Our theme for the month of October is “flash nonfiction.” Writers were asked to submit pieces that were 250 words or less.

It’s important that you know that my sister is a redhead.

So is my brother, but that’s less relevant to this story. (The color of my brother’s hair has been relevant exactly one time in my life: in line in our high school’s cafeteria, where an upperclassmen once asked me, “You’re Koster’s sister, right? Why aren’t you a ginger?”)

It is also important that you know that my sister is a seminarian.

My brother is not, but he was sitting next to me the last time I heard her preach, back in our parents’ church for the first time in years (back in any church building for the first time in years). Her sermon was about Jacob and Esau but mostly Esau, and she very graciously resisted any sermon illustrations that revolved around her own siblings.

Afterwards, while my mother stood in the narthex, an older member of the congregation pulled her aside. Your daughter did such a good job, he said, and it was so meaningful and gratifying to see a child of the church return home like this, especially when it’s obvious that she has a real calling to and talent for it.

He paused for a moment before adding, “And the blonde’s not bad either.”

When I die, put that on my tombstone. If it isn’t a lie at that point, I’ll consider it to have been a good run.

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