Fiction: Fuck in the Name of God

By George Gad Economou

Five days and six nights lost in the woods, trapped in the darkness of the dense canopy that offers no way out. She looked everywhere, galloped about directionlessly yet frantically. Her heart often came to the brink of giving out, the despair too much of a weight to bear; she persisted. The survival instinct was strong and the belief in God ever fiercer. She would be savedbecause He was protecting her. It was just another test of faithand she’d pass, because the Gates of Heaven would one day fling open wide for her.
She sat by the river, listening to the gentle sounds of the forest;birds singing, leaves rustling. An idyllic scenery, a marvel of beauty and balance. If only she could find her way back to the convent. The forest was endless. She made a cup with her hands and lapped up some fresh, cold water, wetting her arid lips and throat. Her clothes were half-torn after several hostile encounters with thorny bushes. She wished to cover the exposed skin but found nothing to use as clothing. Another test, she thought, and stopped thinking of her naked thighs or the crimson, aching scratches on her arm.
Got away from the river, the rumbling sound of the running water still accompanying her in her desperate search for a way back to the Lord’s house. The sunlight could hardly penetrate the canopy; the breeze grew in strength, lowering thetemperature. Despite her shivering, she continued to walk fast, too tired even to think about running; footsteps around her, wildlife noise. Nothing approached her, but she continued peering about, encountering nothing but shadows and dimness. An evil presence lurked near her; reminded herself she must resist all of Satan’s temptations.
She spotted a brighter spot ahead; alas! she thought, a way out, and trotted forth. Nothing but a small opening amidst the trees; a large hole dug in the dirt. Whispers soft and welcoming swam in the air, from within the dark hole. The air was turning colder, piercing her quivering skin, and the sun bathing the opening was turning crimson. She shuddered and stood still, despite the continuous whispering filling her head with promises. Something wanted her to go into the hole—the Devil, perhaps!—and she drew a deep breath.
She needed to run, she couldn’t stay there, she couldn’t submit to the lord of darkness, but the possibility, however infinitesimal, to find a refuge for the night was tempting. Struggling to convince herself not to succumb to the inviting whisper; better dead now and in Heaven than a long life and an eternity burning in the flames of eternal damnation. Her quaking body, throbbing head, and lonesome heart had another opinion. She peeked into the hole, gaping at the small underground palace hidden from the world. 
The whispering turned louder, more gentle yet demanding, too. Always the same, the promise of a haven. A safe shelter for the night, perhaps even for a fortnight, no strings attached. Her heart thundered behind her ear and a lump blocked her throat, yet she got down and crawled into the hole nonetheless, driven by the sudden deluge that showered the forest. Even if she was to share a table with Satan she’d find a way to avoid temptations.
Not as spacious as it first had appeared in her exhausted eyes,the underground space was big enough to offer a comfortable shelter. The dirt was wet and soft and blanketed with leaves; it appeared empty. Suddenly, two refulgent, yellow eyes appeared in the darkness of a corner; she shrilled, backed away, and stumbled around on the leaves failing to crawl back outside fast enough.
The eyes’ owner uttered mellifluous words of comfort and reassurance. Nothing to be afraid of, the soothing voice claimed, and she believed it. Outside, it was raining and the air was freezing; outside, only death resided. Within the hole, a faint trace of hope remained alive. A fox suddenly trotted out of its corner; a majestic animal, not too small of frame, with effervescent yellow eyes, soft, dark-orange fur, and a large, fluffy tail. It offered her a comforting smile and begged her to relax, to feel comfortable and at home.
Reluctantly, she accepted the anima’s pleading and moved toward the middle of the underground room, which the fox had apparently created during months of arduous labor. They began talking, and the topic that quickly dominated their conversation was God; the fox soon converted, recognizing her god as the entity that created nature and all its creatures. More relaxed now, she lay down, not terrified of the fox; the fox let her rest and left its home to go hunting. She shut her eyes and, for the first time since she got lost in the woods, was able to sleep peacefullywithout being alert for even the slightest noise.
When she woke up, from the sunlight entering the hole from above, she found the fox curled up in the corner, as far away as possible from her. With a newfound smile on her face, she crawled out of the hole. She stretched her arms and breathed inthe fresh air carrying the scent of wet grass. She gave a tiny scowl when she stepped into some mud, painting her shoe brown, but quickly shrugged it off. She had finally gotten some rest and could now recommence her search for the convent. As she took another step away from the hole, she thought of the fox that offered her protection and shelter without asking for anything in return. Rejoicing over having met such a remarkable, unselfish creature, she opted out of simply leaving. As she spun around on her heels, her gaze landed on the half-eaten carcass that lay at the entrance of the hole. Biting her lips down and frowning at the rank smell of death, she collected a few dry branches from inside the hole and built a small bonfire.
As the meal was singeing, the smell turning delicious and causing her stomach to growl after so many days of eating nothing but berries, the fox came out and tilted his head at her. With a wide smile, she offered him a piece of the roasted meat. The fox sniffed at the strange artifact, then stole a lick of it; then, he took a bite. They both devoured the meal quickly and silently. The fox thanked her for showing him something new and expressed his despair over never being able to taste something like this again. Her heart twitched under the wave of sorrow that traversed her body; the woods are vast, she thought gravely, and an idea popped up in her head.
As she sat inside, she tried to stay awake and wait for her new friend; the hunt took too long and she succumbed to a dreamless slumber. Her eyes opened and she sat up with her heart in her throat; the fox was sleeping in his corner. Two carcasses lay at the hole’s entrance; she roasted them, and they each ate a bird of a kind she never had tasted before. The meat was tender and tastier than chicken.
For the next fortnight, she roasted whatever the fox brought home during the night; every morning, as she sat by the fire gyrating small dead animals, she told herself it’d be the day she’d leave. Her mind would wander back to the convent, to what was waiting for her. She could not find a way out of the forest on her own and was reluctant to ask the fox, unwilling to hurt his feelings. Besides, after many years of living in cruel places, being mocked for her faith, she had finally found acompanion who understood her virtues and enjoyed hearing about God. Perhaps, she thought, this is God’s plan for her, to live in the midst of His creation and at peace with all of His children. The fox would shamble out of the hole, starving after a long sleep, and they’d eat, then converse until sundown.
Time ceased to matter as she embraced the free life of the fox, only caring about her daily meal and her prayers. She relished their talks and didn’t mind when the fox, curious about the ways of humans, brought up subjects unrelated to God. She was more than happy to tell the fox all she knew about cities, about life in towns and farms, about governments and all the rest. Only one subject she refused to touch, for she knew nothing about it; sex. The fox was as clueless as her, for he was the sole fox in the forest, abandoned there as a pup. All she could say was that sex was the act that consummated a love approved by God and was meant for procreation. Intrigued, the fox pursued the matter of love. Equally ignorant, she replied with trite sayings she had heard as a child in a world of degenerative morals.
The next two days and nights they both remained silent, lost in deep, melancholy thoughts of loneliness; eventually, the fox broke the silence, bringing back up their last conversation. Alas, he said, we do live together, don’t we? We do share everything, don’t we? Aren’t we planning to stay here together forever? She nodded. And we are both children of God, correct? the fox continued and she had to agree again. Lastly, the fox said andpaused to formulate correctly the most important of questions, don’t we love each other? Aren’t we committed to protecting and helping each other? She stayed silent for a minute, contemplating the implications of the answer she’d give, under the worried gaze of the fox. Yes, she finally said and a smile illumined the fox’s hitherto solemn face, we do love each other in this way.
Driven by a passion that had been kindled days earlier, they consummated their love in nature’s only true way. She was terrified by the blood that painted some of the leaves on the ground crimson; the fox curled up on her bosom, keeping her naked body warm.
Winter arrived, the skies stayed dark for longer and the first snowfall blanketed the forest. As she sat outside, roasting their meal, she marveled at the perfect whiteness engirdling her; it functioned as a sad reminder of an innocence lost. A kick from within her belly twitched her lips up into a smile; it was a reminder that inside her existed no sin but only the joy of creation. 
Heavy snow had blocked the entrance of their home, but the fox had brought enough meat to last them for weeks—preserved perfectly inside the snow—and more leaves for her to use as a blanket. A small hole in the roof allowed them to light a small fire inside, allowing them to cook their meals and have heat. Thus they spent the harsh weeks of winter, holding each other tight during the nights and discussing the days away. Her stomach had bloated, the kicks were turning more intense, and terror flooded her heart.
* * * *
Spring came and along with the warmer weather arrived five pups.
Four were walking on all fours, their bodies fully covered in orange fur, and only their faces betrayed their mother’s species. The fifth had a pink, hairless human body; only the rich, red, furry tail and the yellow, intelligent eyes gave away the nature of the copulation that brought him to the world. The parents were proud; the father went hunting every night while the mother nursed and protected her five babies with equal love. The differences between the four and the fifth started showing fast;the four baby foxes grew up fast and joined their father in his hunts, learning the trade of their species. While they lacked superior smelling abilities, they compensated for it with tenacity and intelligence; the family became a terror for all the birds and small beasts of the forest.
The human baby stayed inside with his mother, enjoying her caresses and the exclusivity of her kisses and stories every night. He possessed no innate desire to go hunting, although the desire to explore the world was equal to his siblings’. He tried to joinhis father and siblings in their hunts but always fell behind and clambered back home. After a few failed attempts, he accepted the warmth of home; he learned to talk, to calculate. He never learned about the world whence his mother came, for the nun had long forgotten about the convent which had once been her sanctimonious destination and life purpose. The baby did learnabout God, but not the God to whom his mother once prayeddaily and nightly; it was a different god, kinder, the kind that forgave sins and allowed his creations to mingle without fear of internal damnation. The other four offspring received the same education but their interest quickly diminished, as they were more inclined toward learning about the woods and life in it. The love between the woman and the fox remained strong, even if the presence of five cubs in their underground home did not allow for physical expressions of their passion. 
Winter returned. They all stayed inside, around their small fire,and their bonds grew even stronger; even the fox cubs became interested in their mother’s stories and lessons, while the human baby with the large tail was able to show his siblings the way of humans. Mother and father sat in the corner, observing theiroffspring grow and help each other. Winter left, Spring came, and everyone returned to their old roles. They all had learned new things during the snowy winter, and their ways had changed, making the cubs even more dangerous for their prey, and the baby better equipped to help his mother.
Dense clouds of black smoke rose on the horizon. The foxsmelled the danger first. With his heart palpitating with worry, he stood at the entrance of their home for hours staring at the smoke while the crackling of burning trees and hasty trampling of animals reverberated across the woods and blared into his pricked ears. He caught voices traveling with the wind, too, as well as metallic sounds he could not identify. He wished not to worry his family and looked back at the five children all curled up in their mother’s embrace, trembling and shivering. He feared they’d soon have to abandon their home. Reluctantly, he trotted into the woods, going closer to the fire. Dozens of animals were running toward the opposite direction but he had to go there and evaluate the danger before making a decision of whether they ought to leave everything they’d built. 
He froze when he saw five tall humans chopping down trees and burning shrubs and bushes. Their harsh laughter and frigid voices hurt his ears. Large machines moving on their own demolished the trees that had survived the menace of the lumberjacks. With fire in his heart and a racing mind, he dashedhome; he understood they couldn’t stay together, in case they were spotted. He whispered in her ear his plan; she refused, he insisted. Finally, she agreed, succumbing to the sheer terror in his eyes. She took the baby in her arms and left the nest after taking a good, long, final look at the only place she ever felt welcomed in. He then guided the four horrified cubs away from their home; they bawled when their mother hugged and kissed them with watery eyes while he kissed his fifth son farewell, unable to withhold his tears. The pair shared a long, final kissbefore going their separate ways.
Her heart broke as she could still hear her cubs wailing and she almost rushed back to them. She knew his plan was the only right thing to do, that they would have to meet somewhere safe and start afresh. With her baby in her arms, she galloped around in the forest, once more searching for a way out. She reached theriver where she once had taken a break while on the brink of giving in to desperation.
Boisterous voices came from behind her, followed by thunderous banging sounds. Gunshots, the faded memories of a former life resurfaced and her heart sank to her stomach.Guffaws filled the air, stabbing her crushed heart. She dashed back home and found no one. She followed the trail of her family, her son guiding her as he sniffed the air. She hid behind a tree when caught a glimpse of a tall, bearded man wielding a shotgun and carrying the fox over his shoulder by the tail. Behind him, another man carried the four cubs by the tails, while wine-colored blood dripped down on the ground leaving a trail.
Her knees buckled and she bit her lips down hard, trying to drown her sobbing. The baby hid his face in her bosom and whimpered. Not even knowing who she was anymore, she ran, leaving everything she knew behind just to find a safe place to cry.
She did, behind a tree; with her back against the trunk, and her bare bottom on the icy dirt, she burst into tears as the image of her dead family and the cruel, inhumane manner they were carried away by their killers reappeared vividly in her mind. She held the crying baby close, kissing him all over the head. They stayed there until nightfall, crying until exhaustion and despair took hold of their bodies and they fell asleep. Their slumber was not peaceful; not only because of the horrible nightmares butbecause of the violent sounds that rattled their sleep.
Her eyelids fluttered open and she peered about in the crepuscular night while loud speech reached her ears. She leaped to her feet, ready to run. It was too late. She tightened her grip around the baby and took a step back once she saw the tall man standing next to her, eerily similar to the men who had murdered her family. He smirked and licked his thick lips as he gawked at her naked body; once his gaze landed on the baby’s tail, the lust in his eyes turned into bafflement. She tried to lunge away but he grabbed her by the arm and tripped her down to the ground. Both she and the baby screamed in anguish and within seconds, several men towered over them, staring at the baby with the plump, orange tail. Befuddled, they decided to take them to thecity and let the experts determine their fate.
After so long, the nun returned to the city where she originated, a stranger to a place she used to call home even if it never had felt like one. The doctors examined her and asked what was wrong with her baby. There’s nothing wrong with him, she told them sternly. They asked her about her whereabouts, about what she was doing naked in the forest; she told them she couldn’tremember. She was honest, too, for during her transportation to the city she had sat next to the dead bodies of her family and the shock and trauma had drained everything from her brain, leaving it in a blank state. She could only remember that the baby in her arms was hers. Her state of utter confusion drove the doctors to send her to an asylum; the baby could stay with her but not for long. They wanted to run several tests on the unfortunate baby, to comprehend its abnormal nature.
She spent the first night in the padded cell sitting in the corner with her knees bent, rocking her baby to sleep while staring intothe blank abyss of her mind, trying to remember and understand. She couldn’t; she remained sleepless and restless for days. She punched and clawed at the guards that came to take her baby; she bit one in the arm, then tried to rip the carotid off from another. They sedated her but allowed her to keep the baby, afraid of her going rabid if she woke up and found it missing.
When she woke up, the instincts born in the woods were also awoken and she realized the danger they were in. With her baby grown enough to survive on his own, thanks to his unique natureand the training he had received, she instructed him, with the heaviest of hearts, to break out and run away. He refused, couldn’t even imagine leaving her behind. She insisted, using the same arguments the fox had used the last day of his life—she could not remember that her words were not originally hers. Thebaby, now grown into a child and forcibly turning into an adult way too soon, listened to his mother. During their final embrace, which involved plenty of kissing and crying, he promised to come back and take her away. He would find a new place to callhome, somewhere they could live free and in peace, a place where no one would prosecute them for who they were. She saidshe’d wait no matter what and the child climbed down the window, sneaking past the patrolling guards. As he stood outside the tall fence of the asylum, he glanced up at the window of his mother’s cell. He waved, she reciprocated, and they shed a few final tears. Then, he trotted away and disappeared into the streets of a concrete jungle.
* * * *
He ordered another drink with his mind already swirling in the sweet mist of numbness. With a trembling hand, he hoisted the lowball and chugged it. Someone next to him was blatheringabout God; it was not the god he was taught to believe in, and the booze made him wish to bite the face of the false preacher of a false god off. He restrained himself, drinking away the memories of the family he lost a long time ago.
Still hadn’t found a place to call home while he sailed with oil tankers and drank in dens, mingling with the worst of humanity, the only ones that didn’t care he was hiding a long, furry tail inside his purposefully oversized cargo pants. Another drinkordered, and he fixed the shades he never removed around others. He shambled out of the bar and walked away from the small port, entering the jungle, still searching for a home to replace what he lost. Too many dangers, too few unexplored regions, and doom hovered over his head.
The next morning, the ship sailed away and he worked daysand nights away, doing his best to avoid everyone. When they reached another port, he searched and searched but found no place to call home. He sought comfort in whorehouses, but his tail was always a dealbreaker. He even failed at finding a warm embrace for a single, lowly night. His dreams were haunted by his mother and his thoughts were plagued by the promise he hadn’t been able to keep.
They arrived in a big city; he collected his paycheck and peregrinated the streets. He found a cheap apartment, small and dirty. It wasn’t home, it was just a temporary shelter. Tired of being unique and lonely, he grabbed a butcher knife and stared at it for a long minute. He sank a bottle of cheap bourbon, numbing his body and emptying his mind. He placed the tail on the rusty metal kitchen table, bit his lips with his sharp teeth—drawing blood even before the violent act—and brought the knife down on his tail, near its root.
He yowled in anguish and pain. Sirens blared in the air;someone had heard his wails and had called the cops. He stuffedthe bloody tail inside his duffel bag, amidst his few possessions, and ran away. He walked into the woods surrounding the city.They were not virgin enough, so he crossed them and soughtrefuge in the whorehouse of a small town, once more unable to find the warm embrace for which he had hoped. It’d been nothing but a cold transaction and he ambled out of the whorehouse with an even bigger void in his heart. Back to thehopeless search he returned while sometimes petting his tailresting in his duffel bag, hoping it’d bring him good luck.
He headed north, walking for weeks. After several months of almost aimless peregrination, he discovered the virgin woods he had been dreaming of ever since he had crawled out of that asylum window. He went to work, recreating the home he could remember from the few years of happiness that had been his soleguiding light during the many crepuscular years of despair. He didn’t need booze anymore, nor any of the other substances he had tried. He had found a home and it was all set up.
With a light heart and a wide smile, he used his money to fly to the city where his mother was held captive. He rushed to the asylum and walked through its gates, demanding to see his mother. They didn’t know him. He tossed his tail onto the desk and the nurses gasped and gawked at it. He dropped his pants to show them the root of his tail still protruding from his body. A white-haired doctor walked by, saw the tail, and shuddered. Herecognized the baby with the tail. He asked about his mother; hecollapsed down to his knees and buried his face in his palmswhen the doctor delivered the harsh news with a steady, algidvoice.
With his tail under his arm, he shambled out of the asylum, his heart drowning. He climbed up the low cliff and a lump appeared in his throat the moment he encountered the tiny engraved stone. He laid down next to it and buried his fingers in the grass and dirt, wishing to embrace his mother. His tears watered the grass. As he continued burrowing his fingers into the dirt, he hoped to catch even a sliver of her warm embrace. Using his tall as a pillow, he lay in the fetal position, hoping that somewhere in the vast void of darkness a small part of his mother’s essence still existed. He closed his eyes and thought of the new home he had built and all the dreams and hopes that had kept him company during the long, hard trip.
He drew a deep breath; a faint shiver crossed his spine and he exhaled for the last time, embarking on a new journey to search for his long-lost family in the empty space of eternal nothingness.

George Gad Economou resides in Greece and holds a Master’s degree in Philosophy of Science and supports his writing by doing freelance jobs whenever he can get them. He has published a novella, Letters to S. (Storylandia) and a poetry collection, Bourbon Bottles and Broken Beds (Adelaide Books) and his drunken words have also appeared in various literary magazines and outlets, such as Spillwords Press, Ariel Chart, Fixator Press, Piker’s Press, A Thin Slice of Anxiety, The Edge of Humanity Magazine, The Rye Whiskey Review, and Modern Drunkard Magazine.


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