The Miracle of the Damaged Jesus

Submitted into Contest #211 in response to: Begin your story with a librarian searching for something.... view prompt

56 comments

Funny Drama Crime

Marilyn and Beatrice arrived at work early, as usual. Beatrice opened the door and held it open for Marilyn, as usual. The ladies took off their coats and put on their sweaters, as usual. They started re-stocking the books that had been checked in the evening before, as usual.

The body of the head librarian lay in the Historical Fiction aisle, her lifeless eyes and bluish tint signifying that she was well and truly dead.

Marilyn wiped her glasses, the grim expression on her face softened somewhat by the absence of eyewear. When she spoke, the grimness on her face seeped into her tone.

“I reckon ol’ Becky won’t be doin’ any work today.”

Beatrice sniffed and shook her head.

“As usual.”

                                                       **************

“Honestly, Bea, I was just lookin’ for where I left the mop last night when I spotted her.”

The two women were sipping coffee from their respective Thermos bottles and sitting behind the library check-out counter. Becky Stuberville being dead wasn’t the worst news in the world, in their opinion, but a murdered Becky Stuberville was a different story. And she had been murdered. Strangled, judging by the bruises around her neck.

“Guess we oughta call Sherrif Daniels,” Beatrice said, sighing.

Marilyn graced this remark with a frown.

“I reckon not. We’ll be prime suspects. Everyone knows how much we hate her.”

“Hated,” Beatrice said.

“I still hate her. She done put us in a bad way, Bea, bein’ all dead here in the library.”

“Her killer did that.”

“Yes,” Marilyn said thoughtfully. Becky was liked in the community because she got married to the head football coach, and because she remained married to the head football coach. As far as any other redeeming qualities she might possess, Marilyn and Beatrice would be hard pressed to name any. She had at least one enemy, one serious enough to put paid to her breathing any more of God’s air.

“I still think we oughta call the sheriff.”

Marilyn shot Beatrice a withering look.

“Absolutely not. We’ll wind up in jail, face a kangaroo court, and find ourselves in prison with a bunch of women who are actual murderers.”

Beatrice nodded. What Marilyn said seemed probable.

“I hear those prison women don’t use deodorant.”

“Yes, Bea. That would be the worst thing about prison. B.O.”

“And some of them are in relationships with each other,” Beatrice whispered.

“Why are you whispering? Afraid Becky’s gonna hear you?”

Beatrice blushed and shook her head.

“Anyway,” Marilyn continued, “don’t you see the irony of it all? Everyone thinks we’re lesbians, so they’d think we’d belong in such a place.”

“But – but we ain’t.”

Marilyn stared at Beatrice.

“Thanks for the update, Bea.”

“No need to get all snitty. Just because there’s a dead body in the Historical Fiction aisle doesn’t mean that you have to get your panties in a twist.”

“Agreed. And – sorry. But a dead body seems like a panty-twisting event.”

Beatrice smiled.

“Maybe, but it’s the most exciting thing to happen in Soda Springs since Amy Morgan came to church drunk and fell over on the Jesus statue.”

Marilyn shook her head, her grimace tightening.

“That poor statue. It still ain’t right. I think Preacher Dan left out some pieces when he glued it back together. It wobbles somethin’ terrible.”

“Well, let’s get movin’. We got things to do before we open the library.”

Marilyn stared at her friend, puzzled.

“Like what?”

Beatrice started moving to the body, talking over her shoulder.

“Gotta get poor ol’ Becky someplace safe.”

Marilyn’s legs stopped obeying instructions from the brain. It occurred to her that a) Beatrice was right, b) a killer was on the loose, and c) they were in deep shit.

Marilyn took a healthy gulp of coffee and willed her legs to move. It was going to be a long day, and dead bodies didn’t just hide themselves.

                                                        **************

The winter evening arrived quickly and with snow flurries. Beatrice and Marilyn drew in their breath at the shock of cold air that confronted them when leaving the library. Each woman busied herself buttoning up against the frigid night.

“I’m none too happy about leavin’ her in the barn out back. You know them high school kids canoodle in there from time to time,” Marilyn said, her grimace returning for an encore performance.

“Not on a night like this. I reckon their hormones are frozen.”

“We gotta move her. The poor girl’s probably frozen solid by now.”

Beatrice gave her friend a steady stare.

“I don’t think she minds much at this point.”

“And I don’t relish haulin’ her skinny ass up a tree.”

“It’s a good place to hide a dead body, Mar. I mean, who’s gonna look for an anorexic coach’s wife up a tree?”

Marilyn had to admit that it was a good idea, but getting a dead body up a tree seemed fraught with difficulties.

“I don’t know why we can’t leave her out there in the oil fields. Them sumbitches deserve to have a dead body found, what with all the frackin’ they’re doin. I expect an earthquake any day now.”

“They’d probably toss her down a well. They just don’t give a shit, Mar.”

“Still. A tree? Seems like we’re makin’ our lives difficult.”

“Don’t worry. We have rope and a pickup truck. Easy peasy.”

Marilyn didn’t think that “easy peasy” would be happening. Sure, rope and horsepower sounded good, but they had never hauled a dead body up a tree before. It seemed like some practice was required to do it well.

The still-living women got the dead woman into the back of the truck and sped off. Beatrice had a tree picked out already: a massive live oak that stood five miles outside town. Marilyn nodded in appreciation of the tree that her friend had chosen. It was indeed massive, and full as well, even for winter.

“Tie this rope around her chest and under her arms, Mar. I’ll get the other end over a branch and tied to the bumper.”

Marilyn started tying up the dead woman.

“Should we undress her?” Marilyn stopped her rope work to enquire.

“Heavens no. A dead librarian is bad enough, but a nekkid dead librarian is an affront to God,” Beatrice said, as if she had studied up on this particular subject.

“Hmph. Well, I hope we didn’t leave no NBA on them clothes.”

“DNA, Mar.”

“Whatever you say, Bea. Let’s just git this done. I’m cold and in need of my supper.”

Beatrice leaned out of the truck window and laughed at her friend.

“I reckon we could both do without a supper ever once in a while. My pants are gittin’ tight.”

“Less of the diet talk, Bea. We ain’t here to discuss cuttin’ down on carbs or shit like that.”

“You done yet? My toes are numb,” Beatrice yelled.

“Ok. Let ‘er rip!”

Beatrice gave the truck too much gas, the result being that Becky Stuberville raced through the air, up the tree, over the branch, and landing with a heavy thud on the ground.

“Dammit, Bea! You smashed her nose!”

“Yeah,” Beatrice said, eyeing the damage dispassionately. “I think we need a higher branch.”

“I think we need to find a different place to hide her.”

After a quick consultation, the women decided to hide her in an altogether different place. A place, they agreed, that was perfect.

                                                    **************

The body was finally hidden. Their night’s work done, the women went home and sat heavily on the sofa. A bottle of wine sounded like a good idea, so Beatrice retrieved it and sat two glasses out.

The women drank in silence for fifteen minutes, until a thought occurred to Beatrice.

“You reckon Coach Stuberville did it?”

Marilyn shook her head decisively.

“No. The man has a no-balls policy in coaching, so I figure he’s the same way in life. You remember that playoff game last year?”

“’Course I do. The dumbass went for a field goal at the two-yard line instead of a touchdown. Got blocked and the other team ran it back for a touchdown and won the game.”

“That’s what I mean. So I don’t reckon he has the fortitude to kill his wife.”

“Well, who then? You got a good sense of this stuff, Mar.”

“I got nothin’. I’d say us, except we know we didn’t do it.”

“Well, I’m pretty drunk and I figure there’ll be a hullabaloo tomorrah. I need my beauty sleep.”

“Go to bed, old woman. I’ll finish off the bottle first,” Marilyn said, then burped.

“You’ll snore all night if you do.”

“Don’t care. I reckon I got a right to snore after hiding a dead woman.”

Beatrice yawned and nodded.

“Church is tomorrah.”

“Yeah. That’s what scares me. Jesus may be damaged, but He still sees us.”

                                              **************

Preacher Dan was in fine form this morning. Hellfire and brimstone sounded hotter than ever, and the congregation approved. They relished the thought of whores and homos and vegans going to hell and burning forever. It was basically the same sermon every week, with different groups being castigated. Last week, he railed on the sins of voting Democrat and the evils of driving electric vehicles.

“Can he say ‘homos’? That’s a little inappropriate,” Beatrice whispered.

“He used to say ‘queers.’ Then them high school kids got on ‘im about it.”

“Dumbass.”

The church was well built, sturdy, solid – all in the name of God. The wind whipped through the countryside, but the church stood firm, oblivious to the vagaries of a rare east Texas cold snap. But the church, robust as it was, would feel the effects of the drilling outside of town.

Just as Preacher Dan was wrapping up his sermon, the ground shook. It didn’t shake a lot, but it was discernible. A low, rumbling sound came from beneath the building. Then it happened.

The plaster statue of Jesus, already a little unsteady, toppled over slowly, as if it were undecided on whether or not to let gravity have its way with it. It decided in favor of Newton’s discovery.

With a resounding crash, Jesus fell, splintering into several pieces and throwing up dust in the vicinity. A woman screamed, but not because Jesus was broken. She screamed because the body of Becky Stuberville was seated behind where Jesus had been. Her stiff manner and mottled, bluish tint said it all. Also, she was tied to a chair so she wouldn’t fall over.

The congregation was silent, stunned by what they saw. Preacher Dan stared at the dead body in horror, which baffled Marilyn and Beatrice.

“Damn. The man acts like he ain’t ever seen a stiff in his life. He done buried a dozen people in this town,” Marilyn whispered.

“I don’t think Jesus can be fixed this time. His head just exploded,” Beatrice said. She stared in fascination at the shards of the Savior scattered across the floor.

“Oh, dear Lord! I didn’t mean to kill her! Please, please forgive me, Lord!” Preacher Dan fell to his knees as he uttered these fateful words.

The congregation erupted into shouts, exclamations, confusion, and anger. Coach Stuberville pulled out his gun, aiming it at the preacher, and had to be restrained by other gun-toting men. The sheriff handcuffed Preacher Dan and hurried him off to his office to get a confession while the confession-getting was good.

Everyone spilled outside and gathered into groups, discussing the turn of events. Various theories abounded. One group thought that Preacher Dan was a CIA operative and was sent to take out Communist sympathizers. Another group was sure that he was a serial killer preying on coach’s wives. Yet another group thought that Becky Stuberville must have been a whore, a homo, or a vegan, and God sent preacher Dan to administer some Godly justice. All agreed, though, that Jesus falling over to reveal Becky Stuberville had done in his nerves.

It turned out to be a mundane motive. Preacher Dan had been having an affair with the coach’s wife, and she was ending the relationship. Preacher Dan, incensed, went a little too far with his actions and throttled her. The upshot of this was that Preacher Dan was sent to prison and Coach Stuberville was inundated with baked goods and offers of marriage.

Marilyn was made head librarian, which suited her and Beatrice just fine. Besides, no one else wanted the job, so giving it to an alleged lesbian was the best that the town could do.

                                                          **************

Summer in east Texas arrived as it always did: early and forceful. Humidity and heat ruled the region, with breezes hard to come by and shade trees sought out eagerly by denizens that insisted on being outdoors. Marilyn and Beatrice, ensconced in the cool of the library, reminisced about the events of last winter.

“I reckon it was a miracle, Bea. Ol’ Jesus fallin’ over like He did and makin’ preacher Dan confess.”

Beatrice sipped her tea and shook her head.

“All that frackin’ did it. Just a coincidence.”

“Maybe, but that was the first time we had a tremor. It don’t feel like a coincidence.”

“Agree to disagree?”

“Really, Bea? You know how I hate that sayin’.”

“Anyway, I like the new Jesus. Bertie Cooper is a magician with that chainsaw. He looks lovely.”

“A little rugged, I think, but I reckon Jesus was rugged. And they bolted Him to the floor. He ain’t gonna fall over anymore.”

“Nope. Jesus is here to stay.”

The two women nodded to each other – or maybe themselves – and continued to sip tea and nibble on their lettuce wraps. A recent health kick resulted in both women losing a good twenty pounds each. They both felt better, but the talk around town of them being lesbians increased with each pound lost.

“You ever wanted to get married again?” Beatrice asked Marilyn without looking at her.

“No. I reckon bein’ married to one dumbass in a lifetime is enough.”

“Same here. Well, at least they went out in a blaze of glory.”

Marilyn snorted.

“They got drunk, fell out their boat, and got ate by gators. I wouldn’t call that a blaze of glory.”

“I think they liked each other’s company better’n ours,” Beatrice said.

“I reckon they did us a favor, Bea. I probably woulda kilt my man eventually. Then I’d be in prison with other murderers.”

“Smelly murderers.”

Both women laughed, trying not to think that a fat, juicy hamburger would round off their lunch quite nicely.

“You think ol’ coach Stuberville gonna be happy with his new wife?”

“Dunno, Mar. Marryin’ Preacher Dan’s ex-wife seems a step down. I reckon he was fine with Becky. Lordy, though! The teacher marryin’ the preacher’s wife. Those two are a caution!”

“I reckon so. They’re the talk of the town.”

“Well, Becky’s in the ground now. I expect she’s happier there than in a barn or a tree.”

“Or behind an unsteady Jesus,” Bea said, eyes twinkling.

“I still think it was a miracle.”

“Don’t be so sure, Mar.”

“Well I am. As far as I’m concerned, a damaged Jesus can still git the job done.”

Beatrice wasn’t in the mood to argue with Marilyn because Marilyn might be right. The Man had a habit of coming through when the chips were down. Bea abandoned this line of thought because it made her think of potato chips.

Life, she mused, can be hell for dieters.

August 16, 2023 19:11

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56 comments

Mary Bendickson
01:56 Aug 17, 2023

Where else would you look for killers but in the library or church?

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Delbert Griffith
09:35 Aug 17, 2023

True, true. That's why I avoid both places. LOL Cheers, Mary.

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Susan Catucci
23:24 Aug 19, 2023

hahaha! (sorry to eavesdrop - but this is great stuff)

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Lily Finch
21:30 Aug 16, 2023

Del, such a great story you crafted here. I enjoyed the women and their adventure of moving the body all around town and resting at a spot behind Jesus in Church. Only then for the fracking/miracle from Jesus? to assist with delivering her body to the congregation which freaked out the guilty preacher. So much that he confessed. Loved the minor plot of the women dieting. Also the digs at prejudices that you addressed in this one. Just a really well-crafted work. LF6 “Not on a night like this. I recon their hormones are frozen.” - rec...

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Delbert Griffith
23:23 Aug 16, 2023

Thanks so much, my friend. I appreciate the kind words, and I especially appreciate the typo catches. You'd think a Texan could spell "reckon." LOL I liked that you caught the fracking/miracle dichotomy, showing the religious/secular explanations for what transpired. I wanted to highlight how differently people perceive events. Good job seeing that, Lily. Again, thank you, LF6. I always appreciate how you always read and comment on my little tales. A true friend indeed. Cheers!

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Lily Finch
01:46 Aug 17, 2023

I see so many things in that story of yours I could type for an hour straight. I wonder what others will see? I got a vibe of "Spies LIke Us" when the women were trying to hoist the dead librarian up into the tree. It made me chuckle. Such a well-crafted piece. LF6

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Delbert Griffith
09:33 Aug 17, 2023

Thanks again, my Canadian friend. It's always fulfilling when you see so much in my tales. Makes me feel as if all the effort was worth it. Cheers, LF6!

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Helen A Smith
18:32 Sep 04, 2023

Hi Delbert This tale is hilarious and even though I’ve never been to Texas, feels true. You depict “small town” mentality with all the gossip so well (something I have experienced) and church life. When I was growing up, let’s just say I visited a lot of churches. You also make it topical by slipping in fracking, albeit in a funny way. On a deeper note, these women have a wonderful friendship which hits the mark nicely. Dieting? That’s not going to last! At least, not for too long, I hope. Let them just enjoy their food. 🥘 🥘

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Delbert Griffith
22:27 Sep 04, 2023

Helen, thanks so much for the kind words, and for reading my little tale. I agree: let them enjoy their food. I'm glad you picked up on the women's great relationship. That was my favorite part. Thank you again, my friend, for your commentary. I really appreciate it. Cheers!

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Amanda Lieser
00:07 Aug 30, 2023

Hi Delbert, On a personal note, my dear mother, the one who taught me to read, is named Rebecca-but she goes by Becky. She was named for the Tom Sawyer character. It’s always nice to see a familiar name. My notes on your story are of course praise filled. I loved the dialogue and the friendship dynamic was wonderfully crafted. I especially loved the line where your character says, “But…but we’re not.” Perhaps, these souls were simply made of the same stuff so a close friendship and bond was always meant to be. Nice work on this one!

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Delbert Griffith
00:16 Aug 30, 2023

Thanks again, Amanda, for the praise and the analysis. It's always welcome from you, my friend! I had a friend in school named Becky. A nice, simple, sweet girl who was studious and kind and had laughing eyes. I thought of her and how she might have ended up after all these years, so I included her in my little tale. Odd, yes? I considered making Jesus lean left before He fell, thereby making a political statement, but I felt it might be too much. In any event, we still have a "fracking" miracle. LOL Again, thank you, my friend. You are s...

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08:03 Aug 25, 2023

A very amusing story. Those two women are totally bonkers. Fancy creating the situation that led to the confession by the murderer. Loved the way the title made perfect sense in the end. Well done.

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Delbert Griffith
08:47 Aug 25, 2023

Thanks so much, Kaitlyn, for the kind words and the observations. Only in small-town Texas. Jesus and fracking are both very big deals. LOL Again, thank you, my friend. Cheers!

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Chris Campbell
07:04 Aug 25, 2023

Delbert, The fear of being labelled lesbians, the fear of church sermons demonising their accusatory life choice practices, and the fear of going to jail, made for great humour. A couple of buffoons driven by fear. If they aren't Baptist, then I'd swear they were Catholics. Very funny scenario with the body flying over the tree branch. That was very vivid in my head and caused a laugh to blurt out. Small towns encourage small minds to make big statements of hypocritic opinions. In the end, it came down to an act of divine intervention by...

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Delbert Griffith
07:57 Aug 25, 2023

Wow, thanks so much, Chris, for the kind words, and especially for the sharp insights you provided. All in all, you got what I was trying to say. Yeah, it was a "frackin'" miracle, yes? Whether the culprit was unveiled due to Jesus or fracking is the critical issue. In small towns, it's always Jesus. In small towns where fracking occurs, it's always fracking. So, which one was it? Only in small-town Texas would you get such a ridiculous scenario and think that it could actually happen. They're definitely Baptists. They're labeled as lesbia...

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Russell Mickler
23:34 Aug 23, 2023

Hey Delbert! Things may be starting as usual, but I’ve a sneaky suspicion they’re not going to stay ‘as usual!’ Ooop! The body of the head librarian, there we go. I loved how Beatrice corrected Marilyn on her grammar. The dialogue is witty and fun. Er, is “nekkid” in dialogue appropriate, but does it matter? Wow, my mind is blown. These women seem overly concerned with pants, clothes, and pants. What is with the town’s obsession with sexual orientation?! I’m not a fan of Preacher Dan :) Yes, stuffing a body into Plaster Jesus sounds ...

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Delbert Griffith
23:48 Aug 23, 2023

Well, Russell, in the end, we have a "frackin'" miracle. LOL The whole debate about miracles versus coincidence kind of spurred this tale. If I would have had Jesus leaning left before he toppled, maybe I could have made a political statement as well, yes? I'm glad you liked the little tale of two world-weary librarians, my friend. Only in small-town Texas do you get stories like this - and believe they may be true! LOL Cheers!

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Karen Corr
22:33 Aug 23, 2023

Hilarious 😆!

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Delbert Griffith
23:45 Aug 23, 2023

Thanks so much, Karen. I'm pleased that you found it humorous. Cheers!

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Anna W
20:31 Aug 23, 2023

Who knew that two librarians finding a dead body could be so funny? Well written, Delbert! I really loved this story. These two are like Thelma and Louise. Two southern peas in a pod, as my Meemaw would say!

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Delbert Griffith
21:41 Aug 23, 2023

Thanks so much, Anna, for the kind words, and for reading my twisted little tale of a couple of world-weary librarians. Thelma and Louise indeed! I'm thinking I should have also had Jesus leaning left, just to make a political satire out of it as well. LOL Again, thank you, my friend. Cheers!

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Ken Cartisano
02:05 Aug 23, 2023

'Weekend at Bernies' meets 'Thelma and Louise', 'On any given Sunday', with Swamp People. Good clean murderous Texas fun.

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Delbert Griffith
10:23 Aug 23, 2023

Thanks so much, Ken, for the kind words - and the pastiches! Yeah, I was definitely thinking of "Weekend at Bernie's" when I wrote this. And, as in all small Texas towns, there MUST be shenanigans aplenty, right? LOL Cheers!

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22:31 Aug 22, 2023

Very funny story and the dialogue and turns of phrase of your two leads are great. Such a hold they dug for themselves yet bumbled their way to solving the crime. Thinking of Patsy and Eddie from Absolutely Fabulous..... reckon this is exactly how they would handle the situation too!

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Delbert Griffith
23:31 Aug 22, 2023

Oh, man! Ab-Fab! What an amazing series that was, my friend. I'm honored that my characters could even be mentioned in the same vein. You're a true gentleman, Derrick. They are bumblers, but well-meaning ones, and they started the whole chain of events that led to eventual demise of the culprit. Jesus had a hand in it too, Yes? A "frackin'" miracle, so to speak. LOL Thanks again for the kind words, my friend. I appreciate your review. Cheers!

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15:06 Aug 22, 2023

Are you sure you didn't cut this out of the obituary section of some small-town Texas newspaper? Best line: "All that frackin’ did it." Laugh out loud funny, you are the Garrison Keillor of the Lone Star State. Preachers, librarians (no need to apply in Houston), and football coaches are the top three professions. Jesus, the only god. Hamburgers, the only meal. Loved it. Loved it. Loved it.

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Delbert Griffith
16:22 Aug 22, 2023

Wow, thanks so much for the praise, Deidra. You're a true writing friend and about the wittiest, snarkiest person I know. I love both of those traits, for they speak to a sharp mind, a sharp tongue, and an unquenchable spirit. Yeah, those Houston fuckheads that decided to do away with libraries in lieu of kid prison are complete dolts. I love being Texan, but Texas often frustrates me. I must quibble over one small point. The only meal is not the hamburger but the barbecue. Other than that, you understand Texas better than most Texans, my...

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Michelle Oliver
13:26 Aug 22, 2023

Love it. Witty as always with such quirky characters. I laughed out loud at the image of Becky being hauled up and over the tree. I love the way you have personified the inanimate statue, making it a character in the story. I loved the image of it making a decision to fall or not fall. “The plaster statue of Jesus, already a little unsteady, toppled over slowly, as if it were undecided on whether or not to let gravity have its way with it. It decided in favor of Newton’s discovery.”

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Delbert Griffith
13:36 Aug 22, 2023

Thanks so much, Michelle for the praise. It means a lot, coming from such a good writer like you. Anyone can write a story, but to write one that a good writer enjoys is noteworthy. Ah, the damaged Jesus. I should have had Him leaning left and get in a political shot, yes? LOL A "frackin' miracle," so to speak. Again, thank you, my friend. I always appreciate your comments and insights. Cheers!

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Patricia C
17:59 Aug 21, 2023

I loved how you used dialog in this story! It made it feel like I was watching it instead of reading it!

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Delbert Griffith
09:25 Aug 22, 2023

Thank you very much, Patricia. That's kind of how I write it - I see it, like it's a movie. Crazy, yes? Cheers!

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Peggy Lee
05:13 Aug 21, 2023

"She had at least one enemy, one serious enough to put paid to her breathing any more of God’s air." This sentence baffles me like pretty poetry. " The sheriff handcuffed Preacher Dan and hurried him off to his office to get a confession while the confession-getting was good." I love the irony here about a Priest who is the one confessing their sins. Despite its dark subject matter, "The Miracle of the Damaged Jesus" puts a twinkle to its readers eyes. lol I feel so giddy after reading this silly humble murder story from East Texas. "A...

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Delbert Griffith
09:23 Aug 21, 2023

Wow, thanks so much for the praise, Peggy. I truly appreciate the kind words and the commentary. I'm so pleased that you liked my little tale. It was a fun write, and the two librarians were fun to watch as they navigated the murky waters of hiding a body. I imagine it would be a difficult task, and one that I'm not sure I could (or want to) accomplish. Again, thank you, my friend. I am honored that you liked my story. Cheers!

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Nina H
22:43 Aug 20, 2023

Great story, great characters! Jesus showed them the way! Everyone loves a frackin’ miracle in a story. Warms you right up, just like the coffee Mar and Bea sipped as they nonchalantly thought of what to do with the body. 😂 I like their pragmatic approach to a problem. It made the story!

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Delbert Griffith
09:19 Aug 21, 2023

Thanks so much, Nina, for the kind words, and for reading my little tale of murder and a sort of mayhem. It's truly appreciated. BTW, you are the first to catch the "fracking miracle" pun. I was also going to have the damaged Jesus leaning left, but I felt like it would be too political for such a tale. Looking back, I regret that I didn't do that. Alas, we always see what might have been too late. I read your bio, and I must say that it's as entertaining as any of the tales I've ever written. I nominate it for best bio, and it is my fond ...

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Nina H
10:04 Aug 21, 2023

I would like to take this opportunity to share that in the last trivia game I played, I owned the board in the Literary Puns category. I’m thinking I have a very specific skill set there. 😂 You can always lean your Jesus left in your original version of the story! When you lean that far left in Mar and Bea’s town, well, then there’s nothing left. Poor Jesus. I think the cheating pastor would bestow his blessing on that marriage of politics and religion in your tale. I think I’m going to run with your idea of Best Bio award! I’ll make a c...

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Delbert Griffith
10:32 Aug 21, 2023

A very specific skill set. LOLOL You and Liam Neeson. Nice! Yes, I think I'll do that - go back to the original and get Jesus to lean left. It feels right, and maybe I can use the tale in another competition. I'm an inveterate tinkerer of my submitted tales. "Lipstick on a pig" sort of thing. I say you should award yourself, my friend, but don't sell yourself short. Load up that pizza! And don't settle for a t-shirt; treat yourself to an embroidered polo shirt. You'll be the talk of the newsroom. Or school. Or among the soccer parents. Tak...

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Nina H
10:51 Aug 21, 2023

It “feels right” to “lean left” 😂 Go for it! Embroidered polo! Do I dare?!? I do! I can even wear it to the end of season soccer banquet! The parents always think it’s to give the kids their trophies. Aren’t they pleasantly surprised when it’s actually a banquet in MY honor as I award myself Coach of the Year! And since I work for the paper, my picture holding my oversized trophy will be front page news. 🏆 😌

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Delbert Griffith
12:26 Aug 21, 2023

LOLOL The narrative is the truth these days. Well, I feel blessed, conversing with Coach of the Year and Bio of the Year winner. Your wit is boundless. Probably a good thing for a writer. Cheers!

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Sarah Saleem
14:54 Aug 20, 2023

Dark and funny!

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Delbert Griffith
15:03 Aug 20, 2023

Thank you, Sarah. I appreciate the kind words, my friend. Cheers!

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Ty Warmbrodt
23:59 Aug 19, 2023

That was a riot - for me personally. The preacher up there saying all those things, Jesus bursts open, and he turns out to be the murder - brilliant!

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Delbert Griffith
09:27 Aug 20, 2023

Thank you so much, Ty for enjoying my little tale and for commenting on it. I appreciate it, my friend. Cheers!

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Susan Catucci
23:23 Aug 19, 2023

You already know how much I revere this hugely entertaining romp that has all the features of a classic, Del. You really covered all the bases with this one. Who doesn't love a daffy dame; here, we get two endearing examples of one absurdity blending with another and we get to enjoy watching the absurdity multiply until, in a stunning climax, the dames bring it all together, or actually things wrap up well in spite of their goofs and gaffs, and then, somehow, (imagine if these ladies had guardian angels; 1. they must be exhausted; 2. t...

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Delbert Griffith
09:26 Aug 20, 2023

Susan, you are very kind with your praise, and I really appreciate that you take the time to read and comment on my little tales. Thanks to you, the story was whipped into shape. A million blessings on you for helping me out, my friend. When I considered how to write this tale, I went through a lot of options for characters. Male, female, a pair of males, a pair of females. I knew what I wanted to happen, and the two old librarians seemed like a good fit. "Weekend at Bernie's" had male characters, so why not the same idea with females chara...

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Susan Catucci
12:13 Aug 20, 2023

You do the work, Del, and you do it well. :)

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Marty B
19:57 Aug 19, 2023

Del’s back! and a mystery too. The librarians aren’t much in the way of detectives, more of don’t look at us! For all the talk of their relationship I was expecting them to connect in the end, maybe through another jesus statue miracle or oil drilling created earthquake. I’m glad they get to work together though, they are a matched set! Thanks-

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Delbert Griffith
20:30 Aug 19, 2023

Thanks so much, Marty, for the kind words and for the insights into my two world-weary librarians. The damaged Jesus/fracking incident that led to the confession of the murderer was a case of doing good through religion or through coincidence. It was a fun write, certainly. Again, thank you, my friend. Cheers!

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RBE | Illustration — We made a writing app for you | 2023-02

We made a writing app for you

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