Phantom of Sixteenth Street Cathedral

The Sixteenth Street cathedral had been under renovation for nearly a year. Mr. Hughes and his team were contracted to May, but frequent mishaps forced them to postpone the deadline indefinitely.

“It’s cursed.” Judi stared up at the four working men on the scaffold. Jake, balancing on two beams, looked woozy from his previous malaria infection. Mr. Hughes and Ryan both wore back braces from the last fall. Burt had a mask over his mouth. Was he still coughing blood?

“But the church is holy ground,” Shirl said.

Holy doesn’t explain away the slave auctions, Judi wanted to tell her, held in the basement below the sanctuary Sunday evenings after service. The evidence was in the library archives. Christian men defended their atrocious acts with the Bible, but still preferred to grope the appendages of human beings in secret.

“The spirits don’t want to be disturbed.”

“You’re freaking me out with that crazy Voodoo stuff!”

“Interesting you’d find that crazy.” Judi counted four men on the scaffold but spotted a fifth on the roof.

word count: 174


photo-20160222081613639Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers is a weekly challenge where you write a story in 75-175 using the provided photo prompt as inspiration. Click the froggy icon to read other stories inspired by the photo.

20 thoughts on “Phantom of Sixteenth Street Cathedral

    1. Thanks! So true. I also think it’s interesting to see how things change over history. Things we were so sure were “right” back then are frowned on or illegal now. It’s always fun to write about that.


      1. So much of our history is built on “unsavory” things we don’t like to talk about. It’s always interesting to see how people’s perspectives change when confronted with those realities. You capture that well!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Great take Nortinia. I wouldn’t want to disturb those ghosts, unless it meant truly, sharing what happened to them and the double standards supposed “Christian” men practiced with slavery.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Those slave auctions and groping appendages in secret are hopefully, a thing of the past. I can’t stand the thought that they would still be happening. I wonder who that fifth man is – the one on the roof? Wonderful story, Nortina!

    Liked by 1 person

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