God

Just as he said the word “darkness,” the power went out. His parishioners called it a miracle. Reverend Gupton was grateful for the vote of confidence, but he found it hard to believe that God would waste a miracle on such measly punctuation.

God, however, knew that such a petty miracle would throw him off Her scent. For years, the Reverend Gupton had had been drawing attention to Her work, even though She did everything in her power to assert Her non-existence.

In his next sermon, She flooded the bathroom. He was talking about Moses in the desert. The church considered it another miracle anyway, and attendance soared.

For the next few Sundays, anytime he mentioned evil, or demons, or anything regarding the nether world, She sent sun through the windows, into Rev. Gupton’s face. He held his hand to the light.

“It’s just coincidence,” he said eventually, from the pulpit. “God isn’t trying to impress any of us. If anything, He wants us to focus on what’s in front of us, not on lofty possibilities.”

She didn’t disagree with his point. He was entirely correct about her and her views. However, putting her intentions out like that made her feel incredibly self-conscious. Not to mention, he was robbing people of their own insights.

She rearranged a few trees so that the light gave him the appearance of horns. A few concerned gasps drew attention to the sight, and the shadow moved with him.

“For the last time,” he said, “this isn’t God. God doesn’t exist!”

She turned her attention away from the preacher, just as She hoped he’d do it return. It’s hard to be yourself while anyone’s watching.

#agoraphobia, #blasphemy, #god-is-love, #microfiction, #pascals-other-wager, #pascals-wager, #social-anxiety, #social-phobia, #theology

Saint

The lady was nervous. She had not been to see him before, he was sure, because he knew all his parishioners down to the last detail. Though he could not see her face, he would have known her by her breath, or by her hesitation. Those he knew learned not to hesitate.

When eventually she spoke, she spoke in ritual.

“Bless me, father, for I have sinned.”

He had no idea what a sin was anymore. Were it not for this impersonal furniture, he would reach out to her and squeeze the guilt right out. She talked of impure thoughts and impure deeds, of addiction and lust, but nothing she mentioned sounded bad to him. A lot of it sounded fun. She knew what she’d enjoy; her problem was she didn’t know how to enjoy it.

“Do not worry, my child.” He reached in his pocket and pressed a slip of pink paper through the divide. She studied it carefully. He had drawn on the paper a feather rubbing gently against his ceremonial robes. “You tickle my fancy,” read the caption.

He stepped out from his curtain. He pulled hers back and stepped in. They sat in the darkness together and he assured her, “It’s all right. You’re safe with me.”

She let him touch her. God was love, in his way, and to be touched by a man of God was love, too. He wrapped her thigh in his fingers, and she was forgiven. She touched him back under his robes, and was baptized with a million tiny ablutions, all over her face.

#absurd, #god-is-love, #holidays, #microfiction, #obscene, #sacrilege, #valentines