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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: November 08, 2018 02:06PM

The Spoils of the Victor

Margery sat with Thelma and Helen on each side of her in the folding chairs. Veils folded on their laps on top of the green aprons yet to be tied around elderly waists over yards of shapeless white. The quiet in the room was stunning. Not like library quiet, but like the world had ended. Which perhaps it had. Although Margery considered her world was only ailing, or, Margery thought, “challenged” is more accurate.

“How much longer should we wait for the others?” Margery asked her side-kicks.

“Others?” mused Thelma as the image of the statue of the soldiers holding the flag up as all lay dead around them flashed across her cerebellum. “I wouldn’t hold your breath, Margery.”

“Apocalypse,” Helen suddenly started. “That is what this is. Desolation. How did we end up holding up the world? Us!”

The three stared at the empty screen. They could get started but couldn’t face the extreme loneliness of being the only ones in the theater for the session. Being the last standing only confirmed what they tried so hard to deny---having the most faith was not a reward unto itself. ‘It’s lonely at the top,’ thought Margery and then chided herself for the idea of that.

The longer they sat, the less anyone wanted to begin. Ever since the prophet had announced that Joseph Smith had been a fraud nothing had been the same. Margery of course had known immediately that, as they always said, “Satan is so clever that he can fool even the very elite.” She had felt immense sadness immediately as the words heralding the denial of Joseph Smith fell on her, that this phrase--Satan fooling the elite---would now include a prophet, and that such a wonderful man of god would suddenly be, well, not of God at all.

A gasp rushed across the congregation that day in General Conference. Tears welled. Unintelligible murmurs that could only be translated as shock as they grew louder. A few were heard to say, “I knew it!” and someone at the very back in a very loud voice said, “Well, DUH!” But not Margery. Margery, who immediately stood and raised her arm to the square and faced the remaining Apostles just as three more G.A. s stood and left the building.

The panic. The confusion. The relief for some. The frantic emotion suddenly careening through the air that Sunday Morning would have made Pandora jealous that she hadn’t opened that box herself and added this spectacular mess to her collection of delightful mischief.

And now, weeks later, sitting here in the Holy Temple, the deafening quiet seemed to echo that day all over again. Of course, many stayed. Of course, Elder Bednar immediately assumed the pulpit with steely resolve and a manner that said, “The captain has turned on the seat belt sign.” And of course, Margery was still there with her arm firmly to the square as others began to rise in the now half vacant audience and let their arms rise as well.

That felt good. To be the stalwart. The beacon of faith. Nothing would ever stop Margery. She was the elite who would never be fooled.

But now this isolation. So few looked at her in awe now. Made her remember being Relief Society President when Harry was Bishop. What a duo. How they were admired. And, she was good at it. The quilts, the soups to the infirm. The lessons every month. And craft projects they used to do. ‘They should have left things that way,’she now thought, and then immediately corrected herself since all changes came from Heavenly Father and must be accepted as revelation. “There is always a purpose,” she knew.

Out of the corner of her eye Margery felt as much as saw, a tear roll down Helen’s cheek. She turned and looked and grasped Helen’s hand. She wanted to offer comfort, but she knew what was coming.

“I can’t do this anymore,” Helen quivered as she spoke. “I’m not you Margery. I need my family.”

“But you’ll have them in the Celestial Kingdom, Helen.” Said Margery in her best inspirational voice as Helen stood.

“I want them now. At any cost. I have to go. You coming Thelma?”

When they were gone a stunned Margery looked down to see her arthritic liver spotted hands had been wrenching and kneading her apron and veil—so wrinkled now. She stood and walked around the empty room. She ran her gnarled hand along the backs of the padded folding chairs as she walked slowly down each row. She looked up at the crown molding and the soft blue sky painted on the ceiling. The chandelier hung there gleaming and she felt a kinship. She looked up at it and beheld the Celestial sparkle and said, “It’s just you and me now, you know?”

Margery brought the veil to her face and dried her eyes, went to the wall and dimmed the lights, walked solemnly to the screen, and put her finger to the button on the side that needed to be pushed to start the movie and laughed a little that this was all self-serve now. She wondered if there would be anyone to bring her through the veil today. And if not this time, should she go back the way she came or just take herself through the gauzy curtains without a priesthood bearer? She wished Harry would be there in the celestial room waiting for her. That would be nice. It had been so long without her Harry.

“All will be made known in the afterlife,” she said in a voice no one could hear. “Heavenly Father loves us.”

*This story may be used as RFM pleases. Hope somebody likes it.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/08/2018 04:37PM by Concrete Zipper.

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: November 08, 2018 02:15PM

Mods: I proofed so many times but still have a typo in the second to last paragraph. I would really appreciate if some one could change the "say she came" to the "way she came.

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Posted by: Concrete Zipper ( )
Date: November 08, 2018 04:37PM


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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: November 08, 2018 04:46PM

Thank you CZ.

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Posted by: ziller ( )
Date: November 08, 2018 02:20PM

in b 4 ~ that was pretty good D & D ~

ziller got chilly bumps ~ (srs) ~

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Posted by: silvergenie ( )
Date: November 08, 2018 04:15PM

To paraphrase T.S. Eliot, "This is the way the (Mormon) world ends, not with a bang but a whimper."

Good work, D & D, I enjoyed it.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: November 08, 2018 04:19PM

A T.S. Eliot reference? You are putting us all to shame.

But it is appropriate in a D&D thread. No Wasteland here!

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: November 08, 2018 04:44PM

> “I want them now. At any cost..."

Yeah, I get it! Helen and Thelma's husbands and families believed the prophet when he said it was all a fraud. Of course, Helen and Thelma would have liked to be 'favored of the Lord' like Margery, but they had very practical reasons for finally giving up. If Margery gave up, she'd lose her connection to her husband. So it's sort of a love story, too.

I wonder if Margery knew where all the lighting panels were, and how to set the alarms, and how to lock up properly?

I love the 'will the last one to finally give up on mormonism please turn out the lights' aspect of it.

I loved this story!

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: November 08, 2018 07:40PM

"I wonder if Margery knew where all the lighting panels were, and how to set the alarms, and how to lock up properly?"

Haha. I love that. You are killing me here. Once again. You get it.

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Posted by: dagny ( )
Date: November 08, 2018 05:31PM

Most excellent!

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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: November 08, 2018 06:28PM

Celestial sparkle. Luv it! The story too. Great concept. Sad about Harry. Not in the CR I assume. :/

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: November 08, 2018 06:38PM

"...Elder Bednar immediately assumed the pulpit with steely resolve..."

“There have been times when a particularly heavy dose of such cynicism has caused me to reflect that surely this is the age and place of the gifted pickle sucker!”
― Gordon B. Hinckley, Standing for Something: Ten Neglected Virtues That Will Heal Our Hearts and Homes

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Posted by: donbagley ( )
Date: November 08, 2018 06:50PM

That's a good piece of short fiction.

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Posted by: exminion ( )
Date: November 09, 2018 01:50AM


I like all of your posts, Done & Done.

Yes, I get it, too. Those few old folks who endure to the end, won't really know why...except for that evil myth that gives them false hopes about Heaven. (The truth is, if Harry were there with her, he would probably be dreaming about his future harem of wives, as my Stake President brother dreamed, in his final days.

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