“Flesh of my flesh,” the priest intoned. “Blood of my blood. Take. Eat.”
Pinpricks crisscrossed my heart, searing in with tiny palpitations the moisture of my tears. I lowered by eyes and raised my crossed hands. Give me what you will. I can survive anything.
As a novice, I knew I could not verbally counter his insistence that all was for the best in this the best of all possible worlds. Voltaire would have been proud of this papal servant extolling his greatest philosophical lies by his greatest philosophical detective Candide. I would have been more candid in my assessment: there is nothing that cannot be better, even if things could be worse.
This priest here, now, wanting me to forget. The sons of the desert do not forget. Neither the daughters. My son’s name is whispered in the air around me and burned in the flesh of my heart. There is no forgetting, there is no forgiving. I close my hands on the wafer pressed into my flesh.
There is no forgetting.
There is no forgiving.
I get up and leave. I will survive, but not with your platitudes.
I will survive with the flesh of my flesh, and the blood of my blood.
I will it.
I crumple up the wafer outside the door and leave it for the sparrows.
T his week's three words, brought to us by Three-Word Wednesday's (3WW) offers these three words for our prompts: Novice, Flesh, and Sear. It was not my intent to think of the novice as a novitiate in the church, but rather as a simply layman (or in this case, laywoman) who didn't have the words to counter the priest's arguments, using novice as one that is young and has opinions mostly that have been given them by another. At this point, the mother, in grief over her son's death, cannot accept the priest's arguments that all is for the best, and rejects that which she had been accepting blindly. We do not know where this will lead her, but hopefully we feel the hopefulness of her resolution to survive, as seen in the recycling of the wafer through earth's food chain.