This is an interesting piece of prompt-inspired flash fiction.
I’m currently play an RPG game based on the Open Legend system. It’s fun stuff. We’re not having a gaming session this week, though. Instead, the DM has asked us to write a short story about our characters.
I wrote this quickly. One-sitting, minimal editing. It was fun, and this is the sort of writing I really need to do more often. It’s cathartic. Plus, I get to let my crazy out for a bit. I need that.
Allow me to introduce Sister Mary Ann Spencer. Don’t piss her off.
“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”– Matthew 7:13-14
Father Rossi looked wounded. I suppose that makes sense. I had just stabbed him.
He stumbled backward, grasping and clawing at the wall, searching for purchase. He didn’t find any. It was fitting and even a little poetic, but I just wanted the old bastard to die.
“Sister Mary Ann,” he sputtered, his eyes wild with grief, confusion and pain. “Cosa fai?”
Don’t fall for it, this act of his. Not the shock. He’s legitimately shocked. A soon-to-be-former nun just plunged a dagger into his chest. I’ve no doubt he’s surprised.
I mean the frail, innocent, old priest act.
He’s not frail. He’s only trying to lure me closer.
He’s not innocent. In the last week, I’ve confirmed at least two dozen kills. Some of them were quick and painless. But the majority were slow—meditative acts of what he probably thought cultured cruelty.
He’s not old. At least, not for his kind. Just a pup, really … which explains his wanton carelessness.
And he’s definitely not a priest. Not anymore.
“Why, father, I’m finishing it. Or finishing your part in it, at least.” I took a tentative step in his direction, mindful of my surroundings.
The bishop had been coy. I brought him proof—fucking proof—of Father Rossi’s true form. Everything was well-documented. I’d even arranged for the bishop to speak directly with eyewitnesses. That was no easy feat.
But the bishop would hear none of it. He insisted Father Rossi was a man of God.
“I know him, personally,” he said. “I vouch for him.”
That was when I knew.
I’d been tasked with the study of heretical texts. Books on witchcraft, mostly. But what I found in those pages wasn’t diabolical. It was a rare spark of purity in an impure world—with the occasional mention of battle magic.
I knew the words.
As I spoke, wind stirred in the bishop’s office. Papers flew from his desk. No sooner had he called me an abomination than I felt the power, raw and real, coursing through me.
With a flick of my wrist, vines crashed through the windows, wrapping their leafy arms around him. They choked him … sort of. Not the air from his lungs, but his whole body. When I left, he was swollen and bruised all over. His eyes were popping out. His tongue hung from his mouth, bloated and black.
There was blood on Father Rossi’s lips. It might have been his own. It’s hard to say. He didn’t seem to know about the bishop yet, but it was the middle of the night. In the morning, there would be chaos.
But not for a few hours. I could still slip away. After …
“Child, what is this madness?” he cried.
“I’ve been asking that of myself, father,” I said. “For an organization devoted to the light, we spend so much time in darkness.”
He lowered himself to his knees. It was a brilliant tactical move. Had I not known his true form, I would have thought it an advantage. But I did know, so I was ready.
“The texts. They’ve twisted you. You’re confused, sister. Let me help.”
“Oh, I’m not confused, father. I see quite clearly. The texts have changed me, but not like you think. I haven’t fallen. I’ve woken up.
“I see the lies. I see the deception. I see what you’ve been playing at. It stops tonight.”
Perhaps it was the resolve in my voice. No sooner had I spoken than he launched himself at me, his body springing from the floor with alarming speed. His hands, now more like claws, pawed at me as he flew over my ducked head.
The words were already on my lips: “Gaoth le mo chúnamh. Brúigh!”
He meant to land on his feet just past me, but a strange wind swept through the hallway, pushing him with incredible force while leaving me untouched. He slammed into the far wall, grunting as he slid to the floor.
But he was on his feet and running at me in no time.
“Stad!” I cried. His feet were rooted in place. The stone of the floor seemed to meld around his boots, holding him to that spot.
“Figa strega debole. You have no idea the trouble you bring on yourself, child.” He spat the last word, his disdain for me all too clear.
“And you, father,” I said. “You have no idea the power I’ve learned. I will not stand by while you gorge yourself on the innocent. Your lies disgust me. If this is holiness, let me be damned. And let me bring hellfire with me—sruthán!”
I felt it, the white-hot surge that pulsed through me. It ripped across the room, falling on Father Rossi like a hungry lion seeking something to devour. He burst into flame. Not just his robes, but his skin, his bones, his blood, as well. Every part of him burned, and the stench of his fire filled the room … as did the flames.
They licked at the walls. The floor caught. The table beside him began to smoke. It was definitely time for me to leave.
As I crawled out a side window, I smelled it—brimstone. It would become my mark. For some, my name, even.
The fire in me is born of righteous indignation. I don’t care what holiness you claim or what heathen name you call me. I know what I am. I do what I like. And I stand against those who would abuse, whatever their nature.
Careful that you don’t cross me. I’ll burn you the fuck down.