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Rated: 18+ · Short Story · Dark · #1763319
Danny is a young man who is good at his job, but he harbors a secret.
Just a Little Closer, Please

          He was drowning. Air bubbles streamed from his mouth and rose toward the light as a meaty hand descended, gripped him by the arm, and yanked him to the surface. He coughed out water and took hoarse, jagged breaths, the hand slipping inside his swimsuit and exploring his buttocks. “You’re going to be just fine. I won’t let anything happen to you. You’re safe with me.” The soothing words droned in his ear as the hand wandered to his private parts, stroking and caressing. “Are you feeling better?” The sing-song voice bored inside his brain as the hand explored – underwater – at the end of the lake’s swimming dock.

          Danny exploded upright to a sitting position in his bed, dripping with sweat – his member standing at attention. “Shit! That goddamned dream again.”

          The same nightmare had awakened him with increasing regularity during the past few weeks. Danny knew the origin because he had lived the dream. The Reverend Lee had saved him from drowning at church camp when he was twelve and then robbed him of his trust, faith, and innocence. Sometimes he felt filthy.

          During the past two years, the feelings and dreams surged stronger. He hadn’t sought counseling. Only weak people need shrinks.

          He wished he could confront his abuser, but "the good reverend" had been killed five years ago in a car accident. He died too quick. He didn’t suffer enough. Stomach cancer would’ve been better. Something slow and painful.

          Instead, Danny wrestled with guilt and suffered with unfading memories.

          He pushed himself out of bed and dragged his feet toward the bathroom. As he examined his face in the mirror, a blue-eyed, blond, angelic looking boy with smooth skin peered back at him. At twenty-five, he was still carded at bars. He applied shaving cream and erased his scant beard with a razor.

          After dressing in his Levis and a sky-blue shirt, he munched a jelly donut and washed it down with a glass of milk. He paused by the door of his Spartan apartment to grab his tool belt. Good at his trade, he worked as a handyman, and a job awaited at St. Patrick’s Church today.

          Almost as an afterthought, as the door clicked shut behind, he realized, I need to do something about those dreams.


          Father Mulrooney sat, legs crossed, in the black, overstuffed leather chair, facing the outside door of the sacristy at St. Patrick’s Church. He stationed himself there thirty minutes before morning mass. He liked – no, craved, watching his altar boys step through the entry to prepare for the service. Their movements were so natural, unpretentious, and so coltish. None were over fourteen years of age. Oh, how tender and pure.

          The lights dimmed – flickered on and off – and then on again. How annoying. I thought the diocese was sending someone to fix the problem.

          The priest’s thoughts settled once again on the boys. Jeremy was a special treat. Blond, wavy-haired with azure eyes, he looked so cherubic. Father Mulrooney fancied that God, like a Michelangelo, crafted the boy just for him. Just the thought nearly sent him into spasms of excitement, and his groin became warm and full.

          Mulrooney pictured himself for a moment. At forty-three, his fine, brown hair was thinning. His face was round and unremarkable with black-framed glasses magnifying his myopic eyes. However, he realized average appearance worked to his advantage. It didn’t set him apart; he was just an ordinary, likeable man of the cloth.

          He also knew he possessed a knack with people. His voice, soft and reassuring, evoked trust. None greater than amongst the youngsters. He smiled – thinking how, without reservation, they sat on his lap. Just the thought made him shiver with arousal as his young helpers began arriving for mass.

          And here comes Jeremy, last as usual. Save the best for last; the last shall be first. Not so bad to arrive last. He chuckled to himself at his cleverness.

          Jeremy hurried to put on his white smock, pulling it over his head. Then he followed it with the violet-colored stole, signifying Lent.

          Father Mulrooney approached the boy with an admiring smile. “Hi, Jeremy. I see you’re late again.” He admonished the boy with tender tongue.

          “Sorry, Father. I’ll try to do better.”

          “Atta boy, I know you will. Oops, your stole is crooked.” The priest rearranged the piece of cloth and let his fingers linger a little too long on the boy’s shoulders. Oh, how lovely.

          His gaze shifted to the other three. “Ready, lads?”

          They all nodded, removed their candle lighters from the wall hooks, and began the procession as the cantor in the sanctuary chanted plainsong.

          Oh, my young entourage. Veritable heavenly hosts. Father Mulrooney beamed a self-satisfied smirk.


          When Danny arrived at St. Patrick’s Church at about nine, morning mass was still in session. He strolled to the side of the building and pushed open a door labeled “Sacristy”. He now wore his leather tool belt, cinched and buckled about his waist. It held virtually everything he needed – pliers, hammer, screwdrivers, circuit tester, and much more.

          The air inside the white-washed, square room was tinged with the pungent odor of incense, and the monotone melody of unison chanting echoed from the sanctuary next door. He couldn’t make out the words because most of it was Latin, and he wasn’t raised a Catholic. But when he heard the Lord’s Prayer recited in English, he realized the service was ending.

          Danny was twisting his long-shafted screwdriver to remove a wall cover for a light switch when the shuffle of feet entering the room reached his ears. A crooning, silky-smooth voice cut through the boyish chatter and riveted his attention. The type of voice sounded familiar.

          He twirled around to see a short, round-faced man with glasses and a high forehead sauntering between two altar boys, hands on shoulders. Alarm bells sounded in Danny’s head. While continuing his work, he kept an eye on the priest. Pulling the boys’ smocks over their heads to expose partial, bare backs and bellies. Eyes soaking in the bare skin. A hand just above a blond youngster’s buttocks as the priest ushered him out the door. He knew that seductive touch too well. Someone should stop him.


          When Father Mulrooney had milked all the enjoyment of the moment from his young followers, he regarded the repairman with curiosity. He was blond and young. Of course, not as young as he liked. Bent over, he filled his faded jeans with sculpted buttocks and thighs. On impulse, he decided to strike up a conversation with the young adult.

          “Well, young man, what’s the verdict on the electrical system?”

          Turning and giving the priest an innocent, boyish grin, he replied, “The wiring's messed up, Father, but it can be fixed.”

          The priest took in the handyman’s fair, clean-shaven face. Peach fuzz on alabaster. He’s beautiful. “I’m Father Mulrooney. What’s your name, boy?”

          “Danny Sullivan, sir.”

          “Aye, that’s a grand Irish name. Are you Catholic?” The boy nodded. “Have you been to confession recently?”

          “No, sir, I’m afraid it’s been a long time since I’ve confessed anything.”

          “I’m holding confession between four and six tomorrow afternoon. Why don’t you drop by? It never hurts to rid your soul of guilt.” The corners of his mouth lifted into a full-fledged, anticipatory smile.

          “I just might do that, Father. I just might. Well, anyway, I replaced that light switch.” The young man glanced at the wall cover near the door. “I guess I’m finished here.”

          “Maybe I can get the diocese to hire you full time. There’s always something that needs a fixin’ in these old buildings, and it looks like you’re good with tools. Would you like that?”

          That would be nice, Father. I . . . I guess I’ll drop in at confession tomorrow. See, you, sir,” the young man said as he strolled out the door.

          Father Mulrooney watched his movements like a cat stalking its prey.


          Without relish, Danny sat in his kitchenette, nibbling on leftover pizza and thinking about his day. When he said he was Catholic, it surprised him. He hadn’t been a believer in much of anything ever since the incidents with the Reverend Lee. But he realized the priest needed to be stopped; he recognized that hunter’s grin.

          The next day, he prepared everything to the last detail. He timed his entry into the church late during the confessional period when daylight was fast fading. The air smelled like a mixture of clammy plaster and burnt candle wax. A well-dressed lady stood by the altar. Only one elderly woman remained in the confessional cubicle. Kneeling to feign prayer, it was a good thing he wore his light jacket with the ripped lining. A chill penetrated the sanctuary. The click of high heels made their way up the center aisle toward the entrance. Now he was alone, except for the woman -- biding his time.


          Father Mulrooney peeked through the narrow slats in front of the confessional cube. He could see outside, but no one could see in. Regarding his visitors, curiosity had always consumed him.

          When he noticed Danny, his heart beat faster. The pretty boy accepted my invitation! How promising! The young man wasn’t wearing his work clothes, but his tight chinos tantalized the priest by showing off the bulge where his legs met. The father’s own penis began to throb and grow beneath his robes.

          One more old woman to dismiss. He listened to her recount a litany of minor transgressions and prescribed four Hail Mary’s and four Our Fathers as penance.


          The lady slipped out of the confessional, crossed herself in front of the altar, and left the church. Danny eased himself onto the kneeler inside the tiny cubicle. He faced the latticework that separated him from the priest and mouthed the words, “Bless me Father for I have sinned; it has been years since my last confession.”

          The priest made a silhouette on the other side of the screen as Danny heard the phrase, “Bless you, my son.”

          The sing-song voice of a viper, the young man thought. In a halting voice, he confessed, “I am afraid, Father -- I have committed a mortal sin. I have -- had sex . . . with a man.”

          The young man detected a note of excitement in the response. “Oh, my! That's very serious. You’d better tell me every detail.”

          Oh, Lord, this one’s a sick bastard. Danny continued, telling Father Mulrooney many graphic details – some true, some manufactured. When he finished speaking, the silence from the other side of the screen was palpable.

          When the priest responded, he sounded breathless. “Oh, my – you poor lad. I think you should come -- into my office for counseling. I think you should.” Then, his voice rising, he echoed, “Yes. Yes. The sooner, the better.”

          With these words, Danny decided what he needed to do. He whispered, “Just one more thing, Father.” He paused.

          “What’s that?” the priest murmured.

          “This is so hard. Just a little closer, please.”

          The shadow on the other side moved nearer to the latticework.

          “I’m sorry. This is so embarrassing. Put your ear against the screen, Father.”

          As the priest followed Danny’s instructions, the young man removed his long-shafted screwdriver from the torn lining of his jacket. Holding the instrument of repair in his right hand, he traced the ear's outline pressed against the screen with his left forefinger. Hissing the words “Never again”, he jammed the sharp tool into the priest’s ear, penetrating deep inside his brain. Danny detected only a sharp gasp and a slight up thrust. Then, dead weight strained downward against the screwdriver’s shaft.

          When he unsheathed his tool, he heard a thunk in the adjoining booth. Wiping off blood and brain matter with his handkerchief, Danny breathed deep and felt his shoulders relax. That should end the dream . . . for the time being.

1978 words


© Copyright 2011 Milhaud - Pandemic Tale (dentoneg at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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