They Burned with Strange Lusts

M.C. McDonald

(A knock is heard at the door.)

Ruthie: Yes?

Kim: Have you been washed in the blood?

Ruthie: Excuse me?

Kim: The lamb. Have you been washed in its blood?

Ruthie: I—I don’t know. I’ll have to think.

Kim: It’s something you’d remember.

Ruthie: I guess so. Is that what they mean by a bloodbath? “Blood makes the grass grow.”

Kim: It does?

Ruthie: As they say in basic training. Are you trying to sell something?

Kim: Yes. Eternal life! And Amway products.

Ruthie: It’s the American way. Oh please do come in.

Kim: I bet you have questions.

Ruthie: No.

Kim: Sure you do. All of eternity hinges upon it!

Ruthie: What if I have a question you don’t know the answer to?

Kim: Then I’ll go “Ho ho ho, you’ll just have to ask the Lord on Judgment Day.”

Ruthie: Won’t he be too busy?

Kim: Ho ho.

Ruthie: I do have something to confess. It’s really . . . dirty.

Kim: Oh! Let us take it to the crossss.

Ruthie: I have a nervous habit I indulge in when I’m alone, when no one’s looking.

Kim: Go on. Go on.

Ruthie: And it really is a filthy habit but I just can’t stop.

Kim: Let’s get down on our knees and take it to the crossss. (She kneels and takes out her foot-long crucifix and holds it to her mouth.) On your knees. Do it! Do it! (Ruthie remains seated. Kim plunges on, speaking into the “mic.”) Almighty God, this is your servant Kim. I’m kneeling here with sister Ruthie who is desirous of knowing your divine truth. We know Jesus writhes in agony with her every evil transgression.

Ruthie: Eee-veel.

Kim: So Ruthie. Confess your crime before the throne of God.

Ruthie: Okay. Okay. I’m really nervous. I—I pick my nose.

Kim: The flames of Hell are stoked for the likes of you.

Ruthie: Sometimes it’s a solid, sometimes a liquid.

Kim: Meriting the flaming agonies of the eternal pit!

Ruthie: Sometimes I dig out pellets, which I flick across the room. Then there are the gooey ones I rub onto my belly and scrape off later.

Kim: You know you’re bound for Hell. Rrriiight?

Ruthie: You determined that quickly.

Kim: A single blemish in the ledger commits you to eternal fire!

Ruthie: What a system. Superior to, say, American justice.

Kim: Yes. Five years for smoking a marijuana cigarette? Where’s the torture in that?

Ruthie: Just so long as the punishment fits the crime.

Kim: Yes.

Ruthie: What happens to aborted babies when they die?

Kim: They go straight to Heaven!

Ruthie: Isn’t that good?

Kim: What?

Ruthie: Isn’t Heaven better than Earth? Being in the presence of the Lord and all. They could keep the fetuses in big jars. And God could walk into the room, and they’d all burble “Wow.”

Kim: Huh.

Ruthie: Now that I think of it, what happens to Satanists when they die?

Kim: Why, they go to Hell like all little bad boys and girls.

Ruthie: Why would Satan punish them? They’ve served him faithfully. Maybe they get to be demons that torment others. Say, I bet that’s a job you’d like.

Kim: (Her face lights up, then dims.) No.

Ruthie: You’d still be in Hell. I guess that’s bad. So, are these the end times?

Kim: These are the end times! Signs and wonders abound. The saints are newly invested with supernatural powers of discernment.

Ruthie: If you have magical powers of discernment, you should be able to tell when I’m kidding.

Kim: Are you?

Ruthie: Only my stylist knows for sure. Actually, I can’t be seen talking to you. Worse: I’m going to have to turn you in to the authorities. I guess you didn’t hear. President Obama outlawed Christianity about thirty minutes ago—Oh my gosh, I didn’t mean to frighten you so. I was just fooling. My partner Rachel—oh my gosh, are you all right? My partner Rachel and I attend church. We’re Christians. Many gays are Christians. Rachel is my wife.

Kim: Ah-WOOOO! Ah-WOOOO! Harlot! Strumpet! Spawn of Satan! (She slices through the air with the crucifix.) Stay back! Stay back!

Ruthie: Good grief.



M.C. McDonald

M.C. McDonald is a playwright operating out of Kansas.

A doorway conversion conversation goes other than as planned.

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