(I wrote this short story a few months ago. I’m looking to write something new soon, so I thought I’d hang this out here. I didn’t want to post everything on the blog and clog your dashboard, so if you like it, the rest can be found at the other side of the link at the bottom. If you like it, or hate it, or fall asleep, please let me know).
An angry despair gripped Tony Miller’s heart as he waited in the passenger seat of his aunt’s car. Slate gray, glass-flat clouds, which had up until this morning been dropping buckets of miserable rain onto the New
England town, were now irritating Tony by spraying a fine yet unceasing mist. But it wasn’t the weather that was causing Tony’s mouth to dry, and his stomach to sink. With a look that could have been mistaken for suspicion, or possibly fear, the middle aged man glanced up again at the ancient steeple of the church he now felt chained to.
An elderly woman approached the car. Lost in his own gloom, the woman had almost reached the driver’s side door before Tony jumped out to greet her. The curious look of anxiety on his face contrasted almost comically with her benign radiance.
“Well Aunt Laura?” he croaked. The matronly woman opened her mouth, and then turned to wave as the only other car at the church drove away.
“The pastor is such a good man,” she said, sincerely. “He said yes. You can start right now.” Tony felt like crying. He’d been out of work so long. He couldn’t refuse this, not when he was living off of his elderly aunt. He looked in her old, smiling eyes, then nodded. She hugged him, and then stepped aside so that he could pull the old lawn mower, as well as an assortment of other tools, from the trunk of the big old car.
But the church made him uneasy. And that uneasiness bubbled up into dread when his eyes came to rest on the small cemetery that sat to the east of the sanctuary. He frowned, and looked again at the steeple.
I don’t want to be here, he said to himself. And for one shameful moment, he thought he had said it aloud. But if he did, Aunt Laura, didn’t hear it. Or she didn’t care.
(Continued here: Evening and Morning)