Prompt Day #13: Where would you least expect a chainsaw? Rev it up and write.
R.I.P. into the Congregation
“Welcome friends and family. It is never an easy thing to start a funeral sermon, especially one for a life-long member of our congregation. But when I think of Jim and his family, I am reminded of a verse from Genesis: The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.” Father Scott looked up at the mourners.
“What the hell does he think he is doing?” Jim’s daughter, Melissa leaned over to whisper to her mother. “This is certainly not what we discussed with him.”
“Shh. Give him time, I’m sure he has a point. You know I trust Father Scott.” She smiled a feeble smile and patted her daughter’s leg. Father Scott continued.
“The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. As I said, these versus from Genesis came to me as I meditated on the passing of this man, James Monroe Braun. I have known him and his family for the twenty years I have been Priest here at Holy Cross. Why these passages? Because, we all sit here with our alligator tears, pretending to mourn the loss of a man who, if we are being honest with ourselves, deserved to die a long time ago.” He suppressed a smile at the horrified looks which had now fallen on the faces of every guest. “Look at all of you, wearing your shocked expressions, asking yourselves if I have lost my mind. I assure you, I have not. I am an agent of the Lord. I have prayed for the last two days and finally, last night, the Lord God spoke to me. He told me that I am no longer bound by my vows. I no longer need to live with the knowledge of the evil that you all do. Every one of you sinning and sinning in the most sick and perverted ways and then you come to me and confess these sins and I grant you absolution each time. Still you come back with more and more of the same. Jim was a pedophile! He may not have acted on his wicked fantasies or maybe he did and only selectively confessed. He did however, frequently masturbate to child pornography. In fact, the man owned so much of this pornography; he has left his wife without any savings.”
Marilyn Braun gasped and looked around. Her mink stole slipped down off her newly updated breasts.
“Oh, please Marilyn, you must have known about this obsession. That is why you had all the affairs, correct? That is why Melissa and Shawn are the products of an illicit affair with Jim’s brother William. You put up with it because you thought you’d come into all his money when he died, which If I am not mistaken, you have been encouraging his brother to help expedite, isn’t that correct, Will? I mean that is what you told me isn’t it?” William Braun stood up angrily, and then, after a moment, swallowed his rage and took on a very calm demeanor.
“Father Scott. I am going to have to ask you to step down and let me escort you out. These terrible things you are saying are not true. I think you may be unwell.” William managed through clenched teeth. The Father held up his hand.
“William, you know I am only speaking the truth, Shawn knows as well, he has been blackmailing you and his own mother with the information. Yes, it is all very true, my friends. This world is full of corrupt and wicked humans. The Lord told me he regretted making any of you. Every one of you in this room is no better than the next. Liars, cheaters, thieves and abusers.” He leaned down behind the pulpit. There was a sound, amplified through the microphone he wore on his tunic; a loud revving sound as a motor was started. The crowd was antsy now and people were starting to get up out of their seats. Babies were crying and Melissa had just smacked her uncle/father across the face. Father Scott stood up then, chainsaw in his hands. He yelled to be heard over the growling of the chain making its endless revolutions around the blade.
“So the Lord said I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created. And like the Lord, I too regret. I regret granting any of you absolution for the evil deeds you have done. The Lord God said to me ‘Father Scott, no longer should you assign penance. You must smite them.’” He raised the chainsaw and brought it down in the middle of the casket, cutting it in two; dividing the deceased pedophile in two at the waist. The screams began and mass chaos ensued. The Father had locked the doors of the church. No one could get out. He stepped down directly into the puddle of red-tinted formaldehyde spilt from Jim’s fractionated remains. He reached Marilyn first, as she’d fallen to her knees begging for her life. The Father revved the chainsaw once more. His mouth was moving but the microphone had pulled off his smock when he stepped down from the alter. The last thing Marilyn heard as he leaned close to her, was his mechanical chanting; “…pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.”