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The Goblet of Flowers
It’s 5:45 AM. The sun is golden orange and rays of light hit the ground as it rises over the horizon. The church service starts at seven. I have an hour and 15 minutes to get ready. I should have gotten up at five-thirty. Then I would’ve had more time to get ready.
I put on my white linen dress with a burnt orange collar and an enamel poppy pin secured on the right sleeve, along with a pair of bright white knee-high tights and black flats that have been freshly polished. This is a traditional uniform for the church.
I remember pouting as my mother gently puts the left stocking onto my foot.
“Father Sanders says that if we all dress united it will bring us closer to god,” She tells me, with faith and calm in her eyes.
Today, I become part of the church, or as Father says, part of God himself. I no longer feel as if church is a weight pulling me back from who I truly want to be. I now know that I am the church, and I must fulfill my obligation to God. Today is the ceremony of flowers, and I am giddy with excitement.
I arrive at the church at six-fifty. Outside the white building with large windows lining the exterior, thousands of buttercups and poppies are planted. As we walked in, my mother takes off her white hat with an amber-orange bow and clutches it in her white silk gloves. My dad pats me on my left shoulder and says, “After this is all over, you’ll finally be one of us.”
We walk in. I take a seat in the first pew to the right, along with the other novices. We don’t talk, we look down at our knee-high socks and the tips of our black shoes, playing with an elastic wrapped around our wrists. Father Sanders walks down the aisle with a small stainless steel key in hand. He wears a large white robe with a burnt orange collar. Grasped in his hands is a large white cap with a gold band, wrapped around it. All our eyes follow him as he approaches the altar.
Behind Fathers pedestal, sits The Goblet of Flowers. A cream cup with a stainless steel stem and flowers of blues, violets, oranges, green with gold lining their many petals. The Goblet of Flowers rests in a small glass cabinet, displayed for all the members to see. I watch as Father turns around and carefully unlocks the cabinet and retrieves the goblet. He pours some kind of yellow nectar into the goblet.
Father Sanders instructs us to rise from our seats. All the members have shut their eyes and their arms reach for the heavens. The other novices have done the same. As everyone is coming back from their prayer, I act like I too was reaching for the heavens.
The first girl walks up, she looks down and adjusts her brooch and then continues walking with her head up to the sky. The second walks up, then the third and so on. Until I am the only one left. I do not fix my brooch, or pull up my socks.
Father Sanders holds The Goblet of Flowers out to me. My parents urge me on to take the sip. I dont want to. I knock the goblet out of his hand, and away from me. The cup broke off all that is left is the stainless steel stem. I sprint as fast as I can to the exit of the church. Before I reach the door, I feel a sharp stinging pain in my lower neck, and then darkness.