“I’ve been raped!” cried Leda. “By–by a swan!”
She ran up the steps of the church, where stood Father Rick with his Bible pressed against his chest. He smiled at her with equine charm. When she tried to embrace him, he gently pushed her away.
“Now, now, Leda. We all know that hugging is a sin.”
“Didn’t you hear what I said, Father Rick? A swan raped me!”
Father Rick placed his loving palm upon Leda’s head, sighed, shook his sagacious head, and smiled ever so tenderly.
“My dear Leda, how old are you?”
The father chuckled and patted her shoulder with his dry, mild hand. “You’re almost a woman then, aren’t you?”
“What are you talking about? I’m in junior high school.”
“Leda, you sweet, sweet girl. Please don’t be so naive. You tell me you were raped by a swan. Don’t you realize that your destiny has been fulfilled?”
“Father,” Leda said, weeping bitterly, “you don’t seem to care about me! I’ve been ripped apart inside, and I am in pain. I thought you were supposed to be a good man.”
Father Rick looked aghast for a moment, then regained his placid composure. “Come on now, Leda, I’m an excellent man. Everyone knows that. I’m God’s best friend. That’s why I’m smiling. I know that what happened to you was horrible, but don’t you realize that wasn’t just any ordinary swan?”
“What kind of swan was it, then?”
“Why, it was Jesus! Jesus raped you! So you should be happy.”
“Father Rick, have you been drinking?”
“Leda, don’t be silly. And treat me with respect. I don’t wear this cassock for my health.”
“What if I get pregnant?” Leda was so angry she was shaking. “Huh? I’m not ready to have a baby! I haven’t even been on my first date yet!”
Rick looked both left and right to make sure no one was within earshot before leaning closer to her to whisper: “Leda, if you get pregnant, that will be the most wonderful event in the world! That means you’ll soon be giving birth to the Second Coming!”
“Great! So I guess I’ll have to quit school and start working full-time at 7-Eleven.”
Rick shook his head with the wisdom of a man who knows the Scriptures inside-out, a sage bursting with compassion and sensitivity.
“Whatever happens, darling, the Lord will take good care of you. He has chosen you to bear his fruit. You are the reincarnation of Mary. May I have your autograph?”
Leda glared at him and said, “I’m going to tell my mother what happened, and what you said, and have her make an appointment at the abortion clinic.”
Father Rick, following her down the steps, held up his hands and shook them like excitable squids. “No, no, no, Leda. Please don’t do that. Just go home and cool off for awhile. Everything will be all right. I promise you. In fact, I’m going to go back inside and pray for you for a few hours. Would you care to join me?”
“No, Father. Have a good time.”
Leda stormed off screaming and left the father agog, rubbing his jaw as if he’d just been slugged by the heavyweight boxing champion of the world.
“Poor, deluded child,” he said to himself before retiring to the church to make good on his word.
As soon as he opened the door, he gasped in shock and awe. There before him, standing with an ingratiating grin on his face, was a real live donkey.
“Hi, Rick! Or shall I say ‘Rape’? I couldn’t help overhearing the conversation you just had with that helpless young girl, you heartless man, you.”
Rick tried to pull open the half-arch of the polished wooden door to get away from the beast.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you, Ricky boy. I’m here on a mission from God.”
Without batting an eyelash, Rick kneeled down before the donkey, the epitome of submissiveness and pretentious humility.
“That’s okay, Father. You can stand up. No need to be so obsequious. Have a little dignity, for Christ’s sake.”
“So why have you come for me, Lord? Have I done anything wrong?”
“Of course not, Rick! You are very special to me. I like the way you walk, and the warmth of your smile. Come closer to me, please.”
Rick stood up and brushed off his knees, remembering that he had to have one of the Mexican illegal immigrants he’d hired vacuum the place before the next service, which wasn’t for five days anyway.
“Thank you,” said the donkey. “Now turn around and lift up your cassock.”
“What are you planning to do to me?” said Father Rick, obeying the donkey’s stern command.
Without warning, the donkey yanked down the father’s underpants and mounted him apace. Rick screamed in horror as the preternaturally endowed beast violated him with considerable alacrity. Rick’s face was twisted with agony and consternation. His expression read: “Why are you doing this to me?”
“I’m God, and you’re my bitch!”
A few excruciating minutes later, the donkey brayed in ecstasy and dismounted, shoving Rick forward with a dismissive hoof.
“Thanks, Father. Now you can pull your up your undergear and replace your sacred–if slightly defiled–garment.”
Father Rick, bowlegged with pain, trembled and wept like Jesus, a melancholy spectacle of absolute anguish and humiliation.
With desperate gasps, he cried, “How–how could you do such a thing to me, Lord?”
The donkey said, “Just trying to teach you a little lesson, Ricky boy.”
“What do you mean?”
“I wanted you to know how it feels to be raped.”
“It’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to me!”
“Hey, Father–don’t forget who you’re talking to, buddy.”
Rick looked down with perfunctory servility, striving for the appropriate level of abject deference to give to the long-eared, bucktoothed deity.
“That’s more like it,” said the donkey. By the way, do you have any hay on you?”
Rick said, “Sorry, but I don’t. Incidentally, you’re a male donkey, are you not?”
“Boy, you catch on quick. How’d you guess?”
Rick gulped and shuddered. “So that means we’ve just had a homosexual encounter.”
“Was it as good for you as it was for me?”
Rick’s voice rose as he whined in a sniveling tone, “Does that mean I’m going to hell?”
“Hmmm, that’s not a bad idea. Why would you be going to hell for being the victim of sexual assault?”
“Then why did you do it?”
“To show you that rape isn’t about procreation. It isn’t about love. It’s about power. And before you go around making glib comments to poor little girls who’ve been robbed of the chance to ever fully enjoy the normally beautiful experience of sex–in a consenting context, that is–remember how it feels to have your ass ripped open by an endowed donkey and card-carrying member of the Democratic Party.”
“But don’t feel too bad. You know that sex for non-reproductive purposes is a sin. Rest easy, my child. You will give birth. Soon. The gestation period will be brief. Instead of gaining weight, you’ll lose it, just like Rosemary before she had her baby. But the delivery will be long, slow, and very, very painful.”
Stammering wildly, Father Rick appeared to be hyperventilating. “A bay–a bay–a baby? How in God’s name will I be able to do that?”
“Remember, my dear fellow, as you’ve said many times, I work in strange ways. The embryo will evolve into a fetus in the confines of your anus. He shall emerge within the month. His name will be Satan.”
“SATAN? BUT WHY DID YOU INSEMINATE ME WITH THE SEED THAT SHALL BE SATAN?”
The donkey shrugged and grinned with a self-satisfied look not unlike the one the father had given Leda a half hour before.
“I thought he’d make a good running mate.”
Rick howled in horror and fell on the floor, pounding the wooden boards with his fists.
“And don’t even think about getting an abortion. Consider it my horrible gift to you.”
With that, the donkey stepped past the blubbering, broken man, and gingerly turned around so he was facing the altar.
“Nice picture of Jesus. Of course, it doesn’t look anything like him, but what the hell.”
The donkey kicked both doors open with his powerful hind legs.
“By the way, if you ever need my services again, my name is Pan. I’m supposed to be a goat, but Zeus thought it would be funnier if I came to you–and in you–as a donkey. We also thought a sheep might seem either too blasphemous or too ironic.”
Rick yelled, “I’m going go kill myself!”
“Now you’re getting the idea! Have a nice time, Father!”
The donkey brayed again and trotted down the stone steps before running across the sky to join his immortal friends on Mount Olympus.
Rick collapsed on the floor and lay there for awhile, softly moaning to himself, and feeling more alone than he’d ever believed possible.
Of course, he would feel much, much worse in a few days as Satan began to materialize within him, the spitting image of the evil baby’s nauseatingly wholesome, sanctimonious mother in the guise of a father.