Shine light into darkness 7: Dedication

Shine light into darkness 7: Dedication

Postby ronfiction » Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:12 pm

It was a cold morning in late March in Berlin New Hampshire, but for the locals, the high 30’s felt like the end of winter had finally come. Lou was in his Sunday best, the single suit he owned at the old church he used to go to when he lived in Berlin. The suit was the one that Adam Morsi had bought him for his first real date with Hannah Winter. Some of his friends had pointed out how for a millionaire, Lou certainly didn’t dress like one. Admittedly, Lou was never one for getting dressed up in anyway, but when it came to church, an exception was made.

Lou’s faith had always been one more out of coincidence than anything else. He was born into a Catholic family, went to a Catholic church, and when he could, tried to follow Catholic rules. In times of need he would lean more on his faith, but he gave when he took. Lou loved this old church; St Anne’s was a giant red brick church right by the river in Berlin. He knew it well, cleaning its windows, mowing its lawn and shoveling its sidewalks in the winter. Cleaning the church was how he felt like he gave back to the community as a whole. Lou didn’t feel like he had much to contribute in generally, but this was fulfilling work for him.

When Lou had gone off to Whisper Hill, everything changed. Everything he knew about the world, the universe even, got flipped upside down. Fairies, robots, the darkness, all of it were things not explained in a high school class room, or the bible. There were some things that happened in Whisper Hill that Lou could actually understand, much to the amazement to some of the people in town. Demons and Angels made plenty of sense to Lou and often time he would help out with situations that had these topics come up.

It was especially comforting for Lou that he knew the local priest; father Ashmore.
Father Ashmore quickly became an important figure in Whisper Hill and many of the people there looked to him for help and guidance. A lot of the people in Whisper Hill didn’t understand why Lou would be brought along on some of the stranger occurrences in town. Demonic possession seemed outside of Lou’s skill set, but what they didn’t understand, is that Lou didn’t go to help fight demons, he went to protect Ashmore from harm.

The people of Whisper Hill knew Ashmore as a powerful magic user or a demon hunter, Lou knew Ashmore as his priest. Ashmore Married Lou’s parents, baptized him and his brother, bailed him out of jail and gave both of his parents their last rites. Where the people of Whisper Hill fought alongside Ashmore, Lou spent Easter and Christmas with him. No one in town really understood why Lou was so torn up by his passing. Lou vowed to make things right by Ashmore at least one more time somehow. So Lou leaned back on what he could to give back.

After the mass ended the congregation left the church and headed out back behind the church were a newly constructed building had been erected by Lou’s contracting company. There was a short ribbon cutting ceremony and a dedication made to the man the building had been built to honor; Ashmore. Lou was made to come up on stage and he was thankful that no one made him speak. He hated public speaking in general and he figured the priest and the mayor could do the talking. The construction of the small recreation center was Lou’s gift back to his home town and old church. He had worked on the building himself along with members of the 424.

The new building would service as a community center, emergency shelter and the base for the Coos county youth basketball league. Lou and a few of his well off friends had chipped in for the cost and labor had been provided free of charge. The building was a small enough project to fit in before the large scale construction of Pine Bluffs would occupy Lou’s company’s full attention. A statue of Ashmore was added out front which Lou jokingly added a basketball to. The sight of a catholic priest holding a basketball made Lou smirk every time he saw it, which was why he did it.

Once the Berlin locals all went inside to tour the new building, Lou snuck off back to where he had parked his truck and he was ready to head home north. He could only ever spend so much time in Berlin before back feelings and memories returned to him. It had taken him a long time to come to terms with it all, and he still didn’t want to deal with for long stretches of time.

“I didn’t know Ashmore liked Basketball. Did he play when he was younger?” A familiar voice greeted him in a monotone as he turned the corner of the building. Lou looked over to his truck to see the small figure of Alice sitting on the sidewalk by his truck. She was looking up at the church’s steeple and Lou was fairly certain she had felt him walk up more than saw him walk up. Lou chuckled some and walked over to his truck to stand by Alice.

“He didn’t play; which was a damn shame given how tall the man was. He coached for a few seasons. The local youth league had a shortage of volunteers and even though he didn’t know much about the game he taught the kids something far more important that basketball skills.” Lou said and leaned against his truck looking up at the church with Alice.

“What did he teach the team?” Alice asked, still monotone in her distance.

“Same thing he taught Whisper Hill. How to deal with a loss.” Lou said and gave Alice a small smile. “The team wasn’t very good to say the least.”

Alice tilted her head to shift her focus from the steeple to the stained glass windows. “Did you at least have fun on the team?” Alice asked. Lou shook his head. “I didn’t play on the team. Basketball wasn’t my thing. My brother was on the team, he was the only player who knew what he was doing. He would get into it with the other players on the team and Ashmore would bench him till he got over himself.” Lou explained. Alice hung her head and sighed some.

“Ashmore was big on humility.” Alice said. Lou nodded some. “Even Tom Brady loses sometimes.” Lou said and shoved his hands in his pockets to warm up his hands. Alice nodded some and pointed to the church from where she sat on the sidewalk.

“It’s a beautiful church.” She said simply. Lou smiled wider. “Yeah, old building, built back in 1900. It’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places.” Lou said. Alice turned her attention from the church back to Lou to give him a suspicious look. Lou laughed again. “I only know that because every time I cleaned the building I polished the plaque where that’s listed. I read it a lot.” He said. Alice nodded again and stood up.

It had been months since Lou had seen Alice. She was one of the people who went to the wind after they closed the gate back in November. Lou worried about her, but had no idea as to how to check up on her. Apparently, she had found him.

“So… what now?” Alice asked him. Lou shuffled uncomfortably at the sudden shift in the conversation. At first he thought she was asking about the dedication ceremony, but soon the full gravity of the question hit him. It was a question that he too struggled with for a short while back in the winter. Alice gave him a sad look and watched as he struggled to answer it. Lou’s answer came forced at first but once he spoke it, he liked it more.

“You should come with me back north.” Lou said. Alice shrugged some. “And do what?”
Lou thought some more and then gave her an affirming nod. “You were blue collar. Come work for my company. We’re one of the companies that are going to be building Pine Bluffs for the tribe. We could use all the help we could get.” Lou said.

Alice considered it for a moment and shrugged again. “I don’t build things.” She said simply. Lou thought about it for a moment and kept up his encouraging tone.

“We need drivers. People to pick up materials and bring them to site. You can do that.” Lou said. Alice considered it for a little bit and frowned.

“I don’t know how to drive.” She said.

“I can teach you.” Lou said right back.

“You really want me to drive a truck?” Alice asked.

“Jesus was a carpenter, I’m a janitor. You can drive a truck.” Lou said warmly.
Alice stood dumbstruck for a while. She turned and looked back at the church and saw the statue of Jesus that was out front. After a while, she turned around and looked to the truck.

“When do we start?” She asked. Lou pulled the keys out his pocket and tossed them to her.

“Right now.”
"Killing a thing doesn't make you a monster. Killing a thing that don't need killing makes you a monster."
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