Gray Cell Blue

“So you blamed me,” said the priest, as if accepting his guilt for the first time.

“You. The Church. God.” More tears, more wiping. “But, I couldn’t punch God. I couldn’t stab the Church. But I could…” Chris put his face back into his palms and began to sob.

“But you could shoot me.” Father Muldoon stood and walked the two steps to Chris’s side. “And I can forgive you, my child.” He put a hand on Chris’s shoulder and began the Lord’s Prayer under his breath.

Chris continued to sob softly as the prayer faded into echoes. A loud metal clanking caught his attention, and he turned toward his opening cell door. Father Muldoon was nowhere to be seen.

Chris wiped his eyes quickly with the backs of his hands and scanned the cell again. In the doorway, a black cassocked man stood holding a bible.

“My name is Father Gregg. I’ve come to pray with you.” He sat down on the bed, in the same spot Father Muldoon had been. “Are you familiar with the sacrament of penance?”

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