A Parkside Sunday

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

A sideways look at an extraordinary church service.

Submitted: September 23, 2018

A A A | A A A

Submitted: September 23, 2018



The pastor, winding down his sermon, was making final points and had asked the worship team to take the stage. The medium size church with its congregants heads already bowed automatically in expectation of the benediction were suddenly surprised when the overhead lights blew out and rained sparks down on them. They were further shocked to see the five member choir floating from where they had been to the rear of the church. Their eyes stared out at their fellow worshipers with horror. Though each mouth was open in a perfect O, they were silent. Small tears opened in the walls of the sanctuary and blue light shot through, illuminating the drama and casting fun house shadows through the scene. Some congregants found their voices and screamed until their vocal cord snapped, while others just stood quietly and watched as the musicians levitated to the back of the sanctuary. They all met at the round community table near the sound booth and main exits. The weightless quintet hung helplessly facing each other as the pastor was lifted into the rough hewn timber beams above the tastefully understated pulpit and then turned upside down. His prayers and protestations barely audible now over the growing hum that came from the open mouthed troubadours. The church members and non members alike held their hands to their ears as the tonal cacophony reached its peak. At this point, the band had spun around to face outward at such an unnatural speed that all of their faces had permanently smeared. The roof came off the modest sized building without a sound. The penitent and impenitent alike gazed upward into an alien galaxy in a black afternoon sky. The pastor was now flung backward against a fake stained glass Jesus and slid down into a blood filled baptismal tank. Suddenly, three old ladies stood and then ran around the sanctuary behind their walkers. The pastor, now free of the sanguineous tank, looked on as the racing old saints heads burst into flames. The smell of burning hair and evil made him sick.

The middle aged man of the cloth seemed to have had enough.


“I’ve had enough!” he roared at the spectacle.


The congregants turned, shocked by this new tone. They looked on their seasoned pastor and were instantly comforted by the steely determination in his eyes and the father like authority in his voice.


“Get Thee Behind Me, Satan!” the pastor roared again.


The holy attendants fell to the floor. Their muscles giving out under the powerful voice from behind the tasteful pulpit. Those who were strong enough to open their eyes witnessed the blue lit fractures in the walls close, the roof slam back into place and the worship team taking their places behind the pastor at their instruments. The over head lights came back on and the hot headed old ladies park their walkers beside them as they returned to their seats.

As the projector put the lyrics to the outro praise and worship song on the wall behind the musicians, my wife pulled her purse close and leaned into me, whispering


“Lets go. I don’t wanna stay for the alter call.”

© Copyright 2019 R.Guy Behringer. All rights reserved.

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