Contracts – Flash Fiction

The shattered glass is so fine that it’s almost like a powder across the floor. Tim’s already got out tack-board from the storage closet, and the new gap will take its place in the queue behind the rest of the boarded-up stain glass windows.

“Did you reset the clock?” I ask.

“Shit,” I hear him mutter. “I’ll climb up and do it as soon as finish this,” he says, stretching out a ladder to reach the window.

I hear the creek of the door and move towards the entrance. Listening to their footsteps, I know they’re tourists: light, haphazard, without intention. I walk to the altar instead.

I dust off the Dala sphere. It’s boring work, but it’s better me, than the paid help. And they’re all paid help. With the cultural preservation checks still coming in from the government, it’s the closest thing to putting money in the till.

One of the sensors stays dim as I run my rag over it. Shoot, it’s burnt out. I’ll need to scrape together enough to get this fixed before Sunday. For those left within 60 km, this is the way they know me. My blessings pressed upon them through their Dala spheres, the taste of the Eucharist injected whey composite.

I can’t stand the Dahlia sphere. Or I shouldn’t be able to stand it, but then why does having it down seem like drowning? I need it. It’s the only thing separating me from a museum caretaker.

No. If this were a museum it would be in better condition.

A bang echoes through the stone arches. I jump backwards, bracing myself against the altar.

“Sorry”, Tim calls.   

The board for the window is lying on the floor under the window.

I hear a creek on the steps behind me and whip my head around.

“What?” I call out.

“Are you the priest?” she asks. In her hand is a King James Bible.

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