Fiction Friday: Novelines from the Book

At the age of 18, I was finally getting my driver’s license, when I had been content to tag along with David wherever he went.

Food Storage Inventory Exchange was like a cookie exchange, except instead of swapping cake balls for brownie bites, it was rice for beans.

I knew God didn’t care whether I could cook, bake, or sew, for He had given us each different talents, but in the Church, the fluidity of gender roles had frozen in retro time.

I’d accepted Mother just the way she was, even as she had accepted that though I loved her very much, I loved David more.

I’d been given the gift of the Holy Ghost at baptism, but perhaps I hadn’t been worthy enough to unwrap it.

Had I a testimony, my heart would’ve been closed to Elder Roberts, & my heart would’ve been opened for another.

My mother’s home style was minimalist, her color, monochrome. It wasn’t till the Mormons came that our lives were infused with vintage color & became a sort of Pleasantville.

Leann & I worked on our sugar cube temple for Relief Society Enrichment Meeting, & I thought how much the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth resembled a glistening piece of Candyland.  A gingerbread house, without the warmth or frills.

Our fridge had never been cluttered with magnets holding up candid pictures or childish artwork or the hundreds of little notes that tiled Leann’s fridge.


I am alert.
French roast,
brewed to perfection—
is my ultra-sensory experience.
A splash of cream,
a dash of sugar,
frozen coffee cubes,
topped with a mound of hazelnut whipped cream . . .
like an island floating atop a mocha sea.
The ice in the cup shift like little bergs.
The first sip is always the best,
the last, the saddest—
like the beach after the rain on a gray day.

Coffee is like Candyland for grown-ups,
a Fantasia for java fanatics,
a jubilee for joe aficionados.
Caffeine and chocolate,
with a spoonful of sweetness,
be it sugar or agave—
is my drug of choice.
Composed by alchemists called baristas,
this bewitching brew heightens our senses,
contributing to that euphoric state
known as “wakey-wakey.”

A warm brownie,
dense and moist,
is the manna that completes
my morning sacrament—
good to the last drop.
My day begins.
I am alert.