by Jack Berg
The priest was near the end of his sermon.
"The missionaries were trussed up like the pigs recently roasted and tossed into a blackened pit lined with human skulls. The cannibals laid faggots of freshly cut trees limbs. The preachers said their last prayers, putting their trust in God. One of them saying aloud, 'Into your hands I commend my spirit.' The tallest cannibal, Quatchacabel, threw in a torch, igniting the wood. A shower of sparks rose up like the prayers of the priests. Flames slowly rose up until they licked at the cheeks of the victims. One of the priests rose up, rigid and tall shuddered and fell limp into the consuming fire. Another one screamed in agony, 'My God, My God why hast thou forsaken me.' In his last breath the third missionary let out a horrible animal like scream, a final gurgle, and then succumbed."
The priest ended his sermon, circled the campfire, poking the head of each boy.
"What does THIS mean?" The boys recoiled from the pressure of his finger.
"What will you learn from THIS?"
He came to his last boy. This fair-haired, blue eyed boy was his favorite student. This was the boy who stayed after school every night--the boy he controlled.
"We should put our trust in God," the boy answered.
The priest leaned over, whispered something in his ear.
The boy stood up, erect, attentive. Whatever the priest said, the boy was touched.