Okay, I admit it. I never expected to see him again.
When he first came by, a couple of months after THAT phone call, I was
stunned. Barry just shrugged. He didn't want to talk about it, so we
spent the day talking about my life, and what had happened in his
absense. Not much. Mostly we just hung out together.
Channel 12 news crew was the first to spot him. They stopped him on the
street a day or two after he came by and interviewed him. Just like
always, Barry stopped what he was doing and gave them the requested
interview. Yes, he said, he was back. Yes, he said, he did indeed call
me and tell me he wasn't returning: what I had tersely reported to the
news media was accurate. Yes, It had been laughing. No, he couldn't
describe what It looked like because it was pretty dark, he could only
make out a rough outline. It was bigger than a human, but it was too
dark to tell much more.
The interviewer wasn't pleased at all when Barry pointed out that he
never said It was God. It was a gifted engineer; It was our creator, It
was very old, but he had never publicly said It was definitely God. Barry had never said
the he himself was special. But the interviewer was dissatisfied. When
Barry said he had no memory of what had happened after THAT phone call
the interviewer got quite angry. I guess they were expecting a
description of heaven or something, but - as always - Barry
held to a flat description of the truth. The interview got pretty
Prior to THAT phone call Barry had been living off donations. He had
been pretty careful about where the money came from; his style of
living was pretty Spartan, and he turned most donations away. He didn't
want to be beholden to anyone, it was important to him to be free to
speak the unadorned truth. But now the donations completely dried up.
For a couple of months he managed to live on his savings, but that
didn't last long. He was never a weathy man, and had steadfastedly
refused to accept large donations from anyone. When savings ran out he
unsuccessfully appealled to the public for basic financial assistance.
Down on his luck, he was featured on the H.R. Hoople interview show,
but it was an hour of unadorned harassment. Much was made of his
so-called fall from Grace, seems like everyone forgot he'd consistently
denied his divinity. Claims were made that the video of his death had
been faked; the claims were repeated so often they became accepted as
fact. He was called the false Messiah, King Charlatan, and other names
not speakable in genteel places.
Barry had been a respected social worker prior to his death, but now he
found no one willing to hire him in social work - or anywhere else.
People pointed to his poverty as just punishment for his so-called
deception. Eventually, with no where to go, and no one else to turn,
Barry moved in with me. The media (fortunately) painted me as a foolish
simpleton for taking him in. Barry become depressed, and then
philosphical and depressed. But he was my best friend; I told him that
as long as I had a roof over my head he would never sleep in the rain.
It looked like Barry was going to spend the rest of his days puttering
around my house, unable to get a job, steeped in complete povery and
depression and finding condemnation everywhere he turned.
Until yesterday evening.
The ship was so big it seemed to fill the sky. It hovered maybe a mile
directly over my house for six hours. It was silent, it was red, and it
didn't seem to move. News crews came and filmed it, and the airwaves
were again filled with stories of Barry. The same videos of what had
happened to him were played over and over again. Was this another hoax?
How did he do it? Then, just before sundown, a small pin of light left
the ship. It moved slowly down, down, down, until 20 minutes later it
silently hovered 2 feet off my front lawn. I guess it was about twice
the size of a refrigerator. It touched down, there was a large thud,
and it shot upwards, rejoining the huge ship. The huge ship shot
upwards just after they met and was gone impossibly fast. We had seen
the big ship, we had seen the little ship, but nothing ever showed up
I know that Barry's life is going to change again, in a big way.
There on the lawn was a big rough slab of shiny yellow metal too heavy to budge by hand. And I know gold when I see it.
Copyright 2008 Gary Hughes-Fenchel