INB 3 - The Search BeginsA Chapter by Sketcha
That's right - Jesus decides it's time to take action! Get out there and find your girl!
The portal pulls against me at the other side. Biff comes through behind me, "Why do you have to do this?"
Without an answer, I just take in the surroundings. Car horns blast at me, as I stand in the middle of the road.
I lean over to Biff, "Can they see me?"
"Yes, now walk." I stare at him blankly. He rolls his eyes, "To the other side of the street."
I robotically move my legs, walking past the white striped section of the road and to the pavement. The sun shines brightly, making me sweat beneath the robe. I pinch it and shake it so the cotton material waves like the ocean.
I find a clothes shop and get inside. The air-conditioning hits me straight away. Relief.
Biff flies around, going invisible to customers. I follow him, right up to a white mannequin. I stand in front of it and reach out. It's smooth. I wonder why it's naked at first, but then a shop assistant comes over, a pile of clothes hung over her arm. She notices me staring and walks straight to me.
Biff speedily flies at me, "Is this her? Quick - morph into someone attractive-"
"Are you saying I'm ugly?" I whisper so she doesn't hear.
The shop assistant takes striding, bouncing steps. I look her up and down, her wide hips swaying, waist small, her blue jeans tight against her. Her long legs lead up to small shoulders and to a perfect face.
Her pink lips form a forced smile to greet me, her customer. Still leering at her beauty, I wait intently for her to speak. Before she can, my eye sees something. A sparkle in the light.
A golden wedding ring. I shake my head.
"Can I help you sir?" Her English accent takes me aback. I hadn't realised I'd been brought here.
"Uh, no thank you." I scurry away, to a corner of the shop. A sky blue top jumps out at me, plain, normal, just what a typical man would wear.
I look down at my robe. Not what a typical man would wear. I find a pair of trousers to match, also plain, but beige. They're on a 10% off rack. I take them from the rail and feel a tug at my robe.
It's a small child. Three years old. His beady eyes stare at me, his mouth agape. He lifts a finger and points at me, "You look like Jesus!"
I look for the exits. Before I can move, his mother appears, "I'm sorry sir!" Embarrassed, grabs her son's shoulders and quickly leads him away.
In the distance I hear him shout, "But he looks JUST like him!"
Exactly what I thought. I can expect a normal woman to want me looking like this. Looking like an out-dated religious man - so I grab the top and trousers, heading to the changing rooms.
I hang both items up on small hooks on the wall.
Biff flies in under the white door, "You're going to need more clothes than that."
"I know," I look at my reflection. The outfit fits, but I stroke my beard. "I'll need a shave. Can you buy these for me Biff?"
"I don't have any money."
"I'll make you some." I can't buy the clothes for myself - my powers can't be used for myself. BUT If I give Biff money to buy them, I'm making the money for him and so my deed is unselfish.
"That would work," he nods, "But what are you gonna do? No one can see me."
I bite my lip. He's right."Well I can't steal them." Breaking one of the Ten Commandments wouldn't be such a good idea. I know about those store alarms too.
Removing the shirt over my head, I toss it on a small shelf, like a seat. My muscle bound body broad shoulders Biff notices, "You could...distract the female staff whilst I take the clothes."
For a moment, I look at my thick arms as I consider. "No. That's still stealing."
"Unless, you distract them I take the clothes and you put money on the counter. No one can see me so when I go through the shop doors and the alarm goes off; they'll think it isn't working."
He smiles at his brilliant plan whilst I pull my robe over my head, "But first, we'll need to pick you out some more clothes."
"Wait," I hold out a hand, removing the cargo trousers from beneath the robe, "you're invisible but the clothes aren't."
Biff paces in the air, wings rhythmically batting, "Why don't you just make me some clothes? But in your size."
Ah, it makes sense. I make him clothes, but my size for me, thank goodness for loopholes.
"I wish I hadn't wasted our time in this shop," I straighten out my robe.
"No, it's going to take some time for us to learn how things work around here. I don't know why you didn't want that woman, but the more you see, the better."
Walking out of the changing rooms, a male shop assistant asks, "Will you be purchasing these items sir?" I shake my head, handing them to him as well as placing my green 2 on the wall, which represented how many items I took in.
I hear a customer quibbling at the till with an employee, "Miss, you can't return these items!"
"Yes I can! It's 8 days later and I had 28!"
"Yes, but this red stain means you can't!"
I stare at them. The wild gesturing, the spit the shouting of the frustrated customer. Women.
From the clouds, they looked like little ants, but now, they're real people. Their personalities aren't repressed. They argue, more fiery than before. I'd not heard the passion in their words, their foul language.
When I was in Jerusalem, two millennia ago, women were quiet and composed; all you heard were their short answers to questions. Now, they speak fast. Before, they'd have to restrict what they'd say - their husbands wouldn't be shocked if they spoke to guests in one more than a sentence or two. How times have changed.
I step out the shop and back onto the hot street. My beard becomes sweaty. I stroke it, looking around the crowd of people. "I need a shave."
Biff seems to ignore me, his eyes darting from one woman in sunglasses to another. "So how about that one?" He keeps asking every time a decent looking woman walks past, wondering if I'll magically be attracted to them. After a few minutes of me shaking my head, he asks, "So what do you want?"
I look to the sky, "Someone with that special something. But they won't like me looking like this. All these men, they're clean-shaven."
Biff's shoulders sag, "Right. I guess the longer you put off finding a girl, the more bored the Devil will be."
"True. Mm, I smell burgers. I haven't felt hunger in a really long time."
"Okay - food first, hair cut, then girl?"
I walk through automatic doors, following the delicious scent, "Yeah, sure."
As I sit down to eat, I hear the background music. It's dull and has almost put Biff to sleep in my pocket. As I squeeze the burger, ketchup falls from it, staining my robe. The lyrics to the dull song mirror the situation, "What if God was one of us? Just a slob like one of us?"
Biff laughs in my pocket so I lean to the right.
"Ah! Don't squish me!" He crawls out the pocket and out onto the seat beside me.
Slob. It's not just my eating habits, but my beard. Its scratchy texture, its split ends. It's more overgrown than I realised.
Back in the day, having a beard was normal. Yet all these men have clean shaven faces and stubble. Only Indian men have my beard - down to my chest. They stuck with their traditions, but sticking with mine would hold me back. It's a shame - I love my beard, but now I have to update my look. No more plaiting it when I'm bored, or twirling it round my fingers or stroking it when I'm thinking, it's all got to come off.
The door makes a ringing sound, as I enter. With pink walls and hairspray everywhere, I stand out as the only man. The women turn their heads, the foils in their hair making a metallic sound.
A woman at a small reception desk gets up from a spinny chair, with a short, blonde bob, "Would you like an appointment?"
Biff flies up behind her, checking her out, "Mmm, she's like a big Tinkerbell."
Ignoring his comment... "I think I need it cut now, please," I feel a smile forcing its way to my lips. I try to hide it - but Biff's right. She does kind of look like Tinkerbell...
Okay he has an obsession with Tinkerbell, but her green eyes and straw coloured hair, make her look like Tinkerbell's full-size twin. If Biff hadn't had a thing for her, she'd be my choice. If he just hadn't said anything before I spoke to her...
"Okay sir," she comes out from behind the reception desk. Taking a hanger off the rail, she removes a black robe and holds it out for me. It's the first time I've felt accepted by mankind in over 2,000 years, as this is the first person to not be curious about my looks.
"Please take a seat over there," she indicates to a smaller room, "I'll be in in a minute."
I head on through to the black spinny chair in the small room.
"Comfy?" Chimes the blonde employee, as she comes up behind me.
"Yes, uh...what's your name?" I stare down at the armchair, not wanting to look in the mirror and compare her neatly trimmed, golden hair to my scruffy, greasy beard.
"Natalie." I lift my head a little, forcing eye contact as I look into the mirror at her, doing everything not to look at myself.
She has a sweet, genuine smile as she holds my beard in her fingertips. She looks keen to trim it off, "I normally don't get to do this. I get so bored of doings old ladies' hair!" She laughs, then waits for me to say something.
"If it's not too much trouble, could you please shave off my beard and cut my hair to about...this short?" I put my hands at either side at the top of my neck.
"Mm," She nods, grabbing a pair of scissors. I cringe knowing that her clean, white nails are touching my sweaty, dirty beard. I'd always loved this beard like a toy you sleep with at night. It was a comfort. Now it feels like a tangled, outdated burden.
When it looks more like overgrown stubble, she lifts a comb to my moustache, "Would you like this off too, sir?"
"May as well!" I smile broadly, happy that it's not overshadowed by my beard anymore. I can comfortably look in the mirror, turning my head left and right, sliding my hand across my smooth face.
"Looks good," Biff says, biting his lip. Shame he's on about Natalie's behind.
After the weight being cut from my face, I feel energised, a younger man. Natalie takes off the black robe and whilst she calculates how much money I owe, I lean over to the mirror behind her desk.
It looks odd to be standing in my white robe with no facial hair. I don't look like God anymore - more like a guy in a church choir.
"That's £50." I raise my eyebrows at Biff, to indicate he gets into my pocket. He's floating behind Natalie, drooling over her again. I cough to get his attention.
"Oh right!" He dives into my pocket, it moving as he lands in it. Natalie sits there, expectant.
I take the money from my pocket and hand it to her. My hand shakes as she accidently touches it, her soft skin tickling mine. A broad, white-toothed smile stretches across her face, "Have a nice day."
Secretly, I think Biff thinks I'm weak. By fancying her, was he testing the waters? Maybe he purposely doesn't want me to find a woman. He's probably afraid the Devil will ensnare me in her trap, that somehow she will trick me into picking the wrong woman. No, Natalie was someone special. I can pick someone special. I just need to find the right place. It can't be too hard to find a good woman to have an easy, loving relationship with. Biff would laugh if I said that.
A sweet smell reaches me. Food is hard to resist.
© 2012 Sketcha
I'll Never Believe
Birmingham, West Midlands, United Kingdom
AboutWelcome to my page and thank you for visiting! I'm 18 years old and hope to one day become a serious writer. The genres I enjoy reading tend to be gripping, with dramatic plots. This involves crime, .. more..
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