Leapolution and Trench Gristle 03: Able Offers

NOTE: It’s Leap Day!  I had to blog… I won’t get the opportunity to post again on this date for another four years!  That said, let’s look at Leap Day as a sort of time capsule… a Leapolution!  Who knows where we’ll all be in four years.  If this blog makes it that far along, it’ll be nice to reflect on fictigristle in its infancy, when I had 2 out of 3 pro short story sells, 16 subscribers, and a thirst for more something fierce.  Let’s celebrate today with a Trench Gristle, with a story that’s one of my favorite heretical comedies.

Able Offers

By James Beamon

In the beginning…

“Lord, I just got word.  Cain slew Able.”

“What? Why?”

“You preferred the taste of Able’s burnt offerings to Cain’s Basil Alfalfa Sprout salad.”

“So no more Sunday barbecues over at Able’s house eh?”

“Able’s dead, Lord. Grill’s cold.”

Silence.

“Lord?  Lord?”

“Sorry, Michael. I’m back. I went to put a mark on Cain. Now the whole world knows what kind of godless hippy he is.”

“There’s still a problem with the lack of Sunday barbecues, Lord.”

“Yeah, nobody burnt an offering like Able. Any suggestions?”

“Raise from the dead?”

“Are you crazy? I just put the fear of death in them… I can’t have the first man to die popping up like toast.”

“Bring him to Heaven?”

“Whoa, there. Sounds like you said roommate. I just got this place.”

“Reincarnation? It may take twelve to twenty years for Able to get back on the grill, but that seems about the best option.”

God considered this option and he saw that it was good.

#

In a time of great wickedness…

“Lord, we have a weekend meal emergency.”

“What is it?”

“Able’s dead again. You drowned him in the flood.”

“Oops. I should have told him to head over to Noah’s place. I just get so mad at those stupid people sometimes.”

“If it makes you feel any better he was sinning against you.”

“What was he doing?”

“Cooking some of his steaks rare.”

“To be honest, I was kind of looking the other way on that one. He made them so tender and juicy. I didn’t even need steak sauce!”

“I hear you. We can amend the law later if you like. Meanwhile, the weekend’s shot. Even if Able was around, there’s only two of each kind of animal. It’s going to take awhile for there to be meat to spare.”

Silence.

“Lord?  Lord?”

“I’m back now Michael. I just told Noah and all the beasts of the field to be fruitful and multiply. We’ll have Able and his wonderful dry rub back in no time.”

“What should we do in the meantime, Lord?”

“Well, it’s gotta be manna this weekend, seeing as how the world’s on the brink of extinction. After that we’re just going to have to kick it with Noah. He’s a nice dude and all, but he can’t marinade to save his soul. And Michael?”

“Yes, Lord?”

“You may want to take a step back, the whole world’s in heat.”

#

In a time of lesser but still pretty bad wickedness…

“Lord, I’m afraid I have bad news. We won’t be having the barbecue this Sunday.”

“Why? What’s up with Able?”

“You rained down fiery death and destruction on Gomorrah and he didn’t have an umbrella.”

“Now’s no time for your clever wordplay. What gives? He doesn’t even live in Gomorrah!”

“I know. He went to town to buy some charcoal briquettes for this weekend’s barbecue.”

“That’s it! Next time, I’m making sure he’s wealthy. Servants for everything. All he’ll need to do is stay at home and burn us some offerings.”

#

In a time of wagers on the wages of sin…

“Lord, I think Lucifer ruined this weekend’s barbecue.”

“How so?”

“You remember that bet you and him had about Job?”

“How could I forget? That’s money in the bank. Lucifer’s such a sucker…”

“You let Lucifer wipe out Job’s livestock, his servants and his children. Lucifer brought his house down and has Job living in a cave afflicted with boils and a nasty case of athlete’s foot.”

“I’d call it a downer, sure.  But I still don’t see how that’s going to ruin Able’s barbecue.  You’ll see, we won’t even be thinking about it when our plates are piled high with that delicious offering.”

“Lord?”

“Yes, Michael?”

“Job is the reincarnation of Able. He no longer has livestock to grill or a grill to grill on.”

“Son of a…!  How can anyone keep up with all his name changes through the ages?  Lucifer’s such a snake; he did all this just to ruin the party.”

“Well, you did stop inviting him to the barbecue.”

“He was weirding everyone out, with him wearing all sackcloth and painting his fingernails black and staring at people the way he does.  How could anyone enjoy their burnt offerings with him lurking around and creeping up behind you and all?”

“Amen, Lord.  But what now?”

“You know what now.  I think Job has suffered enough.  And while I’m at it, I’m giving the spirit of Able protection through the ages, so he’ll always be able to burn us offerings.”

#

33 A.D.

“Hey, a new customer!  Welcome to Able’s Offering Emporium!  I’m Able.  Let me show you our fall collection of kosher meat sacrifices.  Don’t just burn meat… earn peace!”

“Didn’t you get the memo?  Some dude just died on the cross for our sins.  No more burnt offerings.”

“How’s that even possible?”

“Apparently the Son of Man was a long haired hippy who preferred fish to red meat.  Claimed it was high in Omega 3 fatty acids and therefore should be the food of choice for the Alpha and the Omega.”

Silence.

“Able?  Able?”

“I swear these treehuggers are going to be the death of me.”

The story behind the story:

The thought of God having a preference to his offering prompted me to write this.  It’s like 95% dialogue and I think it works this way… it’s not like character description’s gonna make this story that much more better. 

Anyway, I stopped shopping it around when one rag magazine rejected it.  I normally take no pretty well, but this was a real crap site.  I’ve seen them publish some hot garbage.  And at the two dollars and change they were offering, my mindset was that I was doing them a favor and basically giving away the story just to see the reader reviews on it. 

The site was diplomatic about their rejection, saying that the Old Testament references may be lost on their worldwide audience.  Still, I was mad… just because you’re on the web doesn’t mean you have a worldwide audience, you could probably fit all the people who go to that site into a broom closet.

Rant aside, there’s not much a market for sacrilegious, heretical comedy.  It offends people.  So here it is in Trench Gristle, for you, my worldwide audience.

1 Comment

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One response to “Leapolution and Trench Gristle 03: Able Offers

  1. Pingback: War Journal 34: Headlines | fictigristle

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