Drabble 112 – Heteropraxy

Heteropraxy

Since I was little, I’ve always pushed things. My mom told me that she once sent me to bed and said she didn’t want to hear another peep out of me. My response, naturally, was to get into bed and say, loud enough that I was certain she could hear me, “Peep!”

I’m not a thrill-seeker in any sense of the word. I didn’t ride my first roller coaster under after I’d graduated high school, you’ll never talk me into skydiving, and I like to drive within five miles per hour of the speed limit. But still, I push boundaries. When someone told me breathing near a cemetery would let ghosts possess me, I took a deep breath before holding it, just to check.

I guess it’s not that I’m seeking the thrill so much as I’m testing things, daring the universe to show me something I haven’t seen before. So far, it hasn’t–at least not when I’ve asked. I’ll keep testing.

Anyway, here’s a drabble.

HETEROPRAXY

(n.) from Ancient Greek ἕτερος , for “other, another, different” and praxis, for “action”

Failing, deliberately or accidentally, to follow the teachings of a religious practice to which a person belongs.

The elders, red-robed and solemn, know a lot about what she must not do. She mustn’t eat the flesh of animals. She mustn’t lust, she mustn’t curse, she mustn’t dance naked beneath the full moon lest some evil spirit take her body and do terrible, mad things with it. She wonders what constitutes a dance—the graceful, accidental bend of an arm as she bathes in the river by moonlight, or the full-on, bare-naked shimmy-shake she sometimes does as a temptation, a dare, to any spirits that might be looking. So far, nothing has happened; perhaps she’ll dabble in lust soon.

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