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Triadic Tales - The Failed Cleric - Short Story (Part Two)

Five years passed before Adam met up with Jim again.  Jim was barefoot in threadbare jeans and a black t-shirt. He sat in a lotus position at the end of a long dirt track. Behind Jim was what seemed to be a mud hut with a door like an arch.

The Beckett-like tourist and Des Moines social worker was now somewhere past Enid, Oklahoma with no neighbors visible in any direction.
"I have everything now," Jim smiled.

"Are you alone?" Adam said.

"Hardly," Jim replied. "Tamara," he called. "Come out. Meet my friend."

She had to stoop to exit the hut. To say she was a sight would right if you thought eccentric finery strange. Adam wasn't up on the subject. There were several layers and multiple colors. 

She was of indeterminate age and beautiful.

It took till six to unravel the story. Tamara was Native American. Like Jim and Adam, had studied theology. She was ten years older than they. She and Jim met at a Quaker retreat which devolved into near mayhem after she preferred Jim to one of the retreat leaders who turned out to be a pugilist. Jim survived and love ensued.  

The land belonged to her. They were very poor. Food stamps and disability income was all they had.

"We have everything right here," Jim said once more.

Tamara was presently concocting an auspicious stew from growing things as the two talked softly at sunset.

"Do you still believe?" Adam wondered.

"Absolutely," Jim said. "We're evolving. Religion is ending. Peace is possible. We celebrate such things daily."

Suddenly, by the outdoor fire, Tamara, now in a drab sheath of burlap fastened by pins, fell to the ground, facing the sky and began to emit cries of inconsolable grief.

"Relax," Jim said quickly.     
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Stephen C. Rose Bio

Stephen C. Rose (1936-) was born in New York City and raised there. He currently lives there. He was educated at Trinity, Exeter, Williams and Union Theological Seminary. He served in the Student Interracial Ministry in Nashville. He founded and edited the prize-winning Renewal Magazine in Chicago and studied with C. A. Doxiadis in Athens. His first books "The Grass Roots Church" and "Who's Killing The Church" established him as a prominent critic of American Protestantism and American religion. He was and remains a civil rights activist. He has interviewed and done in depth pieces on Saul Alinsky and Martin Luther King, Jr. He won awards for editorial courage and for two documentary films. He has written and published many songs and musical works including "We Are All Americans". During the late 90s and early 2000s he worked for UN agencies, most recently editing CHOICES Magazine at UNDP. Since 2000 he has written several books for distribution via K…