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The Four Headed Beast

Updated on December 3, 2012


The Four Headed Beast

Lee envisioned herself as a lion tamer. She tamed lions and trusted her instincts. Lions were God’s creatures and they needed to be saved, so to speak. On May 27, when the first grizzled members of the feline cat were exhibited to the public, Lee made entrance through the south-side. She flanked the wall where the ostriches were caged, and walked down the gravel path that curved around to an enclosure rising eight feet off the ground. She hoisted herself up and dropped into the bushes below. A continua of onlookers pointed and shouted for her to stop.

She did not. She scaled the fence and hopped down in the lion’s den. A moat circled the main hub like a ring of fire. She limped to the murky, brown waters, and then slid in, feet first. It was cold and a slight shiver ran up her spine, goose-flesh breaking out on her forearms. She had left her flat shoes at the outer edge of the perimeter. She would fetch it later, after her baptismal festivity, swimming naked within the short distance of the divide. She emerged on the other side. Above her, the audience gasped. The flash of camera phone shutters went off, clicking and whirring. Security guards spoke on their radios.

The lions rested on a rock face ledge, and the pride of the herd stood up. It sauntered off the precipice to investigate. His claws extended out, digging into the top soil. Even for its size, the male lion exuded a graceful exuberance, belly hanging low, lean muscles moving with its powerful gait, almighty. Its mane appeared rough and bedraggled, a tousle of hay in sprouting in every direction, barely budging in the breeze. It was a dark bronze color like the tip of its nose.

It drew closer. He advanced, keeping eye contact all the way, tail flicking. She stood and called out, “In the name of God, I have angel blood, I am God’s daughter, and I’m here to help you realize that!”

The lion performed just like her husband, having a certain majestic charm, yet threatening—like the time he had chopped down the front door with an ax for her refusing to admit stealing from the churches gift box. She had never stolen out of the offertory; and if she needed money for the groceries or to pay the bills she always asked. She didn't know what came over her husband, a man of God, a believer of the scriptures, a deacon of the church, but she knew one thing for sure; he was possessed by the devil. Only a man indwell with the satanic beast could hack into the door frame, blow after blow, and shriek obscenities and yell if she didn't open the door, he would kill her.

She was unafraid. She looked squarely at the feline creature. The male lion was named Nuptial and was three-years-old, and the last time he had dinner was few hours ago. The crickets chirred in the reeds. Spectators cried out in horror. A few hair-raising screeches like coal mining machinery resonated off the walls of the enclosure as viewers tried to prevent the inevitable. Some covered the eyes of their children, hollering at them not to look, while looking themselves.

The lion growled and swiped its massive paw at Roselyn Lee. She recoiled back, skittish but determined, and it attacked again. Lee picked up a branch on the ground and fended herself, using the stick like a rod, a staff that would protect her from the evil she faced. It grabbed a hold of the branch she extended. The branch went skittering on its loamy territory. It roared. The sound was so loud it fluttered Roselyn’s hair.

“In the name of God, I rebuke you. Show some mercy as God has shown you!”

The lion pawed at her again, deep gouges surfacing on her skin.

“Who are you to tell me you’re under my control! I’ll show you the way, the truth, and the life!”

Blood welled up and seeped down her thigh in a fury of red rivulets. Crimson wine soaked the soil. Fear crept in her voice.

“In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I am God’s angel and I have power over you, dominion over your kind.” She bellowed a strange mating call. “Believe in the Lord! Believe in the saving grace of Jesus Christ, the most high!”

The lion batted her once more, taking a chunk of flesh with him. Blood spurted out like a fountain.

“Creature of God you can’t do this to me!”

And she had heard the voice call out to her, the snarl of the lion intermingling with her husband’s command to open the door. Death was at the entrance; and she had opened the door only when the police arrived.

“Did he hit you, ma’am,” one of the officers asked.

“Just a bruise here, it’s nothing.” Lee replied. The keeper in the tall field made Roselyn show him where. It was on her chest, a purplish splotch that looked like a bite-mark.

“Stay put,” the commander in chief said. “He can go to jail for that, you know that?”

“No, please don’t officer. It was an accident. I bumped my shoulder while coming down the steps.”

“So you’re saying he didn’t hit you?”

“Don’t take him to jail, please. It was a slight shove—just a shove. I don’t want a divorce for the sake of our kids.”

“Look, you can pack your bags and stay someplace safe. Do you have anywhere to go?”

In the backdrop, the zoo keepers rush to fetch their tranquilizer guns and run back to the arena, as the lion began chewing on Lee’s leg.

“Is he going to jail? I don’t want him arrested.”

“For the safety of you and your children, ma’am, it’s best if we take him in. It’s against the law for anyone to lay their hands on you.”

The lion mauled Lee, ripping flesh and tearing into the muscles.

“I don’t want a divorce.”

“If your husband is pissed off about whatever you did, he’ll divorce you anyway. Not trying to be negative, but he’ll divorce you regardless of what you do.” The officer said. “Let him.”

They placed her husband under arrested and took him in. And he was right. Two months later, they were settling divorce papers in court.

“Have faith that God will protect you! Have faith—you’re under my control! Show me the way to the after-life, stop--oh creature of God—stop killing me!”

The lion roared. The darts took Nuptial down. Lee’s sermon turned to cries for help. The bone poked out of the calve muscles that were shredded and cut cleanly through, gushing blood. The bone was white and as the security guards and zoo keepers surrounded her, they saw the tendons and ligaments exposed. She had lost a right leg. She was murmuring, Save me Lord, I am your daughter’s angel. Save me Lord.

God did take care of her, one of his children. God had many plans for her and this was just one of them.This was proof of it. She’d live in a mansion and be blessed by God. She was in charge. Few, in the spectators, prayed for her well-being. The majority continued to record on their hand held devices.

Overall, she knew the angels were coming for her.


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    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 4 years ago

      .....well any short story that has domestic abuse, the wrath of lions,

      camera phones, theft from the church, an overzelous martyr, and even bloodshed to put an abattoir to shame - has to be voted as the Hub short story of the year.

      I had to read it three times to make sure I got all of the details in their proper order - and the experience got better each time - and the cinema in my mind got a real workout too - your prose, dialogue and narrative was surreal in telling a very realistic story. When you certainly can't be hell bent in becoming a great writer - because you're already way past that lofty status - you are like some modern wonder of this literary world. Hubbravo from the Epi-man and I am glad you changed your profile photo - your other one looked like an angry goalie protesting the NHL walkout and player/owner dispute.

      Sending you warm wishes from your buddy and admirer of your craft and imagination from lake erie time 9:56pm I will send Amy.

      And post your latest masterwork to the Music and Writing FB group.

      You need more fans, followers, and readers .......

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      God save me from organized religion. Your story reminds me of the hypocrisy I encountered growing up educated in the ways of the Catholic religion. Much harm has come under the guise of holy. The preacher in your story is a brutal hypocrite as much as his equally indoctrined wife who had the audacity to not only believe she held the power to save, but the assumption saving was needed. I know I should feel badly for her, as she was mistreated by a violent holier than thou spouse, but the story reignites my anger of harm disguised behind gospel, robes, pomp and circumstance.

      Brilliant writing, onetouchnewlife. Few stories have inspired my anger at the level of lions. This one did.

    • profile image

      Janhorner 4 years ago

      Brilliant is all I can say. The violent ending was superb, and the suggestion of religion and the domestic violence blended well into the story. You have a fabulous natural talent. Voted up,

      Jan

    • katoly profile image

      katoly 4 years ago

      i really like it

      u have some magic in your story

      make me feel I'm in there

      wow...

      hope u keep writing more and more

      i ll be waiting the next one

      fighting ^_^

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 4 years ago from South Africa

      It always amazes me - the ability of the little writer in us to minimize our misery by creating fantastic metaphors that enables us to stay strong.

      Captivating story!

      Oh, and I agree wholeheartedly with Amy :)

    • dailytop10 profile image

      dailytop10 4 years ago from Davao City

      Great metaphors!

    • B. A. Williams profile image

      B. A. Williams 4 years ago from USA

      Very well written and the subject was great.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Wonderful and amazing metaphors. Great fantasy and much enjoyed.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      OMG, I was almost in a hypnotized state while reading this brilliant piece. Spousal abuse was never addressed in a more profound way. Bravo!

    • onetouchnewlife profile image
      Author

      Albert Kivak 4 years ago from Cemetary

      Thank you all for your comments and support. I strive to be the best. I will not rest until all the Harry Potter and Twilight fans are at my feet.

      @epi - I loled hard. I took off the mask because I thought my warm and inviting face would draw more followers. I don't know how you have so many followers, while I'm languishing in the dust.

      @ Jan & Marti - thank you very much for reading. I hope you stay for many more stories and poems to come, all sick and twisted and disturbing.

    • wtaylorjr2001 profile image

      William H Taylor 4 years ago from Binghamton NY

      That was a very interesting story. I like the idea of contrasting the lion's den and the violent home environment. I am curious though, what do you think would happen if you substituted a smoother transition between scenes?

      Your story is very powerful, the structure and subject matter both complementing each other to create a system that can bring tears to the eye. I enjoyed the experience, thank you.

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 4 years ago

      ...well naturally I am so pleased that you are receiving this feedback and positive reaction - you are such a great writer. lake erie time 2:25pm canada

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