“Existence, Faith, Volition” appeared in whimperbang, Issue 7, 2005.
What if, he thought in what felt like a flash of inspiration, everyone answered the question literally? How many angels can dance on the head of a pin? Eight. Ten. Five hundred and thirty-seven. One billion and fifty-two. If everyone answered with a number, any number, no one could be wrong because if the medieval theologians who had posed the question had found an answer, they wouldn’t have spent years arguing the question, now would they? His heart raced. If everyone answered with a number, when no one number could be the right answer, what could Gates do about it, flunk everybody in the class?
Of course Dr. Gates could flunk everybody in the class. He could do anything he wanted to. And if the Philosophy Department looked into it, someone in the class would be honest and say that Dr. Gates’s request for an essay had been very clear. A fully-developed essay. If asked, Leo would be that honest himself.