Re: Sunday Service: Mercy/Shiloh
“Oh, I know why she picked it,” he said, flicking his cigarette onto the ground so hard that embers bounced. Mercy’s mouth was dry. His hands smelled like WD-40 even over the citrus scent of dish soap. The world was narrowed down into points where his senses were usually a wider scope, washed out by the bright sunlight and the prickle of underarm sweat soaking into cotton. The sourness of it reminded Mercy of long Sunday mornings with the whine of cicadas high in his ears, pressed up against his mother’s side on a pew. She would take him to church whenever she came to visit him on the rez, and he’d clench his chubby fists in the polyester peplum ruffles of her blouse during the entire service. Her purse was always pink, she loved pink, and it always matched the Pepto Bismol lipstick on her mouth.
“She named me after a fancy car because she grew up poor, trash from the wrong side of the tracks. Maybe I was supposed to manifest her a better ride or a better life, I don’t know.”
Mercy wasn’t bitter. He was nonchalant, matter of fact about it. And he didn’t read anything extra into the pastor’s words, either. His nose wasn’t as good as a wolf’s but it was enough to make out the tang of deception. Maybe not an outright lie, but something didn’t quite line up in the cadence of Father Browning’s words and the beatific composure of his features. It didn’t necessarily mean anything suspect - Mercy got the same thing from the super perky waitress at the diner who was clearly not as passionate about customer service as she had to pretend. But it was curious.
He snickered then, the sound of a young man’s derision at the speculative concept of people. “Of course there is,” he said, flicking a dismissive hand through the air the same way a horse tail swatted at flies. “That’s just your occupational need to believe people are decent instead of assholes.” His mother would have pitched a fit if she heard such filth from his mouth, would purse her matte pink lips and pinch the back of his arm where he’d be sure to bruise. Not in front of the pastor, young man, hissed like she actually believed she had the right to reprimand him. Okay, maybe he was a little bitter. It was a good thing Mercy hadn’t seen her since Christmas.
“I don’t have that problem. People already know walking into a garage that they want their problems solved and I’m just the crook standing in their way. They’re never afraid to be assholes outright.”