Redemption- a Flash Fiction Tale

Joan of Arc Being Interrogated, by Paul Delaroche

“I killed a man.” Geoff stares at the ceiling and bites his lip. “Shot him with his own gun. Son’abitch tried to rob me. I grabbed his gun, shot him through the head. He’s in his grave in the landfill outside of town. No one’s gonna find him.” Geoff shrugs. “But I still gotta pay for what I did.”

“I killed a man, stabbed him.” Roy says, his eyes downcast. “He busted in, all high on dope. So I grabbed my knife. Stabbed him in the leg. He tried to grab me, so I stabbed him in the neck. He’s sunk in the old quarry over yonder.” Roy picks at his nail. “I had to do it, but I know I’m guilty.”

Jehanne rises from her seat, her dress damp with sweat. With a trembling finger, she traces the cross-shaped birthmark on her breast. She winces as her nail bumps the edge of a scab. “Bless you, Geoff. Bless you, Roy. You have confessed your sins, and shall receive redemption.” She grabs the vial hanging from her neck. “By my sacrifice, you are absolved.” She removes a pill from the vial and swallows it. She sits, lays her head on the table, and closes her eyes.

The evening sun slips below the windowsill.

Geoff clears his throat. “Saint Jehanne,” he says. “That has a nice ring to it.”

“Yeah, “Roy says. “Do you think she’s in Heaven yet?”

“I dunno. It’s only been a few minutes. Did you really kill that man?”

“Nah. Did you?”

“Nope.” Geoff lets out a deep breath. “I just said I did to help Jehanne. I figured the way the new Cardinal’s been actin’, she couldn’t be without sin very much longer.”

“Yeah.” Roy nods quickly. “Me too.”

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Praise A. Diva- a Flash Fiction Tale

Creative Commoms Hans-Wolfgang Axkermann

*

“Ah . . hello?

“Welcome to your afterlife.”

“Uh . . afterlife? Am I dead?”

“Not quite. You exist with rudimentary consciousness. That is how you are able to communicate.”

“I can’t see anything. I can’t move either. Am I in a coma?”

“No. Your previous life functions of your previous corporeality crossed the threshold into biological entropy, therefore achieving a death-like state.”

“So I’m dead. That’s what I get for being an animal lover. Um . . did I crash into anybody when I swerved to miss the squirrel?”

“It was a chipmunk, and a rabid one at that. It would’ve been dead the next day anyway, had you not swerved to miss it. And no, you didn’t crash into anybody, you crashed into a tree. Your skull collapsed on impact with the trunk, right after it breached the windshield of your vehicle.”

“Well, that’s a relief, I suppose. At least I didn’t suffer. So this is what it’s like to be dead. No pearly gates, no choir of angels. Pretty dull, if you ask me. Er . . am I in Hell?”

“No.”

“Yes! Thank God I made it to Heaven! Or the waiting room for Heaven, I assume. So I guess I’m supposed to check in or something? My name is Glen Mead, I’m a traveling musician, a citizen of Australia, and my religion is um . . Quaker Christian. But I suppose you know all that already. You’re one of Heaven’s gatekeepers, right?”

“No.”

“Oh. So is this purgatory? I’ll be damned. Of all the religions, I thought Catholicism was the least-”

“You are not in purgatory, you are a crystallite entity floating in a crystallite cloud on the cosmic brane.”

“Seriously? Ha! I must be dreaming. This is gonna be the inspiration for a great song when I wake up.”

“You are not asleep. As I said, you now exist as a crystallite with a rudimentary consciousness. If you relax, you may see my form with the residual vision you still have.”

“Wow. That’s you in front of me? You look like a giant virus. No offense.”

“None taken. I am a giant virus – comparatively giant, that is, as you are submicroscopic.”

“Crikey. So how long am I gonna be like this? Will I be born again? Will I be human?”

“You will be integrated into a biological life form in about 9.97 billion years. In about 12 billion, 995 million years, you will be born as a human.”

“Blimey! That’s a helluva long time. Say, how do you know all this? Are you God?”

“Technically, no. But my closest definitional approximation is that of a god-like entity, and one of an infinite number. We are the fathers of all sentient life. The infinite number of bacteria are the mothers of all sentient life.”

“Alrighty then. Pleased to meet you, god-like entity. By the way, what’s your name?”

“You may call me ‘A. Diva.’ “

“What’s the ‘A’ stand for? If you don’t mind me asking.”

“Not at all. The ‘A’ stands for “Anything.'”

“Anything Diva”?

“Anything at all.”

“Oh, I get it. That’s a great name. My name’s ‘Glen Mead,’ but I think I already mentioned that. I forget. My thoughts are fuzzy. I feel sleepy all of a sudden . . and now I’m having trouble seeing you. Feel funny. Drifting . . ”

“Your residual vision is running out, along with your residual human consciousness.”

“Is this the end?”

“No. This is the beginning.”

*

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Thanks to Glen Ricafrente and Flannery Alden of Flash Fiction Friday for this flash fiction challenge!