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The Christ Errant Trilogy

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Turnaround, he first in the trilogy, introduces a jaded Jesus H. Christ, PI. After two thousand years of failed divinity, Jesus wakes up in the Texas border town of Turnaround with a case: save the freckled woman. A demonic bounty hunter dogs his steps, and something outside of Jehovah’s Mandate lurks in the desert. Ready for publishing, with a sample below.

Crossover, book two in the Christ Errant trilogy. Shaken by the fallout of Turnaround, Jesus and Red take on a minotaur client. Tenderloin, the minotaur, thinks he's murdered his friends and fellow wind-farmers. It's so much worse. I've got a solid draft, waiting to get final edits on Turnaround before I start in on this one.

Yield, book three in the Christ Errant trilogy. Hell no longer accepts Jesus. He returns from a series of after life to a tourist town split between the Devil's Advocate and the Church of True Believers, the only Christian sect aware of the Christ's ongoing and degenerate existence. Drawing on Red Harvest, Jesus has to keep the town from falling apart after a raid on a magical well challenges the Advocate's drug business and the faith of the True Believers.

Turnaround

Chapter One

A radio played in South Texas. Or rather, a busted old tape deck as likely to eat cassettes as produce sound, spat out an interview taped in the Year of Our Lord 1992. Sixteen years ago. Before podcasts, the detective who stole the car used to sit next to the radio in his office late into the night recording right wing nut job programs on AM radio, taping the ludicrous opinions and research of educated morons. He kept a tape in his duster pockets.

The car’s owner took solace in Christian lunatics. When their religion came with a factory-made default setting.

This show, the Toast of the Coast with Samuel Randolph, starred an aging journalist and misanthrope. His guest that winter’s eve in the nineties was a Dr. Eugene Brooks. Yale graduate, mouth breather, and nose picker. No theology in this episode. Archaeology and anthropology.

Both Mr. Randolph and Dr. Brooks died long before the tape deck played in South Texas. Neither are important to this story.

“Our listeners may find this interesting,” Samuel said, hating his existence with every word, “You’re saying that this mineral, this clay varietal only found in South-East Vietnam, that you found a vase of said clay in Tennessee not four years after the Roswell Incident?”

Samuel took a sip of coffee too close to his microphone. The feedback crackled like a martian’s flatulence. Samuel heard the distortion; he appreciated the irony.

“You only find elements jumping locations in conjunction with paranormal or extraterrestrial events. Clay doesn’t just get up and move, Sam. Is it possible that a Vietnamese person migrated to Tennessee? Absolutely not. I don’t have to remind you about the 1949 discovery in Peru.” Eugene’s laughter resembled a clown’s balloon with the small, open mouth teased in the fingers of a bitter birthday boy.

Few things annoyed Samuel more than guests shortening his given name. Among the things that annoyed him more were cockroaches in his oatmeal, rush hour traffic, and civil war enthusiasts. All common occurrences for the radio personality whose work day ended at seven AM.

“Yes, of course, the Peruvian Cthulu. Who could forget?” He spoke with the confidence that only a complete idiot would forget while wondering if anyone familiar with the Peruvian Cthulu had seen a girl naked. The Peruvian Cthulu was in fact a dragon, the last to grace the skies of this earth in half a century, and many sexually active extra-naturals witnessed the event first-hand. But that story can wait.

Samuel Randolph glanced at the dust cover of the book his guest hawked like a Manhattan mad man with a sandwich board foretelling Armageddon. “And your hypothesis is that this clay varietal,” stifled a groan of a lifetime misspent, “relates directly to JFK’s assassination?”

“Of course. And I’ll-”

Metal smashed the tape deck. The metal was a car jack. To date, the detective never used it to lift a vehicle. Uses included turning off machines out of reach, demolishing flies with gratuitous violence, and general harm to persons greater than one might expect with bare hands. And quicker.

The detective appeared to be in his thirties. “A syphilitic thirty-three,” one client told our dubious hero, “that’s what you look like.”

Our hero’s hair reached past his waist when left to its own devices. His beard crossed his collar bone and continued. He possessed nearly zero body fat which gave the impression, when naked, of a muscular form. In clothes he looked anorexic. He wore a tan duster with belt-loops. He replaced the duster’s belt with a soft black one he borrowed from a War-Mart bathrobe. Underneath was an A-shirt, or wife-beater, and what was once a pair of well-fitting black slacks. Now they were torn. Black leather loafers.

His car jack connected with the power button, silencing Samuel and Eugene. Their voices wouldn’t sound again on Earth though the radio waves spiraled and spun through the solar winds across the universe and wreaked havoc on an intergalactic war light years away that would have Gene Roddenberry creaming his coffin. Don’t worry about Samuel and Eugene. They did not matter very much to themselves, and to this story even less.

Eastern winds pushed a loose leaf of newspaper against our hero’s face. Blood struck the newspaper to the vinyl head rest of the ‘87 Cadillac DeVille. The wind was not constant. It came in spurts and gusts. One moment the overwhelming desert heat pervaded, the next a blowing chill wiped it away. The irregular tempo of the newspaper irritated our hero. It tickled the skin two inches behind and below his ear lobe.

He reached up with the car jack to scratch the spot and discovered that not only was the newspaper irritating; it covered a substantial bruise. The jolt of pain from scratching this bruise with hot metal brought him back to the world of men.

“Fuck me!” he cried unto the heavens. He glanced around.

Seven foot shrubs and trees, only tall enough to provide a false security and too weak to support a grown man’s weight if he should climb for a broad perspective of the landscape. Looking back down the highway whence the DeVille traveled, the highway stretched so far he couldn’t tell where the last turn had been. In front, a few miles off, a nothing town. Lost in an expanse.

Gunpowder lingered in the air, and a deeper stink of sulfur. He remembered an artillery shell right after hell’s swelter faded into life. Rednecks and their toys. Then the Toast of the Coast. Oh, and a healthy-sized shard of windshield protruded from his abdomen. Right leg broken in two, the top of his femur jutting through his mighty fine pants.

Jesus H. Christ, Private Investigator asked himself, “Where in the tits am I now?”

A business card, one of his, poked out from underneath the retracted sun visor. He snatched it. On the back, in smudged fountain pen, it read: Go save the freckled woman. A case. Great.