Henry VIII with Fever Nearly a Decade after Publication of the English Bible

Sheldon Lee Compton, Uncategorized

He rubbed his rosary and kept covered his stinking flesh. He curled on the bed while God sat cross-legged in the far corner.

I am God, God said. It’s time. You’ve wasted the gift of your life long enough in excessive pride and self-indulgence.

He did not want to die. He knew God was angry with him, and he was scared. He did not answer God when God introduced himself.

But God compelled the dying man’s heart to answer anyway.

I’m sorry, so so sorry, he said. He tried to make himself cry, but it was no use. Too afraid to cry, he curled more tightly into himself and turned his face from God.

I’m going to take you now, God said. It will be your most horrifying moment and it will last as long as I last. I will hold you there until the final second before darkness.

Now the man cried out into the room. Why! Why why why!

And God said, Because it is you who is smaller than me.


Sheldon Lee Compton is a novelist and short story writer from Kentucky. His work has been a finalist for Best Small Fictions 2015, Best Small Fictions 2016, and the Gertrude Stein Fiction Award, as well as nominated four times for the Pushcart Prize. His collection The Same Terrible Storm was nominated for the Chaffin Award in 2012.

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