“Have you ever seen God, Clyde?”
Morgan sat across from the sandy haired guitarist who, like usual, was tuning one of his several guitars. They had come together at Morgan’s apartment to write a new song for the EP, but had spent the last two hours watching TV and adjusting their instruments instead. They had both done this in relative silence, and the question from Morgan had broken it abruptly.
“Eh? What do you mean?”
Morgan didn’t look up from where he was sitting, staring at a handful of song notes. “Exactly what I said. Have you ever seen God? Your parents are Catholic, right?”
Clyde looked at him through squinted eyes. “Yeah, they are. I mean, I never really bought into that kind of stuff. Wasn’t really my thing.” He pulled on the D string, releasing a mellow tone that filled the apartment for a moment and then was gone. “That’s a really fucking weird question to ask without following up with something though, dude.”
Morgan continued to peruse the notes. “I was just curious.” After a moment of silence, he said, “Because I have.”
Clyde stopped. There was an electricity in the air that hummed and sputtered before dissipating as the statement hung between them.
“Oh you have?” Clyde laughed before pulling on another string. “Did he have a big grey beard and a white cape?”
Morgan smiled. “No, no beard. No cape, either.” He shuffled the papers and sat them aside. “I was raised Baptist, you know. My mother, she was devout. I didn’t know about fervor until after we left, but she could’ve defined the word. She would get up there in front of the church and sing and shout and roll on the floor if the Spirit compelled her to.”
“Baptist? You mean like crazy southern Baptist?”
“Yeah, I guess you could say that. They talked the talk and walked the walk. Never hesitated in their defense of the Lord, never wavered in their faith. They were absolute, through and through. They all said it, though. They all said that they had seen God.”
Clyde snorted. “And you took them seriously?”
Morgan shrugged. “No, not at first. I stayed with my dad a lot when I was younger. He was… rational. Him and my mother had met in college, and from what I heard they were inseparable.” He looked up at Clyde, his face a solid wall of calm, seven miles high. “I guess things changed when I was born. My mom wanted to raise me like her daddy had raised her. Thought we needed to get right with God. That’s why she started going in the first place.”
The guitarist eyed him skeptically. “Alright. I don’t know where you’re going with this.”
Morgan ignored him. “I went to these services, whenever I was with my mom. She forced me to, but after a while I… I wanted to. These people, I don’t know. They were different. They actually believed something. They were all so committed to their Lord, and they didn’t even know Him.”
Clyde stopped mid-breath. “What?”
“I saw it in their eyes. I don’t know, Clyde, it was like looking at stained glass without light behind it. They were trying to catch a spark with wet wood, while the whole forest was burning down behind them.”
“I… I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Morgan’s presence consuming the entire room. “They were worshipping a god but it wasn’t actually their god, like worshipping its toenail or a hair. Their perspective was so limited, their scope so narrow. They…” He trailed off.
They both sat while the silence of the room wrapped around them and tightened its grip. Clyde felt the hairs on the back of his arms stand up, and realized that they weren’t alone in the room. “Morgan,” he said, slowly. “What happened to you, before you moved out here?”
He didn’t react immediately, and Clyde felt the presence in the room expand around them, feeling them with many long and twisted appendages that tapered off somewhere he could not see. He felt something slither along his back, onto his shoulders, and around his throat. He coughed, and when he looked again, Morgan was staring through him.
“It was at night mass. Reverend Black said that he was going to bring snakes, and that we were going to witness the beauty of the Lord through his control of the serpents. They- my mother,” he hesitated, “they wanted nothing more than this, a physical manifestation of everything that they had longed after their entire lives.”
“It wasn't right. None of them could see it, but there was something behind the snakes, and Reverend Black, and all of them. It was passing through them, and it left behind ripples. Imagine, imagine if you drew your hand through the water, you could see the water moving as it passed by. That’s all it was, a hand- no, a finger, maybe even less than that. The eyelash of a god, Clyde. Once you see the eyelash, you can see the eye, and then if you step back, you can see the face, and further back… It was all there. Right when Reverend Black raised that serpent up, and when the world started to twist, I could see through it all and God was behind it. I looked at its face, and it looked at me, acknowledged me. Felt me.”
Morgan reached beside him, and picked up the papers he had been looking at. “This is a song, Clyde. I wrote it for… doesn't matter. I wrote it, though, and it’s beautiful, but it isn't my words. I didn't write this any more than a raindrop writes a canyon. It wasn't until I finished it, that I could see what it was.”
“And… what is that?”
The Frontman shook the papers. “It’s this thing, this… it’s God, Clyde! It’s right here, right in front of me. When it saw me that night, I knew then that it was something that, I don’t know, something that had been with me my entire life. It’s everywhere, I can see patterns in everything it does. It’s using me, using us, to do… something. Maybe it doesn't even know. It just does what it does because that’s what it does.” He gasped for breath. “I thought that maybe, maybe when we left North Carolina, that would be the end of it. I thought maybe it hadn't seen me, but… it did. It always has.”
Morgan pulled up his bag and stuffed the papers back in. “I’m putting this song in my bag, Clyde. I don’t think you’ll remember this, but you need to go looking in here later and find it, and put it on the EP. It wants it. I want it. It’s going to do something with this, soon… like extending its arms out into the water.”
“Have you ever seen God, Clyde?”
Morgan sat across from the sandy haired guitarist who, like usual, was tuning one of his several guitars. They had come together at Morgan’s apartment to write a new song for the EP, but had spent the last two hours watching TV and adjusting their instruments. They had both done this in relative silence, neither being much of a talker, and the question from Morgan had broken it abruptly.
Clyde looked up at him and shrugged. “Nah, I don’t think so. How come?”
Morgan paused, his eyes seeming to readjust to the room around him. He leaned back, looked at Clyde, and sighed.
“Nothing, no reason. I was just curious. I… think I’m going to go grab a beer. Do you want anything?”
Clyde shook his head. “I’m cool, man.”
Morgan stood up and walked slowly out of the room. Clyde continued to strum mindlessly at the fretboard, when suddenly a handful of pages stuck in Morgan’s bag caught his eye.