The Good Place – Friday Fictioneers, September 2021

Copyright Dale Rogerson

It’s a church, right?  So a good place.

Every Sunday I hunch in the front pew, staring up at his face. 

He knows who I am. 

I know what he is.

Every now and then I’ll take confession, which is to say I enter the confessional and say nothing while he breathes heavily, his sour sweat permeating the grille. 

One day I will speak.  I’ll talk about my brother; his shame, the drugs… the needles… the squat.

And this man knows I will.

So he sweats and waits.

Waits for exposure.

It’s a good place this church.  Right?

Wrong.

I was pleased that the muse, absent for a few weeks, decided to play a fleeting visit this week. Thanks to Rochelle for her leadership of our happy band of international writers at Friday Fictioneers. Click on the frog to read others similarly fortunate.

About Sandra

I used to cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and wrote fiction and poetry. Now I live on the beautiful Dorset coast, enjoying the luxury of being able to have a cat, cultivating an extensive garden and getting involved in the community. I still write fiction, but only when the spirit moves me - which isn't as often as before. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
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52 Responses to The Good Place – Friday Fictioneers, September 2021

  1. neilmacdon says:

    A great sense of waiting for the other shoe to drop

    Like

  2. michael1148humphris says:

    A sad tale of evil deeds, but so well told

    Like

  3. Dear Sandra,

    A nice game of cat and mouse she has going on. It sounds like the rat needs to be exposed. Exquisite writing as always.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

  4. Anita says:

    He knows her!
    Maybe he is her brother?
    Or maybe he lead her brother to the drugs…?
    In any case, he is in panic-mode.

    Like

  5. Bear says:

    Love this…. I imagined something really bad happening in the confessional. One would hope not, though. Great story.

    Like

  6. Bill says:

    The church is a safe place, if you happen to be a predator. I loved the suspense.

    Like

  7. Ain Starlingsson says:

    As always the twist…your writing brings us to the dark side so subtly!

    Like

  8. msjadeli says:

    You build a forboding atmosphere so well here. It’s a sad thing that such darkness resides in a place that is supposed to offer sanctuary 😦

    Like

  9. granonine says:

    He deserves to sweat, and wait, and be afraid. It’s what he earned.

    Like

  10. He should squirm anticipating his fate! Well done!

    Like

  11. Dale says:

    So well done. The church is so NOT a safe place for many…

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Sadly so, Dale. Thanks for reading, and for the photo.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dale says:

        It angers me so that a place of worship is not also a sanctuary. My late husband once asked for help at a church. They took one look at him and said “there is not hope for you” and shut the door. Every time we would drive past it, he would point it out and say: That’s where they refused to help me. That door closed but he found another and turned his own life around.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sandra says:

          I can so identify with that. As a child I was closely involved in the church and its associated activities, sunday school, youth club, pantomime etc. I can honestly say I learned more about unchristianlike behaviour during those formative years than I ever did later in life. Or, I sometimes wonder, was it just that I had a higher expectation? Anyway, that was me done with organised religion. Keep smiling. x

          Liked by 1 person

  12. notestowomen says:

    Wow. He should sweat. It’s only a matter before his deeds are exposed. What he has done in secret will come to light. And, sadly, the church isn’t a safe place for many. What’s sad is that these perpetrators are charged and sentenced as criminals. They are transferred to other churches where they do the same thing.

    Like

  13. notestowomen says:

    Sorry, I meant to say, “it’s only a matter of time…” and “these perpetrators are NOT charged…” I really ought to have proof-read my comment before posting it.

    Like

  14. Dora says:

    Sandra,
    Cornered like a rat and sweating like a pig! I don’t think I could wait so long before turning him in no matter how sweet the torture of revenge for fear of others he might abuse in the meantime. This reminds me of the U.S. Olympics doctor, Dr. Larry Nassar, who abused hundreds of young gymnasts while the FBI looked the other way, and only recently brought to justice.
    pax,
    dora

    Like

  15. pennygadd51 says:

    What a grim tale, and yet it’s happened far more often than we would like to think. In your story there seems almost to be a conspiracy between predator and victim. Very mixed emotions there.

    Like

  16. elmowrites says:

    That line “I’ll take confession” is superb. A subtle but unquestionable cue to look further. Grizzly, but excellent.

    Like

  17. plaridel says:

    could he be her brother? i wonder.

    Like

  18. Lorraine says:

    So evocative of secrets kept, secrets exposed . . . “the truth is out there.” Hopefully no misdeed goes unpunished — if not in this life, then in the next.

    Like

  19. Tannille says:

    The idea of confession I always found creepy. Enjoyed the story vibe.

    Like

  20. The longer she holds back the more he’ll suffer, deservedly so.

    Like

  21. GHLearner says:

    This is so well told, it makes my stomach churn. If only all the victims had someone who makes the abusers sweat and speaks up.

    Like

  22. asarpota says:

    Loved the swing at the end.. Good place? Wrong? You tell tale all 🙂

    Like

  23. James McEwan says:

    Captivating characterisation, although a sad subject – well told.

    Like

  24. draliman says:

    It’s a waiting game. At the beginning I thought the priest had the power, but by the end I think it’s her.

    Like

  25. He needs to sweat, the longer the better. It is horribly sad when a supposed place of safety turns out to be rotten and dangerous. It happens all too often. Superb storytelling as always, Sandra. I hope you are well!

    Like

  26. The description of the confessional box is visceral and claustrophobic – you convey so much about the corruption of the church, through the priest’s sour sweat. Spellbinding story telling Sandra.

    Like

  27. ahtdoucette says:

    Powerful story, Sandra. Thank you for sharing.

    Like

  28. The devastating truth of so many. Thank you for putting it so well into words.

    Like

I'd love to hear your views; it reassures me I'm not talking to myself.

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