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“'My name's John Chartway, not bloody Jesus you crackpot. Now please go home and by the way the water isn't holy before you ask…”

15 church street
by gary hewitt


JC heard the door slam.

'There's another one outside. I thought you said you sorted this out.'

'You're joking.'

His girlfriend folded her arms.

'All right, I'll have a word.'

JC slung on a jumper. The December air was oddly warm. A decrepit figure in a pork pie hat and a black trench coat waited at the end of the garden.

'Can I help?'

The man's face brightened. He offered his hand.

'You're JC aren't you? It's a pleasure to meet you.'

JC sighed and accepted the handshake.

'I'm sorry, I don't know you and I'm getting cheesed off with all these visitors. Why are you here?'

The stranger offered JC a sealed bottle of Highland water.

'To see a miracle. Elsie Barnes said you helped her cure her arthritis.'

'Who? You've lost me.'

'She came to visit you three days ago. She's a bit overweight and walks with a limp and is very well spoken.'

JC nodded and scratched his chin.

'Oh yes, I remember her. A batty old dear who said I was Jesus Christ. I asked her to go just like I'm going to ask you to leave.'

The pensioner shook his head.

'Don't you realise you're the second coming?'

JC thrust the plastic container back into the intruder's hand.

'My name's John Chartway, not bloody Jesus you crackpot. Now please go home and by the way the water isn't holy before you ask.'

The old man waved at JC's retreating figure. He slipped open his bottle of sparkling water and enjoyed the taste of finest Shiraz.

(illustration: dee sunshine)


A fitting word to describe Gary Hewitt's imagination would be “febrile.” Writing started off as fun but he has managed to complete a first draft of his novel as well as churning out a fair few short stories. He has participated in Slingink's Eurofiction, The Whittaker Prize and also in the Grail's annual Writeathon. His ultimate ambition is to be a full time writer whilst still enjoying his work. More from Gary Hewitt can be found in the Smokebox Archives.

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©2012 Gary Hewitt • Smokebox
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