Archive | November, 2014


30 Nov


witch burning photo: Witchcraft Woodcut 04-19witchburning.jpg
Auntie Martha scowled and spat at her jailer, who punched her on the face for her cheek.

She wasn’t anyone’s auntie really, but a weird assortment of relationships during an earlier generation’s flibbertigibbet’s love-life made everyone believe she was related to them all.

But that had very little to do with her current predicament.

A simple chain of events, starting with the big man at the Manor losing his eldest daughter to the plague and she being called in to heal her, and failing, a disaster that was swiftly followed by the Priest being caught in flagrente with her on the altar when he thought nobody was looking and her cat going missing during a full moon … seemingly unrelated things that rapidly became close cousins due to pressure from on high, in the Manor.

No man likes to lose a daughter, not even a plain one like she was. And no high Manorial Lord likes the idea of the Priest who should be firmly in his pocket having carnal knowledge of the local wise woman on or off the altar, and as for disappearing cats – this one was black, and everyone knows what that means.

So the order was passed to the county’s witch-finder for a witch, and who that witch should be, and there wasn’t a witch-finder who wasn’t firmly in half a dozen pockets. So Martha, wise woman and healer of most sick (but not all) was declared to be a witch. She was tried at the ducking stool, and survived and so was clearly rescued by Satan who someone said was hovering in a cloud near the horizon with a ferocious expression on his evil face.

This last observation made everyone grovel to the ground and wail, and there was no doubt about it: Martha was as guilty as hell and must suffer the consequences.

And the consequences involved a stake and kindling and a great deal of fire.

The villagers were to have a treat, though Martha didn’t see it that way, which is why she didn’t really mind being punched in the face by her jailer. Any pain was a preparation for the big one, she rationalised. She’d scalded her finger once, and knew how heat can hurt.

The day before the Burning (the Burning Field was already being prepared and all the children of the village were out collecting dry kindling from the forest which surrounded the village in all directions) the Priest came to accept her recantations. He might have felt a bit shy at the prospect of hearing the last words of a woman he’d tupped a few days earlier, and (he knew it and she knew it) several times before that, but he didn’t show it.

“I suppose you’d like my dress over my head and my legs open?” she asked viciously. She could be verbally vicious, could Martha, even when it was a matter of death or death. She knew there was no chance of life, not in this mix, and not with this Priest.

“Satan’s whore!” he rasped, hoping the jailer would hear his words. The jailer grinned to himself. He’d heard her part in the exchange and knew the truth behind her words.

“Does God love me?” she asked, a glint in her eyes. Like everyone back then she knew too much about God for her own good, and she particularly knew there wasn’t a sin so damning she couldn’t be forgiven if she had access to a sufficiently weighty purse. The trouble was, she’d never accumulated wealth. Not that she’d had much of a chance.

“God loves us all,” growled the Priest. “You know that much at least!”

“You told me at the altar mere days ago, with your flesh pummelling mine,” she replied. The jailer almost giggled when he heard that bit. This Martha was a card, all right. He almost regretted punching her in the face. Almost, but not quite.

“Say no more of it!” hissed the Priest. “Renounce your loyalty to Satan and I’ll see what I can do!”

“I have no truck with devils!” squawked Martha.

“Then you will burn as will all sinners,” sighed the Priest, wondering where he would find another willing concubine to conquer once this one was ashes.

“And God you say is love?” she asked.

“Is love,” he confirmed.

“Some love to accept such tokens as an innocent whore’s flesh turned to ash,” she sighed, and the thought made her pale.

Tomorrow this Priest would pray her way to Hell, and as he was doing it she would conjure in her mind an image of his penis. At least that wouldn’t be so difficult and would add a touch of irony to her death.

“God is love,” repeated the Priest, and Auntie Martha closed her eyes and focussed her memories.

© Peter Rogerson 30.11.14



27 Nov


CAVEMAN photo: Caveman chiu_cavemanv3.jpg  In the midst of laughter there were tears. In the midst of life the kidling died.

That was the way of things back then. Death roamed the world, the village, the valley-floor, swam in the swashbuckling stream that surged in winter and oozed placidly in summer, climbed the mountains that led to other valley floors and other villages, left its trail wheresoever it went

Death was the only guaranteed companion to life, and few people survived beyond thirty summers without finally meeting it. And that was the age of the Oldsters, the Wise Ones: they were all around thirty summers old, and gnarled.

And now a kidling had died. Three summers old, and dead already, son of Dongle and Unga and, they had hoped, a promise for the future. Yet nobody was shocked and not even many people paused to mourn. If you mourned every life passing you’d be constantly mourning. That was how it was.

“What happens when we die?” asked Dongle one day. Dongle was so-called because his member was enormously long and widely admired throughout the neighbourhood, even as far away as the next village. Even Crud respected it. He had to.

Crud looked up. Being a self-elevated preacher and Minister of the Faith he couldn’t afford to show personal feelings, but he disliked Dongle and couldn’t help the sneer that formed at the corners of his mouth before replying, “We go to the Everlasting” in a breathy kind of meaningless sentence. He’d made it up on the spur of the moment because the question had never been asked of him so bluntly before and anyway he didn’t like the sense of jealousy that engulfed him whenever he looked at Dongle.

“What is the Everlasting?” asked Dongle, sitting cross-legged in the cave entrance with his disproportionate member dangling so low that it touched the sandy ground several inches away.

Crud needed time to think, so he resorted to one of his favourite contrivances. He noted the other’s oversized distinguishing characteristic and nodded wisely.

“Just as your member is resting on the ground, so your inner member is resting in the skies,” he said, seriously. “I had a vision…” Visions were his other favourite contrivance and he resorted to them so often it embarrassed him, though nobody seemed to think there might be anything wrong with the frequency with which he was visited by his gods, nor did they wonder why they never experienced such visitations themselves. Crud, as he had explained boringly frequently, was blessed with special powers. He was the voice of the gods, which is why everyone gave him often extravagent gifts on a weekly basis.

“What about my member?” asked Dongle, who might have been embarrassed by so personal a subject but wasn’t.

“See how it scrapes upon the ground,” murmured Crud, desperately trying to find a reason for mentioning it in the first place. The man’s tackle shouldn’t be so enormous … it’s a distraction… he told himself. “See how grains of sand cling to it where it touches the ground … now think of the spirit inside you … the man that is you, but invisible. Filled with your thoughts and deeds and angry or sad according to your mood … that spirit is dangling in the Everlasting, and invisible grains of Everlasting sand are resting on it. And when the flesh dies the spirit is set free … it will soar above the mountains and go to the firmament… and the Everlasting grains of sand will be set free…”

“Crud, you are so wise,” muttered Dongle without once letting the word gobbledegook enter his head. “I will have my woman Unga deliver a haunch of bamble to you before nightfall, cooked and ready to be eaten!”

“And your kidling will be waiting in the Everlasting,” said Crud with a smile, trying not to look grateful. “He will wait for you for as long as it takes for you to join him, and then you will spend forever in the Everlasting hand in hand together.”

“I just hope the waiting is long,” murmured Dongle, “for I need to see a little life before they take me to the burial slopes…”

“Even as long as your gigantic member,” added Crud, instantly wishing he hadn’t. It wasn’t polite to mention the dimensions of a fellow man’s member. Not polite at all.

“As long,” sighed Dongle, sloping off.

©Peter Rogerson 27.11.14


26 Nov


SEXY CAVEGIRL photo: cavegirl lopez Jennifer-Lopez-30-1.jpg The village was at peace, and had been for as long as the men and women who lived in it could remember.

There had been a time when skirmishes, some of them prolonged and almost describable as wars, had broken out between the people who lived there and neighbouring tribes. The arguments had never been over much – who had the longest spear, who killed the greater number of bambles, whose cave was smartest and had the best-kept garden… small little niggles that broke out into sporadic outbursts of violence.

Then Yoyo was born.

Even as a baby she was special. Her eyes were somehow brighter and her gurgle happier than those of other babies, and she learned to walk and talk (if the limited vocabulary of the people could be called talking) sooner than others of her age.

As a child Yoyo was inquisitive, as an adolescent critical and as a young woman voluptuous. It was back then, as the special child was growing up, that the worst of the warlike skirmishes with half a dozen other tribes took place, and several of the menfolk had been killed. It was a disgrace! They were needed on the hunt, to feed their young as well as the ever-growing tribe of the recently appointed spiritual leader, Crud, who needed to remain with his well-breasted woman because he was deeply involved in beings that could only be seen by him.

Some had deigned to dare to think that Crud ought to do something about all the skirmishes, but he didn’t seem able to. His calling was more spiritual than that!

But back to Yoyo.

When she was about fifteen she developed, over night, into the most glorious woman the tribe had ever produced. She was tall, not too slim but just about perfect, had long legs that made men gulp when they saw them and hair that always looked clean even when it wasn’t.

And Yoyo had a brain.

She had noticed how Crud got away with having his invisible friends. He made the odd proclamation, describing this or that essential behaviour as required by his retinue of gods, and never went out into the forest in search of fresh meat. He never even looked for nuts and fruits. Instead he somehow managed to get the rest of the villagers to contribute towards his well-being from their own tables.

“If,” she thought, “invisible friends can be such an aid to comfort and security, how would a girl find luxury if she actually contrived to have visible friends?”

And she mulled it over and decided it would be quite a good idea – if only she could find a way.

It was the attitude of a randy neighbour that gave her the idea.

Piggo was a smart enough young fellow, and in the summer when it was the fashion for the people of the tribe to go about naked it was quite obvious that he would be a good catch for any lass fortunate enough to beguile him into her heart.

He even tried it on with Yoyo. Well, he would, wouldn’t he? They were, he supposed, practically perfect for each other, she being a renowned beauty and he particularly long of personal equipment. They would make a good couple.

But being half of a good couple is not what she wanted, and she knew why. It would all end in misery – for her, as chief cook and wooden-bottle-washer and he with a tribe of other women after a drop of his semen.

No. She wanted the independent life that Crud had discovered, but without the weird mystery of invisible friends and what she looked on as the criminal charisma of the older man.

And she knew she was beautiful.

One day it all clicked in her head.

“Piggo” she whispered to her randy neighbour, “you can have me for, say, an hour – but it will cost you…”

“Cost me?” he stammered.

“Shall we say a nice roast leg of bamble?” she murmured.

“And in return, I can … an hour, you say?”

She fluttered her eyelashes at him and his heart went close to melting.

The leg of bamble was good, but the hour was better, or so Piggo thought. It was so much better that he fashioned some candles out of beeswax as a special gift for her, and coloured them red.

And what with the queues of visitors to Yoyo’s cave, some of them from miles away, peace broke out in the entire neighbourhood.

© Peter Rogerson 26.11.14


25 Nov


HUNTING CAVEMAN photo: Caveman Diet CavemanDiet2.jpg  Crud got to thinking, which was, in itself, a rarity. Normally he was fully occupied with smelling the air to see if anything meaty was sauntering in the neighbourhood – he loved the flesh of Bamble, a small and therefore relatively easily caught mammal, fleet of foot but delicious when eaten raw, or cooked if he could find fire somewhere.

But today he had got to thinking.

Why, in the name of everything he found pleasing, like his woman’s bosom and his kiddling’s smile, was he doing this? Why was he out in the forest, spear in hand, feeling the cold winds bite into his bones and the ice underfoot crunching into his feet, when somebody else could be doing it for him.

He’d never thought of somebody else doing it for him before, and now that he did all sorts of other notions slipped into place. Like the fact that to his certain knowledge a dozen strong, sturdy men were doing exactly what he was doing, and suffering like he was … and if he could…

…if he could…

That’s where he reached a full-stop until a brilliant spark illuminated, for a tiny instant, the middle of his brain and in that glorious nano-second he saw the solution.

Sweat formed on his brow, and he frowned, then smiled broadly despite the wintry conditions.

That was it! All he had to do was … what words could he use? How could he define the thought? All he had to do was provide a … service? A reason for doing nothing? Something that he alone of all the men in the village could provide, and then take a bit from everyone else’s meat in return for his … something … and he’d never have to hunt again! Never have to freeze! And the glorious bosom of his beloved was a temptation!

Winter was hitting the world hard. He’d never have to lurk in the woodlands on a frosty morning, shivering, while the herd of bambles raced past…

Deep in thought, and without meat or anything edible to feed the family, he returned to the village. It was early, much too early for the hunters to return unless they’d really struck it lucky and his woman, the well-bosomed Bittle, could see that he was empty-handed.

“I have thunked!” he crowed. “I have thunked deep and hard! I will become a spirit master!”

“What is?”

“Crud get cold out in the forest. Crud willy shrivel away when he get cold! So Crud stay at home and become spirit Master. Come: we hold gathering, tell everyone. Crud on his way to fame and fortune!”

“As long as Crud willy not shrivel away!” exclaimed Bittle, thrusting her more than adequate bosom at him, and smiling in that lascivious way he so loved.

Crud called the people from the surrounding area – mostly women on account of the men being deep in the forest hunting – to a meeting.

They gathered around him, breath turning to mist in the cold, and he surveyed them with his big and, to Bittle, gorgeous eyes.

“Crud had a vision…” he began in a loud, clear voice. “Crud in the forest and have a vision. Crud see Truth! Crud become the servant of … of … of God!”

“What is God?” called half a dozen women and one old man who had broken his leg so couldn’t hunt.

Then Crud was brilliant. Everyone said he was. It was perfectly clear that he’d had an exotic experience beyond that of normal men. He fluttered his eye-lashes, long and black and beguiling, and opened his mouth and spoke in a loud, clear, hypnotic voice, telling of his vision and the Power of the Heavens. What he was saying was brand, spanking new, and he wanted the people to understand.

“I am the Voice of God,” he began, suavely. “I will guide you…”

And as the oceans of time passed neither Crud nor any of his progeny nor others in his wake had to hunt again. It was a happy solution to a cold winter!

© Peter Rogerson 25.11.14


24 Nov

caveman photo: Caveman ontheloose_Caveman.jpgThe boy had been called Ugg because that was just about the only sound his parents could make and consistently get right, and they needed to call him something.

It was quite a few years since they’d been blessed. His mother, Ogg, had grown very big very quickly and the man who shared the cave with her, Bog, by name and nature, knew she was about to produce an infant. Other women grew fat and observation had led him to conclude that the sudden enormity was on account of a little person growing inside a female.

It would have been nice if they had any sort of inkling how the tiny people got there, but as far as they were concerned a divine being, maybe a tree spirit or it could be one of the invisible creatures that made the wind blow, was responsible. The tragedy was, I suppose, that they didn’t associate it with anything they did.

Anyway, Ogg had grown enormous and produced Ugg and because to start with his had been helpless and gurgling they had nourished him. By they I mean Ogg and Bog, her male.

It had happened like this.

Somehow they had grown sort of fond of each other. They didn’t know why, just that they had, and that fondness had become a jolly affair one very cold night when they had snuggled together for warmth and his tackle had inexplicably grown huge and she had drawn him so close to her that, and this was the odd thing, the swollen bit had slipped inside her.

They had giggled a lot and he had jiggled a great deal and then both of them had felt an extraordinary explosion actually in their bodies, and they had sworn in thought rather than language that they didn’t properly have that they would stay together for ever, and that’s what they were doing, even with Ugg growing ever bigger and learning the ways of the menfolk by hunting, sometimes successfully.

The games had continued, however, and so had the inexplicable fatness that the womenfolk seemed particularly prone to, and Sig had tumbled into the world.

That had been bad, that had, because Ogg had caught the sickness and died soon afterwards, leaving Bog and Ugg to deal with Sig.

That dealing with hadn’t lasted long, because Sig had caught the sickness as well, and died. That was two bodies to be left for the carrion birds to dispose of.

Then, when the two males were in the despairing agonies of grief, losing half the family in quick succession like they had, Ugg had met Pip.

He liked Pip, and they played almost grown-up games together until one day Pip had stopped him when his tackle was higher than a mountain and told him, in halting syllables and a deep frown, that he should only do it if he wanted to make another person with her.

He hadn’t a clue what she meant.

He had laughed and told her it was nothing but a wonderful game and games like this should be played for all they’re worth, and she had grown angry and told him to think about stuff before he made any commitment to the future, and he thought for a moment or two, couldn’t grasp the implications involving commitment, and did it anyway, not because he hated her but because it was damned difficult not doing it when his tackle was ready to explode like it soon did.

True to form, she grew heavy and produced a tiddler and they called it Plop because that was the name it sometimes made with its bottom.

When she had recovered from the ordeal of childbirth Pip faced up to Ugg and told him in no uncertain terms that he had done something really, really bad.

“We females get blamed for the weakness in you males,” she shouted, “and here and now it’s got to stop!”

It didn’t, of course, because Ugg was the stronger.

A year or so later Pip died. In childbirth. Ugg wept and wondered why his world was suddenly in tatters. And wandered off in search of another pretty playmate.

Bog cared for Plop because someone had to, until Ugg comes back, he thought, but Ugg didn’t. He was a free spirit, a physically strong one, and to hell with everything else.

© Peter Rogerson 24.11.14


23 Nov

Circa 10,000 BC

cave man fire photo: fire roaringfire.jpg
The Medicine Man adjusted his wolverine head-dress and scattered a few weeds onto the fire, amongst the cooler embers away from the fiercest flames where they’d simmer and smoke. They smelled good and made the pink cockatoo on a flaming branch, the one that hadn’t been there moments ago, spit in his eye.Away from the tongues of fire it was cold with a raw wind rattling through the Old Forest. He could tell that when he let his eyes light on the women, too young to be amongst the Wise Women snuggling in the relative warm and too old to be kids. These young women were suffering as young women ought. Their skins were puckered with cold, their teeth chattering and their exposed breasts blue.One of them was Iggle. He liked looking at Iggle, always had, and now with the smoke from the weeds rollicking inside his head he fancied doing something about it.

She’d be all for it. Of course she would, being dragged from the raw winds into his lean-to palace by her greasy hair and shagged as soon as look at her. She’d get a little warmer and he’d probably have a new son before next year was out. A man was measured by the number of his sons and the length of his tackle. A man could be proud of his seed. It did good work. Somehow – the mechanics were unknown – it crafted the future.

He left – with a hint of reluctance – his honorary place in the warm and grabbed hold of the divine Iggle.

She was painfully cold.

“Get orf!” she remonstrated, struggling. But it didn’t mean much. It was the done thing, for the women to protest before being taken. What were women anyway? Besides being a treat for the eyes when the eyes needed a treat they were no more than the rubbish left over when a man’s seed had produced sons. So he slashed her across the face and scowled deep into her eyes.

His palace – a lean-to affair, big enough for two at a pinch and warm like toast what with the piles of furs scattered across its floor –was a relief for a moment, but Iggle didn’t want what was to come. At fifteen she’d already had too many kids. And she guessed that by seventeen she’d be dead. It happened. Why in the name of the weed gods had she been born a woman? Why couldn’t she have been a hirsute man, strong of limb and long of tackle? It wasn’t fair – but then nothing was fair, the cold, the howling winds, the bitter winter, the crafty old Medicine Man who was already showing signs of arousal.

Some bloody party this! Just a crowd of weed-high youths and a self-appointed Medicine Man and a cold, cold night.

She hated it.

So she bit his penis. Hard. With sharp teeth. Right through the damned thing.

She’d done it before to other, lesser men, and knew how much it hurt by the frenzied look in this wretched man’s eyes, the ones she could see through the slits in his wolverine head-dress.

She’d drawn blood. She could taste it, foul on her tongue, the blood of a Medicine Man.

And her subsequent, guaranteed, inevitable death would surely be some kind of relief.

She sighed at the thought, and awaited justice.

Man’s justice.

©Peter Rogerson 23.11.14


21 Nov

I’m pretty sure there are some great vicars and priests around.

Quite a lot of them do some fantastic humanitarian things. They even take themselves into war zones and deal with the unimaginable tragedies that blight the lives of complete strangers. They are truly great men and women and I love them all, to each beating heart.

I’m equally sure there are some who are far from great.

Much has been written and spoken of priests who turn to the very young in order to satisfy basic urges. Others are in the job for an easy life and a direct route to satisfying an unbelievably selfish ego by pretending they’re in touch with a deity that couldn’t possible exist.

But then, you get good and bad everywhere.

But this little piece is about members of the cloth. Clergymen and women. The good ones.

Some of them don’t actually believe in the reality of some of the things they’re supposed to preach. I mean, how could they? Much of the material they’re supposed to disseminate is taken from the ignorant words of men who struggled to understand even the most basic realities of their world back in the bronze age. In fact, that’s where most of their texts come from.

Even more recent stuff, the nativity, the life of Jesus, is based on what is little more than simple-minded gobbledegook even if some of it is what I’d call an excellent model for a life well lived.

Before the invention of the microscope even the most thoughtful men could have no idea what a sperm was, so the concept of a virgin birth was probably more easily believable to them, and anyway legends abounded with pre-Jesus virgin births. There was hardly a mythology without one, so it is hardly surprising that what amounts to a relatively modern religion had one.

The annoying thing is the good clerics still speak as if it was real. They preach it, when they’re not up to their elbows in good deeds. I don’t mind laughing at the con-merchants of religion, those clergymen who I choose to dismiss as unworthy, but I don’t want to offend the good guys, yet I must.

And I’m prepared to bet that those good guys don’t really believe what they’ve got to preach.

Wouldn’t it be almost as magical as a virgin birth if the church decided that it was a humanitarian concern and dropped the deity-headed religious nonsense? And by church I mean all churches, mosques, established faiths.

Wouldn’t it do justice to what amounts to a small army of genuine people-loving and caring vicars and priests if they could own up to doubts over matters that common sense, science, even moderately careful thought, conclude are improbable or impossible?

It won’t happen, of course, and that’s sad.

Because the whole future of life on this planet is quite possibly dependent on getting rid of gods, and unless my good guys see sense, that will mean getting rid of them as well.