Forgive Me, Father

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

A priest meets a demon in the vault beneath the church and has a moment of weakness.

Submitted: August 22, 2018

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Submitted: August 19, 2018



“Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned.” The voice echoed from the back of the empty vault, two pinpricks of phosphorescence in the dark marked the location of the speaker. “I have murdered, coveted, and made deals on behalf of the Devil himself.”

The young priest started; the flame atop his candle wavered in the dim light, guttered, and went out. The glow from the other end of the vault did not vanish. Panic surged in his chest as he struggled with his robes to retrieve a matchbox. “Who- who are you?”

“I assure you,” it said, the glowing orbs creeping closer in the dark, “who is the wrong question entirely.”

Finally, the priest managed to strike a match, only to immediately wish he has not. It was a man crouched on the floor, or at least, the facsimile of a man. He was a beautiful man, although one who was quite clearly no longer entirely that. From the glimpse he caught before his flame died again the creature was pulling itself forward with clawed hands and below the waist it was a scaled, slithering thing. He was almost relieved when the flame extinguished itself against his fingertips.

“Father, are you listening?” The thing was close now; its cold, damp hands clutched at the bottom of his robe.

“What do you want?” The priest’s voice shook, “This is a house of God.”

“Why, Father, you invited me in.” The creature rested its head against his knee. “I’m here to answer your prayers.”

“I don’t know what you mean.”

“No, of course you don’t, Lowell. Come sit with me, my child, and tell me your sins.” The creature caressed him, caught him and lowered him as his legs gave out, cradled him in it’s icey arms. “Your Heavenly Father may not understand you, but I do.”

Lowell could feel its tail curling around him as he stared into its starlight eyes. He wanted to stand, to run, but his quivering muscles refused to cooperate. How did this monster know his name? “Begone, Devil!” He gasped.

“Oh, Father.” The thing’s talons sent shivers down his spine as it caressed his auburn hair, it’s voice was so gentle, so understanding, “Don’t be afraid, I would never hurt you. I want to love you, Lowell. You love me, too, don’t you? You love all of God’s creatures.”

“What do you want?” Lowell asked, as he allowed the thing to pull his head down against its shoulder. He could feel small, smoothe scales against his cheek.

“Some wine,” The priest choked out.

“Let me.” The priest cleared his throat, “Let me pour you a glass of wine.”

“Such a good host.” The beast crooned, uncoiling it’s length from around his body. “By all means.” It took his hands in its own and helped him strike a match to relight his candle.

As he hurried to the shelves on the wall of the vault, he kept one wary eye on the thing that sat coiled on the floor. It was better in the dark, when he couldn’t see the thing embracing him. The candle’s feeble light light glinted on the slick grey skin of its lower body, and accented the ragged ribbons of its fins. He couldn’t tell where the man’s body ended and serpentine tail began, the entire creature was the same slate grey except for it’s phosphorescent green eyes and curling red hair.

It would all be over soon, Lowell told himself as he poured the sanctified wine with trembling hands. The creature waited for him, hands outstretched, and he noticed the webbing between its fingers as he handed it the chalice. “God’s blessings be with you.”

“And you, Father.” The creature smirked as it lifted the chalice to it’s lips and drank deep of the blood of Christ. Nothing happened. The thing was unphased. It just sat there, sipping half of the Holy Communion like it hadn’t a care for the wrath of God. “If I might, I’ve always fancied--” It reached out, it’s fingers closing around the Saint Michael medallion that hung around his throat.

The priest sobbed with despair as he sank to his knees on the cold stone floor of the vault. “What do you want, Devil?”
“Why, Father, I thought I told you: I want to love you.” It was coiling around him again, eye to eye as its tail encircled him. “And because I love you, I’ll give you whatever you desire. All I ask in return is your soul.”
“No!” Lowell gasped, falling backward in his effort to escape, “No, I won’t.”
The creature loomed over him, “Tell me, Father, what did you pray for in your darkest secret moment. You remember, don’t you?”

“I prayed,” the priest confessed as tears flowed in torrents down his face, “I prayed that the raiders would burn this place, so that I could be free.”

“I’ll give it to you, Lowell. I’ll give you that and so much more. Serve me for one human lifespan, and I will set you free from your priestly vows.” The creature embraced him, “I love you, Lowell. I only want what is best for you.”

Lowell was sick with fear, uncertainty sat in his chest like a lead weight,  but he wanted it. He wanted it with every fiber of his being. “Yes.”

“Say it, Lowell, give it to me.” The creature urged, kissing the tears from his cheeks with clammy lips. He could feel the pinpricks of it’s claws on his jaw as it tilted his face up.

Lowell choked on the words, sobbing until finally they worked their way free of his throat in a whisper, “One lifetime. You have my soul for one lifetime, just please-”

“It is done.” The creature soothed, before it’s lips covered his and he felt himself being drawn up, away from his body.

The next morning, the body of a priest was found in the vault beneath the church, his hand clutching a bottle of sanctified wine, and his lungs full of seawater.

© Copyright 2019 Remi Brokenwing. All rights reserved.

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