“I’m going to exercise my right not to answer that question based
on the stipulations as set forth in the fifth amendment.” Mason
daunted, an air of flippancy in his voice, his scowl directing
obvious disdain in the direction of the defendant, his twin brother
“Your Honor,” Dixon’s defense attorney, visibly flustered rebutted, “if it pleases the court, I’d like to reword the question, yet again, as the answer is paramount, not only in establishing the whereabouts of my client on the eve of December 17th, but in casting the required shadow of doubt necessary to bring into question the accuracy of the identifications made by the two eye witnesses in this case.”
the judge addressed Dixon’s defender, peering over the frames of
his reading glasses, forehead wrinkled with the taut arch of his
brow, “although I fail to foresee any difference in outcome, the
court will permit the rewording of the question once more, provided
you are confidant you will elicit an answer in so doing.”
“Your Honor,” the harried prosecutor jumped to his feet, flipping back an errant lock from his line of sight as he glared triangularly at Across, Mason, and Dixon Line respectively. “I fail to see how rewording the question, yet again, even if the defense does elicit a response, will add any relevancy to this exasperating line of questioning and beg the court to reconsider.”
We never stop anywhere long. That’s why we knew when Momma laid
down enough money to rent a room for a week, something big was about
to happen. She’d been looking troubled, but endless months on the
road with three hungry mouths to feed can do that to a person.
Oh, we all did our
bit. But Momma took the brunt of it. She spotted the touches. Hunting
them up in bars, coffee shops, anywhere lonely people go to try and
forget how lonely they are. It was easy for her to spot them, because
Momma was pretty lonely herself.
She always said.
“People get to a point in their loneliness when they are willing to
wager anything they’ve got against one last chance at happiness. I
just have the gift of being able to tell who is ready to place that
bet the moment I walk into a room.”
The moment Momma
walked back into the room after having laid down that chunk of room
rent was the moment I knew, I had that gift too. There was something
different in the way she looked at me. A kind of softness around her
eyes that’d never been there before.
I could tell she was
ready to lay everything she had on the line. That she had reached the
point in her loneliness where no price was too great to pay for one
last chance at happiness. I also knew, Momma didn’t have nothing to
wager- ‘cept us three kids.
Ezekiel took great pride in having the only sleeping chamber at Our
Lady of Lost Souls that had a window. She had earned the privilege of
sleeping in that cell by having outlived all her predecessors and at
the ripe old age of 87 it was the only prideful indulgence she had
ever allowed herself since entering the order.
she remained silent about the source of her pride, allowed it to be
her own private folly, it’s presence would never have become an
issue for the other sisters. However, her cup runneth over as the
saying goes, and she could not always contain her joy.
Much to the contrary, she used every opportunity to mention her window in conversation with the other sisters, and her doing so had become a great aching bone of contention between them.
One morning Sisters Hezekiah and Ezra, the mischievous members of the otherwise solemn order, were polishing soap spots from the chalices before chapel- as punishment for giggling aloud during Mass- when they stumbled onto something that just might squelch Sister Ezekiel’s infernal boasting- well that is to say, save her from herself.
That evening while Sister Ezekiel was leading the novices in Vespers the two sisters armed with bars of white lye soap and a ladder, stole away into the garden and drew a hazy outline similar in shape to a mans head and shoulders on the leaded glass. Then they covered the rest of the window in an opaque film by using the soap to color in the remaining panes.
next day, when Sister Ezekiel failed to show up for morning meal, the
two sisters were clearly beside themselves with disappointment as
they had greatly anticipated Sister Ezekiel’s topic of morning
Mother Superior on the other hand fearing the worst, given sister advanced age, promptly visited the sisters sleeping chamber. Entering without knocking, as was her privilege, she was both relived and confused when she found the elder sister prone on the cold stone floor fervently praying the rosary, sans her night clothes.
I demand to know what is going on!” Mother Superior boomed, “First
you failed to partake in the morning meal our Lord so lovingly
provided for us, and now this?”
“But Mother,” Sister Ezekiel stammered without taking leave of her assumed position on the floor, “I have committed the gravest of sins.”
what, might I ask is the great sin you have committed?”
“Upon returning from Vespers last evening, I sat on my bed to remove my shoes, and when I looked up, perchance to catch sight of the moon in my beloved window- in place of the moonlight- I saw the distinct form of a man, head and shoulders, peering into my chamber.
of leaving my chamber immediately, or calling out in effort to scare
him away, I thought just once in this life I should like to know what
it feels like to undress in the presence of a man. And that, Mother
Superior is exactly what I did.”
Struck mute by the enormity of the aged sisters confession, Mother Superior was unable to immediately respond.
with her silence, Sister Ezekiel continued in a small voice.
“And I must add Mother, that I am given to believe I was not alone in enjoying such a sinful indulgence, as he, the man, whomever he was- stayed well past the time the last of my underthings were removed. His continuance cause me to become greatly ashamed, and it was only then, that I assumed this position and began begging our Lord for absolution.”
Mother Superior, in effort to disguise her desire to burst out in peels of laughter, which would have greatly detracted from the seriousness of the situation, turned towards the window, where in place of streams of morning rain, she saw torrents of soapy bubbles pouring down the length of the window.
an instant, she knew exactly what had happened..
“If you will excuse me, Sister.” She said abruptly as she turned to leave. “And Sister, please. Put some clothes on!”
Mother! My absolution!” Sister Ezekiel implored as Mother Superior
made haste for the door.
“Absolved!” Mother retorted, as in her hurry she nearly closed her habit in the door.
“Ezra! Hezekiah!” Mother Superior sang out, the timbre of her voice echoing throughout the Abbey.
“To my office at once!”
Written in response to Crispina’s photo prompt, although much too wordy to qualify as an entry in her weekly Crimson’s Creative Challenge. What can I say? Some stories just need to be told.
He turned his back on his daughter, his ‘Chavala’ to him, she is dead. he did so, because she married Feyedka, a Russian, not a Jew. he did so, because his traditions dictated it. he did so, because he believed with all of his heart it was the right thing- the only thing to do. he did so despite the fact that it tore him apart that it was inconceivable that it made no sense. he did so, because he honestly believed it was required by his god to do so.
Who can logically explain to me what god of love of compassion of creation of order would put one mans religious affiliation so highly above another, that he can forsake his own child? what god would inflict this wound upon his most cherished creation? that which he “created in his own image”?