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Friday, July 27, 2012

       As far as Fr. Kevin was concerned, Tuesday morning dawned the perfect day.  Thunder rattled the window panes in the parlor, and the rain pounded on the roof in a symphony written exclusively for percussion.  The daily liturgy finished for the morning, he could now leisurely enjoy a second cup of coffee and guilt free internet surfing, the lousy weather an honest excuse not to attend to the weeds and overgrown lawn.

       Despite the downpour, 8:30 Mass was well attended, a happy surprise he hadn't been expecting.  He hoped the arrival of his "regulars" meant that things were returning to normal after the craziness of the past few weeks, yet the unsolved murder and arson was like an itch he couldn't quite scratch.  Learning his lesson, he had scheduled an official appointment with the Sheriff for later that afternoon.  He was more than concerned that Beckett would brush off his discovery of the tape residue, much as he had the rosary and glove found in the grotto garden. And as hard as he tried to avoid the pull of gossip, the information he'd gleaned at the committee meeting niggled at the back of his overworked brain.  This visit, the Sheriff would discover that the O'Kenneys could be just as ornery as the next guy when the situation called for it.

      This new sense of direction and determination called for  another cup of java, and perhaps one of those treats from yesterday's gathering.  He padded to the kitchen, debating between lemon squares and brownies, when the land phone rang in the parlor.  He figured the call was most likely parish business, as he usually took personal calls on his cell.  "Good morning.  Holy Family Parish."

      "Uh yes...good morning.  May I please speak with Fr. O'Kenney?"

       "This is Fr. O'Kenney."

         "Oh Father, it's so nice to talk to you again.  It's Cassie McKreedy...from over on Elm Street.  Remember, you came and visited last week?"

         Fr. Kevin made a face, thinking of how the young woman had made an ass of him, but regained his composure and continued.  "Yes, Miss McKreedy, I most certainly remember you.  What can I do for you?'

         "Well, I'm almost too embarrassed to ask, Father.  But you seemed so lovely and kind...I ...umm...didn't know who else to call.  I'm desperate here and  kinda need a really big favor.  I just don't  know who else I can turn to."

          On his end, Kevin could hear the childish whine in her voice, and could almost imagine the woman batting her eyelashes at him.   He wondered why, if the rumors were true, she didn't ask the Sheriff for help.  His conscience immediately pricked him, and sheepishly he replied, "I would be happy to help you if I can, Miss McKreedy.  What is it you need?"

           "Well Father, as you may remember, I have this difficulty about going out."

            "Yes, you did explain that when I came to visit.  How can I help?"  Despite his feelings about being lied to, the young priest was curious to see where this was all leading.

             "It's like this, Father O'Kenney.  I really need to do some banking.  I normally can do everything online, but I'm a bit cash poor, and need to have some cash on hand.  You know...for deliveries and such.  But, I just can't seem to make myself go through the front door.  Honest...I tried and was so sick afterward.  It just won't work...and I was desperately hoping you'd help me."

            "What is it you need for me to do?"

             "I was wondering if you might go to the bank for me and make a withdrawal, then bring the money over to me at my house"

              His eyebrows twitching at the phrase 'my house',  Fr. Kevin politely replied, "No problem, Miss McKreedy.  But I'm not sure the bank will just let me walk in and take money out of your account."

              "Oh that won't be a problem, Fr. O'Kenney.  I called the bank, and talked to Mr. Mooney, the bank president.  He said it wouldn't be an being a pastor and all that.  I already faxed over the withdrawal slip to the bank and everything is set."

               For a brief second, he was slightly annoyed that she just assumed he'd agree to all of this without first discussing it with him, but being who he was, tapped down his pride.  "That will be fine then, Miss McKreedy.  I'd be happy to help you out.  I have an appointment for 2:00 pm, and I could stop at the bank, and then your home, on the way there."  The irony that the appointment was with the Sheriff, her supposed Sheriff, wasn't lost on him, and he let himself smile a bit.

           "Oh, Father O" are simply the best!  I so do appreciate this little favor.  You just don't understand how much of a life saver you are.  Thank you so much!"

            He was pretty sure she never doubted his compliance, but accepted the gratitude and replied, "No problem, Miss McKreedy.  I'm happy to help.  I'll probably reach your house around 1:45, if that would be okay?"

            "Oh that would be perfect, Father!  I'll be waiting.  Thanks ever so much!  Bye now."

             She hung up the phone before he could reply, lightening flashing and thunder crashing as he placed the receiver back in the cradle.  An hour ago, he had welcomed the lousy weather.  Now it appeared he would end up tramping around in it, getting completely soaking wet.  Dumping out the cold coffee he had fixed before the phone rang, he poured himself a fresh, hot cup and decided on both the brownie and the lemon square.

Copyright 2012 Victoria Rocus






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