A Come to Jesus Meeting

The meeting, already having had exceeded an hour and seeming as if there were still hours to go, drudged along as if it were a living thing, a slow-stalking, life-threatening, monstrously evil thing. Slide after slide after unrelenting and enervating slide flashed upon the screen and ate away at the brainspace of each of the meeting’s participants. And the screen, reactionary and vindictive, hung over the room like a dystopian all-seeing eye. Watching each participant as if they were a guilty usurper. A potential prisoner. A habeas corpus-less detainee. The meeting became an interrogation. Each slide became an accusation. A crime in search of a criminal. Slide! Slide! Slide! Slide! A waterboarding of slides.

The meeting droned on like a drone checking off its kill list in a holy war without end.

Still, notes were being taken and questions were being asked. If not, they win. Even still, amidst all the note-taking, amidst all the questioning, all knew that all had to have known, though it went religiously unsaid, that each slide, while contributing somewhat to their individual livelihoods, took from them an irreplaceable piece of their lives. Still, all knew that all had to have known that it would be more humane for them, even heroic of them, if, instead of death by a thousand cutting slides, something definite, something uncharacteristically finite, something true and merciful and just were to actually happen in the meeting — an improvised exploding projector? — and they all were to meet their sudden demise. And they all were to become holy martyrs for the sacred cause.

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8 thoughts on “A Come to Jesus Meeting

      1. Why did I ask these questions, Kurt? As a reader I had to wonder why a narrator with such strong negative feelings about this experience didn’t just get up and go. What had brought him (or her) there that kept him (or her) sitting through the whole thing? However, I can’t tell another writer how to answer such questions if they didn’t occur to him in the first place. I could imagine it was some commitment or promise to another person, or a requirement/prerequisite of some kind. But that’s for you to decide — and address in your opening sentence or two.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I see. Well, to be honest, I didn’t really think that much about it when I wrote it. It’s Flash Fiction and I tend to write those, well…in a flash.

          But upon consideration…seeing that it is a work of fiction, I’m not so sure the narrator, which seems to me to be a 3rd Person Omniscient Narrator (and even that’s debatable; but it seems to be 3PO because somehow it knows that the meeting slides were eating at “the brainspace of each of the meeting’s participants.”), was a participant at the meeting. We have no insight into who the narrator is, or if the narrator is even a person. It just seems to be some all-knowing presence – 3PO.

          And if the Narrator were actually a participant at the meeting I guess we could ask why s/he didn’t just get up. Seems a reasonable question, to some degree.

          The easy answer is, remembering that this is a work of fiction – If s/he did leave the meeting then there would be no story.

          But even if it wasn’t a work of fiction, if it was an example of a real life meeting instead of just a metaphor for one, would it really be fair to ask someone why s/he just didn’t get up and leave?

          I attended many real-life meetings and many of them I wished I could just get up and leave…but then I remembered I have a family, and I like to earn money to take care of them. So I sit there like an obedient and pleasant puppet while the meeting ate away at my brainspace.

          As for what is going on in the story or what the story means, that’s up to you the reader to decide.

          I don’t think it is fair for one person, even if that person is the author, to try to tell another person how to interpret a story…or a poem…or a work of art…or etc.

          But as a writer, I like to write stuff that I like to read. And I do not like to read stuff where the author spoon feeds me every piece of information required to interpret the story exactly how the author wants the story interpreted.

          I want only enough information to compel me to read the next word…and then the next, and so on. And then when I’m finished I want to be a little confused, a little startled, and hopefully, a little scared from all the potentials and possibilities that the story allows me to imagine.

          I really appreciate you reading the story and wondering about it. I apologize for not giving direct answers to your direct questions. But, to me, when it comes to fiction, there hardly is much direction to go by.

          And that is why I love fiction with all of my heart.

          :)

          Liked by 2 people

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