Charlie Britten's modern Biblical comedy about a Texan girl who travels to Essex to learn some moral lessons
"Amen," Tony answered, then Frank departed from him.
Tony, having an empty belly, went forth from his lodging in Houston, unto the 'Dairy Queen' in the next block, and ordered a burger from the serving maid, Lindy, daughter of Sandra. And there he tarried.
For three years he laboured at law school, and then he took Lindy as his wife. The Lord blessed their union in the same manner as he had blessed Abraham and Sarah - no, not when they were eighty years, but in middle age - with a daughter, Brianna-Jane. Tony and Lindy raised their hands and gave Him thanks, taking Brianna-Jane with them unto the house of the Lord, to Preschoolers' Worship, Elementary Children's Bible Study, Elementary Choir, Youth Choir, Student Contemporary Worship and Christian summer camps.
Brianna-Jane grew into a woman, four cubits and a span high, with long blonde hair and straight white teeth, rearranged by the orthodontist. The time came for her to go from Houston into the state of Louisiana, in a new Chevrolet, bought with many shekels by her loving father, to attend college. Tony and Lindy did call upon their daughter daily; she rejoiced sometimes, a little, although not when they called several times a day. At mid-terms, alumni weekends and college hockey team homecomings (although they followed not hockey), Tony and Lindy went forth in their pickup to Louisiana and Brianna-Jane tried very hard to rejoice.
In the third year of college, during the Presidency of Obama of the Dodgy Birth Certificate, she sent word to the teachers at the University of Essex in England and won a scholarship. In the ninth month of that year, Tony and Lindy stood with Brianna-Jane in Departures at George Bush Intercontinental, tearing at their garments and weeping. Tony spake unto Brianna-Jane, saying unto her, "Remember that you are a child of God and a daughter of Texas. Vouchsafe to me that y'all be faithful unto God. Attend the house of the Lord on the seventh day and send unto me the text of the sermon."
"Amen, Daddy." But, as she opened her mouth, the heavens were filled with a roar of thunder and there descended upon the ground a beast all in white. The beast had two wings and a tail with two forks, and upon its body was painted a red and blue ribbon.
Brianna-Jane climbed inside the beast and ventured forth to the east, traversing the ocean for a day and a night, or so it seemed, eating many meals on plastic trays. In the land of Queen Elizabeth, the driver of the chariot carrying her to Colchester, sought to trick her by asking if she would become an "Essex Girl," and Brianna-Jane said that she would. Having stood with her hand on her heart before the Stars and Stripes every school-day morning, it seemed meet and right so to do.
Close by Brianna-Jane's lodging in Colchester, there stood the Ephraim Baptist Church, but Brianna-Jane entered it not. For, on the evenings of the fifth day and of the sixth day, Brianna-Jane, with Hayley, daughter of Tracy, and Gemma, daughter of Donna, entered into Sodom and Gomorrah, yea, even into the town centre, where wine and beer flowed like a river, and the English partook of sins of the flesh. And on the seventh day, Brianna-Jane lay in her bed. She continued thus for eight weeks.
Until she grew poor in spirit.
Lo, in the twelfth month, in the night-time, she stood by the clubs of sin, amidst the children of England, who were full of wine and being sick, and Brianna-Jane wept. She, being lightly clad, in a spaghetti top and a short skirt, was cold and wet, for the Lord had caused the wind to blow and the rain to fall in stair-rods. She cried out to the Lord, "I will go to my father's house in Houston, because it is Christmas."
Tony and Lindy met Brianna-Jane when she was far off, jumping over the barriers of the Arrivals at George Bush Intercontinental, and at their home they spread before her a table laden with rice, tacos, guacamole and refried beans. On the seventh day they proceeded to the house of the Lord, Tony unto the choir, whither it was his custom to sing his praises to the Lord, and Brianna-Jane and Lindy into the Sanctuary to sit and wait.
"Oh Mommy," Brianna-Jane cried, "my heart is full of sorrow, for I have done wrong in the sight of the Lord."
Lindy became sore distressed. "You are with child?"
"No. The sons of the English did not know me, as I, a Texan woman, am four cubits and a span in height, and they are not."
"You have drunk adult beverages?"
"Yea, but they gave me a headache."
"But, still, you visited the house of the Lord on the seventh day and sent unto your father the text of the sermon every week, as he required?"
"No, Mommy. I visited the internet, even unto the website of the Ephraim Baptist Church, and there read of the text and sent it to him." She beat about her breast. "Oh, woe is me. I am the least of American women and I have betrayed the trust of my beloved father, who required this thing of me, as his father had required of him during the time of President Nixon of Watergate."
Lindy fell silent, as at that moment the choir and orchestra entered the Sanctuary, and the ministers also, and the people did sing a hymn unto God. As they sat down again, she said unto her daughter, "Your father attended not the house of God at that time. On the day following the Sabbath, he opened up his Bible in the college library and sent unto his father, Frank, your forebear, the first verse that he saw."
Then Brianna-Jane looked upon her daddy, robed and sitting in the choir, and the scales fell from her eyes.
"On the seventh day, my beloved daughter, he was with me."