I’d like to start consistently writing a 200 word piece of flash fiction each Tuesday and a 300 word piece each Thursday. I don’t know if the word counts will always be exact, but this one is. And I don’t know if I’ll follow through, but this is at least a start for #200WordTuesday.


William chose his church as one might choose any other consumer good: by its packaging. Driving aimlessly on country roads one Sunday morning, he spotted a sign that proclaimed, “God is wherever the suffering is.”

“Then why haven’t I seen him?” William sniffed. But curious at the answer a preacher might offer, he pulled into the parking lot, entered the building, and found a seat in the pews.

When ushers began drawing a chain across the door, William stood up in alarm. The congregation stood as well, for it was then that the priest took his place at the altar.

“Good morning,” he said. “I see some new faces in the congregation. Welcome. I assume you have felt that the presence of God is missing from your lives. Well, brothers and sisters… do you wish to hear His voice, perhaps even see His face?”

Despite his bafflement, William found himself joining the parishioners in intoning, “We do.”

“Then you must truly suffer. Not just the ‘slings and arrows of outrageous fortune’, but the exquisite, transformative torment of martyrs.”

At that, a grim cacophony of steel erupted at the back of the church, as ushers began dragging something up the aisle.


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