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Steven Cleaver

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Member Since: Apr, 2008

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Excerpts from Saving Erasmus
By Steven Cleaver   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Tuesday, May 06, 2008
Posted: Tuesday, April 29, 2008

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Two short excerpts from Saving Erasmus, named Best Christian Fiction of 2007 by Publishers Weekly and Library Journal

In Which I Meet the Angel of Death  

I did not expect to meet the Angel of Death while he was extricating himself from a washing machine. Actually I wasn’t really expecting to meet the Angel of Death at all. Not this soon. Not in this place. Yet there he was, slowly unwinding himself from the open door of Dixie Manufacturer’s finest front loaded commercial washer, twisting and turning and pulling his full body up over the rim and out onto the Laundromat floor.

I guess no one really expects to see the Angel of Death in a Laundromat, let alone climbing out of one of the machines. I suppose we all fantasize about something a bit more extravagant. The scene in Bergman’s The Seventh Seal where Death is playing chess always resonated as realistic to me. In that scene, Death is dressed in black and hovers with a stark face over a very serious chess game. The surroundings are dark, and Armageddon appears to be looming on the horizon. It is quite ominous. I had always visualized the situation more like that; expected there would be a little more edge to it. But expectations are tricky when it comes to Life and even I suppose to Death.


In Which I am Commissioned

I have to pick someone,” he said. “They get one last chance. I get to call one prophet.” Death’s voice became very serious. “You’re the one I selected.”

“Is this because I went to seminary?”

“No, Andrew. That was just part of your path.” He paused. “Actually I picked many. But,” he said as he pointed to the empty Laundromat, “you are the only one to show up.”

Great, I thought. A dying man gets a last phone call and I’m it. Thanks Death. Publishers Clearing House randomly selects Mary Beth Finster from East Albatross, Kansas to win a million dollars and what do I get? Death and the promise of unemployment.

“I never get picked for anything.”

“No, Andrew. You never get picked for what you think you should have. That is different.”

“But I’m not a prophet,” I said. ”I mean, I really don’t think I have the proper training.”

I’d been called many things in my life, some of which I would rather not see in print so I will let you ascribe your own colorful and descriptive adjectives and nouns. Prophet had never been thrown out in any kind of verbal exchange. There are no more prophets, I thought, but even on the remote chance that there were, I was certain I was not one.

“Anyone can be a prophet,” Death replied.




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