The Reverend Botkin’s cathedral catches fire. Buttresses collapse, spires tumble. So much rises to her, standing among congregants. Memories float like smoke. Reciting creeds. Exchanging the Peace. Squabbles over Communion wine, liturgies. Things that seemed superfluous then. She used to think congregants were too wedded to detail. Flames rise, stained-glass windows bursting in paroxysms.
She wants to embrace the vast building, holy Gothic body, save it all, wooden altar, organ. She lunges, buttresses collapsing left and right. Firefighters pull her back. Utter platitudes. All she can do is reach for memories. Resurrect them, even as the fires expand, expand, expand. Rise.