Abraxas was in a foul mood when as he got ready for the Gathering of Feather Headed Gods. None of his clothes seemed to fit correctly. He created them and created them, and watched them pile up on the bed. Then he destroyed them all. Eventually, he fell back on his sportcoat, T-shirt, and Jeans. His shirt was a band shirt for Thomas and the Egyptians first album, “What you will wear.” He remembered the lyric from the song: “Do not be concerned from morning until evening and from evening until morning about what you will wear.” It seemed delightfully ironic to him, but today even irony did not soothe his mood.
He stood on his balcony, staring at the mountain, glowing red in the sunset, the clouds coming in to hide the peak, wreathing it in a feathery grey boa. The clouds were not the life giving clouds of spring, but oppressive clouds of apprehension. Or so they seemed to Abraxas.
Upon entering The Other Aeon, Abraxas could tell right away that something was different. He saw three crows on the bar, ordering beer. This did nothing to assuage his mood.
“Thoth, what’s the meaning of this?”
The man with the Ibis head turned around, a scotch whiskey neat in his hand. “What do you mean, Abby?”
“Don’t screw with me, Thoth. What are they doing here?” Abraxas gestured towards the crows.
“Well, they’re deities, and they have bird heads…” Thoth began.
“No, they’re not. Raven is arguably a deity, but Huginn and Muninn are aspects of Odhinn, who is most definitely NOT a bird headed god. Raven is not really a god in any case, more of an archetype. What’s more, they’re not just bird-headed. THEY ARE BIRDS.”
“What?” cackled Raven. “You don’t want us to come to your gathering of Avian Illuminati?”
Abraxas turned on the 6 foot, glossly black raven, his yellow rimmed eye staring into the limitless black that Raven preferred. His comb rose, his hands clenched, his beak clacked meanacingly. “I want this to be about resurrection and rebirth, you shiny stealing garbage bird. You’re all about theft, and Memory and Thought over there are basically WHAT THEIR NAMES MEAN.”
Raven turned towards Abraxas, and spread his black wings wide. “So, what? You’re going to discriminate against us because we don’t fit YOUR vision of a ‘bird headed god?’ Who made you arbitrator of what a bird headed god does or doesn’t do? What about Athena’s owl, huh? What about…”
“I’m the creator and destroyer of my own world. I founded the group. I get to choose who’s a member!”
“You didn’t create the world,” said Muninn, who then took a sip from his beer.
Abraxas turned away from Raven, and stalked over to the stormcrow. “What was that?”
Muninn quailed a bit as Abraxas approached, but stayed near his beer. Huginn sidled closer. “I said, you didn’t create the world. Odhinn formed it from the bones of Ymir the cow, he created Yddgraisil and all the worlds. I was there. I remember.”
Abraxas stared at Muninn, his baleful yellow eye glaring as he considered the stormcrow on the bar. “And where, pray tell, did he get the cow?” he said with furious quiet.
Muninn stared at his beer, and took another gulp.
Abraxas turned away, and looked at the assembled. Thoth stood near the exit, with his scotch in hand, dressed in a fine suit of Egyptian cotton. Horus, fists clenched, seemed ready to spring into action, but on who’s side Abraxas couldn’t tell. Ra simply drank from his chardonnay. He looked unconcerned with the kerfluffle, choosing music from the Jukebox. Currently, it was playing ‘Here comes the Sun’.
Garuda and Quetzalcoatl were busy playing pool. Kokopelli was trying to match George Harrison with his pipe.
“None of you care?”
Thoth spoke up. “I think they’re close enough. To split hairs that finely, we’d need a greek, and…”
“I’M GREEK” said Abraxas.
“You’re many things, Abraxas. Greek is only one of them. “
Abraxas threw his hands in the air. “Oh, why not? Let’s just invite them all in. Anything with feathers. Griffins. Phoenixes. Cockatrice. What do I care?” Abraxas went to the bar, and asked the bartender for the whole bottle of Johnny Walker Transcendent, and sat at a table away from the rest, eavesdropping on their conversation, but not taking part.
Someone came over and took a seat. It was a man, wearing an eagle mask and a rumpled suit, no tie, carrying a notebook. His Converse shoes were dirty. “Hello, Abraxas.”
“John,” said Abraxas. “Join the party. Why not? I guess we’re letting everyone in.”
“Yeah, well, nothing’s perfect, not even your little group. I haven’t seen you around at Patmos lately. Gotten bored with my writing?”
“You do a lot of it, John. About all kinds of folks we know, but I’m never in it.”
“I’m working up to it, Abby. You’re just… too much of a spectacle to work in easily.”
“Sure. The moon turns to blood, the angels blow trumpets, but I’m too much of a spectacle.”
“Actually, if you have a moment, I’d like to talk to you about that piece.”
“’If I have a moment…’ well, it looks like I’ve got lots of moments. Memory’s just going to tell stories about the time that Odin wiped his ass with a donkey or something.”
John looked at Abraxas through one eye hole, then another. “Feeling a little pissy, are we?”
“This is supposed to be the gathering of feather headed GODS. If I wanted everything with a feather in here, I would have invited them. That includes you, by the way, so don’t think you’ll get special treatment.”
“Wow. What ruffled your feathers?” John asked.
“Har, har. I had a meeting with Thomas and Didi this afternoon.”
“Oh,” John said, a hint of disapproval in his voice. “What are those two up to?”
“Get this,” Abraxas leaned forward, pouring more JW into his tumbler, and waved the bottle at John. John shook his head. “They have an idea for ‘prosthetics’, they call it, for making part of their strange little aphoristic book a reality. ‘We want to be able to make the female male, and the male female, a bit more easily. So, we made these prosthetics…’”
“No. You can’t be serious.”
“Oh, but I am. They want me to market strap-ons for religious people. And tuckers.”
John burst out laughing. Abraxas took another long drink, and waited for him to gather his composure.
“Here I am, the creator of the world…”
“Not THE world,” corrected John. “’Your own world’, you always say.”
“My own world is THE world,” said Abraxas, slurring ‘the’ into an emphatic syllable.
“Really?” said John. “I thought HE made the world.”
“I’ve never told you this story?”
“No, you haven’t.” John brought the notebook out, and took a pen from his rumpled coat.
“Who’s that writing,” Abraxas sang, and giggled.
“Come on, tell me the story.”
“Ok, you asked for it.” He drank another sig, and began his tale.