“Come And See”: Part Four

This is the fourth part of a fiction serial, in 742 words.

After that first experience of the prayer group, Jimmy did a deal with his mum. He would wheel her there on Sundays, but not stay for the meeting. He had to tell the scary old lady not to bolt the door, and then made his escape before Reverend George appeared. There was something about that man he really didn’t like. He would hang around for an hour, then collect her for the trip home.

At least the broken ankle stopped his mum from going to the shopping precinct, or standing outside the Londis shop.

The downside was that she was off sick from work, and around all the time. At least he had school to get a few hours away from her, but she started going on about God as soon as he got home, so he retreated to his bedroom at the earliest opportunity. More used to the the very old-fashioned style of writing by now, he had got as far as Judges, and was almost up to Ruth. The main conclusion he had reached so far was that God was a very vengeful God, and anyone who crossed him was in serious trouble.

School was going well though, as long as he could avoid the taunts of the boys who teased him about his mum. They called her ‘Bible-Basher’, or ‘God-Botherer’ and one asked Jimmy why Jesus hadn’t just reached down from Heaven and healed her ankle, to save her having it in plaster. Good news was that he won a prize in Chemistry, and when he told his mum she said she would buy him a small statue of Jesus to keep in his bedroom. Jimmy would have preferred some chocolate-covered Brazil nuts, but said nothing.

He took his exams that summer, and when the results came in, he had Grade One O-level passes in Chemistry, Biology, Maths, and Physics. The passes in English, French, and Geography were not so great, but that didn’t bother him, as he intended to be a scientist. He would be going on to the A-levels the following year, and the Chemistry teacher told him to start thinking about university. But Jimmy’s mum had already fixed him up with a job after the A-levels, at the pharmaceutical company here she worked as a typist in the office. They would take him on as long as he got A-level Chemistry, which he was certain to get. Then he would get paid, be able to learn to drive, and hopefully save up enough money to rent his own place, and get away from his mum.

During the summer holidays, with mum no longer in a leg cast and back at work, he had more free time. But with no friends to speak of, and no telly to watch, he was soon up to the book of Proverbs. One line in that caught his attention. “The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom”. There it was again. Fear. You had to fear God, and if you didn’t you could be sure you were in trouble. Once Proverbs was finished, Jimmy realised he was still only halfway through. They certainly knew how to write a book in the old days.

Of course, with mum mobile again, she resumed her preaching. She didn’t bother to buy another three-step stool though. Just in case. Some days, three or four of George’s group would work together. They went knocking on doors, handing out leaflets, and generally bothering all the neighbours. It wasn’t long before almost nobody talked to Jimmy, and when they saw his mum approaching, they would cross the street to avoid her. No telly, no friends, and now nobody talking either. Jimmy was starting to feel like an outcast.

By the time he had taken his exams the following year, he felt lonelier than ever. Mum had taken to preaching after work every evening, and all over the weekend. She told him she was guaranteeing them both a place in Heaven. But he had to cook his own dinner every night, and sit in the silent house on his own.

More time for reading meant he had almost finished The Old Testament. He was nearly at the end of the Book of Daniel, and there were only the Minor Prophets to go. Keen to get onto the New Testament to see if it was more interesting, he thought he might skip those.

They were only Minor, after all.

44 thoughts on ““Come And See”: Part Four

  1. This episode spontaneously reminded me of an old joke: When a Rabbi came to the synagogue and complained to Yahweh, of his suffering that his son would not have been brought up after his upbringing. Yahweh told him to do as he did and to write a New Testament. 😉 Best wishes, Michael

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Terrific chapter Pete…one moment in the story reminded me of the scene when Carrie White”s Mother stops by the neighbor’s house to preach and take money for the church…and how embarrassed Carrie was about it…let’s see if he ends up with telekinetic powers too!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. (1) Bad citation: “Jimmy had got as far as Judges, and was almost up to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who was said to be older than Methuselah.”
    (2) Ever since his son died on the cross, God has had an aversion to being crossed.
    (3) Overheard in Rio de Janeiro
    Madalena: I heard that Estavao slipped out of his Speedo on the beach today.
    Constança: Yes. The lifeguard scolded him for showing everyone his chocolate covered Brazil nuts.
    Madalena: What about you? Did you say anything to Estavao?
    Constança: Yes. I said, “Yummy!”
    (4) Jimmy has become a believer…in alchemy. That may not go over too well at the pharmaceutical company.
    (5) One line in the Book of Proverbs caught my attention: “A wisdom tooth has nothing to fear but the dentist.” I’ll have to chew on that one for a while.
    (6) It wasn’t long before almost nobody talked to Jeanne d’Arc. And then one day, she started hearing voices in her head. That disturbed her so much that she wished for the sound of silence.
    (7) U.S. Route 50 in Nevada has been officially dubbed “The Loneliest Road in America.” Drivers have been known to ask themselves, “What the hell am I doing on this godforsaken road, anyway?”
    (8) God would like to put Jimmy to work in heaven’s kitchen. The only condition is that Jimmy must swear on the Bible that he’ll never cook anything produced with chemicals. In heaven, only organic foods are permitted.
    (9) At school, Jimmy feels like Daniel in the lions’ den.

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  4. (1) Bad citation: “Jimmy had got as far as Judges, and was almost up to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who was said to be older than Methuselah.”
    (2) Ever since his son died on the cross, God has had an aversion to being crossed.
    (3) Overheard in Rio de Janeiro
    Madalena: I heard that Estavao slipped out of his Speedo on the beach today.
    Constança: Yes. The lifeguard scolded him for showing everyone his chocolate covered Brazil nuts.
    Madalena: What about you? Did you say anything to Estavao?
    Constança: Yes. I said, “Yummy!”
    (4) Jimmy has become a believer…in alchemy. That may not go over too well at the pharmaceutical company.
    (5) One line in the Book of Proverbs caught my attention: “A wisdom tooth has nothing to fear but the dentist.” I’ll have to chew on that one for a while.
    (6) It wasn’t long before almost nobody talked to Jeanne d’Arc. And then one day, she started hearing voices in her head. That disturbed her so much that she wished for the sound of silence.
    (7) U.S. Route 50 in Nevada has been officially dubbed “The Loneliest Road in America.” Drivers have been known to ask themselves, “What the hell am I doing on this godforsaken road, anyway?”
    (8) God would like to put Jimmy to work in heaven’s kitchen. The only condition is that Jimmy must swear on the Bible that he’ll never cook anything produced with chemicals. In heaven, only organic foods are permitted.
    (9) At school, Jimmy feels like Daniel in the lions’ den.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh dear. Poor Jimmy. I wonder what he will do? And as for his mum’s newfound religionit doesn’t seem to have had a good effect upon her, but rather, thenopposite. I wonder if she will come to her senses in the end!

    Liked by 1 person

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