Report from the Church of Our Lady of Mercy
Debra Di Blasi

It doesn't matter if you believe in God or not, the organ dates to the fifteenth century and the pneumatic action remains uncorrupted. The schoolboy prays for the instrument when he enters the church: Bless the organ for I have sinned. The vicar lets him practice on Thursdays until suppertime, but as the boy often gets lost in the music and overstays his welcome, the vicar must bluster. The boy's contrition is radiant. His talent unmistakable. He favors César Franck but is convinced he hasn't the skills to attempt the Chorale #3 in A Minor. He is wrong, of course, and his sins remain exaggerated. Once he wished the girl who teased him about his weight would get hit by the noonday tram. When it nearly happened, the boy tried to set his hands on fire but the wind simply would not die down.

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