Fiction: Just In Time For The Rapture

From COVER STORIES: A Euphictional Anthology.  Also available in audio from MuseionCast Vol.3 archive:

BORROWED CLOTHES by N. Pendleton

03:33 PM
In a forsaken alleyway, Jesus and his army of saints begin their descent from the clouds.  His straight blond hair flows in the breeze and his white robe tears a swath of reality from the sky.  Flames spray from his eye sockets as a gleaming blade emerges from his open mouth.  Three feet of titanium steel slice from between his lips into the atmosphere before the topaz pommel rolls off the end of his tongue.  He catches the molded fiberglass hilt in his right hand like a pro, draws infinity with some fluid spins of the wrist.  The saints are cheering behind him like crazed hockey fans.  If you were there to see it you’d be worried, because all they really are is just an angry, vengeful mob.

The farther from the clouds the christos drops, the more his velocity increases.  Sparks crackle in his eyes as his bare foot slaps the oily rainbow pavement.  His ankle twists wrong, the foot goes 90 degrees.  Something snaps and Emmanuel is staggering, trying to catch himself, but he’s coming down too hard.  Instead he tucks and rolls onto the filthy alleyway, soiling his white robe.  The blade of his nice new sword glides easily through silk, skin, intercostal muscle, membrane, lung.  The Anointed One spasms on the dank concrete – two hard, then a handful of tiny ones – and finally comes to rest in a fetal curl.  A halo of slick crimson radiates out from around him on the grimy slab.

The mob of saints stops suddenly in its descent and dissolves into a flurry of dandelion seeds that swirl off to the south on a gentle breeze.  The second coming is over.

04:04 PM
A tiny boy and a giant dog find the curled man in his pool of blood.  In a long series of trials and errors the boy and the dog managed to sling the unconscious man over the dog’s back.  The boy slips the blade from between his ribs and carries it down the sidewalk as the dog trots behind with its burden.

A woman in the apartment above the corner store shouts down to the boy.  The boy looks up.  The dog eats a bug.

“Where you going with him?”

“Taking him to Dr. Maxxon’s office.  He’s hurt.”

“Maxxon the vet.”

“Yep.”

The woman looks at the man draped over the large dog for a few silent moments.

“Bring him in here.”

06:15 PM
She marvels at the almost vaginal slit between his ribs.  The young woman peels back the lips of the wound, inserts her first two fingers.  The Prince of Peace moans darkly.  His opening is hot and moist like hers.

The young woman cleans the wound and sews the flaps of skin together with a large needle and dental floss.  She applies a gauze pad and then mummy wraps a portion of his chest with an Ace® bandage.

She pours some tea and tips the cup to his lips.  The tea’s infused it with a PDE-5 inhibitor, and soon the suffering savior pitches a tent in the cotton sheet.  She lifts her skirt, pulls her panties to the side.  She mounts him and rocks her hips, trying to coax his seed into her womb.

The young woman will spend the rest of her life never knowing if the child belongs to the messiah or to her best friend who has not called since that last golden morning.

05:35 AM
She gives him jeans and a T-shirt to wear; now he looks like any other guy in this town as he stands waiting for the bus.  She holds a sack lunch she’s made for his journey.  He doesn’t speak or make eye contact with her.

When the bus pulls up, he’s eager to board.  She grabs his shirt
sleeve and he’s forced to turn to her.

“Your sandwiches.  It’s a long trip to the city.”

He takes the bag.  She slips him three twenty dollar bills.  “You won’t get far without this.”

He turns away quickly and is swallowed up by the bus.

She’s written her phone number on one of the twenty dollar bills.

10:10 PM
There is rioting in the streets below.  Billows of tear gas and smoke from bombs roll between the buildings in a low, heavy fog.  Water cannons send common citizens from their feet, smash them into glass, steel, concrete like crash test dummies.  Sirens wail their banshee screams, heralding the end of everything we’ve built.  Balls of fire burst from windows, turning away the night.

We do not let this depress or deter us.  I cannot let my friends and associates stray simply because of the foolishness below.  My penthouse soiree is 34 floors above that other world.  Henri Duchamp plies his world class fingers to my Steinway.  Chef Turk Martoné has made the hors devours, the drinks are of the finest brands.

I ask the stranger on the balcony if he would like a drink from the bar.  He’s been by himself tonight, staring down at the chaos below.  His suit is blue, silk, European.  His golden hair is slicked back off his forehead and his features are chiseled.  I notice the peculiar gray of his eyes when he says, “Scotch.”

Moments later I hand him the tumbler, introduce myself.

“Lovely place,” he says.

“I didn’t catch your name.”

The man extends his hand to me.  “I didn’t say it.”

I notice a growing patch of red spreading through his white shirt.

“Are you injured?  I can fetch Ramona inside – she’s a doctor.”

He waves me off, buttons his jacket to cover the spot.  He slams his drink, smiles at me.  He has a natural charm that has obviously taken him lots of places.

“I could do this forever,” he says.
“The party ends at 11:30,” I say.

He looks out over the city.  “I’ll take what I can get.”

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