Category Archives: Feminism

What A Witch Taught Me About The Virgin Mary

Although it is proper to each individual, original sin does not have the character of a personal fault in any of Adam’s descendants. It is a deprivation of original holiness and justice, but human nature has not been totally corrupted: [It] is wounded in the natural powers proper to it, subject to ignorance, suffering and the dominion of death, and inclined to sin – an inclination to evil that is called “concupiscence.” Baptism, by imparting the life of Christ’s grace, erases original sin and turns a man back towards God, but the consequences for nature, weakened and inclined to evil, persist in man and summon him to spiritual battle. (Emphasis mine.)
~ Catechism of the Catholic Church, Section 405

As a Catholic, one aspect of my faith that I struggle with is the Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus.

Image result for mary queen of heaven

It’s not fair, I’ve thought more than once. If God can just create people free from Original Sin, like Mary, and thus spare them the possibility of ending up in a place like Hell, why doesn’t He do that for everyone?

I know God is love. I know God has a plan. But still: I look at all the horror in the world…

Image result for emoji movie shit happens

…and think Can God do nothing?

I’ll struggle with these questions all my life.

But, lately, I’ve found something that makes the struggle more bearable: Witchcraft. Specifically: Kiki, from Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989).

Image result for kiki's delivery service kiki gif

Kiki helps me to understand what it can mean for a person to be free from sin.

Having recently re-watched Kiki’s Delivery Service, there is only one instance I can remember where Kiki committed an act that could be called a “sin.” She disobeys a cop, running away from him upon being told to stay put after causing an accident. But the accident was just that — an accident. And after the cop dashed off to pursue a thief, there was no telling when he’d be back. Or if he’d even be back at all. She does avoid a police car she sees driving through the park. But, other than taking a page out of Johnny’s playbook…

…Kiki is a law-abiding citizen. As free from imperfection as Mary.

I often imagined Mary as emotionless, mindlessly going through one aspect of God’s plan to the next because there was nothing keeping her from doing otherwise. Mary was a puppet, and God was pulling her strings.

But, as a result of Kiki, I no longer think such a thing. I believe the absence of sin doesn’t mean the absence of one’s humanity (i.e., one’s emotions, feelings, and intellect). What it means is the perfection of one’s humanity; one’s humanity being directed toward that which will do the most good for all.

I think of my favorite scene in the film. Kiki goes to an old woman’s house in order to deliver a birthday present to her granddaughter. Only to find that, because of a broken oven, the potpie has not been baked and, thus, there is no delivery to make. Saddened that the delivery girl came all this way for nothing, Madame asks her maidservant to pay Kiki anyway. Not feeling that it is right to take money from a person she has done nothing for, Kiki insists on baking Madame’s gift in an older, long-neglected oven instead.

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It is her desire to help others, and her insistence on a job well done, that drive Kiki to go above and beyond the call of duty. “A desire to help others” and “An insistence on a job well done” being qualities that I believe anyone, regardless of their beliefs or absence of beliefs, would praise. Such qualities are examples of human nature at its best. In such a situation, who wouldn’t want to be Kiki?

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“Your mother must be proud.”

I believe Mary is the same way. She goes above and beyond the call of duty for the sake of the well-being of others.

Upon being told that God would impregnate her, Mary’s reaction was not…

…it was: “Let it be done to me according to your will.” (Luke 1:38)

To me, Mary always seemed alien and unapproachable. How could I even begin to have any kind of relationship with such a person? Every word I read about her, I felt like she was rubbing her perfection in my face. Scolding me for not being just like her. As a result, my feelings for Mary turned from revulsion, to jealously, to anger.

But no more. Through Kiki, I believe I can better see how Mary lives.

When I was little, God was there and wonderfully granted my dream.
On mornings when I wake up with kindly feelings, even though I’ve grown up, miracles happen!
Opening the curtain, tranquil sunlight filtering through the trees.
If it envelopes me in tenderness, surely everything reflected in my eyes will be a message.
When I was little, God was there and every day he delivered love.
Inside my heart, I had forgotten my precious box of good memories.
The time to open it is now.
An English translation of “If I’ve Been Enveloped In Tenderness”

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Responding To Richard Dawkins: Part 1

The Closet Atheist‘s 31 favorite quotes from The God Delusion, and my first thoughts upon reading each them.

Part 1: 1 — 16

“There are lots of people out there who have been brought up in some religion or other, are unhappy in it, don’t believe it, or are worried about the evils that are done in its name; people who feel vague yearnings to leave their parents’ religion and wish they could, but just don’t realize that leaving is an option.” p. 1

I agree.

“To be an atheist is a realistic aspiration, and a brave and splendid one. You can be an atheist who is happy, balanced, moral, and intellectually fulfilled.” p. 1

I agree.

“Religion . . . has certain ideas at the heart of it which we call sacred or holy or whatever. What it means it, ‘Here is an idea or a notion that you’re not allowed to say anything about; you’re just not. Why not? – because you’re not!’” p. 20 (quote by Douglas Adams)

Douglas Adams apparently never read verses like these:

“Test everything. Hold fast to what is good.”
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:21

“…be as shrewd as serpents…”
~ Matthew 10:16

“You can’t get away with saying, ‘If you try to stop me from insulting homosexuals it violates my freedom of prejudice.’ But you can get away with saying, ‘It violates my freedom of religion.’” p. 24

Here we go again…

The reason I say that is:

This sounds like another case of a person thinking You’re criticizing homosexuality. Therefore you hate homosexuals.

To which I say:

If you believed in the existence of the soul.
If you believed in the existence of Heaven and Hell.
If you believed that the body doesn’t last forever, but the soul does.
If you believed that sin causes a soul to end up in Hell.
And if you believed that homosexual acts are a sin.
Than what, in your eyes, would be the bigger act of “hate”?

To 1) Hide your beliefs from another, saying that there is no danger in homosexual acts?
Or 2) Tell the person that homosexual acts put their soul in danger?

My point being: Can we move beyond calling people who oppose two men rubbing their penises together “hateful”?

If I really hated homosexuals, than I would tell such people that, when it comes to what two men or two women do behind closed doors, there is no danger of any kind.

And when it comes to the mistreatment of not just homosexuals, but of any kind of person:

“God created mankind in His image.”
~ Genesis 1:27

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.”
~ Jeremiah 1:5

“‘Whatever you did to the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did to me.'”
~ Matthew 25:40

“If people wish to love a 7th century preacher more than their own families, that’s up to them, but nobody else is obliged to take it seriously…” p. 26 (quote by Andrew Mueller)

I agree.

“The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.” p. 31

At times, I agree.

But, when thinking about God’s nature, I find that a question to keep in mind is: “Why?”

Why is God the way He is?

For now, the best answer I have is:

Imagine if you found out your boyfriend/girlfriend were cheating on you. Chances are, you would be furious. Chances are, you’d give them an ultimatum:

“End it, or we’re done.”

It’s like that with us and God. Like an exasperated significant other, God will not tolerate infidelity.

“Who cares? Life is too short to bother with the distinction between one figment of the imagination and many.” p. 36

Ah, but here’s the thing: Believers don’t just have their eyes on this life; they have their eyes on what might come after, too. Hence the caring.

You know, for someone who insists that atheists can be decent people despite their unbelief, you’re not making a good case. After all: Is the response “Who cares?” the mark of a mature adult? Not to me.

On a related note: 0:30 — 0:47:

“…Judaism: originally a tribal cult of a single fiercely unpleasant God, morbidly obsessed with sexual restrictions, with the smell of charred flesh, with his own superiority over rival gods with the exclusiveness of his chosen desert tribe.” p. 37

I find it ironic that Richard Dawkins laments that religious people are “morbidly obsessed” with sex, and yet it is scientific people who are paving the way for men to give birth.

“Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me?” p. 38 (quote from Barry Goldwater)

I’ll let you answer this one, Andrew Garfield:

“Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there is one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear.” p. 42 (quote from Thomas Jefferson)

To quote these verses once again:

“Test everything. Hold fast to what is good.”
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:21

“…be as shrewd as serpents…”
~ Matthew 10:16

“The fact that we can neither prove nor disprove the existence of something does not put existence and non-existence on an even footing.” p. 49

God is not something that can be “proven.”

And even if the god of the Bible could be proven to exist as surely as the sun has been proven to rise in the east, would it make a difference to you?

After all: You know that your ex-boyfriend/ex-girlfriend exists, and yet you continue to want nothing to do with them.

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“I have found it an amusing strategy, when asked whether I am an atheist, to point out that the questioner is also an atheist when considering Zeus, Apollo, Amon Ra, Mithras, Baal, Thor, Wotan, the Golden Calf, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster. I just go one god further.” p. 53

You know… when it comes to questions about the existence of a god or gods, I don’t have the patience for “amusing.”

Such questions are, to me, too serious for amusement.

Once again, Richard Dawkins, I’m failing to see the decency that you claim to have as a non-believer. For now, you’re doing nothing for me but perpetuating the “Atheists are assholes” stereotype that atheists like The Closet Atheist are successfully combating.

“There is no reason to regard God as immune from consideration along the spectrum of probabilities.” p. 54

0:10 — 0:13:

Seriously, though: this quote made me scratch my head and go Wait. What?

I’ll return to it another time.

“Remember Ambrose Bierce’s witty definition of the verb ‘to pray’: ‘to ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner, confessedly unworthy’.” p. 60

Depends on what you’re praying for.

And: What’s wrong with being “unworthy”?

Acknowledging one’s perceived limitations is humbling. And if I had to choose between being humble or being prideful, I’d choose humility.

One reason why being: It is humility that prevents one from becoming the next Wolf of Wall Street:

“[Natural selection] has lifted life from primeval simplicity to the dizzy heights of complexity, beauty and apparent design they dazzle us today.” p. 73

I agree.

“Even if we allow the dubious luxury of arbitrarily conjuring up a terminator to an infinite regress and giving it a name, simply because we need one, there is absolutely no reason to endow that terminator with any of the properties normally ascribed to God: omnipotence, omniscience, goodness, creativity of design, to say nothing of such human attributes as listening to prayers, forgiving sins and reading innermost thoughts.” p. 77

Terminators, as the name implies, don’t create life, they end it.

To take your “Terminator” reference one step farther: God is either Sarah Conner or the T-1000. Because, as Terminator 2 (1991) shows us, it is not possible to be both at the same time:

0:00 — 0:30:

Let’s say God is Sarah Conner.

Well, then He can’t terminate John Connor (i.e., us; the human race) because termination is against His nature.

And if termination is against His nature, what is left for Him to do but create, nurture, and protect, like a mother instinctively does for her child?

But what about all the people in the Bible God kills, or commands be killed? you might be thinking.

Well, ask yourself: “Why?”

After all: A mother is a creator and a nurturer. But she will not hesitate to protect; to kill the intruder who tries to make off with her sleeping child.

Aliens (1986)

Continued in Part 2

Speaking As A Man: Women, You Don’t Want To Be Like Me

I’m happy that birth control is now harder to obtain, and this is why:

More Birth Control = Less Conception
Less Conception = Less Births
Less Births = Less Babies
And:

Less Babies = Less Women

Love

If pointing out what birth control does is “mansplaining” than, for the sake of the future of femininity, I am a proud mansplainer.

Now:

Tommy Boy

As far as I understand it: More often than not, women want birth control because women want what men naturally have: Sex without the responsibility that comes with it over the course of the ensuing 9 months.

The reason I say “More often than not” is: Birth control does have uses that have nothing to do with preventing conception. I’ve heard from women who take birth control not because they want to have a worry-free Friday night, but because without it their life would be in danger. And I see nothing wrong with birth control being used to save a life, not prevent one.

But, otherwise, I never understood the praise heaped on it…

I find it weird that a movement (Feminism) that champions all that women are and do, supports an act (taking birth control) that will, inevitably, lead to less women in the world. It comes across as Animal Farm-esque:

All women are equal. But some women are more equal than others.

I Have Found It — A Short Story

“I Have Found It”

Around Eureka, people rise to leave.*

Her head bowed in prayer, Eureka ignored them.

She heard the voices coming from the foyer begin to fade. She heard the priest close the foyer’s doors. She heard nothing from the priest as he returned to his changing room behind the altar. She saw the church’s lights shut off.

Rising, Eureka left the pew, walking to the foyer’s double doors. Opening the door on the right, she took a right across the foyer, to the bathroom. Seeing that the bathroom door was partially open, she opened it farther before slipping inside, turning on the light, and closing it behind her.

Eureka undressed. In her underwear, as she was folding her pants, she remembered the paper. Pausing to see if the folded piece of paper was still in her right pocket, she resumed folding her pants. Finishing undressing, her folded clothes in a pile in the middle of the floor, she went to the door.

Opening the door an inch in order to make sure that there was no one in the foyer, Eureka opened the door all the way once she saw that the coast was clear. Turning off the bathroom light before crossing the foyer once again, opening the door on the right once again, and entering the church once again.

Naked and alone, Eureka walked down the aisle.

Her bare feet on marble was the only sound.

Shaking as much from fear as from the cold, Eureka took slow, deep breaths in order to calm herself.

She could just make out the painting, illuminated by candles, above the altar. A painting of the three aspects of God. Eureka imagined they were speaking to her.

The Father: “How dare you!”

The Mother: “Whore!”

The Child: “Why?”

Not slowing, stopping, or turning around, Eureka made it to the pew closest to the altar.

Gingerly easing herself into the pew in order to not touch a surface with her butt, Eureka put her elbows on the low wooden wall that separated the altar from the congregation, knelt, bowed her head, and clasped her hands in prayer.

“God…” she whispered. “See me. Just. See me. I know you must not like this, but… I wanted to do this. I felt I needed to do this. Even if you hated me, I needed you to see me. And I… I needed to see you.”

***

Eureka sat in a booth, enjoying the bar food that was her father’s gift on her 21st birthday.

Giving her a moment to think about it as she took a drink of her water, he asked a question.

“Are you ready for your last final?”

Eureka answered. “As ready as I can be. Now I feel like all I can do is roll the dice.”

Her father smiled. “You’ll do great. Your mother and I are proud of you.”

“Thanks. I’m glad for this opportunity — to be here. I’ve learned a lot about myself.”

“Like what?”

“Being an editor is hard. It’s nothing like I thought it would be.”

Her father took a drink of his beer, steeling himself for the question he dreaded.

“You have a back-up plan?”

“I’m working on it.”

Putting his left hand on the table, Eureka grasped it.

She was looking him in the eye when he said: “Your mother and I are thankful you waited. I know it must not have been easy living at home while your brother finished school.”

Eureka shook her head, appalled. “No. I knew you and mom could only do so much. I didn’t want to put pressure on you. Plus, I needed time. I wasn’t ready to make the leap from high school to college yet.”

“Thank you for thinking of us.”

“Yeah. You’ve done so much for me, and I want to do what I can for you.”

“No matter what, Eureka, you’ll always be our miracle child.”

She withdrew her hand.

“Dad–”

“Really. The doctors told us you wouldn’t make it. For the longest time, we couldn’t decide on a name. But when the doctors found that you would make it, as the saying goes: ‘The rest is history.’”

“‘You’ve been given a second chance,’ you’d say when I was younger. And I want to be worthy of that second chance.”

Eureka’s father could see that his daughter still had a habit of absentmindedly rubbing the inside of her forearms.

“Eureka–”

“I know you and mom say I have nothing to prove. But I wouldn’t be much of a ‘miracle child’ if I disappointed you, would I?”

“Eureka… I have to ask: How do you think you did this semester?”

***

The first awake that day in her on-campus apartment, Eureka sat on the floor in her pajamas just outside her open bedroom door with her arms wrapped around her legs and her head against her knees….

***

Eureka sat at her desk in her bedroom, her eyes widening in shock when she realized that the letter she had received was from her academic adviser….

***

Not looking him in the eye, Eureka answered her father’s question.

“Not good.”

***

Eureka sat at the dinner table, frowning at her laptop.

On the laptop’s screen was the Employment page on the public library’s website. This summer, there were no positions currently available.

Next to Eureka stood her mother, reading a letter. A letter from Eureka’s college.

“Seven thousand dollars, Eureka! How do you expect to pay this? Because there’s only so much your father and I can do now.”

Despite a gesture at her laptop, Eureka refused to blame technology. “I’m doing everything I can! You know that!”

Not wanting to hear any more, with a shake of her head, Eureka’s mother walked away.

In shock at seeing her so upset, Eureka reached into her right pants pocket and pulled out her cell phone.

Scrolling through her contact list, Eureka abruptly stopped as she came to a name: Theo.

“…it must not have been easy living at home while your brother finished school.”

She resumed scrolling.

She called a number.

“Lyra? It’s Eureka.”

***

Eureka raised her bowed head, trying to see, through her tears, the painted faces of the Father, Mother, and Child.

“I want to know that I’m enough,” she whispered. “I want to know that I was worth it to you. That I was worth saving.”

Sniffling, Eureka unclasped her hands and looked at the scars on the inside of her forearms.

***

Nude, Eureka sat in a chair in the middle of Lyra’s living room.

Across from her, on the couch, clothed, sat Lyra. Drawing.**

Tightening her grip on the chair’s armrests, Eureka fought the urge to flinch.

Eureka imagined that every time Lyra’s pencil made contact with paper, she was being cut with a knife. The knife exposing Eureka’s regret and fear as it lay her bare.

Glancing down at her front, Eureka imagined herself covered in bleeding cuts.

The blood turning her white skin red, Eureka remembered her father’s words to her.

“Miracle child.”

The blood running down her skin made Eureka think of worms.*** Worms crawling out of an open grave.

Eureka imagined worms crawling out of her cuts and, in horror, drew in her breath sharply.

“Eureka, please don’t move.”

“Sorry.”

Eureka re-focused on Lyra, who continued drawing.

***

Narrowing her eyes, putting the pencil’s eraser to her lips and holding her sketchbook in front of her at arm’s length, Lyra was silent as Eureka sat still.

A moment later, she lowered her pencil and sketchbook.

“All done,” Lyra said with a smile.

Eureka sighed with relief.

“Thank you.”

“Thank you for allowing me to draw you. My Best Friend. That’s what I’m calling it. I think it turned out good.”

“Can I see it?”

Lyra nodded.

***

Tears drying on her cheeks, Eureka stood, in order to try and see God’s faces more clearly.

Feeling exposed, she took a step backward and, with the wood of the pew against her skin, was comforted by the knowledge that there was something solid at her back.

Suddenly, Eureka felt lips close around her right nipple.

Looking down, Eureka saw a naked little girl standing on her tiptoes, suckling. Her hands on Eureka’s breast for balance.****

Their eyes meeting, the girl pulled away. She burped and giggled.

Staring at the girl licking her lips, then at her wet breast, Eureka uttered the first word that came to mind: “What…?”

Bright eyes set in a blushing face found Eureka’s once again.

“Go- goo- good,” the girl said, as if she had just learned to speak.

Recoiling, Eureka pointed to herself. “M-me?”

The girl nodded.

***

Eureka got up from the chair to come and see Lyra’s drawing of her.

“One look at you today and I thought I’ve found it! And now you can keep ‘it.’”

Bending over, Eureka looked at the drawing.

She was speechless.

The drawing’s face radiated an inner peace Eureka did not believe that she herself had. On the drawing’s face was an expression that said “This will all be over soon.”

“What do you think?”

“It’s me…. It’s just not my life.”*****

“What do you mean?” said Lyra, concerned.

Eureka tapped the paper and looked at her.

“I haven’t found what you saw.”

***

Wanting to say more to her, Eureka got on her knees so that she could be closer to the girl.

Before she could say anything, the girl lie on her stomach, resting her head on Eureka’s thighs as if they were pillows.

Eureka felt a peace that she had never felt before. It emanated from the girl like body heat.

The girl blinked sleepily.

A single word was spoken as, reminded of Lyra’s drawing, Eureka watched the Child close her eyes.

“Good.”

The End

*One of the inspirations for Eureka was the character of the same name in my favorite anime series: Eureka Seven.

**The character of Lyra was inspired by Ursula from Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989).

***The words “The blood running down her skin made Eureka think of worms,” were inspired by these words during the Red Wedding in George R.R. Martin’s A Storm of Swords:

“Slow red worms crawled along her arms and under her clothes.”

****The Child drinking milk from Eureka’s breast was inspired by Saint Anthony of Padua holding the baby Jesus.

*****The words “It’s me…. It’s just not my life,” were inspired by these words in my favorite novel: Armor, by John Steakley:

“It was her. It just wasn’t her life.”

A few final things:

Thank you to fellow blogger sunshine lou. She inspired me to write “I Have Found It” and was one of the inspirations for the character of Eureka, too. The final two influences being myself — Eureka’s experiences are partly based on my own — and Kiki, from the 1989 film Kiki’s Delivery Service. Lou also inspired my poem “The Wild Witch” and the still-being-written short story “Wild Child.” (The reason the woman in the poem is a witch is because, just before I wrote it, I had been talking to a woman who is a witch, and so had witches on my mind. I’m thankful for the insight into Paganism that she gave me.)

I’ve realized lately that I can be a chatterbox. I tend to talk even after, judging by their silence, others are just done. And so, even though “I Have Found It” was posted days ago, I was hesitant to thank Lou because I didn’t want to do to her what I imagine I have done to others: Cause them to think Ugh. This guy again? I don’t say this in order to criticize Lou in any way. She’s a good person, and she should do what is best for herself regardless of how it might make me feel. I say this just to express my thoughts on my tendency to talk and talk and talk.

I am thanking Lou now in order to give her the credit she deserves for making this story possible.

And:

Thank you to Free to See. Months ago, when I started writing this story, there was a suicide sub-plot. Eureka was to have attempted suicide at a point in her past. After a conversation with Free to See though, I realized that, when it came to writing about a complex subject such as suicide, I wasn’t “there” yet — I couldn’t do the subject justice. So “I Have Found It” underwent a change: Instead of having attempted suicide, Eureka’s feelings stemmed from her feeling inadequate. I believe my story is better for it. (I re-discovered Free to See after, one day, going through WordPress and un-following inactive and/or — I now realize — inappropriate blogs. I’m still following Free to See.)

And:

Thank you to the beautiful woman whose picture I used in this post.

And:

Months ago, I wrote a series of posts with the title “I Have Found It.” Those posts, for the time being, have been privated. The reason why is: I’m currently figuring out what to do with them. If those posts were “I Have Found It, 1.0,” this post is “I Have Found It, 2.0.”

And:

The creation story of Eureka’s faith.

And:

Naked and Nude: What’s the Difference?

Finally:

Thank you for reading my story. I hope you liked it.

Feedback is always appreciated.

The Gate – A Short Story

It came for her in the shower.

The quickening in her womb could not keep pace with the quickening of her heart as, her back against the wall, she felt him enter her.

Semen and water. Running down, down, and out. Down her thighs, down the drain, and out of her life.

Life…

This was how it started, she thought, saying nothing. Seeing nothing. One hand on her ever-expanding middle. The other against the back of his neck. Old habits die hard.

Determined to give as good as she got, she opened her eyes.

Lips puckered for kissing, her mouth expanded into a silent scream as, through the steam, she saw it.

He did not.

Screaming for a very different reason, he never felt the alien’s mouth enter the back of his skull and exit through his own.

“I love your big brain!” she said yesterday.

Today, she felt that big brain, and bits of little bone, hit her in the face, along with pieces of broken glass, as her headless husband dropped.

In shock, she ceased feeling the water against her skin. But she was all too aware of her water against her skin. Feeling the baby kick, she knew that more than a shower door had broken…

Wet and black, the alien’s tail slid up her leg, higher and higher, until it took the place of her husband’s penis.

Inexplicably thinking of her last meal, she imagined the alien lifting. Lifting her baby out of her womb like he was soup in a ladle.

But if the alien’s tail is a ladle, and my son is soup, I’m the tureen.

The ship’s tureen was made of metal.

Metal was strong.

And so was she.

Snatching a piece of broken glass off the floor, ignoring the pain as it dug into her palm, she become one with her husband one more time as, their blood mingling, she kicked off from the wall, aiming for the alien’s face.

Her aim was true.

Biting back a scream as the alien’s acid blood ran down her arm, she ran past it, slipping on the floor before she could get clear.

The baby!

The floor rushing to meet her, she threw out her hands, breaking her fall at the last second. Then she was out.

Naked and alone, the blood-red emergency lights were her guardian angels. Heed them, and she would find salvation.

The smack of her wet feet on metal echoed into the silence as she ran and ran and ran.

She ran until, doubling over to suck in breath, she swore that the only thing left inside her was, judging by a second kick, fighting to get out.

But: She now stood before the pearly gates.

Judgement Day.

Her hand leaving a red smear as she opened one and looked longingly at the other, she had enough time to wonder How long? before she did not have to wonder anymore.

Hot on her heels, it had come.

Inexorable. Not invincible.

As she proved as, careening past her in its blind, furious hunger, she pressed a button before its eyeless face saw the error of its ways, sealing it behind one pearly gate and in front of a second.

The second pearly gate opening, naked and alone is how the alien faced the cold vacuum of space as it was sucked out the airlock.

Her cry of joy froze in her throat, turning into a scream of pain as, sitting on the floor, she opened a third gate.

This gate had no pearls.

She was, after all, a modest woman.

Thank you for reading.

This short story was inspired by fellow blogger Soul Healing. Thank you for discussing Defiance with me. 🙂

Thank you, George R.R. Martin. The scene of the woman breaking her fall in order to protect her baby was inspired by a scene in A Game of Thrones where (SPOILER) Daenarys is attacked by Khal Drogo’s bloodriders while trying to save his life.

This short story is a different take on the shower scene in Alien: Covenant (2017).

Thank you, Ridley Scott, for the “Alien” series.