Genesis 27: Revenge Is A Dish Best Served Skinless (Season 1, Episode 12)

What happens when Isaac plans to give Esau his blessing? A pedophile is exposed, an unlikely ally is sought out and someone makes the very first skin suit.

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.


Twenty years on from Fat Lot’s nosedive off a cliff, the boys have become men and Ike begins to lose his sight.

Eventually, it gets so bad, he can barely tell one kid from the other.

Now, Ike’s heard about a zombie hunter operating in the area, and apparently, he’s stacking up quite the body count. Ike’s afraid that this guy’s going to find him and cut his fucking head off, so he has to sort out this inheritance bullshit once and for all.

He knows Esau sold his birthright to Jake for a fucking bowl of stew – the moron – but surely that doesn’t count. A couple of kids don’t get to decide that shit – Ike decides that shit.

So he tells Esau to go hunt him something and cook it up. If Ike’s satisfied, then he’ll give Esau his blessing.

Jake goes to protest, saying Esau already sold his birthright for a fucking bowl of stew – the moron – but Becca puts a hand on his shoulder, gently shaking her head as a sign that he should stay quiet. Like any good momma’s boy, Jake obeys.

As Esau goes outside to gather up his shit for hunting, Becca follows him out, silent as a ninja...

She comes up behind him with a clay jug and smashes it over his head, knocking her son out cold.

She then takes out a knife and crouches down beside his unconscious body...

Meanwhile, Becca’s told Jake to wait in her tent. He’s pacing, nervous, wondering how the fuck he’s going to get his dad’s blessing when Esau’s so clearly the favourite.

About an hour later, she comes in carrying two slaughtered goats and something that looks like a wet rug draped over her shoulder. She lays the goats down beside her kitchen bench, then goes over to Jake, holding out the wet rug.

As she gets closer, Jake begins to realise the wet rug isn’t a rug at all.

How can he tell?

Well, first and foremost, rugs don’t have fingers.

They also don’t bleed, and this thing is dripping.

It takes him a moment to process that what he’s looking at is his brother’s flayed skin.

“Jesus Christ!” Jake says, stepping back.

“It’s alright,” says Becca, who is way too calm for this situation. “Try it on.”

Jake just stares in open-mouthed shock.

What?

“Try it on,” she says, like she’s asking him to try on a new shirt. “Why do you think I did this?”

“Because, apparently, you’re a total fucking psychopath.”

“Don’t speak to your mother that way,” she says, slapping him and leaving a big, bloody handprint on the side of his face. Jake touches his cheek, seeing the blood and saying, “Ewww...gross.”

He looks back at her. She seems genuinely offended by his language when in her hands she holds a suit made out of her child’s skin.

A skin suit.

Otherwise known as a Skoot™.

Jake steps forward, studying the Skoot.

After recovering from the initial shock, he finds himself admiring his mother’s craftsmanship. The skin has been separated perfectly from her son’s body in one solid piece. No stitches where two separate parts are sown together. No, sir.

This is some real artisanal serial killer shit.

Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs has got nothing on Becca. He patched his suit together out of, like, a dozen different women, and it didn’t even fully cover him.

Jake insists on washing the Skoot out first, to get rid of all the blood and shit. Becca sighs and calls him a pussy, then begins hacking up the two slaughtered goats for the meal while Jake washes out his brother’s skin.

Finally, it comes time to try the thing on.

There are long slits up the length of the arms, legs and back where she got the knife in, and that’s where Jake slides his own arms, legs and body. He retches a few times, but doesn’t follow through.

In a way, it’s kind of like putting on a wetsuit.

Just imagine the most poorly fitting wetsuit of all time.

And I don’t just mean too big or too small.

I mean too big in some places, too small in others.

Remember that Esau was severely deformed, with one arm all shrivelled, just dangling from his shoulder. It’s so tight trying to get his arm in that Jake worries he might tear the skin.

The other arm was really well developed – his spear-throwing arm – so that part’s way too loose. It’s like trying to wear gloves that are double the size of your own hand.

The left leg was shorter than the right, so Jake has to bend his knee and keep it bent. Immediately, he can feel his thigh muscle start to cramp. He makes a mental note to do some goddamn yoga if he ever gets out of this thing. Get some flexibility going.

Last of all, he pulls Esau’s face up over his own, and since the left side was all kind of melted, it sags away, leaving an air pocket around his cheek.

Jake moves around, readjusting the Skoot, but never finding a comfortable fit.

Finally, he says, “This isn’t gonna work.”

Becca washes the goat blood off her hands and turns around, smiling like he’s in a tux on his wedding day and she’s the proud mother of the groom. There are actual tears in her eyes.

Tears.

“It’s perfect,” she says.

She gets her sewing kit and goes to work stitching up the slits in the arms, legs and back, trapping Jake in his fleshy prison.

He sits there and waits while his mom finishes cooking. All the while, he’s wondering what she’s done with Esau’s body, but can’t bring himself to ask. Maybe he doesn’t want to know. By the time he gathers up the courage, she turns and hands him a bowl of goat stew, telling him to go give it to his dad and get his blessing.

Jake knows he doesn’t have a choice.

Esau has already been skinned. Jake has already been stitched into that skin.

Not to mention the stew has already been made and no one ever likes to waste a good stew.

So Jake takes a few deep breaths, then leaves Becca’s tent and goes into Ike’s.

His dad is in bed, and looks around wildly when he hears someone enter.

“Who is that?” he says. “Who’s there?”

Jake puts on a deep voice and says, “It’s just me, dad. Esau. I’ve got that stew you wanted.”

“Hmm...you sound a little funny.”

“Yeah, I, uh...think I might be coming down with something.”

But Ike’s still not convinced. “How did you hunt something and cook it up already? You’ve only been gone a couple hours.”

“The big guy was just looking out for me, I guess.”

Still not sure.

“Come closer,” Ike says. “Let me feel your skin.”

Because that’s how all blind fathers make sure their sons are telling the truth.

Jake’s like, “Uh...alright.”

So he hobbles over and Ike lays his hands down on the arm of the Skoot. Ike rubs up and down, and Jake holds his breath as he watches his dad’s facial expressions change, trying to figure out if it’s actually Esau he’s touching.

Still not a hundred percent sure, Ike’s like, “Come closer...”

But Jake’s already pretty close, so he’s like, “Uh...”

“Let me smell you, my son. Then I’ll know for sure that you’re Esau.”

Jake’s thinking, “Hold up, what the fuck kind of relationship do you have with my brother?” But he bites his tongue and leans in. Ike breathes in deeply through his nose.

“Mmm,” says Ike, a smile on his face. “You smell like Esau. Give me a kiss, so I can know for sure.”

Now Jake’s really starting to panic. He’s thinking, “What the fuck is going on here?”, but also that he’s come this far – he might as well keep going.

But what if it doesn’t stop at a kiss?

How far is he willing to go?

He’s thinking, “Fuck, is this blessing even worth it?” But before he comes to any kind of decision, Ike plants one right on his lips. And it’s not a peck either.

He lingers.

It takes Jake a moment to come to terms with his situation – his old, blind, undead, apparently-pedophilic dad is kissing the flayed skin of his deformed brother that his serial killer mom cut off and sowed onto him.

Finally, just as Jake’s about to be like, “Fuck this, I’m out,” Ike pulls back, being like, “Why are you so tense?”

Thinking on his feet, Jake goes, “Well, y’know, I’ve been out hunting. I’m pretty tired.”

Ike nods. “Of course. Go get some rest, buddy. You earned it.”

“Damn right, I did”, Jake thinks.

Ike takes the bowl of stew and spoons some into his mouth.

“Oh,” he says. “Beautiful.”

He keeps eating and Jake just stands there in the Skoot, thinking, “Come on, come on...”

Finally, he’s like, “Uh...the blessing?”

With his mouth full, Ike’s like, “Oh, yeah, sorry.”

He swallows, dabs his mouth with a napkin.

Jake prepares himself. He’s expecting some big speech, but instead, Ike just waves a hand over his son like a shitty magician, then continues eating.

Jake stands there, confused. “That was it?”

“Yeah,” says Ike, through a mouthful. “What did you expect?”

Jake shrugs, disappointed. “I don’t know.”

He turns to walk out, but before he can even take a step, he freezes.

There, standing in the doorway, is his brother, Esau.

And he looks pissed.

He also looks like something you’d see in an anatomy exhibit – all muscle and bone and no skin. Like Harvey Dent in The Dark Knight, but...everywhere.

And, somehow, still alive.

Without eyelids, he looks either really surprised or really angry. Add to that the lack of cheeks, and his fully-exposed teeth make it seem like he’s grinning maniacally.

Also, remember that Esau’s horribly deformed, so take whatever level of hideousness you were already picturing and crank it up to eleven.

It truly is a sight to behold.

“Oh, shit...” Jake says.

And Esau’s like, “‘Oh shit’ is right.”

“Who is that?” Ike says. “Who’s there?”

“It’s me, dad. The real Esau.”

Ike frowns. “The real Esau? Then who did I...”

It takes him a moment to put it together.

“Jake...” he says. “But how did you...? You felt like Esau, you smelled like Esau...you even kissed like Esau.”

“Yeah, about that...”

“Never mind about that,” Esau says, quickly. “That’s none of your business.”

Jake’s like, “Fine, didn’t really wanna know anyway.”

“Will someone tell me what the fuck is going on?” Ike says, smashing his bowl on the ground in anger.

Esau’s like, “Yeah, I’ll tell you what’s going on. Jake cut my fucking skin off and threw it over his.”

I didn’t cut it off. Mom did.”

Mom?” says Esau, horrified.

“Jesus Christ...” says Ike. “You’d really do all that just for my blessing?”

A little surprised with himself, Jake says, “Y’know...as it turns out, I would. And strangely enough – not nearly as disturbing as being forced to make out with your own dad.”

Esau bumps past Jake and crouches down beside his father, wrapping his wet, skinless hands around Ike’s.

“Ewwww...” Ike shudders and pulls his hands away, wiping them on his blanket.

“Listen,” Esau says. “He tricked you into giving him your blessing. I’m here now. Give it to me.”

“I wish I could, buddy, but it doesn’t work that way. Once the blessing’s gone, it’s gone. It’s like turning bread into toast. You can’t go back.”

As the reality of the situation settles in, Esau begins trembling with anger.

He turns, and lunges at Jake, letting out a savage war-cry...

But Jake steps to the side and his brother comes crashing down on the ground.

Jake grabs a spear and holds the point an inch from his brother’s face, telling him to get out – this is his house now. Real badass moment for ol’ Jakey boy right here.

Esau knows he’s right and there’s nothing more he can do. Furious, he picks himself up and storms out.

A few seconds later, Becca enters the tent. She’s been outside, listening, waiting for her cue.

Now, she comes in, a strange smile on her face.

She goes over to Ike and whispers in his ear, “That’s what you get for passing me off as your sister, you fucking asshole.”

Ike’s glazed, milky eyes go wide as he realises this is all her doing.

Her perfect, brutal revenge...twenty goddamn years in the making.

“Man, that’s a long play,” he thinks. “And, damn, can she hold a grudge.”

Before Ike has a chance to speak, Becca turns to Jake. “You have to get out of here, alright – lay low for a while. Esau’s going to be out gunning for you now and you don’t want to be here when that skinless bastard comes a-knocking.”

Jake nods, panicking a little. “Alright, alright. But first...get this fucking thing off of me.”

She unstitches the Skoot and Jake falls out onto the ground, covered in sweat and blood and gulping in mouthfuls of air like a caught fish.

“Jesus...you’ve got no idea what it’s like in there.”

Becca’s like, “I’ve been married to your father for thirty years – that’s plenty suffocating.”

“Oh, give it a rest,” Ike says. “You got me, alright. You win.”

Becca glares at him.

“I can feel that,” Ike says. “You’re burning a hole in my face.”

Jake ignores them both. “But where do I go?”

Becca says, “You can go stay with my brother, Laban.”

Ike scoffs. “Oh, good. Laban’s involved.”

“Zip it, Ike.” She turns back to Jake. “He lives out east, in Haran.”

“What the fuck am I gonna do out there?”

“Well...work, for one. Marry one of his daughters – that’d probably be a good idea. Mainly, though, you’re gonna stay alive...and not get revenge-murdered by your brother.”

“But you were the one who...”

Becca covers his mouth so the rest of the sentence is muffled.

“Take responsibility for your actions, Jake,” she says.

His eyes bulge indignantly, but he realises it’s not going to do any good to argue.

Becca looks over at her husband. “You got any parting words for your son, asshole?”

Ike just turns his head away, pouting like a small child.

“Come on,” Becca says. “He stole Esau’s birthright like you stole Ishmael’s. Are you really gonna sit there and be mad at him for basically being you?”

Ike sighs, knowing she’s right.

“Jake...” he says.

The young man brightens a little. “Yeah, dad?”

A pause. Then...

“Your mother is as beautiful as she is devious and unforgiving. Laban’s daughters will probably grow up to be exactly like her.” He turns back to face his son. “If I was you, I wouldn’t touch them with a ten foot pole.”

*

Meanwhile, Esau’s wandered off into the desert in search of someone.

He travels far to the south, into what will eventually become Saudi Arabia. On the verge of death, he sees a cluster of tents up ahead and staggers toward them.

A man, Nebaioth (or Neb, for short) comes out to meet the skinless drifter. “Dude...what the fuck happened to you? How are you still alive?”

“Never mind that,” Esau says. “I’m looking for Ishmael. He’s my uncle.”

“I guess that makes us cousins, then. Ishmael’s my dad.”

He shows Esau to the guy’s tent. Inside, it’s mostly dark, and Neb closes the flap behind Esau to keep the light out.

Esau turns.

There’s a shaft of light coming down from a hole in the roof of the tent, and he sees a man in a hooded cloak sitting cross-legged, faced away from him. There’s incense burning, smoke everywhere.

Esau coughs. He’s not really sure what to say. The best he can come up with is, “Uh...hey.”

Ishmael stirs. “You better have a good fucking reason for interrupting my meditation.”

“Oh, sorry...didn’t know you were meditating. I can come back later, if you want?”

In a petty tone, Ishmael says, “No, it’s ruined now. You might as well stay.” He gets up. “Do you know how fucking important it is to meditate every day? I mean, seriously...”

Ishmael turns, his face still hidden by the hood, and he jumps back in fright when he sees Esau.

“Jesus Christ! What the fuck happened to you?”

“It’s a long story,” says the walking, talking anatomy exhibit. “I’m Esau, your nephew.”

Ishmael says nothing.

“My younger brother, Jake, just stole my inheritance. Your younger brother stole yours, too, didn’t he?”

Again, no response. But the hooded man is listening intently.

“I want revenge,” Esau says. “And I’m guessing there’s a part of you that wants revenge, too.”

Ishmael is silent for a long moment, then he steps forward into the shaft of light and throws back his hood...

Underneath, he has the same grey skin and white eyes as Ike, which can only mean one thing...

Ishmael’s a motherfucking zombie too!


Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this episode, use the ‘share’ button below to let a friend know about it. Word of mouth is still the best way for The New Old Testament to find new readers. See you next time.