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by Richard Tornello

Sell Em, Sign Em and Lock Em In

by Richard Tornello

Nidaba, goddess of accounting for the ancient Babylonians, floated closer to the bedside of the Pope. “Listen pontiff, I’ll explain it… one more time.”

“How, how did you get in here?” demanded the Pope. He had been awakened by this thing saying something about collections. This had to be a nightmare.

Nidaba smiled and said. “Really now, you have to ask?” Let’s get to the point. The bosses up in the HQ are a little miffed. They sent me to see you and some others members from this syndicate of myth based operations.

The Pope sputtered, “What are you talking about? You’re insane.”


Nidaba waited while the Pope reached over and a sip of wine from the decanter on the nightstand to calm his nerves.

Nidaba continued, “The last time we had to do this was when things were a bit more local. It was a lot easier. Your sheep, as you call them, were, how should I put it, a bit more gullible, simple and more inclined to accept basic rules of business.”  She stopped to see if the point was hitting home. She could tell it wasn’t

“I’ll make it simple. You are the COO of your franchise, The Catholic Church. You haven’t paid up in, wait let me look.” She flipped through her iPad®, looked up and said, “Ah yes, centuries. Aren’t computers great?  It’s all right here; no rifling through tons of clay tablets.  Oops… no sorry, its millennia in your time designations. We demanded payment, ten per-cent of your annual gross, a few times. The black plague, and your two world wars were a way of trying to get you to pay up.”

The Pope was attempting to maintain his composure. “Madam, with all due respect, I have no clue to what you are referring.”

“Okay big boy. Here’s how it works. We run this universe. We are The Myth Makers, Inc®. We give you all the rights to use our various names, which by-the-way are registered trademarks like: God®, In God We Trust®, Under Heaven ®, Allah® and so forth. We could sue all of you for breaches of contracts in the courts of our choosing. How would that look? Think about the political ramifications in that one.”

“What? You’re crazy.”

She continued, “All the names of deities, as your kind presents them, are trademarked. You can see it any time in the law offices of Val, Hall, and La. You haven’t paid your franchise fees in some time. You are in default and breach of contract in any court of law anywhere in the universe.”

“And how are we supposed to get to this office?” demanded the Pope. “This is a joke. Some one wants to drive me mad.”

“Not my department. I’m the collections agent, AR, the accountant. Just call me Nidaba. I have a job to do.”

The Pope didn’t want to believe a word. But this apparition was in front of him. No one ever mentioned this to him. Was it because he wasn’t Italian? The last Pope suddenly quit. “Can I make a call?” He requested

“Sure, you want to call the Imam? How about the President of the American Plutocracy? They used pay regularly, and on time too. That’s how they got to be where they are. They are having some payment issues. You guys had it once, but you fell behind. We’ve been too nice.”

A phone popped out of nowhere onto his bed. The Pope stared in disbelief.

Nidaba laughed. “Your faith has been shaken. Sorry. It happens. We franchise the rights to propagate myths. Some are religious and others political. The bottom line is they are all economic. You pay us in a form of currency that you covet and you keep your franchise. You do whatever you like, whenever you like…as long as you make your payments.”

“What if we don’t?” demanded the Pope. He was sure this was a very complicated joke.

“Okay you want an example when we were really pissed off?

“Yeah,” he said nodding.

“You think Sodom and Gomorrah was about sin? We don’t give two shits what you consider sin. It’s relative. We wanted payment and they wouldn’t come up with the gold or slaves.”

“We gave them a few warnings. But no, so we vaporized the city. We decided that was going a bit too far. Now we just let the civilization rot until we can deal with some potentate having a bit more common sense. We didn’t have more collection problems until the idiots in Rome became full of themselves.”

“Rome, always Rome. You guys are a pain in the ass, and the whole Middle East what a bunch of knuckle heads. And the Chinese, we can count on almost every 300 years going through the same destruction exercise.” Nidaba was exasperated.

“I bet my assistant is having a hard time in Tehran,” Nidaba whispered to herself.

“Sodom and Gomorrah was sin. Lot….” The Pope stood up out of bed as he spoke. This was blasphemy.

“Listen big boy, Lot was attempting to get you guys to pay. He was our local agent. You owe us damn it. You used our trademarks, made a fortune and grabbed power. This doesn’t come free. I don’t care how you come up with the gold or… slaves. Here’s the bill for say two thousand years and interest. I’ll give you a break of 500 years and cut the interest in half. You have 7 days, get it?” Nidaba disappeared.

The Pope looked at the bill. He almost had a heart attack. His phone rang. It was the head of the Anglican Church. A shaky voice on the other end introduced himself with his code words, “(TOP SECRET) Father…” and stopped.

The Pope said, “Yes it was here. What are we to do? Have you seen the invoice? I had no idea, all these years. They left us holding the bag those bastards.”



2014-01-24 19:39:02
Nimyth - This is good. I like it, it is witty, funny, and clicks along at a nice pace.

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Books by Quantum Muse contributors and friends.

by Richard Tornello

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