Adam Ash

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Saturday, March 18, 2006

JESUS NATION SEX REBEL, mini-chapter 26


Her photograph -- a casual snapshot -- didn’t do her justice. She was wearing a simple white shirt and jeans.

Adam had sent out a profile perfectly adjusted as a match to hers, and the beautiful Beloved’s profile duly appeared, courtesy of the Bureau of Behavior Design and Management.

He was not surprised at the successful match. He knew he could second-guess the Bureau. He was an expert when it came to maneuvering his way around Dating Sites.

But he was disturbed. He had never before hesitated when a good profile came up. Now he hesitated over hers. This was the owner of the hand that had squeezed. The owner of the tears streaming down her face as they watched the Transgressor being consumed.

He’d watched the burning on tape and on television. It was repeatedly broadcast that first week. The speech of the Transgressor had been edited out. Only those present at the burning had heard the words of the Transgressor. Only they had been contaminated.

Adam remembered. The wolf. The sheep. The underground. The overlords. The dissatisfaction. The challenge.

The Transgressor had been so sure of himself -- almost like a prophet of old. Slick and on message, like this year’s winner of American Evangelist. The Transgressor had taunted his audience. At the point of death he brimmed with confidence, as full of it as he was of blood, using his mordant platform to hurl his words – icicles of bizarre truth -- at his enemies without an ounce of contrition.

Surely the height of evil, to be so clear about yourself and your actions. To be so righteous in the face of death. So defiant. One could almost envy someone with such physical courage.

Had the words of the Transgressor stirred the inner wolf of some doubting Beloveds? Had there been other wolves in the audience? How many did he start on a journey from sheep to wolf?

Or had his death, by his own lights, been in vain?

Adam thought one would have to be quite weak-minded to fall for the words of the hated Transgressor.

But what about this female Beloved, whose snapshot he was looking at, dressed in a shirt and jeans? Why had she cried?

He looked at her hands. One of them had held him. His left, her right. He studied the slender fingers, hanging at rest. Innocent. No rings.

The hand that pulled him out of the crowd. The hand that put him in harm’s way.

His life was so safe and secure, the only risk being his over-use of Dating Sites. The last time he had put himself in any real danger was when he had campaigned for a chair in Creationism.

Now this hand had drawn him into what felt like real danger. As dangerous as the accusation of treason had been before his CEO benefactor squashed it.

A single hand.

Could he risk being alone with her, with her hand? It had already taken him where he did not want to be. He did not want to be in rebellion. He was a secure hero of the Reformation, a hammer of the first wave. To tell the truth, he had not really been much of a leader back then. He was pushed from behind, at the crest of a big wave. He had always just gone along and taken opportunities as they came. A rich conservative in the pharmaceutical industry had approached him after reading an article of his in The Christian Standard, and offered to endow a chair at Columbia in Intelligent Design, giving the university a lot of money. What did he, Adam, have to lose? He said yes, and was swept along on a tide of cash. After steady success as head of the new department, he had been offered a position in politics, but preferred the safety of academia. He was not a natural risk-taker. He backed away from danger, avoided physical exposure. That was one reason why he floundered in the safety of his numbness – why he had not found an outlet for his desire for revenge.

He was safe in the crowd. He was in danger as an individual, which he feared this risk-taking female would turn him into.

He faced a choice here, without the benefit of being pushed.

Move on.

Or click the send button.


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