God’s Rules – Free Flash Fiction CovidCantina Style

Welcome back for another round at the bar. Today I wander off into the land of Leviticus. For those of you not particularly familiar with the Bible, this is where the ancient Israelite crowd had codified their laws. It is replete with things that were left behind when Jesus came into the world and established the New Testament order. You didn’t need to know that to enjoy the story, but I’m a know-it-all, and my sparse knowledge of the Bible needs to be shown off whenever the opportunity comes along.

We hope you’ll visit the other authors who comprise this collection: Paul Bennett, Robert CelyDerek Elkins, Jamie D. Greening, Kathy Kexel, and Joe Shaw. As always, there’s no fee, we’re doing this to help you pass the time. We do ask that you buy our books/audio books to help pay the freight here. But that’s up to you! Mine are all on the right margin of the blog.

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Michael had been one of those Christians who’d attended church every week, and made sure that he dropped at least a $20 in the basket most of the time. He supported the church raffles, and donated a bit extra for the different ministries. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to minister to the poor, or visit the sick at home, but that he was so gosh-darned busy. The same reason, it turned out, that he missed Bible study every week. That was his night to row on the crew he’d been a part of since college.

Single, without a care in the world, he had a good job in an office in the suburbs. Geeky stuff involving patent research. It was a little lonely sometimes in his cube, but he could work from home, and often took his laptop out to the lake and plugged in his cellular card so he could do his work and hang out with nature. He loved being outside and all that brought to him. 

When the pandemic of Wuhan Wacky (COVID-19) hit, his office closed within the first week. All of them were more than capable of working from home, and they were dispatched without further discussion.

At first he found his days actually more productive, and then as the number of research jobs dwindled he spent more time surfing the internet. On a whim, he downloaded a bunch of videos from a preacher who seemed to really know his Bible stuff, and something resonated with him. 

His bible had been soaked when the laundry machine overflowed, and was ruined. Careless of him to have left it at the base of the machine, but when it fell he forgot to pick it up. The phone rang, and, well – one thing leads to another. But the top part, the original Pentateuch, wasn’t too badly damaged so he had that to study. And, with the lock-down he was inclined to actually learn his faith. While he was a techno-geek, he’d never liked reading from a computer screen, so he was limited to this paper remnant that had survived since the time of Moses.

It had been innocent enough at first. He’d used a CAD (Computer Assisted Design) program to try and model an Ark of the Covenant. He’d been bored with some of the naming trends, but after he’d read the first five books several times, he started to feel like he’d been slacking on obeying the law. Not very strong in his faith, and egged on by the “Jews for Jesus” style preacher he was following on YouTube, he began to observe the old laws more closely. 

Some were easy: he changed his shaving habits, worked on tassels and blue threads for his clothing, and really watched his diet. He felt better with the new eating habits, and while he missed bacon quite a bit, he felt more in touch with God.

Some days were better than others. Burnt offerings were tough, because live doves were in short supply. But he snared a couple of cats and a few robins and made due. The neighbors complained about the stench over the fence, but he blamed it on a malfunctioning gas grill. Which was fine, because under Mosaic law, he could never use it again to cook food.

He forgot to observe some days, others were more to the letter. But he kept circling back to something he’d read early on and avoided. He was pretty sure that given the lock down, and the inability to have elective surgery, he would be forgiven.

That sentiment slowly grew distant. The more he listened to the internet preacher, and the clangor of empty bells in his lonely head, the more he grew fearful that an Old Testament sort of God wasn’t going to let this one slide. 

And thus it was that on Thursday evening, just before nine, he took a couple of pills left over from kidney stone flares, Dilaudid, opened the package from the online medical supply outfit, and took a stab at obeying his One True God – and finalizing the invocation of Leviticus 12:3.

Let’s just say that you don’t learn all you need on Youtube, and the video on self-trained Mohel work was a little lacking. As were some other things when Friday morning rolled around.


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