July 19, 2014

A preview chapter for you...

I've been remiss in writing here lately, so I'm giving you a preview chapter of Adelaide II today.  Don't get excited.  I'm not quite there yet but here is some of what is coming in Adelaide's life as a bishop:




Chapter: A Day in the Life

 

The cacophony outside her office was enough to wake the dead, which is how she felt this morning.  She had been bishop of Turner City for four weeks now but it felt like a lifetime.

In the midst of fielding memos from Nessie (“I’m going to work these guys socks off”) and pleas for financial help from sinking parishes she had a headache that was daily gathering steam.

Finally she couldn’t manage the suspense any longer and decided to march into the fray.

Bishop Cutter, Maria, Malik and Ricardo were all arrayed in front of Emma’s desk and everyone seemed to be talking at once.  They had no idea that she had emerged from her office and for her part she had no idea what they were saying everyone was talking so fast and so loud.

Adelaide drew a deep breath and yelled at the top of her voice:

“The Lord be with you,” a line guaranteed to silence any group of Episcopalians as they answer by rote:

“And also with you.”

“Let us meet.” The corruption of the reply elicited a snort from Emma.

Grabbing her cell Adelaide took off down the hallway with the group in tow to what she believed was a conference room as she listened to Emma padlock the doors behind them.

“Sit.” Adelaide directed.

Someone started to talk.

“Silently.” Adelaide barked.

The wall clock ticked loudly.

“Lord help us to discuss our differences in a civilized manner.  Help us to discern each other’s needs and walk in their shoes.  Help us to work for you in your church keeping in mind all its members.  All this we ask in your name.  Amen”

“You’re praying at us,” Bishop Cutter sulked.

“Damn right,” Adelaide answered.

‘What was that brouhaha going on out there?”

Silence.

Ricardo spoke first.

“I guess we all kinda needed something from Emma at once.”

“Was that an effective way of getting it?”

A few nos were proffered.

“Now.  One at a time. Ricardo, you first.”

“Part of the ceiling in the apse just fell in.”

“That’s Bishop Cutter’s problem.  Tell Maria.”

But she cringed inwardly.  As much as she had learned to delegate at St. Francis, she still hated it.  She wanted to jump up, get a ladder and start repairing the ceiling.  And besides there was a limit to her flipness.

“But first, tell me about it.”

Ricardo smiled. 

“I didn’t notice it until Geraldo pointed it out this morning.”

“Geraldo?”

“Yeah, one of your homies.”

“MY homies?”

“Yeah, Rev. LaFonte sent him over to help me with some of the missing lights in the nave.”

Okay, so she really didn’t have to delegate.  Everyone had just carried on like they always had at St. Francis, ignoring her.  Only they had picked up numbers along the way.

“My homies.”

“Yeah, you know, the guys from the corner.”

She’d never known their names.  How could she have done that?

“Geraldo says they’re part of your protection squad now, whatever that means.”

“Don’t ask.”

“Understand.  Anyway we need someone in here fast to shore up the ceiling.”

“Bishop Cutter that’s yours.”

“Got it.”

“Now, Bishop Cutter, what’s going on with you?”

“I can’t find my leather bound Book of Common Prayer.”

Maria was looking guilty.

“Maria?” Adelaide was looking at her cautiously.

“Er.  I sent it out to be rebound.  The pages were falling out.”

Adelaide bit her lip.

“Howard?”

“Oh, well, thanks,” there was a sheepish tone there somewhere.

“Emma?”

“Maria says the Hispanic commission wants the conference room at the same time you need it for the dean’s meeting.”

Adelaide sighed.

“The deans will meet in my office.  There are only six of them.”

“Anything else?”

Emma raised her hand.

“Yes, Emma?”

“Last I saw Arthur he was roof surfing on Deacon Barbara’s car as it headed out of the parking lot.”

Howard bit his lip.  Maria suddenly saw something she had to brush off her shoe. Ricardo turned and faced the nearest bookcase.

“Okaaaaay,” Adelaide said, “time to get back to work.  This was a lovely coffee break.  Let’s have more of these but let’s not precede them with mayhem.”

The conference room disbursed and Adelaide relaxed.  Her cell phone buzzed on the table. 

A text message from Barbara.

“What do I do with the cat?”


(C) 2014 Christina Wible All rights reserved.

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