#236 Monday Morning Mass

by Jonathan Riley

Each Sunday morning the boy’s mother dresses him in a tailored suit and tie and drives them to church. She totes the small child like a fashion accessory then displays him on the cold pew. The quiet boy sits and looks at stained glass.

Today church is on Monday. The boy glances from pane to pane, finding a new story in each color. Black halos on cracked windows swim in Crimson chaos. Purple-Pizazz and Mango- Tango dance with the devil on a fractured glass canvas. Blizzard Blue combats Hot Magenta. Fuchsia flirts with Indigo. Razzle-Dazzle Rose tickles Wild Strawberry. White angel wings flutter in the heart of vivacious Crayolas, to the chorus of “Beautiful Hands, Beckoning Hands.”

The man in the white robe stands behind the woman in the mahogany box and says, “Rita was a great human being.” He waves smoke from a silver vessel, scenting the church with lemon and spice. The boy doesn’t know that his Aunt Rita will not eat with them next Christmas Eve. He sits, entranced by the stained glass.

The black halos and angel wings escape from their walled prison. They battle for the essence secured in the long box. Dark and Light clash above it. An explosion of grey summons a passion from the box; the boy’s eyes widen. He sparks a lone smile amidst a pool of a thousand tears. The glass tells better stories when church falls on a Monday morning.


Anonymous said...

The line "vivacious Crayolas" is wonderful. Your imagery and descriptions are lively, and I like the idea that the boy sees the beauty in death, along with the innocent idea at the end that funerals are more fun than regular mass. Nice work, Jonathan!

Dino Parenti said...

Man, you just got it! I really loved and could totally associate with the mother toting around the child like an accessory to church--brought me totally back to my youth. Not in a good way, mind you, but an honest one:) Nice work!

Sarah Laurenson said...

Great mood piece. Love the descriptions.