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AFTER THE MAGAZINE STORIES STORE
Father Merrick wasn’t really in the right state of mind to give a homily.
But the readings were finished.
As a man of God, he had little choice. “Thank you all for coming.”
He looked about the pews. They were mostly empty.
Just a few poor souls who hadn’t been taken to paradise.
And himself. “I wasn’t quite prepared to speak today. Truth be told, I didn’t really expect to be here.” Judging by the faces of those in attendance, they weren’t expecting to be there, either.
They looked on the priest in silence, with expressions that were both lost and scared.
Father Merrick restlessly paced back and forth, as though he were searching the altar for words to say. Or a place to hide.
“I…don’t know. Apparently, our friends and family who were fortunate enough to be taken by the Lord lived very chaste lives.” He knew that was bullshit. Deacon Godwin had been taken up, for Christ’s sake. “It’s ok to be frightened. I’m frightened, too. But we can’t allow this, this test, to lead us astray. If we continue to follow His word, salvation will come. It has been written.” The words quivered from his throat. He didn’t believe in any of them. Not anymore.
And out of all the homilies Father Merrick had ever given, this one was rapidly shaping up to be the worst. By far. But what could he say? CHOOSE:
I QUIT
WHERE DID I GO WRONG
I'M SORRY