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The Hail Mary Confession (Part Two)

The Crystal Wand

By Rick Henry ChristopherPublished 8 months ago Updated 7 months ago 40 min read
6

Warning: this story is of a graphic nature and depicts vulgar and disturbing actions

The Hail Mary Confession Part Two continues where Part One left off...

Wishing the timing was better...

The next day, Sunday afternoon, Chris received a text from Tina, "I had fun. Let's do it again." He looked at the text for a second, made a grieved smile, then deleted it.

It's 7:30 am Wednesday morning and Chris is rustling about on the sofa contemplating getting out of bed or quitting his job, as per his usual morning routine.

By 7:45 am he's up out of bed and takes his portable mirror and sets it up on the kitchen table and shaved his face with his electric razor.

After shaving Chris sat at the table for a moment thinking about Tina, "Boy, she is absolutely beautiful. I just wish the timing was better."

He filled a large coffee mug with cereal and milk and gulped it down in seconds. He got dressed pretty quick.

Before leaving he peeked into his mom's bedroom but she was asleep so he gently closed the door and left for work at 8:15 am.

Once Donna heard the front door close she got up out of bed. She was pretending to sleep. She lit a lavender scented candle and sat on the side of her bed brushing her hair. Then she dressed in her black knee length dress. She put on black pants under the dress and a black button down sweater on top. Finally she finished the outfit with her black trench coat and a hat and veil covering her face.

The Crucifix

Donna left the apartment for her 11 o'clock meeting with Reverend Gibson.

When she made it to the church the Reverend was sitting in the front pews praying. Donna was afraid to approach him so she just sat and waited in one of the back pews.

The Reverend continued to pray when all of a sudden without looking up he said in a loud chant-like voice, "Come up to the front Donna. I've been waiting for you."

By the time she made it to the front of the church the Reverend was sitting upright and with a bright welcoming smile he greeted her, "Donna, it is so nice to see you. Here please have a seat."

The Reverend began speaking in a quiet and calm slightly gravelly voice, "Do you know the history of the crucifix Donna?"

"I'm not so sure Father," Donna's voice echoed as she answered.

"The crucifix is a powerful symbol in the Catholic church. Jesus the Christ died on the…"

As the Reverend spoke Donna's mind began to fade in and out. She imagined Jesus on the cross, solemn and in despair. She saw the large nails in his feet and hands. She obsessed on the nail holes pierced through Jesus' hands and feet. The holes became bigger and more pronounced. Blood began flowing from the nail holes. She saw the red blood flooding the church and her feet were standing in the blood. Then she heard the sound of a baby screaming. Donna gasped for air and grabbed her chest with her right hand with a frightened look on her flushed red face. She lifted her feet off the ground and onto the pew.

The Reverend asked, "Donna, are you okay?" But she didn't hear him.

"Reverend," Donna warned him, "Lift your feet up off the ground. The blood is gushing through."

The Reverend tried calling her again, Donna, Donna! Can you hear me? Are you okay?" This time she heard him.

"Yes, Reverend, I'm okay. I just let my imagination get the better of me," she said in a whispery breathless voice.

"Breathe in slowly," the Reverend gently instructed Donna, "Exhale slowly." After a few repetitions Donna regained her composure.

"Donna," the Reverend asked, "Does the Crucifix frighten you?"

"No Reverend," she answered, "I pray on the crucifix at home. Reverend, I've been having these dreams. There's a man and he's laughing. The dreams always end with a baby screaming. It's so frightening. The baby's scream is so loud and seems to go on and on. Like it's being tortured."

The Reverend sat there for a brief moment thinking about what Donna just said.

"What do you think is the root of these dreams Donna?" The Reverend asked. "Do you think you need attention? Do you need someone to take care of you?"

"No Reverend, I don't think so. I actually prefer to be alone. I shy away from attention," Donna answered in a distressed manner.

"Reverend," Donna continued speaking, "I always feel like I am the reason the baby is crying."

"Donna," the Reverend leaned toward her and spoke in a low, quiet tone, "Next time you have that dream pay attention to who is crying. Is it you or is it the baby?"

"Before we depart each other's company I wish to pray upon you Donna."

Yes Reverend, I could use the prayers," Donna whispered.

"Loving God, please grant Madonna Moreau peace of mind and calm her troubled heart. Her soul is like a turbulent sea. Give her the strength and clarity of mind to find her purpose and to walk the path you've laid out for her. Just as the sun rises each day against the dark of night. Please bring Donna clarity with the light of God.

In the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit I pray, Amen."

"Amen," Donna whispered as the Reverend finished the prayer.

Donna looked up at the Reverend, with her veil still covering her face, and in a confident voice she said, "Thank you Reverend, thank you."

"Donna," the Reverend said with poised conviction, "I want to see you two days from now, this coming Friday. Can you be here?"

"Yes Reverend, I can," she answered.

"Okay, then I will see you at 11 am."

Tillie

Chris had a tough time finding someone that would come and stay with his mom while he was at work. His boss, Jack, at the bike shop put him in contact with a lady named Tillie. She's in her early 50s and dresses with layers of chiffon and lace, purple velvet boots, celestial jewelry, gloves bedazzled with silver mesh, and a shawl to accent it all. She calls herself a gypsy.

Tillie arrived at 8 am sharp. When Chris opened the door to let her in, Tillie stood there looking at Chris for a minute. She introduced herself, "Hi, I'm Tillie, "then she extended her hand out to Chris. They shook hands and she lightheartedly said, "Well Jack did not tell me I'd be working for such a tall, dark, and handsome man."

As she entered the apartment Chris gave her a mini tour of the small abode. He told her it would be a ten and a half hour day. "I don't have a lot of money to work with but I'd like to give you $25 a day."

Gesturing with her hands she said, "No, I refuse to take payment. I am just happy for the opportunity to help."

"Well, thank you Tillie, that will be a big help."

Before leaving Chris peaked into his mom's bedroom but again she was sleeping.

He let Tillie know that his mom was unaware she would be staying with her so she might put up some resistance at first.

"Not to worry," Tillie said, "I can handle resistance."

About a half hour after Chris left Donna came out of her room and saw Tillie in the kitchen cleaning the countertop.

Tillie smiled at Donna but Donna quickly ran back into her room and barricaded the door with a chair.

She texted Chris:

After that Donna hurled her phone across the room. It hit the wall making a loud thud.

Tillie heard the sound from the kitchen and she walked over to Donna's room and knocked on the door, "Are you okay in there?" But Donna did not respond.

Sitting on the side of her bed Donna decided it was time to open her book of poems.

She knows she wrote the poems but she doesn't remember the circumstances surrounding them. It all seems to be a dark hole of nothingness.

The first poem in the book, called "My Abyss," was the first poem she ever wrote. After reading it again she wished she could remember the surrounding circumstances.

"My Abyss"

Here comes another day… early morning and it's dark outside.

The tears well up to remind me that today will be no different than yesterday.

The pain in my heart is unrelenting… a pain I want to hide.

My head is aching, both sides at the temples.

Make it stop!!!

Someone please come help me… Tears again like always are falling down my face

Listen, please come find me

I'm running but I'm losing

In this human race

What has happened to me that I am not moving forward?

Why do I feel so lost and spiraling forever downward?

The spiral is deep and never ending

Dark and cold and silent

I need to run away from the message called pretending

Why can’t I change the events that control my destiny?

Rewind the tape and erase

Start all over again and again no harmony

The faces are grimacing and pointing their spiny fingers at me

See me drop!

Into the pool

Of my Abyss

(March 5, 2004)

After reading this poem Donna was gushed with a rush of emotions that sent her into a state of vertigo. Things she hadn't thought about in years came back to her mind and she was horrified.

She remembered a tall skinny white man with unruly hair named Moises. He called himself 'The Witch Doctor.'

The very thought of the Witch Doctor brought Donna to an emotional distress. She felt frightened as she could clearly see his face in her mind. His charcoal black eyes pierced her mind and set her racing. She broke into tears just knowing that her connection to the Witch Doctor was something sinister.

Donna felt the walls of her bedroom closing in on her and she had to get out quickly.

She ran toward her bedroom door but had troubles getting out because of the chair she wedged under the doorknob. She struggled with the chair and finally it came loose and Donna was able to open the door.

Donna gushed out of the bedroom and saw Tillie sitting at the kitchen table with a deck of Tarot cards spread out on the table.

All the cards were facedown except the ten of swords which seemed to be looking Donna straight in the eyes.

Donna walked over to the table. Her hair was ragged and face looked exhausted. She had saliva running down her right cheek.

"Oh honey, come on, sit down," Tillie invited Donna, "Let me brush your hair."

Donna sat down at the table and Tillie began massaging Donna's scalp. Donna said, "no, just brush it." So, Tillie just went ahead and brushed Donna's hair.

Donna asked about the cards on the table, "Why is that one card with the iron pins facing up?"

"Those aren't iron pins. They're swords," Tillie commented.

"Okay," Donna responded, "So, why is that card facing up?"

"It's your card," Tillie pointed at the card, "It's the Ten of Swords."

"Well, what does it mean," Donna made a pushy gesture with her face.

"Well Donna," Tillie said, "The Ten of Swords means you're being pulled down by several situations in your lífe. You feel like you are defeated and your life is hopeless."

Tillie paused and looked Donna square in the eyes. Donna looked shook up and had a bleak look of despair in her eyes.

"But," with a flamboyant hand gesture, "There is hope." Donna's eyes widened. Tillie continued speaking, "See that golden sky in the background? That suggests that things will improve." Donna gave a sigh of relief.

"You're not all that bad," Donna said to Tillie, "But, I don't need you. I'm an adult and I don't need a babysitter."

"We'll see," Tillie smiled and batted her eyes, "I'm not a babysitter. I'm a companion and a gypsy. My soul drifts to wherever it's needed."

"You seem like a very nice lady Tillie," Donna politely said, "And please don't take offense, but there is no need for you here."

"Well," Tillie cordially responded, "I look into your eyes and I see a need there. You know the eyes are the mirror to the soul and your soul seems to be crying."

With that statement Donna became very defensive and she stood up from the table, "Well, your radar or crystal ball or whatever it is you call it, is wrong. You're nothing but a two-penny carnival fortune teller."

After that Donna walked away and retreated back into her bedroom.

The Armor

She sat on the side of her bed staring at the wall. Thinking, 'how did I get here?' Then she picked up her poetry book looking for an answer. She began reading the second poem, an untitled poem.

"I have committed evil

Dabbled in black magic

Placed my trust in people

Now it's burning tragic…"

She stopped and slammed the book down and her hands began to shake and then her entire body went into a convulsive state of shock. It's all coming back to her. The sinister deeds she committed with The Witch Doctor.

"No, no!" Donna yelled in a frail quivering voice, "How could I have done that? Why?"

She fell back on her bed and began crying. The tears flowed non-stop. She just could not believe how naive she was to let the Witch Doctor control her. She let him in and he ran away with everything including the innocence of her most prized possession.

Donna tried to lie down but visions of the Witch Doctor kept flooding her mind. All she could see was his demented smile. He was holding a miniature crystal wand. Donna was transfixed on the wand which was about the size of her pinky finger. The Witch Doctor told her, "This little wand can perform big miracles."

The visions kept swirling around in Donna's mind. She couldn't stop them. It's as if The Witch Doctor was occupying her body.

A very distant small far away sound began to irritate Donna's mind. It was like tinnitus in the ear. It wouldn't go away. The sound was dim and vague. As it grew closer it began to sound like a young pup barking over and over. Then suddenly the sound hit her like a thunderous slap. It was the sound of The Witch Doctor's evil laugh taking over her mind. It was a loud perverse sound.

Donna could not escape the laugh which seemed to multiply and engulf her with fear and darkness on all sides.

Donna jumped up off her bed and stood up quickly. The laughter subsided as Donna quickly dressed herself layer upon layer and hat with veil over her face.

After getting dressed she walked out to the living room and Tillie was dusting the furniture and humming quietly to herself.

"You're always working. Why?" Donna spoke in a sort of gruff voice.

"I'm here to work, not sit around."

"Like I said earlier, you're okay" Donna spoke like a sailor with a tough voice and hardened face hiding beneath the black veil.

"Why are you bundled up? It's 82 degrees outside."

"This is the way I dress," Donna responded pensively.

"That's alright, I mean who am I to speak. Look at how I dress with my flowing veils and purple boots and all." Tillie kicks up her left foot to show off her boots.

Donna laughs at Tillie's somewhat comical gestures.

"Come on! Sit down for a while," Tillie copies Donna's expression with a rough sort of voice.

Donna just laughed as she sat down at the kitchen table. "You make me laugh, I like that."

"My daddy taught me young," Tillie said, "He told me that if you're going to survive as a gypsy, you have to have a little humor."

"So why all the clothes? Are you expecting a blizzard?"

In a quiet voice Donna said to Tillie, "Come here." Tillie leaned toward Donna. "No, come close." Tillie moved her chair next to Donna and brought her face right next to Donna's face. Donna looked at Tillie with her tear worn eyes, "It's my armour," Donna said in a whisper, "Dressing like this makes me feel safe when I go out into the world. I hardly go outside because it's too overwhelming for me. But when I have to I'm able to cope because I'm wearing my protective armor."

"Don't you get hot?" Tillie asked.

"Sometimes I do," Donna answered, "But the feeling of security brings me comfort. I can't go outside unless I'm protected."

"What do you need protection from?"

"Evil," Donna answered quickly, "There's evil swarming everywhere out there."

"You're bundled up right now. Are you going somewhere?"

"I was going to," Donna answered, "But instead I think I will stay here and talk with you."

"Well, that would be wonderful," Tillie responded, "I brought some of my homemade stuffed cabbage rolls and my special coffee blend.

"That sounds very good," Donna commented, "Tillie you're like a cloak of comfort to me. You've lifted those dark feelings away from me."

"That's good to hear," Tillie responded in a loving voice, "But you know you are going to have to face whatever is brewing inside."

"I know, I know," Donna frowned, "But right now I am emotionally exhausted and I need some comfort. I'm not ready to face my demons yet."

Tillie set a warm cup of coffee in front of Donna, "That's fine Donna. We take things one step at a time. Why don't you take off that jacket and hat and enjoy your coffee."

Donna and Tillie sat for the next 2 ½ hours talking and bonding until Chris came home from work.

I hurt someone very much

Tillie arrived at 8 am sharp the next morning. Chris expressed his gratitude for spending quality time with his mom. He gave her a hug then quickly left for work.

Donna was in her bedroom, with the door open, getting ready for her visit with the Reverend Gibson.

Tillie walked up to the door and instead of knocking she cheerfully voiced the words, "knock, knock."

Donna looked back at the door and saw Tillie, "Tillie! Come on in. Sit down," she said in a friendly tone as she pointed at the chair.

Donna continued dressing as she put on the full length coat over the two layers of clothes she was already wearing.

Tillie sat there watching her pile layer over layer. She was going to say something about the clothes but decided to let Donna be.

"Are you going somewhere today?" Tillie cautiously asked.

"Yes,I am," Donna answered while positioning her hat on her head and veil over her face.

"Would you like me to go with you?"

"No, Tillie, I am quite capable of taking care of my personal business on my own."

"Okay, I hear you," Tillie responded, "Well, I guess I will pack up and leave."

"You can stay if you want," Donna suggested, "I might need some help when I get back."

Tillie perked up and smiled, "Oh fantastic. I'm going to mop your kitchen floor and cook some chicken and vegetables."

"I'll be back in about 90 minutes or so," Donna said as she walked out the front door.

Donna began her walk to the church all covered up in her daunting black layers. It was a hot morning but Donna didn't notice as she was used to being bundled up as such.

When she arrived at the church Reverend Gibson was waiting for her in the front pew. Since there were other people in the church. He let her know that if she needed privacy that they could talk in his office. She said, "Yes, that would be nice."

While sitting in Reverend Gibson's office Donna picked at one of the buttons on her overcoat. The Reverend sat there silent as he observed Donna nervously picking on the button. She made very little eye contact with him, she kept her stare mostly down to her feet. She picked and picked on the button until the threads came loose and it was barely hanging on the coat.

Finally she looked up at the Reverend. She had tears lightly streaming from her eyes. She wanted to speak but couldn't.

The Reverend gave her another minute. She continued to stare at the desk with heartbreak in her eyes. Gently he spoke, "Donna, I am here to help."

"I know you are Reverend," with grief in her voice, "I just don't know what to say." She broke out crying deeply. It was evident that she was in major distress. She could barely utter her words, "I did something bad," she wept harder as she spoke, "bad, rea-really bad." She couldn't speak anymore. She just sat there sobbing uncontrollably.

"I am here. I'm listening if you want to talk," the Reverend spoke gently.

Donna continued to cry lightly. After a few minutes she regained her composure.

"I don't know, Reverend. I'm too heartbroken. I'm not ready. I hurt somebody. I hurt somebody very bad. I treated someone like their body did not matter. I was selfish, I was trying to escape the realities of adulthood. I thought I could just magically fix everything. But instead I messed things up and this will follow me my entire life. That is the real reason I wear all these layers of clothes. Not because they protect me, but because they hide me. They hide my ugliness, my ugly deeds."

Donna sat staring at the wall behind the Reverend. Her stare was blank and devoid of feeling. She's become a cracked woman not knowing what to think or feel.

"Reverend, I could take that paper weight from your desk and heave it against the wall. I am so mad at myself."

"Take it," The Reverend offered.

"No, I'm not going to destroy your office like the lives I've destroyed. I need confession Father. I need to confess," she said with desperation and anxiety in her voice."

"Come back tomorrow. Confession starts at 2:45 pm. You might want to arrive early. Sometimes there's a line."

"Thank you Reverend. I will be back tomorrow."

Donna got up to leave and started to walk toward the South wall but then stopped and stared for a minute. She was confused and disoriented. She went back and sat down in the chair.

Perplexed and bewildered, Donna addressed the Reverend, "Do you mind if I sit here for a while? I feel overheated and lost."

"Take your time Donna, there's no hurry."

"Thank you, I could use some water Reverend."

The Reverend brought her some water and Donna sat there for ten minutes then left to go home.

The Spice is Love

When she arrived at home she was hit with the aroma of baked chicken, stuffed tomatoes, and scalloped potatoes. But Donna was so emotionally disturbed that she just collapsed into the sofa, where Chris usually sleeps, and fell asleep.

The next morning Donna woke up on the sofa. Chris was in the kitchen cooking some scrambled eggs and sausage for breakfast. He was playing Elton John's Greatest Hits Volume One from his Apple music playlist.

"Good morning mom," Chris said from the kitchen, "It's ten in the morning."

Right when she heard 'ten in the morning' she jumped up, "It's already ten. I have to get up and get ready." She headed towards her room.

"Wait a minute mom. Come on, sit down and have some breakfast."

"I don't have time. I have to get ready."

"Okay, mom. I was just hoping we could spend a little time together."

"Oh, okay, you're right, but I don't have much time."

Donna walked over to the table and sat down. "It smells good. You're such a good cook Chris."

"Thank you mom. It's good because I add a special spice to it."

"Oh really?"

"Yes, it's called love. I put a little love into my cooking. You can taste the love."

"Oh that is so sweet. You are so good."

Chris set a plate in front of Donna, perfectly scrambled eggs, two sausage links, and crispy french fried potatoes.

"Now, that looks great Chris. I don't deserve such a good son."

"Oh yes you do mom," Chris took his mom's left hand and held it in both of his hands and he leaned toward Donna, his face close to her face, "Yes, you are such a beautiful person and the best mom any guy could have and I love you Mom. I love you forever and always. I promise you I will love you forever."

"Oh really," she said in her girly voice.

"Yes, really mom. Forever together."

After they finished eating Donna went into her bedroom to take a shower and get ready to go to confession.

The Confession

As per usual Donna started with the first layer of clothes - the black pants and black button down blouse. But before putting on the next layer Donna was hit with the reality of what she was doing. "Why?" She thought, "Why do I go through this? Wearing all these clothes." Quickly though she snapped back into her denial of reality and continued dressing. She put a black sweatshirt over the blouse and a black skirt over the pants. She topped everything with her long black bulky winter coat. As she grabbed her hat the words Tillie told her circled around in her mind, "You are going to have to face whatever is brewing inside." Donna sat there with her hat in her hand. She was afraid to look at herself in the mirror. She avoided looking, she was ashamed of herself and did not want to see her face. She put on the black hat, but this time she pushed the veil back over the hat instead of wearing it over her face. This was her small step at trying to face her demons. Donna knew that Tillie was right.

As she was leaving Chris noticed the veil was pulled back exposing her face, "Mom, you look beautiful. It is so nice to see your face."

"Yes, well whatever. I am leaving now. I'll be back in an hour or two."

Chris wanted to ask her where she was going but he didn't for fear that she would lash out at him. "Okay well, have a nice afternoon. I'm going to stay home, my stomach's been bothering me again."

Once she was outside Donna stood by the front door and looked around to see if there was anybody in the vicinity. She saw a young man walking in the opposite direction. Then she pulled the veil down over her face and began her walk to the church.

When she stepped inside the church the ambiance was fresh and peaceful with a somber organ quietly playing "Come to the Water." There were two other people sitting on the front pew near the confessional booth waiting to confess. Donna was fifteen minutes early and had expected to be first in line. "Oh boy," she disappointedly sighed to herself, "I'm not going to wait. I don't want people to see me here." She began to turn around, "But, I need to do this. But, I don't want to. But, I need to." Then another person walked into the church and sat down on the pew.

"Now, there are three," she muttered to herself. She started walking toward the line, but then stopped. She was going to turn around and leave but then another person walked in and she quickly walked to the front of the church and took her place in line.

The man just before her was nervously leafing through the pages of his Bible muttering to himself, "Where is it? Where is it?" He looked over at Donna a few times. But every time he looked she turned away in the other direction. Everytime she turned and looked in the other direction the lady sitting in the pew on that side would smile at Donna which caused Donna to feel trapped. No matter which way she turned her head she was forced to interact with somebody, so she kept her eyes looking straight forward at the church altar to avoid any sort of contact.

After a 40 minute wait it was finally Donna's turn to confess.

As Donna walked toward the confessional she felt as if she was a prisoner walking to the death chamber. Her entire body was shaking so much she almost couldn't walk.

Back at home Chris was feeling sluggish. He felt warm and his head was pounding with pain. He tried getting up from the sofa but he became dizzy and collapsed right back down. His stomach began to feel uneasy. His head was spinning and his hands began to tremble. In a faint voice Chris spoke in pain, "What's going on with me? Am I dying?"

"This is the end of me," Donna thought as she opened the door to the confessional booth. The booth was small and dimly lit, "I feel like I'm dying on the inside." The pattern of the screen between the two booths reflected across the entire inside of the booth. This made Donna feel queasy and uncomfortable. A sense of vertigo hit her and her knees began to buckle. She became faint and she had no choice but to walk into the small haunted looking booth and sit down.

A deep and soft voice welcomed Donna, "Greetings, let your body be filled with the spirit of God." His voice spooked her. Donna sat quietly, she was afraid to speak. Then finally in a whispering quivering voice she spoke, "Bless me father for I have sinned. It has been 20 years since my last confession. My sins are…" Then Donna stopped speaking. She was silent for about 30 seconds, "Oh father, I have one sin to confess. But I must tell the whole story of the sin. I need to relieve myself of this deep dark burden."

"Go on," the priest said in a warm comforting tone, "I am here to listen."

Chris's condition continued to get worse. He could barely move. He spoke, in an unstable voice, to his phone which was sitting on the table near the sofa, "Hey Google, dial 9-1-1 and turn on the speaker. When he heard the operator's voice he barely got the words out, "I'm dying. Ambulance, ambulance," and then he passed out. The operator tried to confirm the address but got no response from Chris. She dispatched a mobile intensive care unit to the apartment.

"Father, I have hurt someone I love dearly." Donna began sobbing heavily. She couldn't speak for a moment. She had to gather her composure.

The squealing of a siren hit Laharpe street loud and piercing. The paramedics made it to the apartment in less than 10 minutes. They knocked on the door. There was no answer. They knocked louder. The window at the front of the apartment was open so one of the paramedics cut the screen open and crawled into the apartment and let the other paramedics in. They found Chris on the sofa unconscious. His blood pressure was extremely high 173/108 with a pulse of 105 and he had a fever of 103. The paramedics quickly started him on a nitroglycerin IV in order to lower his blood pressure. Since they were unable to communicate with him they weren't able to make an opinion on what the problem was. They suspected it was an infection of some sort.

"Father," Donna spoke in a soft and calm manner, "This was about 20 years ago. I was barely 19 years old. My son Chris was 10 months old. I had met this man named Moises. At first he seemed nice enough. We became friends. He would come over to the apartment. I lived in a two bedroom back then. We would drink vodka, smoke a little bit of the chronic. We had fun. He called himself the Witch Doctor. I never really made anything of it. I just thought it was a silly nickname - a beatnik sorta name. He was into rhymes and philosophy. One night we had a nice dinner at my apartment. He brought over some steak and potatoes from the local market and a few trippy CDs.

After dinner we smoked a little of the gange. Then he pulled a small vial out of his pocket and said, "Meet Lucy." I thought it was funny that he called it Lucy. It was a liquid. So, I said, 'I want to meet Lucy.' He filled a small tumbler about one quarter full with vodka then he poured a small single drop of 'Lucy' into the vodka and mixed it by moving the glass back and forth. Without hesitation I took the vodka and drank it down in two or three gulps. We were both giggling a lot and he began tickling me. The giggles seemed to multiply then began to sound like barking puppies. It was like hundreds of puppies barking. Out of nowhere there was the faint sound of a siren which grew louder and louder and the sound of the barking puppies faded out. The sound pierced my ears. It was so loud and annoying. I even yelled out for it to stop, but it didn't. It just grew more intense and almost started to sound like a cry. Then Moises noticed it was a cry. It was Chris. He was in the other room crying. His cry seemed to come in waves. The sound splashed over everything and seemed to make a mess of the apartment. That made me fiercely mad. I was ready to kick the walls. But Moises managed to calm me down. We went into the other room where Chris was. Things seemed a little more real. He was crying profusely. I didn't know what to do. Any mothering instincts I may have had seemed to have been flushed away with the waves.

I just stood there at his crib and stared as he continued to cry. He looked so tiny and far away. I felt helpless. I couldn't reach him. He was out of my grasp. That's when Moises said, "The 'Witch Doctor' can help." I felt a sigh of relief, like when a first responder arrives at the scene of an emergency.

He took a small black velvety bag out of his coat pocket. From the bag he pulled out a small crystal wand, which was about the size of my pinky finger. Then he pulled out a small vial filled with a liquid. He said it was a spiritual healing oil. All the while Chris was still crying and I couldn't do anything about it.

The Witch Doctor said he would bring Chris to me so I could administer the healing oil which would make him stop crying.

"I asked him," Donna suddenly stopped talking. She became silent. She began sniffing and tears came from her eyes. She sat there for a minute then continued speaking.

"I asked The Witch Doctor, 'How do I administer the healing oil?' After I asked him this the room suddenly felt very serious. The feeling was frightening. The Witch Doctor said, 'Take the crystal wand and cover it with the healing oil.'

I remember looking at the tiny crystal wand. It had a magical sense about it. I was fascinated with it. I took it from The Witch Doctor's hand and rotated it. It was dazzling. It shimmered and sparkled the many colors of the spectrum. Soon it was as if the wand was rotating on its own and the colors were shooting out like sparks toward me. It was fascinating. I was in a wonderland of vivid color. It felt so good and warm. It was an overload of beauty and I became thrilled then frightened. I gave the crystal back to The Witch Doctor and I closed my eyes. It was too much for me to handle. But within my mind I continued to see the colors rotating around me and firing out at me. The Witch Doctor could tell I was agitated, so he took my hands and rubbed them and he let me know that everything was alright. It took me a few minutes to calm down and that's when I noticed Chris was still crying. It sounded like a wolf howling throughout a long dark night. And I said to The Witch Doctor, 'Let's stop this.' I asked him what do I have to do. He told me that after the crystal wand was covered with the healing oil that I would have to insert it into Chris's buttocks then twist it clockwise three times then counterclockwise three times. After that push the wand in further and twist again three times clockwise and three times counterclockwise. The Witch Doctor said the reason for inserting in this area of the body is because the healing oils would be absorbed more efficiently.

It's like I didn't know better. I took the crystal wand and poured the healing oil over it and rubbed it all around the entire wand. The oil had a relaxing fragrance. It was like lavender. It was so pleasing to me.

I was so lost in the fragrance that I really did not have any consciousness of what I was about to do to my crying son. I took the crystal wand and I inserted it into his back end. It slid in so easily. I took verbal instructions from The Witch Doctor. He told me to twist the crystal wand clockwise three times. So I did that. The Witch Doctor told me that Chris was already responding. That he was quiet now, even though I thought I could hear him crying. But I really wasn't sure. My mind was so clouded by everything that was going on. I really wasn't sure what I was doing and why I was doing it. The Witch Doctor's voice was so commanding and authoritative I just automatically followed his directions without question. It's like I was brainwashed.

Out of nowhere the Witch Doctor's deep and dark unholy voice appeared. He commanded me to twist the wand counterclockwise. I twisted counterclockwise and the sweet smell of lavender and mint engulfed my mind. The Witch Doctor assured me that Chris was okay. That the healing oil was working and he's not crying anymore. But, I thought I heard crying and I mentioned that to the Witch Doctor, that it sounded like someone was being tortured. The Witch Doctor wickedly laughed and said that was a siren. That the paramedics arrived at the apartment next door."

The siren blared loud as the ambulance raced toward University Medical Center in New Orleans. The medic yelled out, "His blood pressure is dropping rapidly… 64 over 42. He's flatlining. His heart's stopped beating. There's no pulse." The driver dispatched a call to the hospital, "Southern Med Trans Unit 2432. We have a patient flatlining, 19 year old male, Chris Moreau 06/19/03. We're 5 minutes away." The EMT quickly began CPR, rapidly pressing on Chris' chest and called for a 20 unit injection of vasopressin. "He's back. His heart is beating. He's breathing. Pulse at 43, bp at 78 over 52." A sigh of relief came from the EMT crew as they arrived at the hospital.

Donna took a deep breath and paused for a while to take it all in. It seemed unreal to her. "Are you okay ma'am?" The priest asked. "Yes, I'm okay father. I just needed a break." Donna continued speaking, "The Witch Doctor gave me the next instructions. He told me to lightly push the wand in a little further than twist clockwise. As I pushed in I thought I saw blood. It looked like it was coming from my fingers. But I wasn't sure where it was coming from. I really wasn't sure if it was blood. It was a beautiful red color and it seemed to sparkle and emanated a glimmering radiance. It gave me an odd sense of comfort. It made me feel happy. Finally, the Witch Doctor gave me the last few instructions, 'twist counterclockwise,' he said and I obeyed his command. When I finished that last sequence the Witch Doctor told me that Chris was healed and he instructed me to very slowly remove the wand. I don't remember anything else. I woke up the next morning on the floor next to Chris' crib. My body was so weak. I struggled to get myself up off the floor. I was shocked and stunned when I looked at Chris. There was blood splattered all over his crib,"

Donna broke into tears as she verbalized her realization, "I raped my son Father. I raped my son. I didn't mean to. But I enjoyed it when it was happening." The tears came rolling from Donna's eyes. She couldn't talk anymore.

Donna took her phone out of her coat pocket to look at the time. She had been in the confessional booth for more than 20 minutes. She noticed there were four voicemails from the same phone number. She listened to the last message. "Oh my goodness, I must leave Father. My son is at University Medical. They said he's very sick.

The Hail Mary

Donna ran out of the booth clicking on her Uber app for a ride to the hospital. She waited in front of the church for less than five minutes. The driver got her to the hospital in less than ten minutes. She thanked the man and that gave him an additional $20 tip.

When she arrived at the hospital Chris was in a deep sleep and had a saline solution and a blood bag being pumped into him intravenously.

Ten minutes after she arrived the doctor came to speak with her.

"Hello Mrs. Moreau. I am Dr. Iscan. Your son is very sick." The doctor looked at the computer monitor which was in the corner of the room.

Donna frantically asked, "How long has he been here?"

"He's been here for about two hours. Our initial examinations show that your son has a severe intestinal infection. Possibly a full-body infection. We have him on an antibiotic through the IV. He also had blood coming from his rectum."

When the doctor mentioned rectum Donna became weak and her knees began to buckle. The doctor quickly grabbed a chair and placed it behind Donna.

"Are you alright Mrs. Moreau?" The doctor asked.

"Yes, yes. Just shaken by this."

The doctor continued explaining Chris' diagnosis, "We did some X-Rays and an ultrasound. Chris' rectum is terribly damaged. It looks like it's been that way for a long time. His rectum is perforated in several places. I'm surprised he didn't get sick sooner."

The doctor stopped a second to scroll down the report on the computer. While still looking at the computer he asked, "Was Chris abused as a child?"

Donna felt very uneasy. She began thinking, 'I should have stayed at the church. I never did my penance. Now, I'm going to have to pay for this.' She looked at the doctor, who was now looking at her and she hesitantly said, "Uh, I don't know doctor. I don't think so." 'Now,' she thought, 'I have another sin on me. Lying to the doctor.'

"Okay, well that's it for now Mrs. Moreau," the doctor informed Donna,"The nurse will be in periodically to check Chris' vitals and change his diapers."

"Diapers?" Donna's face grew horrified, "My 19 year old son is wearing diapers?" Donna broke into tears. She wasn't sure if she was crying out of guilt or sympathy.

"I'm sure it's only temporary Mr. Moreau." The doctor exited the room to visit his next patient.

Donna sat and waited while Chris slept. She kept thinking that this was all her fault for bringing that Witch Doctor into their lives. "If only I stayed away, I should have stayed with Chris' father." She went round and round thinking of what she did wrong and how she ruined her son's life.

After nearly 4 hours Chris turned in his bed and made a few groaning sounds and he stretched and slightly opened his eyes.

"Mom," he said in a whispery voice,"You're here."

"Yes son," She walked over to his bed, "Momma's here."

"I'm so glad," Chris smiled, "Just knowing that you're here gives me hope and makes me feel like everything's going to be alright."

With tears in her eyes Donna took both of Chris' hands and held them the way he would hold hers when she felt scared.

"Oh momma," Chris sighed with relief, "Your hands are so soft and warm."

Chris took a breath and was ready to say something else but instead he dozed off to sleep.

Donna sat back in her chair and called Reverend Gibson.

"Hello Reverend, I was at the church doing confession. I left before I could receive my penance. I need to speak with the priest…"

The Reverend cut in, "That was me Donna. I altered my voice."

"I need my penance Reverend," she begged.

"My sweet Madonna Moreau, you were heavily drugged by an evil man, the Reverend solemnly said, "It is not your fault. Your penance is in three parts. One that you do now and two that are ongoing."

"Yes, Father, I am listening," Donna responded as she sat in the corner of the hospital room with her cell phone up to her ear.

"First take off the veil and the layers of clothes and live your life for God and for yourself. Get the help you need."

Donna listened quietly as she nodded her head in agreement.

"Second, become your son's advocate. Make the needed phone calls, communicate with the nurses and doctors, fight to ensure he gets the proper treatment. Be there to nurture him back to health."

"Yes!" Donna exclaimed with impassioned emotion, "Yes, Father, yes, I will."

"And finally, say one Hail Mary."

Donna sat up straight in the hospital chair and began to recite the Hail Mary:

"Hail Mary, Full of Grace, The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of our death. Amen."

After Donna completed her Hail Mary the Reverend delivered the Prayer of Absolution:

"God, the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of his Son has reconciled the world to himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins; through the ministry of the Church may God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."

At the end of the prayer both Donna and the Reverend said,

"Amen."

Right at the end of the phone call Chris whispered, "Together, forever," and then he said "Good night."

><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><<><

This story was inspired when I asked my friend Irene Economou to give me a topic and an item to be used in the story. Her topic was Confession and the item was a Poetry Book. I'm sure the story is not at all what she was expecting... but with Rick Henry one must learn to expect the unexpected...

I also want to thank Irene for writing the poem "My Abyss" which isued in the story.

psychological
6

About the Creator

Rick Henry Christopher

Writing is a distraction for me. It takes me to places unknown that fulfill my need for intellectual stimulus, emotional release, and a soothing of the breaks and bruises of the day.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/vocalplusassist

Reader insights

Outstanding

Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

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Comments (6)

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  • Cathy holmes7 months ago

    Great story, and so well written.

  • Wow, Rick, hats off to you. Just with confession and poetry book, you came up with this brilliant story. Although this story was very long, there wasn't any dull moment. It was a smooth flow that made me to keep on reading. Very captivating. Unfortunately, I didn’t find anything graphic or disturbing in your story. Yes, I read the part of the crystal wand and healing oil. Guess as a horror fan, I'm very used to this. But seriously kudos to you for this excellent piece of work!

  • Scott Wade7 months ago

    Excellent Rick. The rise and fall of the tension with the burden carried maintained a great pace. Another chapter or epilogue would be great.

  • Irene Economou7 months ago

    Rick, this story tended to grow on me, as you know. That is a credit to you, and your masterfully developed, engaging story. Your descriptions of the characters brought them to life; your attention to details of not only the characters, but the placement of the story and references to known areas added to the believability of this story. You did your research. That's why this story was so real, which intensified the revelation of the horrific confession...a subject matter that is not easy to deal with. This is superb storytelling, a kind of "Stephen King" type of storytelling. Rick, I think this is one of your best efforts yet. Congratulations!!

  • Tiffany Gordon 7 months ago

    I really liked how you gracefully wove the themes of Hope, Remorse & Repentance into the story and how your Protag's spirituality played a vital/powerful/pivotal role in the story... Superb storytelling.

  • Babs Iverson8 months ago

    Fantastic storytelling!!!💖💕

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