by Bob Freville
Father Reemus was ascending the hill at Beaverkill, hand hidden in the crotch of his tunic, eyes fixed on little Timothy Johnson’s corduroyed ass, brown slacks that’d gone yellow at the seam from countless summer camp bed-wettings. I was down in the valley, in the bushes, shotgunning a blunt of kush into Carol Spunkmeyer’s face, hoping to prod her into letting me suck her retinas like I saw some dumpy Jap do online.
Some herb in Jesus-fish tank-top recited passages about resurrection, but his “girlfriend” cast her eyes over at the sport-ohs, diesel fucks saturated in sweat, spiking a ball around, flexing for themselves more than for forbidden fruit. Posers.
“C’mon,” I said. It’ll feel like taking out contact lenses. I need this.”
“Eff you, I know what you’re trying to do. Don’t you have any shame? It’s the Lord’s day.”
“That’s Ex Mass,” I spat, flinging boogers at a bullfrog, hoping I’d blind him like I wanted to blind Carol. All I wanted’s a taste, something new, but no. Everyone here’d rather do what we always did, more tipping cows, counting sheep, confessing to Claude Rains.
“It’s not right,” she said, hacking, smoke rising off aerosol-soaked scalp. I wondered what her insides looked like—butter, Jesus-juice, feces.
“Eff you later then.”
“Where are you going,” she choked.
“Somewhere I can lick a lash without begging for it.”
Carol started shedding chubby tears that rolled down mounds. I needed a reason to rejoice…wasn’t finding it.
Theresa, only kid here I could actually say I could relate to—black garb, gobs of goop around her void-like eyes—storms over to Muff when she hears what’s in the works post-Scavenger Hunt. Sister Muffy said the rabbits scurrying about would be rounded up after the collection, euthanized in lieu of dough. No hutches, no money, except whatever loot Father Reemus ripped from collections on Sundays, those “clergy tithes” covering his car payments. No scratch, no breathing.
Theresa, sixteen in the body of a twenty-something, dandy décolletage under dark black baby-doll, stomps her foot inches from Penguin, saying, “It’s against your so-called God to murder living creatures, let alone an eff-load!”
“Watch that mouth,” Father Reemus intoned, compulsively adding, “I’m watchin it, not liking what’s comin out. Need I remind you what’ll have to go in it?”
This made Muff fidget uncomfortably, white-washing: “Ah-uh-ah-Lifeboy, uh-huh, that’s right, young lady! You’ll get the soap!” Then, after catching breath, steadying her flapping jowls: “Let us make man in Our image…and let ’em, let ’em…yes!” She recalled it finally: “Let them rule over the Chicken of the Sea, over chimpanzees and quadripeds, marsupials, all the squiggly-wigglies and what not and over the cattle.”
Penguin was so proud of herself she ended with chin heavenward’n a pointed, “Hmm!”
Once the lard-ass in whites and blacks lunged toward le petite fille in the “Fuck Your Mother” teddy, the motherfucker put her in her place with: “Eat my fuck, Father Fannyfucker!
And double-down on you, Dumbo Dumptruck! Animals is worse than killing
babies, you blaspheming bitches!”
My bloodshot blues followed Theresa as she ran off with Muffy in lukewarm pursuit, proceeding to kick a sport-o in the sack just to watch him cry.
Something had finally happened and I can’t say I didn’t like it. For once something! I was there to be the true martyr, to bear witness.
‘Course I hardly had time to think about the way I felt when Theresa’s black mesh badunkadunked its way to a massive birch tree that half-hid the sight of her socking Sister Muffy in the cunt, ’cause the short bus arrived, dumping off mouth-breathers. Then some monstrous shit went down.
Eggs hatched. Didn’t look store-bought. Bag I’d stepped on earlier read “Planned Parenthood.” Then Helmet-Head and Velcro Toe took off toward a tree-house. What looked like tigers with tentacles and floppy ears chased after them, fangs bared, fists curled around semi-automatics.
Blasts took out Velcro, obliterating his toes, Velcro flaps flung like guts, guts we’d all soon see as these ovarian evils spread. All sprinted around, eating up our entire parish.
Some ways back Sister Muffy’s crouched beside the distraught Sister Dentata, frail hands pressing her habit into puddles of Helmet-Head, sopping’m up. Muffy consoled her. “Don’t cry, Sister. It’s the blood of our Lord, nothing to be afraid of. It’s the blood of our savior Hey-Zeuss Kristofferson. This is just the sacrament, sweetheart. Here.” Muff reached between her legs, came out with a palm’s worth of squamous crimson, brought it to Dentata’s mouth and cooed, “Drink it. Receive him. There.” Dentata turned, parted her own legs, showed they shared a cycle.
Three wabbits surrounded Reemus, two of ’em waving knives while three stuck a long, furry dewclaw up his ass. Muffy buried face in Dentata’s crotch, slurping like at a soup kitchen.
And then it came. So did Dentata. “There. Yes. OH, YES!!! UGH!!?!”
Looked like it stung the way Muff brought her face back, palming her neck. Then it was over, head toppling off her broad shoulders, landing where it had been, blue tongue pressed against pubis. Then it began, Him standing over corpse, mighty, built, bitter, hair in a pony tail, olive skin orange from spray-on tan. Lordy! Risen!
Once the Bunnies had performed their hunt, they scampered over to Daddy-O, willingly climbing into the sack on his shoulder.
In his free hand the weapon that’d undone Muff: a scythe-sharp stick with intestines coiled ’round its base, staff for tending or slaughtering sheep. Earth was no longer a cattle pen, ’twas an abattoir. Here was our executioner.
He spoke, a voice cold as Beaverkill. “This is the Third Coming, kids. You’re dead to me.”
“Wait! What?!” Reemus managed despite the bluish-purple cherry blossom of anal prolapse dangling from his butt. “What about…sssecond coming? You’re a fraud!”
“Yes,” Jesus said with a measure of regret. “I mislead you. To think you could be saved through my blood. How’s it even make sense? No, there’s no free will. Gotta be constraints. I’m a herder of sheep, you are my cattle. Any farmer’ll tell you, cattle need to be prodded, kept in line.”
Looking around mournfully, he saw the glorious job the Bunnies had done of planting innards in bushes, part of the festivities. “Should’ve waited til they stopped steaming,” Jay whispered, smirking.
“Sorry to say, but when yer cattle fail yuh, yuh take ’em out to pasture.”
He sighed, surveying the carnage, seeing there were only me and Theresa peering out the spattered tree-house and Reemus refusing to bite it. He lugged his lordly ass over to Padre with sharp end extended. “Guess this’ll wrap ‘er up til next year.”
“Wait,” Reemus wailed. Jesus rolled his eyes. Father gazed up sorrowfully. “The bunnies…where did they come from? I have to know before…”
Jesus hooked a thumb in the air. “Came from the abortion clinic. One of ’em was yours as I understand it.”
Reemus attempted a “Wuh,” but it was hardly out his throat before he no longer had one. Ligaments and sputum spewed on to his vestment. The Lord lumbered over to us.
“You, up there,” he said.
“Yeah?” Theresa yelled down. “Wudduhyuh want with us?”
“Nothing,” he said. “That’s the point. You had your day, now it’s my turn.”
Jesus shot Theresa a look that somehow conveyed what happened when he’d first returned. No one believed. Entering a bar in toga and sandals, saying he wanted to share love with brethren, they figured him for a fag, fucked his ass up good out back. After mending, he temped as a carpenter. Didn’t work out ’cause foremen felt his levitating over in-grounds was a distraction.
“So you can see. You don’t want me and I don’t want you.”
“Why kill us?”
“I’m not. I had a second chance. Now it’s your turn. Do me proud, Goth kids.”
“We’re not Goth,” Theresa crowed as Christ ascended. “We’re Screamocore.”
“You can’t fight City Hall,” he said. That was it. The Good Lord gone in a pussy fart, tiny puff of smoke. Smoke cleared. He got into a bus, driving away, a sack full of feral rabbits and guns in tow.
It was then I intuited the purpose of Christ’s Lazarus job. He’d wiped us out so we’d come out new, no identities, especially himself. I saw clearly the real meaning of Easter —a time when everyone can start over, scrub off the stink. Then I fucked up. “But I’m Bi!”
A great sigh from on high, then I bled buckets. Theresa shoved me, flailed arms at the sky. I landed in rabbit droppings and that’s when I knew. Hallelujah!
I knew I was saved. No more pain until I come again.
Bob Freville is a writer from Long Island, a freelance writer of fourteen years, a former associate editor of Kotori Magazine, and the writer/director of the Troma vampire flick Hemo.