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.”
“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.
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.