THEY TOUCHED THE EYE OF GOD
THEY TOUCHED THE EYE OF GOD
by E.C. McMullen Jr.
The Farmer, Passle, didn’t know what else to do. All the sky was overcast, so it was possible that somewhere, up there, the Great Eye of Fas the Beloved cast Its benevolent gaze down upon the world.
But the fact was that right over there, about a quarter mile away and pressed up against the nearly concave hillock, rested an enormous eye gazing down upon the ground.
The eye was huge. Bigger than his barn. Bigger than four of his barns!
Passle looked at the grass beneath his feet. The early morning fog had lifted, but the dew was still everywhere.
What was he to do?
He had to tell someone! Tell them of the great eye! But there was only one great eye in the world and if this wasn’t The Great Eye of Fas, what or whose eye was it?
What would happen to the world if the great eye over there, seemingly dead as a doll’s eye, lightly buffeted against the hillock as if by unseen breeze, was THE Great Eye of Fas?
What would happen to the world if this was another eye?
What would happen to him? What would his neighbors say of him? What would the world say of him?
And yet the eye was too large to ignore. Other people were sure to see it from the road. Passerby. Best to get in front of this news than be trampled by it. So with that in mind, Passle turned back toward his house to make some calls.
Bevva stood there on the porch. Passle hadn’t heard her come out, but there she stood, silent as stone, staring without understanding at the great eye that touched the ground.
He approached his wife.
“What is this, Passle?” Her voice a hundred miles away. “What is – what does this mean?”
“I don’t know,” Passle spoke gently. A fear crept upon him that his Bevva’s mind was gathering clouds, soon to be a storm.
“It’s like a dead thing,” Bevva whispered. “Like a fish floating upside down.”
“I’m going to call someone,” Passle said.
“Who?” Bevva asked, never turning her sight from the great eye on the ground.
Passle stopped himself. He had meant to call Pastor Klienz. But was that a good idea? The world must know, but he had to think about his family’s protection from the masses. What would the masses do?
Who would he call?
By that afternoon the cloudy sky had cleared and, for the first time in recorded history, the great eye of Fas was nowhere to be seen.
In the sky.
A mob of people as far as the eye could see, were lined up along the wood fence that bordered Passle and Bevva’s land. Their murmuring could be heard all the way to the house.
Passle and Bevva went upstairs to get a better look at them all. From the attic window, they could see that the line of people stretched for miles, their cars shiny, clustered, and abandoned on either side of the great mass. Passle grabbed his binoculars to look and, sure enough, beyond them on either side, the government and military were attempting to move through the blockage of machine and people with flashing lights and probably threats.
The day was sunny and beautiful. Birds sang, insects lazily flew about their business, and his animals were peaceful and content. But for Passle, Bev, and the gathered mob, The Great Eye of Fas was not benevolently gazing down upon them. And a giant eye – like the Eye of Fas – rested in the meadow beside a hillock.
There was a change in tempo for the mob along the fence and Passle moved to the other attic window to see what they saw.
A manned balloon, it’s great bellows flapping in the sunlight, moved toward the distant hillock. It positioned itself a bit of a distance from the great eye and, navigating the winds, began slowly turning wary, wide circles high above it. As if mindful that the great eye would suddenly spring off of the ground and zoom back to its rightful place.
The balloon appeared to be having some trouble maneuvering. The mob noticed, their murmuring turning to agitated shouts. Suddenly they began scrambling over the fence, running toward the great eye.
Late afternoon and the mob that stood in a great wide half moon around the eye waited. It was blasphemy to say that this seemingly dead thing was the Great Eye of Fas the Beloved, but everyone thought it.
What were they going to do if this was the Great Eye of Fas? Who would watch over them now? Who would see the evil and injustice in the world and mark it in memory for that one day when all would be raised from the living and the dead … and judged?
How could anyone be safe without Fas watching over all?
Pastor Klienz was there and he had his own fears. The Great Eye of Fas was not in the sky, and this giant eye sat on the ground. Even a child could make the connection. He had to take charge.
Pastor Klienz stepped forward out of the massive circle of people. Then careful not to turn his back upon the great eye even as he turned his face toward the mob, he cried out,
“This is a sign from The Great Eye of Fas our Beloved!”
His words broke the suspense and a multi-thousand throat sigh went out from the congregation. This was a Voice of Fas speaking to them. The ordained Voices of Fas could utter no blasphemy. Fears would be allayed. Now all would be made right.
Klienz winged it as he went, building a scaffold from memorized scripture.
“Rejoice for this great day!” Klienz shouted, loud enough to be heard by all gathered.
Now that he was speaking like this, reworking the foundation of canon, the pieces seemed to come together and refit in his mind.
“Blessed are the helpless, for they shall have the hands of their siblings! Blessed are those who help the helpless, for their deeds shall be witnessed and transgressions forgiven!”
To Klienz, it was all starting to make sense. The words flowed and he felt himself believing as well. Still, he turned his face from the crowd and made a quick scan of the sky one more time, before he dared speak again.
“I tell you my siblings, that this is truly none other before us than the Great Eye of Fas the Beloved, Who Watches Over us All!”
At this, the revelation of every frightened thought in the minds of the gathered thousands, a tremendous gasp went up from the mob. At this moment of belief and blasphemy, they could become anything.
Clergy from other, larger splinters of churches, looked down from the balloon gondola. Upon hearing the voice of Pastor Klienz, controlling the mob’s confusion, the many ministers demanded a landing. If anyone was going to lead the masses, it would be them, not some local rube.
Then the ministers began bickering among themselves.
“Sacrilege! We should call down from our megaphones and deny the words of this Pastor!”
“No, the mob are listening to him. We should land first, approach the Pastor as colleagues, acquire his leadership, then turn the mob against him.”
Arrogant in their corrupt ambitions, they said all of this within earshot of the most devout among them: The Balloon Captain.
Within the cruelty of this world, so soon after the death of his wife and child, the only thing that kept the Captain’s soul together was his faith in the generous mercy and righteous justice of the Great Fas.
His fretful eyes more focused on the Great Eye below than his own instruments, the troubled Balloon Captain’s great faith was already upended from both the absence of Fas in the sky and a giant eye on the ground. Now as the clergy fought to turn this world crushing event to their gain, his crisis of faith was further shredded by their scurrilous arguments.
What then was this horrible day? Is this the death of God?
For the Most Righteous Ministers argued like mad criminals, concocting schemes, scams, lies, and crimes: Caring nothing for the never-prophesied Horror of an absent sky.
In a heart-breaking snap, everything the Balloon Captain ever knew or believed crashed all around him. His soul ached from the furious betrayal within the gondola and the insanity outside. What was there left of life if the Great Fas wasn’t watching over them all?
The silent Balloon Captain made his choice and steered away from the hillocks, toward the steep sharp edges of the Tower Mountains.
Meanwhile, Pastor Klienz testified before the masses.
“The Great Eye of Fas has come down among us to know our mercy and generosity of spirit! Fas has made Itself helpless before us, so that it may witness our strength. Come and be blessed by the help we offer It!”
Cautiously, faces skewed with questions, the mob moved forward.
“Come my dearly beloved siblings! Bring your hands forth! Do not be left behind! Happy are those who the Great Fas will witness! Release the generosity of our spirits! Accept Its offer of blessings seen!”
They all moved toward the giant eye, many weeping, and their compassion welled tears in the eyes of Klienz.
This was truth coming from his lips! It had to be! He was but a vessel for the will and the unheard voice of the Great Fas!
Reaching out in their masses they touched the eye of God.
Hearts beating rapidly with an overwhelming joy none of them had ever experienced, they gingerly, carefully, moved beneath the Great Eye. It seemed to weigh almost nothing. It wasn’t billowy like a balloon. It was definitely solid, but under their thousands of hands, it was also light.
Pastor Klienz stood apart, crying openly as the Great Eye slowly lifted.
“Now!” he cried. “Launch!”
With the sound of a powerful “Whaugh!” the crowd moaned a chorus of exertion, giving their lift everything they could to send the Great Eye of Fas back to Its rightful place high above.
The Great Eye floated up, up, but did so slowly. Slower. Slower still, then came to a stop. It hovered over them, looking down at them even as they looked up at It.
It wasn’t the reaction Klienz expected and he suspected others felt the same. In a lower voice he intoned.
“My beloved siblings. If you ever wondered if your good deeds went unnoticed, let there be no doubt but that the Great Fas sees them now.”
The Great Eye began to move again. Somewhere in the distance echoed an explosive burst and the screams of dying clergy, but all beneath the eye paid no attention.
God was watching. And moving.
The giant eye floated over their heads as bits of debris it picked up from sitting on the ground, fell back. It wasn’t rising, and it approached the upward curve of the hillock until it softly bumped against the land once more.
Pastor Klienz found this worrisome, but he stayed on point with the sermon.
“Our great task is not over, my siblings. Helping the less fortunate is never easy, and the path to righteousness is difficult.”
He paused before saying, “So hold nothing back I Beg of you! Exert yourselves completely! Surrender all your strength! All your energy! Launch the Great Eye of Fas!”
Once again they assembled beneath It, fighting against gravity upon the steep slope of the curving hillock.
“Now!” Klienz commanded. “Launch!”
The mob pushed with a mighty “Augh!” as muscle screamed between flesh and bone. Once again the great eye floated upwards. Once again It slowly came to a stop. Not descending, but not rising.
As a group, they all cautiously lowered their arms, but they couldn’t take their attention from it. As one they all watched the eye that watched them.
Evening came and the stars glittered in the night. The long hours of suspenseful waiting were exhausting. No one had ate or drank. The military came and infiltrated but, to a soldier, they all were hushed and humbled by the unimagined, unknown, and unknowable: the seeming silent helplessness of God.
The great eye looked down upon them, at everyone and no one.
Hushed, every man, woman, and child, were left staggering and weak. Yet with every drop of energy left, all still bristled on the edge of the moment. Directly beneath the eye: closer to God than ever before, no one would dare be seen or found wanting. The attention of the Great Fas was never nearer, more acute. As one they were each ready to throw up their arms yet again, palms out, fingers spread. The long hours of night passed as they waited: thirsty, hungry, bloated with waste. Yet after all of this time, they held their horrified breath.
The Great Fas seemed to be floating okay this time. Not as high as It should be, and that was a concern. But the big questions right now were: Would It finally stay up there? Would It ascend to its proper place? And what would it mean…?
Oh Great Eye!
What would it mean if It did not?
Story by E.C. McMullen Jr.
Art: I See You. Artist: Filippo Borghi.
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