Confession With Father Anderson

Father Alexander Anderson, slayer of vampires and heretics, would not be slaying vampires and heretics today.

The Vatican's most powerful and esteemed holy warrior sat in the confessional early that morning, waiting to administer the holy sacrament of penance to parishioners of a small Irish church. To his surprise, he found that the first person in the confessional was not some devout, elderly Catholic, but a little boy of perhaps seven or eight years.

"In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost." His recitation was cut off by a weak cough. "Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. It's been a day since my last confession."

"A day? And what sins have you committed in a day, my child?" Anderson asked gently.

The boy's voice was small and sheepish from behind the grate. "I overslept. I almost missed my First Communion. I got sick, my tummy hurt, and I threw up my First Communion breakfast. Now Grandma is really mad at me. She says she has God in her backyard."

Anderson fought back a chuckle. God in her backyard? Well, that was one way to put it.

"Grandma says the saints above and Jesus, Mary, and Joseph are weeping in heaven for my poor soul. Am I going to Hell for this, Father?"

"Hell? No, certainly not, little one." Anderson leaned his elbow against the wooden extension. He tried not to laugh; the poor boy sounded quite serious. He stroked his stubble thoughtfully. "Hmm...tell your grandmum to wash God away with a little water." Could the boy really be blamed for such a minor mishap? "For your penance, just say one Hail Mary and one Our Father. God bless you, my child, and may you sin no more."

"Thank you, Father."

Anderson heard the boy slip out of the confessional. In the minute that passed, the priest next heard from an adolescent admitting to masturbation. After him, another young boy shuffled into the confessional.

"Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. It's been a minute since my last confession."

Anderson was shocked and highly amused. He made no effort to hide it this time. "A minute? Are you the boy that was just here?"

"Yes, Father."

The paladin bit his lip to keep from laughing. He thought the boy sounded familiar. "What is it now?"

"My grandma asks, 'Holy water or ordinary water?'"

"Ordinary water would do, lad." To save the boy another trip, and quite possibly another tonguelashing from his gripy old grandmother, Anderson added firmly, "By the grace and power of the Holy Spirit, your sins have been forgiven and don't let your grandmum say otherwise."

"Yes, Father. Thank you, Father." The boy sounded much more cheerful. Finishing after several more confessions that day, the incident with the boy was still fresh in Anderson's head. Little things like that, besides killing vampires and heretical non-believers, made being a priest such a joy.

'Heinkel and Yumie must be unbearably bored on their day off, with nothing to shoot or stab and quench their blood frenzy. I might just entertain them with a funny little story.'