portion of the artwork for Chris Haven's stories

Terrible Emmanuel Possesses a Guy
Chris Haven

He’s knocked around inside a few bodies before. The guy he’s in now is driving to the funeral of a man just a few years older than him. Emmanuel has access, not knowledge. There’s only so much that a god who knows all can know. This man is considering his own life. He is wondering if he made the same impact as this dead man did. At the funeral, people stand up and talk about the dead man, and the living man wonders who might stand up for him. This is very important to him. He is measuring his life against the life of the dead man. The dead man mentored young people to be doctors. The dead man told funny stories about the time when he drove ambulances, avoiding all the sad stories. The dead man played euchre. The living man hates euchre, but on this day, he regrets it. He wishes he played euchre. He believes that every minute of the day he is writing his own obituary, and it’s too short. He hasn’t done enough. Emmanuel has seen this before. It happens at every funeral. The living man will think about the dead man for no more than 36 hours, and then everything will return to normal. It is baffling, wading in all the grief. Grief wasn’t planned. It was a side effect of creation. No matter how often he peeks in, he can’t get any of it in him. It means as much to him as euchre does, just exactly that much.

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 53 | Spring/Summer 2019