Kristina T Saccone
His mam named him for the church on the hill, its holiness. His namesake looms, walls raised centuries ago: pinnacles, archways, stained glass. A house of God, they said, a place of worship for all people. Timothy knows its impiety. The teenagers snog in the cemetery. Water trickles on babes in supposed salvation. Ashes shut behind stone. Souls drag down aisle and altar.
Timothy stomps up-slope to scrape the ice off the walk. He clears the traps the rector set for squirrels, a nuisance nipping at the eaves and walnut trees. There's nothing doing with nature or reverence. Why mam is deeply devoted, he'll never know. Nothing can save their breath, beating hearts from this haunt they call St. Timothy's.
He squints, full sun reflecting off the freeze and snow. He gathers wet leaves and brush, mixed with petals and pelt, and burns a bonfire before Eucharist. This is his purification. Timothy will never snog here. All things die. He, too, will lie here someday, prisoner to this hallowed ground. Like the men who built these walls. Like the squirrels.
Timothy chips ice off the rector's windshield, and the shards look sharp as glass. They splinter in the palm of his hand before dripping slick on a leg of his work-worn pants. He won't take tea before tromping down-hill. Tomorrow he'll tend again to the church with his name, his final resting place.
Kristina T. Saccone
's flash fiction and creative nonfiction appeared or are forthcoming in Fractured Lit, Cease, Cows, Six Sentences, LEON Literary Review, Red Fez The Bangor Literary Journal, Emerge Literary Journal
. She also curates Flash Roundup
, a weekly email featuring the latest releases in flash fiction. Aside from her website (linked), find her on Twitter @kristinasaccone
or haunting small independent bookstores in the Washington, DC, area.