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Permission granted by author for anyone to distribute this
writing free of charge (including translation into any
language)...under condition that no profit is made therefrom,
and that it remain intact and complete, including title and 
credit to the original author.

Ezekiel J. Krahlin


(a parable for the 21st century)

© 1998 by Ezekiel J. Krahlin
(Odin's Queer Witness)

Pegasus appears in my room; he is the size of a pony (with
wings of course). Communication is in some form of telepathy.
He asks me to climb onto his back, where he'll take me for a
ride. I think "Oh, I couldn't do that. I don't deserve such an
honor." Pegasus says he'll cry if I don't...and, not wanting
to hurt or offend this wonderful being, I then comply. Riding
his back, we fly way beyond the sky, and into the celestial
field of stars. So I question Peggy, "Are you taking us to Mt.
Olympus?" And he replies, "No, Valhalla".

"Valhalla?" I exclaim, "But you're from Greek mythology, not
Norse. What's going on here?"

"We are presently fighting a war in the heavens, and the
Greeks lost a battle, so Mt. Olympus is now under siege by the
dark forces," Pegasus remarked. "So the Hellenic gods and
goddesses sought refuge in Valhalla." (But I am thinking,
"What an excuse to get laid by some Nordic hunks. Those
clever Greeks are at it again!")

We finally land before the enormous gate that is the entrance
to the Halls of Valhalla. Pegasus disappears to parts unknown,
while I stand by the gate as it slowly opens. Out steps a most
handsome, silver-haired man in a white toga with purple
geometric decoration on the hem. I know him to be Zeus, who
greets me by lifting his robe to reveal the family jewels.
Needless to say, I find him to be quite handsome in that area
as well...however, I am not about to give away any details to
my readers at this moment. Suffice it to say that I just shrug
my shoulders and remark, "Hello to you too!"

I am then led into the first room of The Hall, where a jury of
twelve gods and goddesses sits at a long table, ready to
question me. A goddess (Hera perhaps) challenges: "Mortal! How
dare you presume upon us to ask a favor! This better be good,
or you'll be table scrap for Cerberus!" (Now, being ripped to
shreds by a three-headed mastiff hound, is not my idea of a
noble death, or a painless one I muster up all the
pride that summoned Pegasus to take me here in the first
place, and present my case:)

"I implore the gods to show mercy upon a man I dearly love:
Randolph Louis Taylor, a Vietnam Veteran who has been
suffering post traumatic stress disorder for many years now,
in most gruesome ways. I plead to give this man some love and
hope in his life, considering his noble stature and dedication
to his ideals. He has more than earned forgiveness for what
former sins he committed by killing innocent people in
Vietnam." (And I go into detail as to why I believe this is

Then these lofty beings put me through numerous scathing and
seemingly impossible tasks (like they did to Hercules)...most
of which I cannot remember (but which I believe are metaphors
for the challenges presented to me in my waking life...and
which may take years to experience...and includes believing
that Randolph died, and how I would deal with it). But I do
remember two tasks:

(1)  I am cast into the fiery lakes of hell, to possibly
suffer for all eternity, in order to ensure that Randolph is
cleansed of his sins. The only thing that will free me is if
my love for him is sincere, and not just physical lust. (To
the best of my knowledge, part of me remains there, and always

(2)  The judges order me to play the most beautiful piece of
music they have ever heard, on a cheap little toy piano I
purchased at Walgreens for $4. It is only five inches long--
basically, the size of a man's pocket comb, but thicker--
with eight little buttons representing piano keys; and
computer chips play little bell sounds. Now, I am neither a
musician, nor could this instrument play anything
beautiful...or so I first think.

But then I realize that since we are all speaking to each
other with telepathy, then possibly I could just hypnotize
them into believing they are listening to the most lovely
music they ever heard. So I begin tapping on the bells
randomly, while thinking very hard at them: "Isn't this the
most soul wrenching music you've ever heard? Doesn't your
heart take wing? Aren't you touched to the very depth of your
being to hear such a fine melody of love and devotion?"

Soon, they all weep, exclaiming, "Ooooh, that is just so
lovely!' While they are momentarily in rapture, I take this
opportunity to dash through a door at the distant end of this
enormous chamber...and find that I have stumbled into the
kitchen of Valhalla! On top of a pantry shelf sits a cookie
jar, which immediately inspires me to slide a chair over
towards it, step on the chair, then carefully pull the cookie
jar off its perch. I lift the lid to find: a single, tiny crab
apple colored gold. For a moment I forget my present dilemma,
as I admire the exquisite beauty of this tiny pome, nested
between forefinger and thumb.

The kitchen door bursts open with the gods/goddesses
staring at me open mouthed. "Quick! Grab him!". With that, I
swallow the tiny apple, and they all freeze in shock.

"He ate the golden apple! He ate the golden apple! There is
nothing for us to do now, it is too late!"

Thus ends my dream. But there was a follow-up dream I had,
several years later:

Again, I am standing in the first hall of Valhalla, where I
stood before the judges. Only this time, no one is present at
the table. In fact, all of Valhalla seems totally vacant, with
the wind howling through only empty rooms and hallways. It
saddens me to see a place so once full of life and adventure,
now totally devoid of any spirit. 

So I stroll towards the kitchen, enter it, and find the cookie
jar where I had left it so long ago. Inside the jar that I
thought empty, I find a second golden crab apple. Something
tells me to swallow that one, too. So I gulp it down. Not
knowing what else to do, I stare all around and think, "I miss
you guys. I never wanted this to happen; I only wanted to save
the soul of a friend."

Then I hear their voices speak lightly from my stomach! They
say, "You have won the golden apple. Valhalla is all yours to
do with what you will!"

And I reply, "But I never wanted to conquer you...I only
wanted  your understanding in a matter more important to me
than anything else in the world. I never wanted to have
Valhalla for myself...especially not without the wonderful,
enchanting presence of you, the fantastic gods and goddesses
of old! Without you, there can be no party!"

With that, they all emerge from my belly, like a flood of
ghosts from a well...and the Halls are soon filled with
merriment and mischief once more...graced with the laughter,
love, and adventurous spirit of our creators and vindicators.
Only one thing is now different from before: instead of
dressed in the classical garb of ancient Greek and Nordic 
costume, they wear the contemporary clothes of modern
Amerika: blue jeans and t-shirts.

And I think of that song by Neil Diamond: "Forever in Blue
Jeans".  But that's because I'm a simple-minded idiot.