Iowa Writes

MARIAN WADE
The Narrow Path


       The narrow path leads to salvation.  Hard, strewn with rocks, but a rich reward at the end.  Millie thought about that.  She sat upright in the pew, hands folded in her lap, crossed her feet carefully at the ankles so as not to scuff her new patent leather shoes, smoothed the skirt of her Sunday dress--it was yellow-dotted swiss--and watched the preacher.  He was a tall, bulky man with large features in a soft pink face, that became bright pink as he warmed to his subject, then deep rose.  If he really got into it, it turned red as a ripe tomato.  Millie entertained herself watching the changes.  Her friend Joanie, sitting one pew over, said her mother told her that if he kept getting riled up like that, one of these days he was going to bust a blood vessel.  Millie hoped she would be there to see it.  Which vessel? she wondered.  Probably that one in his forehead that throbbed when he really got going.  She and Joanie had talked this over.  Would it bust with a loud pop like a firecracker?  She pictured him grasping the sides of the pulpit as the blood spewed over the first rows of the congregation.  She was, she considered, safe; they sat in the fifth row. 
       A blast from the organ shook her out of her reverie.  She scrambled to her feet, smoothed her skirt and sang out, "God be with you till we meet again . . ."  She sang cheerfully--she loved that hymn, "till we me-e-e-eet, till we meet at Jesus' feet . . ."  Well, it was over and, sadly, nothing had happened.  But there was always next week.  He was going to preach on sin.  That should do it.

About Iowa Writes

Since 2006, Iowa Writes has featured the work of Iowa-identified writers (whether they have Iowa roots or live here now) and work published by Iowa journals and publishers on The Daily Palette. Iowa Writes features poetry, fiction, or nonfiction twice a week on the Palette.

In November of 2008, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world's third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Iowa City has joined Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia as UNESCO Cities of Literature.

Find out more about submitting by contacting iowa-writes@uiowa.edu


MARIAN WADE

Marian Wade is a native of Kansas City and has lived in Prairie Village, Kansas for more than sixty years.  In 2012, she hopped on a bus, rode to Iowa City for the Summer Writing Festival and is currently working on a trilogy about the French Revolution.

This page was first displayed
on April 07, 2014

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