This is another one-shot, a bit more religiously focused as we were reading a sermon of Jonathan Edwards famously known as "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" in English and the idea just sort of fell into place. I don't own the words of Jonathan Edwards, nor Arakawa's characters. Written from a manga perspective.

Dobby's Polka-Dotted Sock

Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

Organized religion had never really been a 'thing' in Amestris. Not like other countries. As a relatively new power, it hadn't been formed by a conquering nation or by fleeing refugees persecuted for one thing or another. It had just been a few people here, then a bit further outward, then a little more, and so on. They were a people not because of particular similarities, but because they all just happened to live there. And that was fine for them.

That wasn't true for all countries. On a long train ride from Dublith their annoying stowaway prince has prattled on and on about how the emperor was like the morning and evening star of Xing and that the people worshipped him above all else, and gave thanks to him for their daily bread. He hadn't really cared, but as his mind was a sponge that seemed to have to soak up every scrap of information he remembered it anyway.

Aerugo, he knew had a king, but also some sort of religious emperor who dealt with all the spiritual Godly matters and that even the king had to follow. To his mind it seemed a power struggle waiting to be fought, but then again his own country did have at least one religion related battle under its belt.

Ishbal. A struggle for which the only point seemed to be that F├╝hrer Bradley wished to prove he was more powerful than God. The scary thing was that he had won in many eyes. Ishvalla hadn't saved His people. Aerugo's pious leaders had turned the other way. And the rest of Amestris had waited and watched for the dessert territory of Ishbal to bleed out.

Of course there were always the zealots. No rule had been signed by Bradley banning religion. They cried out in the streets, or to their tiny determined congregations that it was all part of a plan that would save every soul on this earth who wanted to turn away from their wickedness. From their sin.

Some of these people would turn anything into an idol for their worship. He half wondered sometimes if Cornello had just gotten the idea for his own sect by the very thing that stared unrelentingly upon the people of Liore every day; the sun.

And Liore had eaten that up, hadn't they? Leto, The Sun God, created everything and was going to help them rise up against the military aggressors and non-believers. All the while Leto glared heatedly down upon them day after day for their foolishness. He thought it interesting that they didn't turn their devotion to a more pleasant God; surely the Moon, with her softer stare and cooler touch would be far more appealing to people who wished to repent and grieve for loved ones, such as Rose.

But then again he'd always been a sucker for the whole fire and brimstone thing himself.

God rested His angry brow upon him and the scorching hot gaze burned, melted the automail which did feel like lead weights that repeatedly bumped and thudded upon the open ground, tempting it to open up and swallow him into the Hell that people in the streets screeched was waiting for the likes of him, Alchemist, who placed his inquiring ear to the lips of the Eastern Sage, and not God.

And yet he was kept alive, perhaps suspended by a string dangling from the hand of God, which bobbed up and down, sinking him into depression, lifting to false hope, and back to despair.

Still, if real, he could feel the rage of God building like surging river too powerful for its dam. And he! the damned stopper the plug that tried to keep the waters at bay for just a little longer, more time he needed, needed it for Al-

He was the loathsome spider and the snake in God's sight; and the red, blazing coat he wore was the bulls eye for God's arrow that was now pulled taut on the bow, ready to be released on His whim. He already knew the power of God's anger and the boundless duration of Hell had yet to swallow him body, mind, and soul!

And the path he walked, built upon so many good intentions, lead far, far away from the open door of mercy.

Ok, so again, it is rather dark. Didn't know exactly where I was going with it, I kind of liked the slowly building, and then the more racing pace, so I'm just going to keep it like this. The things about Xing and Aerugo I kind of made up, but felt they could be believable. Again, a lot of concepts, a lot of metaphors came originally from John Edwards' sermon long ago. It's a really intense speech, Google it some time. Apparently people fainted as he spoke it to his congregation. Thanks very much, everyone.