Hector’s Story. Experimental Post – Reader Participation Required!

It was one of these days. It dragged and bulged and time was all wonky. It was a Sunday in Lewis. Hector wanted nothing more than to life face down on the cool linoleum in the kitchen, or lie face up under a coffee-table but he was stuck there on the sofa between his granny and his grandpa listening to the minister. He could feel his brain writhing in boredom in his skull, pulling his eye-tubes back painfully, trying to get them to roll the bulbed eyeballs back into his head and take a nap.

“Hnngg ahhhngg ee hnng hnng hnnng” droned the minister.

“Oooooh! huhee huhoo huhibbleibbleibble” exclaimed Granny.

“Gildy bildy beedly o?” asked Grandpa.

And so they went on. There would be another hour of this at least and he was of an age now where he was supposed to be able to participate in after-church chat with the minister before a light tea of sandwiches and then out to church again to burn the holy taper at both ends. Candles and tapers weren’t allowed in the Worshipful Spartan Free Kirk Of The Hebrides though, being too wicked, so he doubted if candle metaphors were allowed either. He spent the next 5 minutes of his life concentrating on all he had ever heard about candles.

At 13, Hector knew there had to be more to life than this. He was stuck here for the next 5 years until he could escape off the island to university. The thought of almost 300 more sundays spent like this between now and then squeezed and pinched at his brain making it want to leap right out of his head and onto the carpet to gather some soothing, muffling fluff. He stifled a yawn.

The proximity to hellfire made a Lewis Sunday curl up like a leaf. In this stifling tube of a day with light only at either end, a child could curl and take in the hell-fire heat, or that child could use his imagination to take himself to a place that wasn’t Sunday: to go to one end of the tube and peer through the quiet, hot noise of Sunday to the next week as if the rolled-up day was a telescope; or at the past week like it was a microscope. I myself was a microscope kid. I pored over the minutiae, the hurts and small insults of the past week, the faces of people, why they might be the way they were: jolly, lumpy, tired, angry. Hector was a telescope kid though. On Sundays he looked forward.

“Hngg, ee hngii Machnngh hingee hnnngh” said the minister.

Suddenly Hector had an idea. It was a big big idea. It was a Big Idea.

He was going to start a cult. An undercover cult, of course, he couldn’t let his granny find out it was anything to do with him. But with the internet, starting a cult anonymously should be a breeze.

What did he know about cults? Hector forgot to be bored. His near-cooked brain-meat was alive again and full of possibilities.

Cults needed a charismatic leader, of that he was sure. That leader needed to have the wide, slow smile of fearlessness. He needed to go for long periods of time without blinking. He needed to shock peoples’ sensibilities with flat outrageous sentences such as “People whose names begin with L deserve to die!” or “The BBC will poison your souls unless you purify yourself by sleeping with me!” The more outlandish the statement, the more he could convince people of its essential truth and quake all their mental geography to the point where they were capable of anything. These people would be called Hectorians.

“Aaah, beedly bildy ba diddle-glid.” intoned his Grandpa.

Hector began to think.

To Be Continued…

(This tale will be told in episodes but I want you guys to be a part of it. So you tell me, what is this cult about? What does it celebrate? Bear in mind the setting is the Western Isles so sun-worshipping is probably out.)

36 thoughts on “Hector’s Story. Experimental Post – Reader Participation Required!”

  1. Firstly Sam, I have to say I’m impressed with your time travelling – your post says July 1st, while I’m commenting on June 30th.

    Personally I’ve recently decided to drop any intentions to become a messiah – a) I don’t have the energy for it, b) messiahs generally come to a sticky end, and c) people tend to be more interested in the miracles than the message.

    However, for your story I’m sure Hector is still young enough to believe people will actually want to listen to him, so I can see why cult leader seems attractive. If he’s from the Western Isles I’m sure seagulls must feature in there somewhere, and the local post-office of course.

    Is he one of those that has to travel to Inverness on the mainland to get his high school education? Hijacking the transport and holding the driver/pilot to hostage is bound to be a good way of drumming up publicity.

  2. Well, he’s really just looking for a way to liven up his Sundays with an alternative religion in which he gets to decide the rules.

    Nobody travels to Inverness for their education! How primitive do you think we are out there!? But people from, Harris, Barra and the Southern Isles used to have to lodge with people in town to go to the Nicholson Institute. That was one of the biggest schools in Scotland as a result. 1500 or so of us. Crap to none for facilities, holes in the classroom walls, 3 to a maths book, but big! Big was all we had! Don’t take that away from us!

    Just a wee note. This will be a seagull-free cult, repeat – seagull-free – unless it involves the roasting of their cold cruel eyeballs in a sacrificial rite or something.

  3. I just love that Hebridean dialect spoken by Grandma and Grandpa! Not from the minister, of course, he was obviously suffering from wind. Didn’t you ever get the giggles on a Lewis Sunday, Sam?

  4. Hector is (unknown as yet to his sunday self) – the saviour and leader of the peat pixies, who have been locked away in their soggy forlorn peat banks for decades but now sense a new dawn …. a release date – a welcoming refurbished AGA. Of course peat pixies are timid but wayward souls without guidance, leadership, inspiration, motivation, a hint of bog myrtle beer and a purpose….. Hector will find them a purpose …a 21st century Lewis mission …. with greater reward than just a jaffa cake.

  5. Pursuing Kim A’s idea, he could kidnap Donald Trump. Saki has already written the story where the family is so relieved at having the victim taken off their hands that they won’t cough up the ransom, so that denouement is denied to you. But sacrifice… . Might it work, if it’s not too Wicker Man-ish? Of course, it wouldn’t be a subtle story, but nor would it be sentimental.

    I’m shocked by Go. B.’s suggestion of Sabbath giggles. Say it ain’t so, Sam.

  6. Inkspot, giggling on a Sunday is the surest way to hell. Smiling’s allowed but you mustn’t enjoy it too much. But ooh, I do like the idea of kidnapping Donald Trump! I might need a higher value target though, say a goldfish. Something beloved of someone at the very least. Or, then again, maybe if I did kidnap him, I could get to the root hoho of how The Donald gets his hair like that and whether or not it involves string theory and the 11th dimension. Then I could sell him to Stephen Hawkins. Or I could threaten him with head shaving, and charge him 100 per strand if he wants to keep it.

    Bock, well we all read Puffins when we were wee so they are already adored. Shags are worshipped as the Gods Of Long, Dark, Stormy Nights When The Electricity Goes Out.

  7. Unless Bock is already in, it?s about Irish politics, the bigger the lie the more believing and malleable the audience. Okay, okay, I know it?s not about our bog politic, and I love the telescope mass, used to count pre-fabricated tiles on the church ceiling until the McNcNamara sisters went to ?receive? when I wished they were ?receiving? from me.

    Cults Sam, Western Isles cults, John Marion Wayne get down off your horse and drink you milk pilgrim cults, a proper shower of cults all those cultists were.

    Maybe the cult of the whining wine drinking middle-aged crisis ridden blogger who went to the Hebrides looking for space, man/women.

  8. So it must be a love story? Nothing matches the Trump’s immortal love for himself, consummated or not.

    Fine root work there. Stephen Hawking’s agents will be in touch.

    Is a shag (no tittering, Miss) the same thing as a cormorant? It must be worth knowing things like that.

  9. If they worship fairy cakes I’ll join. Or maybe, if they worship fairies and sacrifice the cakes by eating them. Yes, that sounds like my kind of cult.

  10. Could it have something to do with revering animal droppings or pancakes shaped like martyred saints? Or television personalities? People in my small town are always lining up with rosaries and coins whenever the image St. Terese is seen in a bowl of oatmeal or cabbage.

  11. Hector is the reincarnation of Hearadh, the Wild Bull of Scalpay, who would, on the day before* the summer solstice, swim the Minch to Eilean Chaluim Chille and wreak havoc on the heretic monks camped out in their Little Brother Household they called Iondat.

    To assuage his anger the Little Brothers of Eilean Chaluim Chille would plie him with him 27 virgins and eDay vouchers.

    *He’d be back within 24hrs. Nothing better than sex and a bit of shopping on Orkney on the solstice.

  12. Obviously, cults tend to arise around a personality. Whether godhead, or the idea of god plays a roll or not it’s still about some specific person?s egocentric megalomaniac self-masturbation of ego. It always comes back to the individual and their inflated sense of self. God incarnate and all that jazz still becomes about me and the living god through me?or me as the living god. ME, ME, ME! What if the cult?s theology allowed everyone to be a deity in his or her own right? What if everything sentient, or not so sentient in the way we think of it, were gods? What if every tree, rock, turd, discarded can, clouds were gods? I have no idea where this might lead but it might be entertaining. I?m The Mouse God?you?re just a fur tangled mangy cat! Bow down to A God! Cat God: ?Yes! That Mouse God was a nice tasty snack.?

  13. Hector needs a vision, something that might turn his young head of hair white overnight. (skillfully concealed peroxide will help).
    He must then be silent for full seven weeks, building his serene charism.
    He must find a suitable staff, washed in from the sea.
    He must weave a mat of marram and sleep on it.
    He must choose a ‘sacred’ place, a dune facing the setting sun.
    He must choose an acolyte, through whom he will speak, gnomically.
    He must name the world anew.

    People will come to him. They will project their needs on to him and it will seem to them that he, and he alone answers their needs. And when the aurora lights the northern sky he will lead them in ecstatic gazing, and revelations, and eating sacred musrooms.

    For he is leader of the Hectaurorians…

  14. Donnie! Missed you there ‘cos you went to my moderation queue. But there is no greater reward than a Jaffa Cake!

    Sniffle, it’s ripe for a cult alright. But we deserve a good one, one where we get to have a bit of fun. Our other cult, the Jesus one, is just too gloomy in the Hebridean variant.

    Inkers, it’s my blog and I’ll titter if I want to! I googled it for you – what other blog provides you with such service at no extra charge? – and found that, in Britain, shags have crests and cormorants don’t, but they are closely related cousins of the Phalacrocoracidae family. However as they were named by sailors round the world at different times, not always according to the crest rule, “sometimes the same species is called a cormorant in one part of the world and a shag in another, e.g., the Great Cormorant is called the Black Shag in New Zealand (the birds found in Australasia have a crest that is absent in European members of the species).” Wikipedia. Bet you wish you hadn’t asked.

    Eryl. I don’t want my cake becoming incarnate though. Red velevet raspberry cake would be hard to eat under transsubstantiational circumstances, I think.

  15. Jozet, howya? When I was a teenager I once saw a cloud that looked like the finger of God and it was pointing right at me, accusingly. It was a Sunday too. Whatever it was though, I hadn’t done it, I swear! Not much anyway.

    Sneezy, ha! Thing is I think Hearadh, the Wild Bull of Scalpay, is doing 5 to 7 in the Bar L for his antics in the heretic monks pottery shop and tea-room. Plus I’m not sure you’d find 27 virgins in Crobeag.

    Jeremy, you’ve got it though, pretty soon a hierarchy of Gods would set in or be set up and there would be Chief Executive gods and tea-boy gods and we’d be exactly the same as before except we’d call ourselves gods. Too many people think they are as it is, without the trees and rocks getting in on the deal.

    Conan, “He must find a suitable staff, washed in from the sea.” I’m not sure now, but I’m pretty sure the labour laws would prohibit him from pressing paddling holidaymakers into service. I’m loving Hectaurorians! Ecstatic gazing is dead culty too, we should have some of that, and I really think there ought to be at least a little gnomic speaking.

    Rand, are the family back? Are you all dry over there in MO? It looks like a terrible mess is going to be left behind once the water retreats.

  16. Hi, Sam. I live on a hill. No worries, yet. And yes, they’re back as of last night.

    As for religions, you need a beginning, middle, and apocalyptic end. Thus you could start fresh, like Tolkien in The Silmarillion, or borrow an established one. I suggest the latter because it’s faster. Then go with some sort of new revelation — find some golden plates, that disappear after he’s translated them — get followers for the reformation of the old ways. Through in some blood shed and naughty naked sinning, followed by retribution and repentance, then end with a Tsunami of Judgment over Lewis, leaving only the faithful.

    Voila

  17. He shall form the Cult of the Gloaming. They shall foretell the Coming of the Gloams, dark creatures who(m) hide in the mists and kidnap the shadows of the unwary, the unwieldy and the unwell, leaving them friendless and afraid in the stark Scottish dullness that passes for day.

    Their motto shall be “There will be a Reckoning”. They shall use the word “fey”a lot, though few are they who have any idea what it means.

    If the rest of the world thinketh that golf, the Loch Ness monster and the Bay City Rollers were bad, wait until they behold what Scotland hath in store for them now.

  18. finger of God in the clouds.

    That’s really weird Sam, because I saw the same thing only it was unmistakeably “the Vics”. God was giving me the vickey. It was on my wedding day and it was the minister who drew my attntion to it.

  19. Hector was suffering in the Hebrides like I was suffering in LaPuente. We had church three times a week, and I swear, our preacher spoke the same dialect!
    And I love that description of microscope kids vs telescopers. I was a microscope kid myself.

    Please let there be someone new in town. Someone fiery with a past. A Puerto Rican widow of a fisherman, maybe, with a fun Bolivian uncle who comes to visit. Maybe he’s related to Che Guevera and knows how to train seagulls.

  20. Oh. Love-15 to PCB.

    But hang on, what about that Ogden Nash poem, that starts “The common cormorant, or shag…”? Googling is no substitute for diligent research, young lady. For instance, my friend Stephen, who commits poetry for a living, claims that Mallarme describes a cat’s bum as a “divine defect”. Could I find this on the internet, in any language? Could I hell. So either the internet is rubbish, or Stephen, convicted so far only of poetry, but nothing verse, has descended to Making Stuff Up. I know which is more likely.

    15-all, I think.

  21. ….. Hector trusted in his own strength and destroyed his people. Now his lifeless husk towed bouncing behind the wheels of a tarted up Massey Ferguson clattered against the front left leg of the tied up swing, when the tractor with vim and a bit of side brake, pointed all thirty five horses down past the school with strong Gaelic views -mostly lets get the f*** out of here- and his Grandpa, who intoned ‘Gobshite’. ,

  22. Is the giant man made of wicker and Britt Ekland’s arse, or will the arse feature alongside the giant man?

    I suggest the face be made from her arse (she must be 70 by now) and the rest of him from wicker.

  23. I was very taken with Christopher Lee’s ridiculous Lord Summerisle in the Wicker Man. Do you think Hector would be willing to wear a dress and prance around like a total gobshite?

  24. Excellent, excellent suggestions, all! And how unexpectedly well-versed in cults y’all are! Will reply properly to your individual selves after I’ve done the shopping and Andy’s won his game.

  25. ?The BBC will poison your souls unless you purify yourself by sleeping with me!?

    I can’t tell you how many of my first dates ended with just that sentence. Blurgh.

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