Authors: Martin Wiseman
©Copyright Martin Wiseman 2013
Cover by Martin Wiseman
All rights reserved; no part of this publication may be produced or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher
The characters in this publication are fictitious and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead is purely coincidental.
Published in Great Britain
By Little Planet Publishing, London
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Table Of Contents
St Joseph’s Church,
lone in the pews sat a small boy quite unseen by old Mrs O’Mally the old church’s cleaner, for he sat towards the back of the pews, hidden from her view.
Father Mathews entered the small, but popular old church and hearing a noise he looked back to spot the small boy just sitting there on his own.
Father Mathews quickly walked back to sit in the pew next to the small boy and find out why he was there.
‘Well now, young man, to what do we owe the pleasure
of your company?’ he asked cheerfully.
The small boy though
just promptly burst into tears.
‘My goodness, lad
, what on earth is the matter?’ asked the friendly priest.
The small boy though
didn’t answer as instead he just continued crying.
Father Mathews handed
the boy a clean handkerchief as he waited for him to recover.
he eventually stopped crying he smiled down at him.
ere, young man that’s better, now tell me, what is it that’s troubling you so much?’
The small boy just sat there dressed in his school uniform as he first used the clean handkerchief to wipe the tears from where they had fallen onto the lapels of his jacket. Then he wiped the tears from his eyes.
‘Am I able to make a
confession to you?’ he asked the priest quietly.
‘Well now, that depends’ smiled the priest ‘are you a good Catholic boy?’
‘I don’t even know what that means?
’ puzzled the small boy.
roughly it means, do your mother and father come here to this old church of ours to worship?’ inquired the priest.
ather’s dead’ immediately answered the boy.
I’m sorry to here that lad’ replied the priest sympathetically.
nor my Mum ever go to church’ admitted the boy looking up at the priest for the first time.
‘Ay, you don’t know
about St Joseph then?’ smiled Father Mathews as he proudly pointed to a statue further down inside the church.
‘No’ replied the boy just shrugging his shoulders ‘who’s he then?’ he asked curiously as he strained his neck to look at the statue the Father had just pointed to.
‘St Joseph is
who this church is named after’ smiled the old priest ‘he is the patron saint of all workers, so people just like me in other words’ the priest smiled as he now pointed to himself.
Kneeling up on
to the pew the small boy now looked down the church at the confessional box.
on’t people confess in there?’ he asked.
Well they do’ the priest smiled ‘but what would a young man like yourself need to confess anyway, you hardly look old enough?’ puzzled the priest as he studied the troubled look on the small boy’s face.
Then he just smiled down at the young schoolboy.
‘Ay, why don’t you just tell me what’s troubling you as we sit here now?’ he smiled ‘man to man as they say?’
‘But don’t we have to go into that box
then?’ puzzled the boy.
‘Well, when the church is full
, then maybe, but there’s only you, me, and old Mrs O’Mally doing her cleaning down there at the moment’ smiled the priest.
‘But won’t she
overhear us?’ whispered the boy, but Father Mathews just looked round at him and laughed.
lad, that would be true if Mrs O’Mally didn’t happen to be a bit on the deaf side’ he smiled and just to prove his point he stood up and shouted to her.
‘AY, MRS O’MALLY, ISN’T THAT RIGHT YOU’RE A BIT ON THE DEAF SIDE?’
When the old lady didn’t
even flinch, but just kept on with her cleaning, the boy couldn’t help but giggle a little.
I shouldn’t poke fun at her as its not much fun being a bit deaf you know’ commented the priest chastising himself ‘and do you know, that woman has a heart of gold’ Father Mathews smiled.
I’ve managed to get a smile out of you’ the priest laughed as he looked around to see the boy’s face now smiling at him.
‘Come on then; let’s start with introductions’ Father Mathews now suggested ‘so you are?’
‘I’m Tom Ellis’ replied the small boy.
‘Well my name’
s Father Mathews and it’s my job to look after this old church’ smiled the priest shaking the small boy’s hand.
Tom, that’s a good strong name and I see you go to that fine school just up the road here’ smiled the priest.
‘Yes, Elm Park Primary’ replied the boy.
‘Let me see’ smiled the priest scratching his chin ‘now you must be
I’d guess around twenty years of age?’ he joked.
!’ laughed the small boy.
you clearly look mature for your age then Tom Ellis’ smiled the kindly priest. ‘Well, now we both know our names why don’t you just tell me, young man, what exactly it is that’s troubling you so much?’
The small boy
suddenly gazed down at his shoes as his face now turned very glum again.
here lad, there’s nothing you can tell me that will shock me’ Father Mathews assured him ‘why I’ve heard every wicked secret you could imagine and many that you couldn’t even imagine I’d wager’ he smiled.
boy seemed to take in a large gulp of air before he finally explained.
my father!’ he suddenly blurted out and Father Mathews almost fell off the pews in his shock.
n, I may have been wrong there when I said you couldn’t tell me anything that could shock me’ he uttered as the small boy just began to cry again.
Father Mathews was stunned by the small boy’s confession and he just stared at him now.
‘Tom, what did
you mean exactly when you said that you killed your father?’ he asked as he searched for a possible explanation.
Tom took another deep breath as
he wiped the tears from his eyes again.
‘My father caught a thing called cancer’ the small boy explained as F
ather Mathews breathed a huge sigh of relief.
‘But lots of peopl
e die from cancer, it’s a terrible disease, that couldn’t possibly be
fault, Tom’ commented the priest in a quiet voice.
‘But you don’t unde
rstand’ replied Tom, showing a little frustration.
‘Well I tell you what, why don’t you start from the
very beginning then?’ suggested Father Mathews.
The small boy wiped his tears away again before
‘When my dad first became ill w
e used to visit him in hospital.’
‘That’s your mum and you?’ asked Father Mathews.
plied the boy before continuing.
‘My dad used to cough really badly
’ Tom explained.
‘Ay, it must have been on his chest
then’ nodded the priest knowingly.
I began going to visit him with my mum, but then I used to have to wait outside with my auntie whilst my mum went into the hospital to see my dad on her own. I was able to wave to Dad though, through the window and see him as he lay in his bed’ Tom explained. ‘But then my mum began to see my dad on her own, and I was just left at home with my Auntie Jane.’
The small boy broke down in tears again as the gentle priest tried to comfort him.
‘There, there, Tom, it’s good to grieve
for someone you really cared about, there’s no dishonour in that’ he told him sincerely.
But then the small boy continued;
‘One night when my mum returned home from seeing my da
d in hospital, she saw me to bed, but then I could hear her talking to my Auntie Jane in the kitchen. So I crept down the stairs so I could hear what they were saying. I was hoping they might say when my dad would be coming home’ the small boy explained.
‘Ay, so you sneaked down
stairs to find out’ smiled Father Mathews.
‘Yes’ replied Tom.