I saw that face on the news and knew what it was about before I even heard the story.
Seeing the Padre doing a perp walk made my heart jump, my guts twist, my face burn, my eyes tear. Someone’d dropped the dime and this time there was no one in a black suit with a pink beanie running cover for him.
Some kid had the guts to tell the cops about how the Padre had coaxed him upstairs, downstairs or to some dark motel room. Never mattered to the Padre; he was bulletproof. I guess not anymore. Heat got too much for the Bish to give him the no-look pass, flipping him to some new parish, some new boys.
Wish it’d been me, but I couldn’t even confess it. My sin. Couldn’t tell any of them. I’d always imagine that face in the dark on the other side.
My friend Jo-Anne Teal suggested I visit writer Angela Goff’s website to see if I would participate in her weekly VisDare flash fiction prompt. This was the last for 2015, so I said I would. Angela provided the photo above and the word Omitted as what I had to work with to produce a story of no more than 150 words. I chose a subject that has resonated in my work since Day One. I wonder how many guys have never said a word, never believed someone would believe them, thought it was their sin, their fault, their weakness as men. I can’t imagine the torment some have felt, but I try.