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   Chapter 10 No.10

The Time Saving Agency By Christina Engela Characters: 6076

Updated: 2018-06-29 12:01


"Freakin' Crabby-grass!" He muttered, watching it slink away, gibbering.

* * *

Ramsley Valcovar the Second had graduated from the Puritan Secular School on Uripides with honors. Born into a wealthy family, he always wanted the kind of posting where he could settle into a routine of comfort and class, where he would hold three services every Sunday and be invited round for opulent dinners by the well-to-do members of his congregation. Deanna had been all that for him. There were a lot of Puritans here. Weddings paid better than funerals (but at least he wasn't required to actually smile at funerals) and they were far more numerous. Some people married more times than he cared to speculate about, whereas most people only died once. Anyway, funerals lasted longer than some marriages. Then again, the divorce ceremonies were small private affairs and there were even more of those. Like banks, churches were legally allowed to charge for all services rendered, and he could charge more for those. (This week's special was on Salvation, which could be purchased with one simple click on the Church's page on the Interweb.)

Almost nobody attended the divorce ceremonies, but there was usually a small retinue which normally consisted of at least two lawyers and a pair of big men and one or two trauma counselors who would hang around in case any brawls broke out. Paramedics would wait outside in case anyone needed them. The mothers-in-law usually attended, looking rather pleased and self-satisfied and wearing smug 'I told you so' expressions.

As a Puritan minister, he was expected to see to the spiritual needs of his congregation. This meant he spent much of his time visiting widows and orphans and otherwise engaging in unorthodox forms of ministry and evangelism (and Good Works at the local yout

able and a sudden hush filled the tabernacle. Even 'Virgin Snow' fell silent. A rushing sound followed, like Strauss being played backwards very quickly. Then came a bright flash and tendrils of blue lightning earthed on metal bits around the building with a loud sizzling noise, and the congregation was rudely showered with little blue sparks. With a sudden 'whoof', the big flower arrangement up front burst into flames.

Nano-seconds later, with awful suddenness and a distinct and almost comical 'pop' sound, Brad Xyl appeared on the stage, live and unplugged. He stared, wild-eyed and looking somewhat ruffled. As he stood there, rocking from side to side – his legs spread wide – as hate, anger, agony, confusion filled his eyes. His mouth was distorted in a horrible grimace, hands raised, and fingers clawing the air as though he could physically climb it. His clothes were blackened and charred by the torture of passing through waves of compressed time. Wisps of smoke rose slowly from his short black hair, which was standing on end. His eyes turning upwards like the churning cherries in a slot machine, veins bulging on his neck and forehead, he finally lifted his head up and screamed out loud.

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