Christian Contemporary Fiction

"Just shut up and write!" These words were resounding in Emily Hardiman's brain. By day, she was a petite 23 year old tutor, wearing bad skirts. That went with her profession, all she could afford. On Sundays, she was the mild mannered 'good girl', she taught the children at Sunday School.

Yes, Emily was such a good girl. She was a trustworthy friend, placid, with a trim figure and honey-blonde hair that brushed her shoulders. Her hidden secret burning desire was to be a Gospel singer. But how? Sipping her coffee, she avoided the crispy fried ant floating on the surface. A tiny miracle, no longer busily doing ant things. At that stage of summer, there was an ant plague.

While she was teaching her class at Sunday School, she was devoted to making her simple faith come alive to the children, beaming smiles at her. Emily liked to sing hymns, and engage the class in joining in musical worship. They preferred some of the Old Testament figures who featured in story time. To Emily, they were like friendly ghosties from her own childhood. They all came with a message, to walk in faith.

Emily had an idea, a concept for a new form of Gospel song. She was undecided about how to start it. She, too, had been busy doing her day job. Sighing, she told herself, "Just shut up and write! This is it! God will show you your path!" She sat at her laptop and began typing.

Such a long hot evening. To cool off, Emily had yet another cool shower. Taking on the slow running faucet, she started singing. "Everyone sings in the shower," she told herself. Yes, the slightly different words fitted the old tune, her song. "It may necessarily be so."

It all made sense. First ghostie, Moses. He could have been placed in the water. In those olden days, parents did dispose of their unwanted children in fields or rivers, for the jackals or crocodiles to eat. Turned the kids into ghosties. Perfectly normal behavior for their society, all good in the context. Emily's Holy Bible was full of stories within a story, both old and new.

Emily was on a roll. "Just shut up overthinking it, and sing!" Jonah could have been found in the mouth of a whale, perfectly logical. No Jonah in the abdomen, the gastric juices would have taken over. But way back then, the people were much smaller, the whales and all critters were much larger. The whales were not hunted to the verge of extinction, much closer and friendlier to humans then. "May necessarily be so, may necessarily be so....."

Emily kept on humming and jamming her song. It was true in ancient times, the volcano Thera erupted, so the Red Sea parted. Then the ensuing Tsunami would have swept away the Egyptians and the old Pharaoh. So Moses led his people to the land of milk and honey, their land of Israel. His ghostie was still a favorite Bible story, even today.

That was her song. Little Emily was small, but she had an awesome God. She believed in ephemeral, ethereal spirits. They could be the ghosties of an ancient faith, still on Earth, blessing across the veil. From beyond the sunset, it was her task to make all this come to life for her class on Sundays, and hopefully to a wider audience. Emily hoped her voice was strong enough, to become a female Gospel singer.

"Cross bridges as they happen," was her father's saying, along with, "Worry about tomorrow as it happens." Okay. Her brother called over to visit the next night, as she was singing in the shower again. When she emerged in her shorty nightie, he produced an ad for a talent quest at the local Karaoke night, the following Friday.

"Wear your jeans," her brother told her, "not that dreadful skirt." "Boys will be boys," Emily replied. She was daring to hope she could fulfill Christianity today, and spread her story as a singer of the Lord.

At the club, it was finally Emily's turn to step up to the microphone. When Emily sang, she transformed herself to a powerful stage presence. Her husky voice entranced the audience. She was best singer there, but she was not confident that her Christian message would win her any fans. But one man applauded with a cheer, yelling, "Sing along with Figaro!" It was harmless fun, brought the crowd to clap along.

"Encore!" someone else called. They loved Emily. Not missing a beat, she launched into her version of the classic, "Crying in the Chapel." It came as a surprise when a tenor voice united with Emily's voice, like a heart throb. Their voices soared in perfect harmony, celebrating their Lord.

Everyone else faded into the background. The spotlight was on Emily. She was a natural star, wondering who the stranger in the darkness was. Thrilling the audience, they ended their song.

Silence, then came massive applause. Emily had mesmerized them, her unique talents had reached new levels. She peered into the darkness, trying to get a glimpse of the tenor. The audience was fascinated, it was true magic in the air. Emily stepped away from the microphone, blinking slightly. Naturally shy and reticent, she had handled the challenge so well.

She won the talent contest, of course. Her path to sing the glory of the Gospel and her ghosties opened up for her. She did not let her fame affect her, she set off on the road to the USA, the big time. The musical gods smiled on her.

For years, Emily was a singing sensation, but she never again heard that blend of such a tenor with her voice. The stranger in the bar, vanished. Emily had only a glimpse of a memory, a happy few minutes of harmony and peace. She often reflected at night, about the voice in her, and the voice at her side.A story in her story, all a mystery, like faith on Earth.

The years rolled by, recording after recording, guest appearances. All along, her prayers were more important than any criticism of her unique approach. The faith never left her, and she never walked alone, with her ghosties of an ancient world, never forgotten....

February 17, 2023 21:55

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Linz Munro
07:39 Mar 02, 2023

I enjoyed this. I particularly resonated with the “ghosties”, as that is something I would say. Best of luck with the contest. :)


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Viga Boland
16:05 Feb 25, 2023

G’day mate from an Aussie living in Canada. Your story is definitely different. I’m not religious but I raised a talented contest-winning Emily, so I could certainly relate to your story. And as Jeanne said in her comment, it would be interesting for you to take the search for the tenor further. Incidentally, as a youngster, my “Emily” honed her stage performance skills at the Johnny Young School in Newcastle, Australia inthe early 80’s. I don’t know if you’re familar with that school based on the original Johnny Young Talent show, but i...


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Jeanne Kiesinger
04:01 Feb 23, 2023

I hope you don't stop here. I want to know if she found her tenor!


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