Gloria's Vision
By James C. Brenthal
Published: October 16, 2007

While dreaming of her third husband, Gloria saw Jesus Christ.

He hovered just ahead of her and sked her to follow him. Nervous, intimidated, she followed.

“Gloria Askew?”

“Currently,” she said. “Yes.”

Jesus was moving with a kind of rigid elegance. His long, greasy hair twinkled in the twig light, and hardly remembering to reproach herself, Gloria found herself wondering what he would be like in bed.

Soon, they arrived at what looked like a chapel, but what had appeared to be a gold altar inside proved itself to be made of Weatabix. She looked up enquiringly, and Jesus explained:

“Worship me with what you have, not what can otherwise serve humanity. In serving humanity, you serve me. Otherwise, you serve only yourself. St. Paul said as much, but no one listens to him any more. It’s also in the second commandment.”

“What do you want with me, Oh Messiah?”

“I want to save you. To help you achieve your rightful place in Heaven. I don’t want to feel I died in vain.” Christ showed Gloria his wrists and his feet. They were smooth holes, and while there was blood, it had congealed neatly in place so that rather than looking grotesque, the wounds appeared tidy; at home.

Deciding to change the subject, Gloria asked what sort of friends Jesus had in Heaven.

“All sorts. Oh, don’t raise that plucked eyebrow of yours like that. Having all sorts of friends is rather to be expected when one is God incarnate.”

“I guess so. You must be very rich,” said Gloria, who thought first, after sex, of money.

“Yes and no. But I don’t want to talk about me; that’s not what I’m here for. This is all about you. You need to purge your soul. Repent what’s passed, avoid what is to come. One day you will be judged. If it be not now, yet it will come.”

How dare he! “I always thought I was a good girl.”

“God will not be mocked.”

“I…” Gloria remembered the tapestry that had covered the save in her nursery. It had borne those very words. “I see. What do I change?”

“Your vices. Your pleasures. You’re not an untypical pop singer, but at this rate I really am losing you.”

“I will change,” said Gloria, decisive. “I will. And I’ll tell others to change, too, so we can all go to Heaven.”

Jesus looked as if he didn’t know how to react. “Change yourself first. Do it thoroughly, and then you can change others.”

“I will, Jesus, I will!”

The shrouded Lord and Saviour guided Gloria back to her bedroom, and by the time she woke up he was gone.

Excited, she nudged awake her boyfriend, who lay next to her, and she told him to get her a bowl of Weatabix. While he was doing this, she got on the telephone to her manager and told him that she had “seen God”. Encouraged by the enthusiasm at the other end, the great Gloria arranged a born-again-Christian themed charity concert for the end of the month. They’d invite the B.B.C., Sky, N.B.C. and Prince Harry. They’d build it in Edinburgh. Yes, she could see it now: the gold pillars and a big enamel at the back with the face of Jesus.

The man who meant she would never take a fourth husband.

THE END