Catholic churches always creep me out a little with all their bizarre rituals, pedophile priests, and statues and paintings with dead eyes that follow your every move. But I knew it gave her comfort, so I followed her inside and waited at the back while she went forward to do her thing. When I looked up and saw the byzantinesque virgin mother staring down at her child, I turned around and walked out back out into the world. I turned my collar up and leaned against the building before taking out my pack of smokes and lighting a cigarette. An old woman glared up at me as she passed by; I pretended not to notice.
Children were playing in the empty lot across the street. Christmas music was being played loudly from someone’s stereo. I flicked my ashes and took a deep breath; the air smelled like the snow the weatherman predicted for this evening. The heavy church door opened. Under the hood of her white cloak, Mary’s cheeks were rosy and her blue eyes shone with contentment.
“Much. It lifts my spirits just being inside, smelling the old polished wood, Father White with his kind words and gentle ways, and the saints depicted throughout. It’s like coming home, isn’t it, Kevin?”
“I knew you felt the same way!” Mother was so wrong about him, Mary thought to herself as she reached for his hand.
A bit of fiction written for Magpie Tales.
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