Today’s post for the YA Indie Carnival, a couple days late, will be an interview with a villain, who wanted you all to get a peek inside his mind. He’s been seeing himself in a number of films and books lately, the latest being The Rite. And while he appreciated being cast as Anthony Hopkins, one of his favorite actors, he still felt a bit maligned. So, to set the record straight, and without further ado, I’m here to introduce Baal, Canaanite god, and not actually a minion of the devil.
Me: Hello Baal, how are you today?
Baal: I’ve been better, I’m a little frustrated. That’s why I’m here today. Thank you for having me on your blog, Ms. Coles.”
Me: No worries, I’m always curious to hear the other side of the story. It seems like there always is one. So what I understand from your complaint, and from what I’ve seen is that you’ve shown up in a bunch of movies and books as a demon, subject to the evil Lucifer, in various portrayals. You can take off your helmet and put your weapons down, right in the corner over there, if you would. I have a no-weapons policy in my interviews.
Baal: Of course. (removes horned helmet, and puts club and lightning bolt on the desk) I forget that your society is a bit nervous.
Me: Okay, well moving on.
Baal: Well, first, I’d like to say that while portrayals of me as a cloud of flies, a desert island society of angry young sociopaths, or an outright gruesome looking demon are entertaining and creative, that’s not me. I’m sure you can understand how it would feel if someone posted a picture of you on Facebook as a hunchbacked grotesque monster who buggered animals. Not exactly flattering to go from a god being worshipped, to something like that, but that’s the equivalent of the PR campaign against me after the advent of Christianity.
Me: So why don’t we start with who you were before? Tell me a little about your life?
Baal: Well, for starters, did you know that I fought a dragon? Everyone hears how I possess priests and make them ‘speak in tongues’, but no one hears of my victories in battle, protecting farmers and villagers. I fought a dragon named Lotan, in…(tries to calculate on his fingers) well, a really long time ago. Thousands of your years. It flooded the area you call Mesopotamia and the Mediterranean, and would drag them into the watery depths and eat them. Really nasty business. People were so grateful that they built a silver and gold temple to me, with cedars from Lebanon. It was really quite something to see, an architectural marvel.
Me: Wow, so what happened to it?
Baal: It’s been thousands of years. It went through several changes in management and eventually fell down. You come talk to me when one of your drywall and fake stone-face buildings lasts a thousand years. I was called Hadad, then, and after I won the battle against Lotan, I was called Rider on the Clouds. (beaming with pride)
Me: That’s very impressive. So what happened after that?
Baal: Well, I had a huge party to celebrate in my new palace. Lots of food and drink. All the female goddesses came to the party. My father El came, even though we’d gotten in an argument a few decades earlier.
Me: Why were you in an argument?
Baal: He compared me to my brother Yamm and decided that Yamm was smarter than me at running the business, ruling people and bringing storms for their crops. He might be more clever, but he’s kind of…what’s your term, a Mama’s Boy. I could beat him in a fight any day. He never practiced weapons or fighting like I did. He always had his head glued to a tablet, reading.
Me: Okay, so back to the big party.
Baal: So, I had this big party and everyone came. Even Mot, Lord of Death. I never should have invited him. His appetites are troublesome. He likes eating people, and drinking up all the beer, wine and water. That’s why he a god of drought. But I didn’t want to leave anyone out, and I thought if we kept enough liquid entertainment around, he wouldn’t get out of hand. Well, silly me, trying to be friendly. He wasn’t satisfied. He wanted to eat people. I told him, ‘We don’t do that here. This is a people-free zone.’ As you might say today with your strange vegetarian restaurants. He grew so angry that he jumped me after I kicked him out of the palace. He and his minions stuffed me into a bag and took me to the Underworld.
Me: He kidnapped you? You’re a great warrior god, right? So how did he jump you?
Baal: (turning red) He sucker-punched me, brandishing a dead person in his claw. And then he inhaled. He absorbs all water. I get some of my power from rain, you see? (indicates the lightning bolt). Oh bugger, maybe I shouldn’t have mentioned that. Well, I’m apparently a demon now so, it doesn’t really matter anymore I suppose. (sticks his lip out for a second) Anyway, he started ravaging the earth, killing my subjects’ crops. I couldn’t have that. And you say that ‘A prisoner’s obligation is to escape.’ So I worked out a plan. The shades, you know, spirits of the dead, don’t like him much either, so it wasn’t hard to start a mutiny. And while they made a distraction, I left. In all fairness, my sister Anat helped a lot. She’s one hell of a fighter too. So we gathered our forces and battled Mot seven years later. I made him bow to me and declare me king of the gods. And I obtained a new constitution that he’d treat the shades better too, let them out sometimes to see their families. He still eats people sometimes, but I haven’t been able to catch him in the act yet.
Me: Well that’s quite a different story than how everyone knows you now.
Baal: See what I mean?
Me: So what happened to screw up your PR campaign?
Baal: The Catholic Church happened. At least I think that’s where it really got going, since they took the ideas of the Hebrews and spread them throughout the world, even past what we knew in the ancient world. You’re a Hebrew, aren’t you? (peers at me)
Me: Uh, yeah. Sorry for the abandonment, man.
Baal (huffs): Well, it’s okay, I understand. But I guess it started with Abraham, you’ve heard of him then, one of your ancestors. He was a refugee from Ur in Mesopotamia, that’s Iraq now. Ur was being invaded and Mot was perpetrating a lot of drought. We were doing everything we could to get him under control, because he kept pushing for more territory, despite the treaty. So my dad stepped in, El. And just like in the past, he blamed me for everything. It was also a chance to get back some of his old power. He had some control issues, and so he wanted the city of Ur to pay him more attention. So he made a covenant declaring himself the only god, and that in return, he’d protect them from everything and make sure they prospered. So Abraham smashed all of Terah’s idols of me.
Me: That must have made you mad.
Baal (shrugging): I didn’t really think about it at first. I can’t really get mad at them for leaving me for my dad. At least it’s still in the family. There wasn’t much I could do about it at the time. And the world was a challenging place to live, back then, so I can’t really blame them for wanting a promise of total protection. But I guess I didn’t realize how much it would have an effect on…well everything after that. Before I knew it, my name was being used for all kinds of nonsense, mainly to secure power and make sure that the officials of the church would get in good with my dad. It also gave them the opportunity to get rid of their enemies. It’s easier to get allies when you declare an enemy. The same thing is happening today. It’s all politics. I got out-politicked. (sighs)
Me: So what will you do now? Will you rebuild your reputation?
Baal: (shakes his head): I don’t think so. The world is much different now. I don’t much like politics, so I think I’ll take a break, see the galaxy. And I guess when I think about it, I did have a good time being cast as a villain. Villains get the best movie lines. I might stick around for a little bit and have some fun. After all, the Devil does get to commit all the really juicy sins, right? (grins)
Me: (suddenly nervous): Uh, yeah. Can you stick to gluttony and lust until you leave the interview though? It’s not really good manners to murder your interviewer.
Baal (grins even wider and leans forward): My pleasure.
Me (shoves a bag of candy and a six pack of beer toward him and runs): Okay, gluttony it is then. I’ll get you a freezer case of Ben and Jerrys!
This concludes our portion of Interview With a Semitic Deity. The next installment will broadcast from the Underworld.
Get some other wonderful evil perspectives on our other author sites:
http://www.refractedlightreviews.com Danny Snell’s Refracted Light Reviews
http://pattilarsen.blogspot.com Patti Larsen, Author of The Ghost Boy of MacKenzie House, the Hunted series, and the Hayle Coven novels.
http://courtneycolewrites.wordpress.com Courtney Cole, Author of Every Last Kiss, Fated, Princess, and Guardian. Also a contributing author in The Glassheart Chronicles.
http://wrenemerson.wordpress.com Wren Emerson, Author of I Wish and a contributing author in The Glassheart Chronicles.
http://laurasmagicday.wordpress.com Laura Elliott, Author of Winnemucca.
http://nicoleawilliams.blogspot.com Nichole A. Williams, Author of Eternal Eden, and the upcoming Fallen Eden. She is also participating in the Glassheart Chronicles.
http://fisheramelie.com/blog/ Fisher Amelie, Author of The Understorey, as well as a contributing author in The Glassheart Chronicles.
http://amyjonesyaff.blogspot.com Amy Maurer Jones, Author of The Soul Quest Trilogy as well as a contributing author in The Glassheart Chronicles.
http://thewarriorseries.blogspot.com T. R. Graves, Author of Warriors of the Cross.
http://ctefft.blogspot.com Cyndi Tefft, Author of Between
http://pjhoover.blogspot.com P.J. Hoover, Author of Solstice, The Emerald Tablet, The Navel of the World, The Necropolis.
http://www.aliciamccalla.com Alicia McCalla, Author of the upcoming science-fiction novel Breaking Free.
http://heathercashman.com/better_off_read Heather Cashman, Author of Perception.
http://www.abbiglines.com Abbi Glines, Author of Breathe, and the upcoming Existence and Vincent Boys.
http://cidneyswanson.blogspot.com/ Cidney Swanson, Author of Rippler.
http://cherischmidt.blogspot.com, Cheri Schmidt, Author of Fateful, Fractured, and Fair Maiden, Fire Dancer
http://www.lexusluke.com/, Lexus Luke, Author of Manitou, The Sky People Saga, Fire Breather
http://www.suzyturner.com/, Suzy Turner, Author of December Moon and Raven, Dragonslayer
http://kasi-kcblake.blogspot.com/, K. C. Blake, Author of Vampire Rules, Elephant Trainer
http://hereventuality.blogspot.com/, Gwenn Wright, Author of Filter, Ring-Leader
http://kimberlykinrade.com/, Kimberly Kinrade, Author of Bits of You, Pieces of Me and Forbidden Mind, Prestidigitator
http://jlbryanbooks.blogspot.com/, J.L. Bryan, Author of Paranormals series- Jenny Pox. Tommy Nightmare & Alexander Death
http://darbykarchut.com/ Darby Karchut, Author of Griffin Rising, and soon Griffin Fire
http://puttingpentopage.com/ Heather Self
http://brynabutler.wordpress.com/ Bryna Butler, author of the Midnight Guardian series
What’s new this week?
This betrayal forces her to seek out Gabe. Setting aside her fear of the truth, she must trust this man and learn what he can teach her… otherwise, she’ll never get her boyfriend back.
Once the tablet is discovered in the Middle East, the oldest and most powerful gods begin a battle for its possession, with the human population caught in the middle. Morpho, her family, and her new friend must decide, do they escape from the horrifying demoness or fight for their own destiny. How far will Pazuzu go to save his daughter from a hellish fate? Will his banishment from Heaven so many millennia ago end up being a curse…or a blessing?