Drinking from the Well of God
Trent M. Walters
T he world is much different seen from underwater, Henry decides. Certainly, murky anyway: being baptized in a river. An air bubble glubs from his mouth and over his head. He tentatively taps the pastor's hand (in case the pastor had forgotten him down there). The hand shoves him down, lower (not forgotten, he guessed). Henry shrugs and waits. He tries to whistle a simple tune -- "Old MacDonald" -- to pass the time, but it's garbled and only succeeds in losing valuble oxygen. So Henry thinks he'll think instead -- which ought to use up considerably less oxygen (for him anyway).
He swore "never again" would he ever touch the bottle. Once he swore up and down he'd never get drunk again, but then he ran over that second child, so he had to change his tune a little. But it is sort of funny that the second child he hit was of the same family as the first. Parents ought to be more careful where they let their children play. There are, after all, in urban areas squirrels that people tend to swerve from in order to avoid collision. Sometimes a driver has to drive up a curb, so he can get out of the way, sometimes a curb's not enough, sometimes you've got to drive onto the front lawn -- now it so happened to be that Henry's "squirrel" turned out not to be a squirrel, but that shouldn't detract from his overall theory.
Henry knew, though, that a simple oath wouldn't keep him on the straight and narrow. So when the pastor of a small local church campaigned adamantly against Henry's prosecution, he knew just what he ought to do: get religion. And Henry never did nothing half-heartedly. It was always whole hog. Complete conversion. Ham steak with red eye gravy. Twenty-four hours of James Bond movies on TBS. Swerving onto somebody's lawn for a squirrel's well-being.... Whole hog. So now he committed himself to God with the help of this kindly minister. Actually it was the minister who impressed him so much that he wanted to give his life to God: he was the father of those two children he hit. Isn't that impressive? A man so selfless, so giving, so Godly that he put away his differences in order to campaign for his ideal. Henry really admired that man.
Henry turns his head to look up to the pastor. Yeah, he sure is proud to become a member of that man's congregation, to adhere to the ideals of God when led by such a one. He grins though the river's pretty murky, and he's pretty sure the pastor can't see his face from his baptismal position.

First published: August 1997
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