The Diseased Imaginings of a Tainted Mind
It was late when the bell rang. The houses’ occupants looked at each other, and one heaved themselves out of a chair, and made their way to the door. He pulled it open and looked out into the damp and misty misty night into the very frightened face of a man.
“Can I help you?”
“Errr… yeah, is this where the priest lives?”
The first man paused. It was late, and he was tired, yet this man was obviously trouble. He took a deep breath and put on his most welcoming smile. “Yes it is, how may I help you?”. The Priest was tall, with wavy black hair that hung, unstyled around his head. He ran his fingers through it, pushing the unruly mop back behind his ears.
“I.. I don’t know. We’ve tried everything, and it’s just not right. Not right at all.” The man shook his head, in disbelief of his own actions. “We didn’t know what to do, so we… I came here. Perhaps you can help us. Someone has to be able too.”
The Priest kept his smile warm and welcoming, and motioned for the man to come into the house, and directed him towards his study. He shot a glance through the glass door to his wife who was stood leaning on the doorpost to the living room. She nodded at him, and the Priest followed the man into the small study. The study was a cliche of priests studies. Piles of paper perched precariously on the desk, a beaten sofa stood in against one wall, and a warn arm-chair facing it. The walls were lined with book cases, many of them sporting bits of paper and other items used as bookmarks.
The man sat nervously on the edge of the sofa and looked at the priest. The Priest guessed that it was his attired that confused the man. People have a mental image of priests, and that doesn’t include them being in pyjamas, wrapped in a threadbare dressing-gown.
“Now tell me,” said the priest, settling himself into the arm-chair, “What seems to be the trouble?”.
“It’s… It’s everything. It’s the house. It’s her. It’s just wrong, so very wrong. I don’t want to be out too long, I’m afraid she’ll do something”
The Priest nodded slowly, as his mind raced for the telephone number of social services, and other useful helplines, like the Samartians. “I understand” he said as neutrally as possible. “Would it better to call someone?”.
The man shook his head, and his eyes filled with tears. “There’s no-one. She’s.. she’s not right. You see… ” the man paused, grasping for something “… father, she’s been dead for nearly a year now, and yet she’s there, in the sitting room, just like she used to be.”
The telephone numbers in the mind of the priest changed. There were people who could deal with this, and this was definately going to need a phone-call to someone. The Area Dean, possibly.
“I see, and she’s there now?”
“Yes. Just as normal as you and me.”
“I see.” said the Priest again. There was only one thing he could do. He would have to go with this man. Whatever it was he was clearly terrified.
“Okay, I’ll tell you what I’ll do. I need to make a few quick phone calls. If you could just write your address down for me, that would be grand.”. The Priest slid a pad and paper over the desk towards the ma. “I’ll just got get dressed, I’ll be right back.”