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#AtoZchallenge #flashfiction: J for Just when she thought she was safe

As part of the A to Z Challenge,  through the month of April I’ll be posting a story a day based on photographs by Joseph T. Richardson and prompts given to me by blog-friends.
Writing prompt: Just when she thought she was safe..

Provided by: Jemima Pett,friend, fellow writer, and one of the magnificent Seven of #TeamDamyanti

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#atozchallenge : J for Just when Martha thought she was safe

#atozchallenge : J for Just when she thought she was safe

That morning, like any other, Martha stopped by the church instead of walking with her friends to the Starbucks where they picked up their donuts and coffee before work.

Should we get you something? they asked her, though they knew her answer.

I’ll only be a few minutes, she waved at them as she walked up the steps, drawing her coat close about her in the morning chill. You go on ahead, she said, but they had already left.

As she pushed the door open and began walking up the aisle to her regular pew a few rows from the front, she felt peace steal over her.

She bowed her head in prayer– and when she looked up and thanked the Christ for His grace, for the health and happiness given her, He seemed to look upon her and smile.

Martha kept looking into His eyes, and did not notice the gunman when he entered. The first shot that felled the priest she took for a cracker, and at the second, she turned but did not see the source of noise.

She bowed her head again to give thanks. The third shot cracked into the pew in front of hers, just when she thought she was safe, because who, after all, could hurt her in the house of God?

Roses blossomed all over Martha and burst the next moment, quite like the red blooms at the feet of Christ, who continued to smile through the noise, silent,  as if He’d just witnessed a Baptism, or wedding.

Martha lay on the floor in between queues, quivered  a few times like an animal long past its prime, then went still.

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Are you taking part in the A to Z challenge? Do you read or write fiction? Ever write based on a prompt? Been to a place of worship lately?

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Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her forthcoming literary crime thriller, The Blue Bar is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency, and will be published by Thomas & Mercer on January 1, 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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