- Chapter 19
Reagan Walker sends a car to pick up Bishop Lamb to bring him to Heaven.
A limousine speeds towards the gates of the Americo Resource and Welfare Facility 4499. The car holds Bishop Magnus, the man that will replace Bishop Lamb as the new chief of the facility. Bishop Magnus is a simple man with simple robes. He joined The Church because of a call to serve man; he takes pleasure in the compassion and empathy he has for his fellow man. His type is rare but not unheard of in The Church.
This car not only is Bishop Magnus’s ride into the camp but also Bishop Lamb’s escort to Heaven. The driver is Father Templar, a Census Taker for the Church of Americo. As they approach the gate of the facility, Father Templar and Bishop Magnus see leO on a mound of garbage preaching that the Messiah is coming, that mariA is pregnant. Father Templar directs the car to the front gate of the facility and comes to a stop, a guard walks to the passengers window.
What is your business today?
I am the new Facility Chief. I am here to replace the current facilitator Bishop Lamb.
Guard (looking at his clip board) :
You have arrived early. Welcome, your holiness; I will announce your arrival.
Bishop Magnus (pointing to leO) :
Guard, why is that man making such a ruckus?
The Guard looks at leO and rolls his eyes.
Oh that one, his wife is pregnant but the kid isn’t his and she convinced him it was an immaculate conception.
She is a whore.
Is she a whore?
Aren’t they all?
The Guard backs away from the car and directs Father Templar to continue to the facility’s mansion. The limousine pulls to the front entrance of the building. Father Templar leaps from the car and opens the door for the facility’s new Bishop. The Bishop steps from the car and is immediately met by an altar boy.
Your holiness, welcome to the Resource and Welfare Facility 4499, please follow me, Bishop Lamb was not expecting you until tomorrow.
Yes, that is true, but plans change. What is your name son?
Bishop Magnus notices the altar boy only wearing a short robe. His face shows his disapproval but he says nothing. He follows the altar boy up the steps and enters the mansion while Father Templar goes back to the car and waits for his next assignment, to deliver Bishop Lamb to Heaven.
The altar boy leads Bishop Magnus towards Bishop Lamb’s room. The door is open and Bishop Magnus can see that Bishop Lamb is preparing for his departure with the assistance of a nun. He also notices that the nun is dressed somewhat like he altar boy, in a revealing manner with nothing more than a short robe as a garment. As the altar boy turns to leave, Bishop Magnus asks him.
Yes, your holiness?
Do you have any pants?
altar boy (with a confused look on his face) :
Can you please put them on?
But Bishop Lamb said…
Well, things are going to change around here. So now, go put some pants on and please let the others know that I expect them to put something on, other than their robes.
Bishop Magnus knocks lightly on Bishop Lamb’s open door and then enters. His presence in the room is not noticed. Bishop Lamb has piles of old clothing and robes lying about covering every inch of open space.
Bishop Lamb (holding up a very flamboyant robe and showing it to his nun):
Does this look like Heaven to you?
It is very beautiful.
That is not the question. Now listen to me, do you think that this is worthy of bringing to Heaven with me?
nun (shrugging her shoulders) :
I don’t know.
Why am asking you anyway, you obviously have no fashion taste at all. Here you take it. I am not going to need it anyway. Did you know that Heaven is all-inclusive?
The nun shrugs her shoulders again and Bishop Lamb throws the robe at her.
Thank you, your holiness.
Bishop Magnus clears his throat, but to no avail, Bishop Lamb is in a world of his own. Bishop Magnus clears his throat again, this time very loudly. Bishop Lamb and his nun turn abruptly.
Oh, I didn’t know you were here. You must be Bishop Magnus.
Bishop Lamb stops his packing and walks to the new Bishop and extends his hand.
Yes, it is pleasure to meet you. I have many questions about the operations of the facility that should be addressed as soon as possible.
Bishop Lamb (speaking while he packs) :
Oh, I am sure you will catch right on. There is nothing out of the unusual here to concern you. I have taken care of that.
Bishop Lamb goes back to his packing and holds up another of his many robes towards the new Bishop.
Bishop, does this look like it would work for a casual event like brunch with royalty?
I do not concern myself with such thoughts. All your robes look like they are all of the finest quality. I am sure that you would always select the proper garment for the proper event.
Bishop Lamb holds the robe in front of him and blurts out.
Bishop Lamb laughs to himself as his nun continues stowing items in the open luggage.
Bishop Lamb it is imperative that I’m able to gain the inner works of this facility if I am to be an effective facilitator.
Oh, you are one of those. Oh yes, well I am done packing anyway; whatever I don’t have I am sure that I can just pick up when I get there. I heard they have fabulous shops in Heaven. Have you ever been there?
No. I have never had the pleasure. Bishop Lamb it is imperative that we concentrate on the transfer of responsibilities within the facility.
Imperative? Imperative!?! Please, the only thing that is imperative for me is leave this abyss of a pothole as quickly as my little tootsies will take me.
I beg your pardon?
Bishop Lamb (ignores Bishop Magnus’ concerns and leaves the room):
Don’t beg, it isn’t becoming.
Like a cat chasing after the aromatic herb, Bishop Lamb scurries down the steps followed by his nun and a frustrated Bishop Magnus. The nun stumbles behind trying to carry far more of the Bishop’s luggage than she can handle.
Hurry now, I don’t want to be late.
This is unacceptable.
Not my problemooooo.
Bishop Magnus stops and watches as Bishop Lamb and the nun rush towards the manor’s exit.
Bishop Lamb approaches the waiting car and sees Father Templar standing by the open rear passenger door. Bishop Lamb looks at Father Templar and slows his stride. He enters the car while keeping his eyes on Father Templar.
Have we met before?
You look very familiar.
Father Templar closes the rear passenger door and takes his place in driver’s seat, and looks up at Bishop Lamb from the rear view mirror.
Your holiness, are you ready to be delivered to your destination?
I have been preparing for this all my life. On to Heaven!
Father Templar continues to look at the Bishop from his rear view mirror, which irritates the Bishop.
Well, what are you waiting for… lets go? I am a very important man.
Bishop Lamb and Father Templar’s eyes lock in the reflection of the limo’s rearview mirror. Bishop Lamb is sure he has met this Priest before. Bishop Lamb is the first to divert his eyes from this staring contest and thinks to himself. Father Templar looks away from the mirror and puts the car in gear. The car slowly pulls from the front of the mansion, its tires crunching the hot gravel road. Then it starts to come to Bishop Lamb, he slowly remembers where he knows the Priest from, and it is from his reputation throughout The Church and Americo.
Ohhh goodness. I wasn’t expecting that such a notable census taker would be escorting me on my way.
Yes, your holiness.
The limousine picks up at an almost unstoppable speed as it exits the gates of the facility, churning a cloud of dust behind its tracks.