Title: Broken Vessel
Subtext: Shake it out.
Author:
Date: 12 Nov 15 (Thursday in the AM)
Copyright:
Time: 2 minutes
Replies: 13
Revisions: 16
Publicity: Superfeed
Upfeed:
Downfeed:

They switched parishes the year before from St. Aloyisis’s Doric plaster works across the park, down the block, to St. Joseph’s Corinthian-capped Italian marble, seven minutes by car. And so, late to mass as always, they took their place off to the side, nine rows from the back during the penetential rite.

“As we prepare to celebrate the mystery of Christ’s love, let us acknowledge our failures and ask the Lord for pardon and strength. Lord, have Mercy.”

Lord, have mercy.

“Christ, have Mercy”

Christ, have mercy.

“Lord, have Mercy”

Lord, have mercy.

“May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life.”

Amen.

Mandy was seated at the right hand of her father, directly behind a column, her view of the pulpit blocked.

She was pleased, as this gave her time to check in with the monsters and end-time warriors in the smeared markings of the polished marble.

Her favorite was the knife-headed lady with the one giant forearm. Was she fighting for God now, as she would be in the days to come? Would Mandy be called to join her?

Wondering about a creature to whom the veins of maroon, black, and grey would appear to happen as quickly as they appeared to have happened, she thought, would it be a huge thing, necessarily? Does it work that way? Are dead people bigger than living people?

She felt a trembling reciprocity to the communion of her revelation assert itself. She wanted to hound and wail and fill the nave with wild sounds, to stand up screeching like a Roman candle, to honk and flap like a fire breathing goose, and to swear at the priest from the back of the church in sick non sequiturs.

Was the entire congregation playing out a conspiracy of silence and humiliating kindness by collectively ignoring her? Had even the children been schooled not to say anything about this? Her friends and their little sisters and brothers? How far did it go?

Mortified, she thought about her father’s mother who had been corpulent in old pictures, but after a gastric bypass surgery, was manageably obese. This woman farted uncontrollably and Mandy was cautioned not to mention the stench at extended family gatherings, the way she might call it out at events more and less public.

Her little hands were back at St. Aloyisis defending her shoulder width of the pew in front of her. The man on her right, who slipped in after them, would be occupying her space with his veiny olive hand if she didn’t claim and hold it for herself. His skin touched hers just below their pinkies and she pushed back angrily with her mind.

Her father’s blurry hand entered from the left. “Do my knuckle.” It was disgusting; swollen, chapped, and red, but she rubbed and squeezed until the handshake of peace.

“Peace be with you.”

And also with you.

“Peace be with you.”

And also with you.

“Peace be with you.”

And also with you.

“Peace be with you.”

And also with you.

“Peace be with you.”

And also with you.

“Peace be with you.”

And also with you.

“Peace be with you.”

And also with you.

“Peace be with you.”

And also with you.

Revisions

Falcon » Authorship
Elk » 11:16 AM 17 Dec 16
Falcon » 5:52 PM 12 Nov 15
Falcon » 12:04 PM 12 Nov 15
Falcon » 11:23 AM 12 Nov 15
Falcon » 11:18 AM 12 Nov 15
Falcon » 11:02 AM 12 Nov 15
Falcon » 11:01 AM 12 Nov 15
Falcon » 10:59 AM 12 Nov 15
Falcon » 10:58 AM 12 Nov 15
Falcon » 10:26 AM 12 Nov 15
Falcon » 10:22 AM 12 Nov 15
Falcon » 10:20 AM 12 Nov 15
Rooster » 10:00 AM 12 Nov 15
Falcon » 9:48 AM 12 Nov 15

The Thread (13)

 Author's voice in grey. 

  1. Mostly formatting edits – but went with capital and hyphenated Corinthian-capped, as well as “of the marble” instead of “in the marble” because in appears immediately preceding and doubling it felt watery. Also made Saint and St. consistently St. And finally limited the PBWY series to four at the end. All is subject to Falcon’s prerogative.

  2. Thanks, @rooster. Going to revert the PBWY series and mostly keep the rest. She’s doing the rounds. I wonder if the group responses up top should be bold, italicized? Let’s try that.

  3. Bold because it’s the congregation as opposed to the individual, as it is in the PBWY series? That’s fine – a little glaring on the screen, but ok. We need more formatting options in The Land. Rooster can build if requested with specificity and the deployment would incite uptake.

  4. I feel like the comma after “whom” confuses the voice necessary to make it through this question/sentence in one pass:

    Wondering about a life form to whom, the veins of maroon, black, and grey . . .

    Vintage Mandy:

    She felt a trembling reciprocity to the communion of her revelation assert itself.

    Also, should “corporeal” be “corpulent”?

  5. @elk – Yes, duh. Agree with the comma, too.

  6. Maybe you’re right about the PBWY, @rooster. Have it your way – ahm, wait – not so fast.

  7. This accurately captures the wandering and wondering of a mind during a church service. I like the way the observations play between the internal and external worlds – between objective descriptions of imagery and subjective impressions reflected by the questions wondered about.

    Her favorite was the knife-headed lady with the one giant forearm. Was she fighting for God now, as she would be in the days to come? Would Mandy be called to join her?

    I also really appreciated the way you ended this piece. The reduction short hand PBWY seems to do an injustice to the fact that, though the words are the same on the page, the voice of each one of those lines is different because they are not spoken by one voice. On the surface of the page, there is an impression of repetition (a very real one if you think about how often ritual regresses into mindless habit), but there is also a real sense of modulation – a change of pitch and tone, and even meaning – from one line to the next. The piece is written to be read aloud. It has music, which all voice naturally does.

    “Peace be with you.”

    And also with you.

    “Peace be with you.”

    And also with you.

    “Peace be with you.”

    And also with you.

    “Peace be with you.”

    And also with you.

    “Peace be with you.”

    And also with you.

    “Peace be with you.”

    And also with you.

    “Peace be with you.”

    And also with you.

    “Peace be with you.”

    And also with you.

    Or maybe it’s a mindless repetition that the author wants. If not, I wonder if there’s a way to emphasize variation of pitch and tone

  8. Change the phraseology of each a little — that’s reality anyway. I never say PBWY. It’s very much just “peace” to me. Sometimes I even raise two fingers in lieu of shaking.

  9. Some naturally think of the body as a vessel for the soul. So a broken body would have implications for the soul, perhaps early release, for better or for worse. I picture the knife-headed lady floating out of cracked Mandy, like a ghost – perhaps the premature exit of an unripened soul.

  10. Reference to the roman candle is not only visually alive, it’s a double entendre in the church hall. I can’t doubt @falcon knew what he was doing.

  11. Thanks for the revisit, @elk. Made me reread too. Needs a few tweaks.

    Guessing this is hard to decode:

    Wondering about a creature to whom the veins of maroon, black, and grey would appear to happen as quickly as they appeared to have happened . . .

  12. Damn straight, yes. I think I get it; I want to get; and I’m close; but then I don’t.

New Reply


Rooster Land
Verses & Vignettes &c.

Encapsulation

Rooster Land is a property of Collate LLC. It has been 1849 days since we began.

Nota Bene

"Sure, it’s simple, writing for kids. Just as simple as bringing them up." – Ursula K. Le Guin