Exodus 11-12: Primogenocide (Or, How The Grinch Created Passover) (Season 2, Episode 7)

What happens when God tells the Israelites to paint their doorposts with blood? Moe becomes the target of mob violence, Raph embarks on a poetic mission, and someone is injured in a hardcore mosh-pit.

Welcome to the first official new episode of TNOT in over a year! That’s right - we’re all caught up. All the old episodes (28 in total, 29 including this one) have been edited and reposted, and with the help of some pretty sweet AI, turned into a podcast (you’ll find a link to the podcast feed below).

That’s over 150,000 words so far, and around 16 hours of audio.

And we’re just getting started…

Going forward, I’d like to use this intro section to speak with you more directly, share progress updates, interesting news, anything I think you should know. Don’t worry, I’ll be sure to keep it short and sweet.

I’ll also participating in some joint promotions with other authors to try and reach new readers, so you from time to time you might see a link at the bottom of the email where you’ll be able to pick up some free or deeply-discounted books in the comedy genre. I want to assure you that this is 100% optional - don’t feel pressured at all to participate if you don’t want to. It’s just so I can find new readers, and won’t impinge on your reading enjoyment at all. If you have any problems with this, just reach out to me by replying to this email and I should be able to set your mind at ease.

Anyway, that’s all for now. Enjoy the episode, and I’ll see you next week!


This is the latest episode in a serialised narrative. If jumping into things mid-way doesn’t bother you, ignore this and keep reading. If you like to start from the beginning, check out the archive here.


WARNING

If you are a creationist, evangelist, fundamentalist, or biblical literalist, this will probably offend you.

If you have any sense of propriety, this will probably offend you.

If you have the capacity to be offended, this will probably do the trick.

If you're okay with that, then read on.

If you want to read on just so you can tell me how terrible I am and that I should never write another word ever again, feel free.

Who knows? It might actually work.


“Wait – what?

Yah rubs her temple with the butt of her palm, a lit cigarette between her index and middle fingers. “Christ, how many times do I have to explain it? All I want is for every Israelite family to take a lamb... slaughter it... eat it...”

“The second part, I mean.”

Yah shoots daggers at her. “...and paint the doorposts and lintels of their houses with the lamb’s blood. Is that so fucking difficult?”

Moe’s just staring at her, like the insanity of Yah’s request is self-evident. “No, it’s not difficult. It’s weird. It’s gross. What is it with you and blood lately?”

Yah lifts a Bloody Mary to her lips and takes a long, multi-swallow sip. It’s actually more of a chug, if you wanna get all technical. She then wipes her mouth, and as if she genuinely hadn’t heard Moe’s comment (despite unblinking eye contact throughout), goes, “I’m sorry, what?”

Moe shakes her head, like a kindergarten teacher trying to concoct the right phrasing for a stubborn child. “I think... it would really help me out here if you could tell me what the plan was. That way, when I go to the elders and tell them this shit, they won’t roll their eyes and be all, “Here we go again.” You reckon you can do that for me, big gal?”

“I just need to know which houses the Israelites are living in, and which houses the Egyptians are living in. Good enough?”

“Well, obviously, but...” Moe runs a hand over her face. “Why do you need to know that?”

Yah smokes her cigarette. “Now, that... you don’t wanna know. Trust me. Just do the blood thing and you guys will be out of here before you know it.”

Moe sighs, realising she isn’t going to get anywhere with this line of questioning. She tries a different approach. “You need to forget about Seki, alright. This whole thing with you and her is clouding your judgement and making you do all kinds of crazy stuff.”

“This isn’t about me and Seki.”

Moe gives her a look.

She relents. “It isn’t entirely about me and Seki.” Then, she thinks, “Fuck it,” and doubles down. “In fact, it’s mostly not about me and Seki. This isn’t some petty squabble between neighbours, it’s me delivering you guys the fuck out of slavery. It’s about creating something that will unite the Israelites forever – a shared, collective experience that they’ll remember in rituals for generations to come. Think of it like national PTSD. Actually, no, that sounds horrible. Think of it like... a Universe of Cinematic Marvels.” Yah thinks, reconsiders. “A Cinematic Marvel Universe...” She shakes her head, giving up. “Whatever it ends up being, it’ll bind them all together. They’ll be so grateful and traumatised and awe-struck at how I beat the Egyptian gods on their own turf that they’ll have no choice but to worship me.”

“Jesus...” Moe says, blown away by the ego on this gal. “Or... they’ll remember how you abandoned us to go get a sex change, allowed us to fall into slavery, came back with some half-assed, period metaphor of a plan to turn the river into blood, accidentally triggered a series of natural disasters, epidemics and infestations, to the point where the city is in ruins, the Egyptian people are weakened and their economy is in shambles... all of which would be great, if it hadn’t happened to us too!” Moe takes a breath to calm herself. “In the end, we were subjected to a series of visually-stunning marvels from a selfish, reckless, arrogant creator, which ultimately did more harm than good, and which we hope to never see again. That’s all anyone’s going to remember. That’s the collective experience that’s going to shape us going forward.”

Yah tries to laugh it off, acting nonchalant. “Jeez, who are you, Martin Scorcese?” When this is met with no response from Moe, he adds, “Y’know, because of the thing he said about the theme parks, and... never mind.” As the panics sets in, she takes a long, nervous drag, kind of nodding a little, stalling. “I, uh... I disagree. I think... my thing. What I said.”

Moe folds her arms. “I guess we’ll see.”

“I guess we will.” Yah drops her cigarette and stomps it out. “Just tell the slaves to paint their doors with blood, m’kay?”

Then she’s gone.

Back up to heaven.

Or, y’know, the suburbs of a higher realm that we’re referring to as ‘heaven’.

*

Later, in the suburbs of a higher realm we’re referring to as ‘heaven’...

“No!”

Raph pushes his seat away from the bench and gets to his feet, horrified. “No way, man. Ain’t gonna happen.”

Yah, standing in the kitchen with a red wine, just watches him. Finally, she shrugs.

“Suit yourself, man. I’m sure your wife is just about ready to let you come home, right? It’s only been, what, a few thousand years?”

Raph purses his lips, exhales through his nostrils.

“You know she isn’t.”

Yah frowns, feigning confusion. “Huh. Then, how... oh, I see – you’ve lined up another room somewhere else?”

Raph feels himself being cornered. He shakes his head ever so slightly, and in little more than a whisper, goes, “No.”

“Sorry, what was that?”

He sighs. A big, heavy sigh of resignation.

“No, I don’t have anywhere else to go,” he says, at a normal volume.

“Huh, that’s interesting,” Yah says, smug as all hell. She sips her red wine. “Very interesting.”

Raph grinds his teeth. He knows where this is going. Feels himself rapidly losing control of the situation, if he ever had any control to begin with.

Yah holds the wine glass up to the light, rubs off a little lipstick she’d marked it with. Raph fights the urge to eye-roll.

Setting her glass down on the table, Yah’s like, “Because last I checked, I only had room for team players.”

“Look, I wanna be a team player,” Raph says, taking a few steps forward. “Really, I do. But...”

“But what?”

“But this is some evil fucking shit you’re talking about here.”

We’re talking about here,” Yah corrects him.

“No, you’re talking about here. You’re, like...” He racks his brain for a suitable analogy. Landing on one, his eyes light up. “You’re like the Grinch.”

“The what?”

Raph folds his arms, sticking to it. “You heard me.”

“How am I the Grinch?”

“You just want to ruin everyone’s fun by doing something awful. Something you’ll eventually realise was a mistake, only you won’t be able to undo it like the Grinch could by giving the Whos all their Christmas presents back.”

Yah wrinkles the corner of one eye, like she’s trying on the metaphor but it doesn’t quite fit. “Seems like a bit of a stretch to me.”

“No it isn’t. It’s apt!”

“Apt?” Yah almost laughs in his face. “Jeez, set your thesaurus down, buddy. Leave some words for the rest of us.”

Raph huffs. “Whatever. I want no part in this.”

“Then I guess you want no part in this house.” A shrug. “Y’know, there’s a nice playground down the street. Maybe you could roll out a sleeping bag in the little tunnel thing?”

“That’s not fair. You’re taking advantage of me.”

Yah scoffs. “Taking advantage? Please...” She swirls her wine, sniffs it. “What’s the big deal here, huh? It’s a game.”

Raph can’t believe what he’s hearing. “You just yelled at Seki the other night, saying it’s not a game!”

Yah scoffs (again). “Please... That was like four hundred years ago.”

He grumbles, frustrated by his inability to get through to her.

She takes a step around the table toward him, softening. “Listen, of course it’s just a game. I was angry that night. I overreacted.”

Sensing an exposed nerve, Raph goes, “What were you, on your period?”

Yah’s jaw drops, so offended is she by the jab.

“You...

Raph instantly regrets his mistake. “I’m sorry.”

...asshole!

“I said I’m sorry, alright? I didn’t mean it.”

Hurt, Yah withdraws into the kitchen, seeming at the same time to withdraw into herself. “You know I can’t...”

“I know...” Raph forces himself not to roll his eyes, still coming to terms with the absurdity of his situation. “I know. That was uncalled for.”

“No shit.”

She’s still not looking at him. He weighs it up.

The pros and cons.

His morals, his conscience, everything that makes him him, against...well, sleeping in the park.

Looking at the ceiling, Raph closes his eyes. Like a man heading to the gallows making his peace with... well, God.

“If I did this...” he begins.

Yah looks up, suddenly not so hurt. Suddenly intrigued.

“I want some assurances.”

“What kind of assurances?”

I want to be sure that you’ll do what is right.

Of course I will, man. If you do it tonight.

Upon realising that their sentences rhymed, they both pause and stare at each other, like, “Da fuck...?”

Yah shakes her head as if to snap herself out of it, moves on...

You’ll have a room, you’ll have board...

Then we have an accord.

Another rhyme. Another pause.

What the fuck is going on?

Yah waits a little longer before speaking this time, looking around, paranoid – like her strings are being pulled by an invisible puppeteer.

Finally...

Why are you doing that?

Why good dame, doing what?

Raph looks horrified, like his tongue is acting independently from his mind.

Doing that! Using words like you’re covered in rot...

Like a leper-ous man, from ages gone by...

Unable to stop himself, Raph jumps in...

Like an old timey-trav’ller, refusing to die...

Both of them clap their hands over their mouths, evidently unable to restrain themselves from rhyming. Like they’ve been afflicted by the most absurd curse of all time.

They stand there in silence, terrified – neither one moving to speak again, lest the terrible rhyming recommence.

*

Down below, the Israelites are slathering their doorposts in blood. Their Egyptian neighbours are walking past, holding their noses, laughing and making jokes at the Israelites’ expense.

The Israelites aren’t exactly thrilled about it themselves.

Outside Erin and Merry’s house (where Moe has been staying throughout this whole ordeal), the prophet is crouching down, dipping a bunch of hyssop (a shrub in the mint family, for all you non-botanists out there) in a bucket of lamb’s blood and smearing that shit all over the outside of the door. Just going to town.

Hard work for an eighty year old.

(Remember how Moe is eighty? Yeah, I know. I forget myself sometimes.)

Anyway, every time she looks around, she sees other people doing the same thing, alternately glaring at her, shouting curses in her direction, and gagging from the awful stench of the blood.

One person full-on throws up into their blood bucket and figures, “Fuck it” – just keeps right on painting.

She tries to shrug it off, keep painting, but eventually Snakebite comes over, hands splattered with gore from her own pre-Passover paint-party and lays it out, like, “This better work, Moe.”

Moe nods, trying to sound confident. “It will.”

“Good. Because if it doesn’t... let’s just say people are starting to lose their patience.”

Moe stops, looks at her. Then, slowly, she turns, seeing all the formerly-busy painters just standing there, bloody shrubs in their hands, glaring at her.

Silence.

It’s like something out of an old Western. A tumbleweed would have blown across the street, but as you might have guessed, those had all been gathered up and picked apart for use as paintbrushes.

Sidebar: apparently paintbrushes didn’t exist in the Bronze Age. Who knew?

Moe gulps, audibly.

“We don’t see any forward momentum on the whole ‘liberation’ thing by dawn, we’re gonna find a nice, tall tree and have us a good ol’ fashioned lynching.”

Another gulp. This one even more audible than the last.

Like dropping a bucket down a well.

It’s weirdly loud.

An Egyptian family wandering by – husband, wife, boy on dad’s shoulders, all three blissfully unaware of the standoff taking place – actively turn their heads, looking for the sound of the gulp. Unable to locate it’s source, the mother and father shrug – weird – and the happy family continues on its way.

Snakebite narrows her eyes even further, as if to punctuate her sentence, then turns and heads back to her blood-splattered house. The others return to their painting, too.

Moe does the same, heart pounding a mile a minute.

“Jesus fucking Christ, Yah – you better have something good in the oven.”

*

Little did she know,

Yah had cooked something up,

Something scrumptious indeed,

Yes, indeed, you sick fuck.

*

T’was the night before Passover,

As it soon would be known,

And while some went to sleep,

Others started to bone.

*

And when all of the boning and groaning did cease,

That’s when Yah put on her fav-o-rite fleece,

And went room to room, in the Egyptian gods’ house,

Making sure no one stirred, not even a mouse.

*

When she was happy that none would disturb

Her plan of attack – to be fair, t’was absurd,

She sent her pal Raph, down into the game,

In his hand was a knife, on his lips was a name.

*

Pharaoh,” he said. “I’m coming your way.

My landlord informed me, tonight you will pay.

I’ve got nothing against you, person-a-lly

We might have been friends, if it went differ-ent-ly.

*

But orders are orders, so I’ll shut the fuck up,

And kill every first-born – every child, every pup.

Yes, even the dogs... y’know, isn’t it weird?

I feel worse about them than the kids-- fuck, this beard!”

*

See, Raph had agreed to this on one condition,

He wouldn’t go down without a proper rendition,

By that I don’t mean a thriller starring Jake Gyllen-haal,

I mean a Santa Claus costume – boots, hat and all.

*

A rendition of Santa – yes, indeed, that was he,

See how I skirted poor rhyming with glee?

Why a Santa Claus costume?” I hear some of you ask.

It was Yah’s Halloween costume, complete with a flask!

*

He unscrews the cap, and takes quite a drink.

It’ll burn out his guilt, it’ll help him to think.

Poor drunken Raph. Y’know, if he were sober,

He may not have pinched the Halloween dress from October.

*

Poor drunken Raph on his midnight death spree,

Killing kids by the cartload, to set Israelites free.

In the morning, they’d wake to find half Egypt dead,

And Raph would slink off to his pitiful bed.

He’d be hanging his head,

And the morning he’d dread...

They’re all dead!” he would cry. “Dead! Dead! Dead! DEAD!”

*

But, no! Not tonight, he thought, draining his flask,

Tonight he would do what his best friend did ask.

He would cut all their throats, while time stood frozen still,

For there were none to perceive it, and so on did he kill.

*

It took him days, it took weeks, in ordin’ry time,

But up above, to ol’ Yahweh, what was truly sublime,

Was the fact that by episode seven of Friends,

The first-born of Egypt had all met their ends.

*

And she hadn’t even started the season at one,

She’d started at six, and before she’d begun

To watch seven, the blood-splattered roommate emerged

From the game where the best of his conscience he’d purged.

*

He’d left it behind in the emptier homes,

In the streets where his bloody-soled sandals had roamed,

In the rooms where the babies had stopped drawing breath,

In the stables where the wobbly-legged foals had found death.

*

Yah was just pouring another tall glass,

When Raph came inside, bloodied, elbow to ass,

He said, “It’s over. It’s done. Now I’m going to bed.

All of the first-born in Egypt are dead.

*

From Pharaoh to slave, to the prisoner in jail,

To the fishing boat captain who’d be soon setting sail,

All of their eldest are food for the crows,

Even the wittlest puppy’s blood flows.”

*

And Yah’s like, “Nice job, bro. It had to be done.

In time you might even look back and think, “Fun!”

Tis a game after all, and the level, you beat,

Just let a little time for the heat to retreat.

*

The heat of cold killing, of performing a task,

That requires the com-panionship of a flask.

Look there, your room! Signed, sealed and delivered

Calm yourself, Iago, your arrows are quivered.

*

Now go have a shower, and get yourself clean,

But if you touch the expensive shampoo, I’ll get mean.

Then get thee to bed, and rest easy, my friend.

Never again will you be means to an end.”

*

And so off him to bed, the massacrist went,

To be fair, he was totally, utterly spent,

It’s hard work, this killing, if you are so inclined

To sympathise with such a murderous mind.

*

He stripped off his costume, his itchy white beard,

Though sleep came not easy, for the nightmares he feared.

He lay there ‘til dawn, having tossed, having turned,

If Hell did exist, then he’d surely be burned.

*

T’was ironic, he thought, as he lay wide awake

All the things that he’d done, and all for the sake

*

Of a roof and a bed,

To rest his sweet head,

A place to be fed,

A way to gain cred,

With the ladies, a bed to which they would be led,

But now when he closes his eyes he sees red,

The blood of the innocent people now dead,

The families who ever-y night would break bread,

The couples who’d wed, the children they’d said,

Would grow up to have kids of their own, but instead,

A result of the vengeance of God, they had bled,

Wounds beyond hope of a needle and thread,

So deep went the blade, some he thought he’d behead,

While asleep, they were killed, if awake, they’d have pled

If awake, they’d have begged, they’d have fought, they’d have fled,

Over walls, over floors, their blood had been spread,

Out in the streets, that same blood had been tread,

To the point where you’d get pretty far with a sled,

On those bloody canals, a man could have sped,

A fucked-up im-age, in your head I’ve embed,

O, how our poor drunken Raph was misled,

What for without sleep, guy? What for with your dread?

He hadn’t a choice, to his conscience he said.

Passing Israelite homes to leave Egyp-ti-ans dead,

*

Steering clear of the bloodied doorposts, and moreover,

That’s why today, we celebrate the Passover.

*

In the morning, Erin wakes to find Yah sitting by the window, dagger in hand. She’s trying desperately to stay awake, but her head is doing that dipping thing when you nod off, then the act of your head dropping wakes you up, and you jolt upright, then slowly nod off again.

Erin just watches this for a few cycles because, let’s face it, it’s funny watching someone try to stay awake. Then, finally...

“For Chrissakes, Moe – get some sleep. You look like shit.”

She goes to pour herself a cup of breakfast wine.

Moe turns, bloodshot eyes sunken into her face. “I’m not tired.”

“Oh, yeah?” She sips. “Then where are those eyes going, huh?”

Moe can’t figure out if she’s confused because of her sleep-deprived state, or because the question is nonsensical. “Eyes?”

“Yeah, your eyes. Are they going on a trip?”

Moe just shakes her head. “What?”

“I’m just curious. It seems like they’re going on a very long trip.”

Growing self-conscious, Moe begins trying to look at her own eyes. Naturally, she doesn’t succeed, because without the use of a mirror (which, might I remind you, hasn’t been invented yet), such a task is both crazy and impossible.

The result is her pupils and irises kind of circling the edge of her eyes like a dog chasing its tail, first clockwise, then anti-clockwise, then clockwise again, until finally she gets a headache and gives up.

“Why?” she says, exasperated, hoping Erin will put her out of her misery. “Why do you think my eyes are going on a trip.”

“A long trip,” Erin corrects her. “A very long trip.”

Moe sighs. “Fine. Whatever. Why do you think my eyes are going on a very long trip?”

Erin pauses, a smile curling the corner of her mouth like she can’t hold it back.

Like she’s about to deliver the best goddamn punchline you ever heard in your life.

“Because the bags they’re carrying are fucking enormous.”

Boom...

Mic drop...

Check, please...

Erin lets it hang.

She waits, expectantly.

Looking at Moe, eyes wide, nodding, like she just dropped the fucking bomb and she knows it.

A full minute passes in absolute silence.

Finally, Moe lets out a long, deep sigh, from the bottom of her very soul. “That was a very long walk...for a very short drink of water.”

Erin’s face falls. She really thought she nailed that one.

Aw, Erin... Chin up, honey.

A noise outside gets the sisters’ attention.

Footsteps.

Voices.

Moe snaps back to the window, poking her head out and looking left, then right, down the street. Seeing something, she panics.

“Oh, shit!”

She steps back from the window, lifting the dagger into a stab-ready position. (Stab-happy position?)

“I knew it,” she says. “I fucking knew she’d betray me.”

“What?”

Erin goes to the window, peering out to see a mob of angry Israelites approaching, holding literal torches and pitchforks.

“Where’d they get the pitchforks?” Erin muses.

“They’re gonna lynch me!” Moe starts pacing, sweating. “Just like that old gypsy woman said!”

“You mean the elder?”

“Yes! She said if the ‘blood-on-the-doorposts’ thing didn’t work, they were gonna have them a good ol’ fashioned lynching!”

Now Erin’s starting to panic. “Well, hang on. I mean, we don’t know that it didn’t work.” She tries to be proactive, reassuring. “What was the point of the blood on the doorposts again? Like, what was it meant to accomplish?”

“I don’t know!” Moe screams. “She’s so fucking vague and mysterious about everything! Now I’m gonna pay the price for her shitty fucking decisions.”

She scurries to the back door, thinking maybe she can make a run for it, but the Israelites are coming in from all directions.

“Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck...”

Erin, meanwhile, just stays where she is. A wave of odd calm seems to have washed over her. Suddenly, she isn’t afraid of the vengeful mob.

“Isn’t that what we always do?”

“What?” Moe says, barely paying attention as she runs into Erin and Merry’s bedroom, stepping over the bed and onto Merry’s nuts while he sleeps.

“Christ!” he yells, instantly awake. He curls onto his side in the foetal position, holding his groin. “Why?

Moe checks the window. No good.

She re-emerges into the living area, where, with a kind of resigned clarity, Erin says, “Pay the price for her shitty fucking decisions.”

Moe heads into her room, checks the window. More angry Israelites. “Fuck!”

Realising it’s no use, Moe returns to her sister.

“That’s all we do, Moe,” Erin says. “She does what she does and we deal with the fallout. Look at you. Look at us. One of our ancestors was the Pharaoh, for fuck’s sake. Then one day, she just abandons us and we get enslaved. Because, what, she got bored? We should be running shit around here. The Egyptians should be our fucking slaves. Instead, my newborn baby gets torn out of my hands and thrown into the river before I even get a chance to hold her...”

She cuts herself off, tears flooding her eyes.

By this point, the Israelites have surrounded the house, and Snakebite is standing directly in front of the door like a sheriff with her posse.

“I’ll give you to the count of ten, Moe!”

Moe closes her eyes.

She drops the dagger to the floor.

There’s no escape.

She knows it. Erin knows it.

Really, there’s only one thing she can do.

Moe walks over to Erin and wraps her big sister up in a hug. Erin returns the embrace fiercely, sobbing into Moe’s shoulder. Moe just holds her.

Ten!

The hug grows tighter.

Nine!

Merry stumbles out of the bedroom, one hand on his crotch, the other rubbing sleep from his eye.

“Mornin’.”

The sisters pull apart, shooting him a glare.

Eight!

Initially confused, Merry notices the whole torches-and-pitchforks thing going on outside. He goes pale.

“Oh...”

Seven!

Erin wipes her eyes. “Let’s just get this over with. If it’s gonna happen, it’s gonna happen. Might as well go out with our heads held high.”

Six!

“They don’t want you,” Moe says. “They only want me.”

“Oh, well... might as well go out with your head held high, then.” She smiles to let her sister know she’s only half-joking.

Moe laughs, despite herself. Despite everything.

Five!

Moe shakes her hands, like a swimmer preparing to dive. “It can’t be that bad, right? Being hung.”

“Hanged,” Merry corrects her. “Technically.”

They glare at him again, but he doesn’t notice. He’s too busy staring at the mob with abject terror, all the life drained out of him.

Four!

“I mean, hopefully, your neck breaks...” Merry continues rambling, apparently without conscious thought. The fear has short-circuited his internal filter. “That’s the ideal situation. Quick, clean. Over and done with. But that’s if they drop you...”

Three!

“What generally happens with these lynchings is they string you up and raise you. In that case, you’re looking at strangulation. Anywhere from one to four minutes. Your face will become engorged and turn blue. You’ll piss and shit yourself...”

Two!

Moe and Erin just stare at him, slack-jawed. Jesus Christ, dude...

But Merry has gone quiet, almost catatonic. He’s no use to anyone at this point.

One!

Erin turns to the terrified Moe, hands on her shoulders. “Fuck him,” she says. “We’ll do it together. Alright?”

Moe nods, unable to speak.

Together, they head for the door.

They open it, step outside...

Moe closes her eyes and braces herself, ready for the rope to be thrown around her neck.

But...

...nothing happens.

Seconds pass.

Moe opens an eye, then the other.

The Israelites aren’t even looking at her anymore. They’re looking off down the street.

Moe turns to Erin, who is looking in the same direction.

That’s when she sees it.

An Egyptian couple kneeling in the street, crying over what appears to be their dead son.

It takes a moment for her to realise it’s the same family she saw the previous day, walking past without a care in the world. The boy riding high on his dad’s shoulders, smiling and laughing.

Now, that boy is dead. His parents in mourning.

At first, it’s only them, but then other cries ring out from the unbloodied doorways. Shouts of horror, shock and grief. Yelling, wailing. Mothers and fathers carrying their dead children out into the street, asking each other why, asking the gods why. Farmers carrying their dead foals. Dog owners carrying their dead puppies.

“Jesus Christ...” breathes Erin. “She didn’t...

But she did.

And as the realisation sinks in, a smile lights up Moe’s face like a kid on Christmas.

“Woooooo!” Moe cheers, pumping her fists in the air. “Fucking fuck yeah! I knew it.” Turning to the sky, she goes, “I never doubted you, Yah. Didn’t doubt you for a second, babe.”

By this point, the Israelites (including Erin) have turned to stare at her, their expressions unreadable.

Moe, ignoring them, turns to face the Egyptians down the street, who have gone quiet and are looking in her direction, blinking away tears. She begins flipping them the bird with both hands, laughing like a maniac. “Ha-ha! Take that, you fucking slave-having cunts! That’s what you get for subjugating an entire race, motherfucker! Wooooo!”

Only this time, the Israelites (including Erin) join her in cheering.

The Egyptians are completely, utterly shocked.

Like, truly appalled.

Imagine it...

Your kid just died, and these goddamn slaves have the gall to erupt into woops and hoots and hollers – yep, even hollers.

They cry and laugh and hug one another. People start shaking wineskins like they’re bottles of champagne, but since the shit isn’t carbonated, they just kind of splash it on those closest to them.

Someone starts playing music, and a block party quickly breaks out. People are dancing, chugging wine. Merry stumbles out from the house, realising he’s no longer in danger, and quickly joins the party.

“Ha-ha, alright!

He strips off his shirt and throws himself into a nearby mosh-pit – yes, they have mosh-pits – where he immediately starts getting battered left to right like a windshield wiper on full speed.

Ancient Israelite mosh-pits were brutal, I’m telling you.

Absolute meatgrinders.

Still, like any dude at his first heavy metal show, he tries to play it off like he isn’t scared, like he’s having a great time and he does this shit on the regular.

His nose isn’t that broken. His shoulder’s only a little dislocated.

“Yeah, Yahweh! Wooooo! Fuck...

Pretty soon, Moe finds herself sitting on a chair, being lifted up by the crowd in a manner not dissimilar to a modern Jewish wedding. If only they had Hava Nagila back then.

Oh well, guess you can’t have everything.

It isn’t long before Erin, Merry and Snakebite are raised up on chairs alongside Moe, everyone laughing and enjoying themselves. Merry is barely conscious. Blood all over his face, black eye, clothes ripped. Still, he gives a thumbs up with his good arm and a smile with several teeth missing to show how fucking metal he is.

Then he passes out, and just kind of slumps in the chair while people jostle him up and down.

Is he dead?

Guys, seriously, is someone gonna check on Merry?

No one does.

Moe and Snakebite put their arms around each other, passing a wineskin between them and effectively burying the hatchet.

Cut to the grieving Egyptians and their dead children. They just stare in open-mouthed shock at the utter inhumanity of their slave neighbours. (Sleighbours?)

The parents stare, I mean.

The children can’t stare.

The children are dead.

Just wanted to make that clear.

It’s a bittersweet moment.

On the one hand, we have a people held in bondage for over four hundred years at this point finally being free.

On the other, we have a bunch of parents grieving the primogenocide of their offspring.

Sidebar: primogeniture is the status of being a first-born child. So, in the same way that season 1, episode 18 was called Gendercide (because the genocide was only committed on the men of Shechem), here, we have primogenocide (because only the first-born were killed). What fun!

As the Israelites continue cheering, the Egyptians resume crying.

If this were a movie, we’d transition to an aerial shot here, and pull out from the block party, retreating higher into the sky to encompass a wider view of the city.

As more and more Egyptian parents discover their dead children, and as more and more Israelites discover the Egyptian parents discovering their dead children, the cheers and cries go up simultaneously, until the entire city is either devastated or overjoyed.

Just goes to show...

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

That’s the moral of the story, right?

Right?

*

And so it was in old Egypt, as the parents did cry,

Asking why to their gods, did their children need die?

Some had heard Raph exclaim, as he flew out of sight,

Merry Pesach to all, and to all a good night!


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