Jesus Socks

Jesus Socks

Pete has a pair of Jesus socks, like he can walk on broken glass and not feel a thing. One of them’s really saggy, but they’re both equally powerful. But does Pete put his Jesus socks to use? Does he go wade into hot lava to save babies or rescue damsels from burning buildings with his Jesus sock protected toes?

Are you kidding? Pete never so much as tries to step on a nail.

We tell Pete, “You know, there’s only so long you can resist the call of adventure before bad things happen. One day you’re going to need your Jesus socks, and they won’t be there, because you never let yourself need them.”

“I use my Jesus socks plenty,” Pete scoffs. “I rob banks!”

“What?” we say.

“Twenty-three of them so far! Why do you think the left one is so saggy? I use it as a hat, and I crash into the walls, ideally of banks, with my head!”

We just stare at Pete, then at each other for a moment, then the atheists among us begin gloating: not a miracle, those Jesus socks of his, because Pete is not a saint. Not Jesus socks after all, only technological secret science socks. Still powerful, but always with the weak heel.

Oh, where did you ever get those socks, Pete? And how come you never pick up the tab?

That’s when the Devil shows up, because that’s what the Devil does when you spend too much time on the subject of Jesus socks. The Devil says, “Ask him what he does with the other sock.” But we ignore the Devil, because that’s what you’re supposed to do or the Devil starts thinking we’re all pals.

“Oh, yeah?” says Bob, who still believes. “If those aren’t the very socks of Jesus, how come you’ve never been caught despite all your so called ‘bank robberies’?”

“Because I’m lucky,” Pete asserts.

That’s when we all smirk. “There’s no such thing as luck,” Bob says. “Even the most technologically adept of James Bond villains eventually gets caught. But not you, because those are Jesus socks.”

“If you think so, Bob,” says the Devil. “Then maybe you should kiss them.”

“They are the socks of Jesus after all,” we nonbelievers tell Bob.

So Bob kneels, because Bob really believes.

“Now kiss the other sock,” the Devil whispers, like he’s turned on or something. “The sagging one. Pete’s favorite. Isn’t it as soft as a lover’s sighs?”

We all pay more attention to the sagging Jesus sock. “What do you do with it, Pete?”

“When you’re not busy robbing banks?”

Pete blushes twenty-three shades of red.

“Fuck each and every one of you,” he sputters. “I give all the money to charity.”


About the Author

Hugh Behm-Steinberg’s prose can be found in X-Ray, Grimoire, Joyland, Jellyfish Review, Heavy Feather Review and Pank. His short story "Taylor Swift" won the Barthelme Prize from Gulf Coast, and his story "Goodwill" was picked as one of the Wigleaf Top Fifty Very Short Fictions. A collection of prose poems and microfiction, Animal Children, was published by Nomadic Press in 2020. He teaches writing and literature at California College of the Arts in San Francisco.