Category Archives: serial

The Man Who Ran for God (Conclusion)

V. Fight the Good Fight of the Faith

God Don’t Care?”
Six weeks or so after Paris, Gideon Dodd slapped a heavy manuscript onto his pal Ray Wachstetter’s desk.

“Just in time for Christmas,” he said.

Ray repeated himself, his bifocals casting a white glare on the title page. “But, Gid— God Don’t Care? Do you think that’ll play? It’s a bit sacrilegious, not to mention a grammatical nightmare—”

“Someone’s got to stand up to Him,” said Dodd. “Someone’s gotta call Him out on His baloney.”

Wachstetter shuffled a wetted thumb through the paper stack. He grabbed at messy horseshoe-hair tufts and frowned. “You’re the most devoted Christian I’ve ever met. This— This is a declaration of war on God.” Continue reading

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The Man Who Ran for God (pt. 14)

SELAH: V

There is the smell of fresh-baked apple pie, made foul by the mingling acrid odors of blood, mildew, flatulence.

Hanging slouched off the left side of a cushioned, regal chair, the Pope dips a zig-zag finger into the pie and suckles it. His lips tremble.

Any minute now. Continue reading

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The Man Who Ran for God (pt. 12)

SELAH: IV

It’s been three weeks since the debate at Radio City Music Hall.

And tonight, Benjamin Dunwoodie hugs a beach pail with his thighs and dry heaves into it. Only a thimbleful of bile plops out into the bucket. There isn’t much left in him; he hasn’t been the same since Tanzania.

“I am certain you understand our… disappointment.” Continue reading

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The Man Who Ran for God (pt. 11)

XIV. …And Be Content with What You Have

Three years before the Tanzania affair, Gideon Dodd thanked the man at the hardware store as he dropped two copies of a key into the preacher’s hand.

He paid for the discounted wood scraps in his cart — they’d make nice whittling — and turned onto the road that led out of the city.

In his two-seater sports car, he wound up and down hills, listening to contemporary Christian music, humming along. About twenty minutes away from the nearest gas station, he turned onto a gravel drive and led up a steep incline into an unpaved parking lot. He parked, put on the emergency brake, and stepped out into the muggy summer air.

Breathing it in, he smelled lilac and fresh-mown grass.

Whistling, the wind ruffling his collar and short sleeves, Gideon walked past a weathered and cracked sign reading CHRIST SANCTUARY NON-DENOMINATIONAL CHURCH. While he tucked his aviators into his breast pocket, he didn’t even look at the rented yard banner that said WELCOME AND GOD BLESS OUR NEW PASTOR, G DEON D0DD. Continue reading

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The Man Who Ran for God (pt. 10)

VII. Therefore My Harp Is Tuned to Mourning

“Who died?”

In America, five years before Gideon Dodd would don the very same outfit to honor his deceased wife, he straightened a black tie and practiced a somber punim in the mirror of his grandiose dressing room. A woman at the mahogany door spoke to him as though she didn’t see he was wearing headphones. But she saw.

Most would not have even registered the brief flicker of Dodd’s eyes up, left, and back down to the silky wad in his fumbling hands. But Maria Gutierrez was more observant than most. She knew he saw her. She knew he recognized her. Continue reading

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