Rosa and Kip sat in a hallway leading from the rectory to the chapel. Rosa whispered to Kip. “At the funeral liturgy, the Church gathers with the family and friends to give praise and thanks to God for Christ's victory over sin and death, to commend the deceased to God's mercy and compassion, and to seek strength in the proclamation of the Easter mystery. The funeral liturgy is an act of worship, and not merely an expression of grief.”
Kip shifted in his seat. “I don’t see Linda in the crowd.”
“She’s probably where you can’t see her.” Rosa tried to peek though the crack in the door. “She’s so tiny.”
Father Luis delivered his message and the gathered congregation responded as well as did Rosa from the hallway. When the service was over Father Luis came back to the rectory through the hallway.
“Too bad you couldn’t sit inside,” Father Luis said.
“I heard everything. Paulo and Maria are smiling from Heaven,” replied Rosa with tears in her eyes.
“I noticed a black car sitting across the road from the church. Maybe you should stay in here awhile until it leaves. It might just be a relative or friend.”
Kip looked back into the chapel. “Speaking of friends, father. Do you know Linda Cortez, the attorney for the company. I didn’t see her there.”
Father Luis ducked his head. “You don’t know?”
Rosa became alarmed and stood. “Know what?”
The priest put his arm around Rosa. “She was murdered in her office the same day as Paulo and Maria.”
“No,” screamed Rosa.
Kip grabbed her in a hug.
Father Luis returned to the front of the church attentively to close the front doors.
Rosa pushed away from Kip. Her tears had turned to anger. “You killed my family, my friends, and who knows who else. You warned me but no, I didn’t listen. You’re no different than the last Gringo I was married to. He took my property and daughter. You have taken my friends and my family. I have nothing left.”
“Rosa, we have each other, and we still have the business.”
“That’s what you think. We had a business. The government may have already taken it and all your so called money.” She kicked the satchel. “This is where I found you and this is where I’m going to leave you, here in the kitchen of Father Luis’s living space. Get’m to quit killing my people. Call your friend Marcos and have him pick you up on the hill, then everything is full circle.” She tromped into the priest’s bathroom and slammed the door.
Father Luis returned. “The black car is still there but nobody is in it.”
Kip picked up the satchel. “I need to get the situation away from here. Is the old car still working?”
The priest took the keys off the hook and handed them to Kip. “God is with you, your enemies are but pawns of Satan, but he the evil one is dangerous. Be careful my child.”
Kip nodded indicating he understood the meaning of the Father’s words, shook the priest’s hand, picked up the satchel and crept along outside the door until he got to the small car just as a shot rang out. The world went black.
Father Luis ran out toward Kip and ducked behind a bolder when another shot rang out then glanced over his shoulder to see Rosa lying on the ground and blood coming from her head.
Sirens roared in the distance and the gunfire ceased. Father Luis crawled to Rosa and cuddled her in his arms; her head was a mass of blood. He rocked back and forth and prayed. A tall thin man walked up to Kip and picked up the satchel and then walked away. A minute later the black car roared away on the road.
A fax came into an office in Washington DC it said. “Fresh mutton on menu, all sheep gone. Bag secured.”
To be continued ....