Day of Dread, Part Twenty-One

Continued Part Twenty

Late that evening, Snyder entered the sanctuary. At the altar, Father Bernard’s eye twitched. Snyder trembled with the desire to deck him. “So, while I was on trial for my life for not raping a child for free, you were paying for the privilege.”

“They’re not children in mind. They grow up quickly.”

“I guess that’s what all pedophiles say.”

“I’ve not gone there in years. I know the church’s teaching, but with your little military operation, and taking all the risks associated with fighting the Empire, I cracked.”

“So, it’s my fault you raped a child.”

“No, I’m not saying its your fault.”

“Don’t give me that. You’re alleging you never would’ve gone back to this if I hadn’t been such a bad influence on you.”


“Don’t try to con me.”

“I never conned you.”

“You acted like you cared about me, only to abandon me for months, when I needed you most, in order to rape a child.”

“I didn’t rape my Emily. I loved her. Someone else would’ve taken those hours and hurt Emily. But you won’t understand, neither would the Bishop.”

“I don’t. It’s not something to understand. It’s sick.”

“I knew if you saw me, you’d know. I was naked and hid myself, as Adam said.”

“You know, Nick Verducci is a hedonist, but at least he doesn’t pretend to be something else.” Snyder removed his rosary from his poc-ket and dropped it. “Keep the souvenir. From now on, I’m gonna look out for me. No one else will. It’ll be a cold day in Hell before I’ll ever buy into this religious stuff again.”

Snyder ran from the church.

Father Bernard’s voice echoed through the night. “Come back, I’m sorry! Come back!”

Continued Next Thursday

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