Deciding

Today I realized something.

And now I have to decide.

The thing is…

Lacey has to choose…or be chosen and exist with the consequences.

Lem is Heavenly ethereal romance…for eternity.

Elliott is her ideal unmasked. Laid open in brutal and very comforting ways both.

Louis is her heart.

Harold is an explanation and a nap.

Joe is an earthquake in Hell.

Michael is…terrifying. And it’s unclear if that’s God or evil.

And so she’s confused. Logically speaking there isn’t a clear choice. And Lacey is logical.

That being said…aside from God deciding…it’s easier after today. Their personalities became more clear in regard to what they would provide relationally. The sort of connection each would provide.

“If they don’t want to declare you as theirs then I thought they should experience your brutal logic. …That’s what they want. Right? They want you to choose? Let’s see how they actually like it.” says Jack.

Joe looks scared.

“You’re all playing at being Christians.” says a Christian.

“They’re dead. If they’re with God…they’d have to be Christians.” protests Lacey.

“Psychics wouldn’t agree with that.” says the Christian.

“What if they did?” asks Lacey.

Silence.

“That’s…hard to know.” says the Christian. “So they just talk to you and…because you’re so lonely you’ve accidentally talked back? Or?”

“Yes. They’ve touched me too.”

They look skeptical. “Okay. Stop!”

“Stop what?!”

“Stop talking to them?”

“That’s actually a lot more to ask of my psychologically than you think. I pray about it frequently.”

“I just can’t believe you’re praying to God…and that that isn’t making them go away.”

“Well, that’s what’s happening.”

“Are you still a Christian?”

“Absolutely. Unless God has rejected me. And I worry He will. But…there’s times when I genuinely feel like some of them might have saved my life.”

The Christian starts freaking out.

“They’re scared of us.” says an Illuminati member.

“But…” says Michael in irritation.

“Okay! You’re that pretty. I’m not gay, but I can admit it.” The Christian woman says. “But do you honestly think you’d have chosen Michael if he had survived?! …He was so much older than you!”

Lacey looks rendered. “I’m too old to humor you.”

The woman looks shocked.

“I really did consider majoring in art history. But I was talked out of it. …And actually, in my 20’s, if I’d met him I might have fallen in love with him.”

The woman almost smiles.

“Why?!” asks another Christian.

“Because I’m older. Okay!? I’m not a hipster you babbling idiots. …I’m different in some sincere way. …Because young men have always just bored me after a while. And they hate me. And they hurt me. And I patronize them. Always.” Lacey says, trying to sound mean to relate.

“They don’t hate you.” says the woman.

“You sound like a naive child to me.” says Lacey, still trying to sound mean.

“How the heck did you become so old?” asks the Christian woman.

“It could be that my father is from the late 1800’s. Literally.” Lacey sighs. “But it would have to be that in combination with other factors.”

“So when other youngish or young people say they feel old…it’s not necessarily what you’re experiencing.” says the Christian man.

A Boomer spits at the Illuminati in defiance. It’s unclear if she’s dead or alive. Lacey sees her walking around downtown St. Paul, which could mean she’s dead.

“Satan might not know whether she’s dead or alive.” says someone.

“What’s wrong with being a hipster?” asks the Christian man.

“Nothing more than most things today. I’m just not a hipster and I get exasperated with being misunderstood.” explains Lacey. “Also, people have attacked me by calling me a hipster. And it was the inaccuracy of the insult that…made me scream bloody murder on the inside, so to speak.”

“Would you ever dare a trans man who was younger?” asks a lesbian from Tik Tok.

“I don’t know. Why would they be any different than other Millennial men?” asks Lacey.

The woman cries.

“Okay! What’s wrong with them? Spell it out.” she requests.

“They say that men nowadays don’t actually like women. …But I’m almost 40. And I remember what men used to be like when I was little from observing them with their wives. And from hearing the gossip about them after they left. …And if I’m able to talk to ghosts I know from real experience that they really used to be different. They fell in love.” says Lacey. “Men since the mid to late 1960’s have become too cool in their vain, hurt, fragile minds for love.”

“Ouch. Because I know you mean that.” says the lesbian.

A Boomer man laughs at Lacey.

“Oh please. You’d beg to sleep with me. Plead to. …But…in reality I scare you. Either because I remind you of your mother even if I look 28…or because you fear reality, maturity and depth.” says Lacey to the Boomer.

“Do you actually feel some instinct to parent me?” asks the Boomer.

Elliott laughs pleasantly through Lacey’s mouth.

“Do you want a real answer to that?” he asks.

“Are we even allowed to marry you anymore?” asks the younger, Christian man.

“Don’t ask that!!” says the Boomer.

“So you could be 83?” asks a Boomer woman.

“She could be 103.” says a clear ghost.

“So I am a lovechild for certain?” asks Lacey.

“If she is…and regardless…her genes are possibly very rare at this point.” says Michael.

The Boomer man nods and smiles. Shakes his head in irritation about something sad.

“If she is actually pursued…not accosted or manipulated…by another grown man…she could theoretically marry him if she wants to.” says Michael.

“Are the men prepared to be watched?” asks Lem.

The lesbian woman laughs.

“Don’t you think some trans men might understand your pain at least a little bit more as a woman?” the lesbian woman asks.

“But if they’re not women…how would that be true, really?” asks Lacey.

“You really don’t like women at all?!” she asks nervously.

“No. Not in that way at all.” says Lacey.

“Do you think it’s just…generational?” she asks.

“It might be? I don’t know. I’m trying to figure it out.” says Lacey. “But I like grown men. I know that much.”

The lesbian looks stunned by something. “So…men in our generation, technically, as you are technically 38…seem different.” Her mouth drops open in awe. “Like, I can feel that.” she says flirtatiously.

Lacey ignores it the flirting. “Yes. They seem more like men. They seem able to actually make love. Not just fake it and delude themselves into thinking they genuinely orgasmed.”

“Dude. You just blasted my last attempt to come on to you.” says the lesbian.

“I’m not a dude. But of course I did. I don’t like women in that way.” says Lacey in pained exasperation.

“People in your generation, should you be a lovechild, actually said what they mean so much more I think.” The lesbian throws back a beer.

“Why wouldn’t you say what you mean? What kind of nonsense is it being so…childish? Or do people think that’s sophisticated nowadays?” asks Lacey.

The woman looks slightly hurt.

“Listen, I’m not a simp because I don’t play mentally cruel games with people to feel superior. I don’t respect you for continuing to come on to me. I’ve been very clear.” and at that Lacey walks off.

“Oh! Come on! She’s still into you! She’s icky if she’s not! Or a total bitch!” says a cool-dude-player-Gen X member to the lesbian. “Stupid, backward witch!” He scoffs. Goes on to play pool.

The lesbian doesn’t know whether to laugh at him or not. It feels too cruel. She stifles a smirk.

“Do you believe straight women exist?” asks the lesbian of the Gen X cool-dude. She joins him to play pool. Hi

“Yeah? But like, that woman isn’t straight.” he muses.

The lesbian readies her shot. “So, how do you know? Come on. Tell me.” she asks.

“It’s just the way she walks. Like, she looks so…frigid. But then you look at her face and you can tell she wears some makeup. So it’s not that she’s…cold.” He considers. The woman plays her move. He pauses his response. “I think it’s just that…she seems…like she’s not really expressing her sexuality and often that means a person isn’t straight. And I think it just all adds up to that in my head.”

The lesbian tries not to cry.

“That she’s like…queer. I mean, she could be an old fart. But like, that’s weird. Because she looks 17 or 19 in some ways too.”

The woman stands-up and stares ahead blankly. Breathing. Blinking.

“What about her look is offensive to you?” she asks.

He considers. It crosses his mind. Does he answer honestly or not?

“I feel like, if she wore red lipstick like some women do nowadays she’d look what I’d consider hot.” He looks creeped out then. “But it’s weird how good it’d look on her. Like, why? You know? Is she like, a vampire?”

“Taylor Swift wears red lipstick, if I’m not mistaken. Right?” the lesbian asks.

He looks stunned. “What are you implying?!”

She shrugs. “Just, like why isn’t she creepy?”

“But then that means that that woman is hiding her sexuality so I don’t get creeped out by her.” he says.

She shrugs. “What if she is? What would you expect her to do? Be open and scare you? Or be excruciatingly careful and make you feel terrified but able to psychologically process it?”

He thinks. His breathing quickens. “I’m pretty sure she’s been married.” he says.

“Well, maybe he isn’t as scared by her. Maybe his genes are rarer than your genes in some way. Be careful what you wish for.” she says.

“Are you talking about Jews intermarrying?” he asks.

“We’re ghosts playing pool. But she didn’t know that. Did she?” the woman turns to the readers. “Did you know I was a ghost? If you were a writer what if I started interacting with you as you planned a novel? And God allowed it? Am I a demon then, just because I’m not just your imagination? Am I still a ghost? Why would God allow this…if I’m a dead woman playing pool? Be careful.”

“Yeah! Are you a witch for reading this? Or a wizard? Or a Satanist? Or a backslider?” asks the guy. “Or did we trick you?! I bet you knew! You must have! You’re too good and smart and sane to be fooled. You should repent!” He laughs. “Oh! I’m definitely a demon now? Or no? Maybe you’re still just a human who needs to be wise and not so vain.”

“Wow. You’re angry.” says the woman.

“You know, I am. People need to stop lying. They often just want to be superior. That’s all. And if it isn’t that then they need to grow-up. Accusing people of being a witch or a Satanist or a liar or a pedophile or a demon possessed person…or even an idiot is serious. And that’s fine if it’s to convict someone of their sin or to protect the innocent. But it’s serious. Lacey isn’t your friend. Stop thinking you can destroy her or people like her.”

“And by friend he means stop being so overly familiar with her. It’s very foolish. She’s not a cruel or cold person. But…don’t talk to her like she’s a dumb old lady with too many cats. She’s not.” she says.

“Because she’s not asexual. She’s just not into midriffs or being so-called aesthetic.” says Michael.

“Would you like to see her on display?” asks Joe.

“What kind of reaction have you had when you’ve been more natural?” asks a man reading.

“I’ve never been daring enough to really dress normally almost ever. When I have I’ve been given too much attention and it felt horrifying.”

“Why?” asks the lesbian preemptively.

Elliott laughs.

“Because I didn’t want that much attention. Or power. Or control. It felt very lonely.” says Lacey.

“Even though you were their age.” says the man, sadly.

“Yes. It felt…like being rejected by life itself. Partially.”

“You became your father’s daughter.” says someone.

“So if you are a love child then who is your mom in Heaven?” asks the man.

“I would assume whoever my father’s soulmate is?” says Lacey.

“She’d have a grandmother! And an aunt.” says a ghost.

“Why did I get involved?” asks Elliott.

“Or me?” asks Babe.

“We’re all interconnected.” says Truman.

“It’s a friendship conspiracy!” says a Boomer ghost teasingly.

“Can you be with a man your age?” asks a Christian man again.

“Have you prayed about it?” asks the Christian woman.

“I have prayed. Honestly, it’s very confusing. I don’t know. I assume if they’re ghosts that God will use them to protect me like a living husband if necessary. But I don’t know. It’s…baffling. If I ever met a man my age who loved me who I also could love, I’d pray about what to do. But I don’t think I ever have.”

“Not even your ex?” asks the Christian man.

“She’s already explained that!” says the lesbian.

“I have.” says Lacey.

“You really don’t think he loved you?” asks a Gen X man.

“I highly doubt he loved me romantically all that much. But he loves me some, I think. More than he loved anyone else. Not enough for a marriage…but more than he loved anyone else. But no, it’s more close friendship than that.” says Lacey.

“And she means that very literally!” pleads a ghost.

“Where did all the people go?” asks the Christian man.

“Well…they were either aborted, killed, or as in my case possibly not conceived.” says Lacey.

“No worries! I still have plenty of time to conceive more of you! They might start talking to the ghosts of some of you starting in their 40’s…but…” a 79 year old man boasts.

“I’m better off! I have three more years to spare. And what? How old was your father?” he pauses. “Supposedly.”

“88.”

“How old was your model mom?” asks a Boomer.

“Probably 26 or 27?” says Lacey. She thinks. “Maybe 28 or 29 even?”

“And she knew him for how many years before conceiving you?” asks a woman.

“If she was 21 when she met him at 78 and 32 when she conceived you…then that’s 11 years. Or if she was 20 and 28 that’s eight years.” says someone.

The 79 year old laughs.

“I could find the right 21 year old woman attractive.” he admits.

“And fall in love?” asks a younger man.

“Not as likely. But…under the right circumstances and if I really felt a connection with her… She’d have to be very special.” he says.

His older wife smiles. “I’m not a prude, but no. We don’t have an open marriage, but I wouldn’t keep him from his true love. I hope.” she says. In conclusion.

“Neither would I!” the other older man says. “I’m a ladies man. And I’d just stay away to ensure his chances.”

“What if your mom had just broken-up with her boyfriend and got off birth control because of it?” asks a woman.

“There are other explanations too.” says someone.

“And she forgot she needed to avoid pregnancy?” asks someone else.

“And she went back to the older man to feel better about herself post break-up and conceived Lacey?” someone responds.

“Was your father, should he be your father, hot?” asks a gay, young man.

“He looks like me too much. So if he’s my father it’s difficult for me to answer that honestly.” says Lacey.

“He was like my father.” says Jack. “They may have even had similar health problems.” He thinks. “And if he’s her father he had brown eyes, sandy blond hair, a cleft chin, broad shoulders, and an enormous amount of charisma and charm when he wanted.”

“He was a blond?” asks Lacey.

“Close.”

“Is homosexuality allowed in Heaven?” asks the lesbian.

“It’s unclear.” says Lacey.

“It seems unlikely to be allowed to you. But not clear enough to say that definitively.” she says. “It’s clearly Christianity but not the bullies or the bullied Christianity.”

“True. And yet, in regard to Christianity, as much as my faith allows, so to speak. …But…I don’t think I know how to approach that topic correctly right now.” says Lacey. “Not because I’m hiding something about my sexual orientation but because I don’t know the correct way to discuss it.”

“You really are your father’s daughter. You don’t want anyone to go to Hell. But yet you also refuse to be mushy about it.” says someone.

And regardless, that’s true. Not openly.

Louis sighs, exasperated.

“Elliott, why do men like you do what they do…when they could get married, settle down, raise a family, play it really safe and live a simple life?” asks someone different.

He starts to cry. “I-“ He collects himself. “I think they need time. They don’t make the assumptions other people do. But then they also don’t see what most men see at times. And it can make them hard and cold inside or it can make them bitter or it can make them smart. Too smart for their own good. …And men are mere men. It’s to avoid boredom. And live. But it’s never what it seems to be. And yet, it often takes time to realize that. …You don’t see it right away.”

“I wish Christians were more able to help me, if you’re ghosts.” says Lacey.

“Like telling you how to pray for them in Purgatory?” asks someone. “Or warning you about the pitfalls of falling in love with a man who lives with God forever?”

“Yes, should that be what’s going on.” says Lacey.

“So if they’re able to arouse dead men through you to make them sleep with you…they think they can use that for their occultish purposes?” asks a reader. Who believes in the Illuminati.

“Does it really work though if there’s a God?” another reader asks.

Lacey smiles. “Sometimes I think God chooses to let witches get their way at times, if it furthers His purposes. And doesn’t lead them farther from Him, but let’s them see that He cares. And isn’t heartless. So…if the Illuminati is trying to harness my kisses with an actual ghost to control angry mobs outside a hospital to protect the patients…I’ll let God decide how He chooses to use all that stuffy stuff. It’s His stuff when it comes to me.” says Lacey.

“That can’t be what they care about?” says a conspiracy theorist.

“Why not? Are they all cool-kids? Too-cool-for-school-kids?!” asks Lacey.

“Yeah! That’s what they advertised as!” says a smart, bad-guy, narcissistic fool. Reading my blog.

“I’ll send demons up your ass!” yells a hateful witch not in the Illuminati.

“And that’s unlikely.” says Lem.

“Are we just mad that you and Lem kissing isn’t making the US great again?” asks a reader.

“They could sacrifice another sheep!” says a Catholic humorously.

Michael laughs.

“The thing is…a lot of it does work.” says Lacey. “That’s the problem.”

“What do you mean?” asks a Christian.

“They’re not stupid. …Necessarily. It’s more that…it’s dangerous. Should it exist. And we aren’t God. We can’t see inside people’s hearts. So it’s all…so dangerous.” she explains.

“So…it’s like literally playing with not only your eternity…but the nature of existence?” asks someone.

“Pulling at the strings that hold it all together in order to see what can be done?” Lacey wonders.

“It’s the audience trying to control the production?” they wonder too.

“And isn’t it tempting to if you think you know how?” asks Harold.

“It would be.” says Lacey.

Silence.

“I feel bad for them.” says Lacey. “They often seem more filled with the real Holy Spirit than many charismatic Christians do. God isn’t a pedophilic rapist.”

“Do you think Charismatic Christians are all going to Hell?” asks a Catholic.

“I certainly hope not. I hope they’re actually Christians. But I do not respect the way they all worship the God of the Bible. To me it looks akin to using the American flag to wipe your bottom after using the toilet. Poop on the Stars and Stripes every time you have diarrhea.” she responds.

“But Lacey, you should respect the way they worship the creator of the universe! It’s like respecting people who are dating.” says Michael.

“How in the world does that comparison make sense?” asks Lem.

“I think it’s something to do with…letting them experience God the way they want to? Like…you have to trust God is actually moving in the situation?” Lacey suggests.

“Like, He wants them to raise their hands and dance together every Sunday?” asks Lem.

“Or bang their heads and scream.” says Lacey.

“What did you do in those situations?” asks Michael.

“I felt attacked. And coerced.” says Lacey.

“Well, it didn’t help that you actually were. Didn’t some adult in power command you personally to try harder to be more demonstrative a few times?” asks Lem.

“Yes. I was very hurt.” says Lacey.

“Please! They regularly forced her to be in front waving flags as a child. She was bullied by adults to be very demonstrative.” says Michael.

“And they were at the cutting edge of the Charismatic Movement.” says Lacey.

Michael nods his head in understanding.

“Why do you dislike Charismatic churches?” asks someone laughing.

Lacey laughs. “I don’t dislike God. I’m very much still a Christian. I just…know that some Charismatic practices feel more like witchcraft, possible insanity, or paganism than Christianity. Not all. Not all.” says Lacey.

“How do you separate the not Christian ones from the Christian ones?” asks Harold.

“It’s about the heart. And sometimes it’s unclear. But…often enough it becomes obvious what’s really going on.” she says.

“So like, women who dress scantily in seductive ways pretending to be doing spiritual warfare are actually just trying to get attention. Because I think that’s probably happened…” says Elliott.

“Or waving plastic swords around to kill demons…may be dangerous.” says Lacey. “And I’ve seen that.”

“You’ve seen so-called birthing.” says Lem. “Right?

“I’ve seen a lot of things probably still considered edgy. My parents ran in that crowd.” says Lacey.

“When was that?” asks Michael.

“The early to mid 1990’s.” says Lacey.

“How old were you?” asks Lem.

“I was 9 or 10 at first.” she says.

“So you’ve been slain in the spirit?” asks Michael.

“Slightly.” she smiles.

“Was it any different than what you experience with us?” asks Lem. “I’ve pushed you before. Was it like that?”

“That was less evil feeling, to be honest. I felt…scared and abandoned.” says Lacey. “Although at the time I didn’t realize it.”

“What do you think God was saying?” asks Harold. The Jew.

“That it wasn’t His will for me to be violated, but that He wanted and wants to honor my heart in trying to fervently worship Him.” says Lacey. “Possibly.”

“Did you ever feel like you were in the 1940’s?” asks Joe Jr..

“During the worship services?” asks Lacey.

“Yes.” says Harold.

“Yes. And before and after.” says Lacey.

“You know, if they were accidentally or intentionally indulging in witchcraft…or science they don’t understand…or both…I think you may have actually gone back in time.” says Louis.

“In my head or in my spirit?” asks Lacey.

“In some expert’s estimation.” says Louis.

“What kind of expert?” asks Lacey.

“An expert estimator of the Holy Spirit.” says Hunter S. Thompson.

“Did they actually alter my reality?” asks Lacey.

“I doubt God would allow that.” Hunter responds.

“So they’re doing things invisible that they think are either secretly meaningless or they are possibly too reckless with?” asks Lacey.

“They feel pushed back.” says Lem. “You were told to go get pushed back. To be slain.”

“What pushed me?” she asks. She sees a fallen angel.

“That’s a very deceitful entity. It just pretended to be Michael.” She casts it into Hell in Jesus’ name. It did feel familiar to those church experiences though.

“Do you think every time a Christian is slain in the spirit they’ve been attacked by evil entities?” asks Lem.

A shadow races across her kitchen.

“Hopefully not. I doubt I’ve ever experienced the real thing if it exists.” says Lacey.

“And it felt different with Lem?” asks Michael.

“It felt like being touched by my ex-husband. As in, a man. Not a force.” Lacey says. “Of course, I can’t guarantee you’re not a demon but…if you’re a man…”. She sighs. “You’re far less scary. But I trusted God. And the adults.”

“Thank goodness you trusted God.” says a reader.

“If they’re ghosts…He’s possibly beyond livid. And I’m just one example of His unfathomable rage. Because He may be allowing me to live among the dead saints before death to sort it out. …But if they’re not…then what? He’s still God. But I’m what? Profoundly attacked incessantly by Hell? And my confusion about whether I’m talking to ghosts or demons in my loneliness is as good as it gets for 40+ years before I die. And go where? To Hell?” asks Lacey. “Damn those Charismatic white ones be hot shit! Let’s worship their sexy asses as they shake their Heaven bound tits for their sexy savior? Their hot daddy in the sky? Their brother who fucks them in Heaven? With the kisses of his mouth touching the Earth or their shaking crotches?”

“We don’t think mom liked your church! Sorry!” says a Boomer actress in the Illuminati. “I’m sure she just misunderstood your hearts.

“Now they’ll think I’m your actual mother.” says Lacey.

“She’s not.” says Louis. “They’re not related.”

“Then who are her kids? Your infinite, untouchable superiors?” asks Lem of the Charismatics. “Because what if I made them? Using the power given to me by you all…and God?”

“Or I could have.” says Louis.

“Or me.” says Michael.

“Do you all know what you’re doing? And what if the Bride of Christ is a metaphor and nothing more? …And sometimes you may mean well…or not…but you go too far? And God has to clean it up by letting a ghost create a child?” asks Elliott of Charismatics.

“But they’re still my ex-husband’s kids.” says Lacey.

“Or what if they get to have a step-father who they also resemble if they want…in Heaven?” asks Lem.

“How did God use Lem to create her children?” asks a white supremacist who’s offended on behalf of Charismatics.

“They’re outside of time. So if I slept with him…somewhat innocently, at least…outside of time…it may have retroactively brought them into this world.” says Lacey.

“And she’s not dead yet.” says Babe. “We’ll see who she belongs to.”

“They are her kids. Whoever she is with. And her ex-husband’s too.” says Scott.

“So are Charismatics possibly seducing fallen angels with their ‘Let’s sleep with Jesus’” music?” asks the actress.

“That’s a horrifying thing to consider. Because…it sounds so likely to me right now. But they can’t all be that evil-hearted, I hope.” Lacey says.

“Yeah, you are beautiful but you don’t mean a thing to me…in that way.” says Michael on behalf of Christ to all humans to ever exist.

“Golly, I really genuinely hope that wasn’t a demon pretending to be a ghost to defend Christ.” says Lacey. “I’m sorry for putting your possible sin so crassly. But what are you all doing?”

“They should serve beer, get babysitters, buy condoms, blast their tunes, turn down the lights, use the smoke and lights, and see what happens if they dare to ask God to truly show them.” says Elliott. “And if a real Anti-Christ is born in their church from a real female Satanist…sleeping with the married pastor…they can all claim to be the parents. Of the Anti-Christ.” says Elliott. “See! I sound worse. Or they might fall asleep. They might bore themselves if they weren’t trying to get high off Christ. Or…they might just decide to run around the church in circles and exercise.”

“They all might hate me more now.” says Lacey.

“Well, hopefully their God isn’t their best-friend-husband who hates you now.” says Elliott. “I mean like, you are in so much trouble.” He looks at her in a high school hallway. “You slept with Lem and your ex-husband. And even though you’ve asked God to forgive you more than once…than once…He’s not cool with you criticizing his wife’s way of praying to molest his son en masse in most Protestant churches in the US. I mean…He can’t forgive your sins. He’s not Yahweh or just God, he’s god. God F. Washington. A bigamist from Ohio with superpowers who is scared you’ll get social services involved to take his son God F. Washington Jr. away from him. He’s an abusive, abused bigamist who empathizes with sin. Kind of like Satanists say Satan is, but his name is God. …He’s not offended by his wife. He loves her forever without any questions or accountability. …He’s offended by the crackers who want to take his son away. Or who!? The blacks? Because he can’t lose his new wife like he lost Israel.” He shakes his head. “Israel Smuthers. Nah! You in trouble. He gonna take you down. If that little brat Jr. wants to run away to Earth again it’s easier than finding a new wife. Again!”

“He sounds like an unfit father.” says Lacey.

“Shh! Now you are really going to make him angry. He’s…a wimp. He gets confused really easily too. Like…Israel used to hit him real hard over the head. And he’s probably almost brain dead. But…like…he’s still god. God Washington.”

“So he knows…nothing other than how to be a hoe?” asks Lacey.

“Shh! It’s just…his thing.” He shrugs his shoulders. “He isn’t-“ He leans in and whispers. “He isn’t the actual God. The one with the name God. He’s a thug who likes to get it on. With his wife. But he gets bored easily so he marries groups of people and calls them all ‘his wife.’ He’s a wildly insatiable polygamous beast. He’s God Washington and if you think Jr. should be put in foster care….he’ll have to be kept in the dark until he has to sign the papers. And then his wife needs to be drunk. Drunk off her ass on his spirits. He’s got a lot of it. But he hates when people question his wife.” He lights up a fake cigarette. “Man! Dude hates that. He hates that!”

Louis smiles. “That’s not my God.”

“No! Lou. He’s God Washington.”

“Oh! You mean an evil, very powerful wizard? Or Satan? Who’s God except for God?”

“You feel like that name shouldn’t be used for anyone but anyone but God?” asks Lacey.

“They aren’t God.” says Lou.

“But…they love the wife?” says Lacey.

“Oh! Those lonely people?” says Lou.

“A good, sad, desperate wifey? Now, see…that’s where Mr. Washington is trying to be cool. It’s how he keeps her. And he’s a loser who needs a clingy, pushy, deranged whore who won’t leave. He learned that the hard way when he tried to get over Israel. She was just a whore. A rich whore. And he realized he just needed someone even more pathetic.” says Elliott.

“Like us?” says Lou getting confused by the name God.

“No! I’m not sleeping with God Washington. I’m not like that anyway. I just pray to God for all of them.” says Elliott.

Silence.

“Shh!” says Michael. “God Washington is getting ready to cry. He hates when people criticize his wife.” He looks at Lacey. “Shh! Let’s scram.”

They all make a run for it.