Fantasy flash fic #4: Spiritual
Murmurs and low light.
I peer between my lashes. The litany of “Lord, I ask you…” does not abate. I lean my forehead on my right hand, unused to continuing prayer beyond five minutes. My left has rested on your shoulder since we started, overlapping two others.
I speak into the silence next, two sentences before I falter, though received with two hissed yesses, and another continues speaking.
I squeeze your shoulder, which sagged when tension left it. The air sits warm and heavy around us all.
When we open our eyes you are near to crying. We all touch, near strangers though we are, hands all over each others’ backs and shoulders. Loath though we are, we leave, glancing back.
That Sunday and the next, I come back, as the others do, drawn into orbit while you update us patiently. When we linger, I speak as if you are my friend and you look at me oddly. We laugh and finally introduce ourselves.
As weeks wear on we will greet each other, but the pull to draw near leaves, a ripple smoothing back into more mundane interaction, a little strand of connection left behind.