Timothy sat up on the strange pallet, the light of dawn warming his body. Pungent smells wafted through the open window and the humidity bathed him in the very air. At last! Today he would fulfill the purpose of his travels. Three months by land and a month by sea and now he would have his audience.

He could not help grinning like a fool as he donned his ceremonial robes and his priestly hat, straightening the tassle to ensure a dignified appearance. He walked with a spring in his step and greeted the attendant at the door to his hut.

The attendant's voice seemed to ooze, spicy and sanguine.

"Sleep well, sir?"

"Like a baby."

"Shall I send for breakfast, sir?"

"I would not be able to eat it for anticipation. I would like to skip it and get on with the audience, should it please His Holiness." Timothy's eyes shone like the jeweled waves cresting the beach that lay before them.

"Right, sir." The attendant nodded matter of factly.

"I shall inform the High Priest that you await his arrival."

The attendant turned and strode down the beach with ease. His sandals swished the sand as he walked, kicking up tiny plumes.

Timothy sat in front of the hut and tried to calm himself. He concentrated on the waves and the odd trees with leaves like long green feathers and big brown balls affixed to their trunks. Everything seemed so fresh.

Unable to contain himself any longer, he leapt up and began to pace. He wrung his hands in glee and anticipation. "Yes! Soon!" His sandaled feet plowed a deep furrow in the sand. He ran inside and grabbed his satchel. He skipped with glee.

He suddenly smelled a peculiar skunky odor. A throat-clearing sounded behind him.

He turned. The High Priest! He looked just like his portait! A bit older maybe but with the same sense of confidence and command in those powerful eyes. Eyes that walked all of the Nine Worlds! He could-"

"Ahem!" The High Priest repeated. He gazed at Timothy. His hat bore no sequined priestly tassle for the High Priest needed no such decorations to assure others of his mighty station. His left hand rested matter-of-factly by his side, and, in his right, a smoking object of some sort. Like a cigarette, except it smelled nothing like tobacco. It was the source of the curious odor. What was it?

"Are you prepared for the task at hand!?"

Timothy stood affixed. The priest followed his gaze. "Ah, I see. Plenty of time for that, later, I assure you. Now I repeat myself Are you ready for the task?"

"Task? Well I never really thought of it as a task it's...well." he struggled to compose himself. He was mumbling in front of the High Priest himself! He never mumbled! Plenty of time for what? Task?

"He may," the High Priest leaned in closer, "test you."

"Oh. Okay." Timothy could think of nothing. He waited for the High Priest to say something.

"Now, then. What's in the bag?"

"Just an offering."

"You can give it to me. He won't accept it, anyhow. He chooses what you have to offer Him." The High Priest held out his hand and Timothy meekly gave him the satchel. The priest drew it it's contents and moaned in disgust. "Oh.. another one. What is it with you people!? We're in the tropics, man. He's got all the damn bananas he could ever hope to eat! Plantations!"

The High Priest flung the bunch of bananas into the ocean and took a heavy pull of his funny cigarette.

"He's actually got more of a taste for dates, anyway."

Timothy gazed into the sand, humiliated. The High Priest sighed.

"Oh come now. You couldn't have known. Let us go. It is time."

Timothy looked up, a new vigor in his face. His hands clutched his robe.

"Yes." intoned the High Priest priest, his voice a river of honey, "It is time for you to stand before the Monkey who is God and know his presence!"

They walked up the path into the jungle, passing through the veils of mist and portentious birdcalls.
****

They emerged into the clearing. The High Priest stopped his casual chat when he noticed that Timothy was no longer listening. He marveled at the clearing. Utterly rapt. That's always the way it is, thought the High Priest. Such awe! He shrugged and drew deeply on his ceremonial spliff. (The ceremony was whatever happened to be occuring at the time. Usually he found some event to tack it onto.)

Timothy tried to take it all in. The humungous stones! The cascading waterfalls! The tiki lamps! The throne! The throne was empty! Where was the Monkey who is God!?

Something slammed against Timothy, knocking him to the carved stones set in the ground and sending his lovely hat flying. A scream filled the clearing, near him. He attempted to recover his senses. Before him was. It was Him! He was jumping up and down and...he was wearing Timothy's tassled hat. Timothy gasped! To have this one wear his hat. He was not worthy of such an honor!

The High Priest yawned and sat in a wooden chair facing the throne. "I don't know why he always does that..." He blew a cloud of smoke into the air.

Timothy could not believe what he was hearing. How could someone, even the High Priest speak of the Monkey who is God in such a casual manner, with such...such...impunity!? The Monkey leapt up and down. Still screaming. Have I angered him!? Oh let it not be so!

The High Priest saw the fear on Timothy's face. "Oh. He's not angry. He's laughing. He likes you." He turned to the Monkey, laughing, "He thinks you're angry!"

The Monkey's demeanor changed instantly. Solemn storms flickered in his monkey eyes.

"Oh No! No! I-" Timothy sputtered.

The Monkey laughed again, louder this time and turned to the High Priest, pointing at Timothy. He held out his hand and the High Priest slapped it, holding his out then for the Monkey to do that same. Such odd rituals! The Monkey regarded Timothy again and made sounds that, perhaps if he were another monkey, Timothy would have recognized it as speech.

"He said it's time to get down to business. What has brought you before The Monkey who is God? Aside from, of course, the desire to bask in His holy presence?"
The Monkey cocked his head at Timothy.

All so sudden! Timothy tried to speak. "This curse, you see, in my land. Omens, prophecies and fires!"

"Oh my." the High Priest said.

The Monkey talked some more and closed his eyes.

"He will deliberate." the High Priest, announced.

They sat there in silence for a few minutes, the Monkey sometimes nodding His head and making small, affirmative noises. Then He opened his eyes and began to talk.

"He says, no doom will come to your people. All is well. Consider the signs in your land as trivial as the prize in a box of Cracker Jacks."

Timothy frowned, "A what?"

"Never mind." The High Priest waved it away. "There is one condition. You must stay here, with the Monkey who is God! Never to return to your land. You amuse Him."

"But! Well.. Surely it's a great honor! So great I cannot accept. I'm not worthy and, besides, my people need me!"

The Monkey pointed to Timothy's tassled hat on His head, crossed His eyes, stuck out His tongue, and did a stupid little dance while wiggling His finger next to His ear in a circular motion."

"He says you're wrong."

"But...!"

"Should you return to your land," the High Priest's prophetic voice boomed through the clearing, "The houses and people of your villages shall melt and flow as one across the land in rivers of molten stone and blood. Lakes of fire shall blossom across the praries and sinkholes shall open under the crops as the locusts eat your brains for lack of anything else to munch on."

"Oh. So...I'll stay here."

The Monkey who is God nodded.

The High Priest smiled. "Such wisdom and foresight and without even partaking in the sacred truth herb!! Your skills will truly know their potential once you have inhaled the goodness!" He passed the joint to Timothy who stared at it before making a valiant attempt at smoking it. The Monkey tapped Timothy on the shoulder, a deck of cards in his hand.

"The Monkey who is God wishes to know whether you'd prefer Hearts or Bridge."


So it was that Timothy, faithful votive of the Monkey who is God remained on the Monkey's island. But he did not simply sit there playing Bridge for the rest of his days. Oh no. There were dark times ahead. Divine struggles for power, and Timothy, The Monkey who is God and the High Priest all had thier parts to play. The Sky Goat and other assorted anthropomorphic, human, and ethereal deities would soon lay their claims to the Realm of Earth in Shagarock, the Second to Final Battle, and the Monkey who is God would be ready.

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