The way you say and the way you act

‘They chew with their mouths open..... Ten miles away from home, and that’s all I can think about. These Cro-Magnons, I’m surprised they don’t walk on all fours. They’re like school children, getting all their pre-digested food all over their smitten dirty faces. It disgusts me, all ten of them disgust me. I’m shocked they even speak english, or anything at all. I give them one day, maybe two at the most to be able to keep up with me. As far as I see it, they’re lucky I just don’t kill them all......

I miss civilization, the artificial heat that comes from the vent on cold winter mornings, paved streets, clean and proper attire, the telly... I’ve been here only a day, and I can feel the swarming paganism. There’s no sense of God in this place. And if there really isn’t, then I’m sure to fail..........’

If one were to go to a place outside of civilization, outside everything of the way ones knows it to be, would God come to them? Can one really prove that God exists by going to some deserted place on a small island off the coast of South Africa? Or would there be a different God, many gods or just spiritualness? What could you find, by going to a land that has never experienced anything outside his own world? If everything were isolated, could it be proven that God really exists?

I give you Blake Rowly. Blake was the kind of guy that made an absolutist monarch look like a school girl in diapers. He loved control. The sun and the moon were all centred around him; at least in his own opinion it was. He put everyone and everything behind him, even his God. Religion was his blanket used to cover his actions in times of need and desperation. It made him feel warm and cozy inside, while the rest of the honest world struggled.

“How many people have we here?” Blake asked. It was morning. Breakfast was being passed around, and others were just waking up.

“Twenty” an accented voice was the one whom spoke, one of the ten African translators.
“Are we ready?”
“We are sir.” It was Tuesday. There was a campfire in the centre and to the left two small trees and a steep hilly cliff at the end of them. Blake spoke only in slurs, yelling at them that this was his life mission; his goal. He was the one to accomplish; not them. He promised them he’d kill anyone in his way; had anyone gone to distract him from his dreams.

It was almost noon. Largely populated with large green-leaved trees, the forest was dense and thick with wild life. Carbon dioxide filled the air. Blake belonged to the Anglican church. He went every Sunday, a devout believer he seemed to be. He taught Biology and Human Development at Cambridge University at Hoaxshire England. He was here on a scientific, but mostly religious study. He was to prove the existence of God. These people had been completely isolated since the beginning of time. People knew very little about them. Blake didn’t care, he was determined. He seemed to know everything.

“Two men to a group!” Blake shouted. “One translator and the other Briton. Mistafa, you come with me.”
“Yes’ir” the little African called out. He barely wore any clothes. He had never been to anywhere outside of Africa, his parents died of aids when he was very young, so he knew how to survive on his own. He learned to speak english trough a small university in South Africa, and by working at a café nearby. He also learned to hate the white man. But he held back all of his aggressions, for this was a great opportunity for him, even if we was being treated as inferior.

Blake ane Mistafa walked down a pathway for about three kilometres and came to several road blocks, in the richly coloured forest. Leaves, trees and organic life were everywhere. Blake seemed disgusted as too see so many living things populated into such a small area. It really made him sick; he vomited twice while walking.

After walking for three hours they had finally come to their destination. A small village in the middle of the forest. There were large trees struggling to reach the emergent layer that circled the hut. The natives there, they were doing some ritual, it was difficult to see. They all wore dark masks and danced around in circles. There were several carvings surrounding the fire. Of them were eleven darkly coloured men, holding weapons of bows and arrows. In the middle of them, next to the fire was a white coloured man, with a ball of fire coming from his hands and mouth.

Blake and his translator watched for nearly two hours until Blake intervened. “Hello there.” As if they were fluent in this Indo-European language. “My name is Blake.” They just stared at him, two people with large carvings of what seemed to be flutes stopped playing, looked at him, and then kept playing what the were. A mother with her newborn son pointed at them, but this was all the attention that he received.
“They are no t’listening t’you, shoold I say someting?” Mistafa finally kicked in. “I tink I cou...”
“No” The music seemed to be growing louder. It was nothing like what has been heard before. Sticks with rocks plastered to the ends of them banging semi-filled cups made of leaves, long tube-like flute instruments. Others had tubes of water, made out of bark, and they were blowing on them to create a humming sound. There was a heavy amount of chanting. Large screams came from the women there, and little children were clapping in applause. All of them, they were shouting out, like a Pentecostal church, as one large scream chanting. “Olaha, owe-ha-la-ha, olaha, owe-ha-la-ha” It seemed very pagan. Many of them, like devils on a joy spree, jumped in the fire with their naked bodies and came out unhurt. Animals were being sacrificed, and it was carefully made not to spill the blood anywhere. Blake became angry of the attention he was receiving, and what he was seeing. He reached for his pocket, upon seeing the white man statue in the centre of the blacks. “‘it’s a sign I say to you, it is.” He reached in his pocket, took out his cross, and held it up in the air, for all the natives to see.
Everything stopped. The music stopped. The people stopped. The talking stopped. The water that was flowing down stream seemed to stop; The birds’ chirping, and the frogs’ croaking. Everyone was motionless at that particular time. People were in utter shock, as if a priest were to say Goddamnit during a mass. The crowd couldn’t believe what they had just seen.
For what seemed like ten minutes, was dead silence. The silence wasn’t even loud enough to be living, it had to be dead. Hence, the dead silence. A man, dressed like an Apache warrior walked to them. But very slowly he walked, ad if not to disturb the eternal rest of the dead silence that lay before them. Tears were in the eyes of some, and of other, fear. For they had just been discovered, or had someone else been discovered by them?
Mistafa was translating the man, “We h’ve been waiting f’you, for a very long timeah. I really am scared tat you come so early in time here. But may what was told ov’you be known.” There was still silence, Blake seemed unhappy with what he had been given, so he replied,
“What do you mean as to say something is going to be known?”
“No t’even I can believe, no no one thought dey would see what we saw on dis island, what you just did. De man who came here, bout twenty seasons ago, made those tings dat you see over there. He brought very little signs, but he give Öújàlájà.(uwe-ha-la-ha) but it late now, you must leave, for it is unsafe for us to have visitors dis late.”
“I will do anything if I can come back! I promise you I’ll give you anything that you desire if I make leave and then return.”
“Only two things, and I must have them immediately, for it is late. First, I want your servant to spend the night here, for he is one of us. Secondly, we must have dat idol that you lifted up before us.”
“The cross?”
“We must’hve it, now.”
“Oh, sure, if you must, I make my leave now. I give you my servant, and I shall return in the morning.” He turns to Mistafa, “Stay here, ‘till I know what I’m going to do, okay?”
“Yes’ir.” He says with envy in his voice. As Blake was walking away, Mistafa gave him a wave, but Blake just turned around, and left as fast as he could, like a coward robbing a bank. Mistafa looked like an orphan whose parents were going away forever, sad, desolate and alone. Soon he was miles away.
It was almost dark when Blake returned to the camp, alone, with a giant smirk of discovery on his face.
“Where is Mistafa?” One of the Africans called to him. “Shut up and get everyone here for a meeting."
“But, I.....”
“Do it now!” It was twenty minutes and everyone was gather liked they were in the morning, except for one missing. It was dark now, candles were lit by the group. Blake was speaking.
“I, this evening, may have just stumbled on one of the greatest discoveries of all mankind. It was Christopher Columbus who discovered that the Earth was round, ‘twas Copernicus that discovered that the Earth was not the centre of the universe, and ‘twas Einstein that discovered that The Universe is never ending. Well, here I am! The first to tell you what I have discovered, that God truly exists! I have proof, which we will find tomorrow morning. We will go there as a group, and with any opposition we will shut down, is this understood?” They all had blank faces. They looked with fear. They didn’t rise up like Blake wanted to, in applause of his newly found discovery. “Well? What’s a matter with ya’s? I’m telling you what I just found!” Eric, one of the British men stood up and starting talking slowly to him.
“I believe we’ve found something as well.” Everything was still quiet like before, nothing seemed to move at all.
“Well, is it that much greater than what I found?”
“No, but it is surely more deadly.”
They began walking, Eric, and Blake, not a single other person followed. It was dark, with the exception of a couple chirping birds, there was no noise at all. After walking for a while, Blake could still hear the sound of the crackling of the fire at the camp. They walked on the beach, it was white with black sand swirling amongst it. The air had a dark pure cleanness to it, being barely windy at all; almost stand still. They circled around the beach, to the front of the wooded, tropical area. Just the two of them. The man seemed to have a little tear in his eye, as he said the first thing since they began walking.
“Okay, sir. This is where we found it.....”
“What is it?” There was a cave that followed, in between the large amounts of heavily populated trees.
“We heard this large noise, as the guide and I were returning! It was that of large screams.” He was crying now.”PLEASE SIR, don’t go in there, I’ll tell you about it later.”
“How can it be so bad? I’m going in there. Come with me.”
“Naaaaho.” It was the crying no, like a child being dropped of at a day care centre that he didn’t want to go to. It was the kicking and screaming kind of “no”
“Follow me.” But Eric was crying, and silent. They walked up the ramp-like sand path, to the entrance in the cave. Blake looked in it. It was almost pitch black, but he could partially see with his lamp. “Is this a cemetery?, what are those crosses?”
“Don’t go sir’ I.. I sweaaare. I sweaarre I’ll tell you everrrything.” They kept walking in the entrance. It started to light up, with the lantern in Blake’s possession. There was no noise. The sound was pitch black. They kept walking, they were now in the cave. There was something near the end of the cave, that he couldn’t quite make out just yet. They kept walking, their hearts kept beating faster, and faster and faster. Till they neared the back of the cave, only Blake didn’t know what he would see, they kept tip toeing. Breathing more heavily. Pacing themselves. Walking closer with every step. Blake’s heart was now doing a full aerobic exercise. His heart kept pacing, faster and faster. Faster with every breath. Faster with every step. Faster with every beat. He got up to the end of the tunnel and screamed. He screamed out of the top of his lungs at what he had just seen.
It was Mistafa. He was hanging of the cross. It was a life-size replica that Blake had given the villagers a couple of hours earlier. The smell of his blood was everywhere. Animals were sacrificed all around him. He was hanging, limp. “Who would do this!!!” Blake shouted. “Eric we are in danger, we must leave.”
“Plea....” It was Mistafa. He was still alive! Blood was dripping from his chin, and his eyes seemed to swell. The crushing affect on his lungs were taking toll, and he could barely breath, let alone speak.

“It doesn’t matter, move outta here!!!!”
“We should save him.....”
“‘I SAID MOVE!!!!” They ran out of the cave like a thief robbing a drugstore, huffing and puffing until they reached the exit of the cave.
“We should go back there and help him sir, he’s dying!”
“What good would it be to save him? He’s useless now, he’s only going to be a burden. We need to save ourselves.”


Blake woke up, not remembering anything that happened after the horrible thing he saw. “Get up sir, Get up sir” It was one of the Africans. “Get up sir, you have to follow us.” It was still dark out, and he was still tired.
“What the bloody hell is it now?” He began following two of the Africans for it was dark, and he didn’t want to be alone. He followed them, to what seemed like the same path he had taken yesterday. He was too dazed to say anything just yet. For two hours they walked, hand in hand with complete silence. They arrived, two hours later, with the dimness of light just now starting to make leave. Blake finally started to speak.
“Are you sure that it’s best to go down here? They, hum, you know what happened?” There was no response. “Hey! I’m talking to you!”
“We must make go to dis place sir, we mus sho dem tat we no t’afraid.”
“We must, we must go.” They arrived. The group instantly surrounded them, in one gigantic circle, that contained at least fifty people. The ring leader, the man from before, who looked like an Apache warrior came out. He looked at Blake intently. The Africans translated as he started to talk. “He want to know iv you seen that man over there.” Blake looked back in the distance. Sure enough it was Eric, hanging in the same fate as the other the night before. He wasn’t saying anything, but he was alive. “They want to know iv you have been associated with dat man ohver dere.” Blake looked back at Eric again, hanging. There eyes matched each others, and now was the time for the real reality. Chains were around his ankles and his wrists, and he only let out a whimper of a cry, and laid his head down. He took large gasps of air, with each breath, more life being drained from him. Now was the time of truth.
“No” Eric put his head back down.
“Ahre you shure?”
“Yes, I don’t know him..........” All was quiet. Nothing moved. No one moved from where they were standing. They just encircled Blake, and looked at him, almost with the facial expression asking why. One of the Africans on Blake’s mission started to say in his own words, not translating.
“But didn’t I see you wit him yesterday?”
“Who’s side are you on now GODDAMNIT? I said I don’t KNOW HIM!!!! I’M LEAVING!!”
“No you’re not” A whisper came from far outside the circle of people.
“Who said that?” Blake was very scared and confused now. “Make yourself known to me!” More angrily this time. “I said, make yourself known to me you coward!”
“I believe you are de coward sir.” It was Mistafa, back from the dead; ready to set on fire his aggressions to the cowardly white man. “You levt me there to die sir, why?”
“I... I was scared. I, I... I didn’t think it was really you!” Mistafa kept slowly walking from towards him from the bushes, walking ever so slowly. All nine of the other African translators were there as well; all watching.
“You wantid to pruve someting didn’t you?....God. God really exists, don’t you tink? Tell me what you tink.” He now had a knife against his throat.
“I, I, I don’t know!”
“Say no....” He looked inquisitive.
“What? You really don’t think that God exists?” Iv you say no, I won’t kill you, okay?
“Okay, God doesn’t exist. He doesn’t exist, okay, okay? Are you happy now?”
“Can you pruve it?”
“Well, I can pruve you rong sir.” He walked in circles around him. He looked periodically at Eric, hanging for his life. The statues were still there. He looked at them intently.v “You like a dis statue?, the white one? It was made by someone very special a long time ago. His name was Öújàlájà. Do you know what that means sir?
“No.” He was still scared.
“It means you are a liar.”
“You know wat we do wit liars sir?”
“No....I....don’t.” Mistafa looked behind himself.
“Let Eric down.” Mistafa face now face to face with Blake, they could smell each others breath. Blake could feel the anger permeating from Mistafa’s sweat glands. He was intensely outraged. “Get him down” He said without looking behind himself. “You see. He’z coming any minute now, and he’z go’n to take you away.” Blake was still quiet. There was a soft wind, moving with fear in a harmonious movement. He was still in Blake’s face. You’re going to die. They tied him up, put something over his mouth. They then began to beat on him until he passed out. They then shoved him in a box, closed the lid; and then they left. Blake was semi-conscious. He could hear the whistling of the wind. There were loud noises outside; and the wind. He could feel the wind, blowing against the box. There was so much noise. The beating of the drums, the chanting, the yelling. And then, with a gust of wind, it all stopped.


He woke up the next day. He wasn’t tied down anymore. He thought freedom was almost his for the taking. He reached towards his arms, and the rope was gone. He dared to open the lid, seeing that they might hurt him if he tried to escape. The beach with white sand swirling with black was empty. No one was there. He thought that they might have sent him on a completely different one, but the weapons, the drums, and their clothing were still there. He walked around; only animals. He began to yell; nothing. He walked all day. He couldn’t see anything, until he got to his boat. He began to call for help, nothing was there. No one answered. It was working fine; but no one answered. He fell asleep there, all alone. He woke up the next day, still nothing. After three weeks, he began to sail back home. He got to England, and all the roads were empty. No one was there. Isolation was destroying him. After three years, he’d had enough. He jumped off the three story building; he fainted before he could feel anything. The next day he woke up. He wasn’t tied down anymore. He thought freedom was almost his for the taking. He reached towards his arms, and the rope was gone. He dared to open the lid, seeing that they might hurt him if he tried to escape.

Sunday, November 10, 2002

J. Michael Egan