Monday, December 20, 2010

Heresy - short story draft

It is Sunday and Tabitha is at the Church teaching her weekly yoga class for the preschool-aged kids. She circles around the blue carpeted room as the kids stretch their legs out in front of them and reach for their toes. Every week, Tabitha assembles the mats together so the kids can share the space together. Her six students all have older siblings studying in Sunday school upstairs. If an observer walked by the room and put his ear against the door, he would hear lots of high-pitched laughter and childish silliness. But if he listened even more closely, he would notice a woman's voice forever calm and encouraging with the kids yoga practice.

Inside the room, the children clumsily follow Tabitha's directions. They play together as they are bouncing in their yoga postures. The most confident girl in the room, may be missing front teeth but she shows no hesitatioon to light up the room with her smile. The whites of her eyes contrast her dark skin. Her hair is taught in corn rows tight to her scalp and her loud laughter projects through everyone elses'. The boys are quieter than the girls, and make secretive conversation with each other. Sometimes they will even push each other and roughen up the yoga room's relaxed atmosphere. Whatever happens, whether one boy is pushed over and falls onto the mat or the others start laughing at another's mistake, Tabitha remains calm and unassuming. She believes that through yoga the kids can learn to connect with God.

Priest Samuel Jobson paces his room lost in anxious thoughts. He has just gotten off of the phone with the bishop, his long time supporter and patron. After Jobson's parents' car accident, the bishop who was then priest of this Catholic church, took the 10-year-old orphan under his wing and raised him. The night before his first communion, the bishop held the young Jobson mouth shut as he silently took the young boy's virtue. Since that day, Samuel has continued to submit to all the man's wishes and out of fear, committed his life to the path of the church joining the rank of his devout patron continually succumbing to his influence. When the former priest was promoted to bishop, Jobson became the priest of the local church.

The bishop strongly disapproves of the yoga practice for the young children. He believes that the pagan practice goes against God's wishes for the church and wants to see it gone because the pagan and foreign culture of yoga is bad for the children and is exposing them to something that will further plunge them into a life of sin.

Over the phone the bishop easily convinced Jobson that the yoga class should be removed from the church's premises. The Hindu practice conflicts with God's wish for his true followers emphasized the bishop. After years of subservience, the priest now easily silences his inner-conscience and has come to believe that the bishop knows the will of God best. In addition to the cancellation of the class, the priest must also remove the woman from the church for the unforgivable act of introducing the poisonous practice to the innocent children. The priest hangs up the phone filled with sickening ambivalence.

He proceeds to call up the parents who take their children to the Sunday yoga class and relay the change in schedule to them. He also exaggerates the offense of Tabitha whose only fault was to see God's hand in all including yoga. The parents were told that the teacher was abusing her power by instilling blasphemous belief in their fertile minds.

The following Sunday, Tabitha had noticed that during the mass, she received some pointed glances from the usually friendly church-goers. Several children in her class as well as their parents did not say hello to her even after she had greeted them in passing. The community room on the lower level of the church, were the yoga class is held, was cold this Sunday. It seemed to Tabitha that the custodial staff must have forgotten to put on the heat. Usually they were more than attentive for the children. Although no students are seen excitedly pulling their parents down the stairs, she lays out the multicolored mats with their edges touching in the center of the blue carpet and sends up a to prayer to God.

Thirty minutes pass without any arrivals, so she decides to go speak with the priest. She knocks on his door and he tells her to come in. She finds him studying at his desk. She asks him if he knows why no students showed up today, and he informs her that the class has been permanently canceled with the Bishop's blessing. Although she is shocked, she knows that God will make sure it all works out for the best. The priest takes a deep breath and his face looks pained. Then he tells her that the class goes against the doctrine of the church and that her teaching of the Oriental practice is unsupported by the Catholic church. Because of this, he informs her that she has been requested by the bishop never to return to this church again. For a moment she doesn't understand what has been said, but it sinks in. She lifts up her arm to hide the tears that sprout from her eyes and silently vows to seek revenge on these hypocrites as she exits.

She leaves the church and returns to her home to mourn the loss of her beloved class and community. She tries to keep her trust in God that this all is happening for a reason, but despite her trust, she cries. She weeps until her passion is dried up from her body. She falls to her knees but continues to pray for guidance on how to proceed.

After several minutes of prayer with her eyes tightly closed, a vision illuminates her mind's eye: She witnesses herself joyfully baking brownies. She is even singing. Suddenly a gap in the ceiling opens, and the Angel Gabriel gloriously descends into her kitchen. He is wearing only a loose fitting linen robe. His bronzed skin highlights the subtleties between his idyllic muscles. His curly golden hair is contained within a circular crown atop his head. Without words, he gives her a bottle of poison that gratefully accepts and then pours it liberally into the brownie mix. The angel smiles after she does this and touches the top of her head with his gleaming hand then ascends from where he came. She then witnesses herself bringing these baked goods to the priest and bishop who are both at the church. They heartily enjoy her deadly offer of repentance and quickly perish minutes later.

She awakes from her vision feeling dazed. She thanks God for his answer to her prayers and does not hesitate to begin what she has seen. She starts baking the brownies and finds a bottle of rat poison below her sink. She combines the ingredients and bakes them in her oven. Then she dresses up into her Sunday best and heads back to the Church with the brownies sealed in a green Tupperware container.

She parks her car in the lot, and walks towards the priest's front porch. As she approaches she hears a rhythmic thudding coming from inside. She raises her closed fist to knock but waits because the sound continues. She timidly knocks several times but gets no response. She knocks again but the thumping seems only to progress and the priest doesn't come to the door. Motivated to complete her vision and follow through with God's command, she turns the knob to find it unlocked.

As she enters she discovers the priest with his robe tossed hastily over his head. Everything from his hips downwards is exposed. The bishop has his trousers dropped to his ankles and is moving back and forth engaged in vigorous sodomy with the young priest. The bishop holds a strained look on his face.

Tabitha, taken by surprise at the vulgar act, drops the Tupperware which loudly bounces a few yards away along the wooden floor. The priest's body jolts at the noise but the Bishop continues to hold him down, but then turns and sees the former yoga teacher standing speechless in the doorway. He withdraws and attempts to cover his erection with his papal robes. He mutters unintelligibly and glides behind the shocked woman, shuts the door quietly, and grasping her by her elbow and escorts her into the center of the room. By this time the priest has righted himself and has also found cover for his naked bottom. His appearance seems unmolested except for the end of his white collar which sticks out to one side.

The bishop escorts Tabitha into a chair and instructs the priest to fetch ties. Before she has regained her composure, she is strapped tightly into the chair, gagged and unable to move. She is frightened.

Now the bishop easily convinces the priest that there are limited courses of action to keep their reputation spotless. Since she has been publically declared a pagan, the bishop declares her punishment has been made clear by God and shall be death. The priest finds no words to protest and musters up his little courage to bludgeon the poor woman until she no longer breaths as the bishop watches over his student's work with pride for his Lord.

But their work is only half over. They retrieve a saw and knives and proceed to cut her body into disposable pieces. Fortunately for their purpose in best serving God's will, the body can easily be disposed of at the nearby pig farm. There, the animals will devour her flesh in less than an hour and leave no trace of the brash act.

The two collect the pieces of Tabitha's body into bags and are ready for the disposal except they must wait until the blanket of night descends. In the meantime, while the priest cleans the blood off of the floor, he finds the Tupperware with the poisoned goods. The bishops laughs and marvels at God's gift. They enjoy her meager offer of repentance with relish.

Tabitha opens her eyes. Darkness consumes her environment and she forgets where she is and how she came there. Before long she remembers the chair and her violent murder. Was it a dream? She screams into the black vacuum of her surroundings but receives no worldly echo or response. After a while, two flashes of turbulent red appear ten feet in the air and drop two men with a thud. She screams for their help. For minutes, they are silent. Then simultaneously they regain consciousness, and she realizes that the men are the priest and the bishop, and she withholds her exclamations as she listens to their confused pleas for mercy.

An abrupt eruption from the east lights up the dark. In the flash, Tabitha sees crags and burnt desert stretching off into eternal horizons. Another fire grows upward like a fir tree out of the explosion gradually exposing a frightful, red figure. His graphite horns are sharpened into hawk-talons atop his broad forehead and strong chinned face. He holds a diabolical stained-tooth grin. His body is extremely muscled and his feet are hooved and knees hairy. Then his booming voice vanquishes attention given to any thoughts.

“Hahahaha,” he laughs. “Do you understand why you are here? Your ignorance is delightful. I, Lucifer, have spent much time contemplating on how to appropriately acquire you three. Tabitha your continued devotion to God has made me wretch and I could bare it no longer. Jobson and the bishop, your recognition despite your sexual relations has kept me laughing for many of your years but I could bare witness to it no longer. With my hand guiding fate, I have brought you here all together. Tabitha, it was I who came to you disguised as Gabriel in your vision. God abandoned your side when your desire to avenge your worldly humiliation and murder these men blinded you from his love and peaceful ways. Jobson, I was instrumental in your subservient relations with this bishops since your parents' death and have slowly eroded all of your self-worth as you repeatedly bared this sinner's lustful advances. Welcome to Hell. You shall enjoy my company now. Forget about God and aim your prays for mercy to me. You have forfeited all your devotion to Him. Now prepare for your eternal judgment.”

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