“Welcome back.” The headmaster/president/whatever smiled warmly. “And welcome to the first day of your training as prophets.”
We were gathered in the holiest of The Academy’s chapels–off-limits to most students–for the special start-of-term ceremony for new prophets. Pretty nice chapel, actually. Beautiful stained glass, expensive-looking flowers, and a lovely statue of a dead angel nailed to a cross.1
Lilly and I were sitting in the front pews, next to the other new prophets. Besides Lilly and myself, there was a guy dressed in a fancy suit, another guy in a white robe, and a girl with a green dress and pink hair. Several members of the Academy’s faculty were sitting behind us.
“I will not waste time saying what an honor this is, as we are all aware of the holiness of such a duty. However, I shall remind you that it is not a duty which you alone bare. You have each been chosen for this holy task, and I pray you will see each other as brothers and sisters, and offer help to guide each other.”
I blinked. Brotherhood? Helping out people with a different ideology? It was like this headmaster guy actually paid attention to Jesus’s teachings! Not what I’d expect from such a high-ranking member of the angelic clergy.
“With that spirit in mind, I open up the floor for you to introduce yourselves to your new brothers and sisters.” He left the podium.
After a few moments of awkward glances, the guy in the suit decided to go first.
“For those who don’t recognize me from Fortune Magazine, my name is Richard Monet, head of Monet Incorporated, the only company officially endorsed by Our Lord.” He had that snotty-rich-guy voice, where every word is drawn out like it’s a gift from on high. “God has given you everything on this Earth. If you wish to reach Him in Heaven, you will need to pay Him back for it by buying from Monet Incorporated.” He returned to the pew.
Maybe it’s just my skepticism, but I didn’t quite buy the whole “God wants you to pay me money” thing…
Next was the guy in the white robe.
“Hi. My name’s Jack. Jack Hitler-Hussein.”
Hitler-Hussein? I thought.
“Uh… guess I should talk about my message… We need to kill the infidels,” he stated causally, “We’re surrounded by lesser species, unholy abominations in the face of the Lord. They’re nothing but vermin, and as holy soldiers of God, it’s up to us to eradicate them and purify the land.” He smiled. Looked down at his robe. “I intend to stain this robe red with the blood of those unholy ‘cubi filth, and I look forward to helping others do the same. Thank you.” He headed back to the pew, smiling.
He was so calm and at ease talking about his plans for genocide. I made a mental note to stay the fuck away from him.
“Guess I’ll go now.” Lilly got up.
Hitler-Hussein sat back down next to me. “I’ll go with you.” I grabbed Lilly’s arm. “You know, since… we’re supposed to do this together…” I glanced over at the genocidal maniac. Please don’t leave me alone with this guy!, I wanted to shout.
“Good idea.” Lilly smiled and pulled me up.
“Um, hey,” I said once we reached the podium, “I’m Alex Claypool. This is Lilly–uh…” I froze.
“You don’t know my last name?” she whispered.
“…Apparently not.” Awkward… “Anyway, uh… we’re supposed to be working together on this whole prophet thing, and… our message is pretty much the exact opposite of Jack’s. There’s already way too much genocide, and… uh… we don’t like that.” Okay, so public speaking isn’t exactly my thing. “Let’s… um… let’s try for less genocide, more peace and tolerance. Okay?” I turned to Lilly. “You got anything to add?”
“No. I think you pretty much covered it.”
We returned awkwardly to the pew.
All heads turned to the girl with the pink hair.
“Oh. Is–is it my turn?” She asked weakly.
“You’re the only one left.”
“Oh. O-Okay.” She walked over to the podium.
And stood there silently, staring out at us.
“Come on,” Jack encouraged, “Don’t be shy.”
“Oh. Uh. M–my name’s…” she mumbled, trailing off.
“Sorry. Couldn’t hear that. You need to speak up.”
She gave it another try. “My name is Flu…”
“It’s–it’s Flutter Shy!!!” She yelled.
“Oh, uh. Sorry about that.” She was at a normal speaking volume now. “I didn’t mean to yell.”
“No problem,” Jack said, “So what’s your message?”
“Um… I–I think we should…” trailing off again “try to help the…”
Attempt #2: “We need to help the ani…”
Deep breath. “We need to help the animals!!” She rushed back to the pew.
The headmaster returned to the podium. “Very nice, everyone. And now, it’s finally time to begin your lessons.”
“Rough competition, huh?” I whispered to Lilly.
- The Angelic Church insists that Jesus was an angel. It’s unknown what species he really was. [↩]