Quiet as a Mouse
by Asta Idonea
Religion wasn’t the reason he was here. Every member of the group knew that, and he suspected one or two judged him for it, but for the most part, he’d been welcomed into the church choir with open arms. Believer or atheist, they could all agree on their love for fine choral chants. What he hoped none of the others knew was the fact it wasn’t only the music that kept him coming back week after week. Not God, not music, but a man gave rise to his devotion. And that man was the choir’s musical director, Cale Abbott.
Paul first saw Cale a few weeks after he moved to the small town in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds. A lifelong music lover, he heard of a forthcoming organ recital at the local church and decided to go along, partly for the performance and partly for company. A close call had almost led to the discovery of his secret at his last abode, and he had been forced to beat a quick retreat. He worked as a freelance illustrator and could earn his living from anywhere with a decent Internet connection, so he’d packed up his bags, dropped a pin into the map, and ended up here. It wasn’t the first time he’d had to make an impromptu move, and it wouldn’t be the last. It was a price he had to pay, given what he was, and yet no matter how many times he went through it, the first few weeks were always the hardest. Settling into a new place, trying to blend with the locals, establishing a new routine; all these things required a certain fortitude that went against his shy nature.
The night of the concert he took his time dressing, wanting to make a good first impression on his new neighbors. Then he commenced the twenty-five-minute walk from his cottage on the outskirts of town to the church on the high street. There was a chill in the air, and he’d kept a brisk pace, shoulders hunched, to evade it. Stepping into the warmth of the church upon arrival was heavenly, and he’d looked around for a moment before taking a seat toward the back, not yet ready to force himself amongst the locals, most of whom were chatting happily together as they took their places in the front few pews.
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Asta Idonea (aka Nicki J Markus) was born in England but now lives in Adelaide, South Australia. She has loved both reading and writing from a young age and is also a keen linguist, having studied several foreign languages.
Asta launched her writing career in 2011 and divides her efforts not only between MM and mainstream works but also between traditional and indie publishing. Her works span the genres, from paranormal to historical and from contemporary to fantasy. It just depends what story and which characters spring into her mind!
As a day job, Asta works as a freelance editor and proofreader, and in her spare time she enjoys music, theatre, cinema, photography, and sketching. She also loves history, folklore and mythology, pen-palling, and travel, all of which have provided plenty of inspiration for her writing.
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