Flash fiction by Bill DeArmond
“You’re not ready to go yet?”
Geena had burst into her brother’s room and was dismayed that he was still in his pajamas. It was her big day, salutatorian of the graduating class of Holy Name Academy. Her brother had been an ass-hat most of his life. George wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed. If he was he’d probably cut himself. But this was totally unacceptable.
“I’m not going,” he mumbled, covering up his head with a pillow.
“Why not? What’s your excuse this time?”
“It’s in a church, right? You know how I feel about all that religious crap. I didn’t go to my Baccalaureate and I’m not going to go to yours.”
George had just finished his freshman year of college. And, as we all know, colleges turn the once-faithful into secular humanists. Unless you go to CTU (Christian Taliban University), then you graduate neither secular, nor human.
“You’re being unreasonable, George.”
“You want to talk about irrationality. There’s nothing logical about your Christianity. It’s all based on myths stolen from ancient cultures. The Bible says the earth revolves around the sun.”
“No it doesn’t.”
“Joshua halted the sun in the sky? And the church burned anyone who said otherwise for hundreds of years. And where did Cain get his wife, huh? His sister?”
“Christianity is about Jesus dying for your sins.”
“I’ve never committed a sin that anybody needs to die for. I don’t buy this we’re-all-born-with-original-sin nonsense.”
“God has a plan for you, George. When He closes a door, He opens a window.”
“And lets in flies.”
“I’m not going to stand here and argue theology with a pagan in his underwear. I only graduate once from high school. If you really care about your only sister, the least you can do is show up for me.”
When he only grunted in response, she yelled, “Boy, George, if you keep this up you’re going to hell in a hand basket.” She stormed out of the room slamming the door so hard it knocked his poster of Neil Degrasse Tyson off the wall.
“A hand basket?”
After a bit, disquiet began to churn in George. He was torn. He had outgrown any need for religion and found the very idea of entering a church anathema. The hypocrisy of those extremists who professed faith yet were intolerant bigots made him sick.
Although he no longer needed any community of dogma to feed his spirituality, he recognized that it did provide comfort to some people he respected. He loved his sister and knew she was right. If he really cared about her, he’d put aside his misgivings and admit this was more about Geena’s accomplishment than his own ego.
Just before it would have been too late to make it on time, George jumped in the shower, threw on some appropriately mismatched clothes, and flew off in his car.
A block from the church, a semi ran the red light and crushed George’s Honda. And George with it.
He was rushed to Our Lady of the Perpetual Smirk Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 4:17 p.m.
At 4:18 p.m. George woke up in Kansas.