Peter F. Crowley

God flicked an eyelash off his cheek. One of his sons was missing.

He was twirling a baton at a college football game. The band played a Panthers’ fight song as the ball was at the 15-yard line.

“Jesus Christ,” God muttered upon finding him.

Jesus looked around. The baton, spiraling in mid-air, came down and hit him in the nose. Blood gushed out and a few cheerleaders helped him to the locker room.

Meanwhile, the Panthers slowly edged closer to the end zone. The crowd and even God were at the edge of their seats.

In the locker room, Jesus’s nose stopped bleeding and a cotton ball was placed in his left nostril. He lay on the locker room bench, staring up at the gray ceiling, thinking, “Where are you now, God?”

God had descended from up on high and took the form of a business tycoon. He sat in an glassed-in, upper-level box seat and had a set of binoculars to get an optimal view of the football game. Sipping on a neat bourbon, he wore a ten-gallon hat and spoke with a mix of Texan and Australian accent to the waiter.

A half hour later, Jesus emerged from the locker room. He sat by the cheerleaders but didn’t get involved in cheering. It wasn’t long before Jesus spotted God; God’s curly handlebar mustache gave him away.

“That bastard,” Jesus muttered.

God looked down towards Jesus and the earth quaked. Hundreds of lepers surrounded Jesus, begging, and everyone else in the stadium vanished. Swarms of bees and mosquitos hovered around Jesus’s head and a Viking ran at Jesus swinging an axe.

“Repent!” God shouted through a megaphone.

Seeing the axe’s blade near his neck, Jesus said, “Ok! I repent!”

The insect swarm, the Viking’s axe and lepers disappeared, and the Panthers game resumed.

In the box seat above, Jesus saw God look to him, raise his neat bourbon glass, eyes
twinkling like Van Gogh’s Starry Night.

Peter F. Crowley is an independent writer and scholar with a M.S. in Conflict Resolution, Global Studies from Northeastern University. His poetry book Those Who Hold Up the Earth was released by Kelsay Books in 2020.