Our church worships at the altar of the Unholy Trinity. Its gospels are delivered as a trio of dark drabbles, linked so that Three become One. All hail the power of the Three.
I remember a day nearly fifteen years ago. When I got home from work and pulled in the driveway, I noticed the neighbor boy, Timmy, sitting on his stoop throwing pebbles at a toad. He was probably about seven years old at the time.
“Hi, Timmy,” I called. “How are you doing?”
“Okay, I guess,” he replied, not looking up from his target. “I had to bury my cat today.”
“Oh, that’s too bad,” I said. “How did it die?”
Timmy finally looked up at me, a sheepish grin on his face. “I never said anything about it being dead.”
When Timmy was in his late teens, I was talking to him in the yard one Saturday evening. I noticed he was carrying a long, skinny duffel bag. Curious, I asked him what kind of plans he had for that night.
“I’m going to take out a girl at the mall,” was his reply.
“Don’t you mean you’re going to take out a girl to the mall.”
The same sly grin that had seen many times over the previous dozen years, once again, appeared on his face.
He chuckled, “I think I said it exactly the way I meant it.”
After the officer finished questioning me, I turned to watch the crime scene investigators carry shovels and a jack-hammer into the basement of Timmy’s family home.
Soon after, I was confronted by a reporter from the local television station.
“Tell us about the neighbor boy,” she demanded. “Did you have any clue that he was capable of such heinous crimes?”
I shrugged. “Timmy seemed like a nice kid. He had a keen sense of humor. I got along well with him. Heck, we even have the same hobby.”
I smiled to myself, hoping the reporter wouldn’t decipher my cryptic comment.
James Rumpel is a retired high school math teacher who has enjoyed spending some of his additional free time trying to put some of the weird ideas circling his brain into words.