Don't get any funny ideas!

©2016 Glory Lennon All Rights Reserved

Saturday, June 25, 2011

God’s plan

“I’m very glad you all came today,” Noah said beaming around at his assembled family, a huge collection of brothers and sisters, all eighteen of them, all colors, creeds and nationalities. They were the United Nations of families and quite proud of it. “Before I explain why I brought you here I want to tell you how very much I love every single one of you,” he said seriously.

“Even me?” Thomas said smirking.

“Yes, even you, smart ass,” Noah said grinning back. “I know we’ve had our disagreements but that’s just because we’re the closest in age and also why  you’re my favorite of all.”

Simon nudged Thomas in the ribs and in a stage whisper said, “Don’t let that get to your head. He says that to all of us.”

They mostly laughed except for Rachel. She looked unduly grave.  “Noah, why do you feel the need to tell us you love us? We already know. Are you dying or something?” she asked anxiously.

“No, nothing like that, Rachel,” he said bracing himself. He took a look around then said, “God told me the world’s coming to an end and he wants our family to survive and  to replenish the earth. We were planned from day one. He spoke to Mom and that’s why she adopted kids from all over the world. He wanted a diverse group with many talents geared towards building a new world.”  He stopped and nervously awaited the reaction. When none came he told them the whole plan, from the yacht in which they were to escape the fires of hell to the animals they would need to gather and protect.

They gaped at him. Some of them looked as if he were dancing the Macarena while wearing a pink  tutu, others like he’d just announced he would jump off the Brooklyn Bridge. He couldn’t blame them. Thinking about it now, Noah could see that doing that absurd dance in a frilly tutu and  jumping off a bridge were definitely more plausible than the tall tale he’d just told them. He wouldn’t believe himself either if God hadn’t actually appeared to him.

After waiting what felt like an interminable amount of time he raised his hands in an imploring sort of way. “Well,” Noah said, apprehensively looking around. “Isn’t anyone going to say something?”

Maria was the first to speak. Her almond shaped eyes glistened with tears. “He’s gone mad just like Mom,” she whispered.

Simon ignored this, smirked and said, “I’m so proud of you, little brother. You finally learned how to pull a good prank.”

“Not much of one,” Joseph,  said derisively. “If he got us on the yacht first and then said “Gotcha”, then it would be a good joke but who can believe this stuff? End of the world my butt!”

“Be nice, Joey,” Madeleine said, kindly patting  Noah’s hand and looking ready to make him lie down for a good rest. “Noah, how long have you felt this way?”

“Oh, Lordy,” he said putting his head in his hands, “God said you’d react like this. So, none of you believe me?”

Paul stood up and paced. “Noah, perhaps you haven’t been sleeping well. What with a newborn in the house you must be going bonk... I mean, sleep deprivation can make you... not like... Mom,” he said tentatively, placing a calming hand on Maria's shoulders.

Noah smiled. “God said you three would be worried about me most, but really, Mia is a great baby. She hasn’t been that bad. I get plenty of sleep except that I have been dreaming about the ...I guess it’s the tribulation.”

“Just like Mom,” Maria shrieked, tears streaming down her cheeks, “Oh, Noah, how can we help you?”

“Well, I do have to collect two of each animal, but they’ll mostly come on their own, so no need to worry about them yet,” Noah stated casually.

“Very funny,” Veronica said, glaring at him. “If this is just a joke then I’m leaving. I have a PTA meeting to go to tonight and I still have to make dinner.”

“Roni, please,” Matthew said pulling her back into her seat, “Noah, do you have some way of proving God spoke to you?”

“Didn’t Moses have proof?” Peter said.

“Yeah, stone tablets with the ten commandments,” Christopher retorted, rolling his eyes.

“Don’t see anything like that here,” Rachel said, looking around.

“Actually, I have God’s plan. Let me go get it,” Noah said as he got up, grabbed up his briefcase and sat back down. He then extracted a golden book, thick, heavy, and looking brand-new. He opened it to the first page. “Here we go. God said I should use this to convince each one of you.”

“Can I have a look at that before you read it out to us?” asked Luke holding out his hand.

Noah stared up at him frowning. “I don’t know if God would like anyone else but me to read it.”

“Why would he object?” Simon asked curiously.

“Well, this is his plan. If everyone’s privy to it, won’t it ruin things?” Noah asked uncertainly.

“Well, if I’m not allowed to read it, if God truly doesn’t want anyone but you to read it, then surely I won’t be able to, right?” Luke said reasonably.

“That sounds right. Let’s see the book, Noah,” Joseph said eagerly.

He grimaced a little than handed it to Luke. He watched anxiously as he flipped through it Luke’s face growing stonier with every page turned.

“What’s it say?”Thomas asked.

“You haven’t read this yet, have you,  Noah?” Luke said.

“Not much of it but some. God said I’ll have time to read it once we’re all on board ship. Why?”Noah asked.

“It’s in several different languages. Since when do you know anything more than English and  a few words in French?” Luke asked eyebrows raised.

“I don’t. What I’ve read is in English. I didn't see anything that wasn't in English. Here, I’ll show you,” he got up and turned to the page he had read just last night.  “This is about you, Jim. James Joseph Franklin born in Lancaster, England on February 23rd of 1977, seven pounds, three ounces, 19 inches long, mother: Dana Mary Hamilton of Devon, father: Harry Thomas Franklin of Liverpool, both deceased, fatal car accident in Sleepy Hollow, New York on September 12th 1978. Is that right?” Noah asked looking up at him.

Jim looked like a ghost. “How would I know? I never knew any of that except my birthday. Where’d you get that?”he asked half angry, half stunned.

“From God. Weren’t you listening?” Noah said, annoyed.

Jim ripped the book out of his hands and looked at it. “Where does it say any of that? It’s all in another language...Italian or something...”

“It’s Latin,” Luke said looking over his shoulder. “When did you learn Latin, Noah?”

“I just told you I don’t know Latin. That page is in English. I just read it, didn’t I?” he said exasperated.

“Omigosh,” Ruth whispered. “God taught Noah Latin.”

“What? You believe this load of...”John said. “Noah, what the hell’s going on?”

He shrugged. “I told you already. It’s up to you to believe me. Okay, I’ll tell you what the book says about Andrew. Andrew Marcus Chan born in Shanghai, China, April 2, 1979, Father Chiam Po, Mother May-Ling...I can’t make that out.  How do you think you pronounce that, Luke?” Noah said showing the book to him. He stared at Noah transfixed and looking slightly frightened now.

“I don’t know Chinese characters, Noah. Since when do you?” Luke asked. Everyone around them muttered in frightened voices.

“God taught Noah Chinese too, holy moly!” Ruth shrieked.

“No, he didn’t,” Noah said peering at the pages full of all his siblings’ information. It all looked like plain English to him. But then why would Luke say otherwise? Glancing up with a bewildered expression he said, “Did he?”

“Something strange is going on,” Christopher said slowly.

“Noah, what is all this?”Maria asked apprehensively.

“God said this would be how I could convince you all. If you want, I’ll read the rest to you or you could just believe me. God wants us all to...”

“Stop it already!” Paul shouted. “You just can’t expect us to believe this, Noah.”

“Paul’s right,” Philip interjected calmly. “ But let’s assume Noah is right, too. Let’s say God spoke to him, the end of the world is coming by fire and he wants us to replenish the world....”

“Tall order there, Philip, don’t you think?” Judith said wearily.

“Humor me,” Philip replied.

“Don’t you mean humor Noah?” Simon asked with a very uncharacteristic scowl on his face.

 Philip ignored this and turned to Noah with a serious expression.“ Why would us going on a boat save the world, Noah? If it’s going up in flames, we’ll all be burned alive.”

“The earth is three quarters covered with water. The water won’t be burned away. We’ll be safe on it. God told me,” Noah explained soothingly. He stared at them all, some murmuring to each other, some in stony silence but all looking skeptical and vastly concerned about his sanity.

 “Can you prove it somehow, some tangible way?”Thomas said albeit casually.

“Reading Chinese, Latin and whatever other language that book is in isn’t enough for you?” Veronica interjected.

“Well, he is a doubting Thomas, isn’t he?” Matthew joked. Nobody laughed except for Thomas.

“Oh, Lordy,” Noah muttered in exasperation, running his fingers wearily though his hair until he noticed a DVD tucked into the back of the book. “Where did this come from?”

“What is that?” Mark asked frowning. Up to that point he had said nothing but now he stood up and took the silver disc out of Noah’s hand and inserted it into the player. Instantly, they grew silent and watched horrific scenes. It was as if Noah’s own dreams had been recorded and played back like a movie. Volcanos long since dormant opened up to spew lava miles up into the air, geysers erupted, flames bellowed out of cracks and crevices in the earth’s crust.  Buildings burned, fields burned, forests burned, houses burned and the screams! People all over the world screamed in agony. Hell on earth had come and they were watching it as if it were the latest blockbuster.

Noah watched his family as they watched these awful pictures. His sisters cried, his brothers shook their heads stunned. When it was over and the TV grew blank they turned their eyes to Noah.

“I don’t want to believe it either,” he said carefully, as emotion welled in his chest. “I wish I were playing a trick on you but I’m not. Even if you don’t believe it, even if you don’t believe me at all, please come with me anyway. I love all of you and I don’t want to lose any of you nor your families.”  He paused a few minutes then added, “If I’m wrong, if everything turns out all right it’ll just be a great vacation, a wonderful family reunion. Will you come?”

Simon stood up towering over Noah and hugged him fiercely. “Just say when, little brother, and I’ll get Janet and the kids ready to come whenever you say.”

“Thank you, Simon,” Noah said grinning like a fool, “Now you’re my favorite.”  He looked to the others and one by one they all hugged, kissed him, ruffled his hair, patted his back and said the same, “Tell us when and where.”

“Thanks guys, thanks so much. God will be so happy,” Noah said brightly.

“I already am,” boomed a voice over head.

“Oh, dear God! Did anybody else hear that?” Ruth asked frightened out of her wits.

“We all did,” Mark said stoically.

“ We believe you now, Noah,” Philip said shakily. “We definitely believe you.”

Saturday, June 18, 2011

When God Speaks

He sat bolt upright in bed panting as if just having finished a marathon. Terrified, he looked around the dark, silent room but all seemed fine, all seemed well. Rebecca lay sleeping beside him her dark curls fanned out upon her pillow. She slowly roused at his sudden movement.

“Noah, what’s wrong? Bad dream?” she whispered drowsily.

“Yeah...that...that’s it. I’m sorry I woke you,” he replied, bending down and tenderly kissing her cheek. She smiled and drifted off to sleep. Tears sprung to his eyes as he watched her. He loved her so desperately and yet that dream took her away from him. But it was just a dream, thank God!

Just then the baby could be heard over the monitor, not a howling wail as would signify “Feed me!” but a fussy little whimper saying “comfort me”. He could tell the difference though in Rebecca’s half sleepy state she couldn’t and consequently she threw the blanket aside ready to tend to their first born daughter. He stopped her and replaced the covers on top of her.

“You stay, Rebecca. You’re so tired. I’m sure Mia just wants me to sing to her,” he said kissing her again and pushing her hair out of her face.

“Have I told you lately you’re the best daddy ever?”she said gratefully.

“It has been a few minutes but I’ll forgive you this time. Be back soon,” he joked.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Use your love

“It’s me. Josie’s on vacation… far away. Come around and talk it over,” Mike muttered into the phone as he looked around the place. No, it wasn’t clean, but good enough for Vanessa.

“You know I like my girls a little bit older. I just wanna use your love tonight,” he said gruffly. In a softer tone he added, “I don’t wanna lose your love tonight.”

There were so many things he wanted to say, but he left it at that. She’d understand. She got him as no one else could, not even Josie.

He hung up and tossed the phone onto the unmade bed. He walked into the living room running his fingers through his hair. He couldn’t stop his hands from shaking. What the hell was that about? In his mind it didn’t make sense. Sure, he shouldn’t be doing this, but Josie would never know. She hadn’t known about the other couple of hundred times. Besides, they weren’t even married. This didn’t even count.

He heard the car door and nearly tripped in his rush to the front door. Yanking it open, he watching her talking to his neighbor, Mr. Dretcher, who was forever pruning his roses, even now with the sun setting. Mike wished she wouldn’t do that. He always got nasty looks from the old geezer and he suspected why. He didn’t approve of Mike’s shenanigans.

“I ain’t got many friends left to talk to. They be dropping like flies,” Mr. Dretcher said. “No one’s around when I’m in trouble.”

“Well, I’m your friend. Just call me anytime, okay?” Vanessa said, her lyrical, lilting voice carrying to the door.

“You be a sweet lass,” he said smiling. He caught sight of Mike at the door and frowned. “Go on, Nessie. He be waiting on ya…deserve better, you do,” he mumbled and turned back to his flowers.

She approached Mike slowly. Too slowly, Mike thought. He could barely contain himself. He wanted her bad.

“Hey,” she said.

He pulled her inside and kissed her roughly. “It’s been a while since we’ve been all alone,” he muttered, kissing her neck. “You know I’ll do anything for you.”

“Stay the night?” she asked needlessly. She knew the routine.

“Yeah, but don’t forget what I told ya.”

“Keep it under cover?” she said.

“Yeah,” he said, now pulling her shirt off her shoulders.

“No,” she said quietly.

“What?” he asked.

“I can’t hide the way I’m feeling and neither can you,” she replied.

“What?” he repeated.

“I want you all to myself.”

“Can’t happen.”

“Could if you cared to,” she countered. “You said you don’t wanna lose my love.”

“I…you heard wrong.”

“You’re lying.”

“You’re lying to yourself,” he snapped.

“Why, Mike? Why can’t you....” she pleaded.

“Find another shoulder to cry on,” he snarled, pushing her away.

“I know you love me,” she said.

“Just cuz you’re right…. doesn’t mean I’m wrong,” he replied turning his back on her.

“Then this goodbye is forever,” she said, quietly.

Her words pierced his heart, but he feigned indifference. “As you leave me, please, could you close the door?”

“When you die, Mike, they’ll do an autopsy and find dust where your heart ought to be.”

He clenched his fists, waiting. He punched the wall only after the door slammed.