Umber (51.3 — The Statues of the Saints)

September 26, 2012 § Leave a comment

Bathed in dim colored light that that filtered through the large rose window at the back of the church, Vera’s father held his hat in his hand and stared about the ornate sanctuary.  The scent of frankincense filled his nostrils.  He pulled out a handkerchief and wiped his nose, then sat down heavily at the back of the church, in the same pew where Vera had perched some years earlier, holding baby Alfred and wondering what lay behind the confessional doors.

Orville sat in silence for a long while and stared at the statues.  Then he finally started speaking aloud.

“I drove my youngest child away because she believed in you, the way her mother did.  I would give anything to have those lost years back.  I’m fifty years old, but I still have a lot to learn.

He wiped his eyes.

“”I know she can hear you, or at least she used to.  Please tell her to come home.  And tell her I’m sorry for being a pig-headed, self-righteous old fool.”

With that, he got up to leave.  Just as he was about to go out the door, he hesitated, turned and walked to the statue of St. Sebastian.  He picked up a match, struck it, and lit a candle.  Not sure what else to do, he nodded at the statue, turned toward the door, and walked out.


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