Chapter One: “God is Forgiveness”
(Most Holy Redeemer Church, NYC – Photo/Photoshopped by Joe)
Late one morning Karl became aware of a subtle change in the air. He had been sitting in a car, stationed outside a Miami orphanage. Through the back window, he spotted a taxi that had just turned onto the street. An uncanny, burning-white light inside the vehicle caught his eye. As he watched it swiftly close in, he was like a child in awe, staring with his eyes beaded and mouth agape. The light emanated from a young couple in the back of the car.
The taxi came to a halt outside the orphanage across the street. The rear passenger-side door opened and the couple exited.
For the time it took them to ascend a handful of steps and vanish into the building, Karl did not take a breath. Beneath the layer of human flesh, his alien lips gave a thin smile. He was certain that the young couple were the chosen ones. God Himself couldn’t have handpicked two better specimens, he thought.
Though Karl hadn’t selected the couple, he had been the one to find Max Beckley.
The alien relaxed in the plush seat and let the calm Miami summer sky fill his field of vision. He remembered the exact day he had abducted Max. August 27, 1776. The date had somehow stayed in his mind, probably because of the importance it held for Max. Karl still remembered looking down upon the sprawling Brooklyn battlefield from his small, open-aired craft. He could remember the flashes of exploding light, and the heavy black and gray clouds of smoke. He even remembered the precise moment he had spotted Max’s beautiful flame. It had sent a shiver through his alien flesh. It was exactly what they were looking for.
In a hasty maneuver, Karl’s craft had fallen from the sky in a blaze of color to Max’s mangled body that was just a few breaths away from death.
Since that day it had been a long and hellish course for Max. They had killed him more times than Karl cared to remember. But what a good soul; one that if all went as planned would soon be perfect.
The alien glanced back to the orphanage. Just beyond the entrance, through the closed curtains of a tinted glass door, he could still make out the pure light of the young couple. Tears welled in the alien’s eyes. A tinge of guilt tugged at his throat. “Max deserved the couple,” he told himself. They would serve him well. And, in the end, maybe they all would benefit.
Karl let his gaze drift up to the second floor window, to the room where Max unknowingly waited for the couple. A sense of anticipation spread over his stomach. He closed his eyes, daydreaming of how eternal light might feel. He imagined the final door opening and a ghostly hand beckoning him onward. It was then that from the primeval depths of his mind came a long-dismissed hope… God is forgiveness.
Here are all the posts in this series: Episode Thirty-Six
Most Holy Redeemer Church in the East Village (Photos only)