Light speared through the stained glass window like Roman pike through a Gaul’s throat, splashing Caleb’s face with a violent, hazy mixture of yellows, purples, and emerald greens. His wife lay immobile in a hospital cot—undignified yet sanitary—and he had been praying for days upon the cold slab of St. Helena’s grace for her recovery. His person was disheveled and unkempt, his troubles visually known, and for that the church’s rector had taken pity upon Caleb and allowed him respite from the clerical hours of worship and prayer. With the setting sun casting blankets of color across the church pews, Caleb reached into his pocket to answer the vibrating phone.
He loved his wife with an indescribable fury. As the phone dropped callously to the rough stone underneath his knees, the angry colors of the church became muted and tame. Caleb reached into his pocket and took hold of the razor, bringing it to his wrist.
“My love,” he whispered. “We can be together again.”
The colors of the church became gray.