Unholy War

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EON “Basket Case”



How do you do? The name is Gavreel. Would you mind terribly if I were to take up just a little of your time? I understand you’re likely rushed off your feet and have 1001 other things to contend with; but promise I won’t keep you long and would very much appreciate the temporary lend of your ear. Please excuse the unorthodox request and I’m very aware that you don’t know me from Adam so would understand fully if you chose to decline. That said, I can offer my 100% assurance that I mean you absolutely no harm or foul. I know that may sound like a rather bold statement to make straight out of the gate; but the last thing in the world I wish to do is burden you with my woes. Indeed, it is my sole objective my day to spread sweetness and light; to lift you up where I believe you belong; to perform a good deed or two before heaven realizes I’m missing. If the flowing white robe and sandals haven’t already given away my identity; then I’d imagine the shiny halo hovering an inch or so above my head should clear that one up.

You guessed it. The wings on my back aren’t this year’s go-to fashion accessory; although they do admittedly tie my outfit together somewhat delightfully. They’re actually my preferred method of transportation and are far more reliable than public transport. I guess that would make me a bona fide angel and I certainly won’t be raising objection to such observation. Some call me a seraph, others a little cherub, but the common theme is generally divinity. If it weren’t for the fact that that I greatly respect your personal boundaries, then I’d take your hands in mine as my feathery touch has often been likened to the breast of a dove and I’m inclined to agree with that comparison. Actually, agreeable pretty much sums up my kind on the whole as we’re not looking to disrupt the natural order or facilitate unpleasantness, merely to usher those we meet towards the path of righteousness. With no notes for hate and a million chords for love; we’re effectively celestial songbirds and the that’s where the flying gear comes in handy.

The thing about the kingdom of heaven is that it cannot hope to exist without a less desirable counter-point to offer mortal man an alternative. Hell really is a wretched place, densely populated with pain and suffering, and from what I hear, the majority of its minions haven’t got a kind word to say about anyone. We’re all for a bit of healthy competition and appreciate that variety is the spice of life; particularly in a middle ground where you’re only ever one left swipe away from eliminating Tinder matches. While this infernal palace and its unprincipled inhabitants are a constant thorn in the almighty’s side; they’re also a very necessary evil and have just as much right to influence the swing vote as we do. Hence I try my darndest to smile at imps, regardless of the four-lettered abuse that invariably follows. And I’ll go out of my way not to ruffle their tattered feathers as lovers tend to make lousy fighters and those haters sure can be blighters. Needless to say, there’s precious little divine about their interventions.

At any rate, I’m mindful of taking up too much of your time and really should be preparing myself for the latest in a long line of holy wars. To be honest (the default virtue of an all-singing angel), I’m not exactly relishing the prospect of doing battle this day. But I’ve been left no choice in the matter as my opposite number seems hell-bent on settling any topical disagreements in the ring. It’s a good job I’m exempt from bowel movements as I’ve had a dicky tummy for two days straight, with the prospect of coming to blows as my bone of looping contention. I’d have made my polite excuses but they’d have fallen of the deafest of ears and no doubt earned me an even more conclusive thumping. Thus I have decided to take one for the team, stand up and be counted, before the inevitable smackdown cometh. Not wishing to harp on here but there are 1001 activities I’d much rather be partaking in than snorting lines of my own angel dust from the dreaded canvas. I believe you humans refer to my affliction as “bricking it”.

Victory is by no means assured, a first round K.O. odds-on with the bookies, and a number of qualified paramedics are on hand to help put Humpty back together the very moment the referee calls time on this one-way devastation. Naturally I’ll be assuming my position in the blue corner, with a bucket for my spit, basket for my shattered molars, and set of defibrillator pads for the seemingly obligatory post-bout jump-start. Not wishing to come across as some kind of yellow-bellied Nancy boy, but heaven help me. Pretty please. Can we not postpone this rumble in the jungle until such time as I can change my identity and relocate to the Outer Hebrides? No need to grace that with an answer as I’ll do no such thing for fear of having my license revoked upstairs. We angels have been known to fall on occasion you know; just look at my former associate Belial for a classic case of hitting every solitary ugly branch on the way down. Get ready to swipe left on those smartphones and I’ll see you ringside in five.

What are you looking at? Oh, I get it. That Gavreel punk’s already got to you ain’t he? How very predictable. And I’m guessing he’s been filling your heads up with all that cloud cuckoo land mumbo jumbo, while reminding you that hell is for heathens right? Such grand disillusion. You see, my old pal Beelzebub isn’t choosy when it comes to granting entry and the faintest indiscretion can land you in his dock should you fail to repent during your lifetime. While him upstairs is turning punters away left right and centre, down in the sin bin, we operate more on a come one, come all rule of thumb. You reckon they would’ve let me in those pearly gates? Would they fuck! I applied several times for citizenship and do you know what their answer was? We don’t accept basket cases. Mighty unyielding for a bunch of do-gooders who preach about forgiveness don’t you think? Like I want to become part of his nauseating clique anyway. You ever attempted to keep up with the Joneses without a solitary kneecap to your credit? I may be a basket case but that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m hampered. On the contrary, I’m very much my own boss, and some other poor bastard’s worst enemy. Comprende?

As you’ve no doubt sussed by now, my brief mentions nothing whatsoever about making friends and influencing people. It’s a good job really as mere mortals tend to fear what they don’t understand before promptly dismissing it out-of-hand. Only last week I was mistaken as a glob of chewed up bubblegum and assaulted with a can of hair spray. I wouldn’t mind but I’m pretty thin on follicles too as you can clearly see. Is it any wonder I loathe so readily? Agoraphobia ain’t no fun, let me tell you. Now toss claustrophobia into the melting pot and welcome to my poky little world. Whether I do or don’t, I’m damned either way and it just so happens that suits me right down to the wicker. I’m a bastard you see, a real muculent mutant, and make up for what I lack in getaway sticks with the ability to shift like snot on a Segway and at nary a second’s notice. Should I launch an attack and bring shit in for a hug; then my advice would be null and void as you’d already be soundly screwed.

Don’t think I haven’t noticed you anxiously shuffling backwards. I may not be able to master the skipping rope, but I don’t need to go all the way to Vegas to detect fear and loathing. It’s alright for you lot, sitting there casting your judgement, but did you ever consider my feelings in all of this? Just because I resemble a contorted sack of cellulite, doesn’t mean I don’t cry myself to sleep night after night through being so callously mistreated. Hence I turned to the dark side and do you know what? The prince of darkness really ain’t all that sinister. Okay he is, but it’s not like he has an active Twitter account to rattle off the first heinous thought that pops into his head. Besides, I get 28 days annual leave, time-and-a-half for bank holidays, and a gold watch should I make it to retirement age without being sacrificed to the pottery wheel and molded into ceramics. Granted, the pay’s not great, but it sure beats getting laid off three days before Christmas.

So God is love, is he? Yeah right and beneath the correct light I’m a dead ringer for Christopher Lambert. Don’t make me laugh as it hurts when I do. He’s as crooked as they come I tell you and only sits way up there on his heavenly pedestal so he can dodge his taxes. You don’t see Wesley Snipes jetting off to the Waka Waka Islands the moment his tax returns don’t tally up, do you? No he takes one for the team, another in the shower block, and two more before lock down as it seems like the only decent thing to do. Meanwhile, old sperm beard’s up there playing Fruit Ninja, while the world he supposedly created turns to shit. Out of sight, out of favor – this appears to be the motto and, as a result of his negligible behavior, Katy Perry has amassed a larger Twitter following. Yet still he continues to treat his flock with utter contempt and I find it all terribly disheartening.

So you see, Gavreel has one helluva thrashing coming to him, just for heralding from the same camp. Once that bell chimes and the pair of us lock horns for the purpose of pay-per-view entertainment, the gloves are off and I’m fighting as dirty as it takes to come away from this bout victorious. The tale of the tape might not make for encouraging perusal and his reach may well outstretch mine; but he’s going down in the first and my best advice to this sniveling sissy would be to stay that way. Furthermore, by claiming the scalp of one so sickeningly righteous, I’ll have raised the profile for hell and I reckon a fair percentage of his bootlicking faithful will jump ship in an instant. If there was one thing I’d wish to thank heaven for, then it’d be mankind’s fickle nature. I’m even prepared to throw in a signed copy of the Satanic Verses and a rather dainty “I’m With Lucifer” hooded sweatshirt. Bring it zealot and let’s see if you’re still as enthused by the cause when I decorate my basket with your veneers shall we?

“Ladies and gentlemen. Saints and sinners. Welcome to tonight’s main event. You came for a skirmish and that’s precisely what you’re about to get as two bitter rivals do battle to the bitter end and for the right to be named undisputed king of the ring. This promises to be a bruising brawl folks, the kind you’ll still be talking about centuries from now. Not since Donald Trump vs. Meryl Streep has there been a grudge match so destined to result in bloodshed. In the blue corner, weighing in at an even one hundred eighty pounds, nicknamed “The Angel of Peace”, “The Saint of Restraint” and “Fists Without Fury”, the one, the only: Gavreel. In the red corner weighing in at your guess is as good as mine, nicknamed “The Picnic Crasher”, “The Bastard in the Basket” and “Lambert’s Lament”: Belial. Okay guys and gals, this is the one you’ve all been waiting for – LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLE!”

“Hello. Belial isn’t it?”

“Zip it Nancy boy and prepare to be soundly pummeled”

“In a moment yes. But I was hoping we might be able to settle this dispute like gentlemen”

“Suck a fuck bozo”

“Is that a maybe?”

“It’s an eat shit and die, dick turd”

“O-kay. It’s just I’m not really a fan of violence if I’m being entirely honest”

“Do I look like I give a shit?”

“Not terribly no. Tell me I’m wrong”


“So we can’t just hug it out then?”

“Tell you what. While you get better acquainted with the canvas, I’ll remove your spinal cord through your asshole and use it to strangle you with. How does that grab you?”

“Not overly enamored with your suggestion, it has to be said”

“It ain’t a suggestion. It’s a promise bitch”

“So what you’re saying is…”

“You’re going down”

“Oh. Well that’s cast rather a gloom over the evening”

“What did you think? That I’d agree to throwing the fight?”

“Heavens no. That would be frightfully dishonest and is frowned upon where I come from. Just to be clear though, it’s not something you’d consider? Hypothetically speaking of course”

“Hypothetically speaking, I’m gonna murder you, fuck you back to life, then murder you again. Capiche?”

“Yes I think I understand. Erm… quick question”

“Give me fucking strength. What?”

“Is that even possible?”

“Well there’s only one way to find out”

“With you beating me to a bloody pulp, sodomizing me, then beating me some more. Is that the long and short of it?”

“Got it in one. Now say your prayers holy man and you may wanna skip to the amen”

“But I didn’t pack my prayer mat”

“Boohoo bitch. Get down on your knees you pussy slit. I’mma do this execution style”

“I’m afraid I don’t quite share you enthusiasm for the whole capital punishment deal. Tell me something Belial, have you ever happened across a little thing called forgiveness on your travels?”

“Nah, never heard of it”

“It really is rather spiffing and only requires a teensy-weensy slither of leniency on your part”

“And what’s it in it for me?”

“Absolution. The chance to walk proudly amongst men with your head held high”

“You see any legs do you?”

“I just figured you had them pinned back. Even more reason to earn yourself some shiny new wings though right?”


“That’s right. Your very own pair. Interested?”

“How can I say this without coming across ungrateful? Fuck you. Does that answer your question?”

“Doesn’t it get tiring being so unpleasant?”

“It feels pretty damn good actually”

“Pardon me for speaking out of turn here but you really are a despicable creature, did you know that?”

“Buttering me up will get you nowhere, in case you haven’t guessed by now”

“I had my suspicions yes”

“Then what do you say we just get on with this? It’s only you’re starting to bore me now is all”

“What about if I were to say that I refuse to fight you?”

“Then I’d begin with a crippling kidney punch and follow it up with the old one-two combo”

“Does your mother approve of your behavior? I’m curious”

“You leave my mother out of this”

“What’s wrong? Have I touched a nerve?”

“You’re only making this worse for yourself you know”

“I bet she’s real proud of her boy”

“I’m warning you. Mention her again and you’ll soon be sorry”

“I already am. Would you like to know what I’m sorry about Belial?”

“That’s your prerogative”

“I’m sorry you feel the need to act out all the time. I’m sorry you believe that disputes should be settled with violence. And most of all, I’m sorry you’re such a dreadful eyesore”

“Oh it’s like that is it?”

“You leave me little choice. But you have to admit it, you’re hardly Errol Flynn are you Belial?”

“I do alright”

“Really? Then when was the last time you made love?”

“Well if you really must know, I got laid just last night”

“Last night you say? Boy, you have been busy”

“Yeah, some chick named Suzie”

“I’m so thrilled for you. So tell me, how did that work out for you?”

“I’ve had better”

“And what about Suzie? How did she feel about consummating your relationship?”

“You’ll have to ask her”

“And where would I find this elusive young lady pray tell”

“I left some of her in the dumpster behind Domino’s, a little strewn across the pavement… and I ate the rest if I recall”

“You ate Suzie?”

“Isn’t that how one-night affairs usually end?”

“No Belial. That’s not how one-night affairs usually end at all. Not even close my friend”

“Firstly, call me your friend again and I’ll fucking end you right here and now. Secondly, don’t leave me hanging. What am I supposedly doing wrong in your opinion?”

“Well I’m no relationship guru but it’s customary to spend the remains of the night together at least and, should you still feel the relationship is going nowhere come first light, then you sneak out the door in as inconspicuous a manner as possible and leave twenty dollars on the dresser for her cab ride home”

“You think my actions were a little mean-spirited then?”

“By digesting her you mean? Perhaps just a smidge”

“Oh. I really am sorry, didn’t mean any… FUCK OFF WILL YOU!”

“Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?”

“Normally too busy going down on yours”

“I give up”

“You’ll give up when I say you can”

“No really. You’re impossible. I’m not sure I’ve ever encountered such a repugnant creature”


“I wasn’t paying you a compliment. You’re truly despicable”

“Stop it now. I’ll get a big head at this rate”

“News flash Belial. You resemble a pile of puked up porridge oats that have hardened”

“Finally some fight. Was wondering when you’d find your bollocks”

“Angels don’t possess testicles smart Aleck”

“Yeah I figured that one out way back at hello”

“Got me all figured out haven’t you?”

“Honestly, you ain’t all that tough to read”

“Well there happens to be rather a lot about me you don’t know buddy boy”

“This should be worth a laugh. Go on”

“I don’t do well under duress”

“Exactly. You’re full of shit”

“I most certainly am not”

“Okay then. Tell me one thing about yourself that nobody else knows”

“Fine. I have a crush on Carly Simon. There, I said it. Needless to say it’s a healthy one”

“Wow. Let the river run, why don’t you. Is that all you’ve got?”

“What can I say? Guess I’m just not that controversial”

“No shit. I’ve taken dumps more controversial than you. And perhaps that’s why I’m overcome with a burning desire to level you”

“Then what’s stopping you Belial?”

“Come again”

“If the urge to annihilate me is that overwhelming, why not just get this over with? I mean,what’s stopping you?”

“Morbid curiosity mostly”

“But I’m a nonentity remember. There’s nothing to see here, right?”

“You’re pretty pathetic”

“Then you have my blessing to finish this”

“I don’t need your blessing”

“Seems to me you’re suffering some kind of identity crisis”

“You don’t know the first thing about me Gavreel”

“I know enough”

“Go on then. Enlighten me”

“Okay well for starters, you mine your pleasure exclusively from the misery of others”

“Yeah. So what!”

“So what? I’ll tell you so what. It’s totally unnecessary, your words habitually disrespectful, your actions borderline unacceptable, and you swear far too much. How’s that little lot for a naughty list?”

“Well we can’t all be squeaky clean like you. It’s alright for you sitting up there on cloud nine plucking your harp but some of us live in the real world. Some of us can’t pop out for rolling tobacco without being ridiculed. You think I don’t hear what they say about me when my back’s turned?”

“That’s just life Belial. There’ll always be people you won’t see eye to eye with. But you’re supposed to make the best of it”

“Out of what? Being ferried from pillar to post in a wicker basket? Having no poxy legs? And what about the cruel Christopher Lambert comparisons? I’m supposed to just brush them off am I?”

“No. You’re supposed to stop fixating on the things you can’t change and zone in on the things you still can. That’d be a start”

“You know, I think you might be right”

“You do?”

“Yeah. Like right now for example. I could rearrange your face for you in next to no time”

“Why do I get the feeling I’m fighting a losing battle here?”

“Dunno but I’d trust your gut if I were you”

“Go on then. Do your worst”

“Finally common sense prevails. So what’s it gonna be then?”

“What do you mean?”

“Head or gut?”

“Whatever floats your boat Belial. Your call”

“Hmm. Well we could begin with a few low blows just to tenderize you some and go from there if you like”

“Knock yourself out”

“The only thing is…”

“What? You’ll get no resistance from me. Actually you’d be doing me a favor. I’ve had it you see. Sick of it all”

“That’s just it. Now that we’ve gotten to talking, I’m not sure I feel the same degree of hate as before. It’s more pity now”

“That has never stopped you previously”

“I know right? This should be the highlight of my year. I mean, I’ve been itching to get my hands around your scrawny neck ever since the weigh in but it no longer appeals in quite the same way. This is unfamiliar territory to me”

“I won’t struggle”

“And therein lies the problem. You see, I was expecting at least a workout. But the fact that you’ve already accepted your fate takes the sheen off a little if I’m honest”

“So what do we do?”

“Like I said, unfamiliar territory”

“Just putting this out there. We could become friends”

“I’d quit while I was ahead if I were you”

“No I’m being deadly serious. I’m willing to put this whole sorry mess behind us and start a clean slate”

“Bury the hatchet you mean?”

“If that’s how you want to put it then yes Belial. Call time on this pointless exhibition and go grab an alcohol-free cocktail before the bar closes”

“I’ve got a little speed if you wanna go halves. It’s good shit”

“How about we just see how things go? Let’s not run before we can walk eh?”

“Is that some kind of sly dig for my benefit?”

“Jesus you’re defensive”

“Oh no you di’nt. Tell me you didn’t just take the lord’s name in vain”

“What has he done for me lately?”

“Okay we’re definitely getting fucked up together now”

“Lead the way”

“But what about the crowd? They paid their money to see a battle to the death. I mean, study the form. Do you wanna be the one who breaks it to them?”

“I’m sure they’ll get over it”

“Glad you’re so confident. Really I am. Just wish I could share your sunny outlook”

“Well make it look good then. Give them a show and I’ll meet you in the bar in twenty minutes”

“You’d do that for me?”

“Is that so alien a concept to you?”

“Well yes actually. Do you have any idea how long it’s been since someone treated me with anything less than utter disgust and/or contempt?”

“I’m guessing… birth?”

“If that’s what you wanna call it. Since I was separated from my conjoined twin Duane many moons back”

“So we’re in agreement then? You throw a couple of well-placed rabbit punches, I’ll hit the canvas, and just as it appears I’m going to beat the referee’s count, you stick the boot in”

“You trying to be funny?”

“Hypothetically speaking of course”

“Okay then. You’ve got yourself a deal. Wanna shake on it?”

“I’d really rather not. Can I just take your word for it?”

“More than that Gavreel. I’d say you can count on it”

“Good. Then it’s agreed. I just have one meager request if I may be so bold?”


“I’d be awfully grateful if you could see yourself clear to not punching me in the face. It’s just that I have bible study on Sunday”

“Yeah, like I could reach that high if my life depended on it”

“Dunno. I’ve seen you pounce. Speaking of which, how are we gonna play this?”

“Easy. Close the lid on my basket, perform a quick count, then unleash the Kraken. Sound doable?”

“You’ve got yourself a deal my misshapen friend”

“Don’t wish to piss on your parade son but we still ain’t there yet”

“Whatever. Get your head down if that’s even possible”

“Watch it”

“You’re so tetchy”

“Bite me!.. okay I’m in position”

“Rightio then. Here goes nothing. One… two…”


“Christ sake. What is it now Belial? I’d really like to get this over with you know”

“I understand and apologize unreservedly. Just need to know if we’re going for the full ten count here”

“I reckon that might be a bit of a stretch don’t you? The crowd is growing restless”

“On three then?”

“On three yes”

“You can count on me”

“Funny, I was beginning to think just the opposite”

“Ye of little faith”

“I’d say that’s the pot calling the kettle black wouldn’t you?”


“Will you just stop with the fucking apologies already. Right then. One… two… THREE!”

“Ladies and gentlemen, in over thirty years as a fight night commentator, I’ve never seen anything quite like this. Not only has this turned out to be perhaps the most one-sided bout in boxing history, but it would appear that our victor is now copulating with his felled opponent against his implicit wishes. This is an extraordinary sight to behold, horrifying on one hand while, on the other, ever so faintly arousing. Or is that just me? Whatever he’s doing, it seems to be paying dividends, as the defeated is now conscious once again and this unlikely resuscitation technique looks to have worked after all. Hold on, what’s he up to now?

Gadzooks! I just threw up a little in my throat. No I’d say that’s game, set and match folks. Tonight’s winner by way of first round knockout, unsought intercourse, a second more conclusive knockout and ultimately digestion is The Bastard in the Basket… Belial. But what’s this? I’m still waiting for confirmation but our new champion appears to have broken down and is, if I’m not mistaken, sobbing like an infant. Let’s see if our roving ringside reporter Roy Clam can grab a quick post-fight interview and clear this up shall we? Over to you Roy”

“Thanks Deek. I’m here ringside with tonight’s deserved champion, Belial. So tell me Belial, was it tough out there tonight?”

“What do you think?”

“I think it was a valiant effort from both men. I think it was a great spectacle for the neutral. I think you floated like a butterfly and stung like a bee. I think there was only ever going to be one winner. I think your opponent was outsmarted, outgunned and out of his depth. I think we may have just witnessed the birth of a new king of the ring. I think my batteries may be running low. I think…”

“Roy old bean?”

“Yes dear”

“Fuck off teeth face!”

“You heard it here first folks. Your champion has spoken and he…”

“No I’m as serious as The Ice Storm. If you’re not out of my face by the time I finish telling you what I’m gonna do to you, I swear I’ll tear your fucking…”

“Back to you Deek”

“So there you have it. The words of a true champion. The war between good and evil still rages on, but the battle is now well and truly over. It may not have always been pretty, but Belial came out head and shoulders above the competition this evening and that in itself is quite an achievement. The word from Gavreel’s camp is that, while clearly distraught over such a crushing defeat, they didn’t much care for him anyway. Meanwhile, I just received breaking news that our victor intends on donating his entire winnings to the Carly Simon Appreciation Society so I guess there were no hard feelings there after all. Chivalry may still be missing and presumed dead, but it would appear the real winner here tonight has been common decency. Warms the cockles doesn’t it fight fans? This is your host Deek Mountjoy signing out and it has been my absolute pleasure to… hold on… does somebody want to tell me why’s there a basket by my feet? I do hope it’s vol-au-vents and deviled eggs. What do you say we take a sneaky peek inside? One… two… LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLE!”

Click here to read Face or Gut?







  1. Now that you’ve deliciously fed all the B.O.Y.S of the House.
    The G.I.R.L.S deserve a little somethin somethin don’t you think?
    Cause I know I do 🙂
    STARVING!!! Thank you! grin
    Forever & Always

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