Inspired by a prompt, “Live, die, repeat.”
“Forgive me father, for I have sinned”
“How long has it been since your last confession?”
“I have never been a religious man, father,” Sergei said.
“Better late than never,” the priest laughed.
“I get tired of hearing you say that. It was only yesterday I came here. And the same day repeats, and you make the same joke.”
Sergei rolled his face in his hands.
“I do not understand, my son,” the priest took a more serious tone.
Sergei sat straight up, inhaling comically deep. He paused.
“Every day I live the same day. Over and over. I can’t seem to change the outcome. I am a wanted man, father. They find me here and I die here.”
Seergei followed the wooden trim with his fingers, tapping as he went.
“Forgive me if I ask; have you been to a therapist recently?” the priest asked hesitantly.
“Ah, I did. I get one session, and it’s never helpful. That’s why I come here. I ask for forgiveness and die. Maybe if I do it enough I will pay off my previous wrongdoings,” Sergei said with beg, exaggerated gestures.
“Well let’s talk about that! What are your sins, my child?”
“Murder, father. Lots of murder. You see, I am a contract killer by trade. By my count I have killed over 40 men. But I have died here so many times, it has to be more than 40 times. Is the pain of death enough?” the man asked nonchalantly into the screen.
“I….I uh, my son,” the priest anxiously fiddled with his clothes on the other side, “That is a lot of hail mary’s.”
“I’ve said them all. A million times in a million places. We’ve had this conversation at least 20 times. I gain nothing from it now. You have ceased to be a person to me. I try to say things to make you stumble, and it’s not hard. I am running out of ideas,” his tapping was getting more rampant on the inside of the booth.
Sirens came into earshot from outside. Multiple police cars were arriving.
The priest scrambled in his head. The thought of a death on the church steps was disgusting. Although this man was clearly insane he needed to get through to him.
“You don’t get caught?” the priest asked, pondering.
“Never. I die on the steps in a hail of gunfire or they chase me until I cannot run anymore, so I force them to kill me,” Sergei laughed, miming shooting.
“You must go with them. You must appease a sense of justice. In the eyes of others, you remain free having taken so many, and that is not justice,” the priest doubled down on this, putting his face up to the screen, “If you turn yourself in, the day will end.”
Sergei laughed, but then snapped to a serious face.
“You think so? I have not tried this. I will do it. Thank you father!” he leaped out of the booth and ran to the door.
The priest smiled and watched as the young man told the police his intentions and went with them.
“Forgive me father for I have sinned.”