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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Gone Fishing (02/01/07)

TITLE: Dead Fishes
By Dorothy Purge



To complete my dressing for church service, I covered my sun burnt hair with a broad-rimmed, almost worn out, straw hat, then taking a final glance in the mirror assured myself that it was time for me to face the world again even though I was still feeling droopy.

For five weeks, I had not attended the Trinity Ville Tabernacle and had longed to fellowship with the brethren. As I entered the main road I could not help but saying within myself: “Hello World, this is the new me”.
I was repeating the exact words which I had said on the day of my baptism a few weeks before when I was fresh out of water.

I felt as though I was being drawn out of my habitat where I had remained, hurting, from the time my husband started to abuse me until the court issued him with a restraining order depriving him of any rights to the matrimonial home. He had been a real Viperfish who, during the days, sank in the depths of alcohol and at nights sought shallow waters to obtain his meals. To him, I was only a tiny fish who was pretending to be an Angel.

I knew that there had been gossip in the neighbourhood, and to a large extent in the church, that I should not have taken the matter of my abuse to the court because, as a christian, the matter should have been settled by the church Board. From what I knew of Sister Saunders, she must have been chattering like a parrot about me. My thoughts further reflected on my receivership into the church – the comforting smiles; warm, lively hand-shakes which I had received from the elders and brethren.

Prior to my conversion at a church crusade, Evangelists Thomas and Stokes visited often and conducted Bible studies at my home. During that four-week crusade, the members had gone fishing and had found an Angel. I began working hard in the Women’s Ministry and Children’s division of the church.

“Come ye that love the Lord,” the voices rang as I walked towards the little church which I had grown to love. As I sat on one of the benches towards the back of the congregation, I felt the occasional stares and could not help but noticing Sister Saunders’ raised eyebrows.

The thought occurred to me that to avoid any further embarrassment, I could have left unnoticed during the closing prayer. However that was just a mere thought. And so following the elders departure from the platform, the congregation was ushered in the usual manner where we began greeting one another at the main door.

Pastor Mitchell’s sermon,“Never Let A Wounded Soldier Die,” had touched my heart and gave me hope that, despite the rumours, I would be welcomed back into the fold. I had felt weak in the past weeks and had looked forward to warm hand-shakes from the brethren – at least most of them.

But as we shook hands I became sorrowful. Their hands were loose – almost lifeless.

“Where were the strong muscles of those I loved?”

Not one brother or sister looked me straight in the eye: Instead it was only from the corners of their eyes.

I had gone fishing and what did I catch? Dead fishes.

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This article has been read 639 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Michelle Burkhardt02/10/07
A very sad story. It seemed to me that the character needed support and the one place she should be given it...was a disappointment.
cindy yarger02/13/07
This is a hard one but you told it well. Good job.
Debbie Roome 02/13/07
Their hands were loose – almost lifeless. This is a perfect description. A person's heart is conveyed through their hand shake. This story is even sadder because parts of the church are guilty of this kind of behaviour.

Marilyn Schnepp 02/15/07
Sad story. Couldn't really understand what the reason for the coolness, but this conduct also tells a sad story. Written well, and has a believable title. God Bless.