“It’s been three years,” says Pope Mohammed. His index finger is poking the top of the table between you. With every syllable is a poke. With every poke is a clanking of handcuffs that connects his right arm to a bar connected to the table.
“It’s [clank] been [clank] three [clank] years [clank],” repeats Pope Mohammed, “Since I killed my son for the greater good of humanity.”
You’re nodding your head listening to Pope Mohammed. You’re also listening to the background noise of other people visiting patients in a vast visitation room. It’s your annual visit to the institution Pope Mohammed has been living in for the last two and a half years. Other people live there, too. On their charts read words like, schizophrenic, dissociative identity disorder, and psychotic disorder due to epilepsy.
Someone you met once named Jack is sitting near a window banging his head with his palm shouting the words, “I’m a turtle, please bake me. I’m a turtle, please bake me.”
“The greater good of humanity?” You repeat to Pope Mohammed. You turn the sentence into question. You make eye contact, but look again at Jack.
“Yeah, for the love of humanity,” says Pope Mohammed. “Remember when he became so popular on the, the … the Internet?”
“I remember,” you nod and see Pope Mohammed son in your mind’s eye. It’s a bearded face. It has that Steve Buscemi ugly charm. Pope Mohammed’s son’s had a weekly show on YouTube that accumulated an astonishing two billion hits a day, roughly one third of the world population.
The headlines read, “He’s the Beatles of YouTube.”
The Marquees read, “The Inspiration you need.”
The blog posts read, “I cannot live without Pope Mohammed’s son.”
And in a rare public appearance set for three years ago to the day, Pope Mohammed’s son was standing on a balcony waving to a gigantic gathering of his fans. Behind Pope Mohammed’s son emerged Pope Mohammed wielding a sword.
Pope Mohammed lifted his son up from behind by grabbing his chest and pulling him upward. He took the sword and pulled it across his stomach slicing deep into it releasing his intestines and blood over the balcony. Blood and organs slapped pavement and splashed in the crowd’s face.
Pope Mohammed paused and ran his finger along a crack in the table separating you from him.
He says “I killed him, because I loved him. I killed my son, because I loved his fans.”