Story postcard – Katania is not happy (3)

“Makes sense now,” says Rudd. “By the way, I’ve just met your other brother. Steve?”

Katania waves her hand dismissivley. “He’s never liked me. Feeling’s mutual. Anyway, this is about Mick. I don’t understand why he can’t come. He promised he would.”

 “Didn’t he say why?”

“No. Just something ridiculous about the weather. I mean … that kind of thing never stops him.”

 “Okay,” Rudd ushers Katania towards the nearest chairs. “Why don’t we sit down? Wait for Tim – he’s on the bird walk.”

“Typical,” says Katania, settling herself on the sofa. “And Jen’s still asleep. But Mick? He always makes a plan. Why, when it really matters, does he give up? Just like that.” Katania snaps her fingers.

As if summoned, the doors push open, and Innocence appears carrying a tray full of mugs from the birdwalkers’ tea. He nods at them and rattles onwards, towards the kitchen.

Suddenly Katania’s eyes stab into Rudd. “I know. You could take the service for us.”


 “Yes!” She leans towards him. “Yes, you Rudd. You’d be completely inoffensive.”

Rudd stares at her.

“Inoffensive …” The word whispers down to his shoes.

“Yes …” says Katania studying him. “Although …”

Rudd cuts her off, his face flushed. “No. No … I mean … there’s no way. I’m too busy.”

Her eyes scan over him again.

“Too busy?” she raises an eyebrow. “More like too young … and no gravitas. No style even. Never mind. It’s for the best. So who then?”

Rudd’s heart thumps. He stares at the view. Out of the corner of his eye he sees Katania’s fingers drumming on the table, and knows he needs to find an answer quickly. He retraces the guest list, putting names to faces, looking for professors, professionals, priests. Then suddenly it comes to him.

Of course. At the tea factory. That priest, from England. Maybe he can … Norman. Father Norman.

Rudd is excited now. “There is a visiting priest who might be able to help?”

Katania’s fingers stop drumming. “A priest? They are already married you know. This is a celebration. Not a service.”

“Well … unless you want Simi?”

“Simi? In those kaftans? I can’t stand the way she dresses. No, I do not want her. A kaftan? Leading the service? Can you imagine the photographs?” Katania pauses. “Who is this priest anyway?”

“Father Norman. I’ve only met him once. I think he must be from that cathedral twinned with our local church.”

Katania frowns. “I don’t want the day ruined Rudd. This might be Jen’s only wedding. We’re launching a brand here. You understand? Part of her forever portfolio.” Katania twists the large diamond ring on her finger, her eyes focused somewhere beyond Rudd’s shoulder. Then they flash back towards him. “Any chance I can meet this priest?”

“He might be at the tea factory?”

“Well, let’s go,” says Katania standing, while Rudd scrambles to his feet.


“Why not?”

“Well. I’ve got …” Rudd hesitates, running a hand across his chin.

 “Excellent. I’ll fetch my sunglasses, and be out front in two minutes.”

 Rudd stares after her, as she willows into the distance.

Copyright Georgie Knaggs & The Phraser 2023

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