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American Atheist: #2

by Nelly 

Posted: 22 January 2005
Word Count: 895
Summary: A coming of age story with superheroes.

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Nonfather Fletcher stood at a little over six feet tall, a thin gaunt man with masses of wild red hair. He ushered in before him, his only son Bobby.

Bobby took after his father, but had the good sense to keep his hair cut short and neatly combed. Both were dressed in the black Macs of the Nonchurch and sported their Atheist bands clearly on their right arms.

“I thought you were never going to answer and then I noticed the open window,” Nonfather Fletcher said, “whatever were the pair of you thinking?” He crossed over to the open window and without asking shut it tight. “I don’t mean to be rude. But you never know, a Night Time flyer might have one bomb left to give, and your light might just be the beacon he’s looking for.”

“Of course Nonfather, I don’t know what came over me.” Ashanti looked embarrassed, “This is the first time I’ve opened it in months.”

“Well its okay now, just a good thing I was coming to see you.” Nonfather Fletcher’s eyes roamed the room constantly as he talked. “I’m wondering if yourself and Unita here would do myself and the boy a big favour.”

Ashanti nodded, “Anything for the Non church.”

“Could you look after Bobby for a couple of hours?” he asked, holding up his hands in a pleading manner. “If you do, I’ll give you a special mention at the gathering on Sunday.”

Ashanti laughed and put her hands on her hips. “Of course I will, I don’t need no special mention. I would love to look after Bobby here, wouldn’t we Unita?”

Unita wasn’t too sure. She looked at Bobby who licked the top of his lip and winked at her.

“I wouldn’t normally have asked, but I’ve got a report there’s been some damage the next village down,” Nonfather Fletcher continued.

“Nothing serious I hope?” Ashanti asked concerned.

“I’m not sure, some kind of disturbance, but it’s probably the patrons of Jack’s bar kicking out again.” He looked at Unita and smiled sweetly. “Nothing for you to worry about anyway.” He paused and looked at Ashanti. “As I’m here I might as well say the Speeches with you.”

“We would be honoured,” Ashanti said proudly. “Wouldn’t we Unita?”

Unita nodded eagerly, she took the Speeches seriously, and it gave her chance to look at something other than Bobby’s leering face.

Nonfather Fletcher stood in the middle of the room with an expectant look. Unita and Ashanti dutifully lowered their heads.

“We are free,” Nonfather Fletcher began. “We have broken the oppressive chains of religion. No longer will we be slaves to a false god.”

The others repeated the last line, although Unita noticed Bobby barely uttered the words, his hands were dug deep into his black Mac and he looked bored.

Nonfather Fletcher noticed as well.

“There is no supernatural.” Nonfather Fletcher’s voice rose suddenly, not quite a shout, but loud enough to cause Bobby to look up sharply. “There is only the natural.”

They repeated the words, as did Bobby, who had fallen under the watchful eye of the Nonfather.

“No more lies, no more deceptions. Choose our own destiny.” He rose his arms up into the air as he spoke, and a rapturous smile spread across his features. His eyes found each of them in turn, but lingered on Bobby. “We are each responsible for our own actions, and we will concern ourselves with living life, rather than lamenting death.”

Bobby looked away.

After a respectful silence, Nonfather Fletcher dusted his hands together and said, “Well that ought to do it.”

“Thank you,” Ashanti said with a broad smile. “It’s not often we have a Nonfather here in the house.”

Nonfather Fletcher returned the smile. “Perhaps we should see about changing that.”

Ashanti giggled and absently touched the side of her face.

“Anyway I shan’t be long I expect.” He walked back over to the door, but stopped when he got to Bobby. “You behave yourself now boy.” He smiled when he talked, but Unita noticed a hardness to his eyes. “I don’t want to be hearing about any trouble when I get back.” He patted Bobby upon the shoulder and left.

An awkward silence ensured.


Ashanti left to make Bobby a drink. Seizing the opportunity he said, “I’ve been thinking about you.”

“Shh, Mamma will hear you.” Unita refused to make eye contact.

Couldn’t he just go away?

“I’ve been thinking about what happened, what you did,” Bobby continued.

“You did as well Bobby,” she struggled to keep her voice level.

“I want to try again,” he cooed.

“I don’t. It repulsed me. You repulse me.”

“Ah Unita don’t be like that, it doesn’t have to be this way.”

“It’s not going to be any way, it was a mistake, nothing more.”

“I’ll tell your Mamma,” Bobby said his voice rising.

Unita’s eyes widened and her lip trembled. “You wouldn’t dare.”

Bobby smiled upon seeing her reaction and leant back in his chair, “Wouldn’t I?” he enquired.

“Wouldn’t what?” Ashanti said coming back into the room.

Before Bobby could open his mouth to speak, Unita jumped in. “Nothing Mamma, Bobby is just teasing me that’s all.”

“Well enough of that young man, save it for your male friends.” She handed Bobby his coffee.

“Thank you,“ he said with a smirk.

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Comments by other Members

Account Closed at 20:22 on 27 January 2005  Report this post
Hi Neil

I liked this. I haven't read the first part but will go back and check it out when i have some more time.

It was well characterised, and the theme of some futuristic (?) or maybe just alternative society was really well pictured, without you having to employ too many words or descriptions. I did feel a little more description would have been good - just to get a sense of the setting more, but overall, it works.

The dialogue seems very real, and this is an excellent thing.


Nelly at 20:42 on 27 January 2005  Report this post
Hi waxlyrikal,

Cheers for the positive response. I'll take a look at adding some description when I get some spare time.

The other part is still floating about in my upload section and I'm going to post the next section on the weekend.


paul53 [for I am he] at 09:10 on 03 March 2005  Report this post
Hey Neil,
You're on the Random Read - the ony way I get to read anything outside my groups.
Well-written stuff here.

Nelly at 12:20 on 03 March 2005  Report this post
Ah the blessing of the random read. Thanks for reading through.


J1mbo at 12:37 on 01 June 2005  Report this post

Thought this was good. Takes us away from the dramatic tension of the introductory chapter and begins to build the story. I like the whole athiesm/religion clash and the content of Fletcher's speech. I think though, after you have introduced Nonfather Fletcher to us, you should consider varying it between Nonfather and, as the full title seems to stunt the flow of the prose a little. Maybe I'm wrong.
Other than that, I'm looking forward to seeing what happens and how evil/nasty/sad/nice/great/heroic etc. the bobby character turns out to be, plus what actually happened between them that he is blackmailing her about, how she responds to his pressure, and her mothers and fletcher's reaction to this.
More importantly, I'm looking forward to some of the action that seems to be promised.


Nelly at 23:00 on 01 June 2005  Report this post
Cheers for looking through, Nonfather Fletcher is something of a mouthful, later I've used just Nonfather to try and lessen the blow.

Bobby is blackmailing Unita about their shameful embrace in the schoolyard, ref chapter one

Thanks again,


J1mbo at 00:22 on 02 June 2005  Report this post
Sorry, I read ch.1 a while ago now.

Fletcher on its own can sound scary or friendly as well, so it might me an idea to use either when it is appropriate. I've just had one of those moments when I've completely forgotten how to spell a word. apropriate approppriate aproppriate ah! They all look just plain wrong...

Anyway, will look at three sometime soon.


apopriate (stop it)

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