Beer with the bishop


Arms, legs, the usual.

I also seem to be running the site.

I may get around to writing some actual stories at some point.

"You're dead."

The bishop nods sadly at me and swigs his pint. "Sorry about that," he says, "I held on as long as I could."

"I had hoped for more," I say, unable to keep the anger and disappointment out of my voice. I had hoped for more, but cancer had intervened, raining on the hopes and dreams of both of us.

"It's up to you now," he says.

"They won't listen to me."

"They never listened to me either." He shakes his head and doodles in the condensation on his glass. "And I doubt that they'll start listening now."

"But," I begin, already knowing the answer, "but you're a bishop."

"One of over five thousand, my friend. The big hat is no guarantee of a place at the table, and they're very good at getting you to fight so hard over the scraps that you don't notice the banquet."

I try to avoid the inevitable conclusion. "It's toast," I say. "The disaster is unfolding in my generation, and they don't want to see it."

He checks his watch and drains his pint: time to go.

"Nothing is impossible," he says.


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Comments (3 so far!)

Average reader rating 4.00/5



Laser focus on an unusual, entertaining and well-executed interaction.

  • #1305 Posted 6 years ago
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  • 4 out of 5
Mighty-Joe Young LOA

Mighty-Joe Young LOA

Are there really over 5000 Bishops? Love the authenticity of this piece. Long time no see.

  • #1629 Posted 5 years ago
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  • 4 out of 5


Something over 5100, and that's just Catholic ones. Several of the other churches have them too.

This piece is a tribute to my relationship with the late bishop Michael Evans of East Anglia, who was my bishop until he died in 2011. Principally, the piece helps me to work through my grief at his loss and my sadness that he left just at the time I was building a relationship with him, mostly through sending him letters attached to bottles of beer. His last letter to me hinted that he would have liked to spend a night with me in a pub complaining about the state of the church. Alas, cancer took him before that became possible and I had to have that beer with him in fiction.

Lovely to see you, too, Joe. It's been a while.

  • #1645 Posted 5 years ago
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  • Published 6 years ago.
  • Story viewed 17 times and rated 2 times.

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