Actor, Author, Playwright
Finger Lickin’ Doom

Finger Lickin’ Doom

Dan O’Shea is hosting one of those Flash Fiction Challenges.  All of the pieces have to involve a church.

Here’s a link to a list of all the entrants:

Let Us Prey . . .

I tried to write a short story, but this thing kept wanting to be a short play.  I’m too old to fight with my work.

So here it is:

Finger Lickin’ Doom

(Lights up.  A confessional in a church.  FATHER DENNY enters, a priest in his late-thirties.  He approaches the confessional and opens one of the doors to reveal BETTY, a woman in her twenties.  She sits, eating a bucket of what looks like fried chicken.  Periodically throughout the play a tinkling bell can be heard.)

FATHER DENNY:   What are you doing?!

BETTY:   Eating.

FATHER DENNY:  Eating!  But… What?

BETTY:   Wings.

FATHER DENNY:   I… This is a House of God!

BETTY:   I didn’t know anybody lived here.

FATHER DENNY:   Get out!

BETTY:   They’re angel wings.

FATHER DENNY:   Angel wings?

BETTY:   Yes.  The wings of angels.  Want one?

FATHER DENNY:   No!  Come out of there!

BETTY:   I’m okay.

(Pause.  FATHER DENNY collects himself.)

FATHER DENNY:   You really should come out of there.

BETTY:   I don’t see why.

FATHER DENNY:   Eating in a confessional… it’s not proper.

BETTY:   I shouldn’t eat wings in here?


BETTY:   Not even angel wings?

FATHER DENNY:   I don’t think they’re angel wings.

BETTY:   They’re very good.

FATHER DENNY:   Whatever they are, you’re making a mess!  They’re greasy and gritty and crumbly.

BETTY:   They’re extra-crispy.  And a tad Holy.  Want a taste?

FATHER DENNY:   They smell very good, but no thank you.  Will you come out?

BETTY:   I don’t think so.


FATHER DENNY:   Where did you get these “angel wings?”

BETTY:   Some guy.

FATHER DENNY:   Some guy?

BETTY:   That’s right.  He was selling them on the street.  Wicked grin, pointy beard, walked with a limp.  Just some guy.

FATHER DENNY:   You didn’t get them from Kentucky Fried Chicken or Popeye’s or Cluck and Jive?

BETTY:   All those places sell chicken.

FATHER DENNY:   That’s right.

BETTY:    These aren’t chicken.

FATHER DENNY:   It’s just that they look…

BETTY:   They’re angel.

FATHER DENNY:   That doesn’t make sense!

BETTY:   Doesn’t matter.  These are wings from the messengers of God.

FATHER DENNY:   How can you be sure?

BETTY:    Some things you just take on faith.  Bite?

FATHER DENNY:   They look very good, but no thank you.

BETTY:   Suit yourself.

FATHER DENNY:   We used to have chicken every Sunday at my Grandmother’s.  Sometimes fried, sometimes roast, sometimes this wonderful recipe where she stuffed a whole lemon inside the bird.  She’d bring it to the table, take out the lemon and someone would always say, “The chicken laid a lemon.”  Chicken, mashed potatoes, peas, carrots, chocolate cake and fresh baked bread.  No matter what else Grandma cooked, her house always smelled like fresh-baked bread.  They were good meals, filling and pleasant.  I still have a good meal every now and then, but not like those.

(BETTY coughs and chokes for a second, then pulls a long, white feather out of her mouth.)

BETTY:   These aren’t chicken, they’re angel.

(BETTY hands the feather to FATHER DENNY.)

FATHER DENNY:   Wouldn’t you feel a little more comfortable eating somewhere that you can have more room?

BETTY:   I’m really okay.

FATHER DENNY:   Isn’t it cramped in there?

BETTY:   Maybe a little.  What is this closet thing, anyway?  Is this where priests hang their coats?

FATHER DENNY:   It’s a place for people to confess their sins, for the Sacrament of Penance, for Reconciliation.  It’s a sacred place.

BETTY:   It’s kind of like a phone booth.  Is that what it is?  A phone booth for calling God?

FATHER DENNY:   In a way.  If you come out of there, I’ll tell you all about why it’s a good idea to get your sins off your chest.

BETTY:   I like my chest.  I’ll stay in here.

FATHER DENNY:   You look too young to know what a phone booth is.

BETTY:   What do you mean?

FATHER DENNY:   There aren’t any phone booths any more.  Cell phones have made phone booths go the way of the Long Jawed Mastodon.

BETTY:   I’ve had a cell phone since I was seven.

FATHER DENNY:   Phone booths are forgotten, extinct, dead and gone.

BETTY:   Like God!

FATHER DENNY:   Such a thing to say!

BETTY:   You sure you don’t want one?

FATHER DENNY:   They seem very good.

BETTY:   Their truculent.

FATHER DENNY:   I think you mean succulent.

BETTY:   I know what I mean.  Just one little, teeny-tiny nibble?

FATHER DENNY:   I’m very tempted, but… You need to come out of there.

BETTY:   It’s a shame, really.  You don’t know what you’re missing.  Every bite is a symphony of harps and haloes.  A tender crunch, meat that just falls off the bone, flavors that mix and mingle like a prayer.  A taste of these wings could be the closest to Heaven that some people ever get.  I think there’s even a little bit of a lemon zing.


BETTY:   Just like Grandma used to make.

FATHER DENNY:   I doubt they’re that good.

BETTY:   (Holding out a wing.) Only one way to find out.

(FATHER DENNY takes the wing from BETTY and hesitantly takes a bite.  He chews, swallows and smiles.)

FATHER DENNY:   Rapture!

BETTY:   I tried to warn you.

(FATHER DENNY takes a bigger bite of the wing.  He continues eating while he joins BETTY in the confessional.)

BETTY:   Shouldn’t we say Grace?

FATHER DENNY:   What’s the point?

(FATHER DENNY and BETTY eat angel wings as the lights slowly fade.

Lights down.)


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