Short Story

Smart Car 23


Sheila had studied religion in college and while not adhering to any traditional religion, was fascinated by the interplay between human culture and religion. She felt, but rarely mentioned aloud, that she believed that God was created in our image, rather than the other way around. She decided to hold a forum on Easter about Easter.

To start off, she asked husband Duke, and the cars Deuce, Josie, and Carl what they knew about Easter. She was surprised that Deuce answered, because his knowledge was spottier than the other two cars.

“Easter celebrates something which is either a myth or a real event depending on who you ask. Either Christ truly arose from a crypt after death, or it is a myth about an event that didn’t happen. I believe the latter for several reasons. Dead people are not brought back to life, reports written many years later about the resurrection are not credible and it could be based on earlier resurrection stories such as the well-known Isis and Osiris of Egypt. The celebration in spring suggests that it copies many other resurrection stories based on seasonal changes such that of Baal which seems to based on the weather.”

An amazed Duke exclaimed “Wow, Deuce, I had no idea you knew so much. No offense.”
Deuce replied “I know that my knowledge is limited, but the guy who installed my brain was a religious fanatic and I followed his interest. I’ve written books on the subject. I’m skeptical about the deity of Jesus but admire his lessons. Several cultures have stories about heroes who never die but will return to save a nation when needed. One example is King Arthur in England.”

Duke broke in “You know that some of the traditions are totally bonkers? The Easter egg thing was based on the idea that rabbits were birds. I looked that up, maybe it was in Wikipedia. The eggs hatching represent resurrection.”
Duke got a lot wrong, so Sheila said, “I’ll have to check on that.”
Duke agreed that it was a good idea.

Sheila took back the forum. “The lesson of Christianity, Islam and Zoroastrianism is that humans can also be resurrected and return to some form of life. What do you think of that?”
Josie asked “Zoroastrianism?”
“It is the religion that preceded Islam from the area that is now Iran. It influenced Judaism during the Babylonian captivity. The Biblical Magi were Zoroastrians. In answer to Sheila’s question, I’m continuously resurrected by new parts and software.” Deuce’s response caused three blank looks.

Josie returned to resurrection. “I’m not a theological star like Deuce, but I’d prefer reincarnation rather than resurrection. I’d like to come back as a convertible with a big battery.”
Carl pointed out “But Josie, I love you just the way that you are”, causing Josie to purr sensuously.

Duke agreed “I’m like Carl, in life or death; I want to share it with my honey, Sheila. Because we know that matter is neither created nor destroyed, we will all continue to exist in some form. Maybe my body will be radish feed.”
A pleased Sheila finished with “I tried to start an Easter discussion, but it ended up more like Valentine’s Day, and I’m not complaining. Now let’s find those eggs.”