“Immortal,” by Rachel Cassidy

Aug 20th, 2017 | By | Category: Fiction, Prose

When Eddie electrocuted himself dead leaving a burnt image of Jesus on his left hand, it was faintly ironic for two reasons: one, he was doing something nice for somebody else at the time, which was out of character to start with; two, nobody had expected him to live long enough to do something nice for somebody else and subsequently electrocute himself.

When he came back to life two hours later, it was a downright miracle.

Nobody witnessed the miracle, the onlookers having left his smoking body there in Orest’s yard and gone about their business. Orest himself had taken off for parts unknown in case the authorities came around and took issue with the power lines spliced off the transformer at the street corner. And the smoking body in his yard.

The reason why nobody expected Eddie to be around long enough to do either of these things was this: since he had taken up with the barmaid, his wife had kicked him out, at which point he had taken to hitting the bottle earlier and earlier in the day. And as his work was servicing the swimming pools of rich people and he was generally blind drunk when he arrived, they had expected him to drown some time ago.

But he hadn’t, and now he wasn’t on the roof of his neighbor’s house with a screwdriver and an audience but laid out alone in the dirt with the stink of singed flesh up his nose.

The burn on his right hand was unexceptional. But the burn on his left hand was quite another matter.

It was an epiphany.

He had been chosen, and people needed to know about it.

His wife was uninterested and slammed the door in his face. The barmaid said it looked more like a buzzard than Jesus, and he should really see a doctor about those burns, and besides which she had lunch customers. One of the drunks at the bar squinted at the Jesus burn and said jeez, maybe, if you look at it crossways, and another beer would surely help his vision. Eddie bought a round and explained the situation as he saw it. He bought a couple more rounds and rounded out his theory, and by late afternoon it was clear to him – he simply couldn’t die.

He needed a larger audience.

When the word got around that Eddie was not only alive and well but up the water tower prancing around like a fool hollering some craziness about being immortal, well, that was a spectacle not to be missed. Even his wife showed up to see, though she was shooting daggers from her eyes at the barmaid the whole time.

When he spread his arms wide and dove off the tower to prove the point, the crowd gasped as one and parted, and Eddie piled headfirst right back into the dirt.

A few people waited around a while to see if he was going to resurrect.

Eventually they got bored and left. It was another day or two before the buzzards started picking at him.


Rachel Cassidy was raised semi-feral on the back of a horse in the Rocky Mountains and now writes from Salt Spring Island, BC. Her short fiction has appeared (or will be appearing soon) in Pseudopod, The Molotov Cocktail, Jersey Devil Press, Cat on a Leash Review, and others. She is online at www.facebook.com/readrachelcassidy.

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