The Second Coming

This is a work of fiction, a short story in 1475 words.

Jason had always known he was the Son of God. His mother had told him so, as soon as he was old enough to understand. She had explained it well, covering so many questions he had started to ask. Like, “Mummy, why don’t I have a Daddy?” It was obvious of course. He didn’t need a Daddy, because God was his father, and had bestowed him upon his mother by ‘Immaculate Means’. He wasn’t sure what those means were, but it settled his mind. He wrote it down on a piece of paper, with Mum telling him how to spell it. Then he folded the paper, and put it into his copy of The Bible, which had been a present for his seventh birthday. When he had opened the wrapping paper, he tried to hide his disappointment that it wasn’t a Lego set. Then Mum had stroked the book, just like you stroke a friendly cat. She looked at him with a warm smile.
“This is your family history, Jason darling. Treasure it, and learn it”.

One of the boys at school had asked him about his Dad, and when he told him it was God, the boy had laughed. Jason pushed him over, and he hit his head on a railing. Mum had to come to the school to take him home, and she was very quiet. As they were walking back from the bus stop, she leaned over and spoke quietly. “Never tell anyone about your father again. They will mock you, call you mad. Just as they did all that time ago, with your brother Jesus”. He had nodded, crossing his heart as he did so. That afternoon in their small house, she had given him two jam tarts, and a glass of milk. As he ate, she stroked his hair, and talked softly. “Your time will come. When you are older, the truth will be revealed, and you will be hailed as The Saviour, The Second Coming of Christ”. That sounded good to him, even though he didn’t know what a saviour was.

It was never going to be easy to make friends when you are the son of God. And especially hard at school when you always had to be kind to your fellow man, respect your elders, and turn the other cheek. So Jason was bullied, even by the younger boys. Being out after school, or off for the holidays was no relief. Any time he ventured outside alone, the bullies appeared. When he told Mum, she just smiled. “You must rise above them, show no retaliation. You know that your time will come, and those people will be in awe of you, bow down to you, and thank you for saving them”.

In his teens, Jason grew tall and strong. That seemed to make everyone avoid him, presumably in case he changed his mind about that other cheek stuff. One day, he asked Mum why they never went to church. She laughed out loud. “Bless you, darling. Why would we go to church, to worship your own father and brother? Let the rest go and do that, as one day they will be in those churches worshipping you”. Unlike other families, they had no need of a television, not even a radio. Mum explained that they were the devices of man, and that man was essentially evil. Instead, they read The Bible, discussed Jason’s future exploits as the new Son of God, and went to bed early. Very early. And whenever he tried to talk to Mum about his school books, she shook her head. “Don’t concern yourself with those. Do what you must do to fit in, but don’t bother with those vain works of wicked men. One day soon, they will all be as dust, and everything in them will be proved wrong. You are the one who will reveal this, so you have no need to bow down to the feeble writings of others”. She would fetch The Bible, and hold it out in front of her. “This is the only teaching you need”.

His sexual awakening had been very difficult. He had started to notice Sharon Walker at school, and it made him feel very strange when he thought about her. There had been biology lessons of course, but he had deliberately shut out as much of those as he could. So he told Mum about Sharon, and the funny feelings. She smiled, and patted his head. “Put them from your mind, son. You have no need of young sluts and whores to make your life fulfilled, and no need of physical contact to procreate. You are above that, something much more than human. Leave that to the ignorant, the lustful, the beasts that are men”. He had thanked her for that, and then went upstairs to look up ‘Procreate’ in his dictionary.

Mum got him a job at the factory where she worked. He had sat the exams at the end of school, but it was a pointless exercise, as he had deliberately learned very little. She told him that the factory work was honest work, and his job in life was to wait to be called to his destiny, not to worry about promotions, more money, or the actions of his peers. “Shut out the routine. Embrace the boredom. Put the batteries into the boxes, and those boxes into the cartons. This is all temporary, for one day soon it will all be meaningless. You will rise up, and take all the righteous with you, to the house of your father”. He was tempted to ask that if that was the case, why did they do overtime on Saturdays? But he decided against it.

So they stayed at the factory, and he wanted so badly to ask her how much longer it would be until everyone worshipped him. But he didn’t want to upset her. They lived frugally, ate healthily, and by the time he was almost thirty, he knew The Bible so well, he could recognise any passage, no matter how small, or obscure. Mum wasn’t so well. First of all, she went part-time at the factory, and rested for two days a week. Then she told him she was too sick to carry on working, and he would have to work overtime on Sundays too, to make up for the loss of her wages. Jason looked after her as well as he could, but he had to be out of the house for over eighty hours a week, and usually felt very tired himself. One morning, he couldn’t wake her up to say goodbye before he left. He could see she was dead, but he didn’t bother to get any help. She would be in his father’s house, waiting for him. He wasn’t concerned or upset, but he asked if he could leave early that day, as he had to go to the undertaker to tell them his Mum had died. His boss looked at him strangely. “Take a few days off, Jason. Get things sorted”.

Now Mum was gone, he could at least get a dog. She would never allow any pets in the house, considering them to be ‘unclean’. He went to the animal shelter, and adopted a tiny scruffy dog. It was called Jack, but he changed its name to Nipper. When they let him collect him two days later, he took along a bright red lead, and took him for a long walk in the park. He explained things to the dog as they walked. “The thing is, Nipper, it won’t mean much to you, but I am the Son of God. That means that any day now, I might be called upon to save the world. But I will make sure to leave you food and water, and the back door will be ajar. If I have to go to my destiny, someone will look after you, I’m sure”. The dog looked at him, wondering what this new person would be like. He sniffed the hand placed on his muzzle. Good enough.

On Jason’s forty-fifth birthday, he took the day off. Nipper was very old now, and not getting around at all well. He was asleep most of the time too. It didn’t seem right to leave him alone in the house today, not when he looked like he wasn’t long for this world. He stroked his little companion, feeling the deep sighs in the dog’s chest. To calm Nipper, he told him the story of his life all over again, and how wonderful things would be when he finally saved everyone. The dog’s head was in his lap, the cloudy eyes looking up at his master. When Jason had finished the long story, he smiled at those small eyes.

“I tell you one thing, Nipper. That Second Coming is a long time coming”.

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48 thoughts on “The Second Coming

  1. I’ve had a patient like this and both his parents encouraged him to think like this (the father had a diagnosed mental illness, although it was difficult to know if the mother was a case of folie-a-deux or was just playing along for a quiet life). The young man was very ill and had difficulty tolerating medication… I wonder… Great story, and I see you’ve collected the other one as is finished. I’ll catch up on it soon. Happy weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The last one I worked with controlled his daughter’s life until she turned 18 and took a job then she went wild and was having a baby by 20……never thought being hard was a good idea these days….chuq

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent Pete. I like a character who exists in everyday life with something of the extraordinary about him/her. His belief is enduring and that’s touching against the mundane backdrop of his factory job and treat of jam tarts. I enjoyed this. It also brought to mind Sarah Perry, an East Anglian writer whose writing reflects her religious upbringing. You may wish to check her work out….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Rich. It was of course set before the modern electronic age, but not specified in date or time. I had just finished a 20-part 24,000 word serial on this blog, and wanted to offer something shorter, based on a ‘strange’ boy I knew from secondary school. I will have a look at Sarah’s work.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

  3. I went to school with a Jehovah’s Witness and whilst he wasn’t the second coming his conviction to his belief left him isolated and persecuted. You had to wonder what his parents must be like to put him through this. I hope he got a dog later in life ๐Ÿ™‚
    Nice story.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Very well written story, Pete. I’m worried about Jason, What will happen to him after Nipper dies? Will he get another dog? I hope so. Therein lies the beauty of dogs, Pete. They are friends to the friendless.They are faithful companions who do not judge and so they calm the mentally and spiritually wounded. Nipper is Jason’s guardian angel, sent by the one who’s identity Jason has mistakenly assumed. That’s my interpretation of your story.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Nipper is the friend who will ground Jason, and stop him believing the story his mother made up to explain his illegitimate birth. If Nipper dies, he will get another dog to keep him company, I’m sure.
      The dog was a crucial part of the story, and you got that, Pam. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I tried turning the other cheek, but it made it difficult to read the story. So I looked at the screen straight on.

    I couldn’t help but think of a chapter in my book entitled “The Pope and the Kiss of Life,” where Niccolรฒ engages in a conversation with a German shepherd named Taylor.

    Liked by 2 people

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