The priest stood, frozen and immobile, the chalice hanging limp in his fingers as it tipped against the lips of the kneeling penitent. His gaze trembled, eyes wet with fear.
The man was standing from the bench. He wasn’t moving. He wasn’t talking. He was just there. As he blinked a tear free he saw the child curled on the bed.
There was a sharp jolt as the penitent coughed, wine spat against the priest’s robe. The chalice clattered to the floor, the man still watching as the red soaked into white.
Not again. Never again.
“God forgive me.”
(c) Tim Austin 2016. Image courtesy of Luca Baggio via Unsplash.
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