The Inquisitor

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Contently Deranged Travelers
Time travel and a medieval religious debate taking place on a planet of sentient dogs. Sequel to OF DOGS AND MEN and A TAIL OF LOVE.

Submitted: April 28, 2016

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Submitted: April 28, 2016

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“Hey, Mister! Watch out!”

I’m sitting on a small wooden pier, staring morosely at some puppy navigating a motorboat through the calm waters of a secluded lake. I snarl, displaying a set of decaying teeth. My rough tongue is slowly undulating, yellow saliva dribbling down onto the wooden plank. The boat makes a sharp U-turn, splashing clear water all over my face.

I rise slowly. My decrepit bones screech in protest. I sniff a few times, enjoying the fresh air. Then I head back to the portable teleportation chamber.

I get in and say:

“Theosophical Society.”

“Command acknowledged.” The metallic voice reverberates courteously. I start humming the second movement from Hundenberg’s Seventh Symphony in c sharp minor, Adagio doloroso, as the chamber causes my body to disintegrate into molecules and almost instantaneously assembles them again.

I’m standing in front of the Prime Minister of United Cynia.

He frowns in disbelief. That expression looks funny on a Miniature Poodle.

“My friend!” he exclaims with his habitual feigned cordiality. “My dearly… esteemed… comrade. It’s been too long, eh? What, it seems like that visit to the Golden Bitch was just a year ago… Do you remember how we drank the most exquisite semi-dry twelve-year-old Chiendonnay, and then couldn’t properly count the nipples on that delightful little wench?..”

“I remember”, I say, stretching my thin lips into something resembling a smile. “I remember everything too well.”

Then I draw out my laser blaster and point it at the Prime Minister.

He stares at me, his childlike brown eyes watering, soft cuddly curls of his white fur converging into cute little halos on his forehead.

“Adolfo…” he utters and swallows hard, his throat making a cackling sound. In my head, Hundenberg’s Seventh Symphony has proceeded to the ominous finale, Allegro feroce.

The blaster quivers slightly in my paw, but the aim is steady.

“Do you remember everything?” I ask quietly.

He doesn’t reply.

“Do you?!” I scream at him, my snout distorted in a painful grimace. Images begin to gush forcefully into my brain, and the whole world starts swirling in my head, spinning and whirling until it disappears in the dark hole of my memories…

 

***

 

The prisoner was brought in front of the Inquisitor, draped in shabby, coarse gray rags. The dim candlelight cast foreboding shadows on the somber walls of the interrogation chamber.

“What are the charges, acolyte?” asked the Inquisitor, frowning and crumpling pieces of an old parchment in his paws.

“A most vile heresy concerning the nature of our salvation by our Lord Ben Kelev, o exalted and luminous shepherd of believers,” replied his assistant and bowed obsequiously. “Undoubtedly, it shall lead every soul professing it to the deepest circle of hell, the vicinity of the accursed Perrez.”

“Leave us alone,” ordered the Inquisitor, averting his gaze.

The assistant obeyed, swiftly closing the massive metallic door behind him.

Once he was gone, the stern expression on the Inquisitor’s face changed. There was a mournful plea in his eyes when he spoke again:

“Caoline… Why?”

The prisoner raised her head for the first time. Even the brutal beatings she had endured could not erase the proud contours of her noble Husky face.

“You know why,” she spoke softly.

The Inquisitor rose.

“What folly has possessed you, Caoline?” he asked, shaking his head in disbelief. “What evil spirit, akin to the one torturing the infamous Perrez in all eternity, has bent your pure mind towards heresy?”

“Heresy?” she arched an eyebrow. “Pray tell me which of my most pious thoughts is considered heresy by you and your obedient servants!”

“You deny salvation through the Holy United Church of Cynia, Caoline!” exclaimed the Inquisitor, clenching his paws into fists. “Does that require more elaboration?”

“Do you truly believe that we are saved through the church?” asked the prisoner, tilting her head. “If so, then yours is a much greater heresy – nay, a rejection of our Lord Ben Kelev!”

“Be still, blasphemous girl!..” cried out the Inquisitor.

“I shall not, even if the damned Perrez and his armies of demons try to force me!” retorted Caoline passionately. “By the grace of our Lord Ben Kelev, we are forgiven and restored in the eyes of the loving Gods. Our church is naught but a community of believers gathering to take part in the new life offered by Him. But it has fallen into the paws of an insane son of a bitch who presumes he has the right to condemn and absolve. You have usurped the divine power of Ben Kelev!”

“Silence!..” bawled the Inquisitor. “You shall go to hell for speaking these words!”

Caoline slapped him hard on his snout.

“Who are you to decide who goes to hell?” she spoke with contemptuous indignation.

“I am Perrez!” bellowed the Inquisitor.

Heavy silence filled the room.

“What?” uttered the prisoner with trembling lips.

I am Perrez,” repeated the Inquisitor very quietly. “I am Adolfo Alfonso Perrez. The murderer of our Lord Ben Kelev.”

“But… that cannot be,” said Caoline. “He died hundreds of years ago.”

“A time traveler from the future has brought me here,” spoke the Inquisitor in a monotonous voice. “A free-spirited, liberal connoisseur of wine and occult sciences. He wanted history’s biggest villain to destroy the church of Ben Kelev from within. I agreed.”

 “Why?..” she asked, shivering.

“Because once I’ve rejected Him,” murmured the Inquisitor, moving very closely to her, “I want to reject Him over and over again.”

“What are you going to do?” she whispered.

“I’m going to burn the only bitch I’ve ever loved.”

 

***

 

I emerge from the everlasting torture chamber of my memories. I pull the trigger. An accurate red dot appears on the Prime Minister’s forehead.

I keep silently singing the symphony. Then I stick the blaster into my mouth and squeeze the trigger again.

I float towards a bright sky with fluffy clouds. A smiling face looks down at me. I manage to say:

“Caoline?..”

But then it gets dark.

 

THE END

 

 


© Copyright 2017 Oleg Roschin. All rights reserved.

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