Updated: Oct 6, 2021
The wind created small dust devils running through the farmyard. The wind shook the windows panes that woke him. He tried to sit up, but a strap held his head down. His arms and legs immobilized by what felt like more straps connected to the wooden floor. He struggled to loosen his bonds. The floorboards creaked but would not let loose. He slowed his breathing to bring about a calm. The man noticed the moisture beneath him. He looked to a chair where he spotted his clothes folded neatly. His priest’s collar laid on the floor.
The pocket doors slid open, the priest swallowed as a face appeared above him.
“Father, glad to see you’re still with me.”
The priest tried to speak, but there was a ball stuffed in his mouth secured by duct tape. The face popped back over the priest. He felt a hand touch his cheek as the tape was quickly pulled from the priest’s face. The priest spit the ball out of his mouth.
“What do you want?” The priest asked.
The voice came from the corner of the room. “Do you remember a little boy named Christopher?” The priest heard footsteps, then a necklace appeared dangling from a hand. “You gave him this necklace.”
The necklace disappeared as the face came back. “I was supposed to be my brother’s keeper after our parents died. You had other plans for us, though. Remember?”
The priest closed his eyes. “You are Peter?”
“His death was an accident. He fell out of a window. Surely you don’t blame me for that.”
Peter sighed, “No father, I blame you for his life. What you did to him, he wrote in a letter that was sent with his belongings. I can’t tell you if it was an accident, suicide, or murder, but what I can tell you is you groomed him and enslaved him.”
Tears ran down the priest’s cheek. “I repented, the church forgave me for those sins.”
“I saw what was in the barn.” Peter took a shuddered deep breath. “Where did those children come from?” Peter grabbed the ball and shoved it back into the priest’s mouth. “I don’t want to hear it.” Peter placed a new piece of tape over the priest’s mouth. “I was going to ask you for information in exchange for your life, but your partner in the barn was more than helpful.”
Peter walked out of the room. “Revenge isn’t sweet, it’s actually tasteless. The sweet nectar that satisfies my soul is making sure you can never hurt another kid.” He picked up two large cages and slid them into the room. “I wasn’t sure what to do with you, then I saw your chicken coup.”
Peter rattled the first cage to stir up the chickens. “Did you know chickens love blood? In fact, chickens will peck at open wounds to get more. They’re like little vampires and once they get a little, they want more.”
The priest realized the moisture on the floor was his blood. He wiggled and moaned as Peter opened the first cage door. The chickens ran into the den and started pecking at the priest’s skin. “I gave them a bit of your blood. They seem to want more.”
The priest screamed as the relentless chickens pealed small chunks of skin off.
Peter opened the second cage. He stood and walked towards the pocket doors. “Enjoy the last few hours of your life.” He turned and pulled the doors shut. “Don’t worry, the other priests will join you soon.”
Peter walked over to his motorcycle and sat. He smiled as the chickens clucked and bwakked. He pulled out a piece of paper. “Eleven more. We only have eleven more Christopher.” He kicked the starter on his motorcycle and put it in gear. He drove by the house slowly and hoped to hear the chickens one more time.