Wednesday January 17th, 2018

The exercise:

Write about something that is: dilapidated.


Greg said...

I have sub-zero temperatures and very fine, near-constant snow here in Kiev, so even those things that might look dilapidated at other times of year look pretty :) Today we revisit this and Father Thomas. And I'm curious to know, Marc, if you'd still like a daughter since you said in that post you were pretty sure you'd never change your mind :)

The church was cold and outside snow was slowly mounding up against the gravestones and making the bare branches of the trees creak alarmingly. The bells in the belfry chimed faintly every now and then, an effect of the chilling wind and the rising warmth from the congregation, though as fingers and toes turned blue there was progressively less warmth rising. As the moon peeked yellowly over the horizon there was the sound of running feet and panting breath, and Father Thomas raced down the aisle as though the Devil himself was at his heels.
"Sorry I'm late," he said as he stumbled into the pulpit, pulling his warm winter coat from his shoulders and dropping into the Verger's arms. "The Bishop likes to talk over brandy and he was in a philosophical mood this evening. God has been talking to him, apparently, about which animals may enter the Kingdom of Heaven, and the Bishop is thinking of keeping foxes as a result."
The silence from the congregation was as icy as the weather outside. Father Thomas slipped his notes from his pocket onto the lectern while the Verger hung his coat up.
"A bit dilapidated," said Father Thomas. "Holes where you wouldn't expect them, stained and rusty-looking. Probably once magnificent, but without a doubt rather run-down in the last ten years, and those who were inside her probably regret it. There were rumours they caught diseases, but nothing could be proved. While her current state is a tragedy, it was also well-deserved. What?"
That last word was directed at the Verger who was tugging at Father Thomas's elbow.
"What the hell are you reading?" hissed the Verger. "This is supposed to be a eulogy for Frances Westgate!"
"Wasn't she shot?"
"Yes! By mobsters! And she was 88, so talking about people being inside her in the last ten years is... inappropriate, Father!"
"I thought she did get around a bit?"
The verger facepalmed. "Just... what are you reading?"
Father Thomas checked his notes. "Ah," he said quietly. "It's the old farmhouse the Bishop wants to buy for the church, and keep foxes in."
"Foxes get into Heaven now?"
"No, chickens do," said Father Thomas. "It's a bit complicated...."

morganna said...

Inch by slow inch
Lovingly washed by rain
And brushed by snow, shingles falling,
Paint peeling, now the outer boards curling
In lovely curves like rose petals
Don't enter -- floor won't hold
As it forgets
The family
Ere lived
Down here.

Marc said...

Greg - ah, sounds like your kind of weather :)

In that post I meant I was pretty sure I wouldn't want a second child, of any sorts. Obviously I came around to it eventually :) We would've liked to have one girl and one boy, but we wouldn't trade Miles for anything, obviously. And, equally obviously, we are done trying/wanting more :)

Hahaha, I'd totally forgotten about Father Thomas. Thanks so much for bringing him back, and in such fine form :D

Morganna - there is some really lovely imagery in this, in particular the descriptions of the exterior of the house. Love the sentiment of this acrostic as well - very, very nicely done.