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Fly in the Ointment (Part 5: Parting Ways)

by sinistercutlass

Megan went cold. The dancing, willowy nymph next to her was now a hulking, beetle-browed brute sliding her a sexy drink and stuffing empty capsules in his pocket. Megan felt it was time to nip this in the bud.

“No, I don’t think I’ve missed much,” she countered. “I may not know some swear words or the names of certain drugs or anything, but I’m happy with the life I do have. My parents are only trying to protect me from the evil things of this world.”

Kathryn’s thin, active mouth sunk into the slack grimace of Victorian portraiture. All of her nerves had been afire; now they lay severed. Anyone who saw her face at the moment would wonder if something she had long cherished had died.

She remembered that, several years ago, Megan had nudged her and indicated Sister Bingham, who was clutching her dentist husband and gushing about the incomparable joy of temple marriage. Megan had rolled her eyes then, and whispered seditious sarcasm in Kathryn’s ear.

Surely this had been evidence of a fellow malcontent?

Kathryn now shut this old hope in a drawer, and locked it. Time to go.

“Well, I hope I haven’t stalled you too long,” she said. “You look like you were on your way home.”

Megan smiled serenely. “I was.”

She remounted her bicycle, nodded curtly at Kathryn, and resumed her suburban journey.

The guilt was gone. Kathryn clearly wanted to live in an immoral world of divorce, gay marriage, pornography, and the fascist liberal media.

Megan knew that Kathryn’s soul was beyond help now, and that God would be OK with it if she abandoned the rescue mission.

Megan resolved to change her cycling route, beginning tomorrow. It'll take longer to get home, but Mom and Dad will be happy about me not riding through here anymore. She managed the realization that in the ‘Mexican ghetto’, the pedestrian that posed her the greatest threat was white and attending a private college in the fall.

Megan recognized this as irony, and felt proud of her ability to detect it. The other Young Women have always been kinda ditzy, she thought. None of them would have thought that one up. But non-Mormons are gonna lump me in with them, anyway. These stereotypes are so unfair.

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1712 Reviews

Points: 117956
Reviews: 1712

Sun Nov 15, 2015 1:17 am
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BluesClues wrote a review...

Oh NO, this is the end of the story, isn't it?

That was way too short, bro.

Megan is so clueless.

Which I guess is the point. But still.

Real quick, there's this.

The dancing, willowy nymph next to her was now a hulking, beetle-browed brute sliding her a sexy drink and stuffing empty capsules in his pocket.

I have since come to assume that Megan is thinking figuratively here, but at first I thought she was speaking literally, so I was a bit confused. "Wait, weren't they outside talking?" It sounded momentarily as if they'd actually gone to a bar to talk or something. Just something to consider, although I wouldn't worry about it so much unless other readers mention it.

I like that both girls get a final say in this part and let us know their final thoughts of the other, although I'd like to know what the "seditious sarcasm" was that Megan whispered to Kathryn so long ago.

I also love that Megan thinks "non-Mormons are gonna lump me in with them...these stereotypes are so unfair." It seems awfully ironic for someone who spent the last few parts of the story worried about a non-Mormon's immortal soul and talking about how immoral various things are.

Right, so also I just realized that I missed the first chapter of this because it wasn't in the Green Room, which is where I went for all my reviews. But since I enjoyed this so much, I'm now going to head back to the first chapter and see if I have anything remotely useful to say about that.


I'm so glad you grasped the irony! Seriously, everything I was going for, as far as messages to read 'between the lines', you got it all!

BluesClues says...

*throws confetti* Hooraaaaaay!

I seriously enjoyed this story so much. I'm so bummed out that it's over. Kathryn is just. She is my precious baby. Which is funny to say about such a short story, but she was just so full of life.

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77 Reviews

Points: 5851
Reviews: 77

Mon Oct 26, 2015 12:00 am
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FeatherPen wrote a review...

There is so little that I would change in order to perfect this story I have decided it should all go into one review

With a pang of guilt, she remembered what now seemed like a fateful incident at Wolf Lake.
You switch to present so to keep tenses, change it to; she had remembered.

The back story of part 2 is placed in the perfect spot to explain the history between the two girls.

I’m drawn along in anticipation, by your writing, wondering how the meeting between Megan and Katharine will go.

I like how each girl talks differently, and how they respond to one another particularly where Megan winces to Kathryn’s swearing. A mark of a good writer.

Having stuck with Megan’s viewpoint so far hearing Kathryn’s inner voice breaks up the consistency. You cold change it the be Megan commenting on Kathryn’s sigh.
‘Kathryn sighed. It boggled her mind how anyone could reduce such a potentially extensive, engrossing discussion to “Yeah, I guess.”’

After that your dialog works exceptionally well.

Your final chapter is a good conclusion ending with Megan giving Kathryn up as a lost cause. I read it as pointing mockery at Megan’s narrow minded beliefs, which is cleverly done, especially as it is form her view point most of the time. I think this is what you were trying to achieve because of the genre you placed it in.

I sympathise with Kathryn as I also express my enthusiasm at books, classical music and hidden meanings in movies, which is not always appreciated fully. Luckily I have friends who put up with me quite well. I also know some one who is similar to Megan in the way she can not conceive why any one would chose to live with out god and see things differently to the way her church portrays them.

The first time I read through your story I really enjoyed it and thought it did not need any contribution form me. However seeing that it has inspired little response I decided to give you some feed back and had to reread it in order to scrape out the inconsistencies I found.
All the best, Ferran

You cannot understand and disagree.
— P. D. Ouspensky