Unconfessed Sins
John Andrew Durler

 

The confessional was filled to the bench height with unconfessed sins. Sinners had to climb in to confess, and with no room for sins, even after absolution and Hail Mary’s and Our Fathers there was no redemption and the sins left the confessional with the confessors who complained.

Complaint 1: "Father I have sinned, confessed, did my penance and am not free of them. I feel icky."

Complaint 2: "The host sticks on the roof of my mouth refusing to dissolve. Take it back father. I can not swallow. I confessed and am not free of sin. Help me father."

Complaint 2: "Father I am getting married and cannot wear other than white. Disgrace shall follow me. I am ruined without absolution. The wafer is brick and will not pass these lips, Oh Father Please help me!"

The old priest, A burly old man with pure white hair, steel blue eyes, bloodshot mostly because he liked to tip the bottle a little too bit and not one to be panicked excused himself to find the housekeeper Addy Moony. He found her on a ladder outside of the rectory. "Mrs. Moony, get down from there Now! and put some bloomers on, I can see your backside and underside. If a younger lad came by he’d be goosing you."

"You get a good look now, Father, its the pride of me. I can’t wear those drawers you picked out at the thrift shop. They itch me to distraction. Here dear,

get back in your nest." She lifted a multi-colored playtex glove, once bright yellow now containing a cupped nestling, onto the overgrown wooden gutter, where twigs and straw bulged out.

Reaching more than she should, she shook the thing out, swayed and lost her balance. She quickly grabbed the end of a rafter, regained her balance, and composure with a "Jesus Christ!"

"Careful Now! Watch! Don’t get one of your dizzy spells."

"Jack! Don’t say a word. I’m doing the work of the lord up here, which is more than you do around here. I haven’t had a dizzy spell for years." She timidly reached down for each rung making slow progress as the old priest walked closer.

"I know Addy, but those things can come back. Here now, let me help you," he said as he put one hand on the ladder and the other on her shoulder.

"Easy now. Don’t black and blue me with those gawky hands."

The old priest softened his grip as her feet touched the ground. She spun around and faced his chest. She put her arms around him feeling dizzy, felt his hardness and blushed. He lifted her face and said. "See, those hot flashes again."

"You old fool. You wouldn’t know a hot flash from an ice cube."

She pressed her palms against his broad shoulders and said. "You embarrassed me,

that’s why my face is red. Did you get a good look?" She pulled away, slid her hands down and cupped his crotch.

"My God woman, I’m a priest."

"Yes you are, and also a man, and still virile. That’s no limp noodle there.

I turned you on, didn’t I, you old rascal?"

He pulled her hands away, held them and said, "You must stop these things, these tempting me things. Sometimes I think you have the devil in you."

"Oh yes, I do Jack, the she devil that loves you as a man and not a priest.

Retire, leave the priesthood. I know you care for me love me a bit more than friendship. You can’t deny that. I see it in your eyes."

"I do love you. I do, Addy, because of your devotion, your humanity, humor and loyalty to me and the church. I admire you tremendously and now that’s enough Ms. Moony. I cannot be tempted."

"Jack, You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but you sure can lead him to a watering hole."

"You lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink, Ms. Moody. And what exactly do you mean by that?"

She sighed. "Oh no Addy? Ms. Moody now?"

Oh, Addy, Addy, Addy, you are incorrigible." He shook his head as if in dismay.

She laughed, blue eyes twinkling. "Father, don’t get your balls in an uproar.

You’re as Irish as I am and the only reason you became a priest is because your mother wanted you to and shipped you off to the seminary when she caught us in the barn that lovely summer day and mine packed me off to my Aunt in Belfast.

I wasn’t the first one you picked the cherry from, Jack. There was Milly, Molly,

Jenny, and God knows how many others you rolled in the hay."

"We were children then, Addy, full of the devil and playing at life."

"House, you be the daddy and I’ll be the mommy is what you mean. No it’s not life, Jack. That’s having someone to love and be loved by that one, to care for each other. You ran away from that and hid in the cloth. I was married twice, buried two husbands and three children during the Belfast wars. That’s life, Jack. Now it’s said, why did you come back here catching me without my bloomers."

"I came back here to tell you must disinfect the confessional. People have been saying strange things, like not feeling they are relieved of their sins, and not getting the feeling of absolution."

"Sounds like a lot of guilty people to me."

"Well, do what you can to relieve the situation." He saw her mouth smile an impish grin and added, "God, you are incorrigible. You know I meant in the church confessional for the parishioners." He shook his head and sighed.

She stared back, defiant, "Well you’re the one started it looking up my dress." He frowned and abruptly turned and walked quickly back to the church.

There were more confessions. A good percentage of them were accompanied with the same complaints. Ms. Moody did her best, using incense, cologne, Pinesol, Lestoil, Old English, even shaving cream, all to no avail.

The confessional was closed. The priest called the Bishop. The bishop came and inspected it by opening the door and stating after careful observation, "Hmm "unconfessed sins seem to have accumulated here, unforgiven. There is no room for more sins. Harumph. Disturbing. I’ll advise the Cardinal."

The Cardinal, too busy, said, "Call an exorcist to empty the confessional. If what you say is going on, some sort of evil minor entity, or some kind of contagious hysteria is going around in that congregation."

The exorcist refused such a menial task. "I am trained for possessions, not venial and mortal sins but for things of great power and incomprehensible possibilities."

When threatened with being sent to the furthest outpost of the ministry with nothing but a canvas tent and a walking stick or to give up his Toyota Tercel and frequent flyer miles for a mule and backpack in some remote place, he grudgingly assented.

Father Michael pulled up to the church and looked at its dismal appearance. An ancient Oak was leaning over the sunny side shading it, inviting mold and moss to run rampant. Mortar between bricks and Belgium Blocks was cracked and missing. Some seemed ready to fall. Sawdust seeped from cracks, a sign of carpenter ants or termites. The huge oaken doors were carved with graffiti, surnames and hearts and arrows, Jimmee Luvs Missee, Mary Loves Jimmie, I stole from the poor box am sorry. I spent my mony on candy fergive me lard. I ain’t comin bak here anymore. I ran away, signed Leroy. I hate sheep. Missie loves Johnny. He read these and chuckled, looked at the green decomposing brass plate hanging crooked, one screw missing that was scrolled in four inch letters CHURCH OF THE LATTER SAINTS in Brooklyn, NY. He opened the door and walked into to see the priest. Finding one sitting in a pew, he introduced himself. "I am Michael, a priest trained in exhortations." Father O’Halloran?"

He towered over the old priest, wearing a form fitting black suit, a mauve collar, white hand tooled cowboy boots with fettered silver spurs and a Florida tan which matched his blond streaked long brown hair. He held a black leather racing glove out to the old priest, closed his mouth full of white teeth and smiled a boyish grin.

The old priest nodded and said, "So this is the new church’s stab at getting more familiar with the masses -- the new look of the modern priest," and shook his hand. "Yes, I’m Father O’Halloran. I never heard of this type of problem before, and only God knows what happened in that confessional."

Father Michael said "I’m glad to meet you," ignored his remarks and knowingly answered, "we’ll find out soon enough what’s wrong here. Before we proceed, every one must get the same and proper consideration so father, give me a minute and I’ll explain exactly who I am and what I do. Be right back."

The old priest watched the double split French cut jacket flap bob up and down on his butt as the cleated cowboy boots clicked clacked down the aisle. He shook his head in dismay and said under his breath, "Jesus, Mary, and Saint Joseph help us?"

Father Michael came back swinging a black leatherette briefcase, embossed with gold leaf, MICHAEL ARCHANGEL III. He set it carefully down on a pew and opened it up. He shuffled through a stack of papers, slipped a handful out and handed the old priest a sheaf of papers. "You will find my resume, a record of my successful exhortations, and the failed ones, with addendum’s as to why. As you will carefully note, no failure has been due to my ability, but to the faulty investigations, the perpetrated frauds and untimely deaths of the purported victims.

"You will also find a copy of the letter authorizing me by the Cardinal to

carry this exorcism out and my degrees, certifications, a copy of my drivers license, two copies of major credit cards, plus a form for you to fill out and sign acknowledging you have received, read and understand completely why I am here and what I will do."

The old priest took the papers back to the rectory and found Abbey there dusting.

"Ms. Moony, please read these and witness them. I’m going to Dooly’s, and if you want to know why, go out into the church and see what the Cardinal sent to us for that disobeying confessional."

"Father O’Halloran, Dooly’s doesn’t open until one O’clock."

"I’m going to his home Ms. Moony, not the bar. He has a better selection there."

Ms. Moony took the papers and went out to the church. Seeing Father Michael, she stopped in her tracks, couldn’t help herself and shouted, "Oh My God! What is the church coming to? Holy Mary mother of God!"

Father Michael looked up. "Aah, the fabulous Ms. Moony. I heard about your home cooked meals. That will be a nice change from the French, Indian and Mexican restaurants I frequent. And such a handsome woman too. Where has

Father O’Halloran been hiding you?"

Ms. Moony tilted her head in suspicion. "You trying to butter me up or insult me?"

Father Michael roared a laugh that made the devotional candles dance like the wind was blowing. "Ms. Moony, I never insult a lady. I have the utmost respect for them. I see my mother every holiday, well except Halloween and Easter. I spend Halloween in New Orleans for the costumes and Cajun food, and Easter on the Riviera having roast duck, Oh, and Thanksgiving in Amish country for that delicious turkey. Mom won’t travel, says her cats would wreck the house. Otherwise I’d take her with me. You’d like my mother, Ms. Moony."

"You are buttering me up. And God, you do go on, Mr..."

"Archangel, Michael Archangel."

Ms. Moony sat down with a thump on a pew bench. Father Michael came rushing over. "Ms. Moony, You are red as a beet. Here open your collar."

Father Michael opened the top two buttons of her blouse and stretched the collar out.

"Breathe deep, Ms. Moony, slow, in and out. That’s right," he said as she started to lose the red for a more normal complexion.

"My name. It was my name, I know. I am not an angel Ms. Moony. I always wanted to be. You know, some kids want to be firemen, some police officers, some GI Joe. I wanted to be an Angel. I guess because I wanted to be different. That’s why I came into the priesthood. That’s as close as I could get to being an Angel."

"It wasn’t your name Father, it was your appearance... a rock star or a movie actor, and your, uh, physique. And that girl’s curly hair"

"Shush, now" he said as started to massage Ms. Moony’s neck until her muscles relaxed.

"There, isn’t that better?"

"Could you do my right shoulder, please?"

He kneaded it without comment, smiling at the please slipping his hands under her dress.

"Ooh Ooh, that feels so good, do the left one Father."

Moving one hand to her left, keeping both in circular motion, he massaged her, easing both hands down to her lower back . She moaned with relief and pleasure as he worked on knotted muscles and sprung tendons. Twenty minutes later beads of sweat rolled down his brows and she slumped, more relaxed than she’d been in years. He eased her down on the pew so she lay on her side and whispered. "Sleep for a bit." He stroked her forehead as her eyes fluttered and closed.

Five minutes later Father Michael showered the confessional with holy water filled the bench with devotional candles, sealed the doors with wax and waited, shaking incense and chanting his acts of contrition’s, Glory Be To God, the rosary all to no avail. The unconfessed sins remained. He performed exhortations that had been successful with possessions, and seeing and feeling nothing wrong with the confessional, he tested it several times, asking people off the street if they wanted to go to confession, and if they said no, he waved a five dollar bill in front of them. They, without exception went in and waited to confess. Given absolution and penance after the Hail Mary’s and Our Fathers and a good Act of contrition, he handed each a crisp new bill, each signing a receipt and an acknowledgment they acted in good faith and would sin no more. Addy watched from the pew she was now sitting up straight in, snickering, arms folded.

He gave the acknowledgments to the old priest, told him to foreword them to the Bishop, who would foreword them to the Cardinal, who would tell Father Michael he could leave the church and go about his affairs.

Before that happened, each one that signed came back feeling guilty and that was the end of that experiment. Addy smiled a know it all smile and said, "I Knew it would turn out to no good when I saw you paying them to confess. I was tempted to let you approach me and allow you to hear my confession. I could use that five dollars to buy some underwear, maybe black lace, or sheer red. Temptation is something that is catching around here. I can see it and feel it. Don’t you?" She smiled coyly.

Father Michael said "Willingness to sin is everywhere. Sometimes it becomes epidemic, it seems, but I feel that is connected to outside influences, such as the media, full moons, tidal surges, phenomena like that. And Ms. Moony, today is the second day of the first full moon of the month."

Seeing his free vacation on the Riviera won by submitting an essay on the film THE EXORCIST was fading quickly he went to the old priest and said, "My powers are wasted here. These sins were not confessed, and what’s needed is the original sinners must come back and confess. This must be done before, hold on." He checked his airline tickets, "before noon this coming Wednesday giving us three days."

Father Michael enlisted Ms. Moony, not with money but with seven pairs of lace and sheer underwear, red, pink, purple, black, white, lavender, and peach, with matching bra’s. "How did you know my size," she asked?

"I sized you up."

"Oh, how did you do that, see through my clothes?" Father Michael saw she was bluntly flirting and ignored it.

"No Ms. Moony," he said thoughtfully. "Father O’Halloran. He told me you told him your size when he went to the thrift shop to buy them. Now to work, time is wasting." Father Michael had signs made up directing everyone to the back of the church into the rectory where confessions were to be held in a foyer where he had shower curtains taken from the bathroom separating priest from confessors. He and Father O’Halloran took shifts.

Father Michael, between signing autographs for those who thought he was a celebrity, assembled volunteers from all masses held in the following days to knock on doors, stop people in the streets, have proxy’s signed for those not able to attend, witness lists of unconfessed sins accumulated, memories jogged and prodded.

Lines of parishioners assembled for confession pouring out onto the sidewalk, into the streets, down the blocks and across intersections.

Barricades were formed, squad cars of police and vans disembarked to direct traffic. Vendors walked the lines hawking "Ice cream, cotton candy, hot dogs." Others set up small stands selling tee shirts with pictures of Christ, embossed with

I REPENT. I AM SAVED. SINNER, SIN NO MORE! Crosses armbands and flags of the same nature appeared.

Street bands popped up playing Rap, Oldies, Gospel, Blues, and Rock and Roll. Milk box preachers thumped bibles, quoted some really outrageous versions of the Gospel such as "Jesus said even to Juda, Confess and you everyboby shall be saved." And "On the mount of the perfidious Rock of Gibraltar, He The Lord Jesus, sayith forgive them lord, they don’t know what the hell they’re doing around here. Buddhist Monk’s came selling photographs of the Dali Lama, teaching people how to chant themselves into a trance, forgetting time and the long wait.

And of course the media got wind of it, channel 2, 4, 5, 7 and 12, cable, and local and national newspapers bullied their way into advantageous spots, extremely disadvantaged to the police trying to control the crowd, traffic and religious zealots trying to siphon people away to hear what they had to offer. The salvation Army arrived singing We Shall Overcome, Old Glory and The Saints Come Marching In, ringing their bells and passing out kettles to be set up for donations.

Ms. Moody walked through the streets the first day, marveling at the vendors vibrant awning’s colors, their strange attire, learned Buddhist chants, a few new dances at the band stands, and actually did the Twist with a young man. She tried on a turban, had a dot painted on her forehead and found a lost child’s mother, handing her back, hands sticky from cotton candy, chocolate dribbles on her dress, a rag doll of a black Jesus in her one hand, and a snow cone in the other.

The mother slapped the child yelling, "You know how much you worried me, Joy?" As the child bawled she stooped hugged her and cried herself."

Addy remarked disapprovingly "She said she looked around and you were gone." "God was with her."

Still clutching Joy, The mother looked up at Addy Joy and said, "How can I ever repay you?"

Addy answered, "Don’t ever hit her any more would be fine."

"Oh, I’m so sorry Joy." She hugged the child again, still looking up at Addy. "I never slapped her before, and never will again. I was frantic. I thought someone took her."

"Abby said, "I asked if anyone touched her. Very definite, she said, "No." She’s very smart, described you exactly." They talked for a few moments and Addy learned the family belonged to the parish, the father was an unemployed carpenter and they were on the dole.

She didn’t cook dinner that evening, but instead bought Souvlaki wrapped in Pita bread, Giro’s, and Greek pastries.

Meanwhile at the rectory, people confessed to all sins real imagined and invented on the spot. Coming out they cheered those coming in to outdo themselves.

The Cardinal and Bishop installed themselves an Executive suite at the Sheraton watching TV, listening to radio, and during commercials going over the list of vendors authorized to peddle, calculating their percentage. "Of course, the poor box and basket collections inside the church belong to the church," the Bishop said to the Cardinal.

"However, since I sent my highly educated, very expensive exorcising priest, and also notified the media, I get a percentage," said the Cardinal lighting a cigar.

"But then, since I immediately referred the matter to you, my worship, shouldn’t I partake?" The Cardinal laughed, "Of course, my son. We’ll work something out. Obviously the Vatican will be calling, and they will have to get their portion, but I’ll take care of that with my bookkeeper, a very creative person, and then we’ll naturally confess to one another and then confess again that we confessed."

"Of course," said the Bishop, "Is that Cuban?" Absolutely. Have one. I’ll send you a box."

The confessions lasted four days fourteen hours a day as donation baskets whispered through the pews, were emptied and picked up by Pinkerton to be deposited. At the end of it all, the Cardinal’s take was in the high six figures. The old priest was able to start an orphanage and school as an extension of the church services. He got his own TV program, and was nominated for Man Of The Year, but was declined, because he was inclined to drink.

The Cardinal and Bishop invited the old priest to join them at the Riviera, having frequent flier points to burn, and they met Father Michael at a Baccarat table who taught Father O’Halloran how to bet. He was the big winner that night and retired early before he lost, having to be carried up by a beautiful woman who was dressed as a performing dancer, but who was in disguise no other than Ms. Moony, who put him to bed and then stayed to sing him to sleep with Irish lullaby’s and other soothing things.

After that the congregation increased, and the parish prospered. It was extended to contain an elementary school and six confessionals were installed. Ms. Moony took this opportunity to look up Joy’s mother and instigated her father be hired as the carpenter. The original Confessional, ignored became unused because it didn’t have plush velour seats and ergonomic backrests. It sat there quiet, gathering dust, patiently waiting for sinners. Some said late at night, they hear whispers coming from it, of venial and mortal sins. Upon opening the door it is was always empty.

Two years later, seeing it as an eyesore, the old priest had movers haul the confessional to the rectory yard at the furthermost point allowed by the building code. It took a year for the sin to go, but because squirrels, field mice, song birds sparrows, escaped parakeets, canaries love birds, stray cats, and stray dogs found shelter in it and lived in harmony.

Flowers sprung up all around it. Honey suckle vined in and out of cracks and a rose bush climbed up to its tallest height. This proved said the old priest to the Bishop there is good in all things, even a confessional filled with unrequited sins.

The Bishop thinking the old priest a doddering old fool told the cardinal, "As always your judgments are uniquely designed. The confessional is now a magnificent habitat to wildlife and stray animals. Wouldn’t you say that is in the tradition of Saint Francis DI Assisi."

With that thought, the Cardinal, never one to miss a beat decreed the confessional a shrine to the Saint, and on holidays a donation was asked to worship there. Of course some people did not pay a dime. The first holiday, the Bishop came to make sure all was well. As he browsed through the crowd, the last sins

to leave, not willing to leave with the rest as yet, shuddered and attached themselves to the Bishop when he opened the donation box to count it as a young boy dropped a button in. He told Father O’Halloran, Jack, did you see that?"

"See what?"

Pointing to the boy he said, "That little urchin threw a button in. The most sinful thing I’ve ever seen. Probably grow up to be a serial killer." "Bishop, look, you’ve lost a button. This must be the one for it matches the rest on your gown. Come. I’ll have Addy sew it on for you." Addy sewed it on crooked because the Bishop kept scratching himself, saying, "I feel icky. I feel icky.

Father O’Halloran was to be replaced by the Cardinal’s brother-in-law, recently ordained and being groomed to take over the parish, once the poorest, now one of the most profitable.

Father O’Halloran was outraged, as was Ms. Moony at the turn of affairs. Father Michael Archangel flew back offering his advice in worldly manners and the three spent days cooped up in the rectory.

"First, the back yard confessional cannot be used for its purpose, second, Jack, you will, rumors are, to be sent to a Rehab, and then to a small congregation with 34 parishioners as a priest’s assistant. You, Ms. Moony will be dismissed. The Bishop’s sister-in-law, twice removed, husband a dentist will take your place.

The dentist, I read in the Catholic Digest just made a ten thousand dollar donation to the Bishop and Cardinal’s favorite charity, an obscure little museum which contains a golf course, spa, and heated Olympic sized swimming pool."

"What shenanigans! Those two Hooligans should be made to account for their disgusting scheming and conniving tactics!" Ms. Moony’s face twisted with outrage.

"Now, calm down Addy," Jack said, holding her hand.

"But its not fair. You are not an Alcoholic, and look what you achieved here? All these years, scraping and trying to save, and then when things are going right to the gold, you’re insulted and demeaned!

Father Michael said, Addy, Jack, the church is a business. We all know that. It’s a Good-Old-Boy’s club. The twentieth century society of religions have become the biggest business in the world. Nothing will stop it except the second coming. Now here is what I propose. We kidnap the confessional."

"Kidnap?" Jack and Addy asked simultaneously.

"Yes. Kidnap. Dismantle, load it on a truck, and assemble it somewhere else

and donate it to another non-Catholic church. I have a suspicion it will behave as it did before. This is something bigger than us all. A phenomena of magnificent proportions. I believe whatever caused it to collect unconfessed sins is still inherent in it. A kind of paranoia to be a disgrace and a shrine. Good and evil in the same

compact. Or, in other words an arrangement between sin and love."

"You mean it will happen all over again?" Jack asked

"I trust it will. With any supernatural occurrences, even to witch’s,

ghost’s haunting, and saint’s miracles, they re-occur, sometimes in a certain time frame, or during chaotic periods, a collective force of both sides assemble to do battle, as in the first battle in Heaven. On a much smaller scale, of course. As if a test is proposed, a glove tossed into the circle, a hat into the ring."

"When do we start?" Jack asked.

"Immediately."

"I know just the one to be trusted to do the job with dispatch. A man called

Harvard, a carpenter who did work for the church." Addy proposed this with such certainty and enthusiasm, it was agreed to on the spot.

As if the back yard inhabitants knew what was happening, they started to slip away. In addition to that, nails and screws came apart with ease. There was not one that splintered or held fast. Harvard sang songs as he worked, and within hours he had a stack of wood, benches, screens and shingles on his truck.

The Bishop was called by Addy. Jack wouldn’t lie. The answering machine was on and she left a message: "This is Ms. Moody and this message is for the Bishop, make sure he gets it, whomsoever hears this first at your first opportunity.

"I am calling from the rectory at THE CHURCH OF THE LATTER DAY SAINTS in Brooklyn at 2402 Bushwick Avenue. Our Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi has been abducted. Thank you. Have a good day.

She hung up, hand shaking. Father O’Halloran and Father Michael were right behind her. "Marvelous, Ms. Moody, that was a terrific improvisation of the script I prepared.

"I was scared it was hanging around so I burned it."

"Good thinking he answered. I’d have done exactly that after the call."

"Jack," she said. You better make yourself scarce, go down to Dooly’s and I’ll call you when something happens."

"Good Idea Addy," Father Michael said. I’ll Join you Jack. We’ll take my car," saying it as if Jack owned a car.

At Dooly’s Jack was handed a pint of Black & Tan, and Dooly, a short heavy black haired balding man wearing a hand painted tie of Marilyn Monroe with her infamous white skirt blowing up in the wind, a sleeves rolled up form fitted mauve shirt, and black shorts. "I’m Dooly," He said, a broad smile on his face, his green eyes sparkling, "What’ll ya have. First drink’s on the house,, any friend of Father Jack’s a friend of mine." He held out his hand. Father Michael shook it and said,

How do you do, Dooly, I’m Father Michael Archangel."

"By Jesus, the Exorcist! Right here in my bar. Hey Jim, Pete, this is the guy who had the place jumping at O’Halloran’s place." He called to the only other

people down the bar. Father Michael signed autographs on bar coasters personalized with their names and then ordered a Mud Slide, which no one knew how to make, so he told Dooly who sent Pete out for vanilla ice cream, one of the ingredients.

Two drinks later the phone rang. It was Ms. Moony. "Jack, the coast is clear. the Bishop arrived and left. So did the police who didn’t seem too interested in an old confessional. The Bishop was very agitated and tried to reach the Cardinal who was en route to Baltimore, which made him even more pissed at the problem. I went to the Butcher, got a box of Souvlaki, Pita bread and yogurt sauce

because you and Father Michael raved over it back at the ta-do we had with the confessional. When are you two coming home. The meat’s frozen and I have to thaw it."

"Was he suspicious about anything Abby?"

"Nah, just very, very annoyed. He went on so much with his bad language which I will not repeat, I wanted to wash his mouth out with soap. If the man had a wife, he’d probably beat her. He actually raised his hand at me when I told him he had a filthy mouth. I took the skillet to him and chased him out of the kitchen."

Jack laughed. He knew Addy had a temper, but never saw it bad enough to chase someone with a cast iron frying pan.

"A half hour ok, Addy?"

"Should be."

"See you then."

Jack told everyone what happened. Pete asked, "Who would steal a confessional?"

Father Michael mused, "Maybe someone who wanted to build a church."

The Cardinal and Bishop blamed Jack for the poor security that had allowed the theft, and also Addy as a co-misfit who attacked the Bishop. Jack was ordered to Rehab and Addy fired without severance pay. Jack resigned from the church.

He and Addy hooked up with Harvard and his family who were busting to relocate to Florida. Father Michael approved of everything and offered them his five bedroom house in New Port Ritchy for three months because he was going on a tour of Africa, part business, part pleasure, fully tax deductible. His mother took a taxi to New Port Richy, traveling for the first time to surprise Michael. She threatened to call the police when she saw the crowd, but they showed her the twelve page affidavit Father Michael had them sign duly notarized with three copies and became good friends with everyone.

She called Michael and pleaded for him to come there, but he swore he could not. He did begged her not to show them his baby pictures. She said she wouldn’t, but of course she did.

After much soul searching the next year, Jack and Addy converted to a Non-Denominational religion and started their own church with his winnings from the baccarat game.

Naturally, the confessional was placed on a patio in the back yard of the rectory and soon was filled with wild parakeets, parrots, cormorants, lizards, salamanders, squirrels, and chipmunks, land turtles, and various other forms of exotic living creatures.

The Harvard’s helped them build the church and therefore became co-founders. That about wraps it up except for those scalawags. But that’s another story.

 

The Godhead is broken
   and we are the pieces.
                                         Auden

 

 

Copyright 1999 John Andrew Durler
Published on the World Wide Web by "www.storymania.com"