THE SHINE JOURNAL

Flash Literature, Poetry, Art and Photography!

Two Stories By Keisha L. Grant

 THE SECOND COMING


 
Someone somewhere will be completely shit-faced drunk on the second coming of Jesus Christ.


He will be drinking his heart out in a dingy little bar when he hears the trumpets playing. Angels shall be singing glorious hymns and the people will all rush out to see. There in all His glory will be Jesus come to punish the wicked and give praise to the good.

 

Jesus hovers high above them all in the sky. Some of the people will stand in awe and wonder but the drunk will not. He will see all this and laugh, his drunken laugh and then go back inside. He will pour himself another drink. Maybe alcohol will numb the pain of burning in hell for all eternity, he thinks to himself.
 
Someone somewhere in the world will be sleeping on the second coming of Jesus Christ.

She will be in bed dreaming her little dreams when it wakes her still half asleep. She will lookout her window and see it. She will think that it]s a pretty sight and that it’s a beautifully dream. She will change positions on her bed and go right back to sleep.
 
 Someone somewhere will be masturbating on the second coming of Jesus Christ.

 

He will be locked in the bathroom with stacks of porn surrounding him. Every brand of adult entertainment will be laid out before him. He will be enjoying himself staring at Heidi and the others. He will hear the sounds and will try to see what’s happening. He will drop to his knees when he sees that it is the second coming. He asks for forgiveness all the while secretly swearing to himself that he’d never forgive Heidi, Kate and all the other anorexic bitches responsible for his fall from grace.
 
Someone somewhere in the world will have died one minute before the second coming of Jesus Christ.


The now disembodied entity will stand at the window watching the show. She will stand thinking, if only, “I had lasted one minute longer I could have said that I lived to see the coming of Christ.” She will shake what used to be her head and then walked off into the white light at the door.
 
Someone somewhere will not be doing anything in particular on the second coming of Jesus Christ.


This person will look up on this beautiful day and look up and say as simply as possible, “Well it’s about time.”
 

 

Fear of Failure
 

 

I


 

 “I can’t,” she said quietly behind the book to which she clung. Beyond its pages lay a world she claimed as her own. Fear, joy and a wide range of experiences could be felt and explored from a safe distance. She had tasted the bitter fruit of failure and felt the frightening sharpness of pain but only in those worlds where strife is conquered by a mere flip of the page.


There were moments when she forgot that there existed another world, a real world in which people actually lived with beating hearts that could be broken. From them came raging rivers of emotions that threaten to wash away their very lives. She didn’t understand how they could bear it which was why she always said no: no to party invitations, no to the simple gatherings of friends and no to the world in general.


There were those who had wound themselves close to her either by the bond of blood or by inclination only to find her embrace cold. She was slightly repulsed by them all. Their proximity unnerved her. She feared, as one sometimes does in the presence of someone with a contagious disease, that she would catch it. She feared that by merely being around those so fiercely alive that she’d be infected with life and all the dangers it held.

She was young after all. She would adjust; perhaps a time would come when she could envision friends with blood flowing through their veins instead of ink. Then she would join them on some grand adventure - but not yet.
 
 
 
 
II
 
 “Later,” she said, “l’ll meet you there later. “I just have to finish this last chapter.”


 She had dressed for a night out or rather she had allowed herself to be plucked and stuffed into the latest trendy clothes. It was her roommate’s attempt to bring her a little closer to normal.

 

“Promise you’ll come. Adam will be there and I think he likes you,” said the roommate who headed out the door.     

 


 The apartment door closed and another was opened as she begun reading. She raced through the words not so that she could join her roommate but so that she could start another book. She often thought that the sole tragedy of her life was that there were so many great books and that she would not be able to read them all.


 At work she was quick and quiet so that she could hurry off, to what her coworkers guessed was a secret life. They did not know however that the life truly belonged to a Russian bride in a 17th century novel. It was yet another life she had slipped into and wore more easily than she could ever wear her own.


 Reading could be rhythmic, she knew that and as she danced her way through the lines she felt more exhilaration than any club could provide. Adam and others like him would him would have to wait.


She still had time. Gone was the so called springtime of her life, youth, yet the end was still far off. She would start soon. She’d play the messy game of life soon but not yet. She was busy at the moment too busy for things that were destined to fail.
 
 III
 


 “I couldn’t even if I wanted to, which I don’t,” she said as she sat shuddering in her rocking chair. A blanket covered her now withering form while her shaking hands held fast to a book. What was left of her now silver hair had been stuffed into a knitted cap.


 “Why not?” asked one of the other residents of the retirement home where she lived.


 “I’m old and in case you didn’t notice- so are you. Plus I’d much rather read my book, go play your foolish football games without me,” was her angry reply.


They left deeply offended. They could handle their ever shrinking forms and their fading memories but being chastised for using the little life they had left was too much to take.


Adjusting her glasses she entered another book without hesitation. She was ready to feel, to be led on whatever journey the author intended her to take. She was enjoying a stroll through the streets of Paris at night when she was interrupted.


 “Excuse me madam, the nurse sent me to read to you. She said you love reading," said a young man.


 “I can read it myself.”


 “Also I was told to ask you if you wanted me to take you down to the field so that you can watch the others play.”


 “Why would I want to do that? They are just going to lose.”


 “Have you ever played the game?”


 “No” she said.

 

 “Then how would you know?”


 “Look boy, you don’t have to do something to know it’s a dumb idea.”


  “Sounds to me like you got a fear of failure,” he said.


 “What? Came her retort.


 “You’re the kind of person who won’t do something just because it might not work out.”

 

“Well so what if I am? It’s kept me sane and safe right here with my books,” she said patting the book fondly. “And I’ll tell you something else, I’ve never failed - not once!”


 He smiled sadly and said, “Of course you have. You took something that was meant to help you cope with life and assumed that it was life. In the process you failed to live.”

KEISHA L. GRANT shares...

Keisha L.Grant is a twenty one year old native of Trinidad. She lives in the south of Trinidad and is currently working as laboratory technician. Her website is: http://lei.gather.com 

 

KEISHA’s Motivation:

 

The Second Coming 

 

I wanted write about that moment, the second coming of Christ. I wanted to make it light, funny and yet somehow hold some truth.

 

 

 

 

 

Fear of Failure

 

The story fear of failure is a truly personal one for me and it actually evolved from some of my own fears. I'm someone who has often found solace in the stories that I've read in books and I wondered what would happen to someone who took this love of books to a startling extreme.