Skip to main content

Smug and Omnipotent


Somewhere in Manhattan, the modern forbidden city of the new empire, at the summit of one of the towering steel and glass monoliths, was one of the many enclaves of luxury in the sky. It served as a marble crusted sanctuary of indulgence for the robber barons of the world. The penthouse was their answer to the castles the old lords had occupied.
Tyler Harris, a 34-year-old hedge fund manager, stood alone on a balcony that overlooked the sea of lights that was the shimmering of the empire's crown jewel. He was a tall and very handsome man in the classical sense. His angular features were chiseled out of lightly tanned skin. His hair was neatly trimmed and gelled, and his sports coat was perfectly pressed with not one visible wrinkle.
He stood with perfect posture and radiated confidence. His rise in the rather Darwinian landscape of the financial sector had been nothing short of meteoric. He sipped his drink and leaned over the balcony's railing. He realized he was more than a little drunk.
The early spring air felt a bit chillier at this altitude, but he didn't really mind. Ice clinked as he took another hardy gulp from his low ball glass filled with scotch. He secretly hated scotch, but it helped him keep up appearances and after a while he became used to it. The door sliding open behind him was accompanied by a sudden gust of wind that raced through the corridor of steel towers with a low howl. He turned and looked at the young man in the doorway.
He had long chestnut hair and a full but neatly trimmed goatee. He wore an old beat up sort of olive color t-shirt and flannel pants. He was the magician hired for the party. He looked nothing like a magician or any kind of performer, but he was the best in the world. He sold out whole stadiums. His performances drew people in from every corner of the country, but for guys like Tyler and his colleagues, he made house calls. The magician smiled, and Tyler gave him a nod. The magician lit a cigarette and stood against the railing next to Tyler.
“Good show,” Tyler said taking another sip from his glass.
“Oh, thank you.” The magician replied with a puff of smoke.
“That one where you turned everyone’s drinks into wine! Holy shit!” Tyler exclaimed, “Or when you took a chainsaw to that woman then somehow put her back together again! I've seen the saw and box trick, but you splattered her guts everywhere! How the fuck did you do that??"
The magician grinned and took another drag “Well I guess I can tell you,” he said. “Wait, I thought magicians never reveal their secrets.” Tyler said smugly.
“Ehhh, I think it'll be OK,” the magician replied.
Tyler leaned in with a mouth hanging open with a drunken smile. “I'm Jesus Christ,” the magician said.
“Oh, right of course.” Tyler said dismissively waving his hand.
“No you don't understand, I’m literally Jesus Christ, the living embodiment of God here on earth.” The magician said without any hint of humor.
“You aren't going to give me a line of new age philosophy crap are you? I was done with that shit in college”. Tyler scowled.
“Look you just saw me turn water into wine then bring someone back from the dead. What more proof could you want?” The magician asked. “OK, let's just skip past the standard questions I am asked when someone says prove it. You were 12 the first time you jacked it. You did it using your sister's Barbie behind the garage, and you felt terrible after you blew it all over a caterpillar.”
The breath froze in Tyler's chest, and his jaw fell like an anvil. “H- How did you know about that,” he stuttered.
“I can see everything,” Magician Jesus replied. The haze of alcohol and the shock from the last moment seemed to vanish in the wind and was suddenly replaced by an unparalleled certainty and clarity. There was no mistaking the presence of the divine. It was a power with a force beyond the sensory based perceptions of the Homosapien. “How do you see everything that's going on at once?” he asked in a shaky voice.
“Ehhh, as a human you can't really understand omnipotence,” Magician Jesus said shrugging off the question.
Standing before infinite wisdom made Tyler's inquiring human brain flood with questions. He started with the basics.
“Jesus, Or God, Lord, Lord, God, whatever you prefer,” he said stumbling over almost every word. Jesus just nodded his head in a way that suggested he was thinking- Get to the point.
“Why are you here tonight?” Tyler finally finished.
Magician Jesus's smile disappeared; his eyes locked with Tyler's. “The rapture is here.” He said sternly. “This is my second coming, and this is where Armageddon begins, and you, you are the lynch pin of the chain of apocalyptic events about to be set in motion.” Tyler was speechless. He slowly backed away and held his trembling hand to his mouth.
“Ehhh, I'm just kidding.” Jesus said with a smile as wide as it was mischievous. “I don't know. I just like to come down here sometimes to see what your lives are like. You had an ant farm when you were nine. You know what I mean.”
“Why did you put us here?” a wide-eyed , and star-struck Tyler asked.
“Ah, again, God stuff .You wouldn't get it.” Jesus said. Tyler’s overwhelming reverence was slowly being replaced by slight annoyance.
“Forgive me for saying Lord but I always thought you would answer all my questions." Jesus shrugged and flicked his cigarette off the balcony.
“Look I'll tell you why you're here at least,” Jesus said. “Tonight you're going to die of heart failure. Its the result of a little genetic tweak and you wife is going to marry Mark. They end up adopting a kid from Uganda. They name him after you so I guess it's not all bad, then they're gonna...” He stopped mid sentence. “You know I guess this is really a big picture thing a bit more macro than how you're used to thinking. Anyway, Goodbye Tyler.”
Jesus stepped back inside the penthouse and slid the glass door closed behind him. Just then Tyler's heart began to sputter as it struggled to complete its final beats. The blood halted in his veins and with a gasp the dark shroud of death descended over Tyler's eyes forever.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

There are no closets in foxholes

Private Stuart Breyers had joined the marine corps during peacetime. The plan was to use his two-year hitch as a transition period into becoming an independent young man. Not six weeks after his 19th birthday the boy’s limited term of existence had been significantly curtailed. He had no more years to look forward to only mere moments.
He walked in a single file line with his comrades under the darting eyes of their Japanese captors. His fingers were laced behind his head, and he didn’t dare move his hands to shield his eyes from the blinding tropical sun or the salty sting of his sweat. Breyers had spent his life in the vast cornfields of Middle America where the grey skies of winter lingered for months on end. The Pacific sun turned his flesh a pulsing red. The Japanese fleet loomed ominously in the still crystal blue waters. The massive steel barrels of their guns had returned to their resting position. Occasionally a grenade blast in the thick jungle rattled the birds out of the tr…

The Borderline Angel of Death

I would like to thank Burning House Press for featuring this piece!

At the age of thirty, Daniel Lufto lived alone in a single bedroom apartment. In his first thirty years on Earth he had made very few lasting connections, and at this point, his existence had virtually no perceptible impact on anyone else. He was just another recurring face on the bus ride to work, a vaguely remembered customer in the local liquor store.
As a human being, Daniel existed on a strictly interim basis. His home was even on a month to month arrangement. On any day he and his meager belongings could be swept out and with that almost any trace of Daniel's corporeal existence.
Daniel wasn’t so solitary by choice. He and the world around him could never find the proper way to engage each other. Daniel grew up, but he never developed into a fully fleshed out human being. He had no particular interests or hobbies absolutely nothing could captivate him. It was as if he had been deprived an imagination and was…

The Bronze Bull

After the Mormon army armies reached the east coast, they set to work salvaging and restarting the long-abandoned foundries scattered across the landscape. The blast furnaces once again were swollen with molten steel, and the towering brick stacks erupted with volcanic ferocity. The forked flames lashed at the clouds and the billowing smoke blackened the sky heralding the ascendancy of the continent's new masters.
Roaming bands of scavengers had been picking at the bones of New York City for decades. THe nibbling quickly turned into a full feeding frenzy. Legions of landless farmers and rootless laborers descended on the ruins. They worked as ceaselessly as termites to hollow out the steel carcass.
John Nelson had traveled a long way to get a look inside the old city. He was a Captain Edler in the Bringham Young regiment an outfit that had spent the better part of a decade fighting across the continent. The spry young Captain was an avid student of history, and even though dead o…