The Day We Shot Jesus on Main Street


If there are two things you outta know about Lynchwood, it’s that nobody votes Democrat and nobody blasphames the Lord God Almighty… at least in public. Now Chad Parrish, would’ve broken rule number one had he lived enough and it’s ‘cause of rule number two he didn’t ever register. He was always makin’ a ruckus about things that we weren’t gonna change. Like changin’ our minds about them gays or interracial marriages. See, Chad was born in the wrong place. Had he been raised in New York, he might’ve been praised by liberal comrades for bein’ a creative bastard and an all-around troublemaker.  But here in Lynchwood, that bird don’t fly.

Chad had gathered some of the town’s ne’er-do-wells – you know, them boys who don’t play football and complain about the school’s arts program not getting enough funding. Yep, them types. It seems that Chad had a bug up his butt about The Lynchwood Ministry and how we were so successful. It’s a congregation the media might label a mega-church, but it’s practically the only house of worship all of us in Lynchwood go to, ’cept for Chad and a handful of sinners.

Well, we’re all passin’ the collection plates during Sunday services when five of these fellows, dressed in robes and wearing fake beards and long haired wigs, come burstin’ through the doors shoutin’ like banshees. They grabbed the collection money and ran straight for the pulpit. Then they threw them plates of cash and coins on the ground and started shoutin’ sometin’ about the scripture of John and moneychangers. But it didn’t matter what they said. After a few of us men got over the shock, we were up on our feet headin’ for them. By this point them Jesuses were doin’ some sort of hustle dance. Absolute blasphemy.

Fred Konklin grabbed the first Jesus, a skinny little twerp with glasses, and pile drove him into the floor. Then the rest of the Jesuses scattered. But I kept my eyes on Chad. Even with the disguise, anybody could tell it was him with that long anglin’ body. Could’ve played basketball had he been so inclined. Two more Jesuses were tackled and pummeled by the congregation. Men, women and children all takin’ turns on the beatin’. Chad and a buddy slipped out the back door. By the time I made it to the parkin’ lot, they were peelin’ out in his Mustang. Me, Clifford Dobbs, and Sam Cantrell jumped into our trucks and pursued, pedal to the metal, chasin’ those sons of bitches. We were takin’ pop shots out the windows with our handguns – this is a right to carry state and if you don’t carry… well, that says a lot about your character.

Anyhow, tryin’ to shoot left handed out a movin’ vehicle on potholed streets ain’t no easy feat, but Clifford managed to hit a back tire and send that ‘Stang head-on into a telephone pole on Main and First. The passenger Jesus went out cold, but Chad, the crazy fool that he was, climbed out, bible in hand and shouted biblical slogans while runnin’ down Main with his robe flyin’ in the wind, tighty-whiteys underneath. By this time a few other parishioners arrived, guns in hand, and well, it was a shootin’ gallery. Seemed like we all got hits, but that bastard kept runnin’ and bouncin’ here and there after each bullet smack, wavin’ his hands like a maniac. We had target practice on his movin’ body.

Finally, he dropped to his knees, bleedin’ from all them holes. He looked at us all and then up to the sky and said “Forgive them for they know not what they do.” He fell backwards, arms out like he was on a cross. Symbolic to the very end. We didn’t say much, just stood there for several minutes with goose bumps on our arms.

We still don’t talk about it much today. Some people, like my wife, think we did somethin’ wrong, but it was blaspheme straight up. We’d’ve stoned him in Old Testament times. Besides Chad was a liberal and anybody who knows anything knows Jesus just wasn’t that way. That’s just common sense.

~ fin ~

Bloodshot and Bruised is Travis Richardson‘s debut collection of short stories. He has won a Derringer Award for flash fiction and has been a nominee for the Macavity and Anthony short story awards. He has two novellas out, Lost in Clover and Keeping the Record. His stories have been published in crime fiction publications such as Thuglit, Shotgun Honey, Flash Fiction Offensive, and numerous anthologies like Low Down Dirty Vote and The Obama Inheritance. A few years back, he reviewed Anton Chekhov short stories at He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter. Find out more at