God Is a Bullet

God Is a Bullet Read Online Free PDF Page A

Book: God Is a Bullet Read Online Free PDF
Author: Boston Teran
mastaba of slat, stucco, and collapsed spire to keep the dust down.
    The church, a relic of pre-earthquake-proof simplicity, had been left by time an inconvenience on a barely usable acre of land. Short on parking, rec rooms, space for Christian counseling, Bible classes, and antisecular fund-raising,what else could religion do but suffer? To that end, a two-acre parcel of adjoining property and a trust fund of cash had been offered up in supplication by some sinner who, overcome with the best intentions death has to offer, saw rebuilding that church in his own name as a naked bribe at eternity.
    Arthur Naci had been asked to oversee this project, and Clay’s most formidable developer went about the task with Napoleonic efficiency. A moment of service in the long history of serving. He considers himself just another of Christ’s foot soldiers living in the shadow of Los Angeles and trying to fight its impact with bulldozers, foundations, and crosses.
    Arthur leans on the hood of his wagon, reaming a trio of engineers huddled up around him. Bob rolls up, stops, steps out of his pickup and waits. Arthur is stumping his fist down on the geologist’s map spread out on the hood when he sees Bob. Cutting his attack short, he folds the map up and tosses it at the engineers, goes through a brisk warning, then waves them off like they were panhandlers.
    He walks over to Bob, shaking his head. “You even got to watch your own, you know that? Sons of bitches. They’re trying to cut the edge of the code book on the foundation without even telling me. We got a hundred straight feet of sand here and—ahhhhh! Watch your own, remember that.”
    Arthur picks up something in Bob’s tone. “What’s wrong?”
    “I’m not sure if it’s anything, but I’ve been trying to call Gabi all morning. I’m supposed to take her to lunch today. Give her her presents. The phone’s been busy all morning.”
    “Between Gabi and that daughter of mine, I’m not surprised.”
    “No, you don’t understand. I checked. It seems to be out of order.”
    “Maybe it’s off the hook. Maybe the dog knocked …”
    “Arthur, Gabi knows we’re having lunch. She should have called me by seven telling me where she wants to go and then again by nine after she changed her mind and then decided on someplace else. I know my daughter, and I’m a little … concerned.”
    Bob’s tone is making Arthur nervous. “Did you call Sam?”
    “I did.”
    “At work?”
    “He’s not there.”
    “Didn’t come in to work today. Didn’t call or anything.”
    Arthur stands there thoughtfully, with the gut-grinding belts of a bulldozer turning behind him. He looks at his watch. It’s almost noon. He is trying to avoid the imperfect dramatics these situations arouse. Bob watches him as he glances across the lot to where six men are carrying the old church crucifix toward the back of a flatbed so it can be stored away until the new church is built. They are moving slowly through the dust left by the trundling wheels of the dump trucks.
    “Well, what do you think should be done?”
    Bob shrugs. “I’d go over there alone, but if it’s nothing, well, you know how Sarah might get, me just showing up.”
    Arthur scowls at the way one predicament seems to pool-ball into another. “Divorce, shit. Let’s get over there before my ulcer starts acting up.”
    They pull up in the driveway just past noon. The sun is December warm and then some. Around the house, trees pierce the pools of light. It is quiet to perfection.
    “I don’t think anyone’s home,” says Arthur.
    Bob says nothing. But rounding a turn in the driveway he sees both Sarah’s and Sam’s cars in the carport. The cop inhim starts to calculate possibilities. He lets Arthur get out of the car first, then reaches over and takes a semiautomatic from the glove compartment.
    For a moment he feels utterly foolish. It’s nothing, he tells himself. The father and the
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