Two years after last posting I am re-starting this blog on a different note to give a little more variety. This is the first chapter of a story I am writing…
“There is no greater sin than to kill a man. I don’t know how else to word it, how to get that through to you.”
“Aye, Father I agree. But is there any greater glory to be had than by slaying a monster?”
Father Danny shook his head and exhaled an exasperated sigh as he pondered the best way to respond to the man sat the other side of the thin wall separating them in the confessional. He felt like he knew him rather well by now, well enough to know his words were wasted and there would be no changing Jack’s mind. He’d been trying to for the best part of four years; every few weeks Jack would come to Father Danny and confess his sins, invariably the first one would be a new murder he had committed. He had tried blocking it out, telling himself the man was lying for attention – that was when Jack first told Father Danny of his plans before the killings would happen. Now he would vary his approach, today he was indeed giving warning of what was to come. And Father Danny felt so helpless, almost taunted. Taunted by his inability to do anything but try and reason with the madman the other side of that impossibly thin wall. And Jack knew this.
“If you feel so strongly about it, I have given you fair warning. Do something about it.”
The silence lasted for what felt like a minute, maybe two to Father Danny.
“Exactly. You can’t. You took your vows, and I took mine. I kill the scum of the earth and you say nothing about it. Why? Because vows or no vows, you know the world is better off without them. And do you know what Father? Whatever you say, I think you admire me somewhat for doing what has to be done.”
“What you are doing Jack, it isn’t God’s work,” Father Danny finally replied, the passion stirred in him by what he perceived as the relentless mocking of himself. “There will be no seat at God’s right hand for you. There will be no eternity in Paradise and there will be no glorification of your crimes when you are gone – no glory to be had in either this life or the next.”
The same debate every time. And then again, every night in his dreams, every waking minute in his head. It was no wonder Father Danny felt so exhausted.
“You’re wrong!” Jack exclaimed it so loudly and belatedly that it caused Father Danny to sit upright in surprise. “We all get tasked with different things in the world,” he had quickly regained his calm demeanour; “to some people I might be mad, I get that. But I imagine the vast majority, if they knew the facts of what I did, would see me as braver than themselves and no less sane. I expect the same people would look at your life of celibacy and discipline as the epitome of insanity. It takes all sorts to make the world go round Father.”
“Your sort isn’t needed Jack. There’s a system for the people you murder.”
“The system is broken, and all I’m doing is serving the justice the public require to stay safe.”
“To stay safe? Safe? You make the world a dangerous place yourself Jack! What if you miss a shot, or take out the wrong man? What if people were to get caught in the middle of of it all? Would you kill yourself in the name of justice? It is madness. Utter madness.”
“You give my skills too little credit Father,” Jack chuckled to himself. “I’m good, very good.”
“I don’t doubt it. Let us say hypothetically that you were given a wrong or false target. Could you live with yourself then?”
“It wouldn’t happen Father. I take my orders from a better man than I, and a better one than you for that matter. He follows his convictions and consequences be damned. “
“He’s just another dangerous man.”
“Maybe in your eyes Father. “
“Then leave it to God to serve justice.”
“The same predictable argument every time. He will cast his judgement on them in the afterlife I agree, but I see no harm in hurrying them towards their day of reckoning. Anyway, I must be off. I’d appreciate your absolution for my sins.”
“You haven’t committed the sin Jack, only talked of it. You don’t need absolution for something you haven’t done. That you don’t do. You don’t need to keep doing this.”
“In that case Father I’ll see you on Thursday. God Bless.”