A Matter of Faith: Chapter 1-9

fat witch

Friday.

It is time for another piece of A matter of faith.

Many people has accused me of being to rough with fat people when they read this piece, because they felt really bad for this poor character called Emma.

Well, that means I did quite well.

Didn’t I?

Discover it now:

Loke’s frustration still echoed within the walls of the tavern. But Emma Granger was oblivious to it. She sprinted between office cubicles trying not to hit anyone and trying to equilibrate her gym bag that was dangerously bouncing. Her co-workers turned away and looked at her the same way they’d look at a freight train heading strait towards them. Although she knew that they would also be set aside if she were not running, the only difference was that the look of contempt would last longer.

Emma fooled herself by thinking they hated her because she was fat. But the truth was that they hated her without needing any excuse for it. Roger would say it was because she never spoke. Rose would say it was because she talked too much about herself. Walter’s reasoning would be it’s because she dressed weird. Cindy thought that it was because she smelled funny. Charles did caught her several times looking over the cubicle wall and feared that some day in the loneliness of the coffee room she’d told him she loved him.

Emma was, no doubt, the perfect candidate to be fired in the next cuts stuff adjustment. However, Mr Aldous G. Randalf would never allow it. This genius of finance was the executive producer of the company where they all worked – manager of the world’s largest publisher. He owned the copyright of the great success of recent seasons, “ Warrick, the teenage wizard” and guilty of fifteen Oscars film Academy awards for the trilogy “The Lord of the Kings.” He was a complete stranger. Any journalist would give his soul for an exclusive interview or a photograph.

So, why a man, whose world was different from Emma’s, would worry so much about someone like her?

The answer was simple. Aldous G. Randalf knew the truth.

He knew the reason why years of dieting and going to the gym every day had not worked the least effect on the gelatinous mass in Emma’s abdomen. The reason why, despite this, she never left her gym bag at home and continued running through the halls of the office staff and frightening and awakening hatred among all her peers every Tuesday and Thursday each week.

What Aldous G. Randalf knew and others did not, was that Emma was a fervent believer.

And she was late.

Her right foot hit the floor of the elevator repeatedly with nervous rhythm. She twisted her fingers in a battle between curly plump sausages. Her eyes were moving fast while she furiously stared at the numbers that indicated the slow descent of the elevator, which if they could, probably would have felt intimidated enough to have listened. She turned her left hand with the agility of a mechanical crane and discovered how late she was. So she made ​​a decision.

She left the bag on the floor, opened it hurriedly and began to undress. The elevator groaned and swayed with the jerky movements of Emma. Her arms crashed against the walls when she stretched them out of the jacket. The skirt fell to the ground barely touching the closure, which cracked like a whip when the rubber was released from the stress of going around the hemisphere of Emma. Leaning over the opened bag with a gracefulness that an octogenarian rheumatic would not envy got what was supposed as a school uniform gray skirt, but that was more like anochre tutu that would wear a circus bear. The jacket came out from the sports bag could have covered a small car, however, covered only the outline of Emma. In what should be the front, but due to the impossibility of dimensions was closer to the gap in the armpit, there was roughly embroidered in gold a shield. A black-coloured tie wrapped around her neck like a gallows, but having to surround such a neck it hung a few inches. Just before reaching the ground floor, Emma took round glasses from inside her jacket and placed them using her index finger pushing on the bridge of her nose. Finally, from the side pocket of the bag she grabbed a faded and cracked wooden stick. One edge was a bit thicker than the other. It disappeared between her stubby fingers, and several baton movements in the air she pointed the sliding doors of the elevator and pronounced the word halojomora.

In Emma’s mind the arrival bell rang as the opening shot of a race of the Olympics. And by sheer force of will, three-hundred and fifteen pounds of woman began to move in unison directly to the streets of New York, leaving behind two stunned doormen who later would wonder if what they saw was real or product of their imagination.

She ran along Broome Street while she regretted not having taken her replica of Warrick’s flying broom. If she had taken it, she would have started running, and then hopping without falling and magically begin to fly. The fact that her gargantuan weight would have broken the broom in half in the process had escaped her imagination. But now it was irrelevant.

As the trace of an unbearable stench, Emma left behind a row of necks turned. Thank God, she had not to go far. People in street looked astonished, disgusted at her. She lowered her head and hurried on in a vain attempt so that passers-by did not realize that the closest thing to a circus hippopotamus walked among them in disguise.

When she reached Lafayette St., she turned, and defied the laws of inertia by correcting her course with the same delicacy as an ocean liner. Among the buildings of Soho, just before arriving in Little Italy, after the former Children’s Museum of the Arts, past the headquarters of the Chinese newspaper Sing Fao, was an office with a sign, “For Rent” that had been there so long that Local people had forgotten when it was occupied. However, Emma ignored the sign and took a key from her pocket from which hung a tiny replica of a flying broomstick. The door opened automatically when she turned the knob and found herself face to face with a tall, completely bald man. He wore a false long white beard, a gray robe, and a pointed hat whose end was bent in an elegant natural fall. He held a silver sword inside a sheath of brown cloth tied at the waist. He supported his weight on a wooden staff that is head taller. Its top ended in a few vines that held a crystal ball. The stranger’s eyes looked reproachfully at her as she sensed a grimace of disgust among the hairs of his beard.

Emma was about to open her mouth to recite the password when someone pushed her from behind. A man slipped through the door before it closed in the rush, and couldn’t have avoided hitting Emma and fell to the ground. For some strange reason, because of the enormous volume of Emma, people tended to collide with her. Perhaps it was because “you can’t see the forest for the trees.” When people first saw Emma and approached her, they were suddenly freightened to see that what they thought was a giant puppet show, came alive and moved voluntarily. Even if we listen to the scientific community, and we believe there is actually a gravitational force whose strength is proportional to the mass of each object, Emma would have her own gravitational field. (Some think this statement would be unduly harsh or a distasteful joke, but I assure you scientists don’t think so, therefore, it would be, as they would say, “a simple cause and effect situation in a method deductive logical resolution.” As everybody knows, scientists have no sense of humor, because it is a requirement in college. The reasons why so were unknown until a member of the guild, a renegade scientist who currently works as a comedian, or what nowadays is known as economic journalist, acknowledged in a private interview that the compulsory subject, “More tumor, less humor” was imparted in order to train future scientists so they could give speeches filled with meaningless words and ridiculous data truthfully and without laughing in the process. Similar courses have been developed for careers in Law, Economics and Political Science).

But where were we?

Oh, Yes.

Emma looked down to see a little body. From the ground, a tiny man dressed in a suit stared back in fear. From such a disadvantageous position, the sight of a Jurassic-sized witch could scare even the most valiant executives Yorkers.

“Is that you, Emma?” the man asked. But he didn’t really need an answer, because anything with those dimensions could only be her or an elephant escaped from the zoo.

“Walter?” she responded at the same time she helped him stand up

Once standing, the man barely reached her shoulder.

“I’m sorry, Emma. I jumped before the door closed,” he excused while cleaned his pants. “I left the keys at home… again.”

“Don’t worry, Walt, after all, you took the hit.”

“Yeah, you’re right,” he asserted bowing his head. Which, for him, meant almost licking the floor.

“I thought I was the last to arrive,” Emma said looking at him, bowing her head too and showing a huge jowl. In another reality, where toads were rulers of the civilized world, Emma would have been the canon of beauty.

“Well, you see you were not,” he smiled.

“Where is your costume for the ceremony?” Emma asked.

“I had to leave it in the office. In a rush, I had not time and was not coming dressed like that so everybody could see me making a fool.”

“No, of course not,” Emma said hopelessly blushing.

“I can say I came as a ‘shugle.”’ (Don’t worry, I did not understand this shugle thing until I read “Warrick, the teenage wizard” novels. Apparently it’s the way they called normal people. It is usually a prerequisite for a true fan speaking in words that the rest of humanity does not understand. Even there are people who learn, Elvish the invented language in, “The Lord of the Kings.” In plain language, such people, the normal call them freaks)

“Oh, it’s true.”

“Hum!”

That throat clearing could have sawed the heart of a redwood tree in one pass, but this time, just cut the conversation off. The bearded guard watched them with half-closed eyes.

“Ah, the password yes, yes. It was…” Walter nervously said. “It started…with…something…damn!”

“There are many books of magic,” Emma began.

“Ah, yes, it’s true,” he said.

“There are many books of magic, but only one says the truth,” they both sang.

“Then name it now, good travellers,” the guard replied. “And assure you name it right.”

“I name the book of the Lord, it was the first for sure,” Walter said.

“I name the book of Warrick, who was both, mage and knight,” Emma added.

While those were two books, instead of the one that says the truth, the guard did not object and passed newcomers with a simple gesture.

The incongruity of the password came from the first editions of, “The Lord of the Kings.” Its followers set the password at the same time when they founded the club, as referenced in the, “Book of the Lord” whose power joined all the books in one. But the arrival of the fans of, “Warrick, the teenage wizard,” the two companies came together and created a union of the two groups, whereupon it was easier to accept the two versions than agreeing on a new one.

Emma advanced with her companion by the corridor of the entrance. It was dark and only one blackout line was strained below the door that was at the end. The echo of a multitude broke silence. And while they approached, shouting increased its volume and chaos. Emma pushed the doors and the light struck them without mercy. She blinked quickly and the image of a jammed crowd appeared forming blots in her retinas. When her eyes stop hurting, they revealed tens of disguised people all together in a great hall. It was such tumult that whoever has seen a hen house filled with birds could not avoid finding the similarity. Behind her, Walter scratched his eyes with the cufts of his shirt.

An embroidered brown fabric with golden threads on the edges hung from the walls. In its centre, also with golden threads, as a blazon, an enormous “W” decorated the loom. Other white coloured fabrics, with blue dark borders in their edges, showed a great, “K” in its centre. At the back of the room there was a great one stage and, hanging from it, two gigantic posters. One of them was the representation of the mystical school, “Hoggarts” where Warrick lived his adventures. The other poster showed the underground kingdoms of the world of, “The Lord of the Kings.” Both displayed a similar slogan:

“Believe it is real.”

Emma submerged in the multitude. She was a human snowplough. Despite the difference between the mystical style of the fans of Warrick and the medieval costume of those of Lord of the Kings, the assistants complemented each other quite well. Emma turned her head to see if Walter followed her, and thus he was. She saluted a pair of friends. There she felt appreciated. She belonged there, in that world and not the sad atmosphere of her office where everyone hated her. She chose a place near the stage and immediately she was one more cluck within the hen house.

The terrible humming of tens of people speaking in unison was interrupted by an acute squeak originating from the loudspeakers that were placed on the sides of the stage. Every head was turned at the same time in direction to the stage. Two hooded figures, masculine and feminine, arose from the stairs that were on both sides. The excited murmurs of the public grew with the sense of expectancy of both masters of ceremonies. A youth dressed in rags ran bent over while dragging his right foot by the platform. He was holding two microphones. He placed them a moment before the speakers arrived at his side. And as fast as he had appeared he disappeared with the false limp and the false rags.

The two masters of ceremonies were in front of the assistants. Each one of them took in their hands an enormous book; one was gray, the other brown. The hood of one of the speakers fell, letting see the face of an old man, his skin wrinkled like the crust of a dead tree and his sight drowned in a fog of glaucoma. With his hands deprived of flesh, all bones and skin, he raised the book up so that everybody could see a great sealed letter, “K” in silver in its back.

“There are many books of magic, but only one says the truth!” he shouted moving away the microphone.

“I name the book of the Lord, it was the first for sure!” Half of the audience answered.

Afterwards, the hood of the second master of ceremonies fell and showed the greatess of her blond long hair, but her face was hidden behind as if a mop were placed over her head. Like her old companion, she raised the book while she showed a great golden, “W” in the cover. She blew to separate the hairs from the mouth and to prepare herself to recite the sacred formula.

“There are many books of magic, but only one says the truth!” she repeated as if it was the first time that had been heard.

“I name the book of Warrick, who was both, mage and knight!” the others replied.

Inside the multitude, the believers watched each other satisfied and smiling.

In the stage, the speaker turned to face each other without lowering the books. Both inclined in respect, until her long blond hair swept the ground and the old column cracked like a tree threatening to collapse. Then they put the books under their arms, because, admittedly, they were very heavy.

The blond woman stepped to the microphone, but her fellow coughed and she stopped. A ray of anger and warning slipped through glaucoma and impacted directly where the eyes of the woman were supposed to be. Somehow, the eternal animosity between the two speakers created a connection and the invisible face inside the mop-hair apologised, and although the old man couldn’t see it, he understood, “ah, yes, Thursday.”

The parched lips of the old man pronounced, “Yeah, Thursday” reaching a perfect understanding of the two, and all without making a sound. It was meritorious counting on the poor visibility of the elderly and no ability to express through the hair. The two fan clubs met every Tuesday and Thursday, so when there were announcements that affected the two congregations, depending on the day it was, one or the other would be spokesperson. Tuesday corresponded to Warrick and Thursday were the responsibility of The Lord of the Kings. This was decided after weeks of discussions, everyone had their reasons to choose one day or the other. The day that Warrick had entered for the first time in Hoggarts was Thursday. Or as it is also known as; the replica of the book of the Lord was released for sale on Thursday (Wednesday in USA, Monday in Asia and in Europe). So they finally flipped a coin. An official Hoggarts’ coin and another official coin from the Kingdom of the Lord, of course.

“Friends,” the old man began causing the silence.

“What?” was heard from inside the crowd.

The old man kept a second of silence. He thought to reprimand the spontaneous. But in one second he gave up after trying to see through the fog of blurred faces behind his glaucoma. He continued as if he had not been interrupted, but he suspected the blond hair behind him was laughing.

“Friends,” he repeated. He paused and frowned to the crowd. And if we could have read the invisible subtitles in his expression we would have seen: Say something now if you dare.” “I have great news to announce!

The silence of the audience disappeared and a murmur rose like a wave in a sea of ​​fans in costume.

“We have achieved our goal!” A buzz grew louder announcing the crack of the wave. “They called us crazy! They called us freaks…Misfits even!”

The murmur rose with each sentence like a pulse of an electrocardiogram.

“But finally, we won’t be hated anymore,” he continued in ecstasy, “What others called the beliefs of a few, now becomes something that at first we could only dream of.”

The words came from his mouth like grain thrown to roast. And the audience swallowed it looking for more, feeling that soon the expected sweet dessert was to come.

“It’s official!” he exclaimed. Part of the crowd let out a gasp. “A few months ago the papers were applied – ten million members nationwide, almost one hundred million worldwide.”

The crowd’s murmur grew louder and louder.

“Today,” he sentenced and stopped to take a break. “Today we have become an official religion to the eyes of the world! Long live the Lord!”

“LONG LIVE THE LORD!” The crowd repeated.

“LONG LIVE WARRICK!” The girl with blond hair shouted.

They all repeated the message.

Emma couldn’t be happier. She had dreampt of this day for a long time and she felt like she was going to mourn, but did not want anyone seeing her. She pushed people apart. She was a giant spoon in a bowl of human cereal. And she disappeared through the side door of the room and went into the ladies’ room. The typical drawing of a lady that identified the correct door had been replaced by a shadow of an elf witch flying on a broom wearing a bow. As the door closed, a flood of tears made their way from her stomach to the throat and from there they got out through the eyes and mainly through her nose.

She blew her nose and the noise sounded like a ship’s horn or the call of a reindeer in spring full zeal.

Calmer, with fewer tears bothering her vision, took a book from her bag. She opened latest edition of the adventures of Warrick. She caressed it and repeated it to herself over and over again: “Thank you, thank you.” Before that day, Emma had had doubts. In her heart, she suspected that she claimed the idea that Warrick’s world was real because her’s was crap, because people hated her and because she was weird. Her soul cried out for a place where she wasn’t fat and ugly, where she was merely a special and magical person who could do incredible things. She felt better. They had taken a giant step towards finding the way to Hoggarts and she sensed that soon everything would change.

She was calmer, but was unwilling to return to the room. She wanted to spend time alone with her book, with Warrick. So she opened a random page. She began to reread the words she had practically memorized. What was her surprise when she discovered that the text had changed!

“I talked to the old man,” Warrick said arranging the lines of his Armani suit, “he told me that religious associations are already underway.”

Emma reread the text four times. Her eyes were moving so fast that she felt sick. Her heart was beating so fast that if it wasn’t buried under thick layers of body fat would have escaped trotting under the sun of a far west.

“And what do we know about Rumour?” Sam asked playing with a cigarette in his hand.

“That’s why I called you,” Warrick answered and stole him the cigarette. “You know what to do.”

“The girl,” he said.

“Yes, indeed, take care of her,” Warrick replied expelling cigarette between teeth. “Now go, beautiful women are waiting for me to celebrate my ascent to the temple of religion.”

Emma stopped reading. Her eyes were clouded with that kind happiness that only manifests in liquid form. She did not understand anything. But she did not care. Her doubts had vanished forever.

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