Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.
The Czech woman forgot her hearing aids. She is supposed to be doing the Reading at Mass, but there are two options in the Lectionary and, “oh dear, oh my, I do not know which I must read…” She polls a woman in the neighboring pew, but her question comes with such unintentional volume that the whole chapel becomes privy to her dilemma. She hustles to the podium to investigate the two options. She confers with a woman in the front row, who recommends that she asks the Deacon. She tracks the Deacon, who seems to be saying “The First.” She hears, or chooses to hear, “The Second, okay, the Second.”
He tries to correct her as she rushes away. Agreeing with his unheard suggestion, she relays the already broadcast message to the friend in the front, then her neighbor near the back. The crisis has been averted (without anyone noticing, she beams). “Yes, I will read the Second one.”
Then she offers one more non-clandestine stage-whisper to her neighbor, just before the shaky a cappella hymn begins, “Good, yes. The First reading was a little fluffy anyway.”
–Colorado Springs, Colorado