Moral surety - Editor
On The Other Hand, Abomination
by Stephen V. RameyAnd the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed....
Two women capered for the cameras below, two identical blondes in powder blue maternity suits, identically full-figured, identically pregnant. Trey pressed his cheek to the rifle stock and sited on the closest. The shot would be clean. Bless God the Almighty.
And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. (Revelation 13:1-3)
Nineteen years earlier the Lucky Silver Corporation had announced the existence of a cloned baby. The baby, a girl, had been created by inserting DNA from a single fetal stem cell extracted from a test tube baby into an egg from the same woman. To avoid certain complications arising from telomere truncation and resetting of nucleate material, their website had claimed. It sounded like demon-speak to Trey. In fact it must be.
For, despite the clean angle of the shot, there remained a complication. The result of the procedure had been two female babies, one clone, one real. And now they were both pregnant. The media had anointed it a miracle and so did Trey.
He flicked the safety off. In appearance they were as twins, but nothing could be farther from true. A child born without God's guiding hand would lack a soul. One of these women, one of these Betties or Beths, or whatever they were calling themselves these days, had no soul.
How could he know which one? He had scoped them so thoroughly his eyes ached. One wore her hair longer, the other plucked her eyebrows. Neither bore a 666 tattoo, nor could he trust such an obvious sign.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. (1 Peter 5:8)
Sweat lined Trey's upper lip. He licked the salty taste and swallowed. The women stood on either side of a podium where a man prepared to speak. The sky was quickly darkening with clouds.
He pressed his cheek to the stock. Powder blue filled his vision, a glimpse of pale skin, a lip, an ear, strands of hair tugged by the breeze.
These pregnancies occurring simultaneously were no ordinary coincidence. The fetus writhing in the clone's belly must be the Antichrist. Which meant the child nestled in the other woman was the Second Coming. Trey's faith allowed no other explanation.
He fit his finger to the trigger. Grant me a sign, he prayed, switching aim to the woman with the plucked eyebrows. Could that be it? Evidence of vanity?
"Please, God." Make them glance this direction. Surely the emptiness of one gaze would point him to the devil's pawn. But neither woman looked away from the crowd gathered along the broad sidewalk.
How then? God would not place him here without guidance. Should I flip a coin?
He shifted the scope from left to right. Right to left. Sighing, he let the gun barrel sag. The sky continued to darken.
A lifetime of devotion has not prepared me for this!
He sighted anew. Red, white, an eagle flying across an American flag. The oval logo on the front of the podium.
In a flash, it came to him, Caiaphas asking Jesus if he was the son of God. Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. (Matthew 26:64)
The ultimate clue, laid down two thousand years before.
"Amen!" Grinning fiercely, Trey sighted on the woman to the left of the eagle emblazoned podium -- what better symbol for power? -- and squeezed the shot that would save the world.
The harlot clutched her stomach. Only when blood oozed between her fingers did she panic, crying out and falling to her knees, skin ever more pallid. The crowd pressed forward, clashing with police in black riot gear and white helmets.
Trey calmly disassembled the rifle and retrieved a folded handkerchief from his jeans pocket. He shook it out, spreading skin cells and hair from various sources to confuse the sniffers.
"Hallelujah Jesus," he said, packing the rifle into his gym duffel. A lifetime of devotion had been enough. With God's help he, Maitreya Smith, had prepared the world for Christ's return.
Outside, thunder shook the heavens.