Marriage Hood.

The Preacher sat on his haunches in the bushes, ensuring the arrow remained notched in the bow. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson were late getting back from the movies. The Johnsons had signed the divorce papers early in the morning and, after deciding to keep the proceedings amicable for the cat’s sake, decided to take in a movie. They had remained married a mere two years before calling it quits. Lives drift apart. People change. The Preacher secretly believed that true love could never exist and instead is merely and act between the fecund exploiting the depraved. In truth none are victorious. Not any more.

The Preacher blamed pornography for the whole thing. There had always been pornography in some form floating around. Whether it be crudely carved woodcuts or shakily drawn papyrus pictogram, humanity has always had a fascination with coitus. And for as long as man has desired to possess pornography their wives, or the clergy, would disapprove. For The Preacher it all came to a breaking point in the mid 90s. When 3000 years of technology finally caught up. The Internet allowed free streaming images of humans doing all manner of depraved acts to one another. Not just good old fashioned fucking neither.

The Preacher watched it all as a sort of research. In his heart it all made him sick, but on the other hand it was fascinating. The Feminists all railed against the industry, but to The Preacher it should have been a cause to be taken up by crime lawyers. Some sort of nazi group-think took what was once a mild and depraved vice into a shock-rock freak show of human exploitation.

“You want me to do what now?” the stars would ask. And then after enough cash and drug they would do it.

Probably it was pornography. There again he had once heard a song that went “Baby, sometimes love just ain’t enough.” when he got word of divorce this song played, as it had during past loves lost. Oh, The Preacher was not always so. For many a lonely year he had wandered among the flock before deciding to Sheppard them. He had known the love of many, but never the True Love books seem to talk about. Couples. They were a funny lot. Humanity. Compelled to define and defeat. Procreate and congregate. But when it came to marriage, The Preacher was adamant; Till Death Do You Part.

The Johnsons had broken a terrible pact. Both in ending their union and in not seeking his counsel. They needed counseling before The Preacher would marry them. Three months of review before The Preacher had reluctantly allowed them to contract with one another. Had talked to them as a couple and as individuals. They seemed doomed to begin with, and The Preacher had explained it to them. He had a recording of it in his pocket, and as he waited for their return from the movie, he played it to himself to remind him of why he was lurking in the shadows of their lawn. Preparing to shoot them both with arrows;

Preacher: Jimmy, Cindy, why don’t you go ahead and sit down. Would either of you care for a cup of coffee?

Jimmy: No, thank you pastor.

Cindy: I would like a cup.

Preacher: Sure, there you go.

Cindy: Thank you.

Preacher: You are welcome. Would you like a hard candy Jimmy?

Jimmy: I’m diabetic Father.

Preacher: They are sugar free Jimmy, and I am not a Father.

Jimmy: Sorry pastor… or minister… sir.

Preacher: Why don’t you just call me what you like, providing it’s not something I’m not.

Cindy: Why can’t you be smart like him?

Jimmy: Stop making passes at him Cindy! God! You can smell the desire on you like a musk!!

Preacher: He is right Cindy. You are rank with lust.

Jimmy: See!? SEE??!?!

Preacher: Settle down Jimmy! YOU SIT BACK DOWN!!!

The Preacher hadn’t struck him then, but he should have.

Preacher: I’m not going to marry you.

Cindy: We already paid you the cash money! We hardly have enough for ice cream anymore!

Jimmy: Yeah, no welching!! My Dad’s the District Attorney!

Preacher: I know who your dad is Jimmy, and if you threaten me again I’m going to lock you in the basement.

Jimmy: You couldn’t! I wouldn’t let you!!

Cindy: He could Jimmy, and he will. You better stop antagonizing him. Look at his face Jimmy. He could kill you. But he doesn’t, because God tells him not to.

Preacher: There’s a dreadful simplicity to what Cindy is telling you Jimmy, but I’m going to have to demand you both eat a big old slice of hush-up and wash it down with some listen. Here Jimmy, have a cookie.

Jimmy: I’m diabetic.


There is the sound of a cookie being munched on when the car pulls up. The Preacher turns off the recording and watches them enter their three-stall garage. They will be out back soon enough and he will have them. The patient hunter waits. They are both of them smokers. There are certain people who, even if tobacco became worth more per ounce than gold, will continue to feed their habit no matter what sense it makes to stop. The Johnsons were just such people. During their extensive three month period of counseling The Pastor had attempted to convince them to quit. But the truth is when they smoked they talked like rational individuals.

It had to be pornography to blame. Ready access to pornography ruined the whole system. People, all people, suffered a windfall of self esteem on both sides of the fence. Porn fanatics could never hope to achieve the fantastic maneuvers performed by virile young gymnast types thrashing one another’s loins for hour on end. Porn haters wondered what the big deal was about? There was little middle ground to be had. In the crippling wash of hot digital love, love itself became a casualty. Severing connections and betraying trusts even as they connected the world with it’s rutting self.

Jimmy opened the door and torched a Luckie and The Preacher decided to take his shot. As much fun as sitting on your haunches in someone’s bushes was, The Preacher had better things to do. He stood, fired an arrow into Jimmy’s abdomen, and crouched once again, obscuring himself in the dense foliage of the Johnson’s ill-maintained yard. For a moment Jimmy merely stood, perplexed and amazed. He took a drag off the cigarette before firmly grasping the shaft with his other hand and sinking into a nearby porch chair. Shock set in too rapidly for him to begin screaming.

“This will never do.” said The Preacher under his breath.

Jimmy took another drag and seemed to rouse himself from it’s stupor.

“Cindy, I think someone just shot me with an arrow.” said Jimmy.

Cindy came unto the porch in nothing but her bathrobe and The Preacher took his second shot. In the silence of the yard the release of the arrow was a whisper in a theater. Only the gentle song of local frogs could be heard as the arrow struck Cindy in her abdomen. She staggered forward and supported herself on a brick grill while peering into the bushes.

“Jimmy, get the shotgun.” said Cindy.

“Don’t do that Jimmy!” said The Preacher, erupting from his concealment and advancing on the former couple.

Cindy took a seat as Jimmy passed her his cigarette. She graciously accepted.

“Thanks.” she said.

The Preacher walked up to the couple and took a seat in a plastic lawn chair opposite the couple.

“We’re going to sue you.” said Jimmy.

“But not before I sue you Jimmy. The subpoena is in the arrow. As well as your copy of the contract. You see Jimmy, when the almighty began his church we all had an agreement. We all believed in the absolute. The knowable. The uncompromising goodwill of humanity and the belief that, if we could set aside our petty differences and unite as a single globe, we could all complete the miraculous and wonderful. Not with magic and voodoo and Angel Spells, but with elbow grease and tears. Hard work. If we are to work hard and complete much, then we have to stop squabbling about these things. Now, you both signed The Marriage Contract. There was a very clear stipulation that you were obligated Till Death Do You Part. Now, I don’t think either of you want to die do you? I’m going to answer that for you; You don’t. I see that neither of you is at all prepared to contend with the possibility of your demise. No matter how nonplussed you may seem about the arrows, I know that’s just shock. It’s going to wear off in about five minutes here, and you are both going to be so very cold. It’s a very cold world out there kids. There’s a whole lot of bad shit going around, and if we can’t count on the sanctity of marriage what can we count on? US Savings Bonds? Disney? You can consider this your warning. Now I’m willing to walk away from this yard, burn down the law office that filed your papers, and forget your faces. I don’t care if you hate each other until you are both 90 and miserable. I don’t care if one of you eats the other’s hands while they sleep. I don’t care if Jimmy’s dick falls off. I don’t care if Cindy stops working out and gains 200 pounds. I don’t care if you live in separate houses on the other side of the planet worshiping their own version of Satan. As long as neither of you ever tries to bail out on this contract ever again. Because if you try to divorce one another, I will take however long it takes, to find you, to stalk you, to detain you, and to make this marriage work. Have I made my point?” asked The Preacher rhetorically.

“Yes Preacher” said the Johnsons.

“Good. Glad to hear it. What law office did you say you filed at?” asked The Preacher.

“Hanson Froyd and Markeson.” said Jimmy.

“Well. I’m off to burn down their homes and business. I told you not to get married. I told you several times that you were going to be miserable. Hope this little incident taught you something about each other, and the importance of proper first aid training. Have a good night. Gods Bless.”

And with that The Preacher was away.


Duke said…
I like this one quite a bit.
I’d like to see the entirety of the recorded transcript. Hilarious.
Actually this could be adapted into quite a hilarious sketch or similar short filmed piece.
Also, that makes for a pretty hilarious monologue on it’s own towards the end. I may have to use that someday.

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