Rich Kyle's gullible cousin visit to spread the word of his latest religion; by Mark F. Geatches.
"We're enlightened. We follow the teachings of M'buru," she said smugly.
"Yeah Kyle. We found the truth," Pete added.
I stifled a laugh. It had been three years since I had seen my cousin and his wife. They were prone to fancy but this was on another level. Kally's hair was matted and discolored so that it looked like an old, recently used mop. Pete's voice was the best impression of Bob Marley's I had ever heard. And the clothes... homeless comes close to describing them, from both a well-worn and olfactory perspective.
I said, "So what happened to Asatru? Did you give up on that religion? What about all the others?"
"Come on man," Pete said. "You ain't seen the light is all. It will change your world."
"It certainly has changed yours," I said waving my hand in front of my face.
"Don't be that way, man. Square Kyle never can let go. Always mister strait-laced, mister by-the-book. Relax man. The end is coming and none of your anality is going to change -"
"The end of what? A good strong shower?" I chuckled, unable to resist.
"M'buru teaches the virtue of patience," Kally chimed. "I'm not sure he ever met someone like you though."
This pleasant conversation took place at the front door. I hesitated to invite them in but they were family, so I suggested the back porch. It would offer hospitality and more importantly fresh air.
I handed out ice cold beers and we sat in comfortable lounge chairs facing my sculpted pool with Jacuzzi waterfall. I almost asked if M'buru had a pool like mine but thought better of it. After several seconds' pause I opened my beer.
"Ahhh," I breathed. "Now that's the sound of heaven."
I tilted that beer toward my lips with utter joy. My one true love and vice though Kally and Pete might argue that money topped the list.
"So what brings you two to town? It's been quite a while," I said hoping to get this encounter over with.
"We've seen the truth and it's our responsibility to spread that truth," Kally replied.
I asked her, "How come you don't talk like Bob over here? He seems to have more of the spirit if you know what I mean."
"Pete," she sneered, "has tasted of the fruit of the spirit. I have not. He's a leader healer; a prophet of M'buru."
"A leader healer," I said. "That's sounds important. So let me guess, your M'buru likens himself to a messiah? Am I right?"
"Watch your tongue man," Pete warned severely. "He is the messiah: The risen messiah."
I smiled condescendingly and prodded, "So did he show you the wounds on his hands and feet? Did he pull up his shirt and reveal the scar on his side?"
"We shouldn't have come here, Pete," Kally said. "He'll never be enlightened like us. He's lost."
"Whoa now," I cried, "I may be lost to your cause but I'm not a lost cause. I just see a different light that's all. You two can't get your heads on straight. How many beliefs have you had over the years? How do you reconcile the failures, the disappointments?"
"There is no failure in the pursuit of the truth," Kally said.
"Now that's the smartest thing you've said since you got here. But I gotta tell ya, you are never getting me to believe in M'buru. You can just bag that crap right now."
My unsolicited guests looked at each other for an extended moment. Finally Pete got up and said, "I guess a demonstration of the power of M'buru is in order."
"I'm not kidding, Pete," I said getting up as well. "You came to the wrong person with the wrong message." As I said it I watched Kally reach into her floral print purse. She pulled out something wrapped in a stained rag and gently handed it off to Pete.
My eyes popped open when I saw him uncover a nine millimeter pistol. "What the hell are you doing, Pete?" I yelled. "Get the hell out of my house. You guys are sick," I protested.
"M'buru has called us to save the lost by any means necessary," Kally said calmly. "He understands that some will only believe given proof."
I wanted to run but Pete held the cold steel unwaveringly in the direction of my head. "Okay," I said. "I see the light. M'buru rocks. There's no need for a demonstration. I'll show you out."
I turned toward the sliding glass door but froze when I heard him pull back the hammer.
"What are you doing?" I screamed. "This is no joke."
"You're right, Kyle," Pete said smoothly with Kally smiling at his side. "This is no joke. I'm going to shoot you and then I'm going to heal you by the power of M'buru. Then you will believe."
"You're both freaking lunatics," I screamed. "I'm calling the cops."
The glass door behind me shattered but remained intact. I wondered if Pete's soul did the same thing in the same instant. I didn't feel anything as I fell to the floor.
I heard Kally scream, "What did you do? You were only supposed to scare him!" She ran to me and cradled my head in her lap. A comforting warm sensation spread from the wound in my neck. "You killed him!" she sobbed.
My eyes stared unblinking as Pete came close. He hovered over us mumbling an unintelligible litany. At first he was calm but as I remained unmoving his chant grew in intensity. Soon he was gesticulating wildly pleading for M'buru's healing power. Kally just cried while squeezing my head to her pounding chest.
As I lay dying I thought, I hope my light is the right one... I wish I had a beer...