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What about the Rats?
by Mervin Collier
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What about the Rats?

Chapter 1

“You little knuckled headed E’diot” Willie’s drunken father shouted “git back here so I can git my hands on you! I'll teach you to wake me up!”

Willie just kept going as fast as his little '5 year old’ legs would carry him. That was young Willie’s life to this point. What could be worse? Just keep reading!

(We jump to a time period in the future.)

Willie got off the bus in a small town about fifty miles from the valley in which Stanleyville was located. This was as close as Willie could get to his destination using public transportation.

A member of The Church of the Most Holy Named Saint was sitting on one of the benches, close to where Willie disembarked from the bus.

When he saw Willie get off the bus, he got up and pointed to Willie, pointed to Willie's bags and then pointed to a black stretch Rolls which was parked at the curb about ten feet in front of the bus. Willie retrieved his bags from the bus and followed the strange, silent man to the car. The two of them got in the limousine, the strange man in the front and Willie in the back, as he was directed, and they were off to - to - - - Willie didn't know where they were going.

It was a two hour drive to the valley but no conversation took place between the driver and passenger. The driver had a strange distant look in his eyes and seemed to have a hard time focusing his attention on the curvy road, as he herded the big car up into the mountains. After a couple of tries at striking up a conversation, Willie gave up and thought better of the idea. He decided he didn't want to distract the driver from his duties, lest they both end up in a ravine somewhere.

It was just starting to get dark when the big limo came to a screeching halt in front of the sinister looking church building. The driver got out without a word and motioned for Willie to get his bags and follow him. The driver led the way up one hundred steps, which curved gracefully up to the big double doors at the front entrance of the cathedral. The solid oak doors were rough hewn, forty feet high and a foot thick.

The driver pounded on one of the doors with the huge gargoyle shaped door knocker which was attached to the door for just such a purpose. The sound reverberated inside the building for a full minute before the sound faded away.

Disturbed by the loud knocking, a flock of bats came swarming out of the church belfry which towered two hundred feet above the two men's head. After a five minute wait one of the big doors swung open, ever so slowly, on complaining massive hinges. It made a sound like the cry of a lost soul who had just been condemned to hell.

There in the doorway stood an old bald headed man with a toothless silly grin. The small amount of hair which he had left around the lower edges of the back of his skull was stringing down to his shoulders and matted together in clumps.

In a cackling voice he welcomed "Come in, Mr. Willie Wilson. The Bishop has been waiting for you! Please walk this way."

The old man turned and slowly started down the forty foot high corridor in a slumped over, limping gait. Willie walked very slowly behind the old man, trying not to pass him or collide with him.

The floors of the hall were made of smooth marble, inlaid with mosaic tiles but the walls were of rough hewn limestone. There were many wide cracks between the huge stones of the walls. Every twenty feet or so, there was a dim light, of unknown origin, shinning out. At every one of these locations there was a statue of what appeared to be a gladiator of Rome or some kind of religious idol. The old man would hesitate a second at each of these statues and give a little bow.

After twenty minutes of this torturously slow travel, the pair came to a door which was almost as massive as the entrance doors. The old man knocked on the door with a knocker very similar to the entrance knocker. Again the hall reverberated for a minute to the sound of the knocking.

After a few minutes wait, a muffled "Come in." could faintly be heard behind the thick door. The old man laboriously tugged open the door just enough for Willie to squeeze through and as soon as Willie stepped inside, the door slammed shut behind him with a loud thud.

The hall had been dimly lit but this large room could only be described as dingy and stifling. It had a strange musty odor which seemed to drive all the air out of Willie's lungs, as he had to make a conscious effort to continue to breathe enough air so he wouldn't pass out.

As Willie's eyes became accustomed to the darkened room, he could just make out the form of a very fat man, who could only have become that huge through years of despotic living. He was sitting behind a massive oak desk which was twelve feet long. The desk's side panels were covered with ornate carvings of what appeared to be gargoyles and demons. The walls of the room were lined with book cases from ceiling to floor. A bed of huge proportions was located on one side of the room. There was a huge fireplace at the far end of the room which was large enough to burn logs eight feet long. This fireplace was the only source of illumination in the huge room but the remains of a fire had burned down to a dull glow of embers. The floor was carpeted with a rug so thick that one had to make extra effort to raise his feet a few inches each time he took a step so that he wouldn't trip and fall.

The fat man finally spoke "We've been waiting for you, REVEREND Wilson." (He put extra emphasis on the word "reverend", as if he were saying it in sarcasm.) "My name is The Right Reverend Bishop, Albert Stanley. Just in case you're wondering how you got this prestigious position at our glorious church, I'll be frank with you. I've been watching over you, for many years. In fact, since you were a small child. I know that you are a man of low self esteem and that you have had a difficult life. You don't know this, but The Church of the Most Holy Named Saint has been paying your living expenses and your tuition at the seminary since you began there. Before that, we were instrumental in getting you assigned to the right foster home so you could be raised in a ‘neutral atmosphere.’ You have very low intelligence and you had a very hard time getting passing grades in high school and at the seminary. You wouldn't have made it this far without a lot of help from my under cover people. In short, REVEREND, you have been hand picked and trained especially for this position and you must do exactly as you are told. But it's not as bad as it might sound. You will be paid a salary of fifty thousand dollars a year, as well as have access to our private stocks and all the pleasures of our facility."

(The adventure is just beginning!)

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Member Comments
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Joanne Sher  24 Dec 2010
Interesting - great descriptions, and you've definitely got my curiosity piqued.


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