Sunday, May 03, 2009

Forgive me Father

"Bless me Father, for I have sinned. It’s been many years since my last confession”
Seamus had hovered at the door of the church unsure whether or not to enter the uninviting grey stone building which towered into an even greyer sky. He had often glanced at the signs placed outside the gate to the churchyard. He’d even cracked a smile now and again at the witty messages displayed to tempt people in.
But today, the sign made him stop and think. ‘No God, No peace. Know God, Know Peace’.
He half hoped he’d find the huge oak door locked, but when he pushed it, it opened with a creak and a groan as if to say ‘What took you so long Seamus?’
He stood and looked around the vast gloomy edifice. A few candles flickered here and there. A woman, kneeling at prayer a few feet from where he stood, put God on hold for a moment as she stared at the stranger who stared back at her.
His immediate thought was to turn and flee this grotesque unwelcoming place, but something deep down inside him said that now was the time to face his maker. Now was the time to make his confession.
As he approached the confessional he saw Father McGuire slip inside. The priest, more used to forgiving trivial transgressions had no idea what he was about to hear. As he listened to Seamus he gasped. Then silence. Father McGuire was speechless. What he heard stunned him, and for the first time in his career he felt unable to forgive a sinner his sins.
A few muttered ‘Hail Mary’s’ seemed insufficient to absolve the transgression he’d just listened to.
He composed himself. ‘Give thanks to the Lord for he is good’ he whispered.
Seamus failed to respond. Instead, he flung open the door of the confessional and rushed through the church, out of the door and into the graveyard.
The sense of relief was almost unbearable. Strange as it seems, it actually hurt. This sudden out flowing of things previously hidden sent him reeling into a state of euphoria. He had faced the monster inside him. He was released. He was forgiven.
He was forgiven in the eyes of the church, but the eyes of someone hidden and watching were unable to forgive.


  1. Keith are you going to leave us hanging with this one or is this going to be a continuation?

    Fantastic piece of prose!!

  2. I actually enjoyed this piece.
    Oddly enough!

  3. scary :(

  4. Well written as always. Have no idea what he said or even that it's important. The character and tension team well for a fine read...

  5. Masterful. Don't tell me what he said. Leave me imagining the utter worst.

  6. no way... I HaVE to know!! I think since he heads to the graveyard.. he is the UNdEAD!!! ooooh zombie story?!? OR he is off to the graveyard to say a prayer for the MANY he put there??!!! Come on Keith.. I can't take cliffhangers!!!
    what an exciting confession post!

  7. I disagree with the comments demanding an answer. The charm of this is that the answer to this mystery is left to the mind of the reader.

  8. I'm torn. I want to know and yet I find that I want to imagine.
    Great story. I really liked the speechlessness of the priest. Of all the horrors he must have heard this one left him speechless. My what could it have been?
    Great writing.

  9. Wow Keith, great post. My imagination runs riot.

  10. you are really not gonna tell us what he confessed?????

  11. Sounds like the start of a ripping yarn...

  12. I'm less concerned of what was said than who was watching!

  13. so this is what it feels like..

  14. woah...m left here imagining...quite intrigued.

  15. No - we DON'T need to know the answer. We all have our own definition of what constitutes an unforgiveable sin. If you told what it was, we wouldn't all agree.

    So when will you be publishing a book of your short stories?



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