portion of the artwork for Bobby Parker's fiction

Dropping the C-Bomb on Jesus
Bobby Parker

I’m not sure when it started. My dream self screamed at dream people, “I am a fucking atheist!”

When my first book was published I had a nightmare: an old woman appeared out of a large crowd and accused me of being the devil for writing such filth.

I stood on top of a school desk and defended myself. “I respect your beliefs, I really do, but I’m not the devil.”

The crowd became restless. They agreed with the witch. “Yeah, he’s the devil!”

Then my mother was there to save me, waving her arms like a burning windmill between me and the crowd.

I woke up gasping for air.

When my wife was in hospital with complications during pregnancy, I did something that changed my life.

With bags of heavy shopping in each hand, I dragged myself through town and stopped outside the town hall. A billboard by the steps read: IF YOU DON’T GIVE YOUR HEART TO JESUS YOU ARE GOING TO HELL.

I snapped, swinging my shopping around, frothing at the mouth.

People don’t need this! There’s enough to worry about without these bastards telling us we are going to hell!

A short ugly troll of a man with a long beard and balding black hair looked at me over his Bible, stopping his sermon as I rushed up to him.

I put my shopping down and hissed, “JESUS IS A CUNT!” into his disgusting face.


Oh shit.

Something cracked deep inside me.

The preacher’s face was sweaty and pale. He flipped through his Bible in desperation, trying to find the perfect prayer to exorcise this demon with the shopping bags and wild eyes.

I picked up my bags and stalked off as he shouted Bible stuff at me.

The metal sky tightened around my head. That word, the thing I said to that preacher, was too heavy to bear.

It was a bad man’s luggage on my soul; a suitcase full of dirty books and snuff films; a ticket to a hot country.

A woman wearing a red apron rattled a charity bucket at me. I emptied my wallet into it. “Thank you!” she smiled. “Don’t thank me, I’m the devil,” I muttered.

My pregnant wife in hospital, and I go and say that evil stuff!

My chest full of shattered mirrors. My mouth a gunshot wound. The weight of those terrible words dragging me to the ground to kiss the cigarette butts and gash my lips on broken glass.

When I got home I dumped the shopping in the hallway and locked myself in the bathroom.

“I’m sorry, Jesus,” I sobbed at my panting reflection. “I didn’t mean it, please don’t punish me, please watch over my wife and child … Oh God, oh God … please!”

I bowed my head and squeezed my eyes closed so hard in prayer that I thought they might sink and disappear into my brain. My heart was panicking in my chest like a wild bird trapped in a big house.

For the first time since we moved here, I noticed how loud the fan on the bathroom ceiling was. How much it sounded like a voice.

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 35 | Winter 2012