Suggested Audio Candy
 James Horner “In The Name of The Rose”
 John Carpenter “Obsidian”
Finally I have found my sanctuary. Where better to be at peace than the house of the almighty himself? This is a place of rejoice; of celebration. Evil cannot flourish here; it has no place on such sacred grounds. It would appear that my ordeal is now behind me as I feel an overriding sense of calm and no longer under duress. It has been almost twenty years since my last communion and I am guessing that equates to rather a hefty quota of Hail Marys. For now I think it best to keep my indiscretions to myself, at least temporarily, and blend in as best as I can. The congregation is vast and nobody appears to have batted an eyelid at my late arrival. No sign of Father Martin as yet but the old lady on organ duties is already hitting her bum notes and countless faceless worshippers have their heads bowed in preparation for the pastor’s address. I take my place at the rear.
I count myself particularly fortunate for the fact that nobody has seen fit to turf me out. I haven’t exactly been a regular face at church since my parents no longer forced me to attend. I’m looking around for familiar faces but none are forthcoming. This is not necessarily a negative right now as it means I can remain anonymous; just another member of the flock, although admittedly more wayward than most. Having said that, it would appear that I’m not the only sinner to be asking for forgiveness this day as the gentleman to my left seems to be carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. If there is one thing which a sinner can ascertain it is another sinner. We stick out like sore thumbs on holy grounds and are the precise reason that they the back pew remains otherwise unpopulated.
My compadre hasn’t yet noticed my attendance and is too busy mumbling something to himself under his breath. I can’t quite make out his words although I’m fairly assured he is not reciting a passage from the old testament unless the word “fuck” has been added to the verse. They’re always releasing new editions of the bible; maybe it’s the church’s attempt to become more hip and edgy and appeal to a fresh audience. Having said that, his prayer-book remains untouched.
He is paying me no mind whatsoever and continues to voice his own personal sermon without distraction.
Nothing; not a single bone thrown my way. I may as well be totally invisible. Thankfully, I recall my time at Ginsberg’s Doghouse and remember cramming a couple of Bratwursts into my jacket pocket while the vendor was otherwise disposed. We all got to eat right? I reach inside said pocket for my savory dog but instead prise out something which I’m reasonably positive was never there previously. A solitary apple; polished, plump, and purported to be one of my five-a-day. I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t a little perturbed by its unprompted appearance; fair enough it may appear succulent on the outside but we all know what happens by the time you’ve bitten through its waxy exterior. Suddenly, all you’re left with is a mouthful of chalk. I work under the assumption that none-a-day is a sufficient daily quota and you don’t see me clutching my arteries. I’m as fit as a busted fiddle.
It would appear that my fresh acquisition has aroused the interest of my neighbor as he is now very much mindful of my presence.
“You gonna eat that or what?”
“I hadn’t intended to…no”
“What a waste”
“It can’t have fallen from the tree more than ten minutes ago. Look at it. I’ve never seen a more lustrous fruit”
“Not much of an apple kind of guy I’m afraid”
“You won’t know unless you try it buddy. Take a bite”
Great. Another food Nazi; just what I need right now.
“Think I’ll just hold onto it for now thanks”
Actually that’s where he is mistaken. You wanna know how I can state that with such confidence? Because I just attended my own burial once already and won’t be forgetting the experience in a hurry. My existence rests on a number of factors and not one of them is my ability to scoff my face with fruit, no matter how ripe their appearance. This is my phantasm; if my tummy growls then I shall simply conjure up another vendor although I shall refrain from doing so on holy grounds out of reverence for the almighty lord.
“If it looks that tasty then help yourself. I don’t need it”
“I have no use for that. Besides, it’s almost time for communion. No rest for the wicked”
The mind boggles as to how many skeletons this guy has tucked away inside his closet. He looks as though his sins would be plentiful; not exactly what I would call choirboy material, more fallen angel. I have to admit being somewhat curious as to just how long his communion is likely to run; it could well be an all-nighter judging by the devilish glint in his eye. I suppose it’s not as though I have a great deal else to occupy myself with presently; having just sprinted almost half a kilometre I’m just thankful for the breather. I shall hold onto my apple, for the time being at least, and watch what transpires.
That’s bizarre; he appears to have entered the wrong side of the confessional. Maybe it’s his first time. He’s going to feel pretty stupid once Father Martin comes along and sits on his lap; I’m already aware how tetchy he gets when the correct guidelines aren’t adhered to. There is somebody approaching but it certainly isn’t the priest in question. A most delectable treat for sore eyes; she is voluptuous and heavily endowed with plump breasts which would no doubt provide all five of my daily quota. As naked as birth; she is liberally painted with all manner of tribal designs, completely shaven, with both nipples impaled by silver bars. Her hair, which currently hangs just shy of her ass dimple, is black but the tips are scarlet. Nobody else appears to be paying her any mind; which I find somewhat staggering, given the fact that she is in the altogether. She enters the opposing booth and places her brace of peachy buttocks on the frigid timber stall.
“Forgive me father for I have sinned”
“Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground”
Who would have thought it? He is a minister. Unless I am mistaken that is a verse from the old testament book of Genesis. That was about as far as I got when perusing my own bible; the bookmark is still perched there to this very day. I’m not entirely convinced of the relevance of his opening discourse; but I have a somewhat disparaging idea that I will be finding out in due course.
“I’ve touched myself, on many occasions, since my last confession”
Now this is getting a lot more interesting; far more in keeping with the dreams my mind ordinarily concocts.
“Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
Little minx. She’s for the high jump here; it’s one thing confessing your violations but it is another entirely touching your forbidden fruit when repent should be your sole action. Her admittance of guilt has evidently encouraged punishment from the opposite compartment and he has removed the interjoining sliding screen, which I’m fairly assured is not part of the penance. One would envisage him becoming lodged in the lattice but instead he is changing form to allow for a more undemanding passage.
“Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being”
Well that came right out of left-wing. A snake with a human tail; he has shed his skin to the ground and slithered through the grate to penalize this indelicate rose first hand. We all know what goes on behind the curtain; her receipt of the serpent will likely be enough to bring tears to her eyes and make perching a no-no for the foreseeable. Strangely enough, the winding cleric is disinterested with the fruit of her loins and instead his fully protracted jaws are clasped across her forehead. Yet, he still speaks.
“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel”
That doesn’t sound at all like good news; for her at least. It gets tiresome being correct all the time. I have watched a snake consume a shrew on the Discovery Channel and it isn’t a particularly pretty sight; but there is a distinct difference here. Filthy little harlot seems to be getting a sick little kick from digestion; I could place a teacup on her areola and a couple of ginger nut biscuits to boot, while her swollen center is glistening in its own sweetener. Between marveling at the serpent’s deep-throated antics, feeling sick to the pit of my abdomen, and balancing a boner; I have no idea what to think at this moment. Within seconds, the scarlet vixen has been broken down inside the snake’s bulging throat like troublesome acid and the last few crunches of shattered bone compromise my erection.
Perhaps now would be a good time to eat my apple. While legitimately titillating, I don’t fancy being next up to receive my denouement, particularly given the fact that I last rubbed one out back at the hot dog stall. I’ll be for the high jump if he observes the thick calluses littering both palms. Forbidden fruit it is then. Something doesn’t feel right; I can’t quite bring myself to take a bite and my dalliance is fully justified as twin serrated blades spring forth from either side of the fruit in synchronicity. A sentinel; that can’t be. These are hallowed grounds; no place for The Tall Man. I should be safe here. Having said that, I have just watched a concubine being consumed most conclusively in booth #1 over there. Maybe that was my first clue that everything isn’t kosher. Hindsight may be a wonderful thing but not when you’re left grasping the death sphere.
I toss the bogus globe with every last ounce of strength I can muster; straight through the stained glass window for a likely sixer. Unfortunately, this appears to have angered my scaly nemesis and he has evacuated his oak enclosure through way of burstage. Clarity doesn’t always offer encouragement and on this occasion I think I would’ve preferred ambiguity as the snake’s head now resembles The Tall Man and I would know that wretched scowling face anywhere.
There’s my buzz word to make tracks. But where? There is hardly enough space to swing a cat and it has been far too long since my last appearance at church so I have no inkling of any potential crawlspaces. I knew I should’ve attended mass. No point crying over spilled holy water now; I can feel that treacherous tongue flicking about my ankles and it’s time to turn off the inner monologue.
I made it. A single door, not unlike the one I was first faced with back at phase one of my expedition, and the only conceivable way out. Locked. Fucking A. Just what I need when the whir of the sentinel has just reconvened a few feet behind me. The snake’s shadow is now looming large and is even taller than I ever recollected. Just as I begin filling in my organ donor card, something totally unprecedented occurs. Father Martin is my sign from God; the clergyman releases the deadbolt from the other side and the vestry door opens, light gushing through to greet my gaping eyes. Somewhat blinded; I stumble through. Said illumination is suddenly replaced with blackness and suddenly the pastor is nowhere to be found.
Truly, Really, Clearly, Sincerely,
Keeper of the Crimson Quill
Copyright: Crimson Quill: Savage Vault Enterprises 2015