|Patrick C. Crowell
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AN EXCERPT FROM
Only one employee was stationed outside the candidate's suite later
that night. A pretty young woman with dark eyes, skin and hair, she
looked as though she was from Pakistan or Afghanistan. Sitting at
the special concierge's desk, she blended well with the mid-Eastern
She couldn’t help but study the two sexy women as they wiggled toward her
on either side of Isaiah Davila. Quickly surmising what was happening, she watched
them accompany him to the candidate's suite. Stifling her impressions, she of
course allowed the evangelist—her ultimate boss—to do what he pleased,
without uttering a word. Having seen this type behavior before, she knew to be
Davila was unabashed as the three of them passed the young concierge. Mah, Mah,
he thought as he eyed her up and down. Ah don’t remembah seeing this one.
He winked at her.
What a jerk, she thought as she saw him purposefully licking his chops.
The candidate had relieved his campaign manager and chief of staff for the night
and was alone, waiting anxiously. He pranced to the door with heightened expectancy,
knowing what was to come and enjoying that he could partake as much as he wanted
and no one could do or say anything about it … save, obviously, his wife,
his opponents and the press. But none of them would know.
As they went inside, the tall brunette in lime green glanced over at the gawking
concierge and kicked back the lower half of her leg and giggled, as the blonde
pulled her inside.
"Let me formally introduce y’all," the evangelist said to the
candidate. "This is Candi, and this is Brandi. They lahke to pahrty," he
said, his voice turning lascivious. "Girls … this is the next President
of the United States … Mistah Immanuel Powers!"
"Oh, Ah’m delighted to meet you, Mr. President!" the blonde Candi
said in a genuine, albeit seductive, Southern accent. She slinked forward and
hugged him about the waist.
"Me too!" Brandi said, also in a very real Southern dialect as she
nestled against his other side.
Davila laughed at his friend, who suddenly seemed like a greedy child with free
run of a toy store. He closed the door behind them and flashed a final wink at
the young concierge, who was still in disbelief.
I sure won't vote for that guy, the concierge thought.
"Girls, please,” Powers said inside. “The election is a long
way off.” It was indeed the summer before the election year. “Now,
what can I get you?"
"Bourbon and coke will be great," Brandi said.
"Ah have some blow, man," Candi said. "Let's do it!"
Powers smiled, as he and Candi moved to the bar. "The usual?" he asked
"Scotch and water."
The candidate mixed drinks while Candi made lines, and then the four of them
snorted and drank like warthogs at a watering hole.
"Is the Cross still operating?" Powers asked.
"Whah, yeaz," Davila replied. "The Cross and its bearer are always
operating." He was feeling buzzed. His intense eyes focused on the candidate,
"Save it for your sermon. Can we go there?"
"Verily," Davila replied, "come on … this way. Follow me
to righteousness," he said.
Momentarily serious, with drinks in hand, he led them out a back door specially
designed for high-powered politicians. "The ops manager is still there doing
test and adjust. He's all right, if y’all know what Ah mean."
From the hotel penthouse, they descended six flights down a stairwell and the
men delighted in watching the sprayed-on fabrics and heels negotiating the steps. "Mah
father taught me to always let the women go first," Davila smiled, "and
this is the reason why."
Powers laughed, never averting his eyes.
The foursome giggled and flirted on the way down as the cocaine took effect.
Leading them to a hotel storage facility where he borrowed an electric cart used
for arriving guests, the evangelist drove while the two girls began playing with
the candidate on either side of him in the back seat.
Envious, Davila forged ahead, knowing his turn would come. He drove across a
parking lot to a road leading to a back-gated entrance to the Cross. The group
left the cart and walked through the gate; and the crisp early-May air invigorated
The beauty of the theme park at night struck a chord in Brandi. The walkways
were meticulously landscaped and manicured, and soft ankle lights amid thick
border grass guided the way. The cropped weeping willow trees sparkled with dots
of light, and the humble melody of "Amazing Grace" drifted through
the air from the park's PA, like a subtle shroud of goodness blanketing a congregation.
It was … wholesome.
Candi grabbed the evangelist's arm as they walked and melded it into her ample
bosom, making sure he fully enjoyed her naturalness. The taller Brandi followed
suit on the candidate, hoping he found her attractive.
"Oh, baby, Ah'm ready!" Davila said, it appearing that he was going
to lay Candi right then in the grass.
"Wait a second," Powers said. "Ah want to go through the Cross.
Ah didn't get to earlier. You can just wait a while, you horny bastard."
"Ah've got an idea," Candi whispered to the evangelist, hot now, too. "Let's
do it on the ride!"
"Now you're talking." The two of them stretched their gait.
"Let them do what they want," Candi said, smiling. "We follow
the Golden Rule, right?"
Davila smirked, not really interested in anything holy at the moment.
As he led the group around a landscaped corner, where they beheld a full view
of the Cross, Powers eyed Brandi, wondering why she suddenly seemed aloof.
Brandi stared up at the imposing Cross. Its base housed queue-lines, restrooms,
a gift shop, the ride-control computer room and a break room, and she was awed
at the sheer mass of the foreboding symbol of so much of her Alabamian youth.
The trio followed Davila to the employee entrance on the southern side of the
structure. He nodded to the ops manager behind the glass window in the computer
room, who smiled, and then resumed watching his monitors.
"The guests go up the escalator here to the staging area where they board
the cars," Davila explained. "They ascend and then go across, up and
then across, and so on, through the inner workings of the ride as they view significant
scenes from the history of Christianity. First, there’s a movie scene of
Chaos with laser light effects depicting Creation, a scene with an audio-animatronic
Abraham about to slice Isaac's throat, a scene with Moses and Aaron leading the
Hebrews through the parted Red Sea, a scene showing David and Goliath and, later,
with his son, Solomon, standing before the Ark of the Covenant in Jerusalem,
a scene at the Manger, at the Sermon on the Mount, of Jesus carrying his cross,
and then of the Crucifixion. That's a powerful scene, bursting with the wrath
of the Lord!”
“Then,” he continued, “we have a scene done with the Helsinki
effect, that is, computer imagery without a screen, where the guests can actually
see Jesus' spirit rising from his body, and we solve the great mystery! Jesus
himself pushes away the rock! It's fabulous! Then the cars turn upward for the
last time and the guests make an ascent to Heaven with Jesus, upon the wings
of angels. Just imagine! Guests depart into the top level of the arms of the
Cross, in virtual Heaven, again done with computer imagery ? then go down, where
they find our inviting restaurants and gift shops."
"So that's what Heaven is like," Candi joked. “Ah always knew
it would involve shopping!”
Powers and Davila smiled. Brandi didn't.
"Oh, yeah, baby!" Davila replied. "We take tickets at the Pearly
Gates and sell concessions in Heaven. What a racket! Ah love it!"
"What happens to the guests then?" Brandi asked. She was solemn, unsure
of her feelings.
"They can walk around the observation deck and view the entire park from
that lofty height. They can eat, shop, spend money ? and then go down by elevator," Davila
He continued, pointing out that if they viewed a crosscut plan of the superstructure
from the top, they could see the walls connecting the four tremendous, structural
steel posts. Just in-set from those were spacious transitions for maintenance
walks, and two code-required stairwells on opposite sides that ran the entire
height of the building. Next was space for the numerous inclines necessary to
elevate the ride cars up through the attraction. Bordering that were catwalks
for mechanics and ride technicians, which ran parallel to the ornate, audio-animatronic
show scenes and numerous elevator shafts on either side.
Davila explained that if they viewed a slice-cut of the arms of the Cross, they
could see four levels, connected by elevators, escalators and hidden stairwells.
The highest level was the ride exit ... the virtual version of Heaven. Serenely
decorated and equipped with the latest computer technology, eliminating the need
for a traditional computer screen altogether, an ethereal video of cloud vapor
was projected onto thin air, making guests think and feel that they were actually
in Heaven. Of course, piped-in harp music was a must.
The level below contained the incredible observation deck for the public, where
guests could enjoy the spectacular panoramic view from four hundred feet in the
air. The observation level was enclosed for safety, and glazed with massive sections
of thick, double-paned glass. The shops, one level below, were the cash cow.
Hungry guests needed to travel down just one more floor to the food court and
restaurants, where the designers had become so carried away that they had even
created the “Two Loaves of Bread Buffet,” providing “all you
can eat” seafood and baked goods. Thinking their irreverent joke would
never survive design review, they were shocked and amused when Isaiah Davila
actually liked it.
"Wow," Powers exclaimed. "The whole thing’s incredible."
"That's why it had to be so gigantic."
"Well let's go!" Candi said, her enthusiasm shared by the men.
They went up an escalator. The black ride cars, linked in groups of four, were
in the shape of upright half-eggs, and could each comfortably seat three. The
ride was a common omni-mover, that is, a rotational people-moving system with
a uni-train, chain drive to which the car groupings were attached by steel rods
and seating platforms. In the darkened boarding room, the evangelist and Candi
stepped onto the black rubber turntable and entered the second car to the last
in a group. Brandi and Powers stepped into the car that followed. As they sat
down, the automatic safety bars emerged from the bottom front of the cars and
closed over them.
By the time Creation was over, Eve had on more clothes than Candi, as she offered
her ample breasts to the evangelist's mouth. By the time Moses and Aaron led
the Exodus, her legs were parted like the Red Sea. The evangelist entered her
and pumped with heightened vigor as easily as he could fill a pulpit with fire
The candidate could see what was happening in the car ahead as they twisted around
bends in the track and he couldn’t help becoming aroused. The little blue
pill he’d taken was amazing. But Brandi was still aloof, watching the ride
scenes like a reverent child in Sunday school. Trying to kiss her to generate
some action, she squirmed to avoid Powers and resumed watching, and he felt like
a frustrated schoolboy in a movie theater with a reluctant date.
"What's with you?"
She hesitated, watching Jesus carry his cross. "I just don't want to. Not
"You don't want to! What the hell do you think this is?” he asked,
not appreciating the irony. “Get your damn clothes off now!" He wouldn't
have minded waiting, but for the fact that it wasn’t his idea. The alcohol
had mixed with the cocaine, and he lost his temper.
"No! I'm not going to right now," she said, as the car rounded a curve
and the Crucifixion came in view.
"God damn it!” he yelled. “Is this what you want?" He backhanded
her beautiful face across the mouth. Her head jerked to the side and smashed
into the back of the car. "Now, get your damn clothes off!"
"No! Leave me alone, you bastard! I'm not going to do it here!"
He smacked her again and she screamed as her mouth spurted crimson liquid. "Leave
She struggled with the safety bar as the car began its ascent to Heaven along
with the computer image of Jesus, but it wouldn't open. As she started to squeeze
through the side, purposely narrow so that guests couldn’t easily do just
that, he grabbed her and yanked her down while the car climbed further. Her head
and back fell hard as the car accelerated upward. Mustering her wits and strength,
she turned and punched him in the groin with all her might. He grimaced and yelled,
doubling over in excruciating pain.
She tried again to escape the moving vehicle and almost made it through the narrow
gap between the safety bar and the side of the car, onto the black running board,
but her heel caught, causing her to plunge head first onto the side of the steeply
inclined track mount. In a tortuous moment as the car climbed and she struggled
to pull herself free, her ankle turned and then ? it snapped. She screamed from
instantaneous pain and jerked her long leg free, causing more damage to the broken
bones. But she fell off of the running board and began slipping, feeling the
cold metal of the track mount under her body.
She slid down the incline until she was able to grab the track near its safety
skirt. Pulling herself up, she tried to get away, but her dilapidated ankle collapsed
and she fell again. Suddenly rolling down the incline until her body met the
next group of climbing cars, her left arm slipped under a section of track skirt
as she bounced to the side, and her flesh became caught in the heavy drive chain.
Feeling her arm, and then her upper body, stretched and jerked upward, she screamed
in terrible, final horror as she felt her left arm contact a sharp metal crosspiece
and steadily become severed from her body by the cold steel. Mercifully, she
blacked out as her body, having been released from her arm, fell further until
it came to rest at the base of the incline, her head striking a piece of fixed
ride-steel like a melon on a knife, killing her upon impact.