Across the Pages of the World

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As narrated by Minister Glock

He was hanging upside down from some kind of engineered silk when I found him.

He was wearing his red suit.

And I thought about just walking on by, but I strive for courage in the service of the mission.

And he was really quiet.

So I said, “Hey.”

He looked at me with those great oval eyes of mask.

I said, “Hey. Have you heard the good news?”


I tried again. “Do you … do you have a personal relationship with Jesus?”

It was unaccountably awkward. The mask, I told myself; that was the reason why.

Do you have a personal relationship with the Lord?

“Everyone I have a personal relationship with,” he said, “becomes a supervillain and tries to kill me.”


We waited there for a time.

We watched the sunset.

“So that’s a no?”

He said, “My aunt is planning to cover the city with a cloud of evil flesh-eating umbrellas. I’m trying to figure out her next move. If you don’t want to be eaten by an umbrella, you might want to let me think.”


“It’s embarrassing,” he said, “getting eaten by an umbrella. You go in the paranormal deaths section of the obituaries and people all over the country read it and laugh at you. And I suppose you might forget it in Heaven, where we are like paramecia, swimming creatures in bliss, distant from the concerns of our lives—but maybe you won’t. Maybe it’ll still haunt you even then.”

So I was silent for a long time.

Then he laughed, a little laugh.

“Got an idea?” I said.

“Trust me,” he said. And he was up the web and he was almost away, and I called after him,

“My earlier question—“

But he didn’t hear me, I supposed.

They call it paracruciphobia, the fear that Jesus will return as a supervillain and hatch mad plots against the world.

Ridiculous, of course.


But who can say what is out there, in the shadow world of the heroes and the villains? Who can say what is out there, dancing the ways of violence and subdual, the dao of power and humanity, the biff and pow of transcendence across the pages of the world?

I saw the green man with a bit of true cross dangling from his hem; and he roared and I trembled; and I did not ask.

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