Staccato beat measure tap tap tapping out on the clock and the heat was killing him. Stuffy suit, patched knees, tussled hair—Joshua knelt on the pew and prayed under the cold eyes of his father, begged for candy and forgiveness from a god who had stopped listening to the Wasteland a long time ago. He tried to stand but Papa pushed him down so he asked for one more thing and then turned his eyes to the light filtering through broken stained glass, shattered saints and sheep and lions. Tried to remember the stories of the men in the windows. Tried to remember the names of the beasts with bits and pieces from other animals. Conglomerate mismatch, like the fabric of his own tattered suit.
Jonah’s leavin’, said the priest. Papa nodded.
Think he’ll go easy? asked Papa, but it didn’t sound like a question to Joshua. His gaze moved to the priest with the grizzled face. Unhappy face. Unhappy, unsnappy, unpappy. The boy sang this little rhyming song in his head until the priest spoke again. Spoke slow in the gait of a tortoise.
Don’t think so, admitted the priest as he crossed his hands over his chest. Papa nodded like he did when Mama asked if the food was good and it wasn’t. Papa looked distant, like he was watching angels, and Joshua thought of all those nice ladies with the golden hair, golden halos, golden skin.
He’s gotta go, the priest said with renewed vigor. Man’s a sinner, he affirmed. Joshua remembered the stories about how they were all sinners even if they tried their hardest not to be and he felt sorry for Jonah in the way that only eight year olds can. But this was the business of adults and it bored him. So the boy went back to thoughts of candy and breakfast after Sunday mass and then back to Jonah again. What had Jonah done? He was the woodcarver and he made small toys and flutes. Wielded a heavy ax that he never let the kids touch. Joshua watched him cut down a tree once and he remembered the dull thud of steel on wood, the final scream of the tree, the blood of sawdust spilled from the split between tree and trunk. Maybe Jonah cut down the wrong tree and maybe that irritated the Lord real bad. Maybe he just didn’t pray.
Well, regardless, he wouldn’t be getting any candy from the Good Lord.
Alex was sitting on the edge of a cliff relaxing drinking a bottle of tequila.
One shouldn’t loiter here. The yao guai are swift and unpredictable.
I heard he's a wonderful singer and yearns for an audience.
I’ve been told I can sing well. I don’t often sing for others, however.
(I did a kiss meme) He grasps the man and pulls him close, hesitating before pulling down the bandages across his mouth and kissing him firmly on the lips.
Get. Away. From. Me.
I heard he and Caesar might have done more than exchange war plans...
He was my friend. Of course our days were not spent dabbling only in war.
I heard he's got the last laugh because every one's trying to get with him but he ain't got no man bits
My ‘bits’ are intact, thank you very much.
I heard he likes thinmints and chase White Legs off his lawn with a cane.
I do not require a cane yet. I am not that old.