by Jennifer Pelland
Alex stumbled from the confessional, through the church, all the way to the curb. He had to get out of there. He couldn’t sit in the house of God anymore. God didn’t want him there. That was abundantly clear. Forty-one years of perfect mass attendance. Six years as an altar boy. A childhood spent praying for his grandmother’s soul to hasten her time in Purgatory. A spotless record of weekly confessions for the past twelve years. He’d even stopped having sex with Alison two years ago after she’d gotten a tubal ligation so he wouldn’t be committing fornication. He’d followed the rules when he could, and asked for forgiveness when he couldn’t. But none of it mattered. He would die unshriven.
Unless he didn’t die.
About the Author
Jennifer Pelland is an American writer of science fiction, principally short fiction. Pelland’s works have been characterized as “dark fiction with a thread of humanity running through it”, focusing on themes of body modification and destruction. Her short stories Captive Girl (2007) and Ghosts of New York (2010) were nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Short Story. Captive Girl was also shortlisted for the Gaylactic Spectrum Awards.
Pelland is married. She lives near Boston, practices belly dancing, and is a part-time voice-actor.
About the Narrator
Serah Eley is the original producer, editor and host of Escape Pod. She mispronounced her name as Steve Eley at the time, but has since realized that life is much more fun as a woman, and came out as transgender in 2015. Serah lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her two spouses (she prefers “spice”), Sadi and Cat.
So if there were ever any betting pools on what happened to Steve: the dark-horse winner is “changed sex and joined a committed lesbian love triangle.” She is, obviously, still Having Fun.