Visitors from Out of TownSeptember 5, 2013 at 9:07 AM | Posted in Fiction | Leave a comment
I haven’t been here in a long, long time. But if we’re talking about ancient Sumer, no one has…
The Book of Nezzrahem
1. In the seventy-third-plus-fourteen year of the Uruk Kingdom, in the time after the planting but before the ministering, in the region near the city-state of Larsa, but south, near the river valley, which is as fertile and a gift from the gods, there was a village with no name;
2. For this village, which hath no name, was the place wherefrom the kings’ armies would take their supplies; the farmed goods which had been harvested, and the meat from the cattle they produced, any metal goods and carts, and of course, the women, for the Kings’ Armies required the best of all things the Valley of the Kings could produce, and this village with no name hath a reputation for producing beautiful creatures, which were taken for the pleasure and solace of the Kings’ Armies.
3. And it came to pass that while working the field, the family of Nezzrahem was visited by a group of heavenly travelers.
4. The travelers had the appearance of unworldly dress, and emerged from a shining enclosed chariot, pulled by neither man nor beast, but instead seemed to be powered by the gods; it was a half-complement of creatures, numbering 8, and their countenance and mannerisms showed them to be not of this ether.
5. For though they spaketh the language, it was halting and guarded, with strange usage of words, and odd pronunciation; nevertheless they communicated with the family of Nezzrahem, and told of their mission.
6. But the Nezzrahem family did disagree on what the angelic visitors said their mission was, for their individual understanding was different; Father Neb-On-Nezzra saith that their mission was to bring the power of the gods to the Kings’ Armies, and glorious weapons heretofore unseen by man;
7. But Daru-Le, chief wife of Neb-On, claimed that their mission was to bring to pass a bounteous harvest;
8. And Evi-Der, the middle wife, said the mission of the angels was to protect the newborn children from disease, and from the Maelstrom of the Kings, the annual culling of the children.
9.And te-Delri, the junior wife, was forbade to speak, as is law. And thusly were the children ignored, for though they had experienced the same event, their words and their minds were weak and could not be trusted.
10. But the eldest son, Neb-On-tok-Nezzra, having reached the Age of Ritual and was now preparing to join the Kings’ Armies after the harvest was fulfilled, and was considered a man, and as such lay claim to the right to speak, and thusly did relay his account of the vision of angels.
11. And it came to pass that Neb-On-tok-Nezzra told his story, far and wide; and his story did get repeated, and his story passed from village to town to city-state, even unto reaching the ears of the Counsel of the Kings.
12. And it came to pass that the Kings then did call for young Neb-On-tok-Nezzra to come unto the Palace of the Kings, and tell his tale; and he did.
13. Wherefore Neb-On-tok-Nezzra spaketh before the kings, and told of the day the angels came;
14. He said there was a blinding, holy light, which filled the sky;
15. He said that instantly, there was the chariot, shining and glowing like the sun, enclosed, made of some unknown heavenly material;
16. He said that it opened mysteriously, and the eight holy creatures disembarked;
17. He said that it was difficult to understand them at first, and they he; but after a fashion, their words flowed effortlessly;
18. He said the heavenly creatures were there on a mission; that thusly they had traveled a long distance through both time and space, which made no sense; for how does one travel through time?
19. He said they were there to study and to learn, and watch how we as children of the Valley of the Kings lived our lives;
20. He said that when they were done, they would return to the time and place from whence they came;
21. And the Counsel of Kings, upon hearing this tale, did confer with one another; for such a thing as they had never heard before, and likewise wished to never hear again.
22. Because all power of heaven and earth resides with the Counsel of Kings; wherefore if such a thing existed beyond their scope it must therefore be removed;
23. Wherefore all evidence of the visitation of the Angels had taken leave with them; nothing remained that showed it had ever taken place.
24. Wherefore the King of the city-state of Babyl spaketh, saying, “If these then are the only witnesses to this event, wherefore should we not remove them, to hasten the departure of this abominable story from our eyes?
25. And it came to pass that the other kings agreed; wherefore the King of the city-state of Umma bade the counsel well and departed.
26. And it came to pass that the King of the city-state of Umma collected his generals in Bad Tibira, and forthwith they rode;
27. And it came to pass that the Kings’ Armies marched to Larsa, and continued south;
28. And it came to pass that the Kings’ Armies marched to the village with no name, the home of the Nezzrahem clan;
29. And it came to pass that the Kings’ Armies did burn the village, and the fields, and the killed the men, and the women, and the children.
30. And so it shall be that this record carved shall be hidden, and shall remain the only witness to the slaughter of the people of the village with no name.