FAITHFUL, BETRAYED, BELIEVER
FAITHFUL, BETRAYED, BELIEVER
by E.C. McMullen Jr.
“It doesn’t make sense,” my grandchild said.
She watched the devout make their way toward the last church.
“This,” I told her, “is the aftermath of Christianity. The aftermath, in fact, of all Supreme Being religions.”
“But why would anyone go when they know there is no God?”
“They aren’t going for God,” I said, coughing on the word.
“During the war, when the Vatican was ransacked and its libraries were exposed, the entire world discovered the complete lineage of lies they had kept. The creation of Jehovah. The creation of Jesus, Satan, even Allah and the Prophet Mohammad. The exposure of the Catholic lies exposed all Christian, Jewish, and Islamic lies.
Which left the faithful adrift. The war crumbled in on itself, and people – ”
“I know all of that Grandpa,” she interrupted irritably. “So why would anyone still go to church?”
“To understand the present you have to know its history,” I said, and cleared my throat. “Churches, Synagogues, and Temples by the millions were destroyed. Beautiful art and antiquities were lost forever in the aftermath of betrayed rage. Those once known as the Faithful became the known as the Betrayed.
There are no gods and likely never were.
So finally there was this one church, Souls of the Sea. The Betrayed came for it too: To plunder its treasures and obliterate it from the earth. Then in the sight of the gathered rapists, the great silver cross above the entrance lit up with an intense white fire. As now, the cross could be seen through night and storm from a hundred miles away. Then as now, it burned with an intensity that neither melted the metal or cracked the stone.
Just as now, clouds encircled the Souls of the Sea, the ocean embraced it, and engineers with their technology came to measure the dynamic energy so focused upon it.”
“What was it?” my granddaughter whispered.
“Lost Souls. The condensed energy of the faithful who died yet found no afterlife to escape to. The destruction of so many churches throughout the world, that once harbored their spirits, set them adrift, making them flee to the ones that remained. Then those too were destroyed, and their combined living energy was left to search for harbor again, until only this one last church was left.
The distilled life force of thousands upon thousands of years of billions upon billions of souls with nowhere else to go, yet forever fueled by an omnipresent sun, all streamed here to infuse the Souls of the Sea. A tipping point occurred, and the church’s silver cross set itself ablaze in pure light.”
She took all that in for a moment as we walked toward the church. Other pilgrims slowly, with measured step, moved around us.
I cleared my throat. “It’s become, in a sense, a lighthouse.”
“So all of these people go to church and don’t believe in god?”
“Yes,” I answered. “These people aren’t god’s Faithful, they have no use for faith or god. But they aren’t the Betrayed anymore, either. These are the Believers. They believe the observable, undeniable proof that our souls exist. That we all exist after our bodies crumble. They all come to here to visit and pay respect to their living dead.”
My beloved grandchild’s hand shrunk back in mine, as if ready to pull from me and flee.
She stuttered, panic edging into her voice. “Why have you brought me here, Grandpa?”
Though my voice was hoarse, I spoke with gentle assurance.
“I heard your Mother call to me last night,” I said. “She yearns to see you, and it’s time you met her.”
Looking at the church with this new knowledge, my grandchild was reluctant with fear, but the curiosity growing in her expression was profound.
I stopped to give her a moment. She swallowed, took a deep breath, and held herself bravely. Only my breathing rattled in the silence. She looked up at me.
“You won’t leave me?”
I coughed and cleared my throat. “I won’t leave you in the church,” I said. “But you’ll be leaving me there when you go.”
Her expression was at first confused, then stricken.
Story by E.C. McMullen Jr.
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