*The following excerpts are taken from a recently discovered journal found in an undisclosed region of the middle east. The lead archaeologist of the find claims it to be authentic, but further investigation is required.*
It's been getting weird next door, or should I say weirder. Yohanna tells me to mind my own business, that I should spend less time peeking over the fence and more time tending the flock. I wish I had her ability to shut something of that magnitude out, but I cant very well ignore a 400 foot boat. She tells me I should be thinking more about her then strangers, and maybe she's right, but it's gotten to the point where we only see day light in the early morning, the rest of the time we're in the boats shadow, which is killing my petunia's.
My bother Lamech tells me his neighbour plays the lyre and drinks honey wine till all hours of the morning, how I wish the troubles with my neighbour were so innocuous. I would gladly take the sound of poorly plucked melodies over the constant banging of hammers and scraping of saws. There's been many a night I wanted to charge over there and give that old man a piece of my mind, but to be honest, he scares me.
On more than one occasion I've seen him staggering around drunk and naked, yelling about the end of the world. I'm afraid him or one of his sons (all of which look older than he by the way, figure that one out) are going to do something to me or my family. It's why I'm starting this journal, if Yohanna or I end up with our heads in a trash can, I want the authorities to know they should be talking to the drunken nudist next door. Maybe I'm just being a paranoid fool. I should just listen to Yohanna when she says he's a harmless old kook whose probably using the boat as an excuse to get away from his wife. I hope that's true, but I'm going to keep an eye on him anyway.
Noah came by this afternoon, I'm pretty sure he was drunk again. He was going on about this flood that was coming to wipe us all out. When I asked him how he knew about the flood, he said god told him during one of their - and this is where he used air-quotes, "Pow-Wows" . I asked him why god would do such a thing, he then informed me that it was all a little confusing but from what he could piece together, demons got it on with some human woman, producing evil spirit babies which have now grown up and are causing trouble. I pointed out that my parents were both from the Tigris-Euphrates valley and not the spirit realm so killing me would not be necessary, to which he laughed and said "You wish". When I asked what was so special about him that he be spared, he went on about being the only honest and good man left on earth. If he's so damn honest why doesn't he return the hammer I loaned him last year?
He's taken to collecting exotic animals as well, and I don't just mean fancy colored lizards, he has giant white bears and furry spiders that weaken my bladder just thinking of them. He's also trained a parrot to fly over here and repeat the sentence "Who's goanna drown?" over and over until I chase it off with a stick. Living here is becoming unbearable.
Yohanna talked me into inviting Noah and his wife over for dinner last night, what a disaster. For a 600 year old man he sure acts like an ass hole. Every sentence involved either the supposed flood and how much it was going to suck for us to drown with all the other sinners, or how smart he was for being able to build his stupid ark. I got so angry with him I snuck out on the pretext of feeding the goats and cut several holes in the bottom of his boat. If god's going to kill me for being a sinner anyway, I might as well act like one.
The night wasn't a total loss though, I did get the skinny on exactly what he thought was going to happen. God, it seemed, was going to flood the world with a torrential rain, killing everyone and everything except Noah, his wife and children, and two of every animal which would be safely housed upon his boat for one year. When the waters finally recede he and his kids would repopulate the earth and god would promise not to be such a dick any more. When I asked him how a 600 year old man and his 90 year old children were going to find the energy to repopulate the earth, or avoid the genetic problems with all that inbreeding, he called me a blasphemer. When I suggested that once on board he would be spending the bulk of his time shoveling animal shit over the side, he spat in my mash potatoes.
Yohanna tells me that when she and Gertrude went to the well before dinner, Gertrude had a crying fit about all the money Noah's been spending on the boat. She says that every penny for the last 120 years has gone into it and she's getting tired of wearing the same old smock to town every day. She also said that he's been having long winded conversations with the animals as if they can understand him, just last week he and one of the chimpanzees spent several hours designing a water slide for the back of the boat, which Gertrude had to demand not be installed.
I'm not surprised, I've been saying he was a nut all along, and I think Yohanna is finally starting to see what I mean.
Okay, I'm getting really angry. Over the past several days more and more animals have been showing up and taking over the neighbourhood. I woke yesterday to find two beavers had dismantled my shed and used it to build a dam across the driveway. There are so many birds in the sky I don't dare leave the house without an umbrella for fear of being craped on, and the multitude of obscure bugs that have been crawling out of my drain and across my floor is causing me to spend a great deal of my day gaging back stomach bile. I'm going over there right now to have a talk with that old fart.
Wow, what a boat! Okay, Noah may be a nut, but I'll give him credit for being one hell of a carpenter. When I got over there he grabbed me by the hand and pulled me up the gangway. He told me I was the first person to come by for a tour and had his wife make up some lemonade while he showed me around. He seemed kinda' sad that more people hadn't bothered to pop by for a look see. I suggested he stop telling everybody they were demons that needed to be killed, which seemed to confuse him.
We started on the main deck where he pointed out how the planks were fit together with a special form of tongue and groove he developed himself. His excitement and energy when speaking reminded me of that weird guy from town that drags around a dead cat and laughs to himself. At one point he made me get down on my hands and knees to smell the gopher wood, but all I could smell was feet. Moving down to the mid level he started in on his usual harangue about my upcoming demise, describing in great detail how sorry I would be for my "Nephilim Blood", and how god would destroy every living substance that he has made from off the face of the earth, including the mold that forms on cheese. This all seemed a little excessive and left me wondering what Noah's god would do differently were he evil instead of good.
The mid-deck was packed row on row with animal pens, some containing bizarre creatures I'd never seen before, others stood empty. Half way down the ship the door was visible as a giant rectangle of light with wild beasts moving up and down the broad ramp that coupled the entrance to the earth. One of Noah's son's stood among the animals with a clipboard, chastising a Woodpecker for having made several holes in the ark. Another of Noah's sons pushed past us driving a wheelbarrow heaping over with manure and grumbling to himself about being the only one doing any work around there. An intricate system of fencing that wound it's way along both sides of the vessel made me marvel at how someone could be so brilliant in one area and yet out of their mind in another. This crazy old guy next to me was no fool, there's no doubt about that, you can't be to build something like this, so why does he think there's an invisible space man that wants him to build a floating zoo? Maybe a better question would be, why is his family humoring his bizarre behaviour? If I told Yohanna that I was going to cut down every tree within six miles to make a barge big enough to hold hundreds of thousands of animals because god was going to kill everyone but me and them, she'd have me stoned.
Grabbing me by the sleeve, Noah pulled me toward the hatch that led into the lower portion of the boat. Descending the wooden plank I was immediately hit with the most offensive odor I've ever encountered, Noah seemed pleased with my reaction to the smell, slapping his knee and pinching my elbow with giddy laughter. Looking back, I'm shocked I didn't notice it sooner, there were so many things to marvel at that my attention was not immediately drawn to the fact that I couldn't seem to find any windows. When I pointed this out, Noah corrected me by showing that indeed there was a single aperture not far from the door. Before I could ask why he would put but a single opening, Noah informed me that he had wanted to put sky lights across the deck and port holes down both sides of the ship, but god told him he could only have one window, which sucked, but what are you gona' do, its god.
At one point during my tour, the ark was filled with the most horrendous shriek of fear and pain I'd ever heard. Noah immediately sprinted in the direction of the scream with me close behind. Rounding a corner at the far end of the ark we came across an immense cat whose shadowy black coat rendered it almost invisible. In it's jaws hung the lifeless remains of a young white horse, blood flowed across the slaughtered beasts face and down the ivory horn that jutted from it's head. Noah became enraged with the assassin, throwing his arms wildly in the air while bellowing about the rules of the ark and threating to throwing his tabby out. Instead of slicing Noah in half with one of it's prodigious claws, the cat released it's victim and hung it's head in shame, this was immediately followed by a long whimpering cry of remorse. Seeing the dejected cat triggered an emotional response in Noah that caused him to drop his angry tone and gently slide an arm around the beasts neck. The two began to blubber with an uncomfortable passion that had me backing away in confusion before eventually returning home, leaving them locked in each others grip.
So, I couldn't bring myself to say anything to Noah about the mess in the neighbourhood and as a result it's gotten much worse. I guess these rains of his must be coming soon because so many animals have been showing up that the ground actually shakes when they walk. Screeching in every key and octave imaginable has forced me to tie a scarf around my ears to block the noise. Every one of my wife's clay pony collectables rattled off the shelf and broke, and don't even get me started on how long it's been since I had a good night sleep.
I got to admit though, It is kind of' weird how all these animals keep arriving, and always in pairs. Many of them have teeth so big I shake uncontrollably the moment I see them, and yet I've not seen a single one use those teeth with aggression toward people. The animals respond to Noah in an eerie way , it's like he's able to talk to them. I swear I've seen him pointing out some bit of information from his clipboard to an ostrich, who then appeared to salute him and run off, and the birds never shit on him.
I feel foolish admitting this, but I'm starting to get a little worried. What if that old fart is right? Could their be a god so bug nutty he'd drown every living thing? Why not just make the bad people disappear? Surly being omniscient allows you knowledge of which people are good and which are bad, and being all powerful makes you able to remove the bad and keep the good, so why all the bullshit with the water?
I'm concerned, it was too quiet today. All the animals have disappeared into the ark and the door is shut, so either there's a party going on and I'm not invited, or It's about to get wet around here.
Yohanna is starting to feel anxious as well, she's been knitting herself a life jacket all week and has now begun to put the dried goods in Tupperware. She keeps asking me if the flood is real but I don't know how to answer that. Do I tell her Noah is wrong and to not worry about it, or should I just be honest and tell her I'm shit scared and regretting the days I skipped swim class in gym.
This is crazy, I'm to young to die. I know I'm not perfect but have I really been so awful I deserved death? Yohanna I could see, but not me. And what about all those other people out there, there's no way the best the world has got is a 600 year old braggart and his decrepit children. Just the fact that no one in the neighbourhood other then my wife has seen my genitals, makes me a better person then Noah, so why not save me?
I hear thunder in the distance.
I told myself I wasn't going to do this but I'm heading next door to ask if he'll let us on. The rain has been falling in an unbroken stream since yesterday afternoon, the well has begun to overflow and the water now sits outside our door. I no longer hold doubt, the flood is real and death is imminent. On the up side, I wont have to pay Jacob the twenty I owe him.
True to his word, Noah laughed and called me a dirty sinner while his sons tossed manure at me. Why it was I hoped for a different reaction, I don't know, although this didn't stop me from begging to be let aboard, I even offered to give him Yohanna, pointing out that she had strong calves and a good back, perfect for shoveling shit all day. Noah just wagged his finger at me saying, "I warned you it was coming, you should have built your own boat."
Okay he did warn me I'll give him that, but I thought he was crazy, and I wasn't the only one, every person on the block thought he was off his nut. As to building my own boat, I'm not sure if he's aware but I'm a goat herder not a ship builder. The only tool I owned I loaned to him and every stich of wood for miles around is gone, so I don't know how he thought I would build a boat. And to what end would I build it? Noah made it clear that god wanted to kill everything, and since I'm not nothing, at least not yet, I am to die as well so any boat I made would be pointless, unless god's powers can be thwarted by a hollowed out tree.
However, this realization isn't going to stop me from trying, I've been gathering rope for plan B. Yohanna and I are going to use the scaffolding to climb on to the deck of the ark where we'll then tie ourselves firmly to whatever we can find and ride out the storm. If by some miracle I'm still alive when this is all over, the first thing I'm going to do is strangle that old bastard in front of his precious animals, then start eating the cargo, unless Yohanna survives as well, in that case I'll probably have to make friends with him and be all grateful and shit.
As I write this my feet sit in water which has now begun to fill the house, Yohanna is yelling about her grandmas throw rug being ruined and the cat has been sitting on my head with a puzzled look on it's face for the last two hours. I feel so impotent, but how am I to compete with god, he want's us dead and he's the boss. What an ass-hole.