Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sudden Short Story 39

The rain was heavy outside the cafe.  Charles stared out the window, skyward.
"Something on your mind?"  Charles snapped out of it.
"Oh, I was just thinking."
"About what?"
"about the lightning... Ours is a just god, right?"
"Ours is a just god.  Lighting is just the most obvious manifestation of this."
"Does it seem a little short-sighted to you?"
"How do you mean?"
"Well, it's treating the symptom, not the disease, isn't it?"  Charles sipped at the last of his coffee, finding it too cold to be worth finishing.
"How do you mean?"
"Well, lightning only strikes rapists, right?  So, nobody rapes, for fear of being struck by lightning when it storms out.  Or, at least, almost nobody does.  There are invariably a few who think that they can get away with it."
"And, sooner or later, they get hit.  It sounds like a pretty good system to me."
"True, but it obviously has its inadequacies.  Perhaps if the desire were removed from the would-be rapists altogether, this would be better."
"But that would interfere with free will, and besides, there would be no object lessons around to stop lesser crimes."
"Something else bothers me, though. ... Lightning only strikes rapists, right?"
Charles leaned in close, and gave a questioning look.  "Right?"
His friend's faith was shaken for the first time.

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