That Still, Small Voice (Only Loud and Fast)

Burt the Seraph pulled onto the Interstate and punched the accelerator.  In no time, the Bugatti was at 150 mph, and Burt insouciantly weaved from lane to lane, his left hand on the steering wheel, his right fiddling with a special radio.  Ginger Sister, herself an overly fast driver, was a little concerned.

“Um, high speed with other cars? Maybe you ought to pay attention?”

Burt looked at her and rolled his eyes, swerving around a slow Buick without taking his eyes off of Ginger’s.

“Um, omniscient? Immortal? But with enough humanity not to ding-up a sweet-ass car like a Veyron?”

Ginger nodded.  “Got it.  What’s the radio for anyway?”

“I’ll show you.” Burt pushed a button, and the entire unit glowed.  Not just the screen or the buttons, but the entire thing became a shimmering blue.  “Message for Jerry Knight, beige Ford Crown Victoria, License DRD 98E.” The unit began glowing puce.  “Jerry, get off at the next exit. You want to exit and go to the 7-Eleven.  You have to pee, Jerry. You need to exit.  Next exit, Jerry. 7-Eleven. Get coffee. Get the Blueberry Muffin flavor, and grab an actual muffin, too–they’re only 99 cents with any coffee.  Get off at the next exit, Jerry.  Exit, Jerry.  You really need to exit.  End message.”  The unit turned green.

Ginger shook her head. “Okay, Burt. I’m clueless.” 

Burt held up his finger.  “Should be in a quarter-mile.  There are his taillights.  And…now.”

Burt pressed the button. The unit turned red, dissolved into a cloud, and shot out Ginger’s window, narrowly hitting her nose.

“What the–”

“He needed to exit, so I told him to do so.”


“That message hit his brain all at once.  Suddenly, he will feel super compelled to take the next exit.  He’ll exit, stop at the 7-Eleven, take a leak, then grab a muffin and some coffee.”

“Why? Are you using your angelic powers to shill for convenience stores now?”

“That’s comedy, right?” Burt scowled then smiled.  “Nah.  A pick-up truck driving eastbound will jump across the median about…now.” 

Ginger gasped as a Chevy Silverado came soaring across the grassy divide.  The Bugatti was safely past before the truck crashed into the westbound lane and exploded.

“Holy SHIT! I mean…holy–”

“`Holy shit’ is apropos, my little mortal.”

“And Jerry?”

“Yeah.  He’d have been toasted like a marshmallow before he knew what was happening.  Billy Mason–the idiot in the truck–was trying to kill himself by hitting a pine tree in the median at 85 miles an hour.  He missed–being an idiot (watching NASCAR doesn’t mean you know how to drive)–and he would’ve plowed into Jerry.  We don’t like when suicides have collateral deaths among the innocent.”

“But the 7-Eleven?”

“Why not? Their coffee and muffins are really good, especially when the muffin is only–”

“99 cents, I heard you.  Do you do that for every situation when a suicide would take an innocent life?

“Nope.  We do when we can, if the innocent is somebody worthwhile.”

“And Jerry’s worthwhile?”

“He’s kind of a jackass, really, but his daughter will be Assistant Secretary of State in Canada, and she’ll save a lot of lives by negotiating peace in the Middle East.”


“Mathematics, and we’re reasonably good at figuring out the–look, a POPEYE’S!”

The Bugatti Veyron, containing a very confused mortal and a curmudgeonly Seraph who loves spicy chicken, pulled off on Exit 84.


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