Posts Tagged ‘White’

Pentecost (Short Story Excerpt)

January 17, 2017

author-2

April 14th, 2017
Stark City, Oregon.
6:01 a.m.

“I will extol Thee, Oh Lord!” Reverend Gideon Brahm recited with all the enthusiasm he could muster. Bathed in flickering candlelight, his eyes stung from lack of sleep. His throat ached from seventy-eight hours of near-constant preaching about life, death, love, Pentecost, and—he hoped—resurrection. “For Thou hast lifted me up…”
Gideon’s heart sank as he gazed at his dwindling flock. Three days ago, he’d begun this doomed experiment with twelve handpicked apostles, and half of them had fled.

Half of them had denied him.

“And hast not made my foes to rejoice over me!”

Tall and lean, Gideon looked much younger than his actual age of forty-three. He wore his light brown hair shoulder-length, framing his smooth, handsome face. A face that’s charmed many out of their money, and lured many others into his thrall.

“Oh Lord, my God…”

Even now, hair mussed and tangled, eyes ringed with dark circles, Gideon radiated warmth and compassion. A natural born leader. A man you’d trust with your very soul.

“I cried unto Thee, and Thou hast healed me!”

Before Gideon lay a white satin sheet. Atop the sheet lay a pale, putrescent thing which couldn’t be healed—by The Lord or otherwise. A corpse. A naked old woman. Name, unknown. Cause of death, unknown. Its wrinkled face looked slack and peaceful; eyes closed, lips parted. Arms spread in a T, fingers curled into partial fists.

The eternal pose of the crucified.

“Oh Lord, Thou hast brought up my soul from the grave…”

Washed but not embalmed, the old woman’s body had been culled from Stark Memorial Services by a fellow devotee. Already, it carried the sour stench of death, and the flesh beneath its breasts and buttocks had begun to blacken.

“Thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down into the pit!”

Around the corpse sat the remnants of Gideon’s flock. Like Gideon, they wore white satin robes tied at their waists with golden cords, and nothing else.

“Sing unto The Lord, Oh ye saints of His…”

To Gideon’s left sat Dennis Moore. A kind man with a kind face, Gideon thought. A distraught woman lay across his lap, weeping. Dennis held her, chewing his bottom lip as he absorbed the sermon. Gideon had known Dennis for five years. A friend invited him to Gideon’s now defunct Lambs of Nazareth bible study group; long before Gideon proclaimed himself an actual prophet.

Before a lot of things.

“And give thanks at the remembrance of His holiness!”

Marla Smith, the woman clinging to Dennis, had also belonged to the Lambs of Nazareth. A very average woman, Gideon thought. Unloved, unmarried, and childless. But Gideon had slowed Marla’s descent into spinsterhood with several detours to his bedroom. Not that she’d minded. It felt good to be wanted, and the lovemaking had grown in both frequency and intensity—

Until Hope arrived.

“For His anger endureth but a moment; in His favor is life!”

Beside Marla sat Rick Daniels, shivering and stroking his thick, blonde mustache. He looked like a used car salesman, Gideon thought. Gideon had known Rick for three years. After ordering his flock to disseminate flyers proclaiming him a Prophet of the New Age, Gideon first met Rick, flyer in hand, outside his church. Fresh from rehab, Rick had seemed lost and lonesome, and Gideon welcomed him with open arms, advising him to fill his life not with booze, but with God.

Trading one addiction for another.

“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning!”

Beside Rick sat Gwen Robinson, grinning, hands clasped between her flabby breasts. Not a very bright woman, Gideon thought. But pleasant; the very definition of obedient. And gullible. When Gideon spoke in tongues, she’d shout, “Praise Reverend Brahm!” When Gideon placed his hands on an arthritic old man and proclaimed him free of pain, she’d shout, “Praise Reverend Brahm!” When Gideon spoke of the paradise awaiting all those who followed him, she’d shout, “Praise Reverend Brahm!”

And by the rapture on her face, Gwen had zero doubt that Gideon would fulfill his messianic prophecy.

“And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved!”

Beside Gwen sat Ruth Miller—the oldest of Gideon’s flock—impassive as she brushed the corpse’s hair. Impassive, though her thin hands trembled with every stroke. Two years ago, Gideon had convinced Ruth of his power by conducting a séance in which he’d contacted her uncle; the man who’d molested her at the tender age of twelve. “He says he’s deeply sorry,” Gideon told her. “And he wishes he could take it all back.” Afterward, Ruth handed Gideon a check which had decimated her savings but cemented her position in the flock.

And both enjoyed the benefits of forgiveness.

“Lord, by Thy favor, Thou has made my mountain to stand strong!”

Shaking, Gideon turned to his most beloved follower, Hope Rochester. So beautiful, so pious and docile. A former cheerleader, and it showed. Long, slender legs. Petite waist. Firm breasts. Bright blue eyes. She sat with her head bowed, blonde hair shrouding her angelic face. Though exhausted, looking at Hope stoked a wicked desire deep in Gideon’s loins.

A temptation into which he’d already been led.

“Thou didst hide Thy face, and I was troubled!”

Dennis, Marla, Rick, Gwen, Ruth, and Hope. All of them believed that God—not fate, not luck, not mere coincidence, but God—had brought Gideon into their lives. Thus, they believed that God had gathered them together in Unit 313 of the Warrington Arms apartment complex to witness a miracle.

To be touched by the Holy Spirit.


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Show support on Patreon @ https://www.patreon.com/jesselynnrucilez

Thank you for reading!

JLR

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Midnight Snack (Short Story Excerpt)

January 16, 2017

author-3

1.

February 4th, 2017.

Stark City, Oregon.

6:59 p.m.

Gabriel Lester craved blood. Lots of it. Fresh and hot; straight from the jugular of his prey. He hadn’t tasted the rich, red delicacy in what felt like forever, and being a creature of the night, he needed it.

Like humans need air.

So, stomach churning, Gabe looked up at his two unsuspecting victims, and grinned—baring his long, white fangs.

Now, they’ll know true fear!

For a moment, no one moved. The man and woman across the table looked at Gabe with what seemed like fear welling up in their eyes. Fear of what he intended to do. Still smiling, Gabe curled his hands in imitation of Count Orlok in Nosferatu, then the man let out a disgusted groan.

A groan which jolted the eleven-year-old boy back to reality.

Instead of a dark, dreary castle in the Romanian wilderness, Gabe sat in a bright, cheery dining room. His family lived in a small, two-bedroom house in the Dibert District. He liked it there, but his stepfather, Ronald Keene, didn’t.

Ronnie didn’t like much of anything.

“Take those out, Gabe! Don’t bring that crap to the dinner table!”

Gabe’s grin faded.

Aw, man…

“Where did you get those, Angel?” Gabe’s mother, Marcy, asked, glancing at Ronnie.

“From Dad.” Gabe took the plastic vampire teeth from his mouth and stuffed them in his pocket. “He got them out of a gumball machine, said they were magic. Pretty cool, huh?”

Ronnie, a big man with a fat belly, meaty arms, and a flat-top hairdo, chortled and reached for his beer. His third can of the night, and nowhere near his last.

“Well, Ronnie’s right. You shouldn’t wear those at the table.”

Gabe nodded. “Sorry, Mom.”

Ronnie belched—“Bruuup!”—and shook his head. “Marcy, why do you keep calling him ‘Angel?’ He’s almost a teenager…”

Marcy turned to Gabe with a maternal pout. “Because he’s my little angel.”

“Great.” Ronnie sighed, took another drink.

Ugh! I miss Dad already.

Deflated, Gabe stared at his plate. Steak; so well done it looked like burnt leather. Mashed potatoes; good, but tainted with garlic. And his least favorite vegetable of all: Brussels sprouts; chewy and bitter. A worse dinner he couldn’t imagine; all of it dictated by his stepfather’s brutish tastes.

Poor Gabe. The combined aromas alone killed his appetite, but he had no choice. He had to eat it.

Every last bite.

“Hey!” Ron barked. “Don’t let your meat loaf!”

Gabe looked up, resentful of Ronnie’s tone. He didn’t find the joke funny, but knew what it meant. “Yes, Ronnie,” he droned, picking up his fork and knife.

“How were the three days with your father?” Marcy asked. She looked haggard, wore a nervous smile. Eyes flitting from Gabe to Ronnie, Ronnie to Gabe.

“Uh, we just hung out. Talked a lot. Watched movies.”

“Oh, God. Your father and all those old monster films.”

“Yeah…”

Setting his beer down, Ronnie let out another hearty “Bruuup!

“When does he leave again?”

Gabe sawed into his steak. “This weekend.”

Ronnie laughed. “Lenny’s going on the road with his fruity little theater group again, huh?”

“Now, Ron—” Marcy began.

“What’s the name of the show this time? The Amazing Life of Professor Crabapple?”

“The Life and Times of Professor Appleton,” Marcy corrected.

“Whatever.” Ronnie shook his head. “Prancing around a stage ain’t no example for a boy. I can’t believe you married that pansy.”

Clutching his utensils, Gabe’s eyes narrowed.

“Now, Ron—”

“Well, at least you two have a real man to take care of you now.” Smirking, Ronnie cut himself a hunk of dry steak and stuffed it into his mouth. “A guy like Lenny just doesn’t understand what’s important in life…like having a family.”

You asshole.

Trembling with the urge to jam his fork into Ronnie’s eye, Gabe turned to his mother. Marcy shrugged, gave him her usual apologetic look:

Don’t take it personally, Angel.

But of course, he did.


If you enjoyed this excerpt, please subscribe, like, and share.

Show support on Patreon @ https://www.patreon.com/jesselynnrucilez

Thank you for reading!

JLR


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