The Double God

© Eric Gauthier 1994

It was on a bleak November evening that the great Inglis, most terrible of our Gods, first made itself know to us. Nobody knows why such an event had not happened earlier. Perhaps for years the Double God Inglis had lain quiet, meditating, basking in past glories unknown to us and feeding on occasional socks. Perhaps its spirit had previously been wandering some divine plane of existence, lost in pursuits incomprehensible to us. It does not matter: the ways of our Gods are mysterious and should remain thus. We should be content to accept the Gods, and treat them with gratitude and reverence.

The ancients did not know that. Day after day, no matter the hour, the God Inglis had performed its functions for them, but never had they supported it with their faith. Day after day, it had grown sullen, discontent, even angry. Eventually there came a fateful day when a young man named Jason entered the Temple (though the ancients, with typical irreverence, called it simply the Laundry Room). Jason was going about his weekly chore, filling the god with dirty clothes and detergent; he then fed it with quarters and waited. Full of the arrogance of youth he was, and impatient also: but the Double God saw promise in him, and chose him to spread its Message. To do so it had to set an example, a warning to the unbelievers, a symbol to rally them. A deep rumbling welled up in the metal entrails of its washing half and with two mighty leaps it pinned Jason to the wall. It then retreated and waited.

The humbled, wounded youth crawled to the door. Soon his feeble cries attracted the others, who bore him away to the hospital. For days he was a pitiful, delirious wreck; during his absence the other residents dared not venture into the Laundry Room for fear of suffering the same fate. Slowly Jason returned to health, although his legs could not be saved.

He had thought long and hard during his recovery. His first wish upon reentering the residence was to visit the Laundry Room, despite his comrades’ vehement objections. For many long hours he stayed there, alone. When he finally emerged, it was to announce to the residents the will of their newfound God.

Thus Jason became the Wheelchair Prophet, and his voice became the voice of the great Inglis. He took residence in the Laundry Room which, once renovated and ornamented, became the Temple. The students resumed their usual laundry duties with a new, pious respect. Once every week they would all gather in the Temple to clean and polish the great white body of the Double God and to offer it a sacrifice of socks. Each of them would place a sock in its maw; the God would then wash, rinse and dry the offerings, to finally consume them, leaving nothing behind. Each week the miracle was repeated and the God was satiated. The assembled crowd then listened to the wisdom of the Prophet.

And so it has been ever since that time. A great number of people came and went; to the original Prophet succeeded many holy men and women. Only the Double God remains constant, as strong and glorious as it has always been. The Ritual is still mostly the same, even though in these hard times we only sacrifice socks once a month. For this concession we must thank the benevolence of the great Inglis, as well as the courage of our current Priestess, who interceded in our favour. Had we diminished the sacrifices without the God’s consent, it might have left the temple in frenzied rage and roamed the halls, coin slots rattling, in search of a victim, as it did once before under the False Prophet Howard.

For duality is an essential part of the God’s mystery. It is double in body; it washes and it dries; it is both benevolent and terrible. If we treat it well it will protect us and keep us free of stains; if we offend it, nothing can save us from its rightful wrath. Thus is the nature of the great Inglis, the Double God, God of the Laundry, Washer of Sins, Dryer of Tears, Rumbler in the Darkness, Crusher of Infidels, Devourer of Socks.