#Fiction Friday: #Novelines from the Book

mormoni

I did not want my mother to die, but I wanted David’s love for her to die, for that would be much preferable to hers for him dying first.

Though he had allowed himself to walk into the waters of baptism, he would never walk through the doors of the temple. 

Under the banner of heaven, I pledged my allegiance to David Dalton, but would never recognize his allegiance to my mother.

It was a jubilee of sorts—the tinkling of our fluted stems signaling the beginning of the New Year & of the best years of our lives to come.

It wasn’t the vow David made to my mother, that he would love her, but rather, the vow he made to God to never leave me, that showed me his heart.

Mother’s redecoration of Maxwell Manor resembled the Mormon temples that were open to the moral elite, rather than the Catholic cathedrals that were open to the unwashed masses.

Mother had put off the natural woman to put on the spiritual, for in her eyes, the 2 entities could not co-exist, for 1 would always rule over the other. 

As she drew closer to God, she withdrew from us, even as David & I grew closer than ever.  A part of me still feared losing him if he completely lost Mother.

I had never heard David thank God for anything before, save that night in the hospital, & I wondered, if, in his own way, he was changing, too.

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#Fiction Friday: #Novelines from the Book

mormoni

My mother had lost her virginity & heart to David; I would lose only one of these to him.

Mother saw emotional self-flagellation as a form of atonement for adultery, but she’d only denied David marriage, not sex.

Like David, the great king, he had taken a woman who had belonged to another, except that David, according to Mormon doctrine, had been barred from the celestial kingdom forever.

David Dalton, like that same David who had slain Goliath in his youth, had been responsible for my father’s death?

My intake of breath was acute, as if the sharpness in Mother’s words had floated upwards & entered me, cutting me up inside, so that I bled.

I prayed not for God’s forgiveness, but for my father’s, for wishing he hadn’t been mine.  Had I been David’s, Mother would’ve loved me as a mother should, for I was the ball & Caitlin, the chain.

My disappointment overshadowed the love I had for them, & it ate at me—not the disappointment itself, but that I allowed my disappointment to be so great. 

A CTR (or “Choose the Right”) ring in the Mormon Church was akin to the “True Love Waits” rings the Protestants wore.  Both were centered on remaining pure before marriage & would no longer be worn after marriage, for it was assumed that as long as people got sex, even if it was only with one person their entire lives, they would be pacified.

The revelations in the yard hadn’t just told me I had lost my mother, but that the mother I loved & admired hadn’t existed at all.

#Fiction Friday: #Novelines from the Book

mormoni

We were in our own little world—a world in which Mother did not fit.  Even as she & David belonged together, so did David & I, in our own way, in a way the 3 of us together never could.

Empowerment was allowing myself to believe in something I could not see, & yet, to believe in something greater than ourselves was to be under their rule.

I was not called, but given a calling.  I was to work for the Church for free, & pay them on top of that for the opportunity to do so. 

Mormons assigned callings, & I realized how many tentacles they had—through 3-hour church services, Enrichment meetings, Visiting Teaching, Institute, & now, a job in the Church.

I knew then that he didn’t believe the Church was true—he loved a lie because it was a beautiful lie—a lie that gave him power over those who were true believers.

I bore false witness that the Church was true, & prayed for God to have mercy on my soul if I was right.

There was something creepy about a grown man asking me if I’d been obeying the law of chastity, for what happened between a man & a woman in the bedroom was between them, & no one else but the God who had made them.

God had called me to serve in the nursery, something I knew nothing about.  Just as He’d called Noah to build the Ark.  Yet how easy it was to say that “God said.”

I didn’t question.  I knew better than that, for as it was said, so it was believed:  When our leaders speak, the thinking has been done.

#Fiction Friday: #Micropoetry from the Book

mormoni

David was my watchdog,
for beware,
he’d always said,
to churches asking for money—
that filthy lucre—
to these tax-exempt businesses
that were more interested
in saving one’s soul
than one’s life,
in praying for you,
thus passing the buck to God,
rather than doing something to help you
themselves.

For the answer to the prayers
of many Mormons
were different than the answer
to mine,
so who was to say that this person
or that person
was praying in the wrong spirit?
For my answer had come in a dream,
not from a feeling.

I became a checklist Mormon,
for it was more important what we did,
rather than what we believed—
just as our salvation was more about
what we could do,
than what He did.

Mother had been as Jacob,
David, Leah,
for he’d come unto my mother
masquerading
as her beloved Patrick,
& lay with her.
But David did not labor 7 years
for her;
he’d simply waited.

I saw the Bible as truth
through allegories.
I didn’t see Adam & Eve
so much as real,
but as representations
of every kind of
humankind.

#Fiction Friday: #Novelines from the Book

mormoni

No one from the LDS Church knew of the quickening of Patrick Nolan’s soul to the Spirit World.  It was the saddest, strangest day I had ever spent.

The funereal funeral was a secret affair.  No one knew Patrick Nolan had died—that Laurie Nolan had been living in mortal sin for 13 years.

Caitlin & I did as we were told, Caitlin, still grieving & I, taking no delight in what I had dreamt of for as long as my eyes had beheld the glory of David Dalton. 

In the B.C. era (before the Church), I had wanted Mother to marry David, but in this New Era, I realized 2 wrong people were trying to do the right thing.

The glories of the terrestrial & telestial heavens shined their pallid light upon us as David knocked on the pastor’s door, bearing redemption on the other side.

A baby grand sat in the corner of the room, the top of which sat a picture of Jesus.  For some reason, it made me think of a picture of a woman’s late husband.

Swiss clocks adorned the high walls, chiming ten, creating a clamor, signaling that the hour of reckoning had come.

To write one’s own vows was to promise more to one another than even God expected, & so it made sense that David & Mother had written their own.

We were to become a blended family, but our mixture would remain homogenous.

“David, when I think of you, I think of the guardian angel who came to us all those years before, bearing good tidings of great joy,” I said.

#Fiction Friday: #Micropoetry from the Book

mormoni

For he would love her for eternity,
which meant he was lost to me forever;
he would take her to the temple,
& only through Mother’s death—
not his—
would he be able to obtain
a second sealing.

To watch an atheist in prayer,
was to witness a truth—
a truth that was shielded with the lie
that there was no God,
but rather,
the idea of Him.

The New Millennium
ushered in a New Era—
an era of women’s meetings,
of volunteer callings,
& enduring to the end.

David did not promise me many mansions,
but one.
He did not promise me his mansion,
but a room in it—
a place at his table.

The Church was the lie
that led me to the truth
that was David Dalton’s
everlasting love.

#Fiction Friday: #Micropoetry from the Book

mormoni

For I learned of Mother’s life
by traveling backwards in time,
& with each trip,
the chasm between us grew wider,
so that she seemed so far removed from me.

Because Mother had been told her future,
her present had shaped it to fit the prediction—
the one that would put her at enmity with her daughter.

Their heaven was better than Baptist heaven,
their marriage, better than Methodist marriage,
for lovemaking did not end with earthly bodies,
but surpassed the thunder in the sky.

At the early morning hour,
Mother separated herself from her husband
by separating him from his life;
at the early evening hour,
she would civilly marry another man,
a man to whom she would be sealed celestially.

David had loved Mother for longer
than my father had known her,
honored her wishes by voicing not his own,
& cherished her as he cherished those
who came from her.