A Scene of two men and confessions

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Jack Shade, Jan 26, 2010.

  1. This exercise was to write a scene for a story...just a scene. Technically there should have been a protagonist and an antagonist...and I chose the priest as the antagonist...I know it isn't till later in the scene that it happens...but I liked where the scene began.





    The confessional booth was a bitter cocktail of old pine, sweat, and fear. A thousand sinners at one time sat in the God box indulging secrets they couldn’t tell their wives, husbands, children, or even pets who could care less about skeletons in proverbial closets. Sliding in backwards, Kyle flung himself upon deflated purple cushions and pressed his face against the meshwork frame separating man from god. Small wonder indeed that even the menial comforts of cheap pillows were provided in the first place. Confession was interrogation without the bright light or offering coffee as the going price for condemnation. Beyond the tiny holes pinpricked for sound, a shape in drapes languished in still life. Kyle frowned into the rigid wire before shifting to the opposite wall. It was unbecoming for his lifeline to the Almighty to be so lively, so human. Honestly, he was expecting something a little more impressive. With agonizing ease, the soapbox prophet shifted in his sardine tin and coughed through the opening lines.

    “Welcome my child, how long has it been since your last confession?”

    “In this church, or in general?” the words were hissed with too much spit to be a whisper but not enough gruff for a bark.

    “Your last confession to God my son.”

    “My father works in accounting.”

    “Excuse me?”

    “Works in a bank actually,” Kyle admitted with a frown, “But jobs with money is all accounting to me.”

    There was a small silence, followed by another polite whisper of fabric on cheap upholstery. He could taste the confusion. “I’m afraid I don’t understand.”

    “Son, you said son and I was correcting the mistake.”

    “We are all God’s children, my son,” and in between the syllables crawled a chuckle too wet to be anything but gagging on jello. Kyle thought of his own quivering dessert back home and why he made the stuff if he hated it so. “Do you know your Act of Contrition?”

    “Not by heart, but I got the gist of it.” Rolling his eyes up toward the ceiling, Kyle counted the scratches on the surface. If confession was always in a box like this, did that mean God hated claustrophobic people? Not afraid of small spaces himself, he did know a friend who would fall into fits if forced inside this sweaty outhouse.

    “He’ll probably go to hell…” Kyle murmured, and if hell was all about torture then it would be out of the coffin and into the matchbox. God had to hate claustrophobics, otherwise he’d put a footnote in the bible.

    “Excuse me?” The tone was sharp, a sobering reminder that God was everywhere, even if that everywhere was only in the booth beside him. For half a moment the enormity of everywhere bricked a means to a response. If God was everywhere then why hadn’t people exploited Him yet? One could sin and be absolved without ever leaving the couch, or their primetime football. The thought was comical and Kyle couldn’t help a giggle. “Nothing man…err..father. Can we just skip to the confession part?” The Godphone sighed cracks into deific illusion. The inhuman conduit to God suddenly a drooping man playing dress up with red ringed eyes and a failing prostate. Kyle recoiled from the image and started for the door, catching himself as he remembered his purpose.

    “Tell me your sins.” The old man commanded.

    “I killed a guy,” The admittance was a barbell on his chest which promptly coiled in his stomach “Shot him point blank with a gun…not mine, my dad’s…the gun I mean” Taking a sharp breath, the priest consumed the sinful air and breathed it out mottled, like a broken vacuum.

    “You did what?” The question was incredulous, as though the old man expected it all to be a lie…a lie in God’s doghouse. So Kyle bent his nose against the separator, repeating the confession as calmly as he could without sounding patronizing. “Who did you kill and why did you do it, my son?” The ‘why’ was always the hardest part and Kyle clicked tongue against teeth apprehensively, tapping the grate as if sounding a drum roll. At least divine connection was up and running. Every hint of monotony and habit had vanished from the priest’s voice like smoke in a strong wind. The image of a doddering elder faded back to the comforting imagining of a heaven bound telephone wire…a wire with a voice.

    Kyle pressed his forehead to the wood, as though he could push through the pine scent and into a dream."Reason be damned, I killed myself and need to know if God’s really good for the whole mercy deal.”

    “But, my son, how can you speak with me if you’ve taken your life?” Kyle could have throttled the wretch, chocked him with his own biblical logic. Instead he tapped a code with the crest of his head and bit back sarcasm.

    “Who knows, who cares, I pulled the trigger and the deed is done…now what can the big man up top do for me?”

    “I don’t know, I’ve never had a dead man ask for forgiveness.”

    “Don’t you have a book you could look in? A cheat sheet for redemption? I tried the internet but you can’t trust Wikipedia.”

    Godvoice went quiet, probably conferring with the everything and nothing. Kyle drew half circles with his body, sliding around the small room as if caught in a whirlpool. His nerves were on fire and his breath sparked with static. For the recently departed he’d never felt more alive. Perhaps, he thought with sudden clarity, I should have brought a lawyer.

    “I can’t help you,” the wire said. A silence so thick not even a pin drop could pierce it filled the confessional between Kyle and Godvoice, a sort of suffocating finality that made its home in funerals. “When a person dies, they die with the sins they committed on their soul…I cannot absolve the dead of their sins, that is for God to decide.”

    “So that’s it?” Kyle snapped, “My goose is cooked, I’m up in smoke?” The revelation was more jarring then he’d foreseen and for a moment he could only sit and absorb the verdict. But moments were born of misplaced breaths and stumbled thought, not nearly cobbled enough to assuage the sense of betrayal he could taste bubbling on his tongue. “Fuck your God!” he spat between the tiny holes of separation, “What am I supposed to do now?”

    “Have you tried another faith?” Godvoice remarked sardonically, dropping the veneer of understanding which linked the living but not the dead. The confessional was no longer welcome, more a prison for the piteous repentant then a drive by for clemency and Kyle retreated from the menace rather than risk a confrontation. “Try the Hindus on Fifth and Bull,” Godman called to him from the safety of his Sin Jail, “But you may need to be caterpillar to fit in with their reincarnation.”
     
  2. The confessional booth was a bitter cocktail of old pine, sweat, no comma before "and"] and fear. A thousand sinners at one time sat in the God box indulging secrets they couldn’t tell their wives, husbands, children, or even pets who could ["couldn't"] care less about skeletons in proverbial [unnecessary word] closets. Sliding in backwards, Kyle flung himself upon deflated purple cushions and pressed his face against the meshwork frame separating man from god [capitalize] . Small wonder indeed that even the menial comforts of cheap pillows were provided in the first place. Confession was interrogation without the bright light or offering coffee as the going price for condemnation [good] . Beyond the tiny holes pinpricked for sound, a shape in drapes languished in still life [too flowery - you've got three metaphors in one sentence - stick to one] . Kyle frowned into the rigid wire before shifting to the opposite wall. It was unbecoming for his lifeline to the Almighty to be so lively, so human. Honestly, he was expecting something a little more impressive. With agonizing ease, the soapbox prophet shifted in his sardine tin and coughed through the opening lines [three metaphors again - stick to one] .

    “Welcome my child, how long has it been since your last confession?”

    “In this church, or in general?” the words were hissed with too much spit ["spite"?] to be a whisper but not enough gruff for a bark [end at "whisper" - it's more powerful] .

    “Your last confession to God [comma] my son.”

    “My father works in accounting.”

    “Excuse me?”

    “Works in a bank actually,” Kyle admitted with a frown, “But jobs with money is all accounting to me.”

    There was a small ["brief"] silence, followed by another polite whisper of fabric on cheap upholstery. He could taste the confusion [who are you referring to? And how the hell does he "taste" it?] . “I’m afraid I don’t understand.”

    “Son [italics] , you said son [italics] and I was correcting the mistake.”

    “We are all God’s children, my son,” and in between the syllables crawled a chuckle too wet to be anything but gagging on jello [he's eating jello? or is this another metaphor?] . Kyle thought of his own quivering dessert back home and [wondered] why he made the stuff if he hated it so. “Do you know your Act of Contrition?”

    “Not by heart, but I got the gist of it.” Rolling his eyes up [unnecessary word] toward the ceiling, Kyle counted the scratches on the surface. If confession was always in a box like this, did that mean God hated claustrophobic people? Not afraid of small spaces himself, he did know a friend who would fall into fits if forced inside this sweaty outhouse.

    “He’ll probably go to hell…” Kyle murmured, and if hell was all about torture then it would be out of the coffin and into the matchbox. God had to hate claustrophobics, otherwise he’d ["have"] put a footnote in the bible.

    “Excuse me?” The tone was sharp, a sobering reminder that God was everywhere, even if that everywhere was only in the booth beside him. For half a moment the enormity of everywhere bricked ["bricked"?] a ["any"] means to a response. If God was everywhere then why hadn’t people exploited Him yet? One could sin and be absolved without ever leaving the couch, or their primetime football. The thought was comical and Kyle couldn’t help a giggle. “Nothing man…err..father [capitalize]. [speech marks] Can we just skip to the confession part?” The Godphone sighed cracks into deific illusion [what the fuck?]. The inhuman conduit to God suddenly a drooping man playing dress up with red ringed eyes and a failing prostate. Kyle recoiled from the image and started for the door [this makes it sound like he's left the booth and his heading for the church door - needs rewording], catching himself as he remembered his purpose.

    “Tell me your sins.” The old man commanded.

    “I killed a guy,” The admittance was a barbell on his chest which promptly coiled in his stomach [mixed metaphors - a barbell can't coil] “Shot him point blank with a gun…not mine, my dad’s…the gun I mean” Taking a sharp breath, the priest consumed the sinful air and breathed it out mottled [can a breath be mottled?] , like a broken vacuum.

    “You did what?” The question was incredulous, as though the old man expected it all to be a lie…a lie in God’s doghouse. So Kyle bent his nose against the separator, repeating the confession as calmly as he could without sounding patronizing. “Who did you kill and why did you do it, my son?” The ‘why’ was always the hardest part and Kyle clicked tongue against teeth apprehensively, tapping the grate as if sounding a drum roll. At least divine connection was up and running. Every hint of monotony and habit had vanished from the priest’s voice like smoke in a strong wind. The image of a doddering elder faded back [unnecessary word] to the comforting imagining of a heaven [hyphenate] bound telephone wire…a wire with a voice.

    Kyle pressed his forehead to the wood, as though he could push through the pine scent and into a dream. "Reason be damned, I killed myself and need to know if God’s really good for the whole mercy deal.”

    “But, my son, how can you speak with me if you’ve taken your life?” Kyle could have throttled the wretch, chocked him with his own biblical logic [how is the priest using Biblical logic?] . Instead he tapped a code with the crest of his head and bit back sarcasm.

    “Who knows, who cares, I pulled the trigger and the deed is done…now what can the big man up top do for me?”

    “I don’t know, I’ve never had a dead man ask for forgiveness.”

    “Don’t you have a book you could look in? A cheat sheet for redemption? I tried the internet but you can’t trust Wikipedia.”

    Godvoice went quiet, probably conferring with the everything and nothing. Kyle drew half circles with his body, sliding around the small room as if caught in a whirlpool. His nerves were on fire and his breath sparked with static. For the recently departed he’d never felt more alive. Perhaps, he thought with sudden clarity, I should have brought a lawyer.

    “I can’t help you,” the wire said. A silence so thick not even a pin drop could pierce it filled the confessional between Kyle and Godvoice, a sort of suffocating finality that made its home in funerals. “When a person dies, they die with the sins they committed on their soul…I cannot absolve the dead of their sins, [new sentence] that is for God to decide.”

    “So that’s it?” Kyle snapped, “My goose is cooked, I’m up in smoke?” The revelation was more jarring then he’d foreseen and for a moment he could only sit and absorb the verdict. But moments were born of misplaced breaths and stumbled thought, not nearly cobbled enough to assuage the sense of betrayal he could taste bubbling on his tongue [too flowery - cut out the fancy words] . “Fuck your God!” he spat between the tiny holes of separation, “What am I supposed to do now?”

    “Have you tried another faith?” Godvoice remarked sardonically, dropping the veneer of understanding which linked the living but not the dead. The confessional was no longer welcome, more a prison for the piteous repentant then a drive by for clemency and Kyle retreated from the menace rather than risk a confrontation [enough with the flowery shit] . “Try the Hindus on Fifth and Bull,” Godman called to him from the safety of his Sin Jail, “But you may need to be ["a"] caterpillar to fit in with their reincarnation.”
     
  3. Taste the confusion does seem a little odd, but if you consider all the metaphors in Jackyboy's writing, it could match up, in a unique way. I mean, I understand what he's saying~ even though it's a strange way to say it.. xD

    Maybe if he said " and let out, mottled." ?
     
  4. Thanks for the help on this one...I'm updating the thread with the entire short story...if one would care to browse.
     
  5. DO ET NAO!

    I like it!