Genesis 22-23: Kill The Kid! (Season 1, Episode 9)

What happens when God asks Abraham to sacrifice his only son? A cave burial, a brawl in a biker bar and a zombie plague is unleashed on the Middle East.

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.


Skinny Abe’s gained a little weight since we last saw him, and he’s looking more and more like his old self.

Not Fat Abe – he’s not going that far. Just normal Abe.

He’s moving around with his family, living off the land. His son’s becoming a man. His wife’s starting to forgive him for all the evil shit he’s done.

She’s been really happy lately, ever since they picked up this servant, Eliezer (Eli, for short). He’s a big, handsome dude. Not much between his ears, but Sarah’s taken a real liking to him all the same. They’re always talking and laughing together, touching each other’s arms.

Yep, things are looking pretty good for old Abe right about now.

Then, one day, God comes down and he’s like, “Abe, I got a job for you.”

Abe’s just sipping from a wineskin, and he’s like, “Yeah, man, no problem. What do you need?”

God’s like, “I need you to kill Isaac for me.”

Abe spits a mouthful of wine all over the big guy and the big guy’s not impressed.

“You want me to what?

“I want you to take your son up the mountain, cut his throat and burn his body. What, are you deaf?”

“Dude...I already had to banish one son. How am I supposed to be the father of a great nation if you make me kill this one, too?”

“Listen, it’s real simple, Abe – either do what I tell you or the covenant’s off.”

Then he’s gone. Back up to heaven.

He makes some popcorn and sits there, like, “Alright, let’s see what happens now...”

Down below, Abe’s like, “Shit...”

He looks over at his son, who’s very clearly masturbating in his tent, and lets out a sigh. Not because his son is masturbating without bothering to close the tent flaps, but because he’s gotta kill the kid.

“Isaac,” he says.

“Just a minute...”

Abe waits.

...and waits.

...and waits. He checks the tiny stone sundial he tied to his wrist with a leather strap.

Finally, Isaac finishes up.

He comes out, doing his belt, and he’s like, “What?” Like that kid in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off who waits for the teacher to call his name twice before he’s like, “Here!”, but really aggressive, like he said it before and the teacher just didn’t hear him.

Real attitude on this kid.

As you can probably tell, Isaac’s not a sweet, innocent kid anymore. He’s got acne all over his face, a peach fuzz mustache and a really bad attitude. Like any teenager, he just wants to get away from his parents, but that’s kind of hard when you live in the middle of a fucking desert.

It’s just him, his mom, his dad, and Eli.

Abe’s like, “We gotta go make a sacrifice, man. I need you to carry the wood.”

Isaac lets out a really obvious sigh to let Abe know he can’t be fucked, then says, “Fine...”, and trudges off to get the wood.

Abe saddles up his donkey, and they’re about to leave when Sarah pokes her head out of the tent, like, “Where are you guys going?”

Abe’s like, “Just going to make a sacrifice, hon.”

“Where’s the lamb?”

“The lamb?”

Isaac looks at his dad. “Yeah, where is the lamb?”

Abe panics. “Uh... God’s gonna provide the lamb. He told me that...just before.”

“Oh.” Sarah disappears back into her tent, evidently satisfied.

Pretty soon, they’re on the road.

Isaac, Abe and Eli. The three amigos. Heading up the side of a hill with a donkey, some wood and a sacrificial knife. None of them speak, all lost in their own thoughts.

Abe’s thinking, “Fuck...if I kill the kid, I won’t be the father of a great nation – I’ll just be the father of a dead kid. If I don’t kill the kid, God’s gonna back out of the covenant and I’ll just be the father of a douchebag teenager. Probably end up killing him anyway...”

Isaac’s thinking, “Fuck...I really wanna rub one out. I wonder if I could do it right now without anyone noticing...”

Eli’s thinking, “Fuck...I wonder if Abe knows I’m having sex with his wife...”

They get to a certain point on the hill, where Abe’s like, “Alright, Eli, we’ll take it from here,” and he and Isaac continue on alone.

Abe’s still going over it in his head, like, “Why does he want me to kill the kid, anyway? What kind of a fucked-up test is that? What does it prove? Is he planning to jump in and stop me at the last second, just to see if I’ll actually go through with it?”

He looks over at Isaac, but the kid’s oblivious to what’s going on. In one hand, he’s carrying the wood. In the other, well...same thing. He’s already jacked it half a dozen times since they left camp, and currently, he’s working on the seventh.

Now, before you get all weird about child sacrifice – back in these days, it was a fairly common thing. The chance of a kid actually living to adulthood wasn’t great – that’s part of the reason people had so many goddamn kids to begin with. You had to kind of stack the deck against nature.

The reality of this made people more detached from their kids than we are in the modern world. If a kid dies today, we think of it as this horrible, life-altering thing. But if that shit is going down on the regular, you can’t afford to spend too much time crying your eyes out. You gotta distance yourself.

The sad truth is that, back in the day, people just didn’t really give a fuck about their kids.

So, finally, Abe and Isaac reach the top of the hill, and Abe builds an altar out of stones. Isaac lays the wood down on top, and he’s like, “Dude, where’s the lamb? I don’t see one.”

Abe’s like, “Take a look in the mirror, pal.”

Can’t resist popping off that sweet one-liner.

Before Isaac can ask what a mirror is (since they don’t exist yet), Abe grabs him from behind and ties him up.

Isaac strains and bucks against the rope, shouting, “Hey! Let me go! Let me go, you fucking maniac!”

But Abe hauls him over to the altar and throws him down on the wood.

“I’m sorry!” he says. “I’m sorry...”

He splashes oil all over the kid and takes out the sacrificial knife, holding it over his head.

Isaac’s eyes go wide and he screams, “No! No! Nooooooooo!”

Abe looks up at the sky, waiting for God to do something.

Up above, God’s shovelling popcorn into his mouth, waiting to see what’ll happen. “There’s no way...” he says, with his mouth full. “No fucking way he’ll go through with it.”

Down below, Abe’s not seeing any signs.

He looks at Isaac. Thinks about it long and hard.

Thinks about all the evil shit he’s done so far – all the people he’s fucked and killed and betrayed.

If he stops now, all of that will be for nothing. Classic ‘sunk cost fallacy’ mindset.

He thinks about what’s stopping him.

Right and wrong.

What is right and wrong?

Right is doing what God tells you.

Wrong is disobeying God.

What else is there? Some arbitrary sense of morality that’s really just a figment of his imagination? God is real, he’s tangible. Abe’s seen God – he knows for a fact that he exists. He knows that God built his world and has the power of life or death over him.

Therefore, there’s only one rational response...

If God told him to do it, then it must be right.

Abe says, “Sorry, kid,” and cuts his son’s throat...

Up above, God freezes with a handful of popcorn half-way to his mouth.

“Oh, shit...” he says.

He comes down as Abe’s cleaning the blood off his knife, Isaac’s body burning in the background.

God’s like, “What the fuck?”

Abe’s like, “What?”

“You killed him...You actually fucking killed him.”

“You told me to.”

“Yeah, but...I didn’t think you’d actually do it.”

“Well, now you can’t back out of the covenant,” says Abe. “I did what you said, right? I’m still the father of a great nation?”

“Yeah, but...you just killed your only son. You’re not the father of anything.”

Abe finishes cleaning the knife, examines it, then calmly slots it into his belt.

“Yeah, I just figured you’d give me another one. Otherwise, I’ll go looking for Ishmael, see if he’s interested. Either way, I’m still the guy.”

God’s horrified, but he’s also thinking, “Well played.” He says, “Every time I think I’ve got you pegged, you do something that scares the living shit out of me.”

Abe smiles. “I’ll take that as a compliment.”

Then he heads off down the hill to rejoin Eli, and God just stands there.

He stands there a long while.

He knows he’s got no way out of the covenant now. He’s stuck with Abe. For better or worse, he’s stuck with him.

If he’s willing to kill his own son, just like that, God guesses there isn’t much he won’t do.

Then he has an idea...

A brilliant, fucked-up idea.

He raises his hand to the fire and suddenly, a figure stands up on the altar, in the middle of the flames.

It’s motherfucking Isaac, back from the dead.

But it isn’t Isaac who steps out onto the ground.

It’s some grey-skinned, white-eyed, zombie-looking motherfucker.

He isn’t Isaac anymore.

He’s Ike.

*

Eli’s passing the time by trying to lick his elbow when he sees Abe coming down the hill with blood all over his face and no Isaac.

He goes, “What happened, boss?”, in his usual Southern drawl.

By the way, Eli’s from the South. The Deep South. Don’t ask questions. That’s just how it is. To be clear, I’m talking about the Southern United States. Dixie. I’m talking Confederate bumper stickers, Confederate flags, statues of Confederate generals they won’t tear down. The works.

Abe doesn’t say anything. He takes the rope for the donkey and leads it back down to camp.

Eli looks at the top of the hill, wondering what the fuck happened up there. Then he shrugs, like, “Oh, well – must not be important,” and takes off after Abe.

Back at the camp, Sarah asks the same thing. “Where’s Isaac?” she says. “And why do you have blood all over your face?”

It takes her a moment to put two and two together, and when she does, she starts crying.

“You bastard!” she says, slapping him across the face. “You son of a bitch.”

“Don’t worry,” Abe says, going to the water bucket and washing his face off. “We’ll get another kid.”

“I don’t want another kid. I want our son.”

“He was a douchebag anyway,” says Abe. “Hopefully, the next one can keep his dick in his pants.”

“Says you.”

Abe grabs a wineskin and takes a swig. He’s like, “You know what? I don’t need this right now. I bust my ass day in, day out for this family. I just hiked all the way up that hill, which I’m pretty sure gave me blisters. What the fuck more do you want from me?”

“I’d like it if you wouldn’t kill members of our family without consulting me.”

“Would you have made a different decision?”

“Yes!” she says. “I wouldn’t have killed our son so we could be the parents of a great nation. It makes no fucking sense. How are we supposed to do that if we have no kids?”

“That’s the whole point,” says Abe, adopting a conspiratorial tone like he knows what’s really going on. “It’s not supposed to make sense. It’s faith. He can’t fault me for doing what he said. The covenant’s still on. Now he’s gotta find a way to make it happen. Even if we have to go get Ishmael back ourselves...”

Sarah’s eyes bulge with fury. “We are not going to get Ishmael back.”

“Whatever happens,” Abe says. “The ball’s in his court.”

At that very moment, Ike leaps off a nearby boulder, aiming for Abe...

Abe sees this, and dives out of the way...

But Sarah has her back turned to the boulder, so instead, Ike comes crashing down on her...

He sinks his feral, zombie teeth into her neck, ripping out her windpipe.

“Jesus Christ!” shouts Abe, wriggling back through the dirt just as Eli vomits and it goes all over him.

They both watch, frozen in horror, as Ike claws open his mother’s stomach and starts feasting on her insides. Organs, intestines and chunks of flesh all over the place.

When he’s done, Ike turns to face them. His eyes white, his grey skin covered in blood, especially around the mouth.

His head tilts like a confused puppy when he sees Abe alive and well. He looks back at the mutilated corpse of his mother, apparently under the impression it had been his dad.

He shakes it off, lunges at Abe.

Abe shrieks and wriggles back. Eli jumps in to protect him, wrapping Ike up in a choke-hold and putting him to sleep. It’s actually pretty badass.

Even when he goes limp, Abe tells Eli to hold him while he ties the kid up.

He then calls God down to see what the fuck is going on, and God’s like, “Well...you called my bluff, man. You think I’d just let you get away with that?”

“You’re a sore loser.”

“And you’re a fucking sociopath.”

“Hey, at least I’m honest with myself,” Abe says. “Now...what the fuck is this?”

He gestures to the passed-out, hog-tied zombie of a son he just killed.

“That...” God says, “is Ike.”

“What is he?”

“What do you think he is? He’s a zombie.”

“And he eats...people?

“Sure does. I don’t think those ropes are gonna hold him, either.”

“Then what the fuck are we supposed to do?”

“I’d build a cage or something. Also, he’s gonna be hungry when he wakes up, so I’d have some raw meat ready. As close to human as you can get.”

Abe gives Eli a look like, “As close to human as we can get? What the fuck does that mean?”

God goes on, “Now, he won’t need a lot of water, but it’s good for him to stay at least moderately-hydrated. Helps with digestion, shit like that. Also, it’s just good to stay hydrated in general. You guys should keep that in mind, too. You want your pee to be clear or slightly yellow.”

Abe’s like, “Yeah, thanks, doc, we’ll get right on that.”

Then he turns to see Eli taking notes on a bit of parchment. Abe’s not sure what he’s more surprised by – the fact that Eli’s taking notes or the fact that he can read and write.

Also, his handwriting is fantastic. Like calligraphy-level good.

“What else?” God says, trying to think. “Uh...try to keep him out of the sun as much as you can – it’ll just make him angry. And...oh, yeah, make sure you find him a wife as soon as possible.”

“A wife?” says Abe. “Who the fuck is gonna wanna fuck a zombie?”

“Preferably someone who’s related to him. If he smells his own blood, he’ll be less likely to try and eat them. He’s got a lot of pent-up sexual energy, so once he’s released that, it should really calm him down and make him a lot less bitey. In the meantime, keep him in the cage, keep him fed. Shouldn’t be a problem.”

Abe’s like, “You know, you’re a real asshole for doing this.”

God just stares at him. “Looking after someone who either fucks or kills anything in its path...Now you know how I feel.”

Then he’s gone. Back up to heaven.

Abe sighs.

“Alright,” he says to Eli. “Let’s get to work.”

They build a cage on the back of the wagon, so they can transport the kid without too much difficulty. They go over and pick up Ike, and they’re halfway back to the cage when he starts to wake up.

“Oh, shiiiiiit!” says Abe, and they run to the wagon. “Quick, get him in! Get him in!”

They hurl the kid inside just as he bursts out of the ropes and comes lunging at them a second time. Eli slams the door shut and slides the bolt across.

They back away as Ike presses himself up against the bars, reaching through and clawing ineffectually at the air. The two guys stand there, panting.

“Now we gotta find him a wife?” says Abe. “Where the fuck are we gonna find him a wife?”

Eli’s like, “God said it should be someone related to him – right, boss?”

“Yeah, but where...” Then Abe remembers. “Oh, shit – I’ve still got some family back in the old country.”

But Abe isn’t about to go all the way back home just to find the kid a wife. Not when he has a big, dumb brute to do it for him.

He says to Eli, “You’re gonna need to do it for me.”

“Why can’t you come?”

“Well, I should probably do something about this,” Abe says, gesturing to his wife’s mutilated corpse. “Find a place to bury her, y’know?”

Eli agrees, but before the two say their goodbyes, Abe makes him take a solemn vow.

As is the custom, he forces Eli to put his hand under his thigh – Abe’s thigh, not Eli’s – and cup his wrinkly, old scrotum – again, Abe’s scrotum, not Eli’s. The cock and balls are sacred to his people, and this ensures that the vow will not be broken.

Then Abe says, “I need you to swear that you won’t find my son a filthy Canaanite whore. The Canaanites are fucking animals and they can’t be trusted. You gotta go to Haran, where I’m from. My brother Nahor lives there. He should have some daughters or granddaughters or something. Grab one of those and get back here as fast as you can.”

“But what if she won’t come with me?” says Eli. “Should I take Ike so they can meet him?”

“No,” says Abe. “We’re not going back there. This, right here, is our future homeland, so you bring her here. Even if you have to drag her all the way back. Am I clear?”

“Crystal clear, boss.”

So Eli swears that he won’t find Ike some filthy Canaanite whore. Only then is he allowed to take his hand off Abe’s genitals, wipe the sweat from his palm and hit the road.

Meanwhile, Abe wraps Sarah’s body in linens and loads her into the wagon. He puts her in the driver’s seat with him so Ike can’t eat the rest of her. He even sits her upright so the whole thing looks like a Weekend at Bernie’s rip-off.
With his dead wife and zombie son, Abe heads out for Hebron, where he’d passed a cave a couple years back and thought it’d be a nice place to decompose.

When he gets there, he finds a farmer sitting out front in his rocking chair, drinking wine and chewing tobacco – a great combination if you’ve never tried it. His name is Ephron (but we’ll call him Ron), and as it turns out, he owns the land with the cave on it.

“How much you want for the cave?” Abe says.

Ron spits brown liquid to the side. “I ain’t sellin’.”

“I’ve got some silver here in the wagon. I’ll give it to you right now if you let me bury my wife.”

But Ron isn’t even looking at him anymore. He’s looking behind him, at the wagon.

“Don’t much have much use for silver round here,” Ron says, nodding to the wagon. “What you got back there?”

Abe looks over his shoulder at the cage, where Ike is masturbating furiously, like he has been the whole trip.

“Found him wandering out in the desert,” Abe says. “I call him Ike.”

“He dangerous?”

“When he’s not in that cage, he is. Got a real taste for human flesh.”

Ron looks back at Abe, eyes him up and down. “What about you?” he says.

“What about me?”

“You got a taste for human flesh?”

Abe furrows his brow, uncertain. “Not particularly.”

“Shame,” says Ron. “Could do business with a man like that.”

“I’m not really sure I know what you’re asking there, pal.”

Ron’s like, “I’m a lonely man. You give me what I want, I’ll let you bury your wife.”

Abe suddenly realises.

“Up to you,” says Ron, spitting out another gob of tobacco juice.

About ten minutes later, Abe and Ron emerge from the cave.

Ron extends his hand for a shake, saying, “Pleasure doing business with you.”

Abe looks at the hand with distaste. Then, not wanting to screw up the deal, he shakes the guy’s hand and off he goes, whistling a cheerful tune. Meanwhile, Abe unloads his wife’s body and takes it into the cave.

He’s almost ashamed to lay it down so close to where he just laid down with Ron, but he got what he wanted. He figures that since Sarah’s dead, it isn’t cheating anymore.

And that’s when it hits him.

Sex with a random stranger isn’t cheating anymore.

In the darkness of the cave, as his zombie son climaxes just outside, Abe breaks down crying over the body of his wife.

*

He stops at the very next tavern he comes to and goes inside for a drink.

Picture the Old Testament equivalent of a biker bar and that’s pretty much what this is. A bunch of rowdy, drunk tough guys gambling and arm wrestling and whatever it is biblical bikers do.

The woman pouring drinks is named Keturah, but she says Abe can call her Kitty. Then she winks at him. He isn’t sure what to do, so he just drinks.

“You from around here, darlin’?” she says.

He shakes his head. “Nope. Long way from home.”

“You travellin’ all by your lonesome?”

“No, I got my son with me.”

“Oh, yeah? Where’s he at?”

“Out in the wagon.”

“Well, why don’t you bring him on in?”

Abe chuckles. “If you wanna get eaten alive, I will.”

“Hey, I don’t mind,” she says. “Long as its a father-son type of deal.”

She winks at him again and he’s thinking, “Jesus Christ, this chick’s really swinging for the fences.”

He goes, “Maybe some other time.”

She shrugs and continues pouring drinks. He continues drinking until he hears a familiar voice say, “Hey.”

He turns to see Ron looking at him from a booth in the corner. He’s sitting with a couple of mean-looking dudes and still chewing tobacco – only now, he’s spitting it into a cup.

“The fuck are you doing here?” Ron says.

“Just having a drink.”

“Well, take it somewhere else, pal. You ain’t wanted here.” He lifts the cup to his bottom lip and spits into it. “Also, I’ll be taking that cave back. Your wife can stay, but you’re gonna have to find somewhere else to rot.”

Abe’s hand grips the cup tighter and he tries to stay cool. “I’m not leaving.”

The whole tavern goes quiet.

If jukeboxes had been invented, this is where we’d hear one scratch and stop playing.

Ron leans forward. “What was that, pal?”

“I said, I’m not leaving. You sold me that cave for two-thirds of a blow job and a reach-around. Remember?”

A few glances in Ron’s direction like, “What the fuck?”, but Ron shakes his head like this dude’s crazy.

“Prove it,” Ron says. “I didn’t sign no contract.”

“This is my home now,” Abe says. “Whether you like it or not. Whether I like it or not.”

At this point, Ron stands up, and all his biker friends stand up with him like some shit’s about to go down.

“You better get, boy,” says Ron. “Before things get ugly.”

Abe looks around the room and decides that’s probably a good idea. He finishes his drink and turns to Kitty.

“You wanna come meet my son?” he says.

She smiles, thinking he’s taking her up on her father-son offer. They leave. Ron and his boys sit back down to resume drinking.

“What was that guy talking about, Ron?” one of them says. Ron ignores him. Spits.

About thirty seconds later, they hear wagon wheels outside. Then, they hear something tap lightly against the outside of the building.

One of the bikers goes over and opens the door to see what it is...

Turns out, the entire doorway has been blocked by the back of a wagon...

And on top of that wagon is a cage...

And the door to that cage is open, lining up perfectly with the doorway of the tavern...

And inside the cage is a figure, crouched in the moonlight filtering in through the bars...

The biker barely has time to notice the figure’s grey skin before it leaps at him, tackling him back into the tavern and onto the ground.

He tears the guy’s face off and he screams.

“Mother of God...” Ron says, in a terrified whisper. “It’s Ike!”

Everyone else shouts and backs away, knocking over tables and chairs.

Ike leaps off post-op-Nicholas-Cage-before-he-gets-John-Travolta’s-face and latches onto the next guy, tearing out his beating heart like freakin’ Temple of Doom.

Outside, Abe and Kitty stare at the tavern, listening to the carnage going on inside.

“That’s my boy,” Abe says, with a warm smile.

He turns to Kitty. “You wanna go for a walk?” he says.

“Is it alright to leave him there?”

“Yeah, he’ll tucker himself out eventually. Besides, the only place he can go is back in the cage.”

Kitty shrugs, and off they go, holding hands. Walking down the moonlit street with the blood-curdling screams of biblical bikers filling the night air.


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