Excited Delirium Book: Chapter 37 (MOMYS VII – Heather’s Gone)

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Author’s Note: The following is Chapter 37 of the my online book "Excited Delirium". Please post comments. Please tell your friends about this story. If you’ve missed a chapter, please click here for Chapter 1 (Prelude) or here for the full index .

Heather Harken’s suicide struck the town deep. For several days, everyone drove around town with blank looks on their faces and the level of sadness was unique, despite the arrival of spring.

A few weeks had passed. The family had a small ceremony and the attendance was high, despite the Harken family not being very well integrated with the community.

However, a cloud still hung over the town like an April cumulonimbus, dark and brooding. Towards the end of a few weeks, the senior town representatives decided that it was time that some additional and very influential support be shown. It was decided that one of the senior founders of the MOMYS movement would be invited to Heresford to address everyone and try to bring back some excitement about the creation of God’s Army.

With that, Griffith Garamond himself came to Heresford, North Dakota to see the members and to give them a pep rally. He was the original founder and major financial backer of the Univist Church and he was the main force behind the idea of creating an Army for God’s message and this great Christian nation. All of the town’s elders had decided that now was the time for him to start to show his active interest in the growth of God’s Army. Heather Harken’s death accelerated that response.

As Garamond flew to Bismarck and then drove to Heresford, about 40 miles away, he spoke with Hadlock about the situation: “I’m not impressed with this turn of events. Who knew a woman could ever be so weak and thoughtless?”

“I wouldn’t mind one or two, but twelve?” Hadlock remarked.

“They were only doing what we’ve instructed for the last two decades: breed us an army of citizens that will throw down their lives to defend their country, their church and their government.”

“What do you think the numbers are like now, anyways,” Hadlock asked.

“With the Univist Church, we’re easily into the millions, but it’s nowhere near what we need to outweigh the influence of the masses from urban centres like New York and Chicago,” Garamond stated.

“But at least we’ll have volume when it comes to selecting judges, influencing opinion polls and lobbying for funds to support some of our political causes,” Hadlock offered.

“Absolutely. These people barely have two pennies to rub together, but when you tell them there’s an emergency or opportunity to expand our audience, they jump on it and pour their life savings into it. It’s a magical cycle because it keeps them from being anything but needy,” Garamond said as he swished his scotch in his glass. “How much longer before we get to this pig sty, anyways?”

“We’re almost there. I can see a small outcrop of barns and silos that make up the core of Heresford.”

The first stop on Garamond’s tour was the Harken house.

Matthew was there with his sister, who was helping him supervise his twelve children, all of them showing signs of fatigue.

Garamond was quick to address the issues at hand. He personally felt that Matthew Harken was at fault for this situation and that if had used just a touch of restraint, his wife would have been able to muddle through.

They were in the small livingroom of the Harken home. It was just a little after dinner and the early spring sun was dipping below the horizon, causing the room to seem like it was ablaze with fire.

“Of course I know what was going on,” explained Garamond as he circled around Matthew like a bird watching dying prey in the desert.

“Then you know I’m ready to repent,” Matthew explained.

“You deserve nothing, you’ve earned retribution.”

“But I can change. I have to,” Matthew was starting to grovel, “but who will take care of the children?” Matthew understood what was about to happen to him.

“We will,” Garamond responded curtly, as he left the house.

Nobody could vouch for where Matthew Harken was taken to that morning. Even though Garamond would tell the rest of the townsfolk that Harken left with his children to be taken care of by the OMNINet, he left instructions with his assistants, Joshua and Caleb, to remove Harken and bring him to one of the more despicable and less known incarceration centres that the OMNINet owned and managed.

As Garamond and Hadlock left the Harken house, Joshua and Caleb went to work. Trained by Greyrock militia, they were efficient and exceptionally professional when it came to making people disappear. They had worked with the best and took it as a great honour to work with their master, Griffith Garamond.

They quickly flipped a black canvas bag over Matthew’s head and cinched it tight. They bound his hands with a simple plastic garbage bag twist-tie. Harken offered little resistance and the man became a pile of flesh that was dragged to experience the worst that modern-day torture could offer.

Once Garamond and Hadlock witnessed the body being put into a large Ford Excursion, Joshua and Caleb’s vehicle of choice for these activities, they turned to their more urgent mission: reminding the people of Heresford to stay on course with the great Univist plan.

The Harken brood offered a different challenge, but Garamond was well prepared for what he’d have to do with this battalion of children. They organized trips like these dozens of times in the past and were getting used to the needs that a small regiment of children would have once their parents were gone.

The children were shuttled to the airport, where a second plane was waiting. Support staff were on board, including nurses for the younger ones. The airplane was equipped with a number of amenities that the children had never seen before, including a clean shower, new clothes that fit and that were actually completely intact. The plane even offered fresh food from a caterer.

Within a few moments, the plane roared off to Garamond’s base of operations, where they would begin their program of assimilation and education into God’s Army. No one in Heresford would see them or here from them again.

As Garamond’s crew took care of the Harken family, the leader of the Univist Church focused on building his relationship and image with the local townspeople.

A “town hall” meeting was hurriedly organized at his request, which was made the day before he arrived in town. Garamond had provided the budget for additional catering, information about the children’s camp that the Harken children were being brought to and the small army of counselors that he brought in from Bismarck to discuss what had happened with any of the townspeople.

He waited behind the scenes for some time as a few other professionals spoke about family planning, MOMYS and other organizations related to the Univist Church. It was a well-planned spectacle designed to convert the hardest opponents into Univist devotees.

When they finished their polished and well-rehearsed speeches, which to an outsider might sound more like a sales pitch, he waited a little longer.

The lights in the church were kept dim through the afternoon and as the sun winked on the horizon, the crowded room grew dim.

As the room went grey, Garamond still waited behind the apse, waiting for the anticipation to increase. He could hear the low rumblings of the crowd as people spoke to each other in low voices and whispered about the presence of their leader, Griffith Garamond.

A thin smile crossed his even thinner lips and if you looked closely, you’d see his head inflate just a few more millimetres.

He let a few more moments pass. The chatter in the main hall went up another notch.

He nodded to Hadlock and mouthed “Showtime”.

Hadlock leapt onto the stage to make his introduction. He loved the show almost as much as his boss did, although no one did the pep rally as well as Garamond ever could. Men would give away their manhood if he asked during one of his speeches and women would share their virginity with a cow if he gave the word.

“Citizens of Heresford and lovers of the Univist message. It is a great honour to introduce you to one of the founders of the Univist Church, Griffith Garamond!”

Hadlock left the stage and went behind the curtain. He then went around to the back of the room where he would observe the presentation for errors, although he had an easy job ahead of him because his boss was the best presenter he had ever seen.

The room was getting darker and darker by the minute and when it became difficult to discern physical shapes on the stage of the grand hall, Garamond walked up quietly.

A light burned brightly and on cue as he stepped up to the centre of the stage. He had a Bible in one hand and a brochure in the other. He stood like a lamp-post, and his face was nearly as bright as a 100 watt incandescent on a late summer evening. Without the moths, of course.

The lighting and the timing gave Garamond an intentional aura to his stature. The angle of the light was such that he seemed taller, his shadow smaller than his long, lean body clad in a fresh $4,000 Armani suit that he had tailored to look like he got it off the rack at a $100 discount store so as not to seem out of fashion with his followers in front of him.

He stood and gazed at the crowd and they stared back a little more stupidly than he looked at them, chicken fingers, chips and other greasy foods in hand halfway up to their mouths. Everyone had paused, half expecting something like the Sermon of the Mount or the delivery of the Ten Commandments and he did everything he could to limit their disappointment.

He sighed.

It was a long, exaggerated breath, like he was trying to force all his existence from his body in one gasp.

The crowd seemed to sigh with him.

The show had begun.

“Who here knew Heather Harken?”

Pretty much the entire crowd raised their hand or mumbled something about being acquainted with her.

“Right … right …” he said, bowing his head a little and turning a little to his right and then to his left, like he was pacing a little.

He paused.

Who really knew Heather Harken ?” he asked again, with each word emphasized like they were the last ones he would ever say in his life.

This time, no one had the nerve to raise their hands to say that they really knew Heather.

“That’s what I thought. Who really knows anyone, right?” he asked rhetorically. “Who knows what makes people tick and what compels them to do the things they do … besides the Lord Almighty, that is?”, his voice rising slightly with the last few words.

The crowd murmured a little and a few people uttered the “here here” chant like they were on the same wave length as the man that stood in front of them.

“No one will ever know why Heather Harken did what she did, but you know what? That’s OK with me because I don’t want to know. And you know why? If I meet Heather Harken in the afterlife that means I’m just as evil as she is and I’ve met her in the lower levels of the Hell that God created for the sinners of the world!” His voice was rising slowly to a deep crescendo. What was amazing is that Garamond rarely needed a microphone because his voice and body was able to throw it’s low baritone across the continent, if he had to.

“Look at the facts before you. Heather Harken was weak and she was unable to take care of God’s Army. Look around you and see the fine women that are raising more children than she was. Support them, love them, but don’t feel sorry for the. Feel excited for them!” His voice now boomed like a low roll of thunder coming across the plain.

His level of emotion was perfect. His delivery was even, yet intentionally more intense as he drew the crowd into his message.

“You people are working and struggling not for glory on earth, but for the Glory of Our Lord, for the Glory of Jesus and the Glory of His Kingdom!!” he shouted, the last words like lightning that follows the roar of the storm.

All around him, the stage seemed to shrink as he rose up, his form now an imposing hulk over the crowd that cowered a few feet below.

He stood hanging over them waiting. And then he waited a little longer as he noticed a few people squirm slightly.

He reclined slightly and started to pace around the stage.

“Matthew and his children have gone away. They’ve been bathed and washed and fed. Don’t think of them any more, for they have been invited to a wonderful home …”

His mind flashed to images of the barren Greyrock campgrounds that he had used many times before and where thousands of children like the Harkens were converted to mindless soldiers, taught to loathe anyone who’s skin was darker a Scot who had spent a couple of days in the sun.

“… but that’s not to say that you people should take extreme measures to find a better place, for this town is the closest you’ll ever come to finding Heaven on Earth. They have a lot of hard work for them and their roles have been ordained by His plan many years ago. Your role is to live here and raise your families for God’s Army.”

The lights came on.

Garamond seemed to instantly shrink and to seem more human again, a frail old man. The kind of person you wanted to hook arms with to make sure he got across the street safely. Even his clothes seemed larger and hung absurdly large on him. Little did the people in the crowd know that this was intentional. His jacket had small inflatable packets in them that were designed to expand and contract on cue, depending on how large he wanted to make himself appear.

In a quiet and passive voice he said, “I want to get to know you. I want to understand your pain, because I still feel it in the room.”

As he said this, he started to descend the steps to the main floor of the Grand Hall and immerse himself into the crowd. He started to grab and to shake people’s hand and embrace and hug the women around him. There were even a few older children there that he greeted.

Several minutes passed as he worked his way through the room.

Within a few moments, he had managed to meet many people and then quickly, he leapt onto the stage like a young teenage gymnast striving for gold in the Olympics.

“It seems there are some questions about His Plan. I never once thought that raising God’s Army would be a problem, but many of you have boldly commented on your concerns and I’d like to answer them.”

“Let me remind you why we’re doing this and why you’re making sacrifices that God and Jesus themselves will acknowledge when The Day comes. Your children will fight terrorists and Muslims, gays and feminists, liberals and progressives.

He paused, letting an unusual amount of emotion show. He dug into his days as a Baptist minister and yelled out: “You and your children will pave the road to Jesus Christ’s return when the Apocalypse comes – and come it will much sooner than many of you may believe. You and your children will be sought after as we pull away from godless countries like China and India and start to rebuild our economy here in a Christian America!”

“The Communists of this world will not get our money. The Socialists are clamouring for our hard-earned savings, but we will not surrender to them! We will stop spending our inheritances on trinkets and baubles from sweatshops in the lower mainland and cesspools like Beijing and Shanghai. In a few years, they will all perish from this earth because you have done your duty to God and America. Your efforts will make this nation the ONLY nation that the history books will remember!”

His passion had swept through the room like a tornado and had left the faces of his audience expressionless as he paused for effect. Then the faces turned to smiles and the audience started to cheer and laud the words of Griffith Garamond, but not to the extent that he had hoped. The good was that the pallor of Heather’s death was long forgotten and he had brought a new energy to the room, and by proxy, the town.

He read his audience well. This would still be a tough sell, despite the renewed sense of hope that lingered.

“Many of you are concerned about the financial consequences of raising eight or nine or even twelve children. Well, we’re here today to ease that burden.”

The crowd shifted a little as they waited patiently for his message. He was reeling them in and was about to throw them into the ice box.

“Because I believe in supporting those who support the Univist Church, I come here today bearing gifts for those that bear God’s Army. I hereby pledge that my foundation will give a bonus of $100 to every family in the room.”

Some gasps are expressed along with some low unsatisfied muttering around the room.

“But that’s not all!” he hollared. “I’ll give you one-hundred dollars per child.”

Some nods of approval around the room and then some disjointed clapping and random comments like “here here”.

Garamond realized that this was not going to be easy. Or cheap.

“OK. Now some of you may not believe what I’m about to say, or what you’re about to hear, but it’s the God’s honest truth and I’m committed to it. One-hundred percent! For each child that you’ve got, my foundation is going to provide one-hundred dollars per year until each on of those children reaches the age of sixteen!”

This offer was too much and elicited a roar of delight from the crowd. Everyone in the room cheered, clapped and whooped like the local high school team had just won the state championships.

He had scored. Time to bring the boat home and cut some filets.

As the crowd applauded, he interupted: “Mind this, however: you have to make a commitment to take your children to the Univist Church on a weekly basis and you have to spread the word to other friends and families in America so that our greater cause will be possible. I can’t support you if you’re not supporting our larger cause and God’s great plan, now can I?

Grumblings of “no” and “of course not” came from the floor.

“So … are we all up for the task?” he asked.

“Yes” was the unanimous answer from the crowd.

“Get me out of this fucking pig sty,” grumbled Garamond as he shuffled himself into his custom-made SUV.

“These people disgust me,” Hadlock said somewhat sycophantically, assuming that’s what his boss wanted to hear, as he pours a couple of ounces of 18-year old Scotch for his boss.

“They’re good people Hadlock. They’re just stupid and they have no idea what’s in store for them and their fat little runts.”

“But sir, I can’t believe that you just committed at least half a million to these people over the course of their lifetime.”

“Don’t worry about that. They’ll give that small amount and some back in tithe. Also, I know that’s what some of our friends pay the Chinese on an annual basis for making plastic toys and new shirts, but we’re making an investment. We’re making a commitment to the future of production of goods and products in the United States and it starts in shitty little places like this. We’ve just bought their loyalty for the rest of their crummy lives. When the United States wakes up and stops trading with the Chinese, we’ll have a work force that is committed to our cause because we put them here. They’ll just keep thinking it has something to do with religion and not money.”

Garamond paused. “Besides, if we don’t get it back in donations, we’ll have all those pigs eating from our trough and as they get their money – after a lot of loopholes and strict guidelines keep the cash flow to a minimum – they’ll spend the cash at our liquor stores, our cable services, the Shop-Marts, and if those don’t get the money, they’ll blow it in our bingo halls, hoping for something better in life.”

“Well said, sir, well said.” Hadlock didn’t have anything else to offer.

“Just shut up and get your notes ready. We have a meeting with the FCC in a few hours that we cannot afford to miss.”

(Note: "Excited Delirium" is a work of fiction. Any person, place or thing depicted in this work of fiction is also a work of fiction. Any relation of these subjects or characters to real locations, people or things are an unintentional coincidence.)

Read more with Chapter 38

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Excited Delirium by Liam Young is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Canada License .
Based on a work at www.exciteddelirium.ca .

2 comments on “Excited Delirium Book: Chapter 37 (MOMYS VII – Heather’s Gone)

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