Wednesday, May 13, 2015
NO ORDINARY PRIEST
Patrick rolled back into his blanket and closed his eyes, feigning sleep yet alert to any movement Claudia might make. The terror and shame in her eyes when she woke from the nightmare struck an answering chord in his heart. Brought a flash of what he thought was memory, but the shapes were shrouded in darkness and he couldn't be sure.
Years ago, his angel said he should become a priest, and so he had.
Yet some unknown, unhealed wound lurked in the deepest part of his soul. A darkness at odds with the teachings of the priesthood; that refused to be banished except by pushing his body to its physical limits. So he developed the double life of a beatific priest while also seeking refuge in manual labor and martial arts. While his spirit searched for enlightenment, his body became carved in muscular strength.
However, lately he found it more and more difficult to escape the shadows in his soul. So he spent more time here at his sanctuary, stripped of even the button-down shirt and slacks that carried some semblance of his priestly career. If he focused completely on the strength of his physical body, perhaps the restlessness of his spirit would once again be silenced.
His plan seemed to be working--until Claudia's panicked flight resonated so deeply with his own desire to flee that he became her accomplice.
His sister-the-social-worker would understand, but Marly would not be happy Patrick helped Claudia disappear. Her abrupt messages on his cell phone to "call me" attested to that. Marly believed Claudia was the mother of a stolen baby in a highly publicized child welfare case, and had spent a number of weeks trying to convince Claudia to admit that fact. Local law enforcement had also been leaning on Claudia to name the attacker who slashed her chest and tried to rape her.
Little wonder that she thought escape was her only option. Patrick doubted anyone had ever stood up for Claudia in a lifetime of being buffeted from man to man. Why believe someone would protect her now?
(Excerpt from Legacy of Angels, copyright Genie Gabriel)