Death of a False Prophet
January 17, 2023
In the city square.
False Prophet: Hark, listen to me! All you passers-by silent or chattering. All you dogs and cats pretending to be submissive pets. Mark my words! For I say that the end of the world is near.
False prophet: What? Have you not ears? Have you not eyes? Don’t you see me here speaking to you the last truth before the end of the world, that the world is going to end?
A man stops, impatient.
Wong: Be quiet, old dog. We know it already. We’ve had enough prophecies. Go to, go to. The end is far but the suffering is near. What I need is not prophecy but consolation.
False Prophet: What? What do you know then? Is this earth going to break apart? Are we all going to Hell? Tell me, young man, what you know about my prophecy.
Wong: Yes. I know it all. I know all that has happened to us and all that is going to happen. The earth remains but humankind will go bust. We are not going to Hell because here we are already in Hell. And all this is not your prophecy but ours.
False Prophet: How come then you don’t do anything about it?
Wong: About what?
False Prophet: About the destruction! About the annihilation! About the incoming end of the world! The Apocalypse!
Wong: Well, what can we do after all? Say you that a good prophecy is a true one?
False Prophet: That I surmise.
Wong: Then we are all doomed. The jugement is writ in ineffable letters. There is nothing anyone can do about it. Not even God, who should bear the same laws as us.
False Prophet: The same laws as he made unto us?
Wong: Indeed. Now he cannot, even if he wanted to, step back and change his idea. He acts according to necessity, the great philosophers say. So we are damned. For sure and for ever.
False Prophet: And the prophecy —
Wong: The prophecy is the golden law that rules us all. The prophecy is a permission to kill and to be killed.
False Prophet: To kill?
Wong: To kill ourselves, and you as well.
False Prophet: I thought you would start from dogs and cats. Or the Uyghurs. Or the homeless. Or the students. Or the Jews.
Wong: They are all dead now.
False Prophet: What?
Wong: Reality, when atrocious, is always one step ahead of human imagination, ahead of God. For God and the imagination are one…
False Prophet: _(Shocked)_Then why has I come here?
Wong: Why then? To be dismembered. That’s our people’s way of remembering.
False Prophet: (Furious) What? You rascals. Dismember me? Here, in the public space, at the center of this vast city?
More and more people gathering around them.
Wong: It’s clever of you to have chosen this place. We could all have the honour to witness your mise à mort.
False Prophet: If you know this all along, then I haven’t told you anything new. Why then the persecution? O, monsters!
Wong: It’s exactly because you told us nothing new.
False Prophet: If I can come up with something new, some foreign knowledge, a new prophecy, a hidden word from God, then I could be, saved?
Wong: Look here a prophet who thinks only of saving himself.
False Prophet: _(Ashamed)_Well, then, I mean, if I could come up with something new that gives you pleasure.
Wong: He talks about pleasure when our world is going to end!
False Prophet: _(Mortified)_No, I mean, gives you pleasure and hope for you’ll then see that all shall not perish. All is not lost, and all this conversation not in vain.
Wong: _(Dancing)_Ha-ku-na, ma
tata~. HUm, bùm, dùm~
False Prophet: _(Afraid)_Are you still listening?
Wong: Yes, yes, old man, if you really have something meaningful to say then spit it out now. We are running out of time. It’s Sunday. How splendid the sun is. And what are we doing here? Talking nonsense that no one cares.
False Prophet: Look at all our audience!
Wong: They are less interested in our words than in your possible death.
The false prophet shudders visibly.
False Prophet: Well, then. I, I have something, important to tell all of you—
That, that you cannot continue to live like this! Don’t you see that people are dying each day? Don’t you read the papers? The invasions! The massacres!
False Prophet: Why, what, why do you applause me? Are you not appalled by these terrible events, or are you more impressed by my eloquence?
Crowd applauses louder, shouts.
Wong: _(Aside)_A sea of fools.
False Prophet: What did you say?
Wong: I said that your speech made much noise. Go on, go on.
False Prophet: Do you people know that you are responsible for all those crimes? You killers, rapers, assassins!
Wong: Now that’s unjust. We have never killed anyone by our own hands.
False Prophet: How come?
Wong: It’s always the others who die, and always the others who kill. We are the innocent.
False Prophet: Impossible.
Wong: I say it’s so.
False Prophet: What do you eat in your plates then? Are they not full of corpses, of pigs, of cows, of fishes, of all animals?
Wong: What then?
False Prophet: And it’s not you that have killed them?
Wong: No, it’s the butchers’ work. And we eat them because we don’t want the butcher to lose his job. Wars should always exist because else the poor soldier would have nothing to do. Women and men and girls and boys should always be violated or we won’t have all those dickheads to be put into jails. What’s more horrible than an empty jail? For all the criminels would then roam around in our beautiful streets—
False Prophet: Like here, now?
Wong: _(Interrupting the false prophet)_You should never interrupt me.
False Prophet: What if I do?
Wong: You will know.
False Prophet: What if I don’t want to know?
Wong: You have to know. It’s our irresistible prophecy.
False Prophet: That’s something curious coming out of your mouth.
Wong: Enough. Come here, you, help me to tie him up on the pole.
Wong signals to the crowd.
False Prophet: What?
Wong: We are going to have you tied up high under that lamp pole and start cutting you up. I can’t bear this nonsense any longer.
False Prophet: But I haven’t finished my prophecy! I haven’t even begun!
Wong: Then say it!
False Prophet: I have lost all my words as you have scared me.
Wong: How I despise such soft bones! A prophet, my arse! Fie!
False Prophet: You people shall perish if you don’t mind your words.
The crowd bursts out laughing.
Wong: Indeed you give us pleasure, albeit a perverse one.
False Prophet: I can’t go on.
Wong: You must go on.
False Prophet: I curse you.
Wong: Then it’s time.
Wong makes sign to aother man. They tie the false prophet up under a lamp. Then then cut one of his leg off using a saw.
False Prophet: _(Howling)_Aie!
Wong: How now, my friend, do you still want to curse us? Or rather, curse your God?
False Prophet: I believe in no God.
Wong: Then from whom, in whose voice are you prophesying?
False Prophet: For Satan, for the bloody devil! For you are worse than devils.
They cut off his remaining leg.
False Prophet: _(Anguished)_Ah, my legs. I can no longer walk, nor run, nor jump.
Wong: While we walk up and down the earth, while we enjoy our feasts, while we drink and fuck.
False Prophet: Curse your feasts!
They cut off his nose.
Wong: Now shit and oyster smell no difference.
False Prophet: _(Waving his arms)_I will strike you down by the lightnings out of my hands.
They cut off his two arms at once.
Wong: How now? No more gestures? No more kickings? You can’t even move.
False Prophet: As long as I can see I see all your crimes.
They bring on two naked men before the false prophet. One rapes the other then it goes the other way around. The false prophet’s penis becomes erect. Then they castrate him and crush his eyes with the penis.
Wong: Poets and prophets are often blind. You should thank us.
False Prophet: _(Raging)_You bastard, you scoundrel!
Wong: Come now, be not so unreasonable. Don’t you know the story of Socrates? How calm he is before his death. True philosophers die calm. And you, are you really a prophet?
False Prophet: I won’t tell you for you can’t even tell truth from reality.
Wong: Nor words from silence.
They cut off his tongue. The crowd applauses like madmen, yet all of a sudden their hands fall off from their wrists and their arms hang by their body like inert masses.
Wong: Now it has come to an end. Our ancient prophecy has come true. That before the end of the world, the last victim shall come before our people. He will say things already known to us since the dawn of our downfall. And we shall dismember him to be forgiven. To forget it all. For only then we can hope for a total death—
His head falls off from his shoulders. As all other heads from the crowd. They roll around. They float in air. And they sing a final song as fireballs fall down from the sky like rain.
Chorus: For this is the end. How swift the sweet destruction comes. We don’t even have the time to amass the bones of our families. For before we could once more open our mouths we are all reduced to ashes. Already—