Sunday, June 12, 2011

Short story: Miracle Shirt (part i)

It’s been a weekend full of bbqs and hanging out in the backyard. Great to catch up with old friends and make some new ones, but at the end of the weekend I’m feeling rather uninspired about writing.

So once again I’m going to re-work an old story I’ve written – this one being a rather tongue-in-cheek take on a modern ‘miracle’.

Murielle had heard the Lord works in mysterious ways. She just never thought he’d use one of her appliances.

Distracted for a moment while ironing, she suddenly smelled burning. Snatching the iron off her husband’s white shirt, she discovered a bold burn between the shoulders. It was as wide as the iron, crisp and brown, pockmarked with steam holes.

This was John’s best shirt and Murielle was sick about what he’d do when he saw it. Her husband had a temper that was quick as a prairie fire; it flared up and roared at the slightest spark. But when John saw the shirt instead of burning red, he turned pale.

“Jesus,” he whispered and Murielle held her breath. But his thick hand didn't lift to strike - instead it made the sign of the cross. “It’s Jesus,” he said in a voice tight with fear and awe.
It took a few seconds for Murielle to understand what John was getting at. He just kept staring that shirt she held before him, his mouth gaping half open.

She turned the shirt around and held it at arm’s length, squinting at it through her wire-rimmed glasses. Closing one eye, she could make out brow-like arches along the top, an angular line cutting through the centre, a thin curve along the bottom. It still looked like a burn to her; but if John saw Jesus, and seeing Jesus kept him from losing his temper, she wasn't about to argue.

“Sure, okay,” she said hesitantly, casting a wary eye at her husband. She wondered if he wasn’t playing with her - like a barn cat with a mouse - but he was crossing himself again with shaking hands.

“This is a miracle, Murielle,” John said.

“A miracle?”

“Well how the hell else would Jesus get himself on my clothes?”

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