Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Opposite of Porn

L.B. Pretib Porno, Left Behind pp. 1-3.

Starting back from the beginning. I'm not as good of a writer as Jesurgislac and Johnny Pez, so any suggestions/comments/complaints are welcome. I'm going to try to remain as close to the original crap as possible while taking Fred's comments to heart and improving things as much as I can otherwise. Incidentally, I think you'll be able to see the parallels between my characters and their Left Behind alter-egos quite easily, so I won't bother to point them out.

Chris Smith relaxed back in his seat, his mind on the pretty young flight attendant that had brought him coffee only moments before. The late flight from Chicago to Heathrow was the longest he'd ever worked and he had hours of time to spend with his mind wandering while the 747 was on autopilot.

Suzie Jenkins was absolutely a dream. She had long dark hair that she wore just a bit too loosely to strictly conform to the airline dress code, she had blue gray eyes that twinkled when she wrinkled her nose, and she was just on petite side. Chris could see her smiling in his mind's eye, and he smiled at the image.

It would be so easy to respond back to her subtle come-ons, to smile back at her, to allow her hand to linger. To invite her back to his hotel room some time . . .

He jerked upright, glancing at his first officer Thomas guiltily.

An image of his wife popped into his head. He'd married young, right out of high school and just before he joined the Air Force, and over the years since then Tabitha had really let herself go. She'd been a beautiful blond cheerleader in high school and had the body of Aphrodite until she'd managed to get through a two year community college.

Then ever so slowly she'd let herself slip into comfortable food and a far more sedentary lifestyle than Chris would have expected. He still worked out at least once a week, thinking that maybe if he showed some interest in the gym he could convince her to go.

In response, she just told him that she was too busy with taking care of their kids to go with him.

She was still nice to him, in a technical sense. She was submissive, in the sort of way that only a middle-aged born again housewife can be, but she disapproved of his ambivalence toward going to church in general and especially toward her church.

She'd gone with a friend to a few services at the local nondenominational church, and claimed that she loved their focus "on God's word" while waving around the Bible.

Chris had problems from the moment that he arrived. Each time he went he was deluged with what he considered personal questions about the exact nature of his faith. Chris was a live and let live kind of Christian, but the people at Tabitha's church believed that Christians had to have specific beliefs in order to really be saved.

After the thousandth question about his stance on homosexuality, abortion, the war in Iraq, and premillenial dispensationalism (whatever that was), he'd started coming up with inventive excuses to avoid church. Finally, he'd just scheduled his gym time for every Sunday morning, and that had been that.

Between her weight gain and her obsession with Jesus, he'd found himself slowly becoming less and less interested in her until he'd finally given up. He couldn't imagine a better term to describe their sex life than "dead."

When he'd finally started flying with Suzie, he'd immediately thought she was pretty, but he never thought anything would come of it. As time went by though, he'd become more and more attracted to her. She had a good sense of humor, always had something funny or nice to say, and she was a more than competent lead flight attendant. In fact, if he could have, he would have requested her on every flight.

He shook his head, trying to clear it of Suzie, but it was harder than it should have been. I'm a good guy, he thought to himself. I can't cheat on Tabitha.

He sighed. He'd have to explain that to Suzie, although he didn't want to. He didn't want to lead her on. She didn't deserve to be stuck in a one-sided relationship with a guy that wouldn't break his marriage vows, no matter how bad things at home had gotten. He'd offer to put in a request to have them split up, if Suzie wanted. He didn't want her to feel uncomfortable.

It was too bad that Tabitha didn't feel the same way.

"You don't want to be left behind when Jesus comes back!" she'd once shouted at him in the church parking lot when he dropped her off. The bizarre orange blazoned fiction book that she'd expected to convert him to her version of Christianity was being waved vigorously over her head. The other arriving church members stared at him, unanimously grim in expression.

She'd been trying to wear him down the entire drive over, and he knew that she felt this was her last chance to save him.

"It's right there in the Bible!" she'd finished, louder than before, but he though her point was slightly nullified by the fact that she was carrying a fiction novel.

Still, he'd driven off, red faced, past her fellows.

Slowly and against his conscious wishes, Suzie's smile wormed his way back into his mind, and he smiled reflexively.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow. Non-jerk Rayford! And Hattie with a name that doesn't sound like she was born before 1960. Brilliant.

Abelardus said...

As grating as the original was, so this revision feels natural, enjoyable, sympathetic. Good job.

Spherical Time said...

Buck's up next. That's going to be harder.

practicallyevil said...

I totally dig the revamp Spherical, I was sort of thinking of doing the same thing except everybody who died and was not raptured became zombies, but this is good too. It's nice to see new content on the page.

Nenya said...

Wow. A sympathetic look at Rayford, Irene, *and* Hattie! Very nice. I wonder if the authors realize how many more people they might interest in their theology if their writing was better. (Not that I want any more people interested in their theology, really.) Parenthetically, "Suzie" still seems like an odd name to me, but way better than "Hattie"!

Very cool.