[from February 1990]
by Bill Holmes
The High Priest announced, “We must sacrifice a human life tonight.” The crowd of Mibuku natives milling around the fire immediately tensed and fell silent. Suddenly, the High Priest pointed his holy finger at a lowly servant fanning the Queen. The servant shrieked.
Royal guards descended from their place upon the sacrificial platform, seized the servant and dropped him indelicately upon the platform. The servant immediately raised himself to his knees and, with clasped hands, proceeded to beg for mercy.
“Your Holiness!”, the lowly servant began. “We have already sacrificed three pigs tonight! Is that not enough?”
His Holiness surprised everyone by actually answering the servant’s plea.
“No, it is not enough! There must be a human sacrifice.”
“Why don’t you get one of the royalty?” the servant suggested helpfully. The milling crowd let out a collective gasp. “One of them would surely make a better sacrifice than I.”
“Certainly not!” The High Priest was appalled, but at the same time intrigued by the servant’s nerve.
“Okay,” the servant bartered, seizing the opportunity. “How about if I gather up all the pigs on the island and dump them into the sacrificial pit. There must be hundreds of them damned pigs on this island. In fact …”
“Silence!,” His Holiness screamed. “There is going to be a human sacrifice tonight and you are it!”
The crowd listened intently to this dialogue. They hadn’t had this much entertainment since, well, since the last human sacrifice.
“Oh come on,” the servant shrieked, to which the crowd roared in delight. “Let’s be reasonable,” he said. “I mean, how much of an offer am I to the Gods — a lowly servant with dish-pan hands? I say ‘Give the little guy a break.’ And if you really want to please the Gods, throw the Queen into the pit!” The crowd again gasped in horror. But the little servant continued on. “She deserves it anyway, the old cow. Do you know what it’s like working for her? It’s ‘Do this, do that.’ There’s no breaks! I tell you …”
Before the servant could finish, four soldiers picked him up by the arms and threw him into the sacrificial pit.