Hidden away in the mountains, in a forgotten branch of the Carpathian mountain range somewhere on the border between Transylvania and Cisylvania, is the last remaining monastery of the ancient and holy Order of Marshmallownians. It is also the Order’s first monastery, founded over a thousand years ago by St. Michael of Marshmallow himself, shortly before he was captured by Count S’more of Cisylvania, who sent him to his martyrdom by burning him at the stake. The Marshmallownians are a very devout Order, who fast three days a week, and slow on the others. They never miss their daily recital of the seven hours of prayer, and often stick an eighth and even a ninth one in to boot. The prayers are never said in the vernacular, nor is ordinary Church Latin good enough for them. Only Double Dog Latin will do for the Marshmallownians and each member of the Order is expected to be fluent in this lamentably neglected sacred tongue. If you ever get a chance to visit them, be sure to do so and to join them for prayer, for you will never hear anything like it anywhere else.
The current head of the Order is a man whose family name is Cracker and who at birth was given the name Graham after a distant relative who was a famous evangelical preacher. His parents gave him this name because they hoped that he too would become a preacher but he opted to become a monk instead. To his fellow Marshmallownians he is known affectionately as Brother Moonpie, and they rightly esteem him to be the holiest and most devout of them all.
You can imagine the surprise, therefore, when one morning, during Matins, before they had even gotten to the ibi-tay erubim-Chay et-ay eraphim-Say in the Te-ay, eum-Day audamus-Lay, he up and walked out of the chapel.
Brother Wagonwheel, worried that something was wrong, followed him out. Brother Moonpie, not seeming to notice that he was being shadowed, walked down the corridor to the monastic library, where he went to a neglected shelf in the back and pulled a dusty tome forward. A wall swung open to reveal a hidden chamber. It too was lined with books, older and dustier, for the most part, than the ones in the main part of the library, and contained a study desk upon which what looked to be the oldest and dustiest book of them, lay open. Brother Moonpie sat down in front of the book, turned a page, and then said:
“If you ever wish to moonlight as a detective, Brother Wagonwheel, you will need to learn how to trail people in a much less noticeable manner. I have a DVD that might help you in this. It is a vert rare copy of the film version of the only known collaborative work between Ian Fleming and Erle Stanley Gardner, a James Bond/Perry Mason teamup which was published under the alternate titles The Defense Never Rests and The Case of the Debonair Assassin when the manuscript was discovered after both of its authors had passed on. Someone managed to talk Sean Connery and Raymond Burr into reprising their most famous roles for the film. I really do recommend it and you could pick up some marvelous tips.”
“Um, thanks, I think. I’ll try to keep that in mind.”
Brother Wagonwheel really didn’t know what else to say.
“So, you must have followed me, to the ultra-secret reserved section of the library that up until now only I knew about for a reason. Is there anything I can help you with?”
“I followed you because I was concerned. It is not like you to slip out of Matins before it is even half sung. I was worried that something was wrong.”
“Well, you were right to be worried. Something is wrong, very wrong, but not with me. At least, not in the sense you were thinking.”
“I don’t understand.”
“Something is very wrong in the world outside the walls of this, our safe haven, my friend. I have observed the signs for years and they have been increasing. I have been unable to concentrate on anything else and so have come here to meditate upon the situation.”
“Signs? Of the Apocalypse you mean?”
“Yes and no. As you know, both Testaments of our Holy Scriptures, contain Apocalyptic writings, vivid prophesies of a climactic final battle, in which our Lord and Saviour shall return, defeat the forces of darkness, judge the living and the dead, and reign forevermore. Signs of this Apocalypse would not disturb me at all, for it is the blessed hope for which we are commanded to watch and wait.”
“What other Apocalypse is there?”
“There is nothing pertaining to our Lord that Lucy has not attempted to counterfeit.”
“Lucy? You mean the daughter of the innkeeper in the village down the mountain?”
“No, I mean Lucifer, the enemy of men’s souls.”
“Oh, right, that Lucy.”
“This foul tome that lies open before me is Lucy’s Apocalypse. We keep it here for reference, but in this strictly restricted section, because it is more wicked than the Necronomicon, the Satanic Bible, the Communist Manifesto, the Feminine Mystique, Locke’s Two Treatisesand all other such works put together. As you might expect there are both similarities to the Apocalypse in our Holy Scriptures and significant differences. Like our Apocalypse it tells of a final decisive battle between God and the devil. In Lucy’s version the devil wins.”
“But there is not the slightest chance of that happening.”
“Of course not. But that will not stop Lucy from trying to make it happen. Indeed, Lucy has attempted to make it happen several times throughout history. In your studies you have probably encountered the fact that several historical figures have been identified by Christians in their day as the Antichrist, the Man of Sin who will arise to lead the devil’s forces in the final battle. In one sense this identification was a mistake, for none of these figures turned out to be the final Antichrist who features in our Apocalypse and will be defeated directly by Christ at the Second Coming. They were, however, previous attempts by Lucy to bring his own version of the Apocalypse to pass.”
“His version? With a name like Lucy shouldn’t it be her version?”
“The fact that someone is confused about his gender does not give him the right to impose his confusion on the rest of us. Professor Peterson has some excellent videos on this subject, I’ll send you a link.”
“So the Apocalypse of St. John the Divine, if I understand correctly, tells us what will happen at the end of time because it has been foreordained by God to happen at a time that He has also determined but not revealed, whereas Lucy’s counterfeit Apocalypse gives the outcome the devil wants to make happen. God’s version will inevitably play out in history but only once, whereas Lucy’s version will periodically recur because he lacks the power to bring about his desired outcome and will keep trying until his final defeat in the real Apocalypse.”
“And you think we are living in one of those periods now?”
“The signs first became evident a decade or so ago when the first of the Four Justins of the devil’s Apocalypse appeared on the scene.”
“Don’t you mean the Four Horsemen?”
“No. Remember, Lucy’s Apocalypse counterfeits the true Apocalypse. It is in St. John’s Apocalypse that the Four Horsemen are described as being unleashed upon the earth when the first seals on the seven-sealed scroll are broken. In Lucy’s version, the Four Justins are beings that Lucy sends to wreak his wicked will through the means of popular entertainment. We have seen three of the four make their appearance.”
Brother Moonpie indicated with his hand an envelope on the desk next to the book and Brother Wagonwheel opened it and looked at the three glossy pictures inside. He then objected:
“I thought you said they would be popular entertainers. This one is a Canadian political leader.”
“Evidently, you are not familiar with Canadian politics. It is a form of popular entertainment, a subgenre of ordinary clowning. The individual you have indicated is well known to be a clown. Many people have a hard time distinguishing between clowns and the bogeyman. There is a reason for that.”
“Are you saying that he is like Pennywise?”
“It is hard to tell exactly where on the scale of clownish evil he falls – perhaps he is closer to the Joker, maybe he is closer to that guy who sells hamburgers – but either way he is a definitely a clown and like the other two Justins has all the signs of having come straight from Lucy himself.”
“Two of the three are Canadians, the other is an American. Does that mean that the fourth one when he appears will be an American?”
“It is possible. We know that Lucy’s most recent attempt to raise up the Antichrist involved an American. Three years ago one of Lucy’s American daughters, a member of the sisters of the night, the most sinister witches’ coven of all, was poised to take control of the American military-industrial complex and start World War III. Lucy’s scheme was defeated, however, by the triumphant rise to power of Donald the Orange.” (1)
“Wait, would that not mean that this round of the devil’s Apocalypse is over?”
“I wish it were as simple as that. But Lucy is not admitting defeat and, indeed, seems, if you will pardon the expression, hell-bent on bringing down the man who thwarted his designs and is more determined than ever to bring his version of the Apocalypse about.”
“I don’t have all of the facts, but this much I can tell you, that Lucy’s relationship with Mick and Keith has been under a lot of stress in recent years and the Orange Caesar’s defeat of Lucy’s daughter happened to follow immediately on the heels of the latest and ugliest quarrel. Illogical as it seems, Lucy appears to blame Donald for the fight.”
“How do you know this?”
“Do you remember how a year or so ago we granted sanctuary to a man named Cesare Salad?”
“Yes, he was a sort of a rough looking character.”
“He had been an enforcer for the Fettuccini crime syndicate in Ontario, Canada. His godfather, Don Alfredo, the head of the syndicate, is a good friend of Lucy’s. (2) One day he happened to overhear Lucy discussing his plans with Don Alfredo and some Ontario judge (3) and it frightened him so bad he ran away, all the way to us.”
“What kind of plans?”
“Apparently Lucy has been using the findings of stem-cell research, of which he has plenty to make use of for every aborted foetus is a sacrifice to Satan, to conduct experiments in the genetic engineering of demons and has found a way of crossing the harpies from the seventh circle of his infernal domain with the Malebranche from the eighth to produce a kind of super-harpy. He has made four of these fiends so far, which he calls his “squad”, and they are supposed to be so terrible and horrifying as to make the Justins look tame in comparison. He has sent them to wreak his vengeance on Donald the Orange.”
“Surely he will just send them back where they came from.”
“Most likely. In the meantime, however, the signs are continuing to increase.”
“What is the latest one?”
“The disturbing increase in veganism. Everywhere you look, these days, you find these new plant-based meat substitutes being advertised and sold.”
“I know that veganism is disgusting and silly and wrong but is it really a sign of the devil’s Apocalypse?”
“Of course it is! It is central to Lucy’s entire plan. Have you forgotten that is was by persuading Adam and Eve to eat a piece of fruit that he brought sin into our world long ago? Or that he caused the first murder by inspiring the plant-eater Cain to be envious of his carnivorous herdsman brother Abel? Lucy knows that even with Original Sin working in his favour the only way he will ever be able to deceive enough people to follow his Antichrist will be if he can starve their brain cells of essential nutrients and that the easiest way of doing so is to persuade them to voluntarily reject the most delicious source of nutrition that God in His grace has given to man.”
“So what you are saying is…”
“That to foil this part of Lucy’s scheme we must get beyond vegetarianism.”
At this point Brother Moonpie glanced at his watch and exclaimed “Look at the time! We have been discussing this all day. Vespers will have started already. Come with Brother Wagonwheel. With any luck we will still be in time for the agnifcat-May.”
The two monks left the secret room, carefully concealing the entrance again, and walked back to the chapel to resume their prayers.
(1) See The Witches Sabbat.
(2) Don Alfredo and the Fettuccini crime family feature in Justice for Minnie?
(3) Justice Bob Baddecision of the Ontario Inferior Court first appears in Lucy’s Day in Court.