Cardstock Priest: Short Story

Miriam leaned on the doorframe as Vincent prepared for mass, his first mass since it had happened. Sometimes he wished she didn’t have so much free time on her hands. How was he supposed to psych himself up with her standing there?

“I still don’t think you should be doing this,” she said.

Vincent smoothed down his black dress shirt with the strip of white cardstock stuck in the collar. It was as close as he could get to the real thing without causing severe burns. He looked up at the mirror out of habit and saw no one but Miriam’s concerned face. He looked down and would have blushed if he’d had any blood in his cheeks.

“How the hell are you going to give the sermon?” she pressed.

“Language, please,” he said, fixing his collar to make it more convincing. “I’ll just do what I’ve always done. Except I’ll avoid certain words and I won’t use a Bible—ouch.”

He touched his tongue where it had burned.

“I’ll stick mostly to anecdotes alluding to God—ouch. To holy—ouch. That allude to…things.”

Miriam passed him her water bottle.

“The congregation isn’t sure what to make of you holding mass outside, after dark, off church grounds. I’m impressed by your dedication, though. Frankly, I’d have given up by this point.”

“I took vows,” Vincent replied solemnly. He hoped the paper and black shirt wouldn’t be too obvious. “As long as I’m still alive, I have to try.”

Miriam smiled. “Still alive?”

Vincent frowned and went back to fixing his collar. “Too soon, Miriam. Too soon.”

“Sorry, Father.”

“The congregation isn’t sure what to make of you holding mass outside.”
“Well then the congregation can suck it, Miriam.”

This is just a little idea I’ve been playing with. Will it turn into something bigger? Who knows? We’ll see. 😉


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