General Fiction posted September 7, 2018


Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
Of sanctity and sin

Penance

by Mark Valentine
















The window of the confessional slid open.

Carl crossed himself as the priest intoned, “In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”

Carl began.

“Is it a sin to take a life, Father?”

“Of course.”

“Even if it’s done in the name of justice?”

“A human life can never be a means to an end. The Church believes in the inviolable sanctity of every human life.”

“Even altar boys, Father? Are they inviolable?”

Hearing no answer, Carl continued.

“Because I felt very violated all those years ago. When I lost any chance of having a childhood. When my innocence was replaced by shame and loathing.”

Carl lifted a pistol from his pocket and pointed it at the opaque screen that separated him from his confessor. The sound of the gunshot was followed by Carl’s words.

“Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.”



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