Monday, June 23, 2014

The Exorcism of William Morsely, Prologue Part Three

“What we do is stand the line between good and evil for those that have taken Christ as their savior, which this young man seems unable to do.” Hennessey had said, sipping from his glass. “We can only do so much for the man if he isn’t a practicing Catholic, even if he exhibits the signs of being possessed.”

“And he does,” Thomas had said.
“I’ll tell you what. If you can get him baptized by the time I arrive ins say, two weeks’ time, I’ll request an Exorcist after conducting my own interview.”
“Oh bless you, your grace.” The priest had murmured into the phone. “We’ll make certain he’s baptized by then, no matter what.”
“See that he is,” The Bishop had said before saying goodbye, turning back to the last of his drink, staring out the window at St. Ignatius standing proud over the small rotunda that served as the grounds for cathedral Hennessey looked over. Calling in Mother Eunice, he’d asked her to book him a flight to New York City, where he would take a cab drive up to Malone and stay in the parish while he did his inspection. Getting up from his seat now, he looked down at his desk to where the plane ticket sat.
He’d asked the Mother to have his ticket changed from First Class to Coach. She’d seemed flustered, but done so at his request without too much complaint. Now, he had but a day waiting for him before he would see the supposedly possessed man that was draining the resources of the church and causing a parish to flounder in its faith.
“This must be solved,” Hennessey said, setting his glass down. “If only to get this parish to right once more. If this means I have to make a personal appearance and check over a lad who is mentally ill, then so be it.”
He confided in a Psychologist friend of his, Dr. Steven Bashal, and requested he come along to give the boy a cursory exam. At first the psychologist had been wary, but a promise of a onetime payment plus travel expenses had brought him on board. Twisting in his seat, Hennessey began his continued work on the budgets of local parishes under his domain, knowing he wouldn’t get any sleep the night before checking over a boy supposedly possessed.
The flight, while not unpleasant, was uncomfortable for the older man; the Bishop and the Psychologist were both older, the psychologist moving with the aid of a cane. The cramped leg room and changes in altitude had brought aches and pains to their joints, leaving them sore in the New York International Airport, where they took a cab ride from the airport all the way up to Malone, a quiet community if Hennessey had ever seen one.
Now, standing outside the church, Hennessey could hardly imagine why his flock didn’t have problems coming to this place. The whole church was in shambles, the rusty gate surrounding the plot of land built into columns that held two verdigris consumed angels, both kneeling with swords drawn out, though neither actually held a sword. One had its arm broken at the wrist, while the other was merely missing the blade. Vines crawled up and down the fence, creating a wall of greenery that stopped anyone from peering into the yard of the church, which was just as well as it was overgrown and in dire need of a gardener.
“Oh yes, we will be seeing about the finances of this institution soon.” Hennessey said to himself, earning a wry chuckle from his friend.
“It does look like father time has taken his belt to the church, doesn’t it?” He said, looking over at Hennessey over his glasses.
“It’s disgraceful how far this church has fallen… Father Thomas has much to answer for.”
“And I’m sure you’ll be grilling him thoroughly, but remember why we are here.” Steven said, checking his wristwatch. “I promised you four sessions with the lad, two during the day and two at night. I would like to hurry this along.”
“Of course, I apologize.” Hennessey said, moving forward to the rusty gate. Taking a firm hold of it, he shivered as he felt a wave of cold pass over him, as if someone had walked over his grave. Looking around, all he saw was the poorly kept church and his friend close behind him. Not wanting to disturb his friend further, he moved inside the yard, holding open the gate for Steven. Together they made their way up to the double doors that led into the main hall.
The hall was like any church, long and lined with pews, with three confession boxes near the entrance of the church. Stained glass windows shined brilliantly into the hall, where three bowed heads sat in quiet prayer. Coming from the front of the hall was a man dressed in a black shirt and black slacks, the white collar peeking through showing that he was indeed a priest.
The man came close, whispering his greetings. “Bishop Hennessey?”
“Yes, I assume you are Father Thomas?” Hennessey said sharply.
“Yes yes, so good of you to make it. Welcome to our little parish!”
“Father Thomas, this is a psychologist friend I have brought along that will examine the man that you are keeping in the basement, check him over physically and make certain he is not suffering from some sort of delusion before I call in an exorcist. I hope this is alright with you?”
“Of course! I trust you implicitly in these regards, I hope that goes without saying.”
“For now, let us just get to where we will be staying for the next few days, as these bones need a chance to relax. The flight was not kind,” Steven said, shaking Thomas’s hand after introducing himself.
“Of course, follow me. We have plenty of room as we only have one other priest with us at this time, and he and I take shifts watching the man, conversing with him and keeping him entertained.”
“Why, if I may be so bold as to ask?” Hennessey asked, following Thomas up some stairs leading to the second floor.

“Well, should he relapse into his possessed state alone, bad things happen.” Thomas said evasively.

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