Unfinished Fiction: Sometimes You Can't Go Back

I'm doing something a little different this week. Occasionally I like to write fiction. I've got a whole slew of unfinished stories and I thought I'd post a few here--just for fun. Maybe your input will motivate me to finish one of them?

Sometimes You Can't Go Back

Evangeline had imagined her homecoming with prodigal denotations: the exultant Halleujahs of her mother, the killing of the fatted calf—or, more precisely, the slow-cooking of the potted roast. And then there would be her father, reluctantly emerging from the holy sequester of his study, trailing scraps of sermon notes. He would stand apart at first, eyeing her with that peculiar look she often remembered, an admixture of patience firmly resolved and disappointment thinly disguised.

She wouldn’t know, of course, whom they had taken in, but she fully expected that her room had long been packed away and that some fresh, idealistic pilgrim had supplanted her in their home, perhaps in their hearts. Someone who, in that first glow of new conversion, had thrown themselves with enchanting abandon into her father’s ministry. Her parents had always found these surrendered disciples irresistible, collected them like souvenirs.

It was just as well, really. She wanted nothing more than the quiet, sparsely furnished back room with Old Patty, the cook. But when the cab pulled up in front of her parents’ house, something about the sagging rain gutters and peeling paint bespoke an entirely different kind of welcome. Evangeline took her time paying the driver, removing her single suitcase from the trunk and even still the front door did not burst open. No excited children spilling questions, no triumphant mother singing praises to God, no pensive father leaning against the doorjamb tapping his well-worn Bible against his thigh. She rolled her suitcase up the walk. It had been eleven years.

The front door was locked.

Evangeline felt the faintest tinge of confusion. The front door was never locked, a literal application of her parents’ religious conviction that their home be always open to strangers and pilgrims, angels and sojourners, friend and foe alike.

Should she have called?


Come back tomorrow. I'll be posting the first chapter of my Zombie novel!