Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Wrong Thing to Say

by Jonathan Pinnock

Father Skerritt was enjoying his first solo exorcism. The young girl was writhing about on the bed with considerable energy, and it took both her parents to hold her down. She was blaspheming away like a Clydeside stevedore and producing some spectacular projectile vomit. And it might have been a trick of the light, but he was convinced that her head had rotated a full 360° at one point. This was the full Monty.

And yet, in the middle of it all, he was calm. He felt serene. He had a hotline to the Boss, and he was ready to make the connection.

“In the name of the God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost, release this poor girl from her travails—”

“Fuck you bastard!” said the ten-year-old girl.

“—go now and leave her in peace—”

“Fuck you!”

“—depart from this world into the shadows—”

And then it happened. The girl gave one final contortion and began to hemorrhage. As she shrieked in agony, her belly was torn open and a revolting reptile poked its head out. With a malevolent squawk, the beast forced the rest of its body through and hurtled out of the room.

When reflecting on it later, it struck Father Skerritt that “Whoa, mash-up!” was probably an inappropriate thing to say at this point. But he still couldn’t help thinking that it was massively cool.


Jonathan Pinnock was born in Bedfordshire, England, and - despite having so far visited over forty other countries - has failed to relocate any further away than the next-door county of Hertfordshire. He is married with two children, several cats and a 1961 Ami Continental jukebox. His work has won several prizes, and he has been published in such diverse publications as Litro, Every Day Fiction and Necrotic Tissue. His unimaginatively-titled yet moderately interesting website is at, and you can follow him on Twitter as @jonpinnock.


Rachel Green said...


Cate Gardner said...

Ha! :D

Michael Stone said...

Heh! Nicely done.

Unknown said...

Brilliant! Love it : )

Janie said...

what a massively cool priest

Pharosian said...

That's a big, "Oops! Did I just say that out loud?" moment! :D

Joe L. Murr said...

Excellent! :D

jonathan pinnock said...

Thanks, everyone!

Anonymous said...

definitely laugh out loud