Saturday, April 16, 2011

Murphy at his Devotions

It is dark, it is late, just candles burning.  Murphy is alone in the church, kneeling in the last pew.  His hands are joined; his murmurs can barely be heard.
A well-dressed gentleman strides in off the street, rings on his fingers, inverted cross at his throat, and spats on his ostrich-leather boots.  His face is tanned like fake rawhide -- no, now it’s white as a bone; all depends on the tricks of the light. He’s got dust on his tux, from walking that way and back, inside and out, up and down in the earth. 
He looks around, seeing no-one; robs the poor-box; gives the font a wide berth;  and then spots Murphy, looking small and helpless there on his knees.  The man grins, baring his teeth.  He speaks in a loud voice.
“Well now ain’t -  that  -  special !  Telling Pappy about all the naughty thoughts that you had?  Or asking him for a Cadillac, or a Mercedes-Benz?”
“No.  Not really.”
“What -- just mouthing some formulaic mumbo-jumbo, in a language you don’t even understand?”
“Just praying for someone.  Someone I know.  Someone I know all too well.”
“Awww…Now ain’t that sweet.  Praying for your dear old grannie, that got sciatica?  Praying for some poor little boy in Nigeria that got cancer, what you heard about on the Internet?”
“No, actually, I was….praying for……...for the Devil.  Praying, that he might repent.
You see, actually, I was praying -- for you.”

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