i've been sitting on this since like 1 am last night


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scullyitwasaliens  asked:

okay, so this might seem out of the blue but I just thought i'd drop in to mention that a) YOU ARE A BRILLIANT WRITER, and b) I've probably read 'the ballad of chuck and angus' approximately 1930284 times since you posted it. (this is the part where I try and act all macho and pretend I didn't cry literally every time)

oh thank you!!! i’m so glad you like the ballad of chuck and angus! i wrote that for a writing class in college. it was part of a compilation of stories i was writing about saints (kind of an expansion on the mundane saints society). i only wrote one other one, about saint mary the harlot.

i’m catholic, technically, so. that explains…a lot.

I mourn for the days of my negligence, for I have not any excuse to offer.
- Ephraem, deacon of Edessa

Here is a list of the things that Mary of Edessa knows about her Uncle Abraham, who lives behind the wall:

  1. He does not like his food with flavor. He’ll eat only the simplest of dishes, only the most plain. Uncle Abraham says that flavor is the devil’s way of pleasuring the body. Pleasuring the body, says Uncle Abraham, is the fastest way to hell.
  2. When Uncle Abraham was a young man, his parents betrothed him to a woman in the town. He refused to marry her, wanting instead to devote himself to God. So Uncle Abraham walled himself into this little house and never left, subsisting on food passed to him through a small window. His tall brother married the village girl instead. They had a daughter. They named her Mary. They both died.
  3. His fingers are thin and crooked, hooked like twigs that have been bent by wind and rain. His hands shake when he takes the food that Mary has prepared for him, and when he chews it sounds like bones rattling.
  4. Uncle Abraham believes that there is an answer to everything.
  5. That answer is abstinence and God.
  6. Uncle Abraham has a voice like a hundred whispers, each threaded into each other. A decade ago, when Mary was first deposited on his doorstep, it had been a little stronger. She could write music to the rhythm and cadence of Uncle Abraham’s slow way of talking, his caesuras and his ellipses, the way he swings up crescendos and then flutters back down as soft as ashes. Mary knows nothing in this world so well as she knows the mountains and valleys of the way that Uncle Abraham says, “Amen.”

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