©2011, Randall A. Beeler
This installment of the Comedy is part of an original novel I am writing, called The Bishop Tripped: the story of a man, who, disillusioned, seeks to escape his life, only to be mistaken for a bishop--all the way to the miter, crozier, and diocesan bureaucracy.
None of this writing is edited. It is written as it happens, with every post I blog. No premeditation, other than a story trajectory in my imagination and the characters who will take it and run with it.
To start at the beginning of the story, either scroll down to or click on Episode 1.
So, live and as it happens, here is the next installment of The Bishop Tripped …When Mat-the-wanna-be-Diocesan-Vicar returned, he had Dr. Barfield in tow. "Matt, c'mon!" protested Michael. "The joke's gone too far. What the heck is going on here? And I'm getting out of this hospital bed, if only to pee."
The Diocesan Vicar shot a knowing glance at Dr. Barfield, and the two conferees started whispering together while Michael, on somewhat rubbery legs trotted to the toilet to answer the call of nature. He was in such a hurry that he never closed the door and noticed that Matt hastily did so behind him.
While he stood there pondering the thoughts of a peeing man, he tried to sort things out. Was he drugged up? Did someone slip him a roofie? He didn't feel drugged. Confused, yes, but not under-the-influence. And why were those two clowns out there still, uh … clowning around? If only he could remember what the heck had gone on in the last 24. With a sharp pang, he recalled that he'd driven to Love Field instead of going to work--he'd wanted to escape … Mara.
He shook his head to clear out the cobwebs and push down the memory. Shake the dew off the lily and go out there to get these guys straight.
He stepped out and started shedding his ultra-chic hospital gown. Matt immediately tried to turn Barfield away. "For crissakes, Matt! We were on the seminary swim team together--and he's a doctor for cryin' out loud!"
He stood there in the buff, now, arms akimbo, head swinging back-and-forth, searching the room. "Where the heck are my clothes?"
He spied the closet and immediately moved that way. Matt picked up Michael's shed gown and tried to step between Michael and the closet. "Uh, Bishop Christopher, Dr. Barfield and I both think you should reconsider going anywhere today. Why not put the gown back on or, um, if you prefer, just get back into bed, um … the way you are?"
"Yes," Dr. Barfield concurred. "Although we cannot discover a blow to the head, all your tests indicate trauma-like effects to your cerebrum, especially the frontal lobe, which governs inhibitions. To put it bluntly, Bishop, you are not yourself."
Michael opened the closet to find black clericals and the same pectoral cross the Bishop had been wearing. Turning to them, he held out the clothes and said, "Fellas, you certainly are thorough, all the way down to the civvies. Look, I don't know what's going on here, but it's no longer amusing. I've got a life to live, alright? And it has nothing to do with being a Bishop. Now, dammit, let me call Mara, and get the hell back to Dallas."
At the mention of the name, Mara, Matt's eyebrow shot up, and he glanced at Dr. Barfield who was already swinging into action. "You're right," said Barfield. "We aren't amusing, are we? Here, let me take those clothes away and get you your regular ones."
Michael started to hand over the clericals to the Doctor, but instead of taking them, Barfield simply grabbed his left arm and injected a syringe into the valve protruding from Michael's IV tape. Too swiftly, the blackness returned.