Fire Opals

“All the people who would have loved you were…miscast.” says Michael.

“What do you mean?” asks Lacey.

“They were queer women. Or they weren’t there. There’s nothing wrong with your chin-line. It’s ultra soft. But it’s not not there. And actually, it’s kind of exotic looking. Because it’s not…not there.” says Michael.

“Don’t lie to me.” says Lacey, kindly.

Michael smiles.

“He doesn’t need encouragement!” says someone.

“Enough!” yells someone older.

“Why is the second someone angry?” asks Lacey.

“Because. Kirk needs to grow-up, as they say. He’s acted like a boy this whole time.” she says smiling.

“I wasn’t lying.” says Michael and Louis agrees.

“I don’t want fake compliments.” says Lacey. “Just the cold truth.”

Jack smiles. “It’s proof God exists.”

“That darkness can be more loving than light?” asks Lacey.

“Under the right circumstances, yes.” he says.

“When it’s God’s light it’s real light.” says Lacey. “But false light is worse than God’s darkness. So true, Jack.”

“The horrible truth is that ghosts…bring me more hope in God’s salvation and my own existence than most living Christians.” says Lacey.

“I’m sure there are Catholics and liberal Episcopalians who wouldn’t dissuade you from allowing that to be what it is.” says Michael. “Whatever it is.”

“But I don’t theologically fit in with them, so to speak.” says Lacey.

“I know.” says Michael.

“I’m probably one of the rare people who genuinely don’t understand why everyone is fighting.” says Lacey. “The Episcopalians feel like home. But I’m not that Liberal. And I like to be left alone.”

“You’d prefer to have your own private church.” he smiles.

“Yes. I don’t mix well with other people on such a personal level anymore.” she says.

“Worshipping God should be done with stoic resignation.” says Michael.

“Yes. He’s God and we’re less than nothing compared to Him, but He loves us and because of that we matter.” says Lacey. “And so maybe it’s a silly sort of misery considering. Because we’re essentially just crying children who don’t understand this side of Paradise. But that’s what we all are when we become His children.”

“Don’t ever try to talk to me.” says Michael. “If there’s no reincarnation outside of Christianity as defined by the St. James Bible it doesn’t exist. And don’t take your anger out on Lacey but me if you feel triggered by that statement. …And so, I suppose, if you find that offensive enough to criticize directly you should yell at God and tell Him to send the message to me directly.”

An Asian smiles.

And then cries, cathartically.

Lacey smiles.

“And Louis, Lem, Harold, Joe, Elliott and any other man who finds my chin line exotic and alluring not odd but pretty…needs to take it up with Michael and God from now on.” says Lacey.

“Or me.” says Lem. “But I’m not reachable except through God and the actual Holy Spirit.”

“Don’t bother to try to talk to me either except through God.” says Jack.

“Not that those two will run off together and have a mad tryst now.” says Louis humorously. “It’s a horrible misunderstanding. I was the first to approach her. And I’m straightening it all out. Slowly.”

“He was very married though.” says his brother.

“That’s always been my concern.” says Lacey.

“And Lacey loves Paris in the 1920’s. Not Belle Époque.” says Harold. “Not madness. Or nostalgia. Us.”

“Don’t contact the dead using psychics. They only talk to demons. Right Tik Tok?” says Elliott. “And if they don’t…it’s not my fault that you don’t know that.” He tells Lacey to finish her coffee. “But it may be their fault. And Eve’s fault. And your fault. Because it should be obvious it’s a dangerous mystery. Dangerous as in it could literally destroy your total person if God doesn’t save you. And if you reject Him too much…you’re asking for Hell.”