The Pageant

by Candace Arthuria

The excitement was building. In twenty minutes or so, the star would take the stage. In the meantime, the patrons were dancing in and around their seats. A woman in cocktail attire nestled against a handsome man. Somehow, he didn’t look like a husband. People were clapping and hugging, as children mimicked their parents’ behavior.

This was proving to be a great event. The music reached unheard of crescendos. There were utterances emanating from three hundred fifty people. Ushers were in place directing traffic. It was an aura reminiscent of the flower power days. The MC took his place, firing up the crowd. Nobody seemed concerned that the mike was a little too loud. The band was outrageous, drowning out the lyrics that were not that important, anyway.

The audience lifted its hands in adoration. There was rocking, swaying, camaraderie—as choreographers managed the marriage of music and moves. It was a well-scripted event. Yet, there was also the magic of individual fervor—competitors strutting their stuff in their own unique way.

Finally, the main attraction arrived. The pastor lifted his hands to silence the madding crowd, and put on his horn-rimmed glasses to locate the bookmarked page. Silence ensued. The sadness in his face reflected the brokenness of his heart. Nobody there had come to hear its message.

Candace Arthuria began her career in Corporate Communications and currently writes short fiction and essays. Her work is multicultural, intergenerational, and expands across a broad range of genres. She continues to build on her diverse collection entitled, “Very Short Stories for Very Busy People.” Her objective is to capture readers’ imaginations without consuming too much of their time. Candace has published with the International Women’s Writing Guild, the Teaneck Public Library Archives, Agape Review, and Friday Flash Fiction. She may be reached at or @ArthuriaW

2 thoughts on “The Pageant

  1. As the crowds were increasing and enjoying the entertainment the Pastor showed up to present the Word of God. It is the Signs of the Times.
    Great Story!


  2. Candace, thank you for your bold, truth-filled description of the way many churches have devolved into entertainment venues. If their church leaders don’t think the Word of God and the Gospel message are powerful enough to draw people in, those leaders need to do some serious soul searching.


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