The Good Shepherd’s Funeral

14 Oct

(Hi FridayFictioneers. Tried my best but could not tell this tale without thirty extra words. Going to have to go to confession now. Thanks for reading.)

The Good Shepherd’s Funeral

When the church was built there wasn’t a lot of money so Pastor Emory had two doors put in the front. He reminded us often that their gables pointed to heaven just as well as any steeple. Sundays we entered through the left as sinners and departed from the right, saved. Baptisms, confirmations and weddings were the same, left door in, unsure and nervous; right door out, transformed.

Our congregation’s grown over the years and today we’ll hold the last service there. Whole town’s coming to mourn the passing of a simple man and watch as his coffin is carried out through the right hand door.

We start construction on a new, larger church building next week. Two doors in front and no steeple. Pastor Emory would have liked it.

29 Responses to “The Good Shepherd’s Funeral”

  1. susielindau October 14, 2011 at 1:20 pm #

    This is such a great post! I love the concept and the description!

  2. jshill October 14, 2011 at 1:58 pm #

    NIce story. I guess we can let the extra words slide,,, this time.

    • dmmacilroy October 14, 2011 at 9:50 pm #

      I’m going to try next week’s story in sixty-three words. Have to stick to my budget. Thanks for the comment.



  3. kdmccrite October 14, 2011 at 2:08 pm #

    Doug! This is great. Simple and lovely. I liked it as much as your darker, more intense writing. You are truly gifted, my friend.

    • dmmacilroy October 14, 2011 at 9:52 pm #

      Who’d a thunk it, Kady? Me.. going to church!

      Thanks for your compliments and comments. I’ll look for you at the fence for the next few mornings.



  4. Robin Hawke October 14, 2011 at 2:50 pm #

    I’m glad you went the extra 30 words…Robin

    • dmmacilroy October 14, 2011 at 9:59 pm #

      Thank you, Robin,

      So am I, as I just could not seem to tease enough story out of one hundred words.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.



  5. John Hardy Bell October 14, 2011 at 3:14 pm #

    I really enjoyed that. Strong voice, wonderful imagery and a really nice ending. Great change of pace from some of the other pieces you’ve submitted. Very well done, sir.

    Our stories do have one thing in common: like you I overshot the 100 word mark as well. I’ve already spent my time in the confessional and I feel somewhat cleansed – though I really hope it doesn’t have to happen again! 🙂

    • dmmacilroy October 14, 2011 at 9:48 pm #

      Hi John,

      Thanks for reading and commenting. (And for noticing the contrast between my other submissions and this one.) As for the word limit, I feel like I should only use 63 words next time. Sheesh. Talk about the honor system.

      I loved your story, John. Very imaginative.



  6. Madison Woods October 14, 2011 at 3:59 pm #

    Ha – I wondered why there were two doors! Your explanation makes a lot of symbolic sense. Like the others, I’ve enjoyed seeing a different side of your writing self. Thanks for joining us again today 🙂

    • dmmacilroy October 14, 2011 at 9:44 pm #

      Hi Madison,

      I would not miss Fridays for the world. Tell me about that building, please. Is it close to where you live? Was it an old church or meeting hall or home? Do you know why it had two doors? Did you know your photo of it would evoke such interest?

      As for me switching gears, even I noticed that I had done something different. Scared myself.



  7. Karen Pfister Nelson October 14, 2011 at 4:01 pm #

    This was really good – love the tie-in with the doors.

    • dmmacilroy October 14, 2011 at 9:57 pm #

      Thank you, Karen,

      The doors were central to many posts, weren’t they? That picture really had me wondering. So much is lost to the passing of time.

      I appreciate your comments. Thanks for taking the time to write them.



  8. Tiyana October 14, 2011 at 6:22 pm #

    Another door story! I love the symbolism; it holds a lot of meaning. 🙂

    • dmmacilroy October 14, 2011 at 9:41 pm #

      The two doors really spoke to people, didn’t they. Thanks for reading, Tiyana.



  9. mahjira October 14, 2011 at 6:56 pm #

    I loved it! Loved the idea and the imagery. It also seems like it rings a bit of truth in the story. Is there a kernel of truth? or did you make it up?

    • dmmacilroy October 14, 2011 at 9:36 pm #

      Hi Mahjira,

      No truth to it at all. Pure fiction. It was a stretch for me. I stopped going to church the minute I left home. Lucky the first seventeen years of my life had enough church attendance in them to fuel the story.



  10. Siobhan Muir October 14, 2011 at 7:14 pm #

    Beautifully done. I loved the symmetry. Well done. 🙂

    • dmmacilroy October 14, 2011 at 9:39 pm #

      Thanks for reading, Siobhan, and for the compliments.



  11. Sonia Lal October 14, 2011 at 10:25 pm #

    I liked the idea and how you describe it. Didn’t see the funeral part until the end.

    • dmmacilroy October 14, 2011 at 11:00 pm #

      Hi Sonia,

      Thanks for reading and commenting. Your second sentence; is that a good thing or less than ideal?



  12. John Wiswell October 15, 2011 at 1:19 am #

    A hardy concept and warm execution. I enjoyed all of its tiny completion, Douglas.

  13. T. S. Bazelli October 16, 2011 at 4:59 am #

    A lovely portrait of a town and its people. I thought it was very sweet 🙂

    • dmmacilroy October 16, 2011 at 5:06 am #

      Thanks, T.S.

      What do you think of the 100 word format? Really makes you think, doesn’t it?



  14. The Lime October 16, 2011 at 2:51 pm #

    Doug, this was really nice. Precision in language is so hard, but I think you did a lovely job even if you used a few extra words! You effectively capture the essence of the structure. Thanks for writing!

    • dmmacilroy October 16, 2011 at 3:58 pm #

      Dear Lime,

      Thank you for reading my 100 (plus) word opus and for taking the time to pen such encouraging comments.

      I’d write more but the telescopes are closing as dawn rolls toward us. More soon.



  15. rochellewisoff February 3, 2014 at 8:56 pm #

    Dear Doug,

    Of all I’ve read by you, this one just might intrigue me the most. I’m so fortunate in getting to see that tender side of you, to have shared laughter and tears. YKWIM and shy ILY



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