Monday, October 13, 2008

a wins

Chapter 5

Frankie wasted no time. Perhaps it was the use of his full name that gave him the extra gall, but without answering the question, he swung his fist in the direction of the Father's face.

Do you know the experience of having a moment play in slow motion? I watched the swing of Frankie's fist for hours, rushing through the air like Japanese anime. I remember thinking that perhaps living in terror of the shoreline was better than premeditated violence against a man of the cloth. But there I was, watching it happen. I saw the knowledge of impending disfigurement dawn in Father Filipepi's eyes. I saw Frankie's seasoned upper-cut connect with the priest's chin. I perceived with some surprise that Father Filipepi was laughing. . . Laughing? Yes, rubbing his jaw line and laughing, in fact wiping tears of mirth from his cheeks. Frankie and I looked at each other bewildered.
"Oh, by all the saints, that was a surprise!" the priest choked out between fits of hilarity. "Not often do I get the pleasure of such a greeting, my young delinquents!" And he sat down in a heap on the pew, slapping his knees and weezing.
I think Frankie was overcoming with some difficulty a disappointment in the effect that his fist had produced. I found my tongue more quickly,
"Father, please forgive us. You have to understand. Frankie had to do it. Mr. Lanski won't let us be friends if he thinks Frankie is going soft and this was the only way we could prove that he wasn't. Oh, please don't send us to Hell." This speach sent the priest into another round of knee slaps and laughter. It was some time before Father Filipepi had recovered his composure.
"My, my, that does seem like a reasonable plan. I certainly haven't felt so invigorated in some time. . . Rosie and Francisco, I know you meant well and certainly some penance will suffice to cover this heinous crime. In fact, if you promise to come by tomorrow to help me after school, I will personally speak with Mr. Lanski and clear up any confusion. Perhaps this minor scratch on my chin could be somewhat persuading." The priest winked and for the first time in days I felt as if I could breathe again. We had accepted the proposal and were walking through the church door into the crisp fall afternoon when Frankie turned and asked what the Father had in mind for us to do for him the following day.

a.) "Oh, I have some food to deliver to some needy families at the wharf and I'd like you two to join me."

b.) "Well, I have a substantial list of mothers who have come to me concerned about their boys being beaten up at school and I thought you two could help me visit and comfort them with your beautiful story of repentance."

c.) "Rosie, your father has informed me of his desire to leave his life of crime. I would like you children to hear what he has to say, and perhaps learn from him."


bret welstead said...

Wow! Tough choice this week...

How about b?

Brook said...

Time for Rosie to face her fears--A.

Kyle said...

This IS a hard choice! I'll go with A.

Lori said...

yeah, A

Anonymous said...

Bret, you always choose B. I'll go with you on this one because I think you have been jilted too long. B.

Megs said...

I'm going to go with A too. Oh & I wrote about the Hermans on my blog - check it out!! Miss you loads & loads & loads!!