Updated: Sep 13
Seeking to end the man who has destroyed his life, a stranger, broken physically and mentally, pays a visit to a small church to hunt. Even after accomplishing his goal, there isn’t an ounce of satisfaction; instead, there is hesitation.
“The Confessor” by Rajiv R Nair & R. S. Chintalapati shows how innocents get punished while the wicked continue to strive upon their ignorance in the pursuit of revenge.
On a sunny Sunday afternoon following the morning service, the church hall door creaked as a stranger with a brown shirt and piercings all over his body walked down the aisle towards the confessional.
He travelled to this remote village after his mother gave the address, years after she gave up her revenge. Along his way, he observed the priest reading a book resting on one of the benches.
The priest closed his book observing the visitor and rushed to the other side of the confessional. It was rare that someone would come in the afternoon for such an activity and after a while, both of them occupied their seats, in a hoarse voice, the stranger said, “Father, I have come to confess sins.”
Leaning his ear towards the white curtain that was separating them, the priest mentioned, “Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper child but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”
With a smile, the stranger whispered, “Prior to the confession, I’m curious to know if killing the man who has destroyed my life would account as a sin?”
Taking a deep breath, the priest replied, “Put your sword back in its place. For all who draw the sword will die by the sword.”
The stranger couldn’t believe it. It was honestly strange listening to him after spending fifteen years behind bars.
After a moment of silence, the priest continued, “All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law.”
The stranger smirked before saying, “There was no law when my drunk father hit my mother after being questioned about his activities. Trust me, father. He didn’t perish.”
The priest for the first time turned to observe the stranger. Meanwhile, the stranger continued, “He used to hold my feeble mother’s long hair while making her feel the walls only if he didn’t prefer to make her kiss his belt.”
As soon as the stranger concluded, he felt the priest might have realized his identity. When the stranger no-longer remained a stranger in the eyes of the convicted, without a moment’s notice, the now possibly known stranger pulled out a dagger and rushed it through the curtain.
As it slid through the silk curtain within no time, the priest soon felt a piece of metal in his throat. His life portion spilt as he shrieked in pain and he couldn’t help but wonder how death walked to him in such comfort.
As his cry echoed in the empty church, he collapsed from his chair and his blood slid like a river. In his last moments, he could hear the stranger say, “This sinner didn’t even bother about his son’s presence while he played with his mother as his toy. Imagine being powerless when it is needed the most.”
Walking out of the cabin to reach the other side, the stranger continued while looking at the dying man, “However before long, my mother chalked out a plan to end her horrible torture. She stabbed her drunk husband three times on his chest the moment he returned home.”
As he said his sentence, he could see the priest didn’t wink. Kneeling on the floor, the stranger wondered how he transformed so much while his mother was whoring for existence. Observing the dead man, he revealed, “Foolish of her to choose his chest. She should have aimed for the throat too.”
Extending his hand, the stranger closed the priest’s eyes before concluding, “Sleep well, father. You deserve this after all the suffering you have inflicted on your family.”
Meanwhile, another priest walked into the hall to find his brother lying dead. He rushed back to the chamber he came from and locked the door before ringing to the police.
Observing the second priest running, the stranger shouted, “Don’t worry old man. My father sought redemption after surviving his earlier stabbing.”
After a moment of silence when the priest spoke to the police, the stranger mentioned, “Unsure of his success, I choose to liberate him to rebond him with my mother. She deserves a second beating after all!”
Finishing his call, the priest shouted, “You’re heading towards the monster within you. That’s why you could kill an innocent devoted man.”
With a raised eyebrow, the stranger shouted, “He isn’t innocent! He ruined my childhood while my mother ruined my life.”
Tensed, the priest questioned, “So you have decided to hunt your parents? Satan has taken your soul, child.”
With a smile, the stranger replied, “He did indeed. Couldn’t defy, especially after my father made my life a living hell.”
The priest behind the locked door shouted, “You’re a sinner who cannot seek redemption. You should be prosecuted by law!”
With a smile on his face, the stranger confessed, “I’m glad. I’m finally being prosecuted for crimes I did commit, old man.”
Hoping to reveal the truth, the priest mentioned, “My brother never married... He was innocent.”
This statement got the attention of the stranger. Rushing to the corpse of the dead priest, he could see some difference but couldn’t accept that it was another man. He inquired, “Are you certain?”
The moment he finished his question, a policeman holding a revolver stormed in from the door. Looking at it, the stranger revealed, “I’ve torched my mother enough for her to spit the truth before ending her.”
Standing behind the locked door, the priest held, “It isn’t him!”
This confirmation made the stranger decide not to get captured yet. Turning to the policeman, he threw his dagger before running away.
Escaping the dagger, the policeman shot him in the leg. Observing him racing his hands to his pockets, the policeman demanded, “Raise your hands!”
When the stranger pulled out his own revolver, the policeman shot two bullets sucking the life out of him.
Opening the door, the priest now approached the dead stranger with a smile before stating, “I hope God has mercy for this troubled soul and give him another chance to undo his misdoings.”
This short story is available in paperback & ebook.