WARNING: THIS MAY BE TRIGGERING FOR THOSE WITH PTSD
Father Jones had been sent by the church to the far reaches of Alaska to convert the Alaskan population to Christianity. You see, Father Jones was a weak man. He’d been bounced from parish to parish for years, as his weakness of “infatuations” with parishioners of all genders and ages, all unrequited and non-consensual, were starting to make him a lawsuit liability for The Church in the lower 48. The official church report cited blasphemy as the reason for the transfer.
Father Jones arrived in Fairbanks in January, yelping at the level of cold as he stepped off of the plane. His previous post had been Miami, which made the contrast all the more. The runway and the sidewalks outside of the terminal were shoveled, which was fortunate, as Father Jones hadn’t thought to buy himself any winter boots.
An Uber driver stood on the sidewalk with a sign that said, “Father Jones.” Soon they were on their way to the parish church. The congregation had already paid for the Uber, which set him down in front of the church. Splish went his shoe as he stepped out of the Uber. Splish…. splish…… splish…… splish….splish splish splish splish until he reached the steps, which were shoveled. Father Jones’ sodden, frozen feet ached as he climbed the steps and opened the giant-tall oak door. He felt sure he already had frostbite!
The Uber driver earned an extra tip for carting the 3 large suitcases up the stairs and depositing them inside the door of the church. In this case the tip was extra blessings from Father Jones. The driver smiled a wan smile and departed.
The welcome committee buzzed to the door and hovered around Father Jones, asking all of the usual questions and stating all of the usual niceties. Father Jones, shivering and exhausted, asked if he could be taken to his parish house to freshen up.
The house was located right next door, just a few steps from the church. It being Friday afternoon, Father Jones asked what time he was scheduled to give his sermon on Sunday and excused himself from the committee. He had the cell number of his contact person that he could call to arrange getting food, appropriate clothes – and some boots!
Sunday morning rolled around and Father Jones was prepared. He was a talented and practiced orator and he held the congregation spellbound from the time his mouth opened. He was preaching a sermon he’d used as a first sermon at every new parish he came to. It, let’s just say, set the tone, to mesmerize, much as a snake might before it strikes. As he wowed them, Father Jones’ hungry eyes were already scanning the crowd for the ones who had the “prey look” about them: the unhappy, the distracted, the malnourished, the hangdog, and was already making plans to learn more about gaining access to the ones he noted.
Another part of Father Jones’ assignment in Alaska was to establish a parish with the indigenous tribes who lived in the remote villages. Even though he had a captive audience in the city, how easy access would be for villagers in remote areas! Within two weeks, Father Jones began visiting the Village of Two Bear. Within the week he had singled out a small boy named Blue Otter. Blue Otter never said much and was chosen because of that and he seemed to be avoided by several of the other children. Father Jones began giving the boy trinkets and small amounts of cash. Once he learned the area, Father Jones began taking Blue Otter on rides with him. Soon after, the abuse began.
One month passed. Father Jones asked Blue Otter to go on another ride with him. Blue Otter, who never said much, piped up with, “Let’s go see the polar bears at the garbage dump today!” As he hadn’t seen the spectacle before, Father Jones agreed. The boy showed him where to turn each time as the village faded from sight, until they came to it. The moment the vehicle stopped, Blue Otter jumped out of the car and started running towards a hill at the edge of the dump. “You can see them over here!,” he yelled.
Now that Father Jones had suitable winter boots, it was no trouble to trudge across the snow-piled landscape. Huffing and puffing, even though he was a young man, he finally reached the hilltop.
Father Jones’ head cracked like a giant walnut as the sledgehammer made contact with his skull. As the hammer continued, what used to be his head looked like a crushed walnut splashed with red ink.
Two Bear, Blue Otter’s father, looked at his son and said, “The dump bears will eat well this day,” then pushed the carcass down the back of the hill.
Sarah is the steady host of Mindlovemisery Menagerie’s Saturday Mix. Sarah says:
This week we are hearing things, as we explore the use of ONOMATOPOEIA. You will need to use the THREE onomatopoeic words in your response – which can be poetry or prose. Our three words, using onomatopoeia are: