Friday, December 16, 2011
"God Don't Take Crap From Nobody" by Terry Gelormino Silver (Short Stories)
Type of Short Story: Short Story Collection
Summary: This is a day in the life of homeless and practically toothless old Army veteran Jimmy O'Malley. Jimmy still sees himself as the handsome lady killler of his youth and is always on the prowl for feminine companionship. Jimmy's constant companion is his dead buddy Archie. Jimmy believes that when you think of someone who died, that person can enter your body, look out of your eyes, and do the same thing the living person is doing. When Jimmy has sex, he can have it for his dead friend or for himself. When Jimmy and his dead pal decide to rest up at a church, the parishioners move away from their pungent smell and when Jimmy and his pal decide to join the congregation in singing, the awful noise silences the congregation. Jimmy's speech to the congregation, before his bag of discarded cans go flying down the church aisles, is to affirm that he doesn't blame God for his situation.
Walking across the street to the Church of Religious Science, he checked the doorknob and then pushed the door open. There was a service going on and he decided to go in and watch. Rest his feet for a bit. Let Archie calm down after all that excitement.
“Oh when the saints go marchin’ in,” he hummed softly, ignoring looks of disapproval and giving a toothy grin to a woman holding a cautionary finger to her lips. His entrance had disturbed the air and carried his abundant odor to nearby church members. As he took an end seat in the last pew, they suddenly found better seating arrangements and left a wide berth around the blissful old man.
“Ah, this is great, ain’t it, Archie?” Old Jimmy let out a long sigh of contentment and took off his grease-rimmed derby. Shaking his long, gingery-gray hair, he amused himself watching his dandruff dance around in the sunlight coming in through the stained-glass window. It sure was a hot day.
Throwing his blackened scarf over the back of the pew in front of him, he untied the strings holding his shoes together and slipped out of them, increasing the pungency of the surrounding air. He wiggled his bare, grimy toes against the cool wooden floor and gave them a good stretch. “Ooh, that’s nice,” he whispered to Archie.
The murmuring of the minister was making Jimmy sleepy and he lay back and closed his eyes, until the unexpected singing of the congregation startled him to full consciousness.
“He’s got the whole world in his hands . . . “ they sang loudly and with enthusiasm as he sat back and listened. Finally, he too was filled with the spirit and jumped to his feet. Archie joined him.
“He’s got the little bitty baby in his hands; he’s got the little bitty baby in his hands . . .” Jimmy’s whiskey-cracked voice bellowed out, drowning out Archie whose lung power’d been shot from chain smoking.
The horrible sound rose up to the vaulted ceiling and burst loudly over the church members, throwing everyone off key. Although making a feeble attempt to finish the song, they finally gave up when the organist threw in the towel.
Buy this short story collection on Amazon.