MAGDALENE , MARTHA & THE CRUCIFIED.
Martha sat on the bed in Magdalene's bedroom; Magdalene was kneeling on the floor looking through her LPs to put on the record player beside her leg. The parents were downstairs; Martha could hear them rowing. The sound rising and rising like a balloon. Magdalene turned a deaf ear; she was used to such. Martha gazed at the crucifix on the wall opposite the bed; the plaster Christ hung uncomfortably; his knee grazed where the paint had been chipped. The arms were at such an angle as if they were embracing the world. She stared. Sighed. Magdalene placed an LP on the turntable of the record player. Elvis sang. Magdalene rose from the floor and sat next to Martha. The voices below went silent. Good job, Magdalene mused. She turned and gazed at Martha with her short black skirt and white blouse. She told her the parents were always at it. Rowing and such. Martha shrugged her shoulders. Listened to Elvis. Blue suede shoes. Magdalene asked about Mary. With that boy of hers, Martha said, not taking her eyes from the Crucified, the hung Christ, her saviour, she thought. Her and that Brian, she can do better, Magdalene said, than that prat. The things he wants her to do. And her a good catholic girl and all, Magdalene said, gazing at Martha who was staring at the Crucifix. She placed her hand on Martha's thigh, wanted to feel more but didn't. Martha took no notice. Wanted to know the Christ more. To feel His pain. To love Him more. The crucifix hung there against the white wall, she knew His love and wanted it more, and what if she was a sinner, He wouldn't care, she mused. Magdalene moved her hand to Martha's hand and held it momentarily. Elvis sang. Magdalene sang along. Martha wondered if the Christ would always hang thus. She felt God wanted her to be a nun. Hard thought. She sensed Magdalene's hand on her thigh. Martha spoke of the crucifix and the grazed knee. Magdalene told of an accident, the dropping of it and once she kissed it. Mary and that Brian, Magdalene said, him and his hands; one day he'll want more; always do his type. Martha couldn't give a cuss; wanted to feel the Christ's hand in hers. Hung there, tortured, she mused, taking no notice of Magdalene kissing her cheek, the hand touching her inner thigh. Magdalene sang along to Elvis. Martha sighed. Wanted Christ to heal; wanted His love close. Martha looked away from the crucifix; gazed at Magdalene and her features of unhappiness. Martha asked about the rowing parents, the noise from below. Always the same, Magdalene said, sitting upright, removing her hand from Martha's thigh, wanting to kiss again, but not doing so, but feeling the urge to do so more. Martha said she wanted to be nun; wanted to take the veil. Magdalene stifled a laugh; put her hand to her lips, what would Mary say to that? God forbid such, she mused, looking away, trying not to look at the smooth thigh of Martha protruding from the dress as it did, the flesh kissable, she thought, thinking of other things unsuccessfully. Martha looked at the Christ once more; at the way the arms hung; the way the head was tilted so and so. She sighed. She sensed Magdalene's hand on hers; sensed the warmth; sensed the closeness. One day, maybe, Christ would take her hand like that. Yes, she mused, smiling, not caring if Magdalene kissed her cheek and neck, not aware of other lips than those of Christ. Magdalene closed down the sound of her parents below; wanted Martha near; wanted her warmth and feel; wanted her love and hold. Martha smiled at the crucified. One day, she mused, one day, and Magdalene held close; held near. The late afternoon sun peered through the parted curtains; warmed the room and hearts of the two girls who sat and embraced as Elvis sang of his Blue Suede Shoes and Martha mused on her Crucified.