Everyone’s eyes were red. Someone she didn’t know touched Daddy’s arm, then pulled away like he was fire. Melanie stared at a water bottle someone left on a pew.
Daddy was in the pulpit, talking. Melanie couldn’t hear him, her ears were stuffed with rabbit fur.
Mrs Mwanna was staring at Jesus and muttering, which was funny, because Mrs Mwanna didn’t believe. What was she saying to Him? Was she telling him off? Melanie wanted to tell him off too, but she didn’t want to be smited. She needed Jesus to be on her side right now. More than ever.
Extroduction: For those who haven’t followed this blog since the dawn of time, Melanie is a recurring character. Melanie is around 8 years old. Her family attend a Christian church with a fire and brimstone priest. Mrs Mwanna is her wonderful, non-Christian neighbour. Her Mother has terminal cancer. Melanie’s story is one of her trying to reconcile her faith and the teachings of her church with the realities of her experiences. Where this particular clip fits in, is for your imagination to decide.
Olivia glanced at the man across the table. Studio lights glistened off his forehead, but he wasn’t sweating. So many of her guests, even the seasoned ones, felt the pressure to perform, live, answering her questions before millions.
He smiled a serpent smile; she could almost see the tongue-flick, hear the hiss.
Sweat beaded on her brow. Not from nerves or anticipation, but revulsion. She was a professional, and prided herself on balanced reporting… on showing both sides of every debate. But his wasn’t a side she could stomach.
A long, long time ago, I can still remember, how the music used to make me smile. Live music sings to the soul; it’s why I lingered here. Folks arrived buttoned up, then began tapping a foot… swaying… singing and finally they danced. Music made them feel alive… made me feel alive too.
But February made me shiver. The doors closed and I thought the music died.
Of all people, I should have known: The music didn’t die, it just moved on: into laptops and radios, virtual concerts and family karaoke parties. The music went home. Now, so can I.
Happy New Year! As I approach a ‘big’ birthday at the end of the year, I have decided to try to develop 40 healthy habits which fit into my life and improve my health, mentally or physically, my relationships or my impact on the world. I hope more frequent Friday Fiction contributions can be one of them.
“The ball just won’t go in for me,” Melanie whined.
Mrs Mwanna stopped tidying her desk to look at the four-foot-nothing bundle of potential and frustration on her couch. “Maybe netball’s not the right fit for you,” she said, gently. “You’ll find your groove.”
“I don’t fit anywhere!”
Mrs Mwanna straightened the pens in a pot. Lined up neatly; soldiers on parade. Too many, really, she mused. I should probably get rid of a few.
A grunt of despair brought her attention back to her young friend.
“You are too special,” she said, “Too important. There’s nothing tidy about scissors.”