Sunday, October 7, 2012
Fr. Kevin O'Kenney was a happy man. Comfortably spread across the parlor sofa, remote in one hand, sausage pizza in the other, he was surely the picture of male contentment. With the dog still sound asleep on the pillow under the window, he could finally enjoy a quiet evening of deserved down time.
With expert marksmanship, he flipped back and forth between channels, a wandering eye on both the Celts and Knicks game, and an old Austin Powers movie that seemed inherently funnier after finishing the last of the weed hidden in his sock drawer. The fact that the sandwich bag was now completely empty, was a problem he'd leave to ponder another day.
Somewhere before the end of the second quarter, Kevin thought he heard a slight tapping at the front window. Moving aside the drapes, he was mildly surprised to come face to face with Brian's turned up fairy nose pressed firmly against the pane of glass. It had been weeks since the priest had seen or heard from the little man, and he had almost begun to believe he had imagined the whole thing. Now, with his hot breath fogging up the window, it was pretty obvious the figure outside was not an easily dismissed figment of his imagination.
With a pointy finger, Brian tapped the glass and gestured towards the snoozing dog across the room. Kevin shook his head, and grasping the handles while balancing the left over pizza on his lap, cracked the window open several inches.
"Come on in," he invited, "the dog's out cold. Won't be bothering either of us for at least the next few hours."
The clurican put his chin in his hand, thought a moment or two, then slipped over the sill and landed with a plop onto the sofa next to his human companion. "Aye, laddie. I be wantin' to know just how you got the wee beastie to stay so quiet an' unawares of yours truly? Fairy folk and doggies are not known to be much of friends."
"So I gathered. And this particular dog doesn't seem too fond of me either. Let's just say I took care of his excess anxiety." Kevin chuckled at his own joke.
Brian looked quizzically at the young man, then turned his attention to the pungent aroma hanging in the air. Sniffing, he asked, "I ken smell that ya been at that fine tobacco again. Should ya be willn' to share, I'd be most appreciatin' a bit of a smoke meself."
Kevin grimaced and apologized. "Sorry ole' man. I finished the last of it earlier this evening. If I had known you'd be dropping by..." He let the words hang in the air, remembering his childhood warnings about making fairy folk angry.
The wee man frowned, and then poked a bony finger into Kevin's gut. "I guess I'll be settlen' for a nip of your best Irish whiskey then." He leaned back into the sofa, and propped his feet up a nearby throw pillow. "And don't you be stingy with your pourn' hand, boy."
With a sigh, Fr. Kevin pushed himself off the cushions, and trudged to the kitchen. Reaching into the cabinet over the sink, he pulled out a juice glass, and thinking better of it, added a second glass, as well as the bottle of coveted Jameson. The fact that he wasn't weirded out by the scene unfolding in the parlor, made him positive that his mental health had sunk to an all time low.
Into one glass, he poured an inch of whiskey for himself, and the other he filled half way, thought a bit, and added a splash more. It was his hope that if Brian had his fill, he would happily be on his way, and would leave Kevin to his evening of quiet solitude and bad habits. Tumblers in hand, he returned to the parlor to find the pint-sized man examining a slice of pizza, up close and personal.
"Help yourself there, pal." Annoyed, the priest sat down and handed the sidhe his tumbler.
"Much obliged, lad." Raising the glass in toast, he exclaimed, "Slainte", and tossed the whiskey back in one long swallow. Sighing and smacking his lips, he turned his attention back to the snitched
slice of pizza. "What be this bia in the box? Looks a fright, but smells most intriguing."
As politely as he could, Kevin pulled the box back toward him. "It's called pizza. Sorta like an open sandwich type thingy. I don't think you'd like it. It's not sweet at all."
Brian brought the slice tentatively towards his lips, took a sniff, and then bit off a large piece. With a look of disgust, he swallowed a mouthful, and dropped the remaining portion back into the box. "Loc na mhuice!"
Holding back a smirk in fear of offending, Kevin looked to the sputtering man trying to wipe his tongue with his sleeve, and innocently asked, "I guess you didn't care for it?"
"Tastes like pig shit, boy!" Unbearable! "I'll be needing a wee bit more whiskey now. Ta wash away the bad taste, ya ken?" He pushed the tumbler back toward Kevin, and folded his hands across his belly.
Now thoroughly exasperated, Fr. O'Kenney made his way back to the kitchen, refilled the glass, and handed it to Brian, who was now pacing the room, picking things up, putting them down, and undoubtedly, weighing the theft value of each item. Deciding it wasn't worth the worry, the priest turned his attention back to the basketball game, the now cold pizza, and his shot of the Jameson's.
A few moments later, Kevin noticed the fairy staring intently at the sleeping dog across the room.
He gave the dog a slight nudge with the toe of his boot, but the dog remained motionless. Leaning down, Brian put his ear to the Westie's chest, and shook his head. "You assured that this here little beastie is among the livin', laddie?"
"Of course he's living! He's just doped up and sleeping. Honest." But having second doubts, he crossed the room, bent over, and tried to listen for himself. He gave the dog a hearty shake, but there was no response from the animal. At that moment, a million horrible thoughts crossed his mind. What would he tell the Sheriff? The Bishop? And Tessa Peppers? How would he ever explain it was only an accident? The woman hated him already. She was sure to track him to the ends of the earth to avenge what she would think was the deliberate murder of her dog! Shit! He'd have to leave town! Leave the country, for that matter!
"Ya think maybe ya'd be wantn' to do something for the poor doggie, lad?" Brian looked at him with a half smile, a strange reaction to situation at hand.
Kevin did the only thing he could of think of at the moment. He knelt down, and with his hands gently pressed on the dog's chest, began CPR, frantically spitting out every prayer he knew, and asking divine forgiveness and mercy for one of the stupidest blunders he had ever committed. The seconds seemed like hours as he counted and pressed. It was in the third rotation that suddenly he thought he might've seen Basil's chest heave on it's own. He bent further down, and put his ear to the pup's mouth to see if he could feel any breaths escaping. Face to face with the animal, Kevin saw it's eyes flutter and then open wide, a growl escaping from the dog's pulled back lips. Before he could move his unprotected face backward, the now surely awake and heavily breathing dog lunged forward, and with one hard snap, bit the surprised young man squarely on the nose. The very same nose it's mistress had broken only six weeks earlier.
Kevin grabbed for his face, blood running down the front of his shirt, and searched frantically for some napkins or paper towels. He looked around for Brian, hoping the man might offer some aid, but he was no where to be found, having escaped through the cracked window seconds before. Using the ends of his hoodie to the sop up the blood, he heard his cell phone ringing in the front pocket. Digging it out with his free hand, he didn't recognize the number, but answered it anyway.
"Ah, hello. Fr. O'Kenney?"
"Hey, Father, it's Cassie McKreedy. Did I catch you at a bad moment? You sound funny."
Copyright 2012 Victoria Rocus