Passion of the Priest Ch. 03byJ.B.Shelton©
I was shocked by Sunday’s arrival, but not surprised at my lack of sermon material. I’d always been meticulous about my work, beginning on Wednesday and working every morning straight through until Sunday’s a.m. perfection.
This Sunday, I had nothing. I showered, fought with myself to ignore that woman with me, then turned the water to bone-killing cold and buried my face in it. I dried off and grabbed the first suit my hands came across in the closet. I think it was the same one I’d worn the week before but somehow couldn’t remember anything before Monday, before Nineveh.
At the church, I stood sweating outside the entrance to the pulpit, pulling on my collar, which was suddenly choking me, my heart thumping along to the morbid sounds of organ and badly harmonized hymns. Before I could open the door, though, I felt a hand on my shoulder. When I turned, tears burst from my eyes. It was she. It was the girl. And she was real.
I threw my face against her neck, smelled sweat and patchouli, and let my weeping increase to deep guttural sobs. She quieted me with back pats and shushes, and then took hold of my shoulders. “Come with me, Stephen. I have something to show you.” Her voice sounded different than I’d imagined, melodic, gentle, and I was trapped in the sound of it, and turned to go with her, dropping my cassock onto the sofa in the fellowship lobby as we moved towards the door.
In the parking lot she asked me, “Which one’s your car?” I pointed to a silver Honda Accord, and she walked to it, opened the passenger door and got in, while I stood there, feet melded into the concrete.
She knew my name. How did she know my name? Why is she here? What could she possibly show me? In my mind’s eye I envisioned her again, in the shower, naked, and felt a familiar twitch in my crotch. Goddamn, Stephen, pull yourself together.
I opened the car door and got it. She had her seat belt on, and was sitting still as glass, and I was afraid to look at her or breathe too closely for fear of shattering her into millions of shards. I turned the key in the ignition, and more gospel music surrounded me. My hand was a blur as it shot out and disconnected the sound from my ears.
“Where are we going?” I asked, before I put the car in reverse. “To your house,” she stated flatly. I nodded and drove from memory.
I opened the door for her, and she walked in as though she’d been here a hundred times and could navigate her way with eyes closed. She headed into my office, and as I walked in behind her, she was already booting up the computer. She never looked at me, just talked to the air. “I’ve met your parents, Stephen. I think there is something you need to know.” I didn’t speak, just nodded an agreement, and watched her fingers fly over the keys she knew so well.
Then, “How do you know my name?” She turned and looked at me with an expression of curiosity. “I was sent here to help you. I am here for you.” She turned back to the blinking screen, and finally pulled up the website she’d been trying to locate. It was a site for an adoption agency in Philadelphia. My breath nearly choked me, thickening in my throat. Confusion broke out in beads on my forehead, and I wiped my sleeve against it, then took off my suit coat and tossed it across the room.
“What is this about?”
“This is about you, about your family. Who you are, Stephen.” I shook my head. “No, I know who I am. I know who my parents are. I know what my purpose is.” Then she just pointed. I saw it.
How she drew it up, I’ll never know. She might’ve been a hacker of some sort, able to link into sealed secure files. Maybe she’d made the entire thing up, but I don’t think so. The other possibility was almost too difficult to swallow. Maybe, just maybe, she was God.
“Read, Stephen.” I leaned forward, closer to the screen, to see it all, in black and white, before my face. I was adopted. These people, this minister, this good Christian woman, were not my parents at all. I was not a minister’s son, a preacher’s boy. I was not even a minister now; I could feel it in my chest when I breathed. I’d known it, without knowing, for some time now. It explained my gagging, as though my body were trying to purge something foreign from inside itself. Something toxic, something wrong.
“Who am I then?” I asked her, and realized I still didn’t know her name. “I’m here to show you,” she smiled. “My name is Nina.” I smiled at her. Nina, I liked it, and it suited her well. I wouldn’t know her true name until later.
She stood in front of me, and my eyes ran down the length of her body. She was closer than I could stand, and my hands twitched with the uncontrollable urge to reach out and feel her, to trace her curves, to finger all her holes, to squeeze her flesh so tight only bruises remained. When I met her eyes again, she was smiling. “You’re seeing now, aren’t you?” she asked. Uncertain what she meant, I sort of shrugged. “It’s okay. Don’t be afraid.”
She took her jacket off, and there was a picture of the Christ on her t-shirt. He was wearing the thorny crown he’s so familiarly depicted with. Underneath read the caption “Kill your Idols”. I shook my head, as she pulled it over hers, her breasts hanging free, just as I’d pictured them in my mind. She moved closer to me and straddled my lap, lifting one breast and then the other to my watering mouth. I sucked, the hunger in my groin growing stronger and stronger, and my tongue couldn’t get enough of the salty taste of her skin.
I pulled her hips closer, could feel the heat between her legs, moist and steaming, and my consciousness exploded. I raised up with her wrapped around me and carried her to my room, all the while with her whispering in my ear, “Yes, Stephen, you know, you’re learning.” I wasn’t certain what she meant, and I didn’t really care. I just knew I had to slip my tongue between her thighs right away.
She was naked in seconds, and I pushed her back onto the bed. At that point, I can’t really say what happened. It’s as though my mind, the conscious mind, shut down, as though what I was about to do was just too graphic, violent, twisted or whatever, for it to conceive being present.
When I awoke the next day, I was sore all over, my cock had bite marks on it, and Nina was gone. I lathered my privates gently, listening to the phone ringing in the other room. I wasn’t ready to deal with the barrage of questions and accusations I knew I’d be facing in regards to my sudden disappearance act the day before.
I wondered if my father stood and preached on my behalf, laughing me off, you know Stephen, the perpetual bachelor. Probably forgot to set his alarm clock or pick up his laundry from cleaning. No mention of “had his tongue up some strange witch-woman’s crack.” That’s my dad. What a guy.
I ignored the blinking light, went to the kitchen and grabbed some Pop-Tarts out of the cabinet. While they toasted, I boiled some bottled water, and ground some fresh beans for a French press of coffee. A note lay on the counter near the coffeepot, probably the only thing my father thought I did right. “Meet me at 7, same place as before. N.” I smiled inside, a hand unconsciously grazing across my cock. I snorted. That hurt.