Adam Ash

Your daily entertainment scout. Whatever is happening out there, you'll find the best writing about it in here.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006



It was a bright cold day in April, but not too chilly to attend the burning at the stake.

To the south, a bank of clouds pressed close to Wall Street and grazed the top of Freedom Tower. Its slender height connected the concrete of Manhattan to the oblivion of the sky; the glass spire at the top sparkled like a clean knife thrust into the belly of heaven.

Even after more than twenty years it was still impossible for native New Yorkers of a certain age to look at this building and not be reminded of why it was there; what it had replaced; and the ashes in which it stood. Adam White counted himself among them. Somewhere under that glass-clad tombstone lay his portion of 9/11 pain: a handful of dust: the remaindered atoms of the snuffed-out love of his life.

To the north, Central Park’s Great Lawn lay unnaturally empty. Police commanded the entrances to the park. People were lining up there, eager to attend the torching of the fiend. As one of the invited VIPs, Adam went to the head of the line, his eye passing over a newspaper in a vending machine: “Satanic Rituals Alleged in New Daycare Case.” A tabloid had another take: “Satan Raped Me.”

At the east end of the Lawn stood a circular stage, built of solid red brick. From a distance it looked like a spot of dried blood on the cultivated expanse of grass. In the center of the stage stood an upright wood pole, somewhat thicker and shorter than a flagpole. This pole, painted bright red and only fifteen feet high, stood for the death of only one man -- the fiend -- but his approaching end measured the deaths of hundreds of thousands caused by him in the year of the Great Attack. The shock of 9/11 was a long-gone decades-old echo, trumped by this new and far more extreme atrocity.

A stepladder stood beside the pole, almost quaint in its domesticity. Piles of wood were stacked around the stage: kindling, sticks, branches, cut wood. The pages of neatly bound newspapers chattered softly in the breeze. Twenty thousand chairs – green like the grass – rippled out from the stage.

As he walked through the VIP entrance to the seating area, Adam White saw a number of people he knew only from images in the media.

The CEO of the giant Sunday Fox Media Corporation.

The Gospel singer with the Number One single, “The Body of Christ.”

The eight-year-old boy who knew all of Scripture by heart and could quote from it at will, and had received a presidential Medal of Freedom for this feat.

The blogger, Christian Controversy, whose website was rumored to be the origin of most of the rumors about all the evangelists who’d become big media celebrities, bigger than any film star had ever been. (The new rumor was that the penis of Pat Robertson, the deceased patron saint of evangelists, was missing.)

In a huddle, the latest generation of the Bush dynasty, one of whom was already being bruited as the next president of America’s new Jesusland, following in the tradition of Bush 41 and Bush 43, although Bush 41 was nothing more than a footnote: unlike Bush 43, the Rock, the Resolute, the Foundation, the man whose faith-based presidency had pioneered the path for all the changes that followed, the John the Baptist of the new Jesusland, the harbinger of the Men of the Gospel.

Adam White spotted a young usher and fished for his ticket. The overcast sky drenched the park in a dull, dank, damp stillness. Anticipation stalked the air. The world was ready to sweat.

Drops of blood, Adam hoped.


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