Submission to NPR’s Three Minute Fiction: Sad Eyes Hazel

New Message GIFCassie, I’m sorry for filling your voicemail, but I keep getting cut off.  I just can’t believe about Daniel.  Why is he doing this?  Doesn’t he remember about Sunday school?  Your husband was the teacher, for God’s sake!  But I’m sure you’ve been over this in your head and in your conversations with your new priest—you do have a new priest, right?  It’s so hard with you in Florida.  But the weather must be nice.  Me, I hate the heat, but Bud loves it.  He’s always—

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Well, there it goes again, that lady’s voice cutting me off.  Listen, your son’s face is all over the papers up here.  You must know.  Somehow his mug shot found its way onto the front page of the Courier.  He is handsome, even in these pictures.  Then there’s the Herald with the picture of him from high school playing football.  I think it’s the picture they ran when he was a senior.  It’s color.  He’s diving for the ball.  His hazel eyes are wide open.  You can see it in his eyes—even then he was a sad boy.  His soul must ache.  I’ve recorded all the news pieces about him.  There’s one where he’s covering his face as they’re leading him into court.  Tall, that boy.  Last night alone there was a story about him on all the networks.  I’m wearing myself mad trying to keep up with the recording.  But I—

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I’m so tired of hearing that lady ask me if I’m satisfied with my message.  I know what I’d call her if I wasn’t a member of St. Andrews Church.  I was talking about the videos and articles.  Daniel is everywhere.  I’ve got it all.  At prayer group, I asked if anyone had the Courier and Herald from last week—the ones I recycled before I realized Daniel’s story was being reported.  We knew he was troubled, but wow.  Agnes has copies so don’t worry.  We prayed for him.  The picture that first came out was Daniel leaning against the cruiser.  If it wasn’t your son, I’d say the whole story was almost exciting.  Daniel was good.  Father Ray always said he was one of the best alter-boys he’d seen.  He had a way with incense, I’ll say that.  I have all the—

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Sorry it’s been an hour since I last called—I wish you’d pick up.  Agnes came over with the other articles, and we talked about Daniel.  So many articles.  She agrees that he was good.  The hearing begins next week.  Will you and Peter be coming home to Maine?  Everyone at St. Andrews would love to see you.  We’ve all been so taken by Daniel’s story.  I’ve started a scrapbook of Daniel’s stories—it’s tasteful, I promise—and I want to send it to you when all this is done, along with the videos.  I’ll keep snipping articles and recording the news until the story’s over.  I thought you and Peter would want them for yourself.  Maybe you could show them to your new priest.  I’m looking at the football picture of Daniel right now.  You’ll want that one.  Those hazel eyes.  I do hope you’ve settled into your new life in Florida and that you’ll call me.  I have so much I want to say about Daniel.  Those sad eyes.  Hazel—

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