To Bend a Religion

Image via FLickr by Juan Cabanillas

Image via Flickr by Juan Cabanillas

10 minute flash fiction

Prompt: the day the devil understood religion.

The day the devil understood religion was the day we lost our way. So thought Michael, the rector of a small church in the Milwaukee suburbs, as he composed his farewell speech. After fifty two years devoted service he was being forced out by a young, Hawaiian shirt wearing, fire and brimstone withholding, hippy-priest from San Francisco.

Michael snorted and leaned a little closer to the paper. His eyes weren’t what they once were, and his garret office was softly lit by a single oil lamp. Michael didn’t have anything against electricity per se, but the smell of the oil and the cheerful warmth of firelight had always made him feel closer to G-d. Something Michael deemed absolutely necessary when composing a sermon.

There was a soft knock on the door.

“Come in.”

The door cracked open and Anthony Wheeler, a young alter boy whose father’s father had been one of Michael’s first baptisms, poked his head into the room. “They’re ready for you father.”

“Thank you, Anthony. I’ll be right down.”

Michael shuffled his notes, his sweaty hands smearing the ink he’d so carefully laid down with his fountain pen. Foolish time to be nervous, he scolded himself. Michael had given literally thousands of sermons before, but this would be his last and he wanted to get it right.

“Time to go, old man,” he said.

Michael’s knees cracked as he stood, and he grimaced. “Time to save the church.”

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