Friday, December 6, 2013

Friday Flash Fiction: A Gathering Of Christs

Every Friday Kurt posts a new piece of flash fiction. This week...

A Gathering Of Christs
Word Count: 600

“Can I help you, officer?” asked Ray.

“Evening, sir, sorry to bother you,” said the cop. “Do you own that barn over there?”

Ray looked out across the field. The barn was the only structure for half a mile—apart from his farm house. “Yeah,” he said.

“Mind if we take a look inside it?” asked the cop.

“What’s this about, officer?” asked Ray.

“Well…” the officer took a deep breath. “A baby Jesus was stolen from a Nativity scene. The owners had problems with this before, so they put a GPS in the new one. We think it’s been hidden in your barn over there.”

Ray cocked an eyebrow. “You think I stole baby Jesus?” he asked.

“No, sir, I just think baby Jesus is in that barn.”

“You got a name, son?”

“Tom, sir.”

“Call me Ray.”

The two headed for the barn.

“You got any suspects?” asked Ray.

“No one wants to press charges,” said Tom. “It’s probably just kids. As long as the church gets it back, they’ll be happy.”

“I see,” said Ray. “Yeah, I sometimes catch local teens out here. They come here to drink sometimes. Or to neck.”

“Neck?”

“Yeah, you know, kiss.”

“I know what necking is,” said Tom. “You just don’t hear that word very often nowadays.”

They reached the barn and Ray pulled back the door. “You ain’t got a warrant, do you?” he asked.

“Do I need one?” asked Tom.

“No,” said Ray. “I just want you to know that I don’t allow nobody to do nothing illegal on my property and I run them off if I catch them. So if you find any drugs stashed in here, they ain’t mine, you understand?”

“Sir, I’m just here for the baby,” said Tom.

“Fair enough.”

They entered the barn and Ray turned on a light.

“Holy shit,” said Ray.

“Holy something,” said Tom.

There was more than one Baby Jesus—there were dozens, maybe even a hundred of them, arranged in circles around a small statue of Buddha in the center of the room. The Buddha appeared to be holding a crucifix and a ball of yarn.

“Sir?” asked Tom without turning his head away, “were you aware that there is an unorthodox religious display comprised of stolen property in your barn.”

“First I’ve heard of it,” said Ray, dumbfounded. “I think that statue’s from the Thai place on Grand. Was it reported missing?”

“I’d have to check,” said Tom.

“There’s a phone in the house,” said Ray.

“Nah, I’ll radio it in,” said Tom.

Neither had looked away from the display.

“So, which one do you think it is?” asked Ray.

“Excuse me?” said Tom.

“The baby Jesus that they sent you for. Which do you think it is?”

“I have no idea,” said Tom.

“Maybe you could arrange a line-up,” said Ray. “Have the church pick out a nice one.”

“Lots of Baby Jesuses get stolen this time of year,” said Tom. “Usually they get returned around Easter. But I’ve never, never, seen anything like this before.”

“We should take some pictures before we try to get them back,” said Ray.

“Yeah,” said Tom.

“You okay, son? You seem a little spooked.”

“I’m good,” said Tom.

They headed out of the barn, Tom for his squad car, Ray for his home. Once Tom was out of sight, Ray took his camera back to the barn.

He snapped a few pictures and then shook his head. “I guess they’ll be taking you all away,” he said. “I wonder, though. Which one of you babies ratted us out?”

Edited by Carolyn "OH GOD! YOU CAN'T JUST LEAVE BABIES AROUND!!!" Abram.

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