Andrew R Crow

He furtively looked up and down De Koven street, making sure he was still alone. Clutching the small flask of kerosene to his side, the recently de-frocked Reverend Santely, late of the First-In-Christ Church, started up the street toward the O'Leary place. He looked like any other West Division resident out for an evening walk in this unbearable Chicago drought. Maybe a little on the eccentric side, this man of God, muttering to himself, but okay nonetheless. But for anyone close by, the words were anything but holy.

"Of all the nerve, that--that bitch. Where does she come off going behind my back, reporting ME? 'Unsavoury behaviour.' God, GOD HELP ME I'll show that filthy little whore unsavoury behaviour!" He glanced around again. "Must stay quiet" He absently rubbed the cross around his neck, an old mentor's gift fashioned out of a piece of soft sandstone.

Santely's unsavoriness (or 'selfless soul saving' as the good Reverend would say), according to Elder Abigail Porter, included evening services for those 'chosen' younger parishioners in the church basement, midnight sermons lasting til daybreak, and frequent beatings of those less well-behaved among the group.

Santely finally came to a stop outside the small barn. What irony, he thought. The holy blaze that would result in a blasted and charred wasteland, devoid of all the filth and evil burned away, starting in a dirty, shitty barn complete with cow! Just what these godless animals deserve.

He took out the flask, and got to work.

First published: August 2005
comments to the writer: Knob'