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Saturday, August 11, 2012

          The woman watched from her perch behind the garage.  It was all happening wrong.  The possibility of the Sheriff showing up had always been a risk.  But the priest?  Where in the hell had he come from?  No, not him. It wasn't part of the plan. He shouldn't be here right now.

          She closed her eyes, and with all her might, willed the priest to walk away.  Go.  Leave. Now. Her mantra, over and over again. As the priest remained standing in front of the house, she watched the Sheriff kick down the door.  Watched him carry the heartless bitch out.  Watched them all drive away with sirens blaring. And with fist clenched, and a moan escaping her lips, watched in utter frustration as the house blew apart, into a million pieces, without Cassie McKreedy inside.


          Everything was a fog.  Cassie McKreedy fought to drag herself from the deep. Heard voices.  Saw lights.  Hands on her pushing.

          "It's going to be all right, Ms. McKreedy.  You're at Jefferson Memorial.  There's been an accident, but you're going to be fine.  We're gonna take good care of you."

          She tried to move her mouth.  Tried to get the words out.  But something was in the way.  She couldn't find her tongue.  Where was her tongue?

          "Don't try to talk, miss.  We've put a tube in."

         Tried to think.  What happened?  Why here?  Foggy head...hard to see.

          "You are one lucky lady, you know that?  Sheriff got you out just in time."

           Teddy?  Teddy's here?  No.  Not Teddy.  No more.  Have to leave.

           "Ms. McKreedy, can you hear me?  We need to know what you took?  What drugs are you currently taking?  Can you tell us?"

             Cassie tried to push the words out...pushed hard...but it was like swimming in mud.  Too  thick. Too heavy.  She felt herself slip back into the deep, dark emptiness.


          It was almost 3:30 AM when the Sheriff dropped Fr. Kevin back at the rectory.  He was tired.  Near exhaustion from the stress and strain of last night's events.   He crawled up the stairs to his bedroom, and kicked off his shoes.  For awhile, he had been able to run on adrenaline, coping with the shock of nearly being blown up like the man of faith people expected him to be.  But that he was safe at home...the whole thing hit him like a punch to the gut.

         He had never seen anything to match it.  Not close up.  First the roaring sound, and then the  WHOOSH...all the walls of the huge house pushing outward and breaking apart into puzzle like pieces.
He shuddered at the thought that only a few seconds before, he had been standing on the now non-existent porch stairs.  He bent his head in prayer and thanked the Lord for his rescue, and that of Cassie McKreedy.

         The doctor had said she'd be okay.  Talked about a possible drug interaction, but said her lungs appeared to have suffered no damage from the natural gas.  He was grateful for the Sheriff's quick thinking, and his opinion of the man had grown after the trauma of the evening.  He had a calm and collected head on his shoulders, and it was obvious he cared deeply for the young woman.

          Hoping to catch at least a couple of hours of sleep before the 6 AM Mass, Kevin flopped face first into his bed, not even bothering to pull the covers down.  He was too tired to worry about the money sitting in the church safe.  Too tired to contemplate what might have happened tonight.  Too tired to worry about the sense of evil that seemed to have settled over his parish the past month.  He thought he saw Brian lurking near the end of his bed.  Or maybe he was dreaming.  Right now, he was too tired to care.

Copyright 2012 VictoriaRocus





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