RELEASING ANGER~Written by Alan Moskowitz
Willem looked up with trepidation as the Father swept into the ornate office and took his place behind the worn oak desk, a tight smile on his weathered face. Willem forced his body to remain still and upright in spite of the nervous energy flowing through him, urging him to leave, to run away. To make matters worse the Elder ignored Willem as he fussed with the papers, notes and unopened envelopes strewn across the desk. A bead of sweat rolled down Willem’s face, but he dared not raise his hand to it.
“Wipe it,” the old man’s voice cracked. Willem quickly brushed the offending drops away. The Elder’s mouth twisted into what passed for a smile. “No call for nervousness Son, that is unless you’re not ready for this final meeting.”
Willem remained silent. Father snapped, “You may talk.”
“I have studied the Book, Father. I have prayed with the Flock. I have fasted for a month. I have stood vigils in the freezing cold, seeking donations, and I have raised many funds for the Holy See.”
“Yes, yes, I know all that. You would not be here otherwise. Willem, are you still angry? Do you still hate? Is there still, after all your training and sacrifice, is there a part of you that hurts that drives you to self-harm? Think on these things, use what you have learned from the teachings of our Lord, and answer me truly. ” He picked up an ornate letter opener and slit open one of the envelopes on his desk. He unfolded the paper within and set to reading it, ignoring Willem in the process.
Willem’s lips moved in prayer as he sought that place inside of himself that knows his true self. He had hated his parents. Does he still? They did their best, they said, in spite of his issues. Their best consisted of locking him in a closet for behaving like a “demon child” as his mother put it; getting “the belt” across his back for a variety of transgressions from breaking a dish to wetting the bed to being a coward, a loser, and “a no-good waste of sperm.” His so-called normal siblings hopped on that bandwagon and teased and tortured him unmercifully until at sixteen, he ran away. No one searched for him.
Pain, massive pain, mental and physical traveled with him into the streets, where his life only became worse. He sought refuge in the alleyways and fetid tents of the homeless and useless, an outcast and a pariah. First, he blamed himself. But the continued abuse turned that self-loathing into seething anger, a burning hatred for his family and for all those who still spit on him, kicked him and laughed. It was only a matter of time before he exploded.
And one night a young woman walked slowly by his filthy hovel and glanced in at him; one more so-called human being dismissing him. Not this time, he murmured. He crept after her, bent on doing her harm, making her pay for his lifetime of hurt. He came up behind her, hands reaching out to strangle her when she suddenly turned and met his red-rimmed gaze. Her eyes told him that she knew his pain. And then she smiled at him, pulled him to her, and told him he was wanted and loved.
She brought him to the Flock and the Father. He was nurtured with kindness and love and shown that he didn’t need to carry all that pain, hate, and misery. That The Lord of us all would show him The Way to a better life, through kindness, forgiveness, and passing the word to others. And it was so. After a year of study, love, and sacrifice and he was complete.
The Father’s voice broke through his reverie, “Well, my son, as our Lord has said, ‘now or never.’ He chuckled, a thick deep raspy noise, with not a hint of humor.
Willem’s eyes opened wide and bright, the excitement of knowing he would be granted his place in Flock. “I am ready to forgive all who have harmed me, Father. I will do our Master’s work for the rest of my life and pray He will welcome me into his arms.”
The old man stood, that crooked smile curling his lips as he held out his hand to the boy. “Welcome Son, I see great deeds are to be done.”
Willem stood and gripped the Father’s leathery hand in his. “Thank you, Father.”
‘Now go, begin the work, we are eager for you to do the Flock proud.” Willem bowed once, turned, and left the sacred office.
Willem stood for almost a minute just staring at the familiar door before he pressed the bell. He twitched at hearing the familiar ring. Part of him wished no one would answer, but he quashed that idea and stood fast, his duty clear.
The door opened and his mother stood before him, her mouth opened in shock, “Willem? What is this? What are you doing here?”
“I forgive you, Mother.”
She scowled, “for what?”
“The Lord of us all forgives you too.”
“You went and joined a cult? My God, you’re still an idiot.”
“Not your God, My Lord. He has cleansed me, taken my pain, so I can forgive you.”
“Isn’t that nice; tell your Lord I said thanks for nothing,” she muttered, the familiar sarcasm dripping from her mouth.
Willem brought the razor-sharp letter opener out from behind his back and drove it between the two upper left ribs as taught, twisting it as it reached into his mother’s heart. His mother’s shocked look, fade with her life force as she dropped to the floor. Willem pulled the opener free, stared down at his mother’s face contorted with pain and confusion. “Our Lord forgives too, but He does not forget.”
He stepped over her body and went inside, wondering who else was home.
Alan Moskowitz is a retired screen and TV writer living in Colorado enjoying creating genre fiction.
To find more of his work see: firstname.lastname@example.org