His chest drooped. Belly was round, stuck out like a bowling ball. Legs were sticks. The old man was getting older everyday. Closer and closer to the other side. Soon his days would be finished. Done. Like a theif in the night. He’d be gone.

He said he had faith. Was baptized as a kid. Preacher took him down under water and said, Death to sin. And alive to Christ, the congregation clapped and sang out hallelujah. Wasn’t until years later he realized what had happened. What it meant to believe. Life does that sometimes. A delayed reaction. Committing an action then remembering it years later. Or, understanding what you’ve done. He understood. He understood.

Throughout the day he’d drink beer and watch The 700 Club, Jimmy Swaggart, PTL. Liked faith healers as well. Men who’d place their hands on the afflicted. In the name of Jesus demons come out, he’d pop open another beer, smile and raise his hands to the ceiling of his trailer. Shout out, Hallelujah. Then drink down half a can. Placed his hands on the TV and felt shocks running through his body. Little sparks touching his fingers. Praise be to God, he’d say. Praise be to God. The old man opened another one.

The Bible sat on his coffee table. Black book with gold lettering. He got it years ago from his parents. King James version. It sat there. He never turned a page. Just took what others said was on it as the gospel truth. Particularly the book of Revelations. Preachers on television talked about the coming of the Lord all the time. Asked, Are you ready? the old man would nod his head and say he was. He was ready to move onto the next life. Done with this old worn out body. Wanted his new one. Ministers said he’d get a new body and a mansion of gold. Said the good book told em that. But, you had to be washed in the blood. Had to have faith. The old man took their word for it. He believed.

They found him in his trailer with empty beer cans around his recliner. His gray head was fixed on the ceiling. Looking straight up at heaven. His eyes wide open. The TV was on. Brother Jimmy was asking for money. Flys swarmed ’round the place. Shades were drawn. Dark inside. Just a smell of death. The good Lord giveth and he taketh away. The old man was taken. A six pack was still in the refrigerator.

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