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Saturday, June 16, 2012

           Behind the tall hedges, in the back of the church, Fr. Kevin rested and watched the day's sky turn to twilight.  He took a long drag on the joint in his hand, and slowly exhaled.  As he did so, he could feel the knotted muscles between his shoulder blades begin to unwind and relax.  Today had been the worst day he could remember, and he couldn't get the image of Marco's bleeding body out of his mind.  The guilt twisting in his stomach was even  harder to shake, despite the reefer doing it's work.

           How could he not even know if Marco was Catholic?  The man had been coming to work almost every day for the past four months, and as he lay dying on the front lawn, Kevin knew little more than his name, and that only because he regularly signed the gentleman's pay check  Truth was, he knew little about any of his parishioners, other than the inane chit chat exchanged after Mass.  And now it looked as if someone in this town was so horribly messed up,  filled with enough rage to actually take a life!

           When Sheriff Beckett had asked if he knew of anyone who would have reason to want the gardener dead, he could offer no input.  He even needed to check Marco's employment records to find out if he had a next of kin, and who and where they were.  "Face it, " he mused, "you just suck as a Pastor".

             He took another drag and wondered when it had all stopped mattering.  He knew he had wanted to be a priest and serve the Church since he was in the 6th grade.  He loved his faith, and his ordination had been one of the happiest days of his life.  But once out of the seminary and assigned to his first parish as an associate, he had quickly become disillusioned.  It seemed to be nothing more than business and politics.  The harder he tried to build personal relationships, the more he was rebuffed.  So he stopped trying, and instead stayed off of the radar.  Because he did nothing to make a positive impression, it came as a complete shock to him when the diocese had informed him that he would be getting his own parish.  The reasoning became quite clear when he arrived in Dollyville, and realized that Holy Family was a teeny, tiny church, in a teeny tiny town.  A place you sent someone who couldn't mess up the status quo.

           "And yet, you still managed to screw up the proverbial 'one car funeral," he thought.   Feeling perfectly sorry for himself, he reached down to grab the cup of latte next to the lawn chair.  As he did so, something caught the corner of his eye, moving among the bushes.  Thinking it was the neighbor's
cat, he turned his attention back to the reefer, latte and his growing weariness.  Imagine his shock when out of the bushes rolled what could only be described as ...well...a midget.

             "Enjoying your own little pity party, lad?"

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