Andrew R Crow

"Coming up lights out, Reverend!" The sarcasm shot wide, missing the mark. The pudgy-faced guard leered through the peephole. As he shuffled down the hall, the man in the cell closed his eyes, comparing the subtle differences between the dimness of the room and that of his mind. And she appeared, as she always did, swiftly pushing aside his musings.

The images of her came in no timely order. Dead. Alive. Dying. All flashing at random. He concentrated, focussing on the last time he saw her, lying limp in his arms near the font, her glowing radiance replaced by a death pallor. Holding her in that place that was his true home. His words echoed in his mind: "Lord, for all my years of service, I beseech thee, bring my Elizabeth back to me....Oh God..."

And then the silence. The hours. The rising sun illuminating the stained glass behind the altar. The face he loved more than his wife. The crown. The blood. All changing now, the face seeming to truly look down on him. The anguished visage now turning to mirth, laughing at him, his faith, his belief.

And then the confusion. The pleadings. The slowly rising anger. And the destructive force that possessed him lashing out, thrashing, crashing, finally screaming not to the face in the window, but the Fallen One to answer his prayers. And finally the sobbing, his last hopes gone with his faith as the early arriving parishioners arrived, looking on in horror...

The guard was back, dowsing the flame by the man's door, snickering, knowing full well he was too early. The room's occupant smiled to himself. "Thank you, Goodwin. Memories are best savoured in the dark."

"Aye, well best enjoy them while you can. You'll hang for this you know."

But the man said nothing. There was no God. No judgement. There was nothing beyond death. He closed his eyes and remembered again.

First published: November, 2006
comments to the writer: Knob'sWriter@iceflow.com