Waiting

“Waiting” by Katherine Cowley was a finalist in the 2012 Four Centuries of Mormon Stories contest. It was originally published online at Everyday Mormon Writer on October 27, 2012.

Art by Andrew Kosorok, "Inspirer of Faith (Al-Mu'min)"
Art by Andrew Kosorok, “Inspirer of Faith (Al-Mu’min)”

Without fail, something always went wrong during visiting teaching. As her sons Tyren and Luke ran into the room, Jayla glanced at the holographic control in her eyepiece, hoping her old computer could handle the projection layers. Luke stopped running, squinting at the layered space. He reached through the projected space and picked up a large plastic airbus, making it visible on all layers. Luke threw it straight at Jayla’s visiting teacher, Luciana. The toy went through her head and bounced harmlessly onto the floor.

“Sorry Luciana. Luke has an obsession with throwing toys through visitors.”

Luciana smiled. “My kids do that all the time. Last week my uncle actually came over and Tiago thought he was a projection. Luckily he only threw a rubber ball.”

Jayla chuckled, and then clutched her rounded belly, biting her lip as she felt the strength of the contraction. Soft music began playing in her earpiece, fading as her skin relaxed and the cramp beneath her belly lessened. The contractions always came in sets, four or five an hour, enough to make her wonder when the baby would come, but never enough to go to the Birthing Hospital.

Luciana looked concerned. “Are you sure you don’t need me to come over and help? Three weeks until your due date—the baby could come anytime.”

“I’m fine, really. What were you saying about earthquakes?”

Continue reading Waiting

Avek, Who is Distributed

“Avek, Who Is Distributed” by Steven Peck was a finalist in the 2012 Four Centuries of Mormon Stories contest. It was originally published online at Everyday Mormon Writer on October 26, 2012.

Art by Lloyd Knowles, "Sentience"
Art by Lloyd Knowles, “Sentience”

Elder Windle stared at the visor on his desk with dread. He stroked the edges with this finger and made a couple of motions to put it on, but resisted. Had he really exhausted all options? He uplinked to his wife. Avoidance.

“Hi Sweetie.” He thought carefully. She did not like it when he turned on StraythoughtAssist®. When he filtered his internal vocalizations before they were broadcast, it made her feel like he was hiding things. Kids these days could think out conversations to each other without letting stray thoughts intrude or be accidentally exposed, things better left hidden were hidden. Oh to be young again. But he, at only age 132, had to rely on gizmos to help him communicate.

“Dear, you’re d’straking again, I’m hearing your whole ‘Kids these days/gizmos’ lecture.”

“Sorry. I just called to let you know I’d be home for dinner.”

“You are always home for dinner.”

“I know . . . she always sees through these . . . I wish I didn’t have to tell Avek the news . . . Sometimes I don’t come home for dinner when the brethren have late meetings . . . But I’ve tried . . . Really tried . . . and this is one of those times I will be home for dinner.”

“Ok Dear, turn on your Stray-Assist, you’re bleeding thoughts all over the place.”

Continue reading Avek, Who is Distributed

Release

“Release” by Wm Morris was a finalist in the 2012 Four Centuries of Mormon Stories contest. It was originally published online at Everyday Mormon Writer on October 25, 2012.

Art by Traci Osborn, "Prairie Fire"
Art by Traci Osborn, “Prairie Fire”

Davvid Gates took a long walk once a day. This was allowable under the Alternate Forms of Exercise Provision section 23 (conducive to continued mental health) so long as he kept to public thoroughfares and his thought patterns showed no bursts of activity in forbidden zones.

Davvid never consciously planned out his walks. All he knew was that at some point during the day his lymph nodes would begin to throb and would continue to throb until he had made a complete circuit of whatever route he was supposed to travel that particular day. As he walked — usually along well-traveled corridors teeming with citizens — he would occasionally reach out and brush the wall with his fingers or the back of his hand. Sometimes he would feel compelled to turn his head towards someone hurrying by and exhale quickly through his nose.

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The Defection of Baby Mixo

“The Defection of Baby Mixo” by Mark Penny was a finalist in the 2012 Four Centuries of Mormon Stories contest. It was originally published online at Everyday Mormon Writer on October 24, 2012.

Art by Randal Marsh, "Upside Downtown"
Art by Randal Marsh, “Upside Downtown”

Dear Dads,

I’ve decided to leave the Church. Well, sort of. I believe in God and Jesus and the Holy Ghost and the Book of Mormon and temples and all that, so I’m not rejecting the core beliefs or becoming an atheist or agnostic or Protestant or anything like that. In fact, my faith and devotion are very strong. That’s part of the problem. The thing is that while I’ve been back on Earth, I’ve made friends with people from the O-LDS Church and been to their meetings and listened to their missionaries and I’ve found my spiritual home.

What troubles me is that I now know that the LGBT-LDS Church is not true. It has most of the same teachings as the Original Church, but there is a big difference in some of the commandments—well, one of the commandments. I think you know which one.

Continue reading The Defection of Baby Mixo

Oaxaca

“Oaxaca” by Anneke Garcia was a finalist in the 2012 Four Centuries of Mormon Stories contest. It was originally published online at Everyday Mormon Writer on October 23, 2012.

Art by Janis Wunderlich, "Six Swans"
Art by Janis Wunderlich, “Six Swans”

The first potluck of the Oaxaca International Branch was going to be a disaster. Hermana Gaona was in charge of the music, which meant she would be having her son play from his computer, which meant nothing but Dominican music all night. Hermana Rodriguez had tried to suggest gently to Hermana Gaona that she should ask around about members of the branch and who had music collections and maybe ask some of the white people if they could bring some songs. She had couched it in terms of making Hermana Gaona’s job a lot easier but had hoped that her real message, “Don’t let your son play Dominican music all night,” had gotten through. It apparently hadn’t.

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The ReActivator

“The ReActivator” by Wm Morris was a finalist in the 2012 Four Centuries of Mormon Stories contest. It was originally published online at Everyday Mormon Writer on October 22, 2012.

Art by Nick Stephens, "Oranges in Oil"
Art by Nick Stephens, “Oranges in Oil”

So here’s the deal: For the first time in my life, I was in a presidency. After several years of post-marriage, yeoman work in the nursery, I had been called as first counselor to a very gung-ho Elders’ Quorum president who worked as an assistant DA in Elk Grove. It was kind of fun. I liked teaching (every so often) and planning activities and even created this killer spreadsheet to organize home teaching. But there was this one other thing: Ben, the EQ president, was a big believer in reactivation through personal, unannounced visits.

So it was that we found ourselves knocking on doors in the hot Sacramento sun. I was having flashbacks to my mission. It turns out that a few more years of maturity had not cured me of the waves of awkwardness and dread that came as we approached every address.

I was totally cool with every silent door we hit. Although, of course, Ben wasn’t content to simply ring the door bell. If no one answered, and so far no one had, Ben moved on to loud knocking, and then, finally, to peeking in a window. The dude wasn’t willing to cross names off the list either if it seemed like there was any possibility that the address wasn’t a dud. These were lost souls to be reclaimed. He wanted sure knowledge.
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Something Practical

“Something Practical” by Melody Burris was a finalist in the 2012 Four Centuries of Mormon Stories contest. It was originally published online at Everyday Mormon Writer on October 20, 2012.

Art by Jeremy Telford, "Scout Alone"
Art by Jeremy Telford, “Scout Alone”

Announcements…

On Saturday May 2nd the Cub Scouts will be having a fund raiser in the primary room. For just $2 a piece, the Cubs will paint a unique design on any glass casserole dish or piece of crockery. I’m sure we all can see the value of this. I doubt there are many of us who haven’t left a dish or two after a ward function. I was just in the kitchen the other day and the stack is getting pretty high again. So, please check the kitchen for your dishes and then support our pack this Saturday from 11 to 1.

Thank you,

Sister Smith and Pack 147.

The next ward party…

Sister Jones walked along the table admiring all the new patterns that adorned the 9×13 pans. There was a colorful striped dish with the scant remains of a red Jell-O salad. There was a dish with polka dots that was empty except for a little cheese in the corner. There was even one with delicate looking flowers painted in a lacy pattern that held half of a green bean casserole. Truly, it was amazing to think that the Cub Scout pack was gifted with such wonderful artists.

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When the Bishop Started Killing Dogs

“When the Bishop Started Killing Dogs” by Steven Peck was a finalist in the 2012 Four Centuries of Mormon Stories contest. It was originally published online at Everyday Mormon Writer on October 19, 2012.

Art by Jennifer Eichelberger
Art by Jennifer Eichelberger

It’s funny what makes a man go crazy but one thing is sure no one expects it to be the Ward Bishop. It was Sunday morning and I noticed the police cars down the street at the Mullers’. Liz and I ran over to see what was going on. In our town when you see a police car at a neighbor’s yard you zip over because you know who it is that lives there. Plus we are all in the same Ward. When we got there it was plain to see what had happened. On their front lawn was their dog dead and with an arrow stuck in its chest. The officer was pulling it out and we could all see that it had a target tip and not a hunting tip and I think we were all a little surprised. It popped into our heads that this must have been teenagers because who else would have used a target tip when you want to take something down? The Muller kids were all crying and Sister Muller was crying too but she was evil faced and angry and was yelling Who would have done this?

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Maurine Whipple, Age 16, Takes a Train North

“Maurine Whipple, Age 16, Takes a Train North” by Theric Jepson was a finalist in the 2012 Four Centuries of Mormon Stories contest. It was originally published online at Everyday Mormon Writer on October 18, 2012.

Art by Annette Everett, "The World Is Mine"
Art by Annette Everett, “The World Is Mine”

Maurine slapped down onto the plush double bench across from a man in a well kempt but slightly old-fashioned suit. His face seemed to grow out from a pair of small round spectacles and a graying moustache. He did not seem to have noticed her as his eyes remained directed at his book. She set down her satchel and tried to peer over the top and see its title.

“It’s the new Twain.”

He hadn’t moved—even his lips had not seemed to move.

“I read that’s . . . an evil book.”

“I’ve read that myself.” The man looked up to gaze at Maurine. “What do you think?”

Maurine knew the proper answer, but she also knew the wrong answer. “I think I should like to read it for myself.”

“Ah. You are an Eve then.”

Maurine frowned. “I’m not sure what you mean by that.”

Continue reading Maurine Whipple, Age 16, Takes a Train North

Numbers

“Numbers” by Melody Burris was a finalist in the 2012 Four Centuries of Mormon Stories contest. It was originally published online at Everyday Mormon Writer on October 17, 2012.

Art by Ryan Houston
Art by Ryan Houston

216 paces to the end of each row.
Six rows today so far.
The numbers swirl around in my head. I cannot help myself. I showed great promise, they said, in the small school room I attended until father left on his mission. Now numbers were just the way my brain entertained me while I walked behind the slow plow mule.
27 tail twitches since the fly landed on the mules rump.
35 cents a bushel for corn last year.
Five acres of corn.
No those numbers were too uncertain. I must not add my profits in my head lest the Lord find other ways for me to spend my imaginary wealth.
5673 steps from the front gate to Anna’s porch.
Two days and two more fields to plow before I can see her. Continue reading Numbers