Aphelion Issue 291, Volume 28
February 2024
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
Submission Guidelines
Contact Us
Flash Writing Challenge
Dan's Promo Page


by Mark Edgemon

There was a little town where the people took their religion a bit seriously. They prided themselves, and I mean that literally, on being the most religious folks anywhere, and… they might have been right.

I would like to say it was a nice place to visit, but I can’t.

If you were looking for a church in Christville, you had come to the right place… unless you were looking for God, in which case you hadn't.

The first store you came to in Christville was called the "Christian Emporium". It was filled with religious merchandise, each item tied into God in some way or another.

As you walked through the front door, you'd see a window display, with various items in the store arranged in a theme presentation. They featured themes like the "Comfort Of The Lord Livingroom Set", including the "Rest In The Lord Reclining Chair". The chair was covered in "First and Second Corinthian Leather", and had a snake-covered footstool with the inscription, "You Can Walk On Serpents And Scorpions".

As you left the store, you passed under a sign which read "Exodus".

There was a diner in the town of Christville called "The Garden Of Eden Snack Bar". Snack cakes were stapled on to an artificial palm tree called the "Tree Of Life" (suggesting that if you ate an apple doodle, you would live forever).

The special of the day was the "Manna from Heaven Platter". For dessert, you could have a slice of "Eve’s Forbidden Sin-a-min Apple Pie", or "Rocky Road To Damascus" ice cream.

If you were thirsty, you could quench your thirst with a "Grape Nehemiah", or, if you wanted something harder, they offered a line of alcohol-free mixed drinks. You could order a mug of "Not Wiser Beer" bottled by a religious bottling company called "He-brews", or you could sit back with a "Genesis and Tonic" (seltzer water in a scripture cup).

On your way out, they offered a complimentary "Breath Of Life Mint".

The waiters and waitresses in Christville hated serving religious folk on Sunday, because they found them rude and selfish. No one had to preach about the devil to servers in Christville. They saw him on the faces of hungry religious customers.

Next door to the diner was the "Fishes And Loaves Market". Their specials would include items like "Holy Rollers Toilet Paper". On each sheet was the verse, "I will wipe away all your sins".

Also on sale were scripture tampons, each having the inscription, "We are all as filthy rags in the sight of God".

They had a bank in Christville called "The King’s Savings And Loan", which had a sign that read

Open a savings account today, because Jesus saves!

There was a motel in Christville called "The Bethlehem Inn". Their slogan: "At Our Motel, You’ll Sleep Like a New Born Baby".

Closer to the town square you would find a toy store called "Jesus Is Tops". Their biggest selling toy was "Jehovah Gyroscopes".

The "Angels Hardware Store" over on Revelations Avenue was featuring a sale on a set of sink fixtures called "Pharaoh Faucets".

If you needed car repairs, "The Resurrection Auto Repair Shop" had a sign that promised "You'll have an Auto Body Experience".

"The Great Physician Hospice" conducted its blood drives using the slogan "There’s Power In The Blood". In return for a pint of blood, they gave you some watered down orange juice and a sugar cookie and then sold the donated blood for a hundred dollars a pint.

In the town of Christville, it was the same routine day after day and that’s the way they wanted it.

But then, the world stopped. People throughout the world went missing, first hundreds, then thousands, and no one knew what was happening. It was suggested by some religious intellectuals that such an event might be attributed to "The Second Coming Of Christ". But the people of Christville believed they had no reason to be worried. After all, all of their townspeople were still there.


© 2007 Mark Edgemon

Bio: Mark Edgemon has been writing for 30 years. He writes and publishes short stories, articles, poetry and scripts, as well as, produces audio comedy productions for over 700 radio stations nationwide. For more by Mark Edgemon, visit The World of Mark Edgemon (publishing site), or Creator and the Catalyst (audio production site).

E-mail: Mark Edgemon

Comment on this story in the Aphelion Forum

Return to Aphelion's Index page.