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.)