I know this moment is surreal,” he said. “The crossroad of coincidence, emotion and impossibility is a devil’s delicacy. For doubt.

But you let this moment cook – and you’ll understand how perfect it is.

That’s how it goes, little mouse.”

Lumi gave him a puzzled look. Her adopted mother used to call her, little mouse. No one knew that.

“Did you know my mother?” she asked.

“The one that went to Italy?” John’s father asked.

“No, I meant my adopted mother,” she said with growing confusion, suspicion and embarrassment.

“No. I didn’t personally know either of them: your natural mother or your adopted mother.”

“This conversation is getting weirder and weirder,” Lumi stammered. She softly hit him in the chest.

“It usually does,” he replied and laughed. “We passed weird at about 200 mph when I mentioned Milky.”

“Yeah!” she blurted and laughed with him. The tension fell away.

“That’s all there is for this moment,” he reassured her.

“But if you and your two friends could help out by training me and some other people on how to use K-9s, I’d be very grateful. John says he has 12 pairs of K-9s.”

“Sure!” Lumi said, relieved to be talking about things that made sense.

“Thank you,” he said and the light that seemed to dance in his eyes faded away. “Do you need time to prepare a lesson plan?”

“Nope,” she blurted. “I know this like a kiss. Um. Like the back of my hand!”

Lumi blushed.

“Freud is the devil, isn’t he!” John’s father replied with a grin.

Lumi nodded her head in agreement.

“Do you need anything for the class?” he asked.

“Just say when,” she assured him.

John’s father actually looked tired. He breathed heavily. He said nothing as they walked back to the gate. He just nodded his head gently and smiled quietly when she would look at him.

When they got to the gate, she left John’s father to join Grace and Max at a table on the lawn. When she got to the table, she looked back to see if he was still there.

For a split-second she thought she saw a light or glow around him that gave him an appearance of an angel with eight wings. He winked at her, she blinked, and the light and man were gone.

“Who are you looking for?” asked John as he and Cristina joined them at their table.

Lumi’s whole body jerked in surprise and her K-9s flew off her face. She stood looking at John with a strange grin and a blush. She pushed her tongue out at John in silliness. Max picked up her K-9s.

“My mind! I’m losing my mind!” she stammered.

“My dad does that to people,” John told her and brought her into a hug with him and Cristina.”

After a minute, John whispered, “I’m hungry,” and sat down.

After they finished breakfast, John’s father came over and asked when Lumi could start the class. She said in minutes. And Lumi immediately went to her room to get some things.

When Lumi returned, John’s Father introduced her, Max and Grace to Daniel, Eremiah, and Zachariah.

“Zach is my farm boss, Eree manages the Sanctuary, and Daniel manages the Salt Mine Ministry. These are good men in my eyes. Salt of the Earth!

My Golden Girls!” said John’s Father with a laugh.

Zach introduced himself first.

“George, whom you met, is my son. I’m married to Georgina – God bless her for putting up with me and my George.

I’m not big on talking. I’m a doer. I’m not fancy. I went to college, but I can’t remember why. I studied agriculture and then worked 25 years overseas as a construction worker in Israel and Germany. 10 of those years, I worked with Daniel. I’m a simple, ‘get her done’ man. I grew up in Cacica.

I met John’s father about eight years ago. I think one of the Cacica priests introduced us. John’s father was looking for men he could trust to help him with the construction of the pie and coffee shop.

And, yeah, I run the petting zoo that John’s father calls a farm.”

Laughter rang out from the small crowd.

“I want to go to the petting zoo!” said Lumi. Grace and Max nodded in enthusiastic agreement.

“Eree…” started John’s father – ignoring any comments about the petting zoo.

“Eree is from Moldavita,” said Eree. “But the King found me in Bucharest. Bogdan introduced us. Honestly, I didn’t think I’d ever come back to this mean and hard hearted country. Jehovah’s Witnesses didn’t get much toleration here. That’s changed, however.

For the better.

I’d like to invite you to a bible study – if you have the time. It’s really come down to the last minute here – so don’t wait for the right day to take me up on my offer to understand what’s going on.”

Zach coughed.

“If someone knocks on your door at midnight, that’s prolly Eree with his bible,” Zach joked.

“Bring a bottle of wine and a pack of cigarettes,” Grace said as she lit a cigarette offered to her by Daniel.

Eree smiled.

“I have some issues of the WatchTower that may illuminate our situation in your hearts. In Romanian or English,” offered Eree.

Lumi grinned. She didn’t say anything; she was trying so hard to be polite.

“You didn’t leave them a stack of WatchTowers next to their in-room bible?!” Daniel asked jokingly.

“Are you’re getting old and soft?!”

Eree rolled his eyes.

“These are exciting times, in fact. And I love my brother, Eree. He’s not my real brother. But really he is my brother – if you know what I mean.

And he entertains me like nothing else!” joked Daniel.

“Zach and I do Bible study with Eree three times/week. We don’t always agree on this point or that, but we are always learning and growing.“

Bible study… this wasn’t interesting to Grace, Lumi or Max.

Theoretically, it was a nice idea. But bible study didn’t seem relevant to Lumi. Why add to the complexity of our decisions and ambitions by introducing more questions and ambiguities – things that don’t readily map to our own personal urgencies and interests?

Lumi, Grace and Max glanced at each other and smiled. They were on the same wavelength.

“I’m from Suceavita. It’s not far from here,” Daniel continued. “I studied philosophy. My family, however, were not Party members and, therefore, there was no future for me in academics. I would never be a University professor. So I got work on a ship, got out of the country, then found work as a construction worker. Eventually, I met Zacharias…”

“Ok. Now we’ve been introduced, we have a lot of ground to cover, so why don’t we get started…” Lumi suggested.

She handed out K-9s, the solid silver state Wireless CPUs, and the Wireless Power Supply Units (PSUs) to the four men, Max and Grace.

She instructed them to put each wireless device in a pocket where it would be comfortable.

Everyone put on K-9s and Lumi helped them put in the left ear plug.

“K-9s rock…” Lumi exclaimed with a grin. “Because they are the most advanced concept of hyper-intelligent eyewear to be developed.

Lumi paused to do something and then continued.

“The concept began as double secret U.S. military technology for special, covert and intelligence operations. The first generation of K-9s were built into battle helmets. You’re wearing third generation K-9s which were developed for some of the richest geeks in the world. A single pair of third generation K-9s sells for about three million Euros – not including VAT…”

“Oh My God!” squealed Grace and Max together.

“Will Scotty… finally beam me up?” Grace joked.

Daniel, Eree and Zach took off their K-9s with great care and offered them back to Lumi.

“I can’t possibly be responsible for such a precious thing,” said Zach. Daniel and Eree nodded their heads in agreement with Zach.

John’s father insisted that they put the K-9s back on and the three men did so reluctantly.

“Now, shut up and listen,” instructed John’s father as he smiled at Lumi.

“Okay…” Lumi began again…

“The core concept of hyper-intelligent eyewear is about multiplying the brain power of a human person. It began with a question: how do we unleash the super-potential of an individual? “

Everyone heard Lumi say this and they also heard it almost like an echo in their ear plug.

“What is super-potential? It’s what we glimpsed with the personal computer, the internet, broad band access, the mobile web, artificial intelligence, etc. It’s that increase in an individual’s brain power as a consequence of these technologies. And, obviously, it’s the increase of an individual’s performance and efficiency in achieving desirable outcomes.

The next question, of course, was, what is human intelligence?

If you don’t understand what intelligence is about, you can’t help the human brain do what it does in a better, faster way… Right?

What do you think it is?”

The text, What is human intelligence?, appeared in the visual field of everyone wearing K-9s. The text was slightly transparent; it appeared character by character in a line that went across the center of their visual field of perception. Up until now, their visual field was normal.

“Cool!” exclaimed Grace.

“Mishto!” shouted Max.

Next they saw a slightly transparent box with rounded corners and a yellow outline. Inside the box was a picture of Lumi. It looked like it was floating in the air in front of the landscape of the lawn. Lumi was wearing jeans, a white tee shirt and a black leather jacket which was in fact not what she was actually wearing. The image of Lumi spoke.

“What is human intelligence?”

Lumi waited for an answer.

“Intelligence… is our ability to think, to reason, to understand, to learn, and to judge” replied Zach.

“It’s how we reconstruct, represent, reflect, remember, observe, know, consider and predict ourselves and the world… through our own self,” proposed John’s Father.

“It’s our capacity to solve problems,” replied Grace.

“Yes, intelligence is all of these things…” said the image of Lumi in the floating box and smiled. Lumi’s floating box disappeared.

“Yes, intelligence is all of these things,” Lumi repeated. “Human intelligence, we can all agree, is a complex activity…”

Lumi paused for a moment and then continued:

“At the K-9 labs, we focused on five activities that contribute to human intelligence…”

As Lumi spoke the first point appeared character by character in their visual field.

  1. Rich data collection

She said the second point and it displayed in their visual field as a second listed item.

  1. Observing meaningful sequences of patterns

She said the third, fourth and fifth points and each text was added to the list in their visual field.

  1. Getting those patterns into memory
  1. Rate and quality of pattern retrieval
  1. Rate and quality of prediction

The complete list floated in the air in front of their eyes. Max tried to touch the text. But the text appeared superimposed over the image of her hand – even when she moved her hand closer to her face.

When Max’s hand got too close to her face, the text disappeared. When she removed her hand, the text reappeared.

  1. Rich data collection
  2. Observing meaningful sequences of patterns
  3. Getting those patterns into memory
  4. Rate and quality of pattern retrieval
  5. Rate and quality of prediction

Max laughed outloud.

“Pretty cool, huh?” Lumi asked.

Everyone shook their heads in agreement.

The list disappeared. A new floating box appeared with an image of John’s father. They heard Lumi’s voice asking, “What is intelligence?” and his image replied: “It’s how we reconstruct, represent, reflect, remember, observe, know, consider and predict ourselves and the world… through our own self.”

Next to the floating box of John’s father, a second floating box appeared with Grace’s image. Again, they heard Lumi asking, “What is intelligence?” and Grace’s image replied: ““It’s our capacity to solve problems.”

A third floating box appeared with Zach’s image. Again, they heard Lumi asking, “What is intelligence?” and Zach’s image replied: “Intelligence is our ability to think, to reason, to understand, to learn, and to judge.”

A fourth floating box appeared with Max’s image. Her image laughed outloud. A fifth floating box appeared with Eree’s image. “Amazing!” Eree said. And Eree’s image said, “Amazing!” A sixth floating box appeared with Daniel’s image. “No comment!” Daniel exclaimed. And Daniel’s image repeated his statement, “No comment!”

Everyone laughed.

The floating boxes faded out of view and new text faded into view:

What are the five activities that contribute to human intelligence?

Outloud, Lumi repeated the question.

“What are the five activities that contribute to human intelligence?”

Then, the list of five activities appeared.

  1. Rich data collection
  2. Observing meaningful sequences of patterns
  3. Getting those patterns into memory
  4. Rate and quality of pattern retrieval
  5. Rate and quality of prediction

Lumi repeated herself: “What are the five activities that contribute to human intelligence?”

The text, 1. Rich data collection blinked.

“Rich data collection,” Max said outloud.

“Da,” replied Lumi.

The text, “2. Observing meaningful sequences of patterns” blinked.

“Observing meaningful sequences of patterns,” Eree answered.

“Da,” replied Lumi.

3. Getting those patterns into memory,” Daniel said before the visual prompt came up.

“Da,” replied Lumi.

“4. Rate and quality of pattern retrieval,” said Zach before the visual prompt came up.

“Da,” replied John’s father and laughed.

“5. Rate and quality of prediction,” exclaimed Max!

“DA!” everyone replied and loud laughter rang out across the lawn.

“What are the five activities that contribute to human intelligence?” Lumi asked again.

A video of Homer Simpson played. Homer said, DOH! and slapped his own forehead.

“I get it,” blurted Max with sudden excitement. “K-9s rock!”

“And that’s lesson one,” Lumi concluded. “Give me an hour and you’ll be able to replay a video of this lesson by simply saying, “K-9. Play lesson one.”

Lumi started to edit the video of lesson one. It was a strange thing to see. She was moving her hands in front of her: sliding one hand this way and that. Pushing invisible buttons, sliding invisible slide controls, and pinching the air with the other hand.

Everyone else went for a walk around the Sanctuary.

Ok. Playing Social Messages from 04 July 2023 from 4:56 am in reverse order.

Bucharest Herald

The court ruled in her favor and now she can masturbate at work. link

Journal Scientific

“Artificial Intelligence is dead,” says Russian Cognitive Scientist Dr. Dmitri Smirnof. “It will be a long time or never – whichever comes first – before software can mimic the functionality of the human intelligence…

Without emotion and empathy, the only kind of self-animating mimicry of intelligence we can produce is a cold, viral, and demonic intelligence. That, I FEAR, is not in our distant future. It exists today in a dozen or more laboratories across the planet! link

WSJ

In after market trading, stocks plunged by 30 percent or more for microelectronics, communications and power as fears of solar storms escalate after 72 year old former NASA astronaut Kathryn Sullivan reminds world of the consequences of her ignored warnings in 2011. link

Wired

Ten million bloggers are Triberrs! It’s official. Over ten million bloggers belong to the cross-curating tribal channels within the Triberr community. Triberr was launched in 2011 by co-founders Dino Dogan and Dan Cristo…

In 2012, the new team of Dogan, Cristo, Brankica, Murlu, Farber, Faryna and Hollingsworth raised $5 million in VC investments which allowed Triberr to scale it’s software as a service, open the gates to public registrations, AND allow personal connection and curation between individuals. more

IMF

IMF Managing Director Zhu Min warns that the Euro will collapse if the soaring national debts of European nations cannot be reversed. Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and UK were singled out by Min as the most problematic cases. vid

TheJackB

I Survived The Rapture & All I Got Was a T-Shirt. link

John took off his K-9s, rolled over and kissed Cristina’s neck. She stirred from her nap.

“Go to lunch without me. I’m not hungry,” she said with a sleepy smile. “I want to read a book a little later.”

John showered her face with soft, quick kisses, dressed, and went down to the lawn. He saw Lumi working on something. Hachi was panting under the shade of a tree watching her moving hands and getting dizzy.

George drove up through the gate to the lawn in the farm’s Ford F350 with a blast of the horn.

“BWWWWWWWOOOOOOOMMMMMMM!”

“We have a problem at the serpent’s crown…” shouted George.

John ran to the truck. Lumi followed.

As they got in the back of the double cab, John’s Father and Zach appeared and climbed into the bed of the truck. George turned the truck around, stopping to let Eree, Daniel, Grace and Max climb into the truck bed.

“Testing. Testing. One. Two. Three,” Lumi said. “If you can hear me just hold up your hand with a thumb’s up.”

Eree, Daniel, Grace, John’s father, John and Max and Zach gave a thumb’s up.

“This is an encrypted group Super Wi-Fi channel. You’ll be able to hear and speak to everyone here wearing K-9s. Just talk when you want to talk,” Lumi explained.

The truck roared toward the hill.

“Slow down when we get within a 100 meters of the guard post. Make a leisurely approach,” said John’s father.

Lumi relayed the instructions to George.

As they approached the black Dacia Dusters and one of the police cars from the convoy, they saw other six cars with people standing around them. The Dusters blocked the road.

Zach, Eree and Daniel jumped out of the truck bed as the F350 rolled slowly to a stop about 10 meters from behind the Dacia Dusters.

“The bridge is out!” explained the police officer to a big man in a black Metallica tee shirt and jeans.

“You told me that already. But what the hell, I know there’s another way into Cacica. We coming to get water from the Catholic church. You don’t own the road, so get the hell out of my way.”

“Where are you from?” asked Zach as he approached the big man. Eree and Daniel stood back.

“Hu-mor… Look, we just came to get water. This idiot pig won’t let us pass. Maybe you can talk some sense into him.”

“The license plates are from Bucharest and Iasi. They’re not from Humor,” said Eree on the group channel.

“There’s lots of wells in Humor,” added Daniel on the group channel.

“Those six cars, they’re with you?” Zach asked the big man.

“Yes, these are my neighbors!” answered the big man.

“Why are you wasting my time with these stupid questions. You’re not the police. I don’t have to say anything more to you. If you can’t help me talk sense into this pig, get the fuck out of my face!”

“Do you have family or friends in Cacica?” Zach insisted.

“What’s that to you?! It’s none of your God damn business!” replied the big man who turned and went over to talk to his 18 “neighbors” standing around their cars.

John and George walked over to where Eree and Daniel were standing. John’s father and the three women stayed next to the F350.

“There’s something more going on here,” said John’s father on the group channel. Then he started to pray the Lord’s Prayer in a whisper.

Zach spoke with the police officer. He repeated everything that the police officer told him.

Apparently, one car had come earlier this morning with the big man. A black BMW X6. It had some scratches and dings. They told them that the bridge was out and the big man had thanked them and left.

“There’s no one with a BMW X6 in Humor,” Daniel said on the group channel. Eree and Zach agreed. They had never seen one.

The big man and his 18 neighbors walked back over to the policeman and Zach. The eight guards loaded and locked their shotguns with the barrels facing the sky.

“Hey, don’t get excited,” the big man said and laughed. “We’re all neighbors here. Humor and Cacica is not at war.”

The big man’s neighbors split into three groups of six men each. One group stood behind him. Another group walked slowly to the left of center, looking around and trying to look friendly. The third group ambled slowly to the right of center.

“We don’t understand what’s the problem here. We just want water from the Cacica church. It’s holy water. We’ll get our holy water and leave…”

“What do you need holy water from Cacica for?! There’s holy water at Voronet and Humorlui,” asked Daniel.

“We need a lot of Holy water,” replied the big man with a big grin.

“My momma, she thinks it’s the end times. She thinks that we have to drink holy water everyday so that demons and angry ghosts don’t get inside of us. She’s saying that the holy water will protect us – if we drink a little bit every day.

I know… I know. It’s crazy. There’s no such thing as demons. But, you know how it is, it’s my momma. She’s a crazy old woman. My momma, she’s sick too. I just want to make her happy.

On the other hand, some of my neighbors here think the same way as my momma. I don’t know how all this crazy got started. But that’s how it is. We need to get that holy water. Because the granny’s are all going crazy. Like chickens with their heads cut off!

Zach surveyed the strangers.

“The well is closed and dried up,” said the police officer as he rested his hand on his sidearm and unsnapped the holster lock.

“I’d like to see that for myself,” said the big man.

“How much holy water do you need?” asked Zach.

“100 liters,” replied the big man.

“Give us your bottles, you wait here, and we’ll fill them full and bring them back to you,” said Zach.

“How will I know it’s holy water from the Catholic church?” asked the big man with a grin.

“I have no reason to trick you. God is watching,” replied Zach in a stern voice.

“HELLO my Romanian queens,” said one of the big man’s neighbors to Grace, Lumi and Max. “You three ARE absolutely the fairest of them all. Says the Mirror Mirror, baby!”

Zach turned to look at the man addressing Grace, Lumi and Max.

The big man grabbed the police officer’s shirt around his chest with one hand and the police officer’s crotch by the other hand. He lifted him up and launched him at four of the guards on the right. The police officer flew four or five meters and knocked them down like bowling pins. Then the big man grabbed Zach in the same way and launched Zach at the four guards on the left. Zach flailed his arms as he sailed six meters through the air and knocked down the other guards on the right.

The strangers scrambled for the shotguns on both sides. John and George raced to help the guards on the right. Eree and Daniel raced to help the guards on the left. Three shots fired from the right. Three shots fired from the left.

Meanwhile the big man and the other strangers closest to him came running for Lumi, Max and Grace. John’s father stood in the way of the big man.

“John- your father needs you…” Lumi said with urgency and fear on the group channel.

John didn’t hear Lumi. He was wrestling a shotgun out of the hands of a stranger while listening to Rush’s song, Scars

Rush, Scars
………………………………………………..

………………………………………………..

All my nerves are naked wires
Tender to the touch
Sometimes super-sensitive
But who can care too much?
I get this feeling…

Scars of pleasure
Scars of pain
Atmospheric changes
Make them sensitive again

The big man clubbed John’s father’s head with a big fist and the K-9s flew off his face. John’s father fell forward while pushing a tanto’s blade into the big man’s stomach. The big man screamed loud and fell to his knees. The big man’s friends stopped in their tracks. They looked surprised and confused.

Everyone felt a drop in pressure. A faint whiff of rotten eggs reached Grace, Lumi, and Max’s noses.

John’s father withdrew the blade in an upper cut and raised it to strike again. The big man’s guts started to spill out of the cut.

“How, old man… how?” the big man said as he put his hands over the cut and held his guts from spilling out.

John’s father got up and swung his arm wide and fast. He took off the big man’s head with one cut. A wall of wind radiated out from the cut as the big man’s head fell to the ground. The body slumped to the road, pouring out blood.

John’s father dropped the bloody tanto to the ground. Then picked up the head with both hands. He held it high over his own head. Blood drained from the head and spilled across his face and down his arms. Then he shouted. He shouted so loud that it hurt everyone’s ears:

“In Christ’s name, I COMMAND YOU TO GO! YOU. GO. BACK. TO. HELLLL…”

The big man’s neighbors ran like whimpering, mad dogs down the road, leaving their cars, screaming profanities, tearing their hair as they ran.

John’s father fell to his knees. He breathed loud, hard and fast. He tried to wipe away the blood from around his eyes, but his hands were bloodier.

“Aceasta este SPARTA!” John’s father chuckled to himself. He collapsed on the ground.

Lumi, Grace and Max rushed over to find John’s father unconscious. The blood of the big man stank like rotten eggs and skunk.

Zach was already in the back of the truck, he opened the tool box in the F350’s bed and handed out eight axes to the guards.

“If they live, they’ll come back. If they come back, they’ll kill your families and friends,” he told them. “Headshots and decapitation. We’ll salt, oil, and burn the bodies and heads where they lay.”

Zach and Daniel each went with four guards in the Dusters. They found the strangers down the road headed for Palitinoase. The Dusters hit four or five each and they stopped just ahead of the strangers. Zach and Daniel brought them down with shotgun fire to their heads. The guards decapitated the bodies. There was a terrible stench of skunk and rotten eggs.

Zach salted and splashed holy oil on the bodies and heads. Daniel doused them with diesel and set them on fire.

Meanwhile, John drove the F350 to the Cacica Church. John’s father was in the bed of the truck. Eree held his head in his lap. Lumi, Grace, Max and George kept his body from sliding and rolling across the truck bed as they rounded on the sharp turns.

The bruised policeman stayed by his car to guard the road in case the Dusters didn’t make it back. George would return with a fresh crew of guards.

Dr. Nakamura was at the church giving vaccine and booster shots.

The four men carried John’s father to the cave behind the church where they washed the big man’s blood off him. The caretaker of the church brought out a single mattress and they laid John’s father on the memorial of Bernadette just inside the cave dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes.

Dr. Nakamura didn’t find any obvious wounds on John’s father but she noticed that his face, hands and arms were swollen and red. His lips and fingernails were bluish. His pulse was rapid but weak. His skin was cool and clammy. Hearing the story of what happened, she supposed that he was experiencing a combination of cardiogenic and anaphylactic shock.

She asked the men for some blankets to elevate his legs and cover him.

George and John returned up the hill with the change of the guard. Zach and Daniel were there at the post with the other guards. All were covered in blood. John told them to strip down to their underwear, wash off, and burn the clothes there. He and George had brought 12 five-liter bottles of holy water and several bottles of Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Rose soap for them to wash up…

Back at the Sanctuary, Lumi, Grace and Max told Cristina what had happened. Cristina drove John’s stepmother, stepsister and grandmother to the Cacica church in a Porsche.

Dr. Nakamura had thought to move John’s father to the Sanctuary medical center but his pulse and breathing accelerated and blood pressure dropped when they tried to take him out of the cave. She decided it was better not to move him as long as his condition did not worsen.

The caretaker gave up his little apartment to Dr. Nakamura. Eree, Daniel and Zach would stay with John’s father through the night and pray for him. They also piled blankets on top of him. Dr. Nakamura checked on John’s father every hour.

When the guards had returned to their homes in underwear, they had an unbelievable, strange and grim story to tell to their families and friends. Some of the guards had taken pictures of the decapitated bodies and heads with their mobile phones. There was even a video of the ritualistic burnings.

News spread fast through Cacica and beyond to nearby villages. The story of John’s father’s fight grew more strange and heroic as it was retold from house to house. One account had it that the American had killed seven madmen (the leader and six others) single-handedly and chased off the other twelve.

Another account had it that the attackers were Hultans or Solomonarii (wizards). There was talk about how the strangers did not retreat as they were shot. Six of the guards had fired on the Hultans as they came to take the guns for themselves. Of course, the guards weren’t going for head shots. They hadn’t been ready to kill people. But the strangers that had been hit by shotgun fire hadn’t fallen and they didn’t stop coming at the guards. It was supernatural.

It put a fear into those guards. It put a fear so deep inside them that those eight men would wrestle with nightmares every night for the rest of their lives – nightmares of unstoppable strangers coming for them.

Hundreds of villagers came on foot to the church at night. They came with prayers, candles, flowers, bread, cheese, and wine. Whatever they had. Some walked many miles to get there and many miles back on their return.

People had understood something had happened. Something terrible and awesome had happened.

Things would never be the same. People would have to stand together against evil – lest death come hungry into their towns, villages and homes. But they didn’t know what to do.

Obviously, the American knew what to do. After all, he killed one or more Hultans single-handedly. And without a gun.

At last, the Americans were going to save them! Some had been waiting since 1945 for the Americans to save them from Communism. And, maybe, all they ever needed was one American.

There was an excitement that whispered among the villagers. Some celebrated in the dark – drinking plum brandy and blueberry spirits until they were drunk and sleepy. Others sang songs quietly. Old women prayed for John’s father to recover quickly. Old men nodded approvingly to themselves with great expectations.

Ok. Playing Social Messages from 04 July 2023 from 4:56 am in reverse order.

Bucharest Herald

Young man intoxicated with ethnobotanical drugs attacks his father with a chainsaw. link

B-Gossip

Rituals of wizardry and witchcraft have become so popular that online sales from the store, Old Granny’s Revenges, Cures and Wards, tumbled over two million Euros in profit for Q2… 

The French couple that moved to Romania and took over management of the shop in Old Bucharest in 2013 are overjoyed by year after year successes. “We came here because this is a country where demons, undead, vampires, werewolves, wizards and witchcraft thrive…

Despite early Christiandom’s efforts to uproot these pre-Christian cultures and traditions, the Orthodox church long ago turned a blind eye to the supernatural – in their lust for wealth, power and authority,” explained Frenchmen Ion Popovich who is the great grandson of Romanian General Ion Popovich of Basarabia…

“Romanians are a superstitious people. And with very good reason.” vid

Bucharest Herald

Food can become a luxury item. It will become more and more expensive because of weather conditions. link

Jar

The universe is like a great genie. “Your wish is my command!” That’s what the universe is saying to each of us. Speak your wish now! Don’t mumble. Don’t whisper. Don’t say it with a half heart! Say it loud and thankfully. Say it loud and joyfully! Because it is done!

MurrayMelb

Good luck needs no explanation. – Shirley Temple

Bucharest Herald

Outstanding student from Targu Jiu kills herself by jumping into Jiu River, with a backpack filled with stones. link

Lumi took off her K-9s.

Ella Fitzgerald, That Old Black Magic
………………………………………………..

………………………………………………..

The next chapter section (2.3) is [here]. Enjoy!

Your feedback (comment) means much to me.

Stan Faryna
23 May 2011
Bucharest, Romania

Copyright 2011 by Stan Faryna. All Rights Reserved.

One Response to Book of Carrot: Chapter 2.2 by Stan Faryna

  1. Stan Faryna says:

    Like the title?

Speak from your heart!

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