My nervous character, Father Joe, suddenly feels insecure around two well-known and honorable men of the cloth affiliated with the Basilica in Chicago. They arrived on his invitation to deal with a young girl named Christina who could potentially cause trouble. All of it is giving him nightmares! Here's an excerpt taking place as Father Joe picks them up at the station:
From Chapter 10 of The Fifth Commandment
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“Hey, how was the trip?” Father Joe started the car. It was a beige Volvo with 259,000 miles on the odometer.
“Fine, except we were a bit rushed due to traffic.” Trying to keep their anxious excitement to a minimum, they continued with small talk about the weather and the train amenities. “How about you? Anything new since last night?”
He chocked the vision of Jesus on the side of the church to shadows playing with his mind—but later that evening he had a powerful dream. “Not really, but I’m feeling strange about this whole thing. Our little parish can’t handle the publicity. Imagine what would happen if this leaked out?” He turned on the blinkers and turned into the church parking lot. “Don’t you remember what happened in Medugorje? Thousands flocked to the tiny village….”
“Yeah, we remember, Joe” Father George interrupted. “I’ve been there.”
Father Andrew laughed, “Heck people even pay big money on EBAY for granola clusters shaped like Moses holding stone tablets.”
“I guess I’m just worried about my generous parishioners. I don’t want anyone taking advantage of their kindness,” Father Joe said as he led the way into his office. “Besides, I had a horrible dream last night.”
“You saw St. Peter?” Andrew quipped.
Father George laughed. “No,” Father Joe explained. “It was us in purgatory. Sadly, I think Christina was there too.”
“Oooh, tell us more,” they smiled and followed each other inside.
“I will, but hold on for a second. There’s a lot going on.”
“Well, to be perfectly honest with you Joe, I’m kind of excited.” Father Andrew said, searching the room for a plug for his tape-recorder. “Don’t worry, this won’t be another Fatima for goodness sake, have some faith. This is probably the most exciting thing to happen in Normal, Illinois. It could be the economic boost this area needs right now.”
The office lights were off. Father Joe went to the window first, opening the blinds. It was ten minutes after four. Then he stood up, walked back towards the door and turned on the overhead lights before sitting down at his desk.
“Now, tell us about your dream, Joe.” Father Andrew always loved tales of intrigue.
“Wasn’t she supposed to be here at four?” Father George asked, as he took his place on the foldout chair.
“Don’t worry, any teenager wanting as much attention as she does will be here.” He shuffled more bulletins and decided to tell them about his dream while waiting. “Drink anyone?” Father Joe needed one, but waited for them to gently decline. He enjoyed their company, but thought they were a wee bit pedantic. The scholars he knew weren’t as serious as these two and all his friends in school drank wine and scotch like giant beluga whales being released from captivity. They were bigger actors than Christina--all a bunch of phonies. Didn’t they see this hoax for what it really was? He took it to be a young girl’s desperate cry for attention. Why did they need to drag this out for almost a week now? Didn’t they have better things to do than hang out in his parish?
Will Father Joe come to believe Christina's unusual story?
Want to hear about his dream?
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