Oh sure, there had been moments when he had drifted in and out of slumber, but the beasts awaiting him there had not made life any easier. Taunting him mercilessly with screeched out reminders of his shortcomings, spewed out revelations of the secret things only he knew about.
The things no one else must ever know.
Because Michael was a man of the cloth. And, as everyone knows, nothing short or absolute perfection is the benchmark for a man of his, cough, persuasion. Always carry the look of dignity, togetherness. Never let it seem that anything is awry from the front. From up high. Be the one listening to the confessions, never making them.
To be fair, it is not even as if Father Michael’s sins were particularly bad.
Or all that interesting.
In fact, had any of his regular confessors heard of the things that were bringing shame to their confessee, there would have been multiple eyebrow raises and possibly even a partially-stifled giggle. They were that inconsequential.
But to him… To him they manifested after dark as hideous scale-covered demonic beings, cackling aloud as they floated way above and then took turns dive-bombing his cowering head, as he yelped and wailed and crawled tighter and tighter into a human ball. And so it continued, drifting in and out of sleep. In the moments of awakeness, it was his own thoughts that betrayed him, judging him with the conciseness of a French Revolution guillotineur.
Then, as Michael would finally escape his own thoughts, it would be back to the nightmarish abominations, hounding him relentlessly, refusing to give him a moments peace or refuge from their accusations.
And so it would continue.
Like the monotony of a metronome.
And every night it was the same.
It should therefore come as little surprise that the first light creeping in through the crack in the curtains, signalling that it was time for this priestly figure to rise from the dead, was such a welcome visitor. That innocent blessings such as the whirring purr of his alarm clock, so carefully set and thrice checked the night before, or the tea tray set quietly outside his door by Mrs Jenkins the housekeeper, would be such welcomed and anticipated delights. That even the feel of cloth on foot as Michael slid out of bed into his slippers and by virtue of them, the new day, would be a disproportionate joy-bringer. These simple things were but symbols of this reverend’s elations at dawn.
This post is part of a tandem blogging exercise with Dave Luis, Mandy Collins, Nick Frost, Cath Jenkin and Scott Dunlop. One title unwrapped by six bloggerists. Read Dave’s post over here, Mandy’s post here, and Nick’s post here. Also check out first time contributors Cath over here and Scott over here. Please share your thoughts on our fun exercise in the comments on each post, and remember that with bloggerists, sharing is always caring.