FICTION: STATION MANAGER
Esmerelda leaned against the inside of the doors; she felt her shoulders flush against the wood. Her eyes looked right down the center aisle, trained on Christ at the far end of the room. Another sweltering day. Another fan-less, breeze-less day.
"I believe in God the Father Almighty, the maker of Heaven and Earth.”
The sun began to scale the stained-glass on Ezzie's left. Stations One through Six. Stations like the radio. The radio, like music. Music, like Jazz.
"I believe in God the Father Almighty, the maker of Heaven and Earth and Jazz.”
A figure interrupted the light, near station three. She saw his shadow, and she heard his voice. “Hello? Is anyone in there? Hello? Hello?”
Station Three. Jesus falls for the first time.
"Jesus, the cross you have been carrying is very heavy. You are becoming weak and almost ready to faint, and you fall down.”
"Hello? Please! Anyone at all!”
Station Three, thought Ezzie. Oldies. Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. “Tracks of my Tears.” “Second That Emotion. “Tears of a Clown.”
Now if there's a smile upon my face
it's only there trying to fool the public
but when it comes down to fooling you
now honey that's quite a diff'rent subject
That could’ve been Christ in the garden, thought Ezzie. Christ might’ve been all smiles and ‘love thy neighbor’, but he knew he’d have to die. He could feel the sin and the shit of the world, and He knew there’d need to be an accounting.
He knew his time was coming.
The shadow knocked on the glass of the third station. Ezzie hushed him.
“Quiet! They’ll hear.”
“I wasn’t followed. I swear. I swear. Please let me in.”
It’d been forty-eight days since the dead broke the soil at St. Timothy’s on Third Street. Ezzie had been holed up in the church for the past eleven.
When the stone rolled away, it was a miracle. This time, however, it meant no more jazz or Smokey Robinson. The thought of her past life filled Ezzie with grief, and she wanted so dearly to cry. But If Jesus could sweat blood at Gethsemane and still not escape his punishment, thought Ezzie, then what good would crying about the lack of Motown do her?
Nothing. No amount of Gethsemane Sweat would bring back Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Martha and the Vandellas, The Four Tops, the Supremes, or The Temptations.
The shadow knocked once more. And once more, Ezzie hushed him.
“Like I said, no one followed me. And watch your language.”
Ezzie stopped. Her eyes went back to Christ for a moment.
“Just between you and me,” she thought, “I hope this guy goes next.”