by: Washington Maverick | April 24, 2004
...the angels of his power in flaming fire, rendering vengeance to them
that know not God, and to them that obey not the gospel of our Lord... - II Thessalonians
White doves fluttered gently in the soft breeze, the warm Sicilian air lifting them to the high walls of the church. Pages flapped with a pale reflection of the sun, as hands worked into the soft earth. The grate of soil on the spade filled the air as fertile dirt began to surround the stem of green.
"Tobias? Non voglio che lui dimenticare le rose bianche nel dorso."
"Sž, Vittorio di Padre."
The tall figure rose from the patch of red roses, his form stretching as he craned his face towards the sky, the black barcode adorning the nape of his neck scrunching into small wrinkles, much like those that faintly crossed his brow.
Father Vittorio made his way across the church lawn, his kind eyes examining the work of the hit manís practiced hands.
"Hands that have done so much evil can still be turned to tools of God, my son."
The hit manís eyes trailed back down the rooftops of the church, dripping down to the small red rose, sprouting up from the fertile earth beneath his feet.
"It is... difficult to suppress the memories, father. The soil... I feel I can finally clean my hands."
Father Vittorio knelt next to the rose, taking in the garden surrounding him, the high stone walls turned brown from the sun, wrapped in ivy, a constant threat to the rosebushes and azaleas that populated the yard. Picking up the manís bible, he traced his finger down the roughly thumbed pages, his curiosity aroused by the fact that the books ancient binding was now broken to open directly to Thessalonians.
"Why do you linger on this passage, my son?"
The hit man looked down to the kneeling priest, but could not meet his gaze. Tobiasís mind struggled, attempting to articulate the guilt and the pain that plagued his soul. Eyes again reaching towards the bell tower, he responded slowly.
"I am searching for the reason I am here, Father."
The clericís mouth crinkled into a smile as his vision glided over the words. He shook his head as he stood, leaving the book in the grass next to the tall man. Looking up to the hit manís face, each feature genetically weaved for perfection, the priest shook his head.
"Since the beginning of time, man has looked for a justification for his existence," Vittorio said, laying his own worn hand on Tobiasís shoulder, "And since the beginning of time, man has had trouble just living. Tobias, your devotion to God has helped you deal with your past, has it not?"
Could it have possibly helped him deal with the realization that he was not born, but grown? The truth that he was simply a genetic experiment that had managed to become self-aware was bored into his forehead like a slug every day by the beauty of nature around him, the magnificence of Godís creations. He looked down to his feet, nodding with an almost childish manner.
"Yes, father, it has."
Father Vittorio nodded and took Tobias by the arm, leading him towards the church.
"Then you must trust in God to reveal the meaning of your existence when you are ready for such a thing. I need not know what you have done to see the pain of sin resting upon your shoulders, but God forgives us all, if one turns to him for forgiveness."
The hitman nodded again, his lithe step beginning to follow that of the priestís, his eyes again rising to take in the awesome splendor of the garden. The bible still lay in the grass, its pages gently flapping in the breeze. The doves again began to settle, floating to earth in the wake of the two men, the hit manís eyes following their descent as he reached the stone steps to the courtyard of the church.