I try to be polite to missionaries.

I grew up in a small town dominated by a major religion. We were all so used to roaming pairs of suited missionaries, that if they’d have suddenly stopped riding by on their bikes or if countless doorbells fell silent, all of us unsaved would have thought that the End had actually come, and we were doomed.

Year after year, missionaries rang my family’s doorbell in vain. They should have flagged our house as Don’t Bother long before they did.

By the time I was a teen it was fun to torture the poor suits who showed up. They were kids barely older than me, far from their homes, wondering what the hell — excuse me, what the heck — they were doing in some podunk town in Idaho.

I finally wondered the same thing and moved away. Now when I answer my door to a familiar pair of smiling suits, I tell them where I grew up and they pretty much know right away that I’m not gonna bite. I haven’t seen any from that particular group in years. They must have tagged my house.

There have been missionaries from other religions to drop by now and then.

I’m always nice to them. I listen to what they have to say.

Our meetings usually end with missionaries walking away shaking their heads at my crazy ideas, and I don’t see them again.

Maybe one will come back a few days later and bring some totally hot religorobot with them to try and convince me that if I join up, women like her will sit beside me in church. I let them know I’m not fooled.

I thought I’d seen it all.

But not long ago, a pair of missionaries showed up at my door and proved that I definitely had not.

I answered the door and found two beautiful women. They were mostly naked — bikini tops, sheer skirts, and tall boots.

“Hello,” one said, “we’re missionaries. Can we come in?”

Do you think I hesitated?

Once they’d introduced themselves and slid beside me on the couch, the missionaries got down to business.

“We’re with the Incredibly Hot Chick Universal Church of Sex, and we want a bunch of cute guys to join our religion so we can have a huge orgy all Sunday long, every Sunday. Wanna join?” asked Veronica, the one I’d started thinking of as the most incredibly beautiful woman to ever grace my eyes.


Veronica said, “We want you to join our church.” She pulled at the top of my shirt and took me deep into her eyes.

Lori sauntered to the bar and poured a gin. She said, “We can get you in right now. I mean, by baptizing you.”

They both giggled.

Veronica ran her hand over my thigh.

I tried to be cool.To explain my position. “I — I — I’m atheist. I think religion is outdated.” Her hand reached higher — fingernails on jeans. “It’s — silly. A control. It’s evil.” A sip from Lori’s glass. Her breasts in my face. Veronica scratching over the edge of my pants. “It’s… It’s a waste of — of — Yes! Baptize me!” I reached out for those bouncing breasts before me, so nearly free of clothing, so close to my touch.

And Veronica handcuffed me.

“What’s going on?” I asked.

Lori elbowed me in the mouth. Twice. Veronica produced a gun.

They tied my ankles together with a lamp cord while I was dazed.

“We know who you are and what you think, fuckwit,” said Veronica. “We read your books.”

“And took your class. Told you he wouldn’t recognize us, Ronnie.”

They picked me up off the couch. The dragged me into the bathtub.

Veronica put the gun to my ear. She said, “You asked a question in your second book. ‘You hear about dying people begging God to save them. They still die. If God hears them, He ignores them. Do you want to believe in an ignorant God? Do you want to beg to deaf ears?’ Well, who are you gonna beg?” She cocked the gun. Dug it behind my ear. Lori started moaning.

Fanatics. I pissed my pants.

Utterly despite myself, I screamed, “Please! God!”

Veronica pulled the trigger.

I’ve become a bit of a missionary, myself. Nothin’ pushy. I tell them my story.

Veronica’s gun backfired. She was horribly disfigured.

Lori died from a white-hot chunk of metal to her heart.

I got burns on my back. Nothin’ serious.

Veronica will die in prison.

I read that she’s a devout Atheist now.

Kevin Shamel is in his thirties, married, has two kids, a dog and a cat, and lives in an old haunted house in the Pacific Northwest. He spends his days playing with the aforementioned critters, practicing joyful oddness, and writing. You will rarely find him speaking (or writing) about himself in third person because it’s a very odd practice, even for him. Visit his blog at Shameless Stuff for links to more of his stories and whatever else is going on.

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 average 2 stars • 1 reader(s) rated this

Every Day Fiction

  • Quirky and sharp, I enjoyed this!


  • messed up in such a good way

  • Kev: I liked the idea and laughed at the end, but I thought the whole thing was a bit squeezed.

    You were a couple hundred words under maximum; I would have liked to see a bit more detail. For example, the mention of the protagonist’s books, late in the story, took me by surprise.

    The other day, I was reading your blog entry about you fiction being considered bizarro. This story certainly fits. You don’t mind stepping out on a limb with your stuff and I admire that. 🙂

  • Bizarro is good. I like this one 🙂

  • Bob

    Great build up, wonderful description of the two missionaries and his sudden “conversion”. Totally true to life! I agree with KC Ball, though, that the denouement seemed compressed.

  • Roberta SchulbergGoro

    Observant and intelligent presentation of the religious outlook of very many in the twenty/twenty first century and the eclat of its revelation that there is action and decision beyond those present to our outer senses. It’s also interesting that the protagonist turns to seeking a congregation of people. Sharply written in the vernacular and placed in the everyday where such a thing would happen. –God doesn’t need all-day praise and is everywhere present without our seeking, but we need discussion because evil still exists.

  • Oscar Windsor-Smith

    I liked this a lot Kevin, the mid-story turnaround got my attention (of course) and the ending was great, and, for me, unexpected. However, I too felt there was an imbalance between the setup, the middle and the twist (I see this as a definite 3 part story) but I’d say it is the first part that is over-egged (but only slightly) frankly, I was wandering until you woke me with the sex. I’d have liked a tighter-written start and, as K.C. says, some earlier mention of the books.

    Great story, though. Thanks.

    🙂 scar

  • Vicious, Kevin. Wicked and wonderful. I loved the fast turnaround at the end, it felt like the backfiring bullet compressed the climax, if I may put it that way. Five stars from me for unflinching orginality.

  • gay

    Love the title and love the first paragraph. It’s a lesson on how to hook a reader. Quirky and wierd. You are one guy with an original mind.

  • Kate Thornton

    Excellent story, Kevin. One of my favorites to date. I like your shar wrtiting, your observation and the wonderful double twist ending. Great stuff!

  • Good morning! Thank you, everyone, for reading and commenting. I’m loving this morning. I’m glad to see so many of you liking my story. After some coffee, I’ll be able to understand more of what you’re saying about it. I’ll get on that.

  • I think you can stop “practicing joyful oddness” now, Kevin. You’ve got it down pat – this story is proof! Fun read! 🙂

  • Kevin, four stars, less for excellent writing form than for encouraging apostasy.

  • Roberta SchulbergGoro

    Madeline Mora-Summonte –
    Can you tell us more about “practicing joyful oddness,” I never heard of it. I think Kevin Shamel’s character was someone who had no pretensions and was just himself. People who not only avoid pretense but have none might seem odd to those who do a lot of pretending to be other than they are.

  • Bob

    Roberta, she is referring to Kevin’s biography.

  • Oops.

  • Margie Lott Chapman

    A bit slow at the beginning….but a good pay off! ;~)

  • Celeste

    hello Kevin. I really enjoyed this. Witty, pacy and strong. Great stuff.

  • Full of twists and diabolically wrong on, oh, so many levels 🙂

  • Kevin,
    As ususl, a great story, and a satisfying twist at the end.


  • Thank you, everyone for all your comments! I’m happy you had a good time with this one. Thanks for reading!!

  • Roberta SchulbergGoro

    Greta –
    I would love to hear you elucidate on “oh,so many levels.” I am truly interested.

  • Entertaining and stimulating.

  • This was a fun story, Kevin, nice twist – didn’t see it coming, so you held the suspense till the end. Good job!

  • Thank you, Tommy and Hasmita!

  • Kevin,

    I enjoyed reading this one (better late than never, right? 🙂 ). The twist at the end was unexpected, to me anyway.

  • Thanks, Erin! I don’t care HOW long it takes for you to read ’em. I’m just glad you do.

  • BreezyMediteraneano

    i’m reading your stories tonight. but i’m not going to tell you what i think. EVER!

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