Jinga the Sea Monster is wobbly and fierce. He is hideous and horrid. He sits in the Council beyond the Edge of the World and he judges.
“Woo-wobble-wobble,” he says, shaking himself. “Humanity is terrible and full of sin.”
His tendrils and his body shiver like jelly. If you could taste them, they’d taste more like offal than jelly, but there would be a bit of a sweet huckleberry sugary taste to them.
“Woo-wobble-wobble-wobble,” says Jinga the Sea Monster.
Then he gestures, with a slimy tentacle, at the Mirror of Sight!
The image in the mirror skims across the world of human life. It pauses briefly on Shelley, who is making brownies.
“DEE generate,” declares Jinga.
The mirror skims past Emily, who is in school, listening to her teacher and sometimes picking her nose.
“Sinful!” snaps Jinga.
The mirror finally settles in on Diane, who is sitting at a table, at a restaurant, out on her first date with John.
Lester the Adorable Earwig is a giant squiggly earwig. His nametag designates him adorable. He sits in the Council beyond the Edge of the World and he judges.
“How perfidious a creature is woman,” says Jinga.
“Ah-ah,” smiles Lester. “But is she more or less perfidious a creature than man?”
Jinga shivers. His body woo-wobble-wobbles softly. “That is a difficult one, Lester. Very difficult!”
Lester chitters smugly.
“I would say,” says Jinga, “that because a woman can become pregnant, she has more capacity for perfidy; and because humans in general exercise such capacities fully, that she is more perfidious—on the whole.”
Lester scowls. He had wanted to stump Jinga.
Pecuny is a silky ooze. There are bits of many colors in Pecuny. They are not admirably arranged.
Pecuny sits in the Council beyond the Edge of the World and he judges.
“These two,” Pecuny says. “Their minds are full of unworthy thoughts. Let us punish them.”
“Punish! Punish! Woo-wobble-wobble-wobble!” says Jinga.
“No!” says Lester. He is still sulking. “We have an arrangement. We cannot punish them until they are dead.”
“But look at how she is eating that breadstick,” says Pecuny. “And he! He is using the dinner fork for his salad!”
“Not until they are dead,” Lester says. He squiggles about in mild agitation. “We have rules. They may still redeem themselves while they’re alive, you know.”
“Pfah,” pfahs Pecuny.
“Lester is right,” says Jinga, sadly. “Look. She is muttering something. Can anyone read lips?”
Diane is leaning in towards John. She mutters, “Hey, I think we’re being watched by the Council beyond the Edge of the World.”
“Bugger,” says John.
“I think they’re talking about sex,” Lester says. He squints. His eyes are not very good, even though they’re faceted.
John eats another bite of salad. He uses the dinner fork again.
“Want to play a trick on them?” Diane says.
John suddenly grins. “Really? You have a radiator?”
“I do,” says Diane.
Lester leans back. “Well, that’s that. Judged and found unworthy. Let’s move on.”
Diane reaches into her purse. She subtly sets her radiator to evil.
“Wait,” says Jinga. He wobbles.
Diane picks up her salad fork, malevolently. She takes a bite of her salad. She chews. She chews her salad like each bite is a genocide.
“Woo-wobble-wobble!” says Jinga, in distress.
Diane licks her lips with filthy, horrid intent. She reaches for her water glass. She picks it up. She drinks it.
“Scum!” shouts Lester. “Scum! Scum! Scum!”
Lester does the earwig dance of absolute horror. It is not adorable at all.
Diane adjusts the radiator to encompass John.
“What’s it set to?” John asks. His voice is ripe with evil; there is good probability, Pecuny assesses, that he is even at that moment indwelt by the Devil.
“Evil,” Diane says. It is suddenly obvious to everyone who looks at her that she has never been baptized.
“Um, is that a good idea?” John frets, eyes bulging with selfish shortsightedness.
“Wait,” says Diane. She stretches out the torture. “Wait—”
“We must punish them now!” shrieks Pecuny. “Now! Now! N—erk.”
Diane has flipped the radiator to perfect good.
“Huh,” says Jinga.
There is a dead silence in the Council beyond the Edge of the World as Diane finishes her salad and pushes the plate back.
“Huh,” agrees Pecuny.
“Woo-wobble-wobble-wobble,” whispers Jinga, uncertainly.
“It is a miracle,” concludes Lester.
“Grace,” Jinga agrees.
“We are privileged to witness a miracle,” says Lester. “Because we ourselves are good.”
Diane grins. Her water glass in front of her lips, she says, “Now I’ll take the radiator out and dump it in the trash, and they’ll probably spend the rest of the day thinking about how wonderful trash is.”
“W00t,” says John, in the blessed fashion of the saints.
Diane walks out of the restaurant. She looks around. There is a public trash can on the other side of the street. She begins to cross.
“Woo-wobble-wobble!” cries Jinga. “That car! It will hit her!”
“It will end her perfect grace!” shouts Pecuny.
“This must not be!”
Jinga dives through the mirror and into the human world. The sound of the car as it strikes the sea monster is the sound of death come to huckleberry. There is Jinga splashed on the windshield and on Diane’s new suit and on Diane’s face.
Diane sprains her ankle as she falls.