Maisie sat crosslegged on her bed, reading a cherished passage from her favorite Joan of Arc biography. She’d always been entranced by the tale of St Joan. Joan had been her hero since girlhood. Sometimes, reading about her now, Maisie could remember the faith and peace of childhood.
Maisie closed the book. Joan had no doubt and didn’t hesitate. Once St Michael came to her, she was ready and did not look back. Or so, the story had always gone.
Maisie herself was bereft of faith and peace and any sense of hope. There was a church across the mountain in Asheville dedicated to St Joan. Maisie knew if she asked her lover to take her there, they would.
Yet, everyday, Maisie was confronted with the evil and abuse of not just the Catholics, but every part of the church. Everywhere you looked, you saw the falseness of God’s People.
She still loved St Joan, and all she had meant to Maisie, all the ways Joan had guided her. She still thought of Joan even though it recalled the tarnished memories of when Maisie and Hope had been best friends and in on accord. Before Maisie had aloof and cold blooded and arrogant Hope and her father Rev Bradley were.
Maisie looked over at her mermaid lamp, that filled the room with hard, crystalline light. Like a mermaid, half human and half animal, half land and half sea, half mortal and half immortal, she was caught between two worlds.
Maisie wanted faith, but saw so clearly how empty it was. She wanted saints, but could not forget all are corrupt. She wanted a place where all tears were wiped away, but knew there be no such place or time.
Maisie put away the book. She would not ask her lover to take her over the mountain. She could not have the hope of God or Saints. She did have the comfort of one who loved her.
Maisie reached for her phone to call her lover, their voice and their arms all the heaven she would ever find.