Other Stories in this issue


by Jan Christensen

About the Author: Jan Christensen grew up in New Jersey. She bounced around the world as an Army wife, and in Texas after her husband retired. After traveling for eleven years in a motorhome, she settled down in the Texas Coastal Bend. She's had over sixty short stories appear in various places over the last twenty years. President of the Short Mystery Fiction Society, she also writes novels. More at


The tears were unwelcome, even though it was a memorial service. She’d already cried during the funeral held at the cathedral Beth wiped her wet cheeks angrily.

Why did The Reverend Mother Analise Golightly die at the early age of forty, leaving her parish stricken with grief? Was God angry with the congregation for some reason? Only three years before, The Reverend Father Samuel MacAlister had also died, apparently of the same illness which had struck down Mother Analise.

Beth tried to listen to Bishop Carter as he praised Mother Analise. How she had lead the people out of their sorrow at Father Samuel’s death and on to strengthen and enlarge the church in her two-year tenure.

It just wasn’t fair. After the service was over, Beth went back to her office next to the rector’s and sat at her desk. She didn’t even toy with a pen, but sat motionless, head bowed, not praying. Maybe she should find another job. She loved being the church secretary, even before Father Samuel came along, and Father Langley (no first name basis with him) had commanded the church with his back stiff and his belief in his being right never shaken, not once.

A soft knock on the doorframe made her look up. Bishop Carter stood there, the robes gone, his gray suit impeccable. He was of medium height, thin and austere-looking, but Beth knew that Bishop Carter could unbend and make a person forget he was a bishop. His thinning hair was gray at the temples; his blue eyes sharp behind steel-rimmed glasses.

Story Comments

Mar 31 - Susan Rickard

Slow to start but then was a great read.

Sep 24 - PJ

Good story with a nice twist

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