Confession

When he woke up, he had no idea where he was. It was a small, dark room no bigger than a closet. A faint light filtered through the top of the chamber. A door was opposite the bench he sat upon. The room reminded him of an outhouse, except there was no hole in the seat.

Before he could get up to try the door, the sound of another door opening and closing stopped him. A person seemed to be sitting just outside the room to his left.

“Who…?”

“Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned.” It was a man’s voice, tired and anxious.

He meant to stop him, but his throat failed him.

“It has been six months since my last confession. There are a lot of little things I probably should cover. Swearing. Drinking more than I should. Other stuff. But that’s not why I’m here.” A pause. “I’m going to kill a man.”

“Wait…” He managed to speak finally, but the other continued without heeding him.

“I know I shouldn’t do it. It’s a sin against God. But I don’t have a choice. He’s a bad man, Father. And if I don’t do it, I don’t know what he more he might do. Is there any way God can understand? Forgive me?”

His head was pounding. Had someone hit him? Had he been drinking? How did he wind up in a confessional inside a church?

“I know you probably are going to tell me not to. That I should leave it in God’s hands. But what if God’s plan is for me to stop him? I can’t sit by and do nothing. I just need to know I’m okay with God.”

“I’m not… I can’t…” All he could do was stammer. None of this made any sense.

“Ok, Father. I get it. I shouldn’t have asked. Sorry to bother you.” A door opened and closed, and the other man was gone.

Reacting rather than thinking, he jumped up and flung open his own door. Outside, the church was empty; there was no sign of anyone. Someone was going to die. Someone was going to kill. He had no idea who, or how to stop it.

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