The Bone Cathedral, Short Story

“Honey, I really think you should talk to him. I know that some boys torture bugs, but this is freaking me out.”

“I’ll take care of it.”

*

“Son, this is… Impressive.”

“It’s just a model.”

“A model?”

“Yes, it’s tiny. No real people could get in to pray. I just wanted to see if I could do it. If I could make it so it would stand.”

“So, it was a one-time thing? Well, you certainly made it. Where did you get all those little bones?”

“Mice and rats.”

“Live mice and rats? How did you… “

“Well, they’re not alive anymore. And Mrs. Smith is no longer complaining about mice in her kitchen.”

“But how did you… Oh, never mind, once you set your mind to something, you do it. But tell me, why bones? You little cathedral is impressive, but why didn’t you just use matches or something?”

“Because we’re all made of bones. We should pray among the bones.”

“What… Oh. I didn’t think that seeing that Roentgen photography of your brother’s leg would upset you so much.”

“It didn’t upset me.”

“Well, did you pray for his fast recovery?”

“I told you, it’s a model. It’s too little. I’d need bigger bones for a real one.”

“We don’t have to pray among the bones, and besides, we’re not made just of bones, we’re also flesh and blood and nerves and other stuff.”

“But when we die, isn’t it bones that remain?”

“After a while, yes. But after some more time, there’s only dust.”

“At the end, we’re dust? Like, after a fire, when everything burns?”

“Something like that, yes.”

“Oh.”

*

“Honey, when I said you should talk to him, I didn’t mean that you should give him more ideas.”