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There by Boomer Trujillo



Boomer Trujillo

He is. Or at least He sits. There. Two legs fewer than His stool, beard long and worn as the bar He leans on. There, His creative anxiety breathed it into existence. His desire to rest gave Him brew, which sits in a mug and the mug in a gnarled crater. The only thing that moves There, and only in tired lines, is the mug, the steam of the brew even refusing to float upward. His thoughts give Him a heft that His elbows bear on His thighs. The same thoughts carved His eyes and cheeks with tears, tears that reflect There in His eyes as He recounts His youth. There, these days, is more dust than breath, breath only around in sighs, dust only as waxing crescents under His nails. Five nails at a time hold briar and the briar some embers. He exhales smoke as atonement.


He recounts: Nothing to do, so He made It. He packed earth between His palms and poured light into His hands. He swirled water behind His lips and exhaled into the mixture. He held It to His heart and watched as His body heat turned dirt and vapor to continents and oceans. He watched as thumps from His chest aerated the soil and made thunder and rainbows. A hair from His beard fell onto It, from which all creatures sprung and stretched, writhed and wriggled. When He saw this He smiled, and His smile gulped some brew.

When He began to rejoice and dance, He set the sculpture on the bar top. But there It cooled and dried, froze and cracked. When he noticed, he gasped, and the gasp collapsed the ash downward. He wept at His neglect. So He gave It a fiery core for warmth and a shield of wind and waves for protection. But His guilt from his first folly grew too taxing for one to bear, so He made him, on It, sculpted of soil, animated by moist, warm prayers. He wanted someone to share It with, a companion to sing harmony and drum rhythms. But at first, Adam neither sang nor danced. Adam felt his Father’s guilt but had no There or It or companion for consolation. So He made Hawwah and gave her a garden on It. She and Adam gave themselves to each other. She brought life to Adam, and they to Him. The three sang and swung and spun.

When the two were hungry, He gave them fruits. When they craved expression, He gave them new materials and knowledge. But with contentment and answers, they forgot mystery and context. Their dogma saddened Him, and their will frightened Him. He fumbled the sculpture and dropped It. It fell away, away from There into nowhere, faster than the tears from His beard.


Only yells could cross the void, and so He tried to talk with them. Yet arduous screams give only commandments and fragments. They misunderstood Him. Their sons and daughters did too.

His panic sent storms, sunrises, and plagues, gave signs to the kings and teachers. Yet the trinkets guided and healed only at first. Then they destroyed and corroded. The ark leaked its lightning, and sand smudged words off of tablets.

They forgot how to dance and instead learned to march. He wept. When He could think of no solution, He slept.

Then, There, His dreams bore Him a son, and His son nuzzled his face into His chest and gave his Father new brew. He awoke and smiled; His son warmed His spirit and the brew His body.

He danced with Him. He chose the steps and signaled; he added tension and flourish. They sang harmonies, soft and loud, in fifths and thirds. When one hungered, the other cooked. When one ailed, the other healed. They became each other. They learned of love and mutuality, vulnerability and strength.

Then they remembered, and There it rained. They remembered them and It and agreed. He would go to them to remind them of love.

The son fell away from There into nowhere, toward It.


When he arrived, he saw how they forgot. He saw Father’s living word fossilized in stone, and gifts put in shrines instead of to use. So he sang love. He healed the body by humming for the sick and dancing with the tired. But the powerful and popular were ashamed. He had found utopia’s downtrodden and their sores, and his song dared fill them with grace and beauty. The many were jealous. Their envy grew spores in their stomachs. Their shame corrupted them. So he preached love to them too. He showed sincerity, offered acceptance. But their insecurity rotted his offerings and reacted. Violence soon oozed through their pores.

They did not want to change if it meant what they were was inadequate. They did not want healing if it meant their righteousness was disease. Cure us? they wondered. Why remedy the limbs when you can cut the cancer out? they reasoned. So they used his Father’s law and tradition to sharpen a scalpel; they invented a hell in preparation to incinerate his sickness.

When he saw this, their will frightened him, so he fled. In panic, he loved. He found friends and wed Magdalene. He told them many hated him, but they didn’t understand. But no one can, not with empty stomachs and brittle lips. So he taught them to fish and break bread, to make wine and share love. But they were still confused. So he spoke in rhyme and images and made them promise to remember, to love him by loving each other. They didn’t understand why he asked remembrance when he was still there.

Then the many came for him, and he was powerless to stop the crowd. Then friends and lovers had to learn to remember too quickly.

Back There, He felt a void open in his gut, and his heart collapsed into it. He wept again. Yet He was too old to shout, and His bones too gnarled to sculpt. His soul was too tired to dream.

So He sits. There. No partner to sing with. Smoke ends pain, and drink brings sleep. Sometimes, He remembers them and him and Himself. How they forgot, He sighs. How I gave Myself but it was not enough, He sulks. His mood dims His thoughts. So There He sits. Breathing. Forgetting.


Then He forgot how to sulk, forgot how to forget. His body forgot how to be tired. The bar no longer supported Him, and His toes took His weight from His heels. He forgot His fear of failure. His lips hummed; His feet pattered. He began to dance, to dream again.

He understood His mistake. Instead of giving them a how, he shouted one word across the void: “Why!”

And each reverberation on It changed His word’s shape.






01110111 01101000 01111001

Every genius heard its ring, and the resonance flaked rust from their minds. Losing the rust made room for others and their questions. Back There, He was pleased.

He changed the sun and re-wrote the epicycles. He made Terra dance around Sol, and sent a lens so they could find the bodies and watch.

He revealed the overture and movement, showed them they were not the final song. He scuffed the finish of the earth and cells to show bones and ladders of aminos. He sent circuits so they could record the signatures and scales, the sceneries and stories.

He saw them awaken, remember, ask. Yet when they found and stated, they began to forget and feud. So He sent new questions and revealed new puzzles until their eyes fluttered upward and their hands shared work. He was pleased.


There, He sits and hums, wonders and scribbles. He watches them grow and wither, dance and quiver. His dreams bear questions, and the questions hope. His paper bears ink, and the void bears notes that drop from There toward It and them.

There, he scurries and jigs, prepares a feast and beds. He makes a New There for them and waits till they follow His maps to reach Him.

Food for Thought

For centuries, philosophers have lashed against the Three-O God (the omnipotent, omnibenevolent, and omniscient one). The Problem of Evil attacks most savagely. It assumes one premise: profound suffering, physiological and psychological, exists in the world. Then it argues that such evils can only exist in a world where god is (a) ignorant of the suffering or a cure thereto, (b) diabolical in his creation or permission of such pain, or (c) too weak to remove humanity’s evils. So if Christians—especially orthodox Westerners—want to believe in a God, they must revise the qualities they think he has, or give up their belief. This story is a prosaic example of how to explain the images and teachings of Christianity, while also weakening the three Os of tradition. The He of “There” is omnibenevolent but pitifully limited in His ability to understand humanity’s evils and His powers to mitigate the suffering.

About the Author

The arid steppes of the Texas Panhandle sculpted boomer trujillo of dust and wind. His Hispanic upbringing engrained Catholic mythology and divine suffering into him each Sunday at mass. His education, most recently as a PhD student in philosophy at Vanderbilt, is his attempt to make sense of it all. His fiction catalogues his intellectual failures but advances his emotional tranquility. He hopes it does the same for you.

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In Ages of Imagination, Thus are Removed Mountains by Robert J. Santa




Robert J. Santa




LEAD SHOT:Fixed-position angle from street corner looking up at Bailey

Building – screen center – with blue (type 85) sky as background,

high light level (range 90-93), low velocity cumulus clouds (maximum

8 kph) move screen left to screen right

ACTION: Clouds continue to move, light level drops 2 stages, hold view ten

seconds, focus down during voiceover, fade to black

VOICE OVER:“Bailey. Now and always. Working for you.”


“Allow me to make introductions,” Valmont Bailey said. He made an open-handed gesture towards Jefferson and Cynthia. “My top team, Cynthia Aristotle and Jefferson Boggs, may I present Vice President Oscar Trujillo and Admiral Frijov Nicholaysen.” They all shook hands. Jefferson noted the Admiral had a grip like an Arctic bear, and he felt the old man could probably wrestle him to the ground with little need for assistance. Cynthia saw instantly the fabled charisma of the UN Vice President as he made eye contact and opened up his best politician’s smile. Her first thought was how she would love to get him in front of the camera for that Frozen Family Meals campaign they were developing. She made a mental note to check with his publicists.

“Please have a seat,” said Bailey, indicating the two unoccupied chairs. Valmont Bailey walked around his desk and sat. He nodded to the Admiral.

“Before we begin,” the Admiral said, “I should tell you for the purposes of this meeting, your security clearances have been raised to Highest Priority levels, with the usual non-disclosure verbiage. Your signatures are not required for this, but Mr. Bailey has the paperwork nevertheless.” Bailey slid two sheets across his desk. Jefferson and Cynthia pressed their thumbs against the boxes at the bottom.

“I am sure you are both familiar with the Belt and the colonies,” Admiral Nicholaysen said during the exchange. “A routine delivery vessel to Tolstoy did not return. This was just less than a year ago. A second vessel went out after it…” The room darkened, and one of the windows displayed seventy seconds of video that was neither technically nor artistically well-filmed. The front edge of the vessel occupied the foreground, with an asteroid group in the background. Lights flashed from multiple asteroids on screen right, growing too quickly for the eye to follow. A disorganized splash of color and movement rattled the screen before it went blank.

The Admiral walked over to the window with a pointer. The screen displayed a moment halfway into the clip.

“The lights,” he said, circling the red dot around the flashes on the screen, “are missiles launching. The destruction of the supply vessels is not as important as what you see in the background, however.” This time the Admiral highlighted the group of asteroids. “This larger one is MacAllen, and in descending order of size are G83, Tolstoy, Cambridge, Art Yukon, Whalebone, and Thank God, with two others that could not be identified. They are all orbiting within a few thousand kilometers of each other. Last year, they were spread out over a distance of some fourteen million kilometers. They were moved, for obvious reasons.”

He clicked off his pointer and walked back to his chair. On the way he passed Vice President Trujillo who stood as the screen played another clip, this time something infinitely more familiar to Jefferson and Cynthia. It was one of their more famous spots in their most famous campaign. The images on the screen were those of starving, filthy, destitute people packed together, scrounging for food and shelter. Beneath the grime and sores every face, young and old alike, bore the characteristics of the “classic American” look. The voiceover mentioned the poverty, the dwindling coffers, that the time to put the tourniquet around the wound was now, to end the handouts so there would be something left for the future. The screen faded and returned to being a window.

“The Fertility Boards,” the Vice President began, “would never have been able to lay the groundwork for world population control without support from the UN superpowers. It was the relentless and skilled advertising of this company that made public support possible here and on every continent. More specifically, it was the genius work of you two that finally brought the planet’s exponential population growth to a manageable figure. We know your worth. The UN has already paid Bailey Advertising ten million dollars just for this meeting and to set forth our proposal, which you may decline. Your budget would be on the same level with that of the Fertility Boards, which means there is no budget.

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