The Modern Bed.

The Modern Bed of Catholicism

Gario rifled through the pile of refuse, leftovers from the most recently burnt church. The rioters had targeted the Catholics this time, tearing the priest from his bed in the middle of coitus with a young faithful. The screams of the religious still echoed around the square as the crowd set fire to the church, tearing velvet curtains from the nave and piling them higgledy-piggledy amongst the pews to better ignite the whole sorry mess. The priest was gutted and thrown, bleeding and screaming in pain, onto the tallest of the pyres.
Gario paused, finding a large piece of cloth the flames had spared. It seemed to be part of a robe, judging by its ornate embroidery and the holy symbols rampant on the smoke-stained white velvet.
Could be worth a bit, he thought as he stuffed it into his pouch. Later, after he went home from his day of fossicking, he examined it further. Sewn into the lining was a memory stick.
Curious, he booted up his laptop and inserted the stick. Most of the files were corrupted, likely from the heat of the blaze or the smoke it had been subjected to. All that remained was one readable document.
Opening it on the screen, he found the first three lines contained child-porn references and addresses of underage brothels, but after that, someone – presumably the priest – had been working on a letter. It was addressed to the local Bishop, Monsieur l’Abbe d’Melbourne.
“My friend, I am very unwell. I gorged myself at the last banquet, and find I have a terrible tummy upset. I cannot leave my bed, and the young ones are running amok in the church next door. The rain is beating a rapid tattoo on the window, and all I have for company and solace is my favourite altar-boy. The bed we adorn is the special edition I’d had imported from Denmark, with the added pleasure devices I have grown to love. I thought I knew this bed, but with being bound here for days, I have found new dalliances concealed within the tried and true methods of satisfying my desires, and have grown to love it even more than I ever thought possible.
“The alter-boy died of blood-loss three days ago, but I have managed to entertain myself satisfactorily without him so far.
“I cannot understand people who buy plain old beds, when the pleasures available on the modern beds for a few dollars more so enhance the joys of sleeping and the waking hours spent lying down upon them.
“The memories I have to take with me to the grave, the many hours of joyful repose I have endured, are too numerous to recount here, my friend.
“The cries of abandon issued by my bed-mate, the sighs of ecstasy uttered by my own mouth as I attained new heights of decadence.
“I can only imagine the sins others have committed upon beds such as these, the blood, sweat and tears of joy that have passed the lips of many a man and maid.
“I believe it was Rousard who uttered those fateful lines. I cannot remember verbatim, but they had to do with lasciviousness and tricks of lovers…ah, how they ring true when I think of all the times I have shared with my young boys here, on this bed.
“I think that if I die upon this bed, I shall die happily.
“Goodbye, my friend; here are my hands to kiss, and if it were possible, I also offer you my lips. I love how you once kissed these lips of mine.”
Gario shook his head and thanked God that religion was now outlawed.

Guest reviewer – Dawn Roach reviews Love Lies Dying by Steve Gerlach

For your pleasure, I have a guest reviewer appearing today.
Dawn Roach, admin at The Art of Words, has kindly agreed to review Love Lies Dying by Steve Gerlach, Australian dark fiction writer.

Title: Love Lies Dying

Author: Steve Gerlach

Genre: Dark Fiction/Thriller

Main Characters: John, Sherrie and Zoe

Main Theme: Instead of being greeted by his wife, John arrives home to find a stranger (Zoe) reclining on the sofa and his wife missing. Believing that she has been kidnapped, John and Zoe set about tracking down the kidnapper.

Plot Development: No surprises held here…the story begins in a logical, orderly fashion and develops rather predictably.

Character Development: Unfortunately, the characters contain no depth nor are they given any chance to develop into believable entities. Instead, we (the readers) are introduced to our main characters, given vague descriptions and then promptly abandoned.

Setting: Both the rural and the city scenes are disappointingly vague and bland.

My Opinion: After all the hype given this author, I had very high expectations but after reading this lengthy novel, I was left feeling rather short-changed and disappointed. This book is in need of a severe edit; at least one third could be removed, leaving the reader with a much more stream-lined story. The occurrence of John’s dream sequences seems, to me, to be irrelevant to the story and the narrative gives you the impression that you are being spoken to in monotone.

On the positive side, this novel is written in easy-to-read “everyday” English, it ends with an interesting twist and it delivers a moral, albeit sick and twisted in nature.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5