So, I went totally haywire yesterday and started writing a story.
That doesn’t sound so bad, until you realize that I’m in the middle of writing three stories right now, and I wasn’t going to start any more until I had finished those.
But I got inspiration for a new story, and the whole thing came right then. RIGHT THEN. I got the beginning, the middle, the end–in one sitting. So I thought since it came all at once, I’d write it down all at once.
I was having serious writer’s block on The Sacrifice anyway. I think it’s because I just switched which character I’m following, so I’m following a man, and I have a harder time with men. That’s probably just because I’m a girl. I think it will go faster again if I just get back to it… which I still plan to, don’t worry. I wasn’t going to start posting it until this summer anyway, because I realized I should wait until I was done posting science stories; because posting them in the middle of The Sacrifice could get really confusing.
And speaking of science stories, that’s what this is actually all about (as you probably guessed from the title). So, after all that, let’s get on with the story:
Uncle Zade was in the kitchen eating breakfast when I came down. Mom and Dad were still in their bedroom.
“You look nice,” Zade told me, as I got myself a bowl of cereal and milk.
I took a deep breath. Didn’t he know I would just as soon have worn jeans but my parents wanted me to dress up for church? “Thanks.”
“You sound despondent.”
“Do I?” I tried to look naive.
My uncle laughed. “A bit. How’d you sleep?”
Too well. I wasn’t done thinking. “Fine. How about you?”
“You don’t have trouble when you don’t sleep in your own bed?”
“Not usually. I’m not home enough to get used to one.”
“Oh yeah, I had forgotten that.” I glanced nervously at the stairs before sitting down at the kitchen table—exactly where we had sat last night. The three-by-five cards were nowhere to be seen. “Uncle Zade, are all Catastrophists Creationists? I mean, like… oh! I don’t know! Can they be Evolutionists, or vice versa?”
“Well, yes. Some Catastrophists are Evolutionists, and some Uniformitarians believe in God. People mix them all up.”
“But how exactly could a Uniformitarianist believe in God?”
“Well, some people believe that there is a God who created the world, and then let it evolve by itself. Do you remember what I told you about the Theory of Evolution?”
“Well, the way that happens is when an animal’s offspring is slightly different than its parents, and those changes remain; and more changes happen over time until we see all the different animals we have today from that one common ancestor or ancestors.”
“With the s in parenthesis?” I asked, smiling.
“Right! Some people believe that a God made those changes one by one.”
“I almost…” I paused.
“What is it, Carol?”
“I almost wish my parents would do that. Just because they want to believe in Jesus doesn’t mean that they have to believe in a young earth, does it?”
“Do you just want to fit in, Carol-girl?”
I shrugged. “Yeah, that’s part of it.”
I heard footsteps on the stairs and hushed. Uncle Zade got up, cleared his place, and left the room—not quite before Mom came in and realized we had eaten together. She came and sat down beside me. I stared at my Rice Chex without saying a word. “Morning, honey,” Mom said, a little pointedly.
“Good morning, Mama,” I said, smiling a little. Maybe she wouldn’t bring it up.
My hopes were dashed. “Carol, what were you and Zade talking about last night?”
“What he’s been excavating in the U.K.” That was not strictly true, but that’s what had been in the e-mail that had started the whole thing, so I said it.
“That’s not exactly all you were talking about, was it?”
I hung my head. “Not exactly.”
“I was only in the living-room, and I heard half your conversation.”
I winced, inwardly. “So?”
“I’m worried about you, hon. You know that Zade is biased?”
“So are you!”
“I guess I am. But I want you to make the right choice. I can’t force you to follow Jesus, but I want to make sure you clearly understand the decision. You need to know what you believe.”
Seriously? How did she know that I was thinking that? “Okay…”
“Dad and I talked about it, and we thought maybe we should talk to Mr. Pirrip at church today. You want a second opinion, don’t you?”
“Yeah, I guess so. But he isn’t a scientist.”
“No, he isn’t, but he’s studied that kind of thing. Why don’t you ask him?”
“Ask him what?”
“What his side of the argument is.”
“Okay,” I said, standing up.