Back on track after taking a few days off to do Other Things. First post this week: an 8-minute writing exercise on the prompt “Losing My Religion”. About 280 words. Slow going it seemed on this. I knew where I wanted to go, but I also didn’t want to get there in too big of a hurry.
She knelt in the chapel, nearly alone. In the back, another woman, older, head covered with a scarf, lips moving silently, fingers counting the beads. Closer to the front, a statue of the Blessed Virgin, eyes modestly lowered, hands open, stood beneath a painting of Jesus sitting on his mother’s lap.
“I need that job,” she whispered, eyes shifting from statue to painting to floor. “I can’t do this alone, either. Not with the kids, and with….” Her whisper trailed off. Thoughts crowded in, choking her words.
“Forgive me,” a man said.
She started. She didn’t know anyone was sitting behind her. She had been so focused on her problems, that she had not heard him enter the pew.
“I don’t mean to pry,” he continued, “but I couldn’t help but over hear.”
Anger flared up, and she turned, more accurately, twisted, to look at the man behind her. He was middle-aged. Graying at the temples and in the neatly trimmed beard. His eyes were also gray. He wore a tweed jacket over a turtleneck sweater. He smiled, and even seemed to blush a little.
“I might be able to help you,” he continued, ignoring her glare. “I’m in charge of a number of ventures, and I’m always looking for people to help me.”
Her expression softened. Her spine relaxed. She leaned a bit closer to him, detecting a whiff of something perhaps metallic.
“What do you mean?”
His smile remained fixed. “What I mean is I can help you with your job situation. But I’ll need a show of faith. Nothing is free.”
His eyes flicked to the votive candles.
“Blow one out,” he said. “Just one, and then we can talk some more.”