Friday, April 28, 2017

"What Aristophanes said..."

She didn't know how long she sat in the confessional.  After what seemed like hours, she quieted down, in part, because she needed to control her breathing. Closing her eyes, she took one, long deep breath and exhaled loudly. Unexpectedly, she thought of Harvey.  In that same moment, she heard the first rumble of thunder, then a flash of light.  The door to the confessional jumped, then opened with a creak.

Ellen sat looking at the door. Unmoved. Another crack of thunder, this time, much closer. Lightening flashed and suddenly she was standing in the park between the tall trees near the basketball court.

Rain soaked her beehive and she stood watching the bizarre dance of Harvey.  "He has lost her mind," she thought. "I'm going to have to fire him, now. It's so hard--"

Another crack of thunder and a bolt of lightening appeared in the corner of her sight and all went black.

Nothingness spread over her. Harvey's voice echoed in the long chamber of silence. "Ellen? Ellen?"

She awoke to Harvey's voice reading from a book "'Do you remember what I told you in the library? About how people are always wandering around, searching for their other half?"

The smell of coffee and cinnamon buns brought her fully awake.  "Harvey, stop with that nonsense and get me some food.  He closed the book and paused.

"I am glad you are feeling better. The storm was a rough one. It's a miracle you are still alive."
"Two cinnamon buns while you're at it," she said.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

By the Grace of God She Goes

"Your Wickedness makes you as it were heavy as Lead, and to tend downwards with great Weight and Pressure towards Hell; and if God should let you go, you would immediately sink and swiftly descend & of an angry God plunge into the bottomless Gulf" Jonathan Edwards -- "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God"

She grabbed the crowbar from the corner of her office.  "This is an abomination," she muttered. Wobbling out into the sidewalk she turned, stood firmly, and waited. From around the corner "Pope Michael," as the neighborhood called him, turned his mobile confessional in Ellen's direction. He peered around the edge, saw her and came to a stop a few feet away. He didn't walk around the box. God was his shield, but it was prudent to keep a safe distance at times.

"You and this contraption are an abomination!" She shouted. Pope Michael made no move. "You are no Gabriel, you little bastard!" Her voice was getting louder. In a surprisingly deft move she welding the crowbar like King Arthur's sword.

As she swung it in the direction it of the box, she heard "Stop, in the name of all that is holy." Her swing went wide. She stumbled to the left and the crowbar flew from her hands and into the first floor apartment window, her window.  Glass flew inward, and some tinkled unto the sidewalk.

"Ellen, you've long abandoned the church, but it has not abandoned you. Please step inside."
"Like h-"
"Ellen." He still had not appeared from around the corner of the box. The door popped open as if letting out a breath.
As if in a trance, she stepped in. It creaked in slight protest of her weight.
"Wait!" She shouted, "You little conniving twit!" But the door closed and the bolt locked.  She was trapped. Michael, with considerably more effort, pushed the box out into the street--stopping traffic--onto 114th Avenue, toward St. Cecilia's church. It swayed and lurched as Ellen kicked and pushed at the door and walls.