Another Assignment

Beads of sweat roll down the preacher’s forehead from the bright studio lights.
“You pick up your GUN and you call me! Call me on 555-GOD-LOVES-YOU.”
He sings out his last few sentences, his body shaking and his face flushing beetroot red.
“And… clear. We’re off the air, Father.”
“Thank you, son. My best performance yet, don’t you think? Prepare for twice as many hits as last night.”
“Yes, Father.”
“I’m getting too good for this gig.” He grabs the Egyptian cotton towel roughly from the runner and wipes his brow.
*
Controller Gibson sits in his office, watching the preacher on the CCTV. He signals his attendant to bring the preacher up to his office. He unlocks and opens the top drawer of his desk, removes the taser, checks the charge.
*
“Now? But I’m due back on in ten minutes. I can’t lose my spot at the top.”
The attendant stands mute. He gestures down the corridor towards the Controller’s office.
The preacher starts sweating again.
*
“Father, please, sit down,” Gibson rumbles.
A recording of the Controller plays: “As you tap your feet nervously, you pick up the taser.
As your hand begins shaking, you close your eyes and jam the taser onto your head.”
The preacher froths at the mouth; dots of spittle spray onto Gibson’s mahogany desk.
ā‚
He sits back, hits Save. Referencing someone else’s story. Brilliant.
Still under the word count. Best story yet.
And a few days early, too.

He folds the laptop shut and turns on the TV.
“You hear my voice, telling you about the LORD!”
He shifts uncomfortably in his seat.

6 thoughts on “Another Assignment”

  1. Our Hero is writing a story that plays off of one of Parfle’s. A tele-evangelist, who has the ability to control other people and provide them with secret missions, is called in to his superior’s office, where the same powers are used nefariously on him. Our Hero then sits back and basks in his authorial magnificence ā€” but on the TV a familiar message is playing.

    Ha! I liked this. It’s slightly creepy and kinda funny at the same time. Funny bits: the sitting back, hitting save, and thinking brilliant. Creep bits: well, everything else! But hearing the voice on the TV right at the very end stands out.

    Isn’t this possibly the second story where you played a bit off of someone else? Didn’t you once having something set around a store that Docinatrix wrote about? I remember not immediately noticing the linkup in the previous one, but this one was nicely clear to me that it played on another story, from the title to the repeated dialogue.

    I have some nitpicks:

    > taser
    My spell-checker doesn’t know this taser thing. It suggests “teaser”.

    1. Your summary is spot on. Yay!

      Re second play-off: indeed it is.
      My Eye story has a bit that takes place in the shop from <a href="http://microfiction.co.za/2010/09/15/stopper/"Jess's Stopper. I’m making a bit of an effort to do more of this since it appeals to my “It’s all connnected!” craziness.
      I felt a bit cheeky lifting lines wholesale, but it was only a few.

      Re Taser: your spell-checker is off its rocker, Mr!
      Taser like Bzzzzt! Like shocking. Like Taser. A Teaser Taser would be something else… (0_o)

  2. Ah, thank you for the nod! I am feeling rather vainglorious about it… šŸ˜‰

    I agree with Rudy’s summary of the story (for once!). It is very creepy, and strange, and again I’m having alan wake flashbacks (the TV playing stuff from your stories…)

    I am not sure of why the controller killed the preacher, I understand that we are not to know but I would have liked a hint. I’m also not sure why he uses a recorded message (maybe it’s because he kills lots of people this way!)

    “He sings out his last few sentences,” – that reads very nicely.

    “watching the preacher on the CCTV. He signals his attendant to bring the preacher up to his office” – the repeat of “preacher” jars – the first one could actually be left off?

    I liked the final lines a lot – very creepy and disturbing. :)

    1. *tips hat*

      Re why: I tried to imply that the preacher was getting too big for his boots with the “ā€œIā€™m getting too good for this gig” vibes, but obviously it needs some work. Perhaps Gibson needs a line or two more?

      Re preacher the second: agreed. Will ditch.

      I seem to be getting better at being creepy!
      (Don’t let my parole officer see this…)

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