Jul. 16th, 2008

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“Hello!” Mother announced her return to the family abode from the DoomCorp offices.
“We’re in here!” Father shouted unhelpfully from the kid’s room.
Susan was still in his school clothes; he had a pencil and paper in front of him, and was paying attention while Father read to him from one of a pile of books they’d evidently gathered.
“Susan has a project to do for school. Tell your mother about it”
“We have a ‘celebration of all faiths’ to err… celebrate. I have to write something about a faith”
Mother did not look pleased at this information, being generally against faith, but before her desire to rant against the school board, could get going, Father asked Susan to read her what he has so far.
“Listen to this:

From the east comes Hrym | with shield held high;
In giant-wrath | does the serpent writhe;
O'er the waves he twists, | and the tawny eagle
Gnaws corpses screaming; | Naglfar is loose.”

“Father says that Germanic and Norse Paganism are faiths, too, even if nobody has them any more. I bet no one else has screaming corpses in their project”
“Have I been telling him how to pronounce the word “Naglfar” right dear?” Zombina, who had been playing with her human skull, Big Rhino, got it stuck on her head at this point, and Father gently tried to help unscrew it.
“I’m going to do my project all about Naglfar. It’s the hell-ship built of dead men’s nails that the giants shall sail to the last battle with the gods. I don’t think that finger-nails are a very good contraction material for transport”
Father’s general approach to things and Susan’s precociousness had clearly long since defeated any possibility of faith being celebrated; Mother’s wrath was awerted.

A phone rings.
“Hello? Oh hello!”
“Uh huh?”
“That’s… odd even for you”
“I’ll check with the ethics committee, but as it educational it might be possible”
“Bad Loki!”
“Sorry I was talking to the cat”
“I don't think it being a matter of faith will help. It shouldn't”
“No I don't want to hasten the Ragnarok”
“That many? I don’t think that many people die in the country in a week. I’ll ask around a bit”

“Do I even want to know?” Mother was not allowed in the garage.
“Yes. But we’re not telling you.” Father was an arse.

“Using the glues that people had when they believed in this faith, it was impossible to build a vehicle out of dead men’s nails. This did nothing to stop people’s faith, though. Possibly they also had faith that glue technology would improve.”
“Which it has done, so I built this for my baby sister. Behold! NaglFarm, the perambulator built of dead men’s nails! And two-part epoxy
“The nice lady from the mortuary let us have the nails when we asked. She said that lots of people thought they keep growing after people are dead, but its just the skin drying and shrinking makes them look longer”

And that was the last time the school had a celebration of all faiths.


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