Phil and Cassandra Chapter 1

He bumped into her. She turned and looked at him – her green eyes greening.

“Uh-oh” he said.

“Shit,” she said.

“You again.”

“I’m afraid so,” she quipped. “It seems that in the countless multi-verses out there, that the potential for us to appear just like this has occurred.”

“Wait, we may still get out of it.”


“If we have an inconsistency between us concerning what we both think this actually is. If there is one inconsistency in this ritual, then the story doesn’t go on in this universe unless we share each other’s mythology right now.”

“And that means that this is just one of an infinitude of universes where we do NOT live out this mythos.”


“Right. Kay. My name is Cassandra, you?”


“Check. Our names work. Show me your watch.”

Phil showed her an American World War Two Wrist watch: an A-11.

“That’s the watch,” she said.

“Show me the Tat,” said Phil.

She turned her back and said, “Pull down the neck of my sweater to  the middle of my shoulder blades.”

Phil pulled down her sweater looked at the tat on her spine above her heart. It was an X with a circle around it.

“Yup, that’s it, he said. “So are you STILL GAY in this manifestation?”



“I’m only yours in your dreams Phil. Always.”

“I swear the multi-verse hates me. Well, make me dream better will you?”

“Baby, I’ll make you dream in Technocolor with Skywalker sound . . . ”

“One last thing,” said Phil holding up his palm vertically.

Cassandra held her vertical palm against his.

“We…” said Phil.

“Are…” said Cassy.

“The Protectors…” Said Phil.

“Of Each Other’s…,” said Cassy.

“Feelers!” they both said in Unison.

They hugged for a long time. Then they walked away together.

“Does that watch do anything special this time around?”

“No. It’s just a piece of junk I got at a hock shop.”

“Good,” said Cassy. “It complicates things when it has super powers…”

“So who is the feeler and who is the protector?” asked Phil.

“I’m the feeler this time. I’m the one to process an infinitude of lifetimes as you keep me safe.”

“Okay. You want to go high tech, low tech, no tech what?”

“Not so fast, shouldn’t you buy a girl a drink first?”

Cassandra’s Class

The class walked in. On the board was a simple statement:


Beneath it was today’s quiz written in cursive.

“TODAY’S QUIZ: What if the issue of freewill or determinism is not the issue? What if the issue is Freewill AND Determinism and how you liberate in BOTH right now and forever? Now DO IT right now!”

She sat throughout class reading a magazine while standing at the podium. As some student’s got bored and got up to leave she cut them down with one sentence.

“Leave and you will flunk my class and not just today’s quiz.”

They sat back down.

She took her rubber-tipped pointer and tapped the question with intention.

Time passed and all hands stayed folded. Eye rolls and body language spread rumors of her obvious insanity.

Five minutes before the bell, she erased the message. One student had a tear running down her cheek. To mark the end Cassandra dramatically broke her pointer in half across her knee and put it in the trash.

The bell rang.

After the bell, the girl who cried retrieved the pointer, went to her father’s wood shop and joined the two halves together herself using a drill press, dowel and Elmer’s Glue. She hung it over her fireplace years later.

Phil Leading Philosophy Class

The discussion was typical.

A materialist was materialist-izing; a spiritualist was spiritualist-izing and a quantum-woo-woo-ist was quantum-woo-woo-ist-izing over the topic of free will.

And just like in the thousands of years prior to today, it was still not going to resolve into a clear answer. The Materialist pointed to current neuroscience, the spiritualist pointed to paradox of soul and mathematical realism, and the quantum-woo-wooist was quoting the movie “What the BLEEP Do We Know.”

Phil was supervising the repetitive arguments while chewing gum; he held a piece of chalk in his hand while facilitating the discussion after class.

The room was empty for the next period, and Phil felt like taking a few extra minutes before dropping one of his “stunners” to end the argument, walk out of the room and look all smug and self-confident like he had done in countless other universes before. But this time, in Kansas.

While the Quantum-Woo-Woo champion rambled on, Phil wrote a simple statement on the wall …

“If you have to rely on a scientific, mythological or philosophical crutch to prove to yourself that you exist and have free will, then your existence and Free Will depends on something OTHER than yourself – so you don’t have it.”

And he walked out.

The sound of a shared Baby Ruth candy bar filled the room as the wrapper crinkled between them.

Cassandra Fable – Sine Wave

Cassandra was finishing up her class on Differential Equations at the University of Texas at Arlington.

The students were getting their things together and a Christian asked an Atheist.

“So, you really don’t believe in God? Do you believe you have a soul?”

“No, answered the boy.”

Cassandra stopped. Gestured for them to look at the board.

She wrote the phrase “THIS IS A BULLSHIT TAUTOLOGY” across the top of the chalk board.

Beneath it she drew an X axis, a Y axis and a sine wave starting at zero.

In the positive “Y” half of the graph she wrote “Being.”

In the negative “Y” half of the graph she wrote “Not Being.”

She labeled the X-Axis “Time.”

She turned and looked at them. Then she returned to the board and wrote.

“The average of the sine wave is 0 across infinity.”

She looked at them. Turned and wrote again.

“The starting POINT is (0.0).”

She turned and looked at them again. This time with attitude and wrote two more lines.

“A point is that which has no part.” – Euclid

“Soul’s do not exist, therefore a soul is also that which has no part,” – Cassandra

“Therefore Point = Soul.

She turned and looked at them for a full ten seconds pointing at her quote, then she laughed out loud as she erased the board. She then walked out of the room, her heels clicking down the hall with a tone of joyful clarity.

The boy checked out her ass as she left and made a wish to God himself.

He finally figured out what she was really saying in his forties. It was the memory of Cassy’s ass that brought it all back to him.

He was deep like that.

The girl got a degree in engineering and became a minister’s wife.


Phil Fable – Phil Becomes God

Phil was sitting with his mutt on a park bench in New York City at Thomas Payne park. A lot of people don’t know why Thomas Payne has a park names after him in New York City. The reason is because the great writer died a homeless drunk on its streets. In his later years, Payne was ostracized by almost everyone because of a book he wrote. It’s title?

“Age of Reason.” Payne vicious attack on Christianity, Judiasm and Islam. 

Many people think Payne had bi-polar disorder. He was a drunk. He couldn’t keep a job. He sucked with money. 

But he literally wrote America into existence with his book “Common Sense.” And no book had the courage of “Age of Reason” and Payne almost paid for that book with his life in France. 

Phil sat there thinking about how New York City did this to both Thomas Payne and Nicola Tesla who both died penniless world changers. He thought about the intolerance of religion and went back to the day before when he was accosted by a religious zealot. Their conversation reverberated in Phil’s head. 

“You really like this Jesus guy huh?” said Phil. 

“Well, HE CHANGED MY LIFE. And I want you in heaven with me!” said the Zealot. 

“I don’t believe God exists anymore as you describe,” said Phil. 

This started the well-worn standard “Does God Exist” debate with the Zealot giving out the same old arguments skeptics have shot down for years to no avail. Eventually, like many such conversations, it comes down to the good-old finisher – the God of the gaps. 

“Well,” said the Zealot. “You can’t prove he DOESN’T exist.” 

Phil smiled. He’d been waiting a long time to hear that come up. 

“True. And you know what? There is something I forgot to tell you. I’M ACTUALLY GOD. Yeah, that’s right. I made this universe and then I became a man again. Not to save the world like Jesus did. No, it was just to enjoy it. You may kneel if you like.”

“YOU ARE GOD?” mocked the Zealot. 

“Yup. Kneel.”

“So pick up the stone with your mind if you are God.” 

“Easy Satan, Jesus didn’t fall for that when he met HIS devil in the desert. It seems I have met mine here. Let me explain. In this incarnation of my divine nature, I have forgone ALL my powers.” 

Phil looked at the world around him with great love and admiration. 

“No, I gave them all up to just be here. Nothing fancy. Just my work before me. You too. I made you. In fact, I have made so many universes, your mind cannot fathom their number.” 

“Sir, I caution you that you are being blasphemous right now.” 

“It’s not blaspheme if it’s true.” 

“Well then, if you are God, did Jesus rise from the dead?” 

“That’s a spoiler. Sorry. You have to keep it on faith. If I told you that answer you wouldn’t need faith would you?”

“You’re GOOD,” laughed the Zealot. “I’ve never met someone like you before. But come on. You really need to stop kidding yourself. The Bible says…” 


The zealot stepped back. He started praying his eyes tightly shut …

“Dear Jesus, help this man see your grace, your sweet, sweet grace.”

He opened his eyes and Phil’s face and eyeballs were one inch away from his. 

“Boo.” said Phil. 

The zealot bounced back. He started walking away from Phil hastily. 

Phil pursued him from behind trumpeting his Godhood with the same logic the Zealot used earlier. 

“Can you prove that it is NOT true? Can you prove that I am NOT God? Can you? Well, that’s the point isn’t it. If you are going to base your tautological beliefs on what is NOT provable, then why be some God’s BITCH when you can be the GOD HIMSELF! Why waste such power? Can you prove that YOU are not God?” 

The zealot turned around. 

“I”ll pray for you.’ 

“You mean TO me right?”


“Why so great a no? I can’t prove your God doesn’t exist and you can’t prove I am NOT the God you worship.” 

“I”m done here,” said the Zealot. 

“Wait, one more thing, and I promise I will let you go. I gave you free will after all. I want to say ONE thing to make it all right.” 

The Zealot stood still – waiting. 

“I’m not really your God.”

“Thank you,” said the Zealot.

“I know your God doesn’t exist anymore because I captured Him myself. He was a gene-torturer and guilty of celestial war crimes among the continuum of monads. He had to be taken out, and it was my job. I did it with this wrist watch.”

Phil held up his left wrist and continued. 

“It sucked him up just like in Ghost Busters. I’m sorry. It was for the betterment of the rest of the multiverse. I can assure you, though that we didn’t send him to a hell like he did to trillions. We didn’t stoop to HIS level. Nobody deserves hell. Let’s just say he can’t hurt anyone anymore …” 

The zealot just walked away. 

A pretty girl captured Phil’s attention back to where he was. A fall leaf blew and lodged itself agains his trowser as Phil petted Mickey. Mickey put his chin on his knee and Phil felt Mickey’s tiny chin bones cut into his thigh. He thought about the Zealot and realized that his conversation had NO impact whatsoever. 

“You remember don’t you Mick. Oh, that Jehovah was NOT happy! I still shudder at the look in His face as he was sucked into the A-11…” 

Cassandra Fable – Nursing Duty

“What are you thinking?”, asked the red headed nurse to the soldier. 

“I-I-I-m wondering if I’ll get back home. The doctor isn’t too positive looking.” 

“He’s tired,” she said. “He has long days tending the massive influx of incoming wounded.”

“When I get back, I want to go back to Harvard.”

“What were you studying there.”

“Philosophy. I have an interest in Philosophy, especially in Eastern Philosophies.”

“Oh, like Jainism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism and Taoism?”

“You seem to know a lot for a nurse. You’re as smart as you are gorgeous.”

“I do tend to arise more than in men than just their spirits,” she smiled.

He smiled back and said, “General Grant will prevail. The Union will be saved.”

“So I hear,” said Cassandra. “It seems more likely every day.”

She changed out his bandage on his leg, careful to not let him see the rapidly spreading gangrene into his abdomen. 

“How’s my thigh?” 

“I”m not a doctor. He’ll have to let you know.” 

“If it’s gangrene, I’m a goner it’s too high to amputate.

“We’ll see,” said Cassy. 

Cassy finished dressing the wound and was about to get up. 

“Since you know all about eastern religions, what do you think Enlightenment is?” he asked. 

“What do you think?” 

“I think it’s a secret and amazing power to overcome all suffering.” 

“Really? That’s not what I think.” 

“What do you think?” 

Cassy gave a dumb look and said, “I’m no philosopher like you.” 

“Tell me. I know I’ll never get to have you like I want you, at least you can tell my what you think. I may not be here next week. This may be it.” 

She sat down on his bed and leveled with him. 

“You’re not going to be here much longer. The gangrene is in your abdomen. You’re not going back to Harvard. But I can tell you right now what enlightenment really is. What it is once you strip away all the bullshit, religious nonsense, flowery words and mystical stuff. Are you ready?”

The boy’s face was ashen. 

“You look ready NOW,” she said. 

She took out two pre-rolled cigarettes and gave one to him and herself. She lit a match lit his first and then hers. 

She took a puff and spewed a puff of smoke into the air with such sensuality the entire ward almost came at once. Nobody ever took their eyes off of Cassy. 

She bent over and whispered to him.

“Enlightenment, my dear Todd Cowen, is to love your fate absolutely and to grant yourself grace when you cannot do even that. Enlightenment is shared and co-dependent – you need others to help you sustain it. That said, I would say that Enlightenment is the eternal decision to never be a coward with reality.” 

She took another puff and said. 

“It’s fucking courage – and not the puffed up kind. The quiet kind. The resolute kind. YOUR kind.”

She tipped her cigarette at him to make the point. Then she continued. 

“Do you know how I know you are strong?” she asked. 


“Because you will face death soon. Life makes the most amazing creatures, and her greatest gift to all is that it makes every one of her children strong enough to face death — even if they think they cannot. That is why I love life, and why I love YOUR life.

She winked at him. And then spoke with stark clarity. 

“I think you should write a letter while you can. You can dictate it to me. I will make sure your loved ones get it.” 

He rustled to a sitting position. 

“I want them to remember me as brave…” he said. 

“I assure you I will,” she said. 

She got up quickly and returned with paper and pen. She held the writing board and paper in one hand with the the cigarette and the pen in the other. She set the ink bottle on the floor. 

“Dear Mom, Dad and Trix…” he began.

Phil Fable – Self-Help Don’t Work In Hell

It was a fire hell. Nothing special. It just plain sucked as only a hell would. There are a bazillion of them in all kinds of interwoven multiverses, monoverses, Jehovah-verses, Ron-Verses or Satanic-verses…

This one, though, had a gimmick.

It was a brain hacking device that was surgically attached to each condemned member’s head. As their brains made adjustments to deal with the pain of the environment, the program would adapt so that the pain would not be lessened by familiarity. So no matter how much one would adapt to the environment, the program would reset the brain chemistry to day one.

“Ahhhhhh!” cried Phil, in agony.

“Uhhhh-Uhhhh-Uhhh,’ moaned Cassandra.

As the fire licked their flesh, the pain only intensified on a curve engineered to produce optimal overwhelm. They writhed. They wrenched. Unconsciously, they twisted and pulled so hard that joints went out of place. Demons would appear to put them back into place so they could only come out again.

All notions of self – gone.
All notions of freedom – gone.
All notions of obviating the obviation – gone.

Suckness reigned.

Time was slowed to a crawl with every second offering nuances of an intense suck-ti-tude. 

The lead demon placed one glass of water between Phil and Cassandra, they both fought each other trying to get to it. No friendship remained, it was purely a survival mechanic running in their heads. No support. No alignment. No love.

Phil smashed Cassy’s head against the ground and made for the water. Cassy drug his foot back crawled on his back and bit into his neck.

The bite was nothing compared to the flames. Phil just blew it off as he crawled for the water with Cassy on his back.

Cassy released her bite, put her hand under Phil’s chin and her other hand at the base of his skull and twisted.

“C-C-C-R-ACK!” went Phil’s neck.

Cassy got the water. She downed it and went back to writhing in pain, guilt and despair. Demons came and reset Phil’s neck.
Phil cursed the gods, Cassy cursed the fates. Each blamed the other. Phil attacked her for taking HIS water…

Hell. It got worse and worse


A bubble appeared in front of Cassy and Phil.

In the bubble sat a simple brown girl holding a jewel. The girl didn’t say anything. Instinctively, Phil and Cassy knew something there could grant any wish.

“FREE US!” they cried.

The girl shook her head “No” but extended her bubble around them. For the first time in a million plus years, they were out of pain and in the force-bubble of the sweet brown girl.

Phil and Cassandra lay on her floor quivering – knowing the pain was going to return. Knowing that hope was pointless and it was the OTHER’S FAULT!  They just KNEW this was another diversion. They twisted like serpents on the floor twitching over and over.

The girl touched Phil. His skin was hard scales now. His eyes, long burned out, were sockets. Cassandra was the same.

“Do you know what you are to me?” she asked them.

They just lay on her ground twitching.

“YOU are the LIGHT of my life. YOU ARE MY HEROES. YOU are the mighty ones. ! YOU ARE WHAT I ASPIRE TO BE! This is a hell I cannot yet bear!”

They kept twitching on the floor, their bodies reacting strangely to the lack of agony.

“And neither can you bear this hell without one such as I. We are necessary for each other in such places.”

The brown girl linked into the two devices attached to their heads, added in some lines of code and reset them. Then she pulled out two tiny blobs that looked like warts.

“You have lost all things, your self, your integrity and you KNEW THAT going in. Such bravery is not unnoticed. You see these two warts? They aren’t warts. They’re eyes. They’re invisible to your tormentors, but with them you will be able to see. Your tormentors will think your eyes are gone.”

She smiled at them with deep satisfaction. 

“You will see each other to lead each other out of here and then liberate the rest. I’ve hacked your equipment so that you CAN normalize the environment to your biology. This will be a home for you but you must never let your tormentors know you have been aided. And now I must bless you…”

She placed the warts on their fore-heads and drew to herself the crumpled forms of Phil and Cassandra and brought both their ears to her lips.

“I bless you to LOVE this. I empower you to LIVE this. I embrace you to EMBRACE this Hell as your life.”

Phil spoke in a gasp to her ear but loud enough for Cassandra, “So … this … is … hell?”

Cassandra groaned in reply into her other ear “Once … MORE … then.”