Another Goblin Plea
Another Goblin Plea
In one of the many bars in Midwich, a priest steadies his beer mug in his left hand while trying to aim a dart with his right.
“This is your last chance Father,” an indecorous man says standing behind him.
The priest drops his dart hand and looks at the man with annoyance.
“Are you going to add cheating your vicar to your list of ‘unforgivables’, Jason?” the priest asks.
“No Father Pleasant,” the man says with a childlike huff and waves on the priest to continue.
The feeling in the room is tense as Father Pleasant takes aim. Behind him, his three well-lubricated blue-collar opponents holding beer mugs to their lips waiting for the final throw.
Father Pleasant holds his breath and fires the dart. It goes whizzing across the room making a loud thud as it misses the dartboard entirely, hits the wood paneling, and immediately falls to the floor with an abrupt click.
All are quiet.
The room bursts into laughter.
“Fuck all of you,” Father Pleasant chuckles. “I’ll see you all in Hell.”
He walks over to the bar to find a shot of well-whiskey waiting for him. He slaps down a few bucks, downs the ounce-ish of whiskey, and looks back at his opponents.
“You better be at Sunday Mass with your brutish friends there, Jason,” he says.
“Yes, Sir,” Jason assures him. The baseborn mob goes back to laughing and drinking as Father Pleasant stumbles out the door with a wave to the bartender.
He stumbles out into the street singing ‘Hide and Go Puke’, his favorite punky-oldy to himself, “I’m so drunk I’m laughin’ now, now, now, but I feel so bad, I could die. The red, red sun is coming down, and I see your face up there in the sky!” He ends with an off-tune crescendo echoing through the streets of Midwich.
Luckily this is his parish, these are his people, and his church is right across the street. He stumbles across the small colonial city road with the varied gate only a man that has had 8 pints and 4 shots in a few hours could manage.
He trips up the sidewalk and onto the lawn of Midwich’s own Corpus Christi Church and School. A small church and smaller school, but Father Pleasant was nonetheless proud of it.
Don’t mistake his brash demeanor, Father Pleasant is a devout man deeply in faith with his church and deeply in love with his lord. Admittedly, he took the acts of forgiveness and confession a little far, but after being through what he’d been through in his several lives, he was given a little white-sin leeway. He’d seen too much of the afterlife to believe in all of the unforgiveness for mistakes and binding rules on humanity. He had also seen too much of the afterlife to not believe that God was real and that God loved him and most of all, that God never gives up on you no matter how many times you fuck up. This left Father Pleasant with an attitude of “I will try not to fuck up, and if I do, I will try again to not fuck up tomorrow”, at least for the little things. It’s not like he’s out there breaking the top 10 list.
He passes the front of the church, flounders down the side, and gets to a side door with a tattered screen. He swings it aside, fumbles for his keys and opens the door.
Home finally. He passes the side entryway and into the church’s kitchen where he performs his second ritual of the day, drunkenly making a single man’s dinner of cold leftovers from the congregation and a single Coke. He stacks his bowls, utensils, and beverage in his arms and makes his way out of the kitchen and across the nave.
While walking across the chancel, about halfway at the altar, he realizes that there is a man sitting in the front row pue looking at him.
“Holy fuck!” the priest yells, dropping a fork that tings across the stone-tiled floor.
The man gets up apologetically with an outstretched hand to help.
“I’m sorry, Father, I didn’t mean to startle you. I was lost in thought and I think I musta’ realized at the same moment as you. My name is Buddy,” the large woodsman says to the priest.
“Christ, Buddy. You practically scared the literal crap out of me,” Father Pleasant says with relief.
“You don’t talk like a priest,” Buddy admits.
“Yeah, well, I’m drunk. Normally I’m a little more eloquent,” Father Pleasant responds with irritation, then asks, “How’d you get in here?”
“Sorry, Father, the door was unlocked and the lights were on,” Buddy explains.
Father Pleasant rolls his eyes and sighs, “Damn it, Mrs. Shrewsbury”. He looks back at Buddy and continues, “Yeah sorry she’s… old and forgets things, but a wonderful woman nonetheless. We’re supposed to be closed. What did you need, Buddy?”
“Are you [email protected]?” Buddy asks.
Father Pleasant pauses before he answers. “I was once when I was… shameless, but now it forwards to my new email, which I guess makes me [email protected]… but I must admit it doesn’t have quite the bite of the old one.” He sets down his armfuls of sustenance on the already dressed for tomorrow morning’s mass altar. “Am I going to hate myself for asking why you want to know, Buddy? And please, call me Father Pleasant, just Father, or Cotton, or even Sue… just not that email address. Alright, Buddy?”
“Yes, Father,” Buddy assures him, holding his hat against his chest. “I was gotten in touch with you through an in’ernet friend’s son’s friend, which is not a relationship I’d usually trust n’ all, but I’m hoping it shows you how much I need your help.”
“And what makes you think you need my help? Confession? I’m guessing it’s not youth group?” Father Pleasant asks, eyeing Buddy with suspicion.
“The word is that you help people with,” Buddy pauses, then proceeds, “ya know, weird stuff? Stuff that’s not supposed to be happenin’, like in the real world,” Buddy pauses again, “Weird stuff like paranormal, like ghosts and demons and such.”
“Do you think you’re possessed, Buddy?” Father Pleasant asks through apathy.
“No, I think that goblins are living in a cave on my property,” Buddy responds.
“Oh, thank God,” Father Pleasant sighs, “For a second there I thought you might be dangerous. Now I see you’re just, ya know, a little squirrely. Like needing help… mentally.”
“I assure you, Father, I am not crazy,” Buddy asserts.
“Well, there’s no such thing as goblins, Buddy.”
“I’m guessing that when most priests are told there’s no such thing as God they tell you to read the book,” Buddy argues.
“True, that’s what they would normally say,” Father Pleasant agrees.
“Well, then, let me tell you my story and you decide,” Buddy says as the priest nods in agreement, flopping his drunken body into the pew next to him.
Buddy tells Father Pleasant his story. A story of strange alien children going through his trash and harassing his dogs. A story of chasing them across the field to the wood and the old man. A story of a rich old gay couple coming out to take a look and then writing him off. (For Buddy’s complete story refer to OEAS Part 3)
At the mention of the Professor and Charles, Father Pleasant says, “Alright, you can stop. I’ll come and take a look.”
“Thank you so much, Father,” Buddy says with gratitude, standing up.
“In the morning, Buddy. In the morning,” Father Pleasant groans out.
The men exchange information and part ways with a handshake. Buddy drives off into the night and Father Pleasant falls face-first onto his humble twin bed for the next eight hours.