Haruspex: Part 1 – Cherubim

By the time that they realised it was a cherub and not a small bird that they had prepared for the oven it was too late. Their hunger had been great upon them and they had acted without thought — hunger drove them and hunger had damned them. Was God mocking them that he would offer them up such a meal?

Well, they had prepared it, it looked good, so why not eat it? They put the oven on at gas mark 6 and set the timer for about the same amount of time as a turkey would take. How were they to know how long angels took to cook? There weren’t many cookbooks with that kind of recipe in them, were there?

As the smell of the meat drifted into them in their living room, they began to salivate, imagining what it would taste like if it smelt that good. They were watching Calamine Hughbolt, the latest number one televangelist with a direct line to god, what would he do? Who cared? It surely couldn’t be bad, could it?

No, it wasn’t bad. It was beautiful. Neither Hubert or Mary had ever tasted such succulent, flavoursome meat before in their life. What were they going to do if they could never taste such meat again? Surely they would go mad?

But where in the hell were they going to get another cherub? What could lure one down?

That night, as they lay in bed reading their respective books, Hubert and Mary tried to come up with cunning plans they might put into effect.

They were woken as they slept by a strange noise. Unsure what it might be, Hubert went downstairs so that he might get a torch and go exploring. Mary lay upstairs with the covers pulled up to her chin.

Hubert did not return to bed. Mary waited for what she thought was a sensible amount of time and she followed her husband downstairs. She walked through the living room. She then walked into the kitchen.

A man sat there on one of her good seats with his feet up on her good table. He had a broad grin on his face and a wicked glint in his eye.

‘What are you doing in my kitchen?’ said Mary, in an indignant voice ‘and what in the hell has happened to my husband?’

‘Let us just, say,’ said the man ‘That you opened a message that was meant for me and I had to recover it.’

‘A message?’ she said, looking very confused ‘What do you mean?’

‘My little cherub.’

‘Your little …’

‘Yes, now your husband contained the first part of the message …’

‘Yes?’

‘But the crux of it seems to be missing … and I need to read it.’

Haruspex: Part 0 – In The Beginning

In the beginning there was light … the blue touch-paper and stand back. Fireworks! God didn’t make the world in 7 days: he found it at the back of a warehouse he’d been renting and had forgotten about. His PA, Gabriel had been going through the books when he found a few shadow companies masking some secret organisation which, for all he could tell, had been set up for the sole purpose of renting a warehouse to store one object: The Universe.

Once he’d kickstarted it all he wanted to have some fun, so he started thinking about what he could put in it. People were what came to mind. Now received wisdom is most definitely wrong on which sex came first — it was woman. God wanted something to look at and as far as he was concerned men weren’t that aesthetically pleasing (he based this on the men in his own reality, which is outside of our universe, obviously).

Men were created because he was going through a voyeuristic phase and wanted to make women do dirty things. He knew Lucifer would stir it up, so he let him loose on the world. Lucifer got big-headed and stood up to God, tried to change a few things. That was the start of the first war in heaven.

‘What’s that you’re writing, Gabe? Can I have a look? Lemme see.’

‘It’s nothing interesting, sir, just some poetry I’ve been writing.’

‘Poetry? Uurgh.’

‘Yes, sir, poetry. You haven’t forgotten have you?’

‘What, Gabriel?’

‘That Married With Children is showing back-to-back repeats?’

‘Oh, really? Now Gabriel, did you get my …’

‘Yes, sir, the toffee flavour popcorn is in the cupboard over the oven, and your chocolate milkshake is in the fridge.’

Gabriel sighed, went to open his book, The History Of The World, which he had been writing since that stock-check had turned it up in that warehouse, and then closed it again. He wished he had access to that book God had, but he had to settle for knowing about things as they happened and not before. What did he care? Besides, the present was a big enough handful as it was.