Forbidden Fruit

“After all of our debates there isn’t anything you could say to change my view,” Mundo said. Wordlessly, Pastor Parkman stood and slid out of his heavy black coat. He set it on the chair then unbuttoned and removed his shirt. The pastor gave a tall, upward stretch with his arms raised high. He gave a satisfying groan as brilliant emerald-colored wings stretched out behind. His wings stretched across Mundo’s small kitchen, though the Pastor was careful not to knock anything over.

“Sorry, I felt a cramp coming on,” he smiled as he folded his wings behind, then he put his shirt back on. He sat down while buttoning it. “You should open your mind more often. Your preconceived notions are getting in the way of a more fulfilling life,” the Pastor said.

“Open my mind?” Mundo chuckled. “You have wings, Lorro. I regularly meet people that travel between universes,” he shrugged. “I’ve asked everyone I’ve met and they all say the same thing.” Mundo locked eyes with the Pastor. “What you’re asking me to accept abhorred in most universes, and horribly mocked in the rest. There has to be a reason.” Lorro nodded.

“There is a reason. Fear. People fear the unknown, what they don’t understand. It’s good to listen to the advice of others,” Lorro shook his head. “But, some things are best learned for yourself.  It won’t kill you to try it. Just once. Today’s the perfect day to try it.” Mundo shook his head.

“What makes it better on Sunday than any other day?” he asked Lorro. The Pastor smiled. After pressuring Mundo for years, his friend finally wavered. He knew he was about to convert Mundo, and pride welled up in his chest. He sat up straighter and smiled at Mundo.

“Not a thing. I only suggested today because it’s today. Might as well get it out of the way. If you give it a shot but still feel like you do now, then that’s it. I’ll drop it, and I won’t bring it up again during our weekly visits.” It was a small loophole that the Lorro hoped he wouldn’t need. The pair of close friends met weekly to catch up, though they kept in touch throughout the week as well. The Pastor would limit his proselytization to the occasional text if Mundo needed more of a push. He noticed curiosity growing in Mundo’s eyes as if he finally gave himself permission to be curious.

Mundo sat in silence with his thoughts, and Lorro did not interrupt. The Pastor quietly sipped his coffee for several empty minutes while Mundo wrestled internally. Finally, with a faint nod, Mundo agreed.

“Okay,” he smiled. “You’re right. It won’t kill me and if it gets you to shut up about it all the better,” he chuckled. “Go ahead and order it with ham and pineapple. Just this once.” Lorro smiled and grabbed his phone from the table.

“You’re gonna love it,” the Pastor said.

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