Father Damien jumped a little in his chair at the sound of that request. It suddenly dawned on him that they were alone. He realised that the church secretary had already gone home. None of the alter boys were there either. It was not unusual for them to go away with their families on holidays at this time of year. It was just him and Mason sitting in this one office in this big church.
“I’m sorry!”, the priest responded, trying to downplay the situation. “You want me?” Mason gently got out of the chair and walked towards the door of the office. The door that only a few moments ago they had both innocently stepped through.
Before he even reached the door there was a quick glance at the handle and a click sounded as the door locked. The priest could only sit there and watch, the knowledge very quickly arriving that this was his time. Playing dumb was now over with the click of that lock. “Why me?”, Father Damien asked.
Mason turned and looked around the office. “Oh dear! My good man. Isn’t it clear to you by now?” The priest followed Mason as he started to walk along one wall running a single finger along the book shelf.
“You are a man of God. The ultimate in goodness. So pure. So nice. So forgiving! You make me sick! With all your rules and conditions. You must do this and you must say that. Anything else is against God’s will. You stand up there on your perch and preach day after day, sermon after sermon. Telling people what to do. Denying them of the pleasures of life.
Taking away anything that makes them feel good” The priest sat quietly observing Mason who had now made it to the end of the cabinet. “Look at you sitting there all holier than thou. So sanctimonious. So full of yourself”
A little smile crept onto his face as he walked calmly into the middle of the office, never taking his eyes off the priest. “Now I could do all the usual scary stuff”
At that moment a single bible flew off the shelf and the crucifix that stood proudly at the head of the table slowly turned upside down. Terror took over the face of Father Damien who was now frozen in his chair. No matter how hard he wanted to get up, he couldn’t. He could feel a pressure bearing down on him that forced him back into the chair.
“But that’s boring! Been there, done that. It takes all the fun out of it. You need to be able feel the flesh. Feel the life draining from you. The scary stuff just doesn’t do it. This, on the other hand, does. Oh it feels so good to be able to grab hold of life and take it. Rip it apart. Now tell me Father, does that not sound good to you?”
“No!”, shouted the priest emphatically. “Now now holy man. You are not supposed to lie”, Mason mocked. “Tell the truth” Mason got closer and closer to the priest until he was face to face with him and peering directly into his eyes.
“Where is your God now holy man?! Where is he to protect his little child?” “God loves me and he loves you”, the priest said with nervous conviction. Mason’s eyes suddenly changed to deep red. They burned into the eyes of the priest.
He reached into the pocket inside his blazer and pulled out a tiny drinking flask. Normally that would be filled with alcohol but not today. On this day it had oil. He stood up and slowly twisted the top before he tipped it over the priest’s head. Slippery goo flowed out splashing into the hair and dripping down the face, all the way into his lap, soaking his clothes in oil.
Mason then reached into another pocket and pulled out a packet of cigarettes and a lighter. He went and sat back down on the chair he had occupied throughout his confession and lit a cigarette. Father Damien knew what was coming but was powerless to stop it. All he could do was start reciting the Lord’s prayer. This amused Mason even more.
“Oh dear Father your God can’t help you now” Mason took one last drag on the cigarette and tossed it into the priest’s lap. Immediately the oil caught alight along with the clothes. In an instant the flames spread all over the priest. In a blink of Mason’s eye the priest was engulfed.
A violent scream echoed throughout the room as the flames burnt through to the skin. Mason sat there smiling. The skin of this old man started to shrivel and crackle under the intense heat. The screams became louder and louder. The priest’s face became a mess of twisted flesh as the skin peeled off. The once howling Father Damien had now been silenced. His work was done.
Mason took a deep breath as he inhaled the fumes of the smoke and let out a mighty sigh. He got out of the seat and as calmly as he entered the office, he left. The only difference was this time he had a grin on his face. In a short while he was standing outside the main doors of the church overlooking the street.
The thought occurred to him that the world was now his playground. After looking both ways, Mason left the church grounds and continued to walk along the main street with a cheeky little grin.