Synaesthesia Magazine Seven Deadly Sins - Page 15

Tom said nothing.

“Don’t be afraid, Tom. Jesus loves you, he loves us all, and no matter what you’ve done, he will forgive you.”

Tom began to cry. He felt Jesus’ eyes staring at him and the Priest’s voice seeping through the cracks in the door, wrapping around him like a seatbelt in a car. He thought about making his mother cross and cried. He thought about frightening the moth and teasing his little brother and he cried more. He thought about not eating his broccoli and lying to his mother and cried and cried and cried, and all the while Jesus’s eyes didn’t turn honey-coloured nor did his arms open wide for him. Snot trickled out of his nose as he told the Priest everything he had done that week. The Priest told him his sins had been forgiven, but Tom didn’t feel like he’d been forgiven, he still felt like he was in trouble.

Tom’s mother was digging her nails deep into her palms when Tom came out of the box and skulked over to her.

“Can we go home? Home home?”

*

Driving home Tom looked at the Church in the side mirror of the car, slowly getting smaller and smaller until it was barely a dot on the horizon, and all he could see was fields and sky. He wiped away the snot from his nose and rubbed his sore eyes. He thought of how he never wanted to go to Church again, and how bad he was for thinking that. He looked at his mother and wondered what bad things she had done that she didn’t know about, that she had to tell Jesus every week for her to be allowed into Heaven. He remembered when she forgot to bring him tea one morning, and wondered whether because she had got him an ice cream later that day to say sorry, it still made it a bad thing. Tom scrunched up his eyes again, agitated and confused, and while his mother looked at the grey clouds slathering the narrow roads towards the new town in a dirty haze, she realised she had never felt the weight of the world so manifestly upon her before.

Half way between the new Church and home, when the rain had begun to clean off the dirt from the windscreen, a red fox made a dash for the other side. Even if Tom’s mother had seen it, it would have been too late. Had she swerved, she’d have careened over the verge and down into the river below. Had she braked, she’d have trapped the fox beneath the engine, where it would have been died far more slowly and painfully than it in fact did. Nevertheless, Tom’s mother screamed, and Tom woke up.

“I’m sorry, little heart, Mum hit a fox. It’s okay though. The fox is in Heaven now.” She was shaking. She had never lied to her son before.

Half asleep, Tom looked in the side mirror. The fox lay splayed in the middle of the road, opened out like some old book, read and re-read, never fully understood. The clouds had broken fully now, thick rain fell into the fox’s open stomach and red water trickled out onto the road. Tom waited for the car to round the corner and the fox to disappear from view, but it just got smaller and smaller, until it was just a tiny dot on the horizon, surrounded by tumbling, torn-up fields, and sky.

Harry Harris is a writer, singer and storyteller from the depths of Mid-Wales currently hawking his wares in London. His debut album was released this year on Wild Sound Recordings, and a follow up "Songs About Other People" is due out in November. He regularly contributes to Sabotage Times, Topman Generation, Work In Prowess and Best For Film. Almost everything he writes is a lie. His name isn't even Harry.