Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Entry #5

The Dark Room
by Jack Berg

The darkness on his soul spread like the bloodstain forming on the white cotton tee shirt he had given his victim as a gift. Mark was fascinated by the pattern of dark and light that formed by the blood wicking up the simple white shirt he gave as a gift to each of his girls.

Mark confessed to Father Catalino that it was the light of the moon transformed -- the bright, pristine bolt of white light that forced him to tie his victims in the light tight room, the sound proof room which was his former darkroom. He claimed the light seeped deep into his brain like white-hot molten metal dissolving any residual goodness. Father Catalino struggled with his own sense of darkness as he drew another glass of sacramental wine and thought of the dilemma presented to him by Mark's deeds. The good Father was bound by the sanctity of the confessional to say nothing to the authorities.

In his darkroom, Mark considered the stained tee shirts that hung in a row where pictures used to dry. He studied the new one as the last ooze of blood trickled from her neck.

"This shirt is about finished." He said aloud.

He wondered where he would display this one -- perhaps between Brigit's and Laura's shirts. With the last ounce of excitement from his hobby spent, Father Mark Catalino came out of his darkroom. It was almost time for him to direct the girl's choir.


Joni said...

Great twist Jack! Truly creepy. I love the ones I have to read over again once I get the punch at the end. Disturbing. Like a morbid tie-dye. Great job.

anna said...

Made the hair stand up on the back of my neck. Like Joni said 'truly creepy.' Good stuff!

Bernita said...

Thw T-shirts hung like pictures is a clever image.

Jim said...

Hm, I actually found this one to be a bit of a stretch, even with the apparent multiple personalities. Creepy and horrific, yes, but the revelation at the end felt a bit forced to me.

Bonnie Cehovet said...

I found the ending to be a bit abrupt, but well done. Definitely not a "multiple personality" scenario, but reality for the good priest.

Each of us has dark places in our lives.

Flood said...

I was struck to find Mark WAS Fr. Catalino. Great twist.

anne frasier said...

hehe! very nice, jack! i thought the twist was fantastic and pulled it all together. and hey, i was raised catholic -- and sang in the choir. i think i knew father mark. ;)

Shadowrite said...

Terrific writing! The setup, the imagery, the horrifying, unexpected twist at the end; all of it came together to create a compelling, stick-with-you-for-a-long-time story. Great job.

Jer said...

Loved the twist.

linda said...

I agree with joni. Morbid. Were the girls his daughters or in the choir? That I have to know.

Jack said...

To those who liked the twist
Joni.. Flood.. Anne...Shadowrite
Jer.. Thank You

To Jim and Bonnie who weren't as happy
Jim I'm glad you found it creepy and horrific
To Bonnie who liked the ending but found it abrupt... LOL I must have been at a loss for words. I think my word count was about 8 words short of 250. Perhaps an alternate ending?

To all of you who I wasn't able to email... thanks for your comments

Linda... His girls were in the choir.

robert rohloff said...

Our Father, who art in heaven,

Hallowed be thy Name.

Thy kingdom come.

Thy will be done,

On earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses,

As we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation,

But deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,

and the power,

and the glory,

for ever and ever.


Scott said...

Way to tap into a modern societal fear. I always love a good twist. Yours was well pitched.

k lawson gilbert said...

This one gave me the chills...and not in a good way. I was creeped out. Well done.

RichMcD said...

Loved the bit with the t shirt, Jack. Nice touch.


Lisa said...

Creepy, creepy, creepy with a nice twist at the end! Didn't expect that.

Nicholas Abbot said...

"With the last ounce of excitement from his hobby spent..."

That is a great line in this context.

The Wandering Author said...

Creepy, with a nice twist at the end. And you had me feeling sorry for the "good Father" for a moment, struggling with his conscience.

Amin said...

Oh yes, that was a real twist at the end. And as Wandering Author said, I too felt sorry for the dilemma of conscience the 'good' Father would have had, until I found out it was him doing the killing.

Bit disquieting, this story.

jason evans said...

That was a great concept! Having multiple personality disorder including a priest persona would be very, very complicated. High marks for entertainment.