by Radi Radev
My church is small but in compensation there is
a cemetery close to it. A lot of people, after
visiting a relatives' graves, come to the House of
God to light a candle and pray for them. It is not a
large cemetery and, although, I am a priest I take
care of it, too. I pluck the weeds, straighten a cross
overturned or tilted by the wind. From time to time I
water the flowers on the graves and make lanes among
them.I don't have much work.
I don't overwork at the church, either.
Especially today. A couple of people made confessions.
Some came to pray.
I read "The Raven" by Poe most of the day and
now I am poetically disposed. The day is drawing to an
end. The Sun is slowly sinking below the horizon. The
sky is reddish as if torn flesh merged with the
light-blue clouds and created a drawing by Boche.
I gazed at the summer sky for a moment before
closing the church gate. Sometimes I feel heavy with
the sins heard during the day.
A man was coming across the church yard. When he
saw that I was about to close the church, he quickened
his step. He was with broad shoulders, dressed in a
Kardin suit, with big wet stains around the armpits.
His round face was red and shiny. Drops of sweat
streamed down his face, reached his nose and dropped
on his chest. Breathing heavily, he asked:
"Father, I would like to make a confession. Would you
listen to me?"
I said: "I haven't sent back anyone, yet, son. Come
with me to the confessional."
I entered my part of the confessional and he sat down
in his. I slid the netlike window between us to make
him feel at ease. I saw his face just for a while but
I was impressed by it. His hair was sleeked back with
hair gel. And although he looked young, there was a
high, rather wrinkled forehead under his hair. His
eyes were deep and arrogant. His nose was straight and
his lower jaw was more protruding than his upper one.
"Wait a second, son, "I said. I took the Bible
from the shelf next to me, held it tight in my hands
and encouraged him: "Go on, son."
"I would like to know, do you keep the secret of
"Every priest, entering the bosom of the church,
takes a vow not only to listen to people's sins but to
impress on them penance keeping their secrets in his
heart. "I was still poetically disposed.
"How can I be sure that you won't go to the
police after you listen to what I have to say?"
"My son, a lot of people have confessed before
me. I have heard things which make normal people's
hair stand on end. If you are afraid of talking in my
presence you can leave. I was about to lock the
"I am sorry, father. It's my first confession."
Then he continued.
He spoke for almost fifteen minutes without a
break. I don't want to repeat to anyone the things
that I heard from him.
The man was a hired assassin. He had started at the
age of nineteen. Now he was twenty seven. I laughed at
him in the beginning. A lot of crazy people come to me
just to have a chat with someone. But after he told me
about some of the murders he had committed and the way
he had committed them my doubts vanished.
No one could make up the things he told me.
Actually he did not intend to come to church but he
had difficulties sleeping lately. He couldn't fall
asleep nights on end. And when, finally, he managed to
fall asleep he had nightmares. His numerous victims
rose from the dead and haunted him. When he woke up
his sheet were torn and his face wet with sweat and
"I went to a psychologist, father."
"Obviously he didn't help, son."
"He kept asking me what I did for a living,
father.I lied to him but he was clever and didn't
believe me. He wanted to know what my real profession
was. He made me do different tests. RFM-tests,
experimental electric rhythmo-dream and what not. One
day he was waiting for me in his office with a court
order for forced getting into a mental hospital and
"Maybe God wanted you to be treated."
He interrupted me in a firm tone: "I am not
crazy, father. I managed to escape, and then..."
Something in his voice made me grab the cross
hanging on my chest. I held the Bible in the other
hand. "What happened to the psychologist, son?"
"One night I went back for him..."
Both of us kept silent for a moment. I was
shocked of what I had heard and was thinking about it,
and he was probably taking breath after the long
After that he said:
"I know that my sins can't be expiated, father.
But I have heard that you make people with more
trivial faults to repeat a couple of times a day Ave
Maria or Our Father. And if you impose such a
punishment on me, father, I am sure that it will help
"The confession is over, son," said I adamantly.
I slid aside the netlike window and repeated: "The
confession is over, forever !!!"
I opened the hollow Bible, took the 38-calibre
out of it and shot him in the head.
I locked the church hurriedly. There are such
cases sometimes. I have to judge some people. I have
to be their Prosecutor, Judge and Executioner all at
the same time.
The ones like him have no right to use a lawyer.
I will bury him in the nearby cemetery after
midnight.I think that the inhabitants of our small
town would lynch me, if they found out how many people
I have Judged and buried late at night.
I pray for their immortal souls.