Sorry, Father

Another response to a prompt on Writer’s Digest that I could not post. I did try deleting a few words that might have tripped up the filter, but to no avail, so they have been restored in this version.


It was a simple plan. 1) Get born of a virgin. 2) Start a new major religion. 3) Be martyred in the hands of a figuratively-rabid crowd at a rally for a literally-rabid demagogue. All I had to do was take the stage and drone on about love, peace, interracial reproduction, and pansexuality, and “the people” would do the rest.

The cheeseburger was not in the Divine Plan.

We arrived about an hour early, not having known that in Portland, Oregon, public transportation actually ran on time. I told my disciples to spread out through the crowd at the Convention Center, ready to agitate and be martyred with me.

I looked for a place to have lunch.

Really, I was ready for my sacrifice. I didn’t have the kind of doubt that had bedeviled my siblings and all those prophets that Father had sent to this world. I had no attachment to this world, like those who had chosen to become cult leaders instead.

But I was going to miss cheeseburgers. They don’t have cheeseburgers in Heaven.

I headed toward Murder Burger at the food court. They didn’t have a line, and surely they had cheeseburgers.

I was greeted with, “Welcome, Friend! Have you eaten here before?”

I sighed. This was one of those over-pretentious hipster joints. “No.”

The “friend” handed me an iPad. “Here is your freedom of choice. If you flick…”

“Whoa!” The phrase “peanut butter” had caught my eye. This infuriated me. Not only did my soon-to-be-literally-sainted mother have peanut allergies. So did many of my disciples, and we had a strict No-Peanut Doctrine. “Peanuts?”

“Of course!” He grinned proudly. “Sourced from our founder’s family farm in…”

“Don’t you know peanuts kill people?”

“Oh, no, these are organically grown.”

I rolled my eyes, and flipped through the menu, becoming increasingly confused. Where was the cheeseburger? “Can I get a cheeseburger without it?”

“Ummm… no, it’s in our grass-fed…”

“There are peanuts in your cheeseburgers?”

“Well, we don’t have ‘cheeseburgers’. You can add your choice of goat brie, walnut chevre, and…”

“Walnuts???” Now I was filling up with Wrath.

“Why, yes, they are…”

“Look, all I want is a cheeseburger! You hipsters have ruined beer! And salami! And pizza! And now you are ruining cheeseburgers?”

“But, Friend…”

“Don’t ‘friend’ me, you devil-spawn!” I spread my arms in anger. “You are the ones who are destroying all that is Good and Right in Creation! This madness must stop! You and your pork-belly pastrami!!! You all be gone to Hell!!!”

The thing about angels is that they kinda’ just do what you tell them. By the time I realized what I had done, it was too late, and I was standing in the rubble of the Convention Center. Tens of thousands of attendees, all dead.

The cops came incredibly quickly, and whisked me away to the nearest Black Site.

Sorry, Father.

Sorry, Mom; I thought you’d be sainted for sure.