“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price.“—1 Corinthians 6:19-20
“Keep the car running.“—Arcade Fire
Frimps, Oil and Bogota were ransacking the Church of the Blessed Redeemer as Vi sat outside in the Civic, engine running, radio on but not too loud, not loud enough to drown out the sounds of something happening.
So far nothing had happened.
But Vi didn’t have a good feeling about this one. They were supposed to be doing a mom-and-pop, but Frimps had changed his mind at the last minute and here they were. “Fucking believers,” he’d said. “They don’t even lock their doors. Do you know how much shit they have in there?”
On the radio a song ended and a PSA came on, something about people in need, children, waiting for organ donations, some kind of priest talking about goodness in our hearts…
There was a circular stained glass window above the main doors to the church and Oils came crashing through it!
Hitting the pavement, legs bent sideways and a fucking sword driven through his chest.
Vi blinked, and:
The stained glass window was intact and the sword was gone, but Oils was still there.
Vi rolled down the window.
“What the fuck, Oils?”
He looked up at her with flames for eyes and a rattlesnake tail for a tongue: rattle-rattle-rattle…
Vi changed gears into reverse—
Frimps and Bogota—
blasted out the front doors of the church—
One came through the windshield, face carved up; the other made a massive dent in the roof.
“Drive,” Oils hissed, his face blinking on and off.
Vi hit the accelerator, reversing out of the parking lot—tires squealing! Then: into drive: gunning it down the street, sweaty hands shaking.
A ten-foot tall glowing angel crystallizing as light.
The dead body in the car shifting, head rotating one-hundred eighty degrees. “Your body is a temple of the Lord.”
Bang-bang-banging on the roof.
The angel growing: gaining, and Vi forcing everything she could out of the engine.
Blasting through red lights.
Then the back of the car lifted into the air—
The angel lifting it.
—world spinning: Vi separating from it: held by the angel: angel of mercy: angel of death:
penetrating her chest with its luminous right hand :
Father Mackenzie was surprised to see four boxes on the altar.
He opened one:
“Never seen anything like it,” the coroner said. “Not a mark on them, but they were goddamn empty inside.”
: and Vi was back in the Civic, except this time it was hot, devilishly hot. Her flesh was melting off her bones, her skin searing…
She tried the door.
“Keep the car running,” said God.
“It was a miracle,” Father Mackenzie told the press. “A bonafide miracle.”