by Galloway

November had come clear and cold, the air brittle as if one was moving through a thin scrim of ice. I remember it was late Tuesday afternoon. Mass had ended at least two hours before. I gathered my coat closer about my shoulders, and wound my scarf around my head as I walked up the steps to the wooden doors that towered over my head. Pulling hard on the rough iron door handle, the thick oak planks swung slowly outward. As I walked down the long central aisle the sound of my breathing echoed off of the walls; thin puffs of steam drifting in the vast cavern of the nave. I passed two, perhaps three elderly parishioners, kneeling, eyes cast heavenward, staring blankly at the painted ceiling, their lips moving in the endless chant of the rosary. The words spoken fast, so as to lose all meaning and fade into a soft mumbling drone. I walked over to the alcove dedicated to Saint Brigid, my patron saint, and lit a candle. Staring into the blank eyes of a cold marble statue she no longer seemed quite so friendly. I waited until the light by the confessional switched on, indicating that the priest was ready to hear the long tale of sins I had collected since I was thirteen.

I knelt in the confessional, feeling the heavy dark around me, then sat on the bench and waited. I heard the soft click of the partition opening between me and the priest. I adjusted my scarf over my head, and looked at the man behind the grille. He was an unexpectedly young priest. His eyes were wide and dark as a deer’s. He had a bit of that unblemished look of total innocence about him, of one who has been totally sheltered from the world outside this little box. One of those priests that went through Catholic school then straight into the Seminary, then entered into the priesthood. I recite the ritual words, and receive the ritual response. I unburden myself a little to him, talking about my recent trip to New Orleans. That I lied to my fiancée about it, and that I felt no guilt at all about doing so. The priest’s response startled me. I expected the usual condemnation, the usual stern warnings about lust as one of the seven deadly sins, about my lying to the man I presumably loved, the horrified silence when I tell him I feel no guilt at all. The priest just chuckled.

“Naughty little thing, aren’t you?” he said.

I raised my eyes and looked at him. He smiled, a wry lift to the corners of his mouth. I smiled back. “Naughty is as naughty does” I replied, the edges of a dream filling my thoughts, then without thinking, I added, “ What are you going to do about it, spank me?”

The priest laughed out loud. “I could,” he said. Then he whispered through the grille, “I’d like to.” The wide dark eyes were hot, burning into mine. “Physical chastisement is good for the soul, exceptional absolution...” he whispered. I wondered if he was serious, as he tells me to say ten Hail Mary’s and to go forth and sin no more. Before the partition slid shut, he leaned forward, and motioned me to lean my ear against the grille. I do as I am bid.

“I expect to see you on your knees, naughty thing,” he whispered.

I laughed, and whispered back, “in front of you, or in church?”

“Both” he said, as the partition slid shut.

I exited the confessional, and walked to one of the many empty pews, dropped the Prie Diu, and knelt. I crossed myself, and because I didn’t have a rosary, I began ticking off Hail Mary’s on my fingers. Eyes closed, I let my senses fill with the incense in the church, the mellow scent of the beeswax candles, and the quiet murmur of the few elderly devout saying the rosary for their sins, real and imagined. As I did, I felt a hand on my shoulder. I looked up, and saw a tall man in a cassock, his brown hair falling into his wide dark eyes, the white of the clerical collar tight against his strong throat. He leans over and says in the hushed tones one always hears in church, “Come with me, my child.” His smile is the smile of a wolf when it sees a sheep alone and away from the flock. I rise, genuflect, and follow him as he walks toward the stairs leading to the choir. I follow him up the narrow, dark stairway to the small choir overlooking the nave. It’s full of light from the clestory windows, fractured colors pattern his face, red and blue and golden. He draws the long scarf off of my head, and pushes my long unruly hair out of my face.

“Pax vobiscum” he mutters before he kisses me, his mouth hard and demanding on mine, fingers laced into my long hair.

“And also with you.” I whispered back when our lips parted.

He slides his hands over my shoulders, takes them and leads me to the rail of the choir. His firm hands strong on mine, he winds my fingers around the rail. I grip it firmly, the varnished wood warm as flesh in the chilly air. “Be silent, my child,” he whispers before he walks behind me. I feel him run his hands over my hips, along my back, pushing my torso down, and forcing me to raise my buttocks higher. He strokes them gently through my skirt, then roughly yanks it up to my waist. I feel him toying with the tops of my stockings. The bare skin exposed to him is pinched, and then I feel him kiss the tattoo on the left cheek. I look over my shoulder at him as he raises his eyes to my face. He stands upright and reaches out, gripping my chin in his hand and turns my face away just before the first stinging slap lands on my exposed flesh. I hiss, a sharp intake of breath, the noise of the blow echoes in the vaulted space. None of the devout look up. The second blow, then the third, and I gasp, low panting breaths, trying not to moan. He hits me harder, and I feel my juices begin to flow, damp warmth filling my pelvis as the spanking continues. I moan aloud in time to the blows, eyes closed, head lifted. I push my hips back, an involuntary movement trying to meet his hand. I can hear him panting beside me, the sound of his cassock being drawn aside, the sound of skin on skin as he begins to stroke himself in time to the spanking he delivered.

I bite my lips to try to stifle myself as the delicious heat begins to build inside me. I turn my head to watch the priest, his head thrown back, hands working furiously, his dark eyes fixed on my bare skin. He stops the blows, and slides his hot fingers between my warm and yielding legs and begins to stroke the sweet, damp skin in time to his own touch. I try not to writhe and bury my forehead against my shoulder as I begin to gasp, and a light like glory fills my body, my knees buckling under his touch. Finally he rests his hand on my red and hot backside as he spills his own sacrament onto the wooden floor of the choir. A low groan escapes him, resonating through the church. I let go of the rail, and stand up, shifting my skirt into its usual place. The priest opens his eyes, adjusts himself back into his clothing, smoothing the skirts of his cassock. Then, with damp fingers he marks the sign of the cross on my forehead, and kisses me again, lingeringly, probing my mouth with his tongue.

I draw away, and as I do he whispers, “Through the power of God, you are absolved, go forth my child, and sin no more.”

I reach up, and mark the sign of the cross between his brows and kiss him again, flicking my tongue along the edges of his wide mouth, which opens to me, in a final kiss of peace before I pick up my long scarf and turn to leave. As I walk down the aisle I look up and see my confessor, standing at the rail of the choir, smiling down at me. I smile to myself and wrap my scarf around my head, as I open up the doors, and step out into the crystalline air.


About myself: What do you really want to know about a former Catholic schoolgirl who writes stories like this? What flavor of ice cream that I like? I read de Sade and giggle, I read the paper and weep. You figure it out.

email Galloway

Confessional © 2002 by Galloway






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