Just Another Prophet In No Man’s Sand (III)
After several months of prophesying and daily preaching at the town square it was clear to Mouthmad that Shitlam was going nowhere. His congregation has grown very little and he had only a dozen of acolytes if farm animals were included. They were people that have been rejected in all other faiths either because their mental handicaps or their bad smell or in many cases both.
They were few but certainly faithful to him. They obeyed and imitated Mouthmad in all his acts. They followed every step and did exactly as he did which became a problem when he needed to use the toilette. Most of his followers lacked not only wit but also dexterity and there was some confusion every time with toilette procedures. Mouthmad had to stipulate a very stringent set of rules regarding which hand and whose bottoms were to be cleaned.
The blind devotion of his flock did little to improve the dire economic situation because all of them were destitute and Mouthmad had to declare that all Shitlites should abstain of food during daytime so he could sneak by night and get something to eat in town while his followers were asleep. This strategy did work for a while but soon took a toll in their ranks. They had to eat sand and soon some of them died of starvation. Mouthmad declared those were martyrs of their faith and announced they would go straight to paradise. Paradise according to Shitlam is a place were food is abundant and everything is edible. Even God is made of a very tasty matter and He allows the faithful to bit off chunks any time they want. Mouthmad promised his gullible followers that those who died at his service would get the best tables in the heavenly feast and that the waitresses would be topless blondes with huge breasts. This calmed the protesters complaints but not their hunger. Eventually he had to institute temporary cannibalism among his followers until the situation improved. He realized that he had to find more affluent followers or his flock would soon eat each other and vanish.
He tried a new strategy to impress the unbelivers performing some miracles that would lend some credibility to his rants. He decided to resurrect the dead, a miracle he was sure would get at least some clapping. He spent several nights at the graveyard speaking to the tombstones trying to persuade some corpse to raise but had no better luck than when he had tried to teach a boulder to do tricks. He finally lost his patience and disinterred a fresh corpse to pass him for alive by carving a hole in the back of the skull and using his hand to move the jaw to give the appearance the corpse was speaking. Unfortunately Mouthmad was a lousy ventriloquist and his lips moved when he performed for his audience. He had to run for his life when the jaw fell to the ground and the villagers accused him of performing unnatural acts with corpses. His hand was still stuck inside the skull and he had to drag the corpse chased by a mob throwing rocks. It was only the lack stamina and the heavy rocks that they carried that allowed Mouthmad to arrive at home ahead of them. He commanded his congregation to pick up the Holy Shit and their scarce valuables and they took off for the desert with Mouthmad’s hand still inside the dead head. Later a blind deaf-mute follower with sharp teeth chopped off the body’s neck but there was no way the hand would come off the skull.
They got lost in the dunes and walked in circles for days trying to figure out what to do next. The rotting head in Mouthmad’s hand soon attracted vultures and a circle of them hovered over the odd procession day and night. One day a particularly big and daring vulture carried the tasty carrion away with Mouthmad still attached to it. The vulture flew away with both the rotten head and the scared prophet in his claws until finally the hand slipped out the skull and Mouthmad plunged into Melilla’s town square.
When people saw a bewildered bearded man falling from the sky they thought they were witnessing a miracle. It was certainly a miracle that Mouthmad survived the fall. He landed in the canvas roof of a stall selling pillows belonging to a fat Ceutan merchant that also contributed to cushion the impact but perished in the process. The stupefaction of the witnessing crowd didn’t prevented them from looting the crashed stall and steal the wool pillows, a luxury item in backwards Melilla where most people slept on stone slabs with their heads resting on an inflated donkey bladder. Many of the superstitious looters placed the pillows in the dust and kneeled on them to worship the man that had fell from heaven to facilitate plundering. When Mouthmad regained consciousness he recognized the great opportunity the accident presented to him. He stood up and announced he was a messenger from God and that his religion saw plundering and pillaging of infidels as a legitimate form of amusement. This announcement won immediate approval of the Melillans that practiced a more conservative faith that allowed looting only on Saturday evening and Sunday.
This incident is considered the foundational event of Shitlam and it is called the Pillow Day. In this day Shitlites will wear a pillow in their heads and eat the stuffing with vinegar when night comes. This is also the explanation why Shitlites consider pillows and other linens as holy and the Western custom of using them to sleep a profanity. The followers of Mouthmad sleep naked under a layer of sand and treat linens as family members. Linens can be used only as headwear and pillow fondling is punished with the severing of offender’s nose.