Thursday, April 26, 2012

Priest Paul

It was a cold and rainy day, but that didn't stop an old man on his quest for a morning coffee.  He rushed under each awning to stay dry until he reach a familar red sign.  Opening the door he grabbed the first booth and sat.  "What can I get you?"  a waitress asked.  "A nice hot coffee to warm my soul", the old man said looking across at the rugged old building long since condemned.  "I see you eying Priest Paul's Church", the waitress said, "If you are interested I have a story to tell about Priest Paul."  "I love a heartwarming tale",The old man smiled.  "If you are looking for that kind of story this will only disappoint", she said turning to walk away.  He grabbed her arm, "Wait, you have caught my interest.  What happened to Priest Paul?"

Priest Paul was a humble man devoted to his faith in God and Mother Mary.  Each evening before the sun set, he prayed and repented for his daily sins under the light of the neon oracle.  Its golden glow of bovine brilliance glared and flashed its crimson wisdom upon him.  Each morning before sunrise he would kneel and pray for God to fill him to the depth of his soul with joy a sense of purpose while he glanced at the same bovine brilliance, seeking his answers.   Most days God reluctantly answered Priest Paul's prayer despite his pagan rituals.  On this particular morning God decided not to fill the deep void in his soul with joy, but rather deepen it with great anguish and sorrow.  Confused, Priest Paul remained on his mat seek guidance.  "Father, why do I feel such anguish and sorrow?  I pray you will reveal this to me", He prayed.  The priest continued meditating for another hour but nothing was revealed.  Even the Neon Oracle with its golden glow failed to flash its daily dose of wisdom.  Disappointed, the priest stood up, placed his mat in the corner and headed for the door.

The old man looked at the front window, at the red sign featuring the outline of a cow.  He looked down to see it was unplug and looked back up at the waitress.  "We don't turn that sign on anymore.  Not since those terrible events", she said.  "I must know more", he said.

Down the steps to the street sat a little girl with fiery hair and eyes as green as the lush hills of ireland. Lines of tears flowed down her cheek. Priest Paul knew here well. Her name was Mary and her father attended Mass every sunday. The priest sat beside her and placed his arm around her. "Why are you crying?" He asked. "I don't know", Mary said, "I was walking past here on my way to school. As I reached the steps, I felt exhausted and sat down. As I sat, I felt deep sadness come over me. I started to cry. I feel a lot better now."

The deep void was not limited to Priest Paul.  Mary was a little girl with hair of fire and eyes as green as the lush hills of Ireland.  This morning a small stream flowed down those lush green hills as Mary rolled over to face the red glow of the clock reminding her of the time.  It was 7:00 AM, time to meditate.  The smell of fresh eggs and toast reached Mary's nose and she curled her lips trying to smile but failed.  She reached over for her King James Bible and placed it on her lap preparing for her morning question but before she was able to there was a yell from downstairs.  "Breakfast".    She placed the bible neatly on the night stand pulled herself out of bed and downstairs to the kitchen table.

"What is wrong with you today?" her mom said.  "I don't know.  I woke up feeling sad.  I don't know why.  I just do", Mary said.   Mom gave her a hug and placed her breakfast on the table.  It was fried eggs and toast.  Her mom made them a little runny so Mary could dip her toast in them.  Mary quickly devoured her breakfast and headed upstairs to brush her teeth and her long red hair.  "Do you want an elastic in your hair this morning?"  Mom asked.  "Two", Mary said trying again to smile and this time partially succeeding.  She gave her mom a hug then rushed down the stairs and out the door to school.

TO DO: on the street the fresh air made her feel happier until she reached the church.  At this point the great sadness returns and she sits on the step and cries.

Mary looked down the street and spotted the purple haze as it moved rapidly towards her. It was her friend Violet in her signature purple bench pants and jogging jacket. Mary motioned to Violet and she stopped. Violet turned to Mary and said, "You have been crying, is everything okay?" Mary hugged Violet, they held hands and headed toward school.

Priest Paul sat for a moment more to pray for Mary. He continued to pray for revelation into the sorrow Mary and he shared. Priest Paul looked up at the Neon Oracle for guidance but there was no bovine intervention to be received. Disappointed again, he stood up and continued his daily routine.

Yonge/Dundas Square was the usual hustle and bustle. Priest Paul quickly navigated the crowd and crossed to the North West corner. Once across, he could feel the crowd busing him towards the road. He turned to prepare to avoid the cars now entering the intersection. As his foot hit the curb a hand reached out to pull him back. This was immediately followed by a loud "AMEN". The priest looked down at his left hand to find a tract slipped in his hand. Starteled the priest rotated to try and get a feel for his position. A familiar man stood on the corner, bible in hand. The man leaned forward in a trance as Priest Paul stood eyes glued to him. "Fate", the man yelled as he broke his trance. "Fate?" the Priest asked. The man ignored him and entered another trance. "Destiny", the man said breaking the trance again. Priest Paul grabbed his hand. "You must tell me", he said. The man fell to the ground shaking. The crowd stared accusingly at the Priest so he crossed with the light and was gone.

1 comment:

  1. I read your story and it is very good. The comment I have is more on your style than story, you might like to try something different sometime. In your work currently, you are “telling” the story. Something that could really add some your work is to start “showing” your story instead of telling it. Here is what I mean.

    Telling – Lord Rath was a lean fellow who spent many long hours into the night conjuring battle plans for his next assault. Exhausted, he sat down in the worn leather chair. He had grey eyes and a long pointed nose. His long black hair drifted down his back.

    Showing – Lord Rath’s lanky body fell into the worn leather chair as he ran his fingers through his long jet black hair. He rubbed the sides of his long pointed nose and then his grey eyes, as if to rub away the countless long hours of strategy and battle planning from them.

    This is very simplistic for sure, but here is the trick. I have conveyed the same basic information to the reader in both paragraphs, but with the showing version I have done it using “motion” of the character to do it. Good luck with your efforts. I will check in your blog to read what else you have.