Re: Flower Girl: Ella & Carver
She moved closer and he could feel a headache coming on like he had done laps around the perfume department. He squinted at her, at the question about self-flagellation and genuinely hated how nonbelievers loved to use that word at him. His father would say only crabs in buckets felt the need to make Christ's teachings sound like a mix between something dirty and humiliation. Crabs in buckets. "You call it denial, when it's truly freedom. Do you think someone who gets everything they ask for can appreciate small things, like the color of a daisy's bloom? They ask, why isn't it a rose? Why isn't a field of roses?" Carver, like many Inquisitors, had a hard time turning down a good theological discussion.
That said, Carver didn't like anyone talking awful about his congregation. "Don't talk to me about who you think sit at God's table." His voice was as harsh as the Holy Spirit. The anger bubbling up from under the surface and he sighed harshly at her. An awkward moment passed and he closed his eyes, feeling the soft nudge of Cecilia and her song in his ear. Carver opened his eyes and there was something serene about his expression like he was watching the sun come up. "There are beautiful souls at my church. People who believe without wanting. Faithful, even when the world can be cruel."
The next thing she said about a one-sided relationship made him feel pity for her. Even the witches he had met rarely spoke of God that way. They believed in the trees, in the movement of clouds. It was missing the point, but they still believed in something bigger than their spellbooks. This woman was an empty vessel that nothing could fill. "Have you truly never felt His presence?" Carver knew people could go lifetimes that way. Locking themselves up so that nothing could get in.
And, all this talk about religion made her conversation about love feel wrong. He suddenly didn't much care which flower she thought was best, only that he needed to at least buy one. When she said sweet, he could see the words dripping from her mouth and it made his stomach roll. Carver, a man who showed very little on his face, managed to recover with only a single twitch from his eyelid. "Perhaps I won't want to court anyone in my old age." He shrugged and took a step away from her, pretending to look at another part of the store.