Observed by no one, he ritualised the act, surrounded it with an inviolable purity of purpose. He cleansed and laid out each instrument with care. He said a prayer to absolve each one of taint; the silver goblet, the steel blade, the needle, the syringe, the little burner with its scented oil, the viol of holy water.
He looked upon the effigy in its makeshift alcove—the one he'd carved the night he took his first—the one he'd carved from bone. The dark blood-stain countenance on the wall endorsed his ceremony. This cellar was a chapel to his craft; his hermit lair.
And each and every one of them was blond – little blond saints who trusted Father Urban; who now would be forever free of sin. He took their bodies but he saved their souls. Oh yes. You can sanctify murder if you really try.