Chavez County

They looked glorious. Silent but for the muffled flap of sunbleached muslin, they plummeted earthward, bathed in the light of the new-risen sun. Not quite as fast as a few dozen handsful of pebbles thrown from the top of Mount Rushmore might travel, just before hitting bottom, but fast enough.

Like huge snowflakes, exactly twelve hundred and fifty four in number, they fanned back from a single shimmering figure at the front. He was flanked left and right and slightly behind by two other bright figures. The shining Trinity was followed by the full mass of trailing, rapidly-descending seraphim, flying in a close formation that appeared as an inverted pyramid.

Simultaneously, at a pre-arranged signal across the breadth of the Heavenly Host, hundreds of golden flashes glinted as the angels lifted long trumpets to their perfect countenances.

A heartbeat later, a single, sustained, perfect golden horn note could be heard for miles.

Jesus coolly regarded the rapidly approaching ground with the knowing confidence reserved only for gods, and actors in aftershave commercials. They were coming in way faster than he had been told that they should, during the ready-room briefing, but he wasn't worried. He had Faith.

Seconds later, The Son of God's certainty shattered in a strangled shriek. He slammed into the desert hardpan at 105 miles an hour, more or less, variations depending on gravity and wind resistance. The last thing He percieved was that His femurs had sheared at the hips, speared stright up through His diaphragm and assorted nether plumbing, ripped His lungs and heart loose, then partly exited under each Holy armpit.

Jesus died. Again.

His angelic host followed in stacatto, heavy, rending thumps; bones violently rammed through flesh as they hit the ground still in formation. Those behind, unaware of their imminent fate, held their sparse, brassy triomphe just as they'd rehearsed -- a G for four beats, then a sustained high-C. This in turn segued to a brief, dissonant squawk then imploded into an atonal coda of terrified shouts.

From a distance, it sounded oddly like the surging roar of a hometown football crowd whose team was headed for an 80-yard touchdown.

The peaceful repose of another desert morning slowly returned above mangled lumps of angelic ichor, crumpled brass and custom-tailored linen robes, as life force ebbed. Sixteen miles away, in Roswell, New Mexico, preset flatware in truckstop diners clattered for a moment on worn arborite table tops. The bare tremor clocked in at a mere 4/10 of Point One on the Richter Scale. No-one noticed it.