Hollow Moon Part 35
- Hollow Moon Part 1
- Hollow Moon Part 2
- Hollow Moon Part 3
- Hollow Moon Part 4
- Hollow Moon Part 5
- Hollow Moon Part 6
- Hollow Moon Part 7
- Hollow Moon Part 8
- Hollow Moon Part 9
- Hollow Moon Part 10
- Hollow Moon Part 11
- Hollow Moon Part 12
- Hollow Moon Part 13
- Hollow Moon Part 14
- Hollow Moon Part 15
- Hollow Moon Part 16
- Hollow Moon Part 17
- Hollow Moon Part 18
- Hollow Moon Part 19
- Hollow Moon Part 20
- Hollow Moon Part 21
- Hollow Moon Part 22
- Hollow Moon Part 23
- Hollow Moon Part 24
- Hollow Moon Part 25
- Hollow Moon Part 26
- Hollow Moon Part 27
- Hollow Moon Part 28
- Hollow Moon Part 29
- Hollow Moon Part 30
- Hollow Moon Part 31
- Hollow Moon Part 32
- Hollow Moon Part 33
- Hollow Moon Part 34
- Hollow Moon Part 35
“Well, Esk, ya’ see, we got this thing called a catechism ya’ hafta’ go through in order ta’ become a proper member a’ the church. Have ya’ heard of it?” the Reverend asked.
Esk was confused, and Sam was distracted by the Chief Gossip in the corner of the chapel. The Reverend had no recollection of Esk beyond the fact that he was Sam’s friend. Unfortunately, the clones had done an exemplary job of reprogramming his memory. The one time I needed the clones to miss something! Why could the Council not let me do the examinations and reprogrammings myself? This whole mess would be so much simpler to sort out if they had. The collective consciousness was attempting to help me, and I appreciate the gesture; however, this loss of so much information is an absolute debacle! The King Axolotl is in danger, and I can do nothing but learn about the church to save him. If it is not already too late…
The Reverend jolted Esk from his thoughts when he took him by the shoulder. “Esk, I need ya’ ta’ read this.” The Reverend produced a thin, red-covered book with a symbol on the front in gold foil. “This is the Small Catechism. Sam can help ya’ with it when yer not studying it with me. Here. Take it. This is yers.”
“What is the purpose of this?”
“Ta’ help ya’ understand the important parts a’ the Holy Scriptures an’ what they mean.”
“Am I to be tested?”
“Me. Don’t worry. It’ll take a while, but you’ll git it down jist fine.”
Sam yanked on Esk’s arm, lurching him toward the door. He was free of the minister’s wife. “Let’s go, Esk! This is our chance!”
Esk was not sure of the small book the Reverend Bandersnatch gave him. It felt wrong to him. He flipped through it briefly in the darkness, barely able to read any of the type as Sam drove them back to the cabin in his truck.
“What’s that?” Sam asked.
“A small catechism. What does it do, Sam?”
“Ugh. Catechism. Bandersnatch is gonna make ya’ go through that? I went through that as a kid, an’ I hated it. Boring, an’ I never did understand much ‘bout the things they was quotin’.”
“The Reverend said you could help me with it when I am not studying it with him. He says I will be tested.”
“Well, I’ll help ya’ as much as I can with it, buddy. No problem. Yer an angel, after all. Ya’ prob’ly know all a’ this stuff already. Ya’ prob’ly know a lot more than us humans do.”
“What about the test?”
“Don’t you worry ‘bout that test. The preacher won’t even know what hit ‘im when ya’ tell ‘im in yer angel language what all that means. He’ll jist fall out a’ his chair, I’ll bet!” Sam laughed as they pulled up to the cabin, and he cut the headlights. “Yer gonna be jist fine.”
The next morning, Sam woke Esk early, already dressed. Esk was still fatigued from the excitement of the night before. Helping Esk out of his recliner, Sam told him his breakfast was already waiting for him on the kitchen table. Dippin’ eggs and toast…
“What is the occasion, Sam?”
“We gotta go get cha’ yer own Bible! This is an excitin’ day fer ya’. Yer gonna get baptized!”
“Why can I not use your book?”
“Mine’s a mess, buddy. I want cha’ ta’ have yer very own ta’ study with, so ya’ can write anything ya’ want in it and nobody else has ta’ see what yer thoughts are. Angels have different thoughts, I ‘magine, an’ I don’t want nobody ya’ don’t want ta’ see ‘em accidentally findin’ out somethin’ they maybe shouldn’t. I figure that’s smart. Whaddaya think?”
“I like that idea very much. Thank you. Um… what is ‘baptized?’”
“I’m sure the preacher jist fergot ta’ mention it, but it’s the best thing ever! It means ya’ can take communion with me after ya’ git confirmed, too. That’s what the catechism is all ‘bout. See, ya’ git baptized, then ya’ git confirmed, then ya’ take communion. The catechism is jist ta’ help ya’ understand all the faith an’ church stuff. But yer an angel, an’ I’m sure ya’ don’t have any troubles with faith!”
Esk scarfed down his dippin’ eggs and toast, drank his coffee, and was ready to go. He found himself excited to be getting his own set of Holy Scriptures to study. He could indeed make the set his own. With Fletcher in the rearview mirror, Sam and Esk headed down the road to the nearest city, 70 miles away, where Sam told him they sold various sets of scriptures in a specific store. Esk watched as the traffic got heavier and the pavement became of better quality. It was strange to him that so many things were different in a “city” than in the town of Fletcher. After an hour had passed, the pair arrived at The Bible Bookstore.
Dr. Severius paced in his office. Something in the back of his mind was bothering him. He could almost grasp it in his mind’s eye, but it escaped him every time he tried to lay hold of the thought or image.
The warden was stern with him when they spoke last. The man seemed genuinely concerned about him, too, though. What had worried him so? Severius pondered what could possibly cause the warden anxiety about him. He was a loser in his field, and he felt it. His research—what was it again?—had fallen through. He had lost his intern somewhere along the way, and on top of it all, the warden liked his intern better than he liked Severius himself. Punching the desktop (then realizing it hurt terribly), the psychiatrist decided it was time to do rounds. In his foul mood, no one was safe.
The physician decided to visit solitary confinement first. As usual, he was heckled and jeered at while passing through Cell Block D on his way. He much preferred Cell Block A, but those prisoners rarely needed his expertise. The door buzzed after he showed the guard his credentials badge, and Severius entered solitary. It was remarkably quiet—unusual. The doctor could hear murmuring from the last cell and he used his keycard to unlock the door. When he opened it, he found a seated naked prisoner rocking back and forth with his arms wrapped around his knees, which were pressed into his chest. His mumblings were incoherent, and he did not seem to notice or care that anyone had entered his space.
Severius felt ignored. “You. Stand up.”
The captive continued his quiet chanting and paid him no attention. No effort was made to follow the order.
“I told you to stand up!” Severius approached the man and, without thinking through his actions, grabbed his arm. With lightning reflexes, the psychopath pinned his guest against the wall. No one could hear the screams. No one was listening.