Aphelion Issue 245, Volume 23
November 2019
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In the Bag

by Robin B. Lipinski

Through the counting of each, individual grain of sand falling through the tiny hole of the hourglass, the individual speck reflected the universe uncounted, of time. A moment of so many moments before, impossible to tally the count of those who tried a game of life only to lose.

Bob Harper had wealth and money as much as the hourglass contained the weight of the world in sand. Still, much like those succumbing to greed, he wanted more, he wanted it all, and to have it all he was willing to do whatever action necessary to succeed.

“How much?” Bob asked the vender at the small Syrian market, a vender whose face was masked by a dirty garb some in a civilized country would call, rag.

“This is not for you to buy sir, I suggest you look at these fine items, they will be much more to your liking.”

Bob Harper was a man of power, a man of wealth. He owned countries and some say he controlled the world, so his will was basically- his will be done…

“No, this is what I want and I will get it,” stated in the arrogant tone those who think they know power and yet are clueless as to what fate controls.

The veiled merchant was hard to read as all one could see were the eyes that at one glance appeared coal black and yet changed in the light from red to green to blue. Bob did not see or notice such mundane earthly details, he only saw the item he desired. An item most would shudder and leave alone on the table, their mind filled with disgust. This material ‘thing’ was the shriveled dry scrotum of a castrated ox sewn shut with a thread whose material makeup could be questioned. However distasteful the item appeared, the lust of possession was in Bob’s eyes.

“No, I will not sell this to you as you do not have the power to possess it. Please sir, look at this polished kill claw of the Siberian Leopard, it is said to bring good luck to those who hold this in their hands…”

Before the man could finish, Bob Harper had already given the nod to one of the two men standing next to him, silent in the deadly pose of trained killers, killers who were always at their master’s side to protect and attack those who were given the focus and decision of the wealthy man.

Bob was used to getting his way and usually money would work, even threats or deceit would work, but sometimes more sinister means were used. In this case it appeared obvious that the vendor was not going to be swayed in his decision and so Bob’s decision was shown in the nod to one of the large men.

It was getting dark and the alley the four were in was bare of other venders as they had already folded up their carpets and wares, heading home after a hard day of sales. Not even the street urchins were out begging. It was the perfect time to kill and take what could not be bought.

The two thugs grabbed the vendor by his arms, one man on each side of the now hapless victim. Shoving him into an even darker crevice of the now completely dark alley, one of the killers took out a knife and drove it into the heart of a person who did not struggle, did not fight, did not scream, and did not sell the shriveled ox scrotum to Bill Harper.

“What, what the…” but before the startled killer could say anymore, the garment of rag fell from the victims face and dissolved completely from his body. What was now shown was the golden, glowing skin of a hoofed person and a head where two white horns spread out from the now, rag-free head.

“Holy mother of…”


Such were the last words of men who would kill on command. Their bodies consumed by a blue flame and their screams muted so as to present the scene as if a silent movie picture so popular in Syria years ago.

Bob Harper was used to much. His sexual appetites, his Worldly appetites, whatever he wanted he had experienced. He had even flown into space on a Russian spacecraft, but he had never, ever witnessed what he was seeing now.

Bob did what most humans do when confronted by horror, he turned to flee but his feet were unable to move, nothing of his body seemed to move, only his lips could move.

Standing in front on this frozen and powerless mortal stood the male Re’em one of only two alive on the world, the other being his future mate, a female Re’em.

“What the fuck are you?” the strangled voice of a beaten man asked as the glowing horned face of the Re’em moved in, its nose that now appeared as that of a bull, only inches from the man.

“I told you, I warned you but men such as you are ignorant. You could have been spared but by your own choice you must now pay the price.”

With that said, the same blue flame engulfed what was once the most powerful man in the world. Nothing remained of Bob Harper, nothing. His soul, his being was now added to the thousands of others added over the years and for an eternity would now suffer in the confines of what other mortals would describe as an old, shriveled scrotum of an ox.

This bag of souls were to be the gift the male Re’em would soon gift to his mate located at the opposite side of the world, a gift centuries in the making, soon, very soon, there would be mating.


2014 Robin B. Lipinski

Bio:  Robin B. Lipinski claims to be addicted to writing. It helps that his good dreams are other people's nightmares. There is not much to know about him other than he shares this planet with you and others.


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