Mike Abernathy climbed into his new Camry, confident he’d made the right choice. It’d run forever; the new engines had been developing at a rapid pace, and Mike could be a man while getting “green points” too. And to think he’d be sitting in one now, after the foolish and self-serving environmental “investments” during the Obama administration—well, it was a minor miracle.
This is the fourth installment in a fiction serial by Jason Kettinger. Be sure to catch up with the first, second and third parts.
But President Pawlenty had seen the dire need to throw the economic hammer down in 2013, and had become much more the capitalist than anybody could predict. The hydro-cars were the indirect result of the Nuclear Power Initiative of 2017, and Mike was glad. Not even President Webb dared denounce what had come to pass; times were good in America again, and the donkeys were wise enough to dust off their Adam Smith.
Mike didn’t know that the key electrical auto-system on the car—the one governing the accelerator and brakes—had been willfully altered. The manual override was disabled as well. The dealer had done precisely as he was bidden. Iscariot was happy; it had been quite easy to enter into a man practicing Wicca and shooting enough whiskey to sanitize a clean room. They needed Abernathy out of the way. How terribly close he was to the Son! If Abernathy and the child should meet again, the plans were doomed. Maleah was on her way, though, and no man, not even Peter Thomas Stevens, would stand against her.
She stood there in the short denim and ill-fitting shirt in just the right way. Today was the day. She’d softened him with smiles and intellect for the better part of a year. How easily men confuse intellect and charm with righteousness! And she was ready. Peter saw her, pretending not to notice but making the mental snapshot common to men of all ages.
“I need to study physics,” she whispered. “Uh, sure,” stammered Peter. He found his book, and they went inside. She sat down in his room, pushing all the right buttons to get what she wanted, subtle enough to fool the boy into fooling himself for just long enough. The demon controlling Lanie Crawford knew they would use her and throw her away.
“I just can’t figure out this problem! Come help me.” As he began to explain the problem, she hung herself on him, breaking his concentration. She interrupted him, saying, “Take the chance; it may not be here again.” A split-second passed before Peter Thomas Stevens cast aside 16 years of his parents’ love, the words of Scripture, and his destiny.
Jesus had known what was in a man; Maleah knew. Peter never thought it was in him to that degree until those moments. That very day, Lanie Crawford became pregnant and she had nothing to do with it.
Peter didn’t know if the crashing sound was real, or the love of God being shattered in his soul. But it was so loud that he forgot the moment, tore himself away, and bounded out of the house. He saw the Camry at the end of the street. It dead-ended into some large trees. He had done all but throw the girl across the room and down the stairs when she tried to detain him. Maleah knew who was in the car, and that if she could not delay the boy, the Holy Sovereign would be glorified by hundreds of thousands more.
She offered to call an ambulance from the house (having no intention to actually call), but Peter had his cell phone in hand and was dialing as he ran. Peter saw the blood all over; he opened the passenger door.
The man who had delivered Peter from his mother’s womb had a gash that ran from the middle of his forehead to the point of his chin. What the boy did next would save the doctor’s life. He took off his outer shirt, tying it into a band. From one of the arms, he tore pieces to act as bandages for the face below the forehead. It made all the difference. Peter didn’t know how much, but the angels knew.
The paramedics arrived, and the body of Lanie Crawford slipped away unnoticed, dejected.
Jason Kettinger is a contributing editor to Open for Business.