Saturday, July 11, 2009

Entry #64

Showtime
by Karen Nowviskie


“Nothing is as it seems. Nothing. Everything is a matter of faith. Do you understand this?”

Lori tried to gauge the reactions of the other seminarians, most of them scribbling or typing on their laptops. Some, like the man in the next seat, nodded sleepily.

“If I tell you that my hand is green, can you say it is not? Tan, you say? What of the blind man? Would he believe green if we all agreed this is so? It is a matter of his faith in our truthfulness that makes the hand green.”

Lori looked at the man on stage before her. She wanted to like this famous theologian, had waited for hours to see him, like he was Michael Jackson or something. Now all she could focus on was his greasy hair and the wet stain on the side of his shirt, visible as he spread his skinny arms wide.

God, he’s disgusting, she thought. Spitting and shaking and working himself up about faith. I know about faith. I want something to really move me.

She ducked her head at the unbidden thought of the old guy moonwalking across the stage, so when the audience gave a collective gasp, she nearly jumped out of her chair.

The old hippie before her, hands neither tan nor green but dripping red from the wounded palms, raised a crystal glass and intoned the words that Lori had spent her life preparing to say.

Finally, she thought, Showtime!

21 comments:

Laurel said...

Oooh, stigmata imagery! Nice! I like the insertion of philosophy, too. This one kind of makes a girl think...

JR's Thumbprints said...

Seminarians and Michael Jackson, all in the same 250-words or less story. Reminds me of the time the Dixie Chicks turned off their fans with a little George Bush bashing. Still, when it comes to entertainment, give the people what they paid for. Nice take on the prompt.

Chris Eldin said...

This is smoothly-written and well-paced. I really enjoyed your take on the prompt!

Catvibe said...

Karen, I enjoyed this. I thought it was very timely and fun the way you used Michael Jackson, considering how much hoopla was just surrounding him. Can you deal with that much fame? Oy. Anyway, I like your details and I could see it played out before me. Well done.

Karen said...

Thanks for your comments! I nearly didn't enter this time -- actually wrote a poem related to contests instead -- but the lure of the interaction got me in the end.

Aniket said...

Karen. Its you? You are 'Karen Nowviskie'! I never knew your last name. You are damn good at Keeping Secrets (pun full-on intended). :D

I can't believe you wrote fiction and not poetry?

It was Showtime indeed.

A very entertaining read.
Me likey! :P

Karen said...

Hi, Ani! Okay, so now you can google me :-D (Just don't believe everything you read!)

I did write the poem -- over at my site. You know I can't stop doing that...

laughingwolf said...

karen, this is a gem!

Sarah Laurenson said...

I love how she was looking for something more exciting than an old man's faith. That inner dialogue that we would never let people see in real life. Well done.

joaquin carvel said...

now i have a problem - i'm not sure if i like this story or your poem better. no matter. i really love how this plays with complexity without getting mired in it - deftly handled, i think - and at the end, where one might expect shock or horror, is glee - which makes her a character i want to keep following.

Karen said...

Thanks to everyone who is reading. So many good entries, so little time, I know. Between trying to read the entries and keep our own writing going, this is truly a challenge -- but isn't it fun?

I appreciate all of the comments and look forward to continuing to read.

Kurt Hendricks said...

I would like to hang out with Lori, I think.

Julie said...

I love your take on the prompt. Yes, the moonwalking is a great detail, especially since he's an old guy. I have seen this man. You're so right on. Excellent work. I enjoyed the read!

desiderata said...

Karen, I enjoyed BOTH your prose and poetic takes. I'm a poet-aSspirant, so I will visit your GardenOfSecrets more often from now. Meanwhile, yes, Jason's CoN contests lure with the interactvity, though I missed a few entrances:), Che3ers to all hear, YL, Desi

PS: word verification raeds "snobled"!

pjd said...

Perfect last word, and I like the italics. It goes so well with the tedious introduction, her "I know about faith" response, the guy nodding to sleep... Yeah, showtime. Very good.

Dottie said...

Great pacing and voice. Very good.

JaneyV said...

There is nothing more theatrical than miracles and ritual. I love how bored she was right up until the stigmata.

Jade L Blackwater said...

I love this glimpse of the narrator's perspective - I'm ready to hear more about where she lands in the coming events.

jason evans said...

The stigmata mixed with Michael Jackson-now that's potent stuff! Love the mix of philosophy with boredom. Great foreshadowing with color.

Welcome to The Forties Club!!

Karen said...

Thanks, Jason. Your contests make us stretch, introduce us to new friends, and give us a chance to play with our favorite playthings. What a service to our community! You and Aine deserve medals!

Robert said...

Karen,

A fantastic tale with a surprising ending, well written. I loved it.