It started soon after she learned how to drive. She was on her way to the store for a loaf of bread. It felt like someone was sitting in the passenger seat and then she heard the voice. It said, “Hello. How are you doing?”
She answered, “Fine, but maybe not the happiest I’ve ever been.”
“You know I love you, right?”
The question startled her. “I don’t even know you.”
“Sure you do.”
This was the first of the conversations that only took place in the car for the better part of a year and then she noticed the presence on the sofa while she was curled up reading a book or sipping tea while watching a rerun of a sitcom. She imagined her feet being rubbed, but in bed, whole body massages became fairly routine so she finally asked, “Do you want to … you know?”
“I thought you’d never ask.”
And so they did and the orgasms were better than any she’d experienced with her boyfriends or even with her second cousin behind their grandparent’s barn that one time and she was conflicted about this. She wasn’t a ‘practicing’ anything, but after a birthday party for her sister’s kid, she stopped at the First Lutheran Church on Elm. She knocked on the pastor’s door and told him what she was up to.
“You’ll have to see a priest about this,” he said. He made a few phone calls and soon the room held not only a priest, but a deacon and a nun. She told her tale again then posed with her wrists up, pleading for an answer. “Is it wrong to love God like that?”
“That’s not God.”
“No. It’s a demon.”
“Possibly a possession.”
“We’ll have to discuss this.”
“Why don’t you run home now?”
“Go on, dear.”
And she did go on, but not to her house because she had seen movies with priests and what they did to those they thought were possessed. She talked to God in her car while she was driving around. “What should I do?”
So she did and she remembered that the clergy didn’t know where she lived and she hadn’t given them her phone number so she went home and had wave after crash of orgasms with God and he was pleased and she was, too.
The next morning, the knock on the door was loud. The priest had brought a pack of rabbis, reverends, pastors and even more nuns. There were Buddhists and Emirs, two Mormons and even a man claiming he was an atheist.
“We have to speak to you.”
“What’s this about?”
She knew it was never a good thing to hear a priest laugh and this one chuckled derisively. They let themselves in and told her she had to stop what she was doing. It was against everyone’s religion they said. God doesn’t talk to people, let alone have sex with them.
“It’s more like making love,” she mused.
“That’s even worse.”
“We’ll help you, dear,” the Mother Superior said, taking her hand.
She recoiled at the touch. “No. You married Jesus Christ. I just love God. He loves me. I can’t help that your husband is cold to you.”
There was mumbling from the Buddhist and the snake handler told him to pipe down.
“Really, no good can come of this. You must stop it.”
“Fine,” she lied.
“I’ll stay with her and make sure she does,” a novice nun offered. Satisfied, the clergy circus left.
“What is it like?” The nun asked when they were alone.
“It is glorious.”
The nun didn’t let the girl who loved God out of her sight. She slept in the same room with her, watched over her at work and rode in the backseat of the car everywhere the girl went. The nun grew alarmed when the girl’s body started to change. She waited up far past their accustomed bedtime and called her brother John, a Baptist. “You’re not going to believe this,” she reported in a whisper, “but it’s happening again.”
There was a long, sad sigh on the other end of the phone. “I’ll tell the others.”
Coming out of the grocery store with a box of fish sticks and the novice nun trailing behind her, the girl noticed a mass of black Cadillacs in the parking lot. She stopped and the automatic door swooshed close behind her. She thought to turn around, but the flood of female penguin forms had her surrounded and pushed her into the back of the lone limo that pulled up to the door. She clawed at the window, upset at being betrayed like this.
“What did you think would happen?” the Hassidic Jew asked while combing out one of his curls, “We told you to stop.”
“You don’t end up knocked up with the Lord’s child if you’d quit him.”
They drove to the top of the tallest ridge in the state park. Piles of rocks stood at the ready. Placed in the center, the girl who loved God could not outrun nor out-duck the barrage that assailed her head, her body, and that of the child within her.
When they were done, they said a prayer for forgiveness and watched her body ascend to the heavens to be a bride in spirit form, the only way they imagined love with God could be properly experienced by a mere girl.
About the author
T. L. Sherwood is Fiction Editor at r.kv.r.y. Quarterly Literary Journal and recently joined the staff of Literary Orphans. She has received several awards in the Mary Kennedy Eastham Flash Fiction Competition. She volunteers at the West Falls-Colden Community library and participates in Zoetrope’s Virtual Studio. Her blog, Creekside Reflections, can be found at http://tlsherwood.wordpress.com/