Ronny holds

Two time slots for funerals on Friday.

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Copyright © 2016, Michael M Wayman

The newspaper did not publish my letter and Vicar of Craysfield did not stop vicarring. I did not stop my altar walks and my haunting. I thought often of Fiona and what Jake the Hate did to her.

Sunday came around, Family Service at ten in St. Andrews, the girl in white doing the altar walk... But I was not careful enough, I moved too slowly. One of the choirboys stood up and grabbed me. He put his arms gently around me and pushed me into the front choir stall. I was sitting squashed between him and the wooden end of the choir stall.

The service continued, he held me, Vicar gave his sermon, there was something odd about the sermon, I memorised the last lines he spoke. Time for the final blessing, the choirboys crowded round me, I had to escape, I walked through the closed door into vestry, which was not much more than a cloakroom next to the altar for changing clothing.

But how you ask, do I walked through closed doors? I don't. It just looks as if I'm dissolving through a closed door, I'm really just disappearing. If I reappear on the other side of the door, that just adds to the effect.

The choirboys entered the vestry to change and catch me if they could. But the vestry was empty, where was the girl in white? She was sitting on a rafter under the high ceiling watching the boys.

I knew that the Vicar would be busy doing the Sunday School at two, time to search his Vicarage, what was the secret of the sermon? It was a very large house, the Vicar used only part of it, it was full of interesting stuff – a large blackboard with his “Weekly Plan” and a book that could have been titled “Sermons for Dummies”.

There were regular events, such as two time slots for funerals on Friday, two more for weddings on Saturday, the services and Sunday School on Sunday, “go shopping” on Mondays (probably his day off), Evensong and Matins, and “write sermon” on Thursday. This was all written with white chalk.

In blue were for that week a meeting of the Church Repair and Maintenance Board, “visit Mrs Sheen hospital” and “jumble sale”. In red was “possible Bishop visit”. I didn't find “go bed” or “go bathroom” though.

There was nothing suspicious on the blackboard, such as “whip girls”, but “write sermon” needed investigation. It was obvious that the Vicar did not write his own sermons, he just read ready-made sermons out of books.

I arrived at the cathedral late in the afternoon and had a good look around. The girl in white did a short dance on the altar – it amused the tourists – someone took photos – but I decided not to dance during the service because I'm not so big, the cathedral is huge and the altar is so far from the congregation.

The cathedral had a grand, ornate pulpit with a canopy overhead. The pulpit is where the sermon is given, right in front of the congregation. That was the place. I took a seat at the back of the cathedral and waited for the service to start.

In trooped all the guys in women's clothing and took their places near the altar. I saw the Bishop speak to the Choir Master, who then ordered all the choirboys to stand in a line in front of the altar. Aha, someone had read my letter, but I had danced on the altar already.

I waited until the Bishop climbed into the pulpit, I appeared on the canopy above him where he could not see me, a gasp from the congregation, the Bishop began his sermon and I began my sign language. The girl in white was wearing white gloves.

I had once seen a teacher talking to deaf children with sign language and I used my own kind of silly hand signs to amuse the congregation. That wasn't the only surprise, I had heard the sermon before, it was the same sermon the Vicar of Craysfield had given that morning – I had to laugh and so did the congregation as my hand movements got stupider and stupider.

The bewildered and humiliated Bishop cut the sermon short and stepped down from the pulpit. I stood, bowed and waved at the people – much applause.

I knew two things, the Bishop was as stupid as I thought he was. I could understand that the Vicar used ready-made sermons, his congregation was so small, however the Bishop had hundreds if not thousands in his cathedral, one of his underlings could have written a sermon for him.

Secondly, I liked Craysfield, it was a nice place to be and I liked one of the choirboys. I discovered that he was called Ronny and that he lived with his mother and sister in the middle of the village. Maybe I should move to Craysfield, I knew just the place for me.

It was time for another letter.