The Church Apparition

It is cold and rainy inside the church. Every once in a while a large truck, or is it from the train men joining the cars together that is causing the church to shake? How late is it anyway, the man doesn’t know. Ever since he started working on the murals, he’s stopped taking his watch with him so as not to be tempted or tricked into thinking he’s tired.

      The man has been painting on top of a creaking scaffold now for four days. He is painting the Madonna, a difficult endeavor for him. He really was feeling tired and cold, but he wasn’t ready to quit yet, after all, he was on a short deadline.

He’s sees movement below him. Must be the priest, he reasoned. Why is he gesturing like that? Waving his arms around in that manner? The artist is annoyed, didn’t he ask the priest not to enter the church during this time? Well, he is probably practicing for his sermon. The artist chooses to ignore him, besides what right does he have to keep the priest out of his own church. It is laughable, really. Why too is the priest not saying anything? The artist reasons he really isn’t trying to distract him. “To the devil with him!” He really must work on this and does his best to ignore him.

          That night the man returns to the parish house where he is staying with the priest. The dogs go mad, barking and pawing him. The priest makes no mention of having been in the church during their normal cake and coffee, and the artist doesn’t ask, he only wants to get to bed.

      The next few days pass by with little incident. He works as much as he can and when he is at his most exhausted he joins the priest for their meal in the early hours of the morning. On the eighth night he is back on the scaffold, mixing paint, he happens to look down and see the priest again waving about. He feels strange. He can hear the priest mumbling and assumes the pries is prating. The artist does his best to ignore him, and again feels vexed at the intrusion. Still though, the cold, the weirdness, he decides it’s enough for tonight, and he will finish with the last of the paint he mixed, and retire early.

      The dogs are barking and excited again, and he is surprised that with all the commotion to find the priest asleep on the couch.

      “You must be sleep walker, ‘ he says to the priest when he wakes up a few moments later.

      The priest laughs, says no, then asks the artist to explain himself. And so the artist does, recounting seeing the priest on two nights come in and wave about. His assumptions…

      After the artist is done, the priest takes a moment and then explains that there have been stories of a ghost, though he himself has never encountered it. He goes on to tell the artist how worried he had been for him, high up on the scaffolding, and has been keeping guard outside, in case the artist sees the ghost and injures himself from fleeing.

      From that night on the priest joins the artist, and it is on that first night that he issues a challenge to the ghost. “Come on, ghost, show yourself and see if the gospodine profesor and I are afraid of you.”

      The artist laughed and began to work, when from the back of the church came a tapping or knocking sound. The artist felt a chill then asks “Hear that, father?”
      “What?”
      “That strange knock back there?”
      “Yes; but wasn’t it a creak in the scaffolding??”
      “I don’t know, I don’t think so?”

Note: I will continue this story next week, there you will be able to find my references.

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