A Confident Walk

She sits affixed to the smooth oak pew, hard, yet warm from the time spent sitting, listening to and learning the sacred words. Then the last heel of the final preschooler  gleefully slips through the side door as the choir sings “This Little Light of Mine”.  Rising on smooth grey patent and suede, her favorite heels, she side steps into the carpeted aisle, that stretches to the altar like flowing red wine. She ventures forward in muffled silence with care and reverence to the bottom step. She grasps hands prayerfully together and bows with respect believing in the sacrifice that will soon be made. Turning left, a few more steps take her to two marble covered steps leading to the ambo. Each heel and toe tap rap in a sharp report, echoing the tangible difference between carpet and marble breaking the silent journey. The steps rise to the deep green, veined marble of the podium holding the lectionary. Her open hand brushes the cold hard stone and is shocked by the piercing but exhilarating coolness. Fingers brush lightly across the page as if she could feel the beginning. Eyes rise, leaf through the faces and with confidence she begins “A reading from … ”


I wrote this prompt about being a lay lector (reader) at Sunday Mass.

Red Writing Hood – Setting

This week we asked you to take us somewhere. Where was up to you -fiction or creative nonfiction- but we asked you to use your words to paint the setting as vividly as possible. In 200 words.


9 comments on “A Confident Walk

  1. mish says:

    I love the auditory aspect of this walk , especially the “carpet and marble” moment , which serves to highlight the reverence of the atmosphere/setting .


    • debseeman says:

      Thank you! I tried to weave the idea of reverence in with the sound so the reader would “get” the reverence of the setting.


  2. Galit Breen says:

    You used such rich words here- patent and suede, flowing red wine, veined marble.

    Your respect for this space shines through!


    • debseeman says:

      Thanks Galit! Your post gave me the push I needed to write this. I was going to sit it out but changed my mind after reading some of the amazing posts by you and others.


  3. Anastasia says:

    This brought me back. I haven;t been to church in forever, but you nailed it!


    • debseeman says:

      Thanks Anastasia. I’m glad it feels “familiar”. Since every church is different it’s nice to know this setting rang true.


  4. CDG says:

    Several things here strike me; the balance between reverence for the divine and affection for the favorite shoes–two very different kinds of affection, the beautiful description of the church.

    The opening lines were a little confusing, by using the word “preschooler,” you put the emphasis on the age of children in the choir, and so I was a little jarred to discover the children had little to do with the rest fo the piece. Also, the second line has no object, and a sentence fragment has its place, but so early on, it can be disorienting, as we don’t yet know who or what the narrative voice is.

    What you’ve done very well is established place with some lovely images, the aisle like wine, the sound of heels on the differently textured floors. The spirit of the prompt shines through.


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