Repent, Boy

by Rich Larson

They should make a Church of the Hangover. You know, seats nice and padded, lights dusked down real low. Communion is Gatorade (is it in you?) from frosty coolers, glacial blue or radioactive yellow, to swill your cotton mouth away and send the electrolytes scurrying back up your aching cranium. Then there’s the body, broken for you: greasy breakfast sandwiches from McDonalds, leaving a shiny trail on fingertips as the hot bags get solemnly passed pew to pew. Soft music. No drums. Maybe just one guitar, acoustic. The preacher whispers into a microphone and the message is always forgiveness of sins. Services start at noon.

Rich Larson is a 20-year-old student living in Edmonton, Alberta. His novel Devolution was selected as a finalist for the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. His shorter work has since appeared in Word Riot, YARN, Bartleby Snopes, AE: The Canadian Science Fiction Review, >kill author, Monkeybicycle, Prick of the Spindle, Daily Science Fiction, and many others. His self-published work can be found at

“Repent, Boy” is scheduled to go live on Christmas Eve. Does that publication date in any way change its meaning?

    I think the date of publication increases its resonance. Christmas time often puts us face to face with religious traditions’ polarizing nature and the familial rifts resultant.
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