Wednesday 1 – Wednesday 8 June 2011
You knew it was coming, right?
Mrs. Hunter, still breathless from the verbal attack that Father O’Bannon had unleashed, sipped water from the cup he handed her. She was biding her time; waiting to catch him off-guard. He was watching her like a hawk; her inability to breathe had terrified him. The last thing he needed was for one of his congregation to die in the church, again. Enough suspicion had fallen his way the last time.
She placed the cup down on the small table to her right, readying herself.
‘Father,’ she gasped, ‘do you think you could get me a tissue, please?’
He nodded and stepped away from her, turning his back for only a moment. But that moment was all she needed.
Swiftly removing the scarf from around her neck, she threw it over his head and hooked it up under his jaw. She tightened it with all of her might, strangling him, choking the life out of Father O’Bannon. Mrs. Hunter had wanted to do it when he stepped into the confessional to assist her, but he had moved into her space far too quickly, making it difficult for the old woman to remove her scarf and position in around his neck. She knew from experience that she needed a little swinging room. Her one regret was that O’Bannon had his back to her. Oh, how she would have loved to see the look on his face when he realised that she was taking his life. It was different from taking her husband’s life. That she derived no pleasure from, but killing O’Bannon, this was something else.
He flailed and kicked out, scratching at the scarf around his neck. She was much stronger than she looked, and the last thought to pass through his mind as he struggled from breath in a similar way to Mrs. Hunter, was ‘Bridget won’t ever know’.
Mrs. Hunter took Father O’Bannon’s weight, as he grew limp. She lowered him to the floor, maintaining the pressure on the garrotte.
‘Oh, Father O’Bannon, I’ve been following your dirty little deeds for a long, long time. I saw it all. One in each diocese, and no one knew any different. A whore in every port, so to speak. And you came back here to Kathleen Carlson. Makes me wonder what was so special about her, or was it all about humiliating Dennis? I wonder.’
She returned to the cup, drained it of its contents, and took it back out to the confessional, placing it in the cubicle that she always chose to sit in. No one would suspect anything strange. She had the perfect alibi. Every one in the village knew her confession routine. She would be above suspicion. Looking at her wristwatch, Mrs. Hunter noted that fifteen minutes had passed since she entered the church. It meant that Carl O’Riordan would have a multitude of customers at the café, and someone would hear.
She let out the loudest scream she could possibly muster. Having left the church door slightly ajar, it didn’t take long before crowds of people began filing into the church to see what was wrong. The first to arrive moved past her to see O’Bannon’s corpse and attempt to resuscitate him. The second to arrive comforted her. The next to arrive contacted the local constabulary. The rest came as voyeurs.
. . . To be continued . . .