Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Write in the MYSTERY genre (04/05/07)
TITLE: A Thief and the Priest
By Kylie Fenimore
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Trying to ignore the shooting pains in his head, he tried to work out what had happened before he had been knocked unconscious. He remembered the thief, but he couldn’t remember much else. He did, however, remember someone trying to take the church’s valuable antiquities. These beautiful objects had been in the church for many hundreds of years and the villagers were very protective of them.
Standing up on shaky legs, the priest tried to piece together a motive for why someone would have tried to steal these precious things from a church. What sort of human would do that? Dusting his sweatshirt off, he realised that it must have been his day off. Why else would he not be wearing his robes? ‘That makes sense’, he thought to himself. ‘I must of heard a disturbance and come in from the cottage only to interrupt the thief. That would explain why the thief has dropped all of the things he was trying to take out.’ He made a mental note to tell this to the police when they turned up.
Just as the old priest was starting to clean the church up, the foyer doors swung open with force, and standing in the doorway were the police and a man who looked like he also was a priest. “Oh thank goodness! I’m so glad you’ve arrived!” the old priest said as he approached the men.
The other priest and the police looked rather confused. “Ah… what exactly do you mean, that we’ve arrived?” the other priest said.
“Well, I have been waiting for you to come and examine the evidence of course!” The old priest explained, slightly bemused. “We have to catch the thief who’s been stealing our village’s prized possessions!”
The old priest looked from face to face, trying to work out why they all looked so befuddled. After a while the senior constable stepped forward and spoke softly. “But surely you realise Sir, that you are the thief!” The old man was stunned. What were they talking about? He had been attacked in his very own church and had stopped the robbery. There must have been a mistake.
“But this is my church – I am the priest of this Parish” he stated.
It was now the other priest’s turn to speak. “I am afraid you must have suffered a nasty knock to the head. You were the man who was trying to rob us and when I caught you in the act, you lunged at me. Unfortunately, the only thing I could find to defend myself was this antique candelabra. I knocked you unconscious and ran for help. You must have lost your memory during the blow and thought you were me. I hope I haven’t done anything too permanent!”
It took a while for this to sink in with the old man – surely this couldn’t be true, but a priest wouldn’t lie.
With his head hung low, the police led the old man away. He was ashamed and felt rather annoyed at what he had done – after all, he had enjoyed being a priest!
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