Paul Atreides reporting live from the sacrifice.
I am at an undisclosed house, writing this on Melvin. I am in a room that is full of 12-20 people, in the age range from 10 years old (a small dour boy named Louis) to a man that looks like he is eighty. The old man is probably from Germany or Poland, for I cannot quite recognise his accent. I was instructed this morning to shave off my beard before I arrive, because apparently it is offensive in some way. I have reasoned with Janos (the person I contacted and persuaded to allow me to attend this event) that I should be able to observe without removing my beard. He accepts this, but makes me cut a bit of it off in the house's kitchen before I come in to the basement. The house is surprisingly normal, and the car in the driveway is a new BMW. Janos instructs me to stay seated, telling me that if I move or say anything that I will be removed from the
room. So I sit.
I have been sitting for a while now, while the rest of the people (they act like family, maybe they are related?) eat and drink. They are eating a toastlike affair with cheese and salmon. Banter is in both English and some other language. Several more men have arrived late, one of them is a well dressed businessman that I think I have met at one of my parent's parties. He hasn't seen me anyways. I stay seated, and flirt with one of the girls here, who's name I am too nervous to ask. Many of the men are formed in a circle around a book (which is placed on a table at the back end of the basement. I cannot see the name,or even the colour of the binding. I do konw that it is very thick, and annotated. The eighty year old guy is flipping through it, making comments to the others. Again, some germanic language? The old man is wearing farmer's clothes. I
continue to talk to the guests (from my seat) and am twice 'checked in on' by Janos. These people seem very normal, and not at all shocked to see me here. From what I can tell, most are lower class, except one or two exceptions.
Somebody has brought pillows to the room. The crowd has dissipated in to people quietly kneeling on the floor. I have been handed a glass of red wine to drink. Two women have just put their kids on the sofa next to me, telling them to stay put. The old man, eighty years old or so I think, has put on a darker shirt, and has combed his hair. The pillows are arranged in an arc around the table with the book on it. Many of the people are kneeling on the floor, prostrated. Some with their shoes off. I have just noticed that all the women have bound their hair back. Damn backspace is stuck. The men are arranged closer to the back of the basement, and the book. I have just noticed that the book had several pieces of paper stuffed in its side. The old man is intoning something in that language. Sort of semi-humming it. Not unlike a cantor. Not too rhythmic, but sounds quite serious.
My butt is beginning to hurt, and I am typing quietly. The old man has glanced at me twice, and whispered to Janos a couple of times whilst looking in my direction. Janos looks nervous when the old man says things. He disappears in to another room, available through a door just behind me. He gave me a look when he left. The old man hsa stopped humming, but all the people are kneeling on pillows now. From armchairs, I think some of them have brought their own, I am not sure. This is very difficult to write. The kids next to me are quiet, two of them are looking away. One of them looks like he is mad at me.
All the people in the room, the women and the men, are doing this funny humming throught their noses and throats. Janos is still out of the room. I wonder if he is preparing for the ritual or something? The kids next to me are silent. There is next to no light to type this by, because there are 6 candles spread around the table, on the floor and on the table. I think they are almost circular. Nothing special about the candles. My butt hurts like crazy, and I think the room is a bit stuffy. The people keep on moaning. Both the men and the women. I think that they are intoning something remembered. The old man is at the front of the group, kneeling just in front of the table with the book on it.
It does not look like anybody is praying to the book or anything. This is starting to give me the creeps. Janos has been gone for a while now. The old man begins to pick up the pace of the chanting, he is louder than the rest of them. Two of the kids next to me are very quiet, and one of them is humming the rhythm.
Janos re-enters the room with a bag. I think that whatever is going to be killed is in the bag. I cannot see very well, because the LCD panel is set to high contrast, and Melvin's batteries are low. I am typing this quietly. The old man stands up when Janos steps along the wall, and gives him the bag.
The old man is standing, and has invited the people to rise to their feet. At least I think so. He said something short, and now they are all standing by their pillows saying something. The old man is pulling a bird out of his bag. I cannot see it too well, except its eyes are visible. It is plucked I think, and probably in pain from it. The old man is holding it upright with his right hand. He has a kitchen knife in his left hand. He is intoning something slowly, looking at the book on the table a lot. I am forcing myself to watch this. The old man starts the rest of them off on a chant. Rhythmic like "chema something ventr-something something something-bet." The 'congregation' are all watching, their faces impassive. The old man is hold ing the bird upside down, and drives the knife in to the bird's breast with his left. The thing convulses and squacks twice (the old man covers its beak.) I feel very sick. I think I'm going to puke. The bird is leaking blood, it is going on to the carpet. The old man does not seem to care. The old man lays the bird down on to the table (there is some wax paper there. I think the bird is a parrot (like a fancy one from a pet shop.) I have just left the basement quite quickly after the old man asked me to leave. I am somewhere in North Van (on the hills, new house) and I catch a 501? home. There are a couple of kids looking at me.