Small Mercies – Friday Fictioneers, May 2018

Copyright Roger Bultot

‘Attendance a hundred percent up on last week’ observed Father Simeon delightedly.

And better still, both seated in the same pew, sparing the necessity of swivelling his head from one side of the church to the other.

Inspired, he preached robustly, before descending from the pulpit to greet his flock.

As he seized the hand of the woman nearest the aisle, she toppled sideways, stone-dead. Clearly, he realised, she’d been so afflicted since last Sunday.

The other parishioner screamed.

Father Simeon murmured a swift benediction before turning his attention to her.

“The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away,” he said, “Welcome.”

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter A re-run from six years ago, in the absence of any other inspiration.  What would I do without a back-catalogue?  Thanks to Rochelle for her guidance of this esteemed flock of Friday Fictioneers.  Apologies to those I didn’t get round to commenting on last week – there was a back-log of issues waiting when I returned from holiday.


About Sandra

I used to cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and wrote fiction and poetry. Now I live on the beautiful Dorset coast, enjoying the luxury of being able to have a cat, cultivating an extensive garden and getting involved in the community. I still write fiction, but only when the spirit moves me - which isn't as often as before. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
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60 Responses to Small Mercies – Friday Fictioneers, May 2018

  1. neilmacdon says:

    Lies, damn lies, and statistics, eh? Nice one, Sandra


  2. So this is how they jack up attendance. Lovely story, Sandra


  3. ceayr says:

    Laughing aloud.
    I love this, Sandra, and it’s so good to see your irreverent side.


  4. Iain Kelly says:

    Glad you re-ran this one Sandra, very funny in your own dark way 🙂


  5. Dear Sandra,

    After all these years we should have the privilege of drawing from the backlog, shouldn’t we? With our turnaround in the group, this is a new one for some.
    I’m surprised the odor didn’t clue anyone in that the lady had expired a week prior. However no stench to your story. Well done.




  6. I laughed at the doubling attendance and not having to move his head. Reminds me somehow of what Father Brown might do or say. 😉

    Hope your issues weren’t too bad.



  7. Not sure the Lord would be too pleased with Father Simeon! Hardly a crowd pleaser.

    Keith’s Ramblings is a click away!


  8. Goodness! This made me chuckle (Perhaps my dark side coming out.)


  9. Dale says:

    This one is new for me so there! And it so made me laugh, too.


  10. granonine says:

    New for me, Sandra, and I laughed out loud 🙂


  11. I like some dark humor. Up 100% and then down 50% in the same service, that’s not bad from a statistics point of view. 🙂


  12. I’m not sure I’d come back if I were the parishioner sitting beside someone who died during the service. Brilliantly written as always!


  13. She must have realized she was in a synagogue! Well done


  14. gahlearner says:

    I don’t think his new parishioner will stay very long. This made me laugh.


  15. draliman says:

    Ha 🙂 I mean, oh dear. Oh well, one out, one in.


  16. Abhijit Ray says:

    Are they putting dead people in the audience? All this to jack up attendance!


  17. 4963andypop says:

    Ha! Great last line. His optimism and your subtle description led me at first to overlook the actual size of the crowd, assuming that “both” referred to some troublemakers in a larger crowd, who would be revealed later. It was ther but he and I both chose to overlook it! What a very adaptable priest!


  18. Liz Young says:

    That was funny and sad in equal measure.
    So many questions – sorry, I have too literal a mind – why didn’t she smell? Could the other person have killed her? What did he preach about?


  19. Ha! When one door closes, I suppose!

    This was a great story, Sandra… I thoroughly enjoyed it!

    -Rachel 🙂


  20. Well done, Sandra. I had to read that story more than once before I understood all that was happening. What dark humor. She must have been wearing a lot of perfume to mask the odor. That poor old priest must need new glasses. I love it that he’s thrilled there are at least two in the pews. 😀 — Suzanne


  21. Well, that was unexpected. I guess that means there will be a drop in attendance for next week.


  22. The cutest account.
    I love his optimistic outlook.
    Wonder about next Sunday!


  23. Back to last weeks attendance numbers! Thanks for sharing this story.


  24. What a shock! It took me a minute to get it, but talk about man’s inhumanity! So good to have you back!


  25. Number manipulation is one way to make things rosier. Gives new meaning to the idea that attendance dropped (dead). Nicely done.


  26. rogershipp says:

    Not sure if I would seek him for spiritual guidance….. Enjoyed!


  27. lisarey1990 says:

    I read this story as the Father ignoring the existing members of the flock in favour of the newbies. Don’t know if I have that right but I loved the story nonetheless. There was a lot of authenticity in this. The idea of it been a job as opposed to a vocation. Apologises if I have that wrong but the story entertained me nonetheless. Loved it.


  28. Oh.. maybe he can fill the church with more of those… attendance is prime


  29. subroto says:

    Father Simeon should be selling Amway products. He will do well.


  30. Margaret says:

    I’d predict the attendance increase will be short-lived. I wonder if Father Simeon will preach so robustly to an empty church next week. Very funny story, Sandra.


  31. Surprise surprise!


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