Micro Prose: We Must Fight Gnosticism At All Costs by M. L. Martinson

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So Jesus is at Starbucks getting a decaf latte when he notices Atlas over there sporting sweet globe tattoos on his bulging biceps—one featuring northern latitudes, the other southern. At the table with Atlas is Tiamat, a badass dragon running down her forearm. That afternoon he sees Bia walking downtown in a bikini top, a giant, full-color Rosie the Riveter tattoo taking up the majority of her back.

That’s it, says Jesus, I’m getting a tattoo.

The permanence of a tattoo, though, intimidates he who was, is, and is to come, so he takes his time, doesn’t rush it, ponders all the possibilities. A sword coming out of his mouth? Sounds too grotesque. A cross? Seems both cliched, but also in poor taste, considering. Maybe a heart with World written in a banner stretched across it? Would λόγος look like he’s trying too hard?

Finally, he looks to where all answers reside. Google. After completing the ten-question “What Tattoo Should I Get?” quiz, he makes his decision.

And so it is that Jesus decides to get a tattoo of two kittens. On his chest.

But Tom, Jesus’ tattooist, can’t do it. It’s the weirdest thing, Lord, says Tom. It’s like, I push and push, but my tattoo pen can’t touch you. It’s almost as if you were incorporeal.

Ahh, says Jesus. Interesting. I never thought of that. Perhaps I am. Perhaps I am pure spirit.

Blasphemy! Shouts Irenaeus as he slams through the door, throwing a large rock at the seated savior, missing his head by mere inches. 

It’s awkward after, the two of them staring at each other, neither knowing what comes next. 

M. L. MARTINSON teaches literature, writing, humanities, and honors courses at Central Washington University, and his fiction appears in Crab Creek Review, One Hand Clapping, Coffin Bell Journal, and Scablands Books’ ‘Towers and Dungeons’ anthology.

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