Although this fiction blog is illustrated with photos of dolls, and dollhouse miniatures, the language and content of the storyline is intended for an adult audience. Please be advised.
|Roxanne states the facts|
He watched as she paced the room for a few seconds more, then flipped the chair around, and straddled it, her chin resting on her arms across the top. "It makes sense, you know. It really does...in a weird cosmic sort of way."
It had been a long, crappy day, and Fr. Kevin was in no mood for any discussion on the spiritual make-up of life. His foot was itchy and sweaty under the fresh cast, and the pain killers on an empty stomach were making him queasy. He didn't even want to think anymore about the punk having Fr. Murphy's face, much less discuss the other- worldly reasons it might be there. "Look, Rox, neither of us believes that Fr. Murphy's soul is floating around inhabiting strange bodies. It just..just doesn't work that way. It's probably some mental break down on my part. A flashback from the whole time travel experience. My fear kicked in, and I saw things that weren't there."
"Maybe...or maybe not. There is an alternative possibility, Kev." She sat staring at him, the look of determination a sign that she'd have her say whether he liked it or not.
He sighed. The sooner she presented her theory, the sooner she'd be gone, leaving him to close his eyes and sink into the oblivion of sleep. "Okay, Roxanne. What's your possibility? I'm listening."
She looked away, suddenly uncomfortable. Almost embarrassed. "Do you remember what I told you...about my...research after we returned?"
"Yeah...that Fr. Murphy died that same day in the bank. That he was buried two days later in the diocese section of Bunker Hill Cemetery. You told me you visited his grave. Okay. I get it. It wasn't Murphy I saw today." He tried not to sound cranky. None of this was her fault either. But he was tired of the whole nonsense, and just wanted her gone.
She returned his attitude with some of her own. "Look, O'Kenney...I don't like this anymore than you do, but stickn' your head in the sand isn't going to make it go away. I wasn't talking about Fr. Murphy. I was talking about her. Maria. My host."
He fought through the narcotic fog for answers. And then it bloomed in his head, a mental beacon spilling into the room. He understood where she was going with all this. "You told me she was pregnant."
A flush of pink crept around her neck. "Eight weeks from what I could tell before we left. It was causing her...me...all kinds of anxiety that someone would find out."
"And you think...this pregnancy...this baby..." He struggled with words, the implications and the emotions crawling over him like a thousand stinging insects. "It was his...Fr. Murphy's."
She nodded, saying nothing further, giving him no fodder for argument. He felt an overwhelming need to defend the man. Defend the person whose body he had shared. Whose vocation and commitment to God was the same as his own. So he spoke without thinking, the years of seminary schooling slipping off his tongue. "That's sorta a stretch, don't ya think, Roxanne?
We have no proof that...that Fr. Murphy...broke his vows. That he was involved with this woman on an intimate level, or that he fathered this child. Maybe he was just trying to counsel this poor soul. Help her come to terms with her...her...?
He knew from the look on her face he had said the wrong thing. That he had hurt her on
"Help her come to terms with what, O'Kenney? Her 'sin'? Is that what you wanted to say? That Maria is some kind of damn harlot, and that Fr. Sean Murphy, sainted clergyman and pillar of virtue, couldn't possibly have climbed down off his clouds and acted like a real human being?"
It was clear her damnation was aimed toward the living, breathing Kevin O'Kenney, and not the bones of a man dead over one hundred years. The pain in his foot was a mere trickle compared to the pain in his heart, and try as he might, he couldn't think of a single word to say in response. They sat that way, in silence, not looking at each other for what seemed like forever. The she rose, and put the chair back in it's spot across the room.
"Think what you want, Kevin. We both know the truth, even if only one of us is honest enough to accept it. Maria's baby was fathered by Sean Murphy. When he died that day in the bank...of the cholera you contracted in the privy...she was left on her own. What happened afterward, I have no idea. I tried doing an Internet search of historical records, but came up empty. Then things got crazy, and I decided to move here...and well...I haven't had a chance to pick up the trail."
She gathered up her purse, and turned towards the door. Before leaving, she leaned against the wall, her arms crossed against her chest, and her mouth set in grim stubbornness. "We may not know the details of her life, but there's one thing that I'm absolutely certain of. Maria went on and had her baby. I'm sure of it. And the kid today...the one in the clinic...has to be some kind of Murphy descendant."
And then she was out the door, leaving the whole damn thing in his lap.
He most have dozed off at some point, the meds forcing him into a deep, unnatural slumber. It was the rattle of keys in the door that woke him with a start, his heart pounding in his chest. Maureen stood in the foyer, her arms folded around two large grocery bags, with another hanging off her wrist.
"I'm sorry. Did I wake you, Kev?" She shifted the bags to her hip.
She had woken him, and for that he was grateful, the last few hours filled with crazy dreams in which he was left in a dreary, misty graveyard, holding a squalling baby, an army of ticking clocks armed with bayonets guarding his escape. His sister's solid presence in the here and now was a relief, though one short lived.
"I thought I'd come make dinner here tonight. See if you needed any help. Ted's right behind me. I sent him back to flat to get my hand mixer. Wasn't sure you had one in the rectory."
At the mention of his brother-in-law's name, his heart sank. The last he thing needed in his sorry state was the pompous jerk picking and poking at him. The thought made him feel worse. At one time, he and Beckett had been friends of sorts. He had enjoyed the man's company, his quirky sense of humor and the way nothing seemed to ruffle his calm, cool demeanor. But since the wedding to his sister, and the fiasco with the crazy woman, they had been at odds. Part of the blame rested on Kevin's shoulders as well. The time travel experience had left him uneasy and secretive, and he was sure Ted felt that something was being kept from him, as tempting as rattling a hunk a meat in front of a hungry lion.
As if fate could read his mind, Sheriff Beckett appeared at his door, the afore mentioned hand mixer tucked under his arm. He ignored his host all together, instead heading toward the kitchen in search of his wife. There was hushed conversation, some shuffling around, and a series of giggles from his sister, a routine that had embarrassed him on many occasions before today. The man took great delight in letting him know just how much hold he had over Maureen, as if he had a need to prove that she loved her husband more than her favorite brother. It was a stupid thought on his part, and he brushed it aside. With Beckett in the mix, he needed to reserve his concentration on not saying anything stupid. He was sure the man would want additional information about the hold up, and would dig and prod until he was satisfied that all had been revealed.
Beckett wandered out of the kitchen a smug expression on his face, and a bottle of Kevin's Guinness in his hand. He raised the ale toward him in a gesture of question.
"No. I'll pass. They gave me some strong meds for the pain. Better not put alcohol in the mix"
Like a beacon, the man honed in on the pill bottles lined up on the end table. H picked up each one, reading the labels, until he seemed to find what he was looking for. He shook the vial, the capsules clicking against each other like a baby's rattle. "Hmmm...Percocet. Strong stuff. Bet this puts you in a pretty happy place, huh Father O'Kenney?"
|Beckett examines the Percocet|
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