September 28, 2006

The Promise in the Cellar (2 of 12)

Thread: Mission

Of course, such a bright voice could only belong to the rector. Mizzy opened her eyes to confirm her guess. Yup.

He wore a black dress with buttons forming a line down the middle, a dog collar, and a small cross. He was built slightly better than she thought a man of God was likely to be. She also noticed a pair of luminous yellow trainers peeking out from beneath the dress, which could not possibly be part of the orthodox vestments. In his late twenties, he had a good head of blonde hair, but combined with piercing blue eyes, he seemed to possess something of an Aryan semblance. His smile was comforting.

Mizzy was uncomfortable with the black get-up; her local preacher had always dressed in a suit, like a businessman, a Godly entrepreneur who had once said, “You’re fired, you’re going to Hell, son.” Black might look good on the right woman at a party. In a church on a man? Get thee to a tailor and quick sharp honey. There was too much dependence on ritual and spectacle and not enough spirituality; why all these barriers between her and God? Couldn’t someone just give her a straight answer and tell her if God had given her a vision of importance?

“Hello pastor,” Mizzy said to the man.

“Pastor? Oh, please, dear, call me Tom,” the man in black said. It was a refined accent, distant from that Londoner trash, although it did sound condescending.

“Hello… Tom,” she repeated, less than enthusiastically although she offered him a free smile, with no strings attached.

Tom frowned, he obviously wasn’t taken in. “What brings you here, little lady? You seem unhappy.”

“Well that’s a bit of an assump–”

Tom blurted out, “Oh you’re an American! How wonderful. We do get a few Americans in here every now and then.” Realising he had interrupted her, the rector held a palm out and said, “I’m sorry, you were saying?”

Mizzy closed her eyes. “You know what? I am unhappy. You got me, well done, sir.”

“How formal.”

“Well fine, I’ll call you vicar.”

“Why don’t you call me, Tom, dear?”

“Why are you calling me dear, Tom?”

“Well, I guess I just don’t know your name. What’s your name?”

“Why do you wear a dress?”

“It’s not a dress, dear, it’s called a cassock. I know it’s not modern style, but I prefer it. Your name?”


“What a delightful name, how American!” He put his hands together with a slap.

Mizzy was disconcerted by Tom’s emphasis on her American roots. No doubt if she said that she drove a car he would say, oh as an American you must drive on the right-hand side of the road. Maybe he might ask if she had a gun like all Americans have. If he did and she had, then she might use it.

“Does that really sound American? Mizzy? It’s what my friends call me because they think Michelle is a bit too formal. I mean if I had any friends these days, they would call me Mizzy. I think two friends is just a statistical anomaly. Doesn’t really demonstrate friends, right? It just means there are two people who are unluckily intertwined with your life. ”

“Well, Mizzy, what’s up? That is, if not having enough friends with statistical significance isn’t the problem.” Then he added in a crude attempt at an American accent, calmly, “Wassup, girl?” Mizzy could see he was just trying to be open and friendly but he was actually just trying her patience.

She shifted her butt on the pew, finding it hard and uncomfortable. She glanced around for a cushion but none were in evidence. “Oh I used to have friends,” she said slightly distracted, “but I can’t help blaming God for making things turn out this way. Who else would you blame for dreams of stigmata?”

Mizzy thought that once the horse has bolted, there is no point closing the barn doors. When the horse has subsequently given a newspaper interview about how cruel an owner you’ve been and won compensation from you in court, you might as well sell the god damn barn or burn it down for the insurance money. Mizzy could never keep her mouth shut these days, so as she had started to tell Tom her worries, she might as well carry through and tell him the whole story. Yet again, she was telling a random stranger everything. She just couldn’t help herself.

Fortunately for her, Tom was a man of the Church and had to listen to her story. Unfortunately for Tom, he was a man of the Church and had to listen to her story.

Posted by: The Harbour Master @ 2058

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