“The righteous shall inherit the earth” he woofed, red with the blood pressure driving colour to a face sticky with perspiration “and it is not righteous to partake in the heinous sin of womanly thought! Worldly I say!” he continued, spitting a little.
The pastor was standing behind a flimsy lectern, barely able to look over it straining. Behind him a power point presentation. The three point summary surrounded by clip art, the meaning of which so subtly related to the sermon that being hit by a hot iron would have been more pleasant and less obvious an aesthetic and intellectual experience.
He was elevated by a springboard; this being a school gymnasium and he being a little on the short side of things. It being a gym the stale stink of dried sweat permeated the worshipful gathering. Intermingled with the smell was that of a recently greased linoleum floor. To add to the rancid ambiance in the hallway the aroma of a blocked and soiled toilet (like only teenagers of the male variety can) graced its presence on any who would dare enter the main hall where the pastor palpitated on his springboard of righteousness.
He continued to utter forth his frothy offering: “The will of All Mighty gowd has been given to us in the bible and we need nothing but the bible to help us through the day. We know how to order our relationships according to the will of All Mighty gowd!?”
He paused to catch his breath, while steadying himself on the flimsy lectern, wobbling during the apex of a particularly violent tremor on the springboard: “and there is nothing more that All Mighty gowd abhors…” a slight wease “…than women usurping the role of men.”
“Was not the bible written by men and men alone!”
“Does the Word (!?) not say that women and men are different! It is clear from St Fighter-in-Cage 6:15 that the proper role of woman is to cut potatoes and perhaps make a meringue. Though St. Fighter did not know what a meringue was, it is included in the general principle behind pealing the potatoes.”
A slight tremor, as the springboard returns to stability.
“Short hair! An abomination!”
“Jeans? Trousers even? An abomination!”
He shudders with disbelief and a little more spittle.
“It’s liberal revisionism gown mad and it is rampant! Rampant! RAMPANT I say! Rampant in the world and even sneaking its way into the church. Are we to be like the world?”
“No.” the resounding response from the pastor himself over a silent congregation.
His left eye bulges a little as he leans over the lectern, wobbling a little more, catching his balance, while his headmasterly demeanour is momentarily replaced with a vision of clean terror as the thought passes through his mind that he could have fallen.
Meanwhile the neon lights bear down on the congregation making everybody look a little pasty. The light illuminates the grime but it doesn’t help the eyes see the thickness of colour available, peeling off layers on depth.
In the back of the hall lies a little baby girl, asleep. Her hair is short, as most baby’s hair is. She isn’t wearing trousers, but a comfy onesy. No skirt to be sure, but pant legs. Kicking a little, a smirk crosses her face as she strains.
She, being a darling and rather innocent child, looks a little surprised as she lets rip a deep and long piece of noise, the echoes of which are heard all the way to the front of the hall during that pause in the sermon.
Meanwhile the preacher, for a fraction of a second, takes on the most raw headmasterly demeanour. Its interrupted almost as soon as it appears on his face while his inner ear sends a message to his brain that lets him realize he has been overbalancing on the lectern.
As he slowly lets go of the flimsy piece of plastic holding his sermon, he realizes that the rapid movement joined with the flaying of his arms has brought about a small pressure to his bowls. He farts ever so slightly. But there is a silver lining. Nobody hears his flatulence as he plummets to the earth from that springboard of righteousness.