Pablo was completely exhausted. His mouth was parched, his tongue felt like sand paper against the roof of his mouth and the grit ground between his teeth. Suddenly he fell to his knees, the ground was hard and dry, his body shaking uncontrollably.
Pablo then felt a gentle hand rest upon his shoulder, it was the local Padre. Pablo took a deep breath “Padre, I have sinned an unthinkable sin, I have come to you for confession and Gods forgiveness.”
The Padre was an average sized man, some thought rather handsome. He was dressed in a dark brown robe, a hand carved wooden rosary adorned his gown. “What is it my son” the Padre asked in a gentle monotone? “Padre, I have killed a man!” “Oh…………..I see” said the Padre, with a concerned frown. “When did this happen my child?”
Pablo looked down at the paving on the ground, the worn uneven surface looked like it had been laid over a hundred years ago. He wondered how many others before him had walked to this very spot, confessing their sins? How many stories had the Padre heard over the years, that he hadn’t already heard before?
Pablo then noticed the foul stench, reeking from his soiled pants, he felt the sun bearing down on his back, like a punishment from up above. Sweat trickling down his dirty face, his hands were dry and callused, his knuckles grazed, black dirt lay trapped under his fingernails. His hands committed a dreadful sin. Pablo never thought he would be the bearer of hands that could take a human life.
Pablo looked up at the Padre “It happened yesterday. I swear to you I didn’t set out to kill a man, it just happened.” The Padre looked down at the man before him, he could see the anguish in his eyes. “Tell me what happened, take your time, I understand this must be hard for you.”
Pablo started “I was feeling really down yesterday, so I went for a walk, I needed to clear my head. I went down to the riverbank; it was quite peaceful, just what I needed. I walked along for sometime, it was nearing dusk and the air was getting a little cold. My mind was still mulling over an argument I had, had with my mother earlier, but the walk was helping.
I soon realized I was not alone, there was someone walking behind me, their footsteps out of sync with mine. It made me feel a little uneasy, I casually glanced over my left shoulder, the man appeared to be alone, he was looking down with his hands in his coat.
The next thing I knew, I was being thrown to the ground and the man was pulling at my rack sack trying to rip it off my shoulders. I rolled around to face him, he glared at me with callas eyes, his teeth were yellow, his skin weathered and he smelt of the evil liquid that consumed half the town.
At that moment, he pulled out a small rusty carving knife. I grabbed his wrist, trying to push the knife away from my face, it got awfully close. We struggled fiercely, I took a swing at him with my fist and he flew backwards hitting the ground. He quickly recovered, with the knife still in his hand, he slashed forward. I felt terrified and determined at the same time to ensure that knife stayed well away. I grabbed my rack sack and swung it at his hand, luckily he dropped the knife to the ground. At that moment something came over me, I couldn’t think clearly, I started to slam the rack sack into the mans head with a force I did not know I had….over and over…forgetting it contained some heavy books. I finally stopped, the man just laid there motionless.”
The Padre looked at Pablo with a grave expression on his face, he was deep in concentration. ”What happened next” he asked? “I panicked! I gathered myself together and started to run. My mind was spinning with confusion, with what had just happened. I found an old barn and hid there until this morning. I have no other place to go but here Padre, you must help me. What should I do, tell me what to do, please help me? “
At that moment, Pablo wept like a child, his head in the palm of his hands, sobbing uncontrollably. His body collapsing to the ground, with exhaustion. The Padre knelt down beside Pablo, helping him up. He placed his arm around Pablo’s shoulders for support and led him through the heavy church doors, where it was safe.
Written by Angela Sparks