I wrote a new story for Fiction Writing. She told us to write a folk tale, and we discussed all the archetypes of folk tales and all that bullshit, and I came up with one that’s simply awful.
Essentially, a clean-cut, religious farmer’s son named Charlie decides to ask God if He can save his sister, who is very ill. God takes a pass on that issue, but He decides Charlie would be perfect for a quest. Did I mention that this all takes place in a biker bar? Did I also mention that God is portrayed as a foul-mouthed alcoholic pedophile whose position in the universe is the equivalent of middle management?
Charlie’s quest is to stop the Rapture, which is one of those things God thought sounded good at the time, but then He realized that maybe it’s bad in general. Charlie is reluctant to accept his fate, but when God gives him a nasty case of hemorrhoids and causes him to shit out a bloody map of the United States with small turds indicating his destinations, Charlie decides to hit the road.
Along the way, he meets Jesus (who has been condemned to running a diner in Wyoming after crashing God’s car), a talking manatee named Rance, and a transient named Philip. They finally piece together their true purpose—go to Los Angeles, find an Enchanted 7-Eleven, and defeat the Devil, who is just chilling out and waiting for the Rapture to start so he can unleash all sorts of demons from the underworld.
Jesus explains that a weapon will reveal itself to Charlie when they reach their final confrontation, and one does—a Slim Jim. In what is probably the ultimate deus ex machina of American fiction, Charlie snaps into a Slim Jim, makes the Devil explode, and then he, Jesus, Rance, and Philip ride off into the sunset to watch Must-See TV Thursday.
I had no particular goal in mind to offend anybody, although I imagine if there are any religious types in class (I don’t think there are), they might get a little irritated at my characterizations of, you know, things that they worship. I really just wanted to write the most fucked-up folk tale that I could. I think I succeeded, if only for the hemorrhoid/bloody shit map scene.