He’d always thought Father Pleasant to be odd, but Father McCleod saw no wrong in him, even if he was a hard-drinking, hard-smoking, hard-cussing, and sometimes even a hard-fighting priest. Father McCleod always said that Father Moses and Father Pleasant were his two greatest students, but it was hard for Father Moses to see any comparison between the two. He didn’t particularly dislike Father Pleasant, but he didn’t particularly like him either.
“I’m telling you, Caleb, there is really some shit out there,” Father Pleasant said. Father Moses didn’t particularly like Father Pleasant referring to him so familiarly, especially in front of Buddy, but decided that maybe a first name dialogue might help to diffuse the situation.
“Father Pleasant… Cotton… you must realize that you appear to be… in some distress and possibly not thinking right,” Father Moses said to him with both eyebrows raised in a combination of real compassion and sarcastic dismissal.
“Believe me, I know,” Father Pleasant said putting up both hands and leaning back in his chair, “but Buddy was there and it was some crazy shit. Like… goblins, space goblins, building some junk machine and growing strangely colored metal fruit… and… my calmness is not helping to sell this story is it?”
Before he could answer, Father Moses noticed Joshua standing in the doorway holding a tray with iced tea. “I thought you might want refreshments, Father,” Joshua said, aware he’d been discovered lurking, as he quickly scurried from the shadow of the doorway into the room.
“Well-timed,” Father Moses said, half thanking the man, half implying his timing to be premeditated. Joshua handed out the drinks.
“It is real, Caleb,” Father Pleasant continued.
Father Moses stopped him by holding up a finger. “Joshua,” Father Moses said as Joshua was awkwardly still standing in the room. “Would you help me please by getting the alter set up for mass?”
“Of course, Father,” Joshua sheepishly responded and dragged himself out of the room like a disappointed child.
“Every parish has a perisher,” Father Pleasant quipped.
“That they do my friend,” Father Moses chuckled. He turned his attention to Buddy who was holding his hat to his chest in polite reverence, “and you, Mr. James-Randal, do you believe that you saw goblins from space?”
“I saw something I can’t explain that we might as well call space goblins. So, yes,” He flatly responded.
“Well, if that is the case I can assume that it is not a church issue,” Father Moses said.
“Jesus, Caleb,” Father Pleasant cut in as Father Moses winced at his language, “aren’t you concerned? I mean, they… I mean, how can you not be concerned about this? Look at this!” Father Pleasant reached in his bag and pulled out the oddly colored metallic fruit and set the heavy object on the desk with a thud of metal against wood.
At first, Father Moses appeared to be more concerned about the desk than the space fruit he quickly picked it up, but he was immediately enthralled by the odd colors of purples, pinks, and bluish greens.
“And, you found this in the cave?” Father Moses asked, rotating the fruit in his hand, mesmerized by its fractalesque mysteries.
“That and a whole lot more,” Buddy drawled.
There was an odd moment of silence as Father Moses regarded the fruit, almost losing himself in its scales. He quickly snapped out of it. He handed it back to Father Pleasant and said, “Well, then it seems to me you need to take this to a scientist. What about that Professor you and McCleod knew?”
“No good, Father,” Buddy chimed in, “already asked him.”
“Well, hang on,” Father Pleasant cut Buddy off, putting his arm out, “he owes me a favor or two I’m guessing, and when you asked him he didn’t know you, and he knows me, and we didn’t have any proof, and now we do.”
Buddy looked at him skeptically.
”Plus, historically he likes a good mystery… especially if it leads to some ratings. I’m going to head out to Manchester to ask him directly,“ Father Pleasant said, almost to himself, while staring directly at the fruit. He turned his gaze to Buddy, “Can you hold down the fort for a day?”
“Sure can, Father,”
“Good. Alright, Buddy, I’ll meet you back at the farm tomorrow and Caleb… I mean Father Moses… Tend to your flock or whatever, but I assure you, you need to take this seriously.”
Father Moses looked at him with a wide roll of the eyes and said, “Oh, I will Father Pleasant.” Father Moses didn’t seem to care, but he was the only one in earshot that didn’t. Buddy wanted his farm back, Father Pleasant wanted the mystery solved, and from around the corner, in the shadows, Joshua listened in secret, wanting whatever these “godless abominations” were to be thrown out of his town.