“While some of us will laugh and shake our heads discounting these moments narrated here as insanity, others will connect with the hidden truth/truths.”
Joelcy Kay | Editor | Edge of Humanity Magazine
Written By Matt Williams
With the pandemic came a tsunami of conspiracy theories, influencing even the most steadfast of individuals. Unfortunately, today, that included Brian.
‘Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today.’ Brian began, smiling at the doe-eyed couple in front of him. ‘Brought together by love. The love of Gareth and Jenny.’
Friends and family had gathered. Laughter was being shared, love was being celebrated as a gentle breeze caressed its way through the church. It had been a perfect spring day.
‘Despite the best efforts of the New World Order and their ‘virus’.’ Brian continued.
With an exchange of puzzled looks, the congregation sort each other out for confirmation this as an unconventional start to the ceremony, rather than the weird sub-Reddit vibe it was displaying.
‘But we look to join them together in holy matrimony, under the eyes of their friends and family. And God.’ He said, before pausing. ‘And under surveillance by the shadowy malevolent overlords whom wish to control all we do.’
Concerned, although not showing it, Brian’s verger stepped forward and with a discrete whisper enquired if he was ok.
‘It’s fine.’ He responded, waving him away as if he was the crazy one. ‘Now, please. Take each other’s hands, and Gareth, repeat after me: I, Gareth.’
‘Take thee Jennifer.’
‘Take thee Jennifer.’
‘I promise to honour you.’
‘I promise to honour you.’
‘In poverty and in wealth.’
‘In poverty and in wealth.’
‘In sickness and in health.’
‘In sickness and in health.’
‘And will battle any reptilian for control of the Earth.’
‘And will battle any rept…’ Gareth began, before stopping. ‘Sorry. What?’
Brian stepped forward to address the room, but stopped. Like what he had to convey was too large to articulate.
‘Ladies and gentlemen of the congregation.’ He spoke, after composing himself. ‘Gareth and Jenny. I apologise for stopping, but what I have to tell you is of the utmost importance and cannot wait. You are being lied to.’
There’s a melodramatic gasp. Jenny shoots Gareth the most accusatory glare. The poor guy, perplexed by the whole situation, can only shrug in protest at his innocence.
‘I know this may be difficult to hear, but our government, in fact, all governments, have been lying to us. I’ve recently come into information, reliable information revealing to me what is possibly the biggest hoax in the history of the human race.’
Silence falls as realisation dawns. Looks are exchanged once more, this time hoping the look will encourage that one brave individual to step forward and regain control of the pending car crash. But no one does.
‘What I am about to tell you was released online, by a warrior in the battle for real truth. Their identity is so secret they can only be referred to be an alias. So, we thank IckeSkank69 for their bravery.’ Brian takes a breath. The breath one has to take before delivering serious news. ‘The world is flat. Not a globe, as they have led us to believe. But flat. I’m sure this will be shocking news to most of you, but it’s true. Our world is disc shaped. What we know of as the poles are, in fact, large ice walls running around the perimeter of this disc, and this is all encased under a glass dome. There is a grand conspiracy afoot. One to keep us ignorant of the truth. But I am here to shine a light on this. To move us towards the path of truth.’
Standing at the front, Brian surveys the room. He had expected more of a reaction, but surmised such world-shattering news would leave even the hardiest individual in shock.
It was then he spotting a camera phone. Racing forward, he slapped the device from the owner’s hands. Leaving the unsuspecting Mother of the Groom aghast and her Wordle unsolved.
‘What do you think you’re doing?’ He chastised.
She fumbled for an answer. Finding none, she turned to her husband for help, who, having been startled awake, offers little actionable support.
‘These things,’ he said, brandishing the cracked device, more agitated now. ‘These… tools of the illuminati are how they keep us dumb, stop us from questioning the narrative. They’re so simple in their design. How can you question what’s happening around you if you’re always staring down at the screen?’
Brian began a slow walk down the aisle. Taking his show on the road to reach more people. But all avoid his gaze, in the same way we ignore someone laughing out loud to themselves at the back of a bus.
‘Because that’s how they control population growth!’ his face turning more beetroot in tinge with every passing moment. ‘The more people who look at their phones when out, the more accidents occur. Is it any coincidence that mobile phone related accidents have increased since the advent of the mobile phone?’
‘And you know they’re in the food chain?’ Brian directs to one young chap, who, unsure how best to respond, puts his fingers in his ears and closes his eyes. ‘It’s true. Everyone knows they pump antibiotics into cows, but not everyone knows why. They say it’s for food safety but it’s to suppress the cow’s natural abilities. Cows have more poise and dexterity than horses. If you look back at the early Olympic events, you see cows competing in dressage. That’s why they call the cow the horse of the people. Suppressing the cow suppresses the people. That’s why they do it.’
The crowd bristled, checking for the exits, calculating escape times and generating a justifiable rationale for leaving their elderly relatives behind.
‘Even crazier still is the reason Walt Disney was cryogenically frozen. Not so that in the future he may get to experience life again, but because Mickey Mouse is self-aware. And Disney Land is his Truman Show-esque world. Once he finds out, he’ll go on a rampage the likes the world has ever seen and Walt is the only one who can stop him.’
‘Mickey?’ enquires a toddler, grasping a plush of the mouse.
‘Yes.’ Brian says, taking a seat next to her. ‘In reality, he’s a 6 foot genetically engineered mouse. Who, when faced with its true reality and the psychological break which will follow, is likely to rip your face off.’
The child bursts into tears. Unaware of the trauma he’s dished out, Brian rises and continues his lecture. ‘So, if they’re keeping all this from us. What else is there?’
Salvation comes in the form of the verger. ‘Brian.’ He says. ‘What are you doing?’
‘I,’ Brian stutters. Whether it was the tone of the verger’s voice, sense taking hold, or the sight of a defenceless toddler sobbing into her favourite stuffed toy – a toy which is so worn you can tell it has rarely left her side and is now being soaked in the child’s crocodile tears – something made Brian stop and question himself. ‘I… er. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to upset her.’
Flustered, he steps away, stumbling. He steadies himself against a pew, locking eyes with its inhabitant. They are not impressed. He looks around. Cold, condemning scowls stare back.
Realising his mistake, he backs away, trying to decipher a way back. But, not looking where he’s going, he trips over. His fall draws a huge laugh. Ashamed and humiliated, Brian hurries to the back room of the church and slams the door.
Minutes pass by without a word being spoken as the collective begins making sense of what happened. Silence makes way to a gentle whisper, which is replaced by quiet conversation, until the room is alive with the buzz of gossip and opinion. Until the verger appears and makes his way to the front.
‘Ladies and Gentlemen, quiet please.’ he asks. ‘Let me start off by apologising. Today has been unusual, and is not representative of the professional work Father Brian is known for. Whilst I seek not to make excuses for his actions, I hope I may explain them. The last 18 months have been hard for him, as I’m sure they have been for yourselves. Some of the more “speculatory” information passed amongst social networking sites has helped him rationalise what has happened. But, he has struggled to adjust to life after the pandemic. He’s in a fragile state, and it’s because of this I think it is only sensible for him to not continue with the ceremony.’
A ripple of murmurings passes through the room. With a confident raise of his hand, the verger continued. ‘Without wanting to ruin this most joyful of days further, I would like to offer my services. I am allowed to carry out ceremonies. So, if you should wish, and only I would be more than happy to carry out the ceremony. Hopefully, without incident.’
Suspicious after the day’s unexpected events, the offer draws many opinions. Once bitten, twice shy. But, the verger’s honesty, calm manner and willingness to assist helps quell any unease. So, after some discussion between the Bride, Bride Groom and their parents, the offer is accepted. With it, the mood changes, returning the celebratory vibe to the church once more.
‘Excellent.’ He says, smiling. ‘Now, where were we? Oh yes. Dearly beloved, we’re gathered here today to share in the love of Gareth and Jenny, to revel in their love… And to discuss the Kennedy assassination.’
You’ve never seen a room empty so quickly.
Text © Matt Williams
Matt is a writer from the UK. He mostly writes satirical and sci-fi short stories. Most of which can be found at his site.
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