July 30, 2006, 12:17pm
Zeelar's Last Thoughts
The sounds Zeelar was hearing had now changed from the clash of weapons and the grunt of war cries to the sloshing of fluids and his own cries to struggle free of King Hsss's mouth. Frantically he began punching the inner sides of the Snake King's mouth, even as the buccal cavity secreted viscous saliva to moisten him, and the muscular esophagus began working him down.
Zeelar kicked his legs, as a man swimming to escape the jaws of a large predatory sea creature. King Hsss momentarily opened his mouth wider, and the muscular black man slid deeper down -- head-first -- into the throat of the snake king. Even though he heaved, and pushed, and struggled with all his might Zeelar did not have the strength to push against the strong peristaltic movement of Hsss's esophagus. Soon his entire body would be inside, and then he realized, he would only have a brief moment before the reptilian digestive tract crushed his body flat, the fluids bursting out of his skin -- and everything sliding easily down into the waiting stomach of King Hsss. Powerful digestive juices in the snake's belly would do the rest.
Zeelar coughed, his lungs beginning to suffocate for lack of oxygen. His chest heaved, drawing in what precious air was coming through Hsss's mouth. He started to feel dizzy, and felt as if he were on the verge of fainting. As life faded, his thoughts drifted to another time, another place in a different universe far and away from this one.
His thoughts rested soley on an old church building, his mama sitting him and Zodac down in the pews. Always dressed in his Sunday best. His brother and him playing together, until they got too loud and mama would have to tell them to shut their mouths up. As usual, the preacher with the funny gray hair and egg-shaped belly talking about how the white man did black folks wrong. He was always told that white people treated blacks like ****. Now he thought it ironic that the snake man would turn him into ****. But it was not that particular preacher who was at the pulpit this one Sunday. A guess speaker was there. What was his name? Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson. Huh? Now why did he remember that, why now?
He couldn't recall all the sermon. But he remembered some things that the reverend Peterson had said, and it now flashed before his eyes as if were watching it play before him. Reverend Peterson talked about Jesus, and how everyone needed Jesus. It didn't matter if you were white, black, yellow, red, whatever. Everyone had done God wrong. And everyone was going to go to Hell. But Jesus came to pay the penalty of death for everybody who would put their trust in Him.
Zeelar found he could no longer kick his legs. His body was now fully inside King Hsss, and would soon be deep within the esophagus, just inches away from the stomach. He would die here, and this would be his grave -- unless King Hsss would defecate outside later, and his remains be recovered by his brother. The abdominal muscles began to rumble.
Feverishly, and with the last breath he drew, Zeelar prayed, "Lord Jesus, please forgive me of my sins. Please be mah Lord and Saviour. Please save mah soul, Lord. Amen!" He marvelled that he spoke in Ebonics rather than the refined Eternian he had done so for twenty years. Immediately after, the walls of the esophagus began to constrict and pressed against all sides of his body, giving a mighty squeeze. The pain built up until it was intense, lasting for what seemed like an hour. After several seconds, Zeelar's powerful muscular body gave way, and his fluids all burst out of him -- bones crushed as well. His corpse now slid down into the stomach of King Hsss, gastric juices melting away the black man's body.
Zeelar awoke to find himself in a place of wide open space and bright light that attracted the eyes. A great crowd of people were before him, tugging at him, welcoming him to this place. A beautiful black woman walked towards him, smiling that telltale wide-eyed grin, teeth perfect.
"Mama?!" he cried.
"Mah baby boy!!"
They embraced, sobbing in each other's arms. How he had missed her for so long!
Mama drew back, and said, "Boy, I jus died last week o'cancer. I never knew you be sent off to another universe."
"Mama, I didn't know how to get back." he replied, having forgotten the labor pains which brought him here.
He scanned the crowd. There was Kinsasha, Zodac's old girlfriend. With stunning clarity, he discerned that she must have died in a drive-by shooting. But all that didn't matter now. Looking around some more, he saw his sister, Zywanda. There was his cousin Laquon, who he last saw on the basketball courts, later hearing that he drowned while fishing.
Then, at the far end of the crowd, people began to stand aside, forming two ranks, making way for the One coming towards him. Zeelar opened his mouth and eyes wide in awe. The man's face was mangled, as well as his hands and feet. They looked as if they had been put into a meat grinder, great scars on them a telltale sign of the violence they had been put through. The Man held his hands out.
"For you, Zeelar. For you! And I would do it all over again for you." said the Man.
Zeelar dropped to the ground on his knees. Everyone else did the same.