An ancient secret has been hidden from you, closely guarded by the few who control your lives and passed down to their own kinds through the generations. Knowing this secret will open your eyes, but once open they will never close again.
Be careful what you wish for.
10 months ago….
The judge looked over at the nervous elderly lady sitting next to her carer. Although the bruising had gone, the scar remained above her right eye where it had split on the corner of the curbstone after she had been knocked to the ground. She looked back at him through her bloodshot eyes in expectation of justice while trying to calm her shaking hands. The left one still splinted across her ring finger where the break had to be re-set due to complications. He’d often delivered uncomfortable verdicts but had always kept his emotions out of it. It was the only way. Stick to the rules, stick to the law.
He knew one old lady’s identification wouldn’t be enough to prove guilt, especially when she was the victim and was surprised it ever got this far.
“Mrs. Clarke, the court isn’t saying you weren’t assaulted. The appalling and serious injuries you have suffered have been made clear to everyone present.”
He paused for a brief moment.
Her scarred face dropped.
“Given the evidence presented to me, I see no substantial proof that these men were involved in this unfortunate event.”
The look on his face was one of sympathy. Deep down he knew they were guilty and it sickened him to know it was
only a matter of time before they re-offended.
Mrs. Clarke struggled to keep her composure. It seemed her dignity was one of the few things she now had left. She could feel the trembling in her hands spreading throughout her frail body but tried to hold her head high.
Knowing his hands were tied, the judge looked over at the three men standing in front of him already smiling cockily. His
years of experience helped him control his emotions while he spoke.
“You are free to go. Court dismissed.”
Mrs. Clarke could feel the tears she had managed so courageously to hold onto earlier now streaming down her face. Her head dropped in disbelief. The little strength she retained disintegrated when those final words left the judge’s lips: “You are free to go.” She looked to the floor and began to sob. All her carer could do was show support by gently rubbing her back while
offering her some futile words of comfort.
“Come on now, it’ll be Ok.”
Still sobbing and hardly able to raise an audible tone, Mrs. Clarke whispered back, “How will it be Ok? Those animals walk away free after what they did to me. They even stole my wedding ring, look, look what they did.”
She held up her splinted left hand to the carer’s face, who didn’t need reminding how the ring had been brutally ripped and twisted from her finger with such ferocity it broke two of the bones.
The judge, now standing, looked up while in the middle of gathering his notes and watched the three men strut out of the court. A knot built within his stomach as he saw two of them share a high-five while the other placed a hand on each of their
shoulders and shook them triumphantly.
Leading from the nave of St Faddyeons to the left of the altar was a stone arch framing a deep red velvet curtain that masked the entrance to a stone spiral staircase. Situated at the foot of this old church’s winding stairs was another smaller arch leading into a cold dimly lit room.
Other than its contents and some basic electrics, the room remained as it was when first built back in the fifteenth century. The only trace of heat was borrowed from a single bare 40-Watt incandescent light bulb dangling from the ceiling and an inadequate electric fan heater futilely whirring away by the entrance fighting the constant descending draught. Next to the heater a shadowy figure of a priest hung over a handwritten letter lying on the oak desk in front of him. He breathed in nervously still not knowing what to make of it.
Father Phillips took in another deep breath before laying his head back against the top of the old chair and looking up at the stained white ceiling in deep thought. He closed his eyes and expelled the troubled air from his lungs before glancing back down at the unfinished letter. The look of concern on his face grew. He was uncertain what to make of it and equally uncertain of its author’s identity.
He had been moved to St Faddyeons in an attempt to re-ignite his waning faith in the church, but this discovery only served to confuse matters further. His seniors felt a new town location with more life would revive his “tired soul”. After all, he was only 40 years old, still a relatively young man. “New challenges,” they said, hoping it would somehow remedy the growing
despondence building within him over the years. He couldn’t help wondering if he was losing the faith that once compelled him to dedicate his life to his God. Of course he was only a twenty-year-old man back then. Reading about the despicable abuse carried out by some members of the undeserving clergy, really didn’t help him disperse the doubt growing inside. This was a disgusting act and one he felt deserved a punishment not befitting a man of God to even contemplate. His rational mind helped him realize these sort of sick individuals occur in all walks of life and although this ate away at his faith in mankind, it alone was not solely why he became so disillusioned with the church. It was more that it seemed his church did nothing but protect these
individuals. Not only protect, but moved them elsewhere to continue practising their vile crimes. Of course it wasn’t their intention for them to carry on, but unfortunately, it was more than likely the outcome.
He often wondered if religion itself was obscuring mankind from God and that maybe God was in all of us waiting for us to find him in our own way. Was he really certain enough of his facts to preach what God wants or doesn’t want.
His thoughts were broken by the sound of his mobile phone vibrating like an orbital sander on the desk in front of him.
’10:30 Funeral’, the display read. It was time to leave.