Only Begotten Daughter

By James Morrow

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Nominated - Nebula 1990, received - WFA 1991, Nominated - Mythopoeic 1991, Nominated - Locus fable 1991, Nominated - Campbell 1991

Murray Katz, the celibate keeper of an deserted lighthouse close to Atlantic urban, has been blessed with a daughter conceived of his personal seed and a holy ovum. Like her part brother Jesus, Julie Katz can stroll on water, heal the blind, and lift the useless. yet being the Messiah isn't effortless, and Julie, bewildered by way of her function within the divine scheme of items, is tempted via the satan and challenged by way of neo- Christian zealots during this energetic odyssey via Hell and New Jersey.

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We can’t spend our entire lives during this yucko urban. ” She ripped open her beer, jamming the round tab onto her little finger like a hoop. “Good idea,” acknowledged Julie. The idol’s eyes have been crescent-shaped, like half-moons at the doorways of 2 adjoining outhouses. Its thick lips have been puckered in an ideal circle. Phoebe guzzled part the can. “Bud’s the easiest, Katz, and that’s the reality. Bud’s the simplest. ” Burping with pride, she dragged her wrist throughout her foamy smile. Julie opened her A & P grocery bag and drew out the remainder of their feast—a field of pretzels, a bag of chocolate-chip cookies, a major bottle of nutrition coke, and 4 waxily wrapped applications of Tastykake Krumpets. “Excellent choices. really first-class. ” Phoebe polished off her beer in 3 grasping gulps. “Hey, understand how I’m feeling at once? know the way? I’m feeling the way it feels to be inebriated. test a few, child. are available right here with me. ” Julie pulled the tab from her Bud and took a mouthful. She shuddered. Ants in spiked heels danced on her tongue. Wincing, she swallowed. “Yech. ” “This is the existence, eh? ” Phoebe laughed like a roomful of morons and tore open her moment Bud. “Hey, now that I’m inebriated, i will be able to inform you simply how bizarre i feel you're, how absolutely and entirely bizarre. You’re bizarre, Katz. ” “Weird? I’m bizarre. You’re the person who pees off bridges. ” “Last evening I heard our mom and dad speaking approximately your godhead. What’s your godhead? ” “I don’t comprehend. ” She didn’t, even though it most likely had whatever to do together with her mom. “Sure you do. inform me. No secrets and techniques. ” “I imagine it’s what makes a lady a virgin. ” “Really? ” “Yeah. ” The Tastykake Krumpets got here 3 to a package deal: 3 wondrous bricks of sponge cake mortared including butterscotch icing. Phoebe ate a complete set in a single stupendous chew, washing them down with beer. “Bud’s so good,” she stated weakly, limping towards the wall like anyone jogging barefoot on a scorching sidewalk. “Let’s keep these different Krumpets for later. ” “Happy birthday, Phoebe. ” “Thanks, Katz. i've got a press release to make. bet what? ” “What? ” “I’m going to be ailing. ” A dopey smile crossed Phoebe’s face, and he or she threw up at the South Seas mural. Julie jumped to her toes. The stone idol wore a beard of puke. “Gosh, Phoebe—you ok? ” The eating place already smelled so undesirable that Phoebe’s vomit made no distinction. “The beer’s too rattling hot, that’s the matter. ” Phoebe pulled a tattered textile from the closest desk and wiped her mouth. “Never drink beer whilst it’s hot. Now you recognize. ” “Now i do know. ” Julie desired to move domestic, yet Phoebe insisted the occasion had slightly began. jointly they explored the Deauville’s top flooring, wandering the rubble-strewn hallways, swallowing dirt, breathing in mould. They shouted “Asshole! ” and “Pissface! ” into the elevator shafts, laughing on the soiled echoes. “Let’s break up up,” acknowledged Phoebe. status on one skinny brown leg, leaning towards the empty shaft, she seemed like a couple of scissors. “You take the excessive street. ” “Huh? Why? ” “More of an event that manner. Whoever unearths the smartest stuff will get to consume the opposite Krumpets.

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