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Monday, January 16, 2012

"Last Rites" by Ethan Cobb

Weldon, a young priest, prepares to accompany a vampire killer on a hunting expedition:

Weldon sat in the snow contemplating whether the undead should receive last rites. The seminary lacked the answer. He would have to think more on the subject when he had more time, possible after Father Rupert’s Tuesday flower arranging class. Until then, he had other matters to worry about. He rubbed the cross absentmindedly and tossed another garlic clove into his mouth.

Through a scream of wind, Weldon heard the slow crunch of plodding feet. A man materialized through the clouds at the end of the street. A bent and gnarled walking stick plunged into the snow-covered walkway. An equally twisted and bowed man gripped the old stick. Only the spiked wood plunged through to the muddy base seemed to keep the man from blowing away. His hat brim held fast like it had been nailed to his head like a horseshoe. 

“You him then?” asked the old man.

“I’m Weldon Boniface III,” Weldon said.

“Father?”

“Almost-Father.”

“Almost-Father?”

“Well it’s not official yet, but I have taken oaths. A little more time and I will be sent to watch over a town of my own.” 

“Looks like almost-too-young-to-be–out-without-your-parents’-permission might be a better title,” said the old man.

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