This is just a little something I'm working on. I don't know if it will transform into a short story or if it's just an exercise in character development. These characters are part of a book that I will be calling Invisible Elephants. Enjoy!
Maggie Singer eats donuts. Traditional powdered donuts out of the box with coffee. Cream-filled donuts with a tall glass of whole milk. Chocolate donuts by the handful. She eats apple fritters from Kroger’s, fried poppable holes from Dunkin’ Donuts, sickening sweet honey buns from Mrs. Price on Fifth Street.
Joshua Singer only sleeps four hours a night. He used to get at least seven. He gets up at five am to pray. He drinks black coffee. He spends his afternoons at the library, reading about theology and current events from a conservative prospective. He thinks, he hopes that the Rapture will happen soon. The sooner the better Joshua thinks.
His sleeping habits changed when the Thing with Francis was discovered. But now Joshua knows what he has to do. He is a man on a mission. He has to destroy this evil that has infested his family. He has been a pastor for nearly twenty years. Twenty years. Joshua blames himself for not knowing.
Maggie decides she wants something that Joshua can’t give her. She wants to be noticed. She wants to feel alive. She joins a dancing class at the Y. For an hour and a half every Tuesday and Thursday, Maggie feels like she could do anything. The world is limitless. As she moves her feet in time with the music, clutching the hand of her partner, Maggie Singer feels happy.
Joshua blames his wife. He thinks she coddled the children too much. She wasn’t strict enough with Francis and Abigail. She was too soft.
Joshua has a weekly radio show on Friday mornings. Joshua used to talk about God’s forgiveness, the Beatitudes, and the Christian duty to help others. Now Joshua only talks about sin. People call in from all over central Ohio to confess things about their husbands, wives, parents, neighbors. Joshua has a voice for radio. He talks about the need for a revival of purity in the Church. His numbers go through the roof. He’s approached by an agent. The man with the thin mustache wants to put Joshua Singer on cable tv. He thinks he has the face for it.
Joshua and Maggie Singer don’t see the red-rimmed eyes of their daughter as she looks up from her book. She twists her goldenrod hair into tight curls around her fingers incessantly. She doesn’t eat. She reads an average of two books a day. She’s read everything at the local library. She orders books from other libraries. She reads about fantastic voyages, knights in shining armor, girls with magical powers, horses that can fly. She begins writing a story herself. She writes well into the night.