“It is the damnedest thing, Marce.” Bev stopped to light a Salem and then picked the phone receiver back up.
“Even with the pandemic, the kid is still on Zoom for prayer meetings, choir practice, and then sings in the choir on Zoom for both Sunday services.” Bev couldn’t believe any kid of hers would get suckered into this church crap.
Stevie came down for lunch on Sunday, face shining. Bev shot him a look but didn’t say anything. His older sister, Becky, however, did.
“Stevie, are you high? Let me see your eyes.”
“Leave’m alone, Beck. Finish your lunch.” Bev felt the first stabs of one of her migraines coming on.
“Look at him, Mom. He gets all lit up from that church stuff. It’s as bad as drugs.”
“Shut up and eat.”
Through it all, as usual, Stevie just let his sister stew. Poor Becky. She was going to hell for sure. Stevie supposed he should be doing more to bear witness and save her, but maybe hell was the best place for someone like her. He’d better talk to Pastor McFadden about this.
Sometimes Pastor McFadden just didn’t make sense. Of course, he was in a rush to get back to his sermon for Pentecost, so Stevie guessed he could cut him a little slack. And out of that somewhat garbled explanation of what Stevie should be doing to save his sister’s immortal soul, there had been something that sounded do-able.
He signed off their Zoom session and realized that his plan was Pentecostal even.
At first, Bev was sure those horrific shrieks were in her head. This was the worst headache she’d had in months. She buried her face in the pillows and gritted her teeth but the shrieking not only didn’t stop. It got louder.
As if that weren’t excruciating enough, someone threw Bev’s bedroom door open so that light came flooding in. Screaming in agony, Bev threw her pillow full force in the direction of the god-awful shrieking. That did not work.
“MA! MAAA!!!!!! LOOK WHAT THAT LITTLE SHIT DID TO MY HEAD!!!!”
Squinting through slitted eyes, Bev peered at what looked for all the world like a scorched spot of burned hair on the top of Becky’s head.
“Mom, Mom, it’s ok! It’s Pentecost. I let the spirit of the Holy Ghost enter Becky and save her from eternal damnation!” And here was Stevie wearing white rubber gloves, blabbering a mile a minute. Bev leaned right over the edge of the bed and did the only thing she could think of. She vomited all over the floor.
Stevie had been so careful with the lighter fluid and wore gloves, ready to let the spirit of the Holy Ghost enter through Becky’s head like it had done to the disciples on the 50th day after the crucifixion.
Who cared about a little burnt hair compared to the state of Becky’s soul? People were dumb. He’d be out of juvenile hall in time for Christmas.
© Remington Write 2020. All Rights Reserved
Read AleXander Hirka’s version here:
In August 2020, AleXander Hirka set himself the challenge of creating a daily digital collage based on an image and a concept. The image is that of the antique Omega watch that belonged to his Mom and the concept is Time. In September 2020, the Anomalous Duo is challenging themselves to write a short piece of fiction for each collage — the Our Hours project.