Amy drove into town, her beat up '97 Ford Probe loaded with boxes and bags. Her calico cat Roses lay curled up beside her in the front seat. She had driven all night and her eyelids felt heavy but that didn't stop her from slowing down and taking in the sights of St. Malachy. Not much had changed since she'd been gone. In fact, nothing had. Nearly three years away, and not a damn thing had changed. She couldn't decide how she felt about that: Was it good to have a home waiting there, just as she'd left it, or horrible in its stagnancy?

It was barely 10am, but she knew that the town would be up and running on a weekday morning. It was stolid and plodding, like some old machine that didn't know how to stop. Everyone rose early, and did their best to shine. She had gotten too used to sleeping in, working evening shift more often than not at her job as a waitress in LA. Absently, she wondered how she would handle the early risers in her home town.

Kids were in school, parents were at work. Time marched on. Good old St. Malachy, Michigan.

She hadn't realized how odd the town was until she'd lived out of it. Everyone was so religious there, and superstitious at the same time. So many of the houses were supposedly haunted, and people were so pround of it, spouting, 'Aunt Myrtle is still kicking around in my house!' It was just too creepy. Then there was the 'ghost' on Green Lantern Road, reportedly following cars at night with a brightly glowing green lantern. There were some odd things that couldn't be explained, but blaming it all onto God or the supernatural just didn't make sense to her.

When townswomen asked Saint Brigid for children and had twins... It was just coincidence. It had to be. Nearly everyone begged the Saints for something, and claimed to be favored. There were some who even believed the patron Saint of the town had prophesied the location of their sleepy little village more than 686 years before it was founded. Saint Malachy had died in 1148, and the town named after him wasn't founded until 1834. America wasn't even a concept when the Saint was alive. It was all so bogus, that people actually believed it was mind boggling.

Main street was all but empty as she drove down it. Impetuously, she turned off onto a side street and headed to the church. There it stood, just as she'd left it. Copper bell tower turned green from weather, it announced the time every hour without fail. The tarnished crucifix rose above it like a sentinel to watch over the town.

Before she knew what she was up to, she was pulling into the parking lot and shutting off her car. Stroking Roses, she said, I'll be right back.

Amy hurried across the parking lot and jerked open the door before she could change her mind. Upon entering the church she crossed herself, and let the dim fractured light of the stained glass atmosphere and familiar scent of incense wash over her. A stillness entered her heart, and peace settled around her for the first time in recent memory. She had been too long without visiting a church. She'd all but lost her religion in the busy streets of Los Angeles.

Turning to the right, she lit a candle, though she didn't know why. There were so many things she should be praying for that she couldn't pick just one. Smiling, she looked up at the statue of St. Malacky standing vigil above row upon row of white votives. It was good to be home.

A small, gold inlaid chest rested on an alter at the front of the church. Inside was the dust that had once been the bones of Saint Malachy himself. Once a year, at easter, they paraded the chest around the town and then it returned to it's location at the front of the church. Amy had thought this was normal, until she moved away. She wondered if anyone else realized how very strange it all was.

It never occurred to her to feel out of place in her tight designer jeans and black Guns N Roses tee shirt. She was home, and everything was going to be alright. Her hot pink high heels clicked softly, and her bright pony-tail bobbed as she walked down the darkened aisle of the empty church and slipped into a dark, polished wood pew near the center. Hands folded and eyes properly downcast she whispered three Hail Marys as she knelt on the red padding. She then settled back on her heels to enjoy the quiet dimness of her church. She knew that she should pray, but she hadn't talked to God in so long that she didn't know what to say. Tentatively, she thought, Hi?