Confessions of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle
I'm not Catholic, so bear with me. I realize that he's supposed to give them a penance to do or something, but I forgot because he ended up counseling them instead and I was just going to have him give them all the same penance anyway and it seemed redundant. I know that Raph wouldn't back down from a fight, but then I was thinking, what would it take for him to do that? How far would he go?
How did I get in this situation? I'd absolved about twelve people and there were still a few more to go.
A new parishioner climbed into the other half of the confessional. I could see that it was a middle aged woman. I knew she would look at the screen in a second and waited for the inevitable comment.
"Are you alright, Father? You look a little odd."
"I'm fine. I just suffered a lot of scars in 'Nam." Lying in a confessional. Hell bound for sure. "What's up?"
"Father, it has been three weeks since my last confession."
"That's not so bad," I said, pushing myself as far away from her view as possible, against the opposite wall. "I had a guy a minute ago who hadn't done any confessing for over ten years. Took forty five minutes."
"I slept with my husband's best friend," she said.
"Another one of those? Can't anybody keep it to themselves?"
I could see her sifting through her purse for a tissue.
I tried to muster the same speech that I had just given to the depressed mechanic who'd screwed his secretary on his desk last week. "Look, go tell whoever you cheated on. If he forgives you, then fine. If not, then you know it wasn't meant to be."
"Father! Are you telling me to get a divorce?"
I fiddled with my sais, trying to remember what those televangelists had said on channel 54. "No. I don't suppose we allow divorce. Isn't separation allowed? I know! Try to prove that you're related and get an annulment."
"I see what you're saying, Father." Really? Because I didn't. "I should try to work it out with my husband, no matter the outcome. God will keep us together, if I do the right thing."
"Right. Do whatever God would do." I chased a mugger in here against my better judgment. I hate churches.
"Thank you, Father. You've been a big help."
She only needed five minutes. Good. "Next!"
A large man got into the confessional and shook the whole booth like an earthquake. "Father, are you wearing a red bandana?"
"Yeah, what's it do ya?"
Damn. Why would I do that? "It represents something."
"Why are you asking me? What do you think it represents?"
"The blood of Christ?"
"Sure. Hey, do you see any scrawny little punk with a ladies' purse running around in there? He has a wicked flying kick."
"Is that a trick question?"
I sighed. Stupid people. "No, is there a mugger in there? I can't go out and check."
"I don't think so. Father, it has been one day since my last confession."
"One day, huh? What could you have done in one day that was so bad?"
"I killed someone."
It only takes one second for someone to get killed. I already knew that. "How did it happen?"
"I was in a car accident. There was a man on a motorcycle. He ran a red light. I was driving a Ford F150."
"Wow, those are huge. He musta been creamed."
The fat guy started crying. Way'da be sensitive.
"I mean, I'm sure he's in a better place now."
"What if he's in hell?"
"Why would he be in hell?"
He was quiet for a second. I considered my best option for escape. Nothing came to mind. There were so many people out there.
"You're right. It isn't my place to speculate about how he was in life. That's for God to know and not me."
"Right. Exactly. It wasn't your fault, you know. Don't worry about it."
"Don't worry about it! How can I not?"
I tapped the point of my sai on the wall. What had Leo said last year when I broke that guy's neck? "You can't worry about collateral damage. We have a mission and any guilt that we accrue is only a small cost." It didn't make sense when he said it and it didn't make any sense now.
The fat guy was quiet as he thought about it. "I understand," he said.
"God has a mission for me in life and as long as I'm alive, I have to keep my eye on that."
"Hey, it does make sense when you put it like that." Stupid Leo. Why does he have to make everything sound so complicated?
"Thanks, Father. I'll go straight home and think of new designs for my dollhouse furniture."
I laughed. "You make dollhouse furniture?"
"Yes?" I'd hurt his feelings. That's one of my biggest talents.
"I'm sure your wife is real proud. Next!"
The fat man got out of the confessional and his wake moved the whole booth again. A teenage boy climbed in after him.
The kid put his face right up to the screen and tried to see me. I shut the screen. "Hey, are you here to confess or gawk at me?"
"Sorry, Father. I thought you looked a little funny."
"My parents were shot when I was a little kid and now I dress up in a Halloween costume fighting crime every night. What do you want?"
"I haven't confessed before."
"So you're new to this huh? So am I."
"You're a new priest?" His voice was going all high-pitched and cracking.
"Yeah, in a way. I was just transferred here from the main branch. What's your problem?"
"I'm afraid that I'm about to lose my virginity."
"Way'da go. I'm sure you'll make her proud. Next!"
"Hey, I'm not done!"
"Sorry. Go on."
I pulled the screen back, thinking it was rude to leave it shut.
"I just feel so guilty about it. How do you do it?" he asked.
I scratched my head. "Do what?"
"The celibacy and all?"
"Oh, that's easy. There aren't any women in my species." What? Stupid! Stupid!
"So I should think of all women as dead to me?"
"Hell, no, boy! What's wrong with you? That's what works for me okay. Just do something to take your mind off it if you don't want to do it."
"What do you do to take your mind off it?"
"Lift weights. Exercise. Beat people up."
"So I should substitute sex with violence?"
"Boy, you're a fucking moron aren't you? Do if it you have to and quit crying to me about it. Crybaby."
I was sure I had pushed it too far that time.
"I'm still pretty scared though," he said, his voice cracking again.
"Good, go with that then."
"Thanks, Father. Good luck with the violence."
"Thanks, now get out of my confessional, you little pervert. Next!" I was making a large hole in the wall with my sai. "Hey, everybody out there! I'm not talking to anybody else about sex, so if that's on your mind, you can leave!" I heard a few people shuffle off.
And old woman got into the confessional next. "Hey, lady. What's up?"
"It has been a week since my last confession."
"Good and punctual, huh? So what have you done?"
"Let me see. I lied twice. That's all I can think of for now."
"Well, you're absolved. Next!"
"Don't you want to know what I lied about?"
"Not really." Please leave, so that I can get that terd that stuck me in here. He's going to be on a liquid diet when I get through with him.
"You're right. My sins are as far from me as the East is from the West after Christ has forgiven them and I shouldn't worry about them anymore. You're very wise."
I couldn't help being flattered by that, even though I'd already forgot what she'd said because I was too busy fantasizing about breaking that guy's jaw. "Yeah, tell that to my brothers."
"Brothers of the cloth?"
"Brothers of the blood."
The lady pulled out some knitting from her purse. How long did she expect to be in here? "You're a priest and they don't respect you?"
"Well, I have my faults. I stabbed Leo a few months ago. It was an accident. I think. Sort of. I did kind of have it out for him that day. I might have missed accidentally on purpose."
Her knitting needles clacked away. I clicked my sais together impatiently. "You fight often with these brothers?"
"Oh yeah. All the time. They call me Psycho."
"Why don't you apologize?"
"I don't like doing that. It leads to crying and hugging and stuff… This bench is starting to hurt my butt. How do the other guys sit in here all day on this plank?"
"They do it for God."
I came in here to hide from these people. Not get lectured by them. "Well, you're absolved for your lying. Next!"
"You didn't give me any penance."
"Penance?" Ah, shit. Penance. Forgot about that. What's that anyway? "What do you think is fair?"
"Well, Father Morley gave me three Hail Marys last time…"
"Good. Sounds fair to me. Next!"
The skinniest girl I've ever seen got into the confessional after the old lady. She was jerking around, tried to look right in the screen at me again. I snapped it shut on her.
"Don't, Father! I'm sorry!" She busted out crying.
I opened the screen again. "Okay, I just had bad plastic surgery and don't want anybody to see. What's the problem?"
"What isn't the problem?"
I calculated about forty five minutes to hear her life story. "Well, tell me the short version. My shift ends in an hour so…"
"I'm staying at Mel Trotter. I was living in a crack house before that. My babies were just took away from me. Both of them! And my arm really hurts because my boyfriend broke it before they put me in rehab. I ran away from home when I was sixteen."
"Hey, I do… did run away from home too."
"My dad pimped me out to his friends. What did your family do?"
"Uh… didn't listen. Misunderstood. Angst and such. I'm so lame."
"You're not lame. It's different for everybody. Anyway, I've been clean for a month now."
"Good on you, sister. Next!"
She put her hands up against the screen with a crazy desperate look. "Wait! I want my babies back! And what will I do without Kevin? I love him!"
"He sounds like a douche bag to me. You don't break the bones of people you love." How many bones had I broken? Mike 3, Don 4, Leo 6. Even April 1.
"He doesn't mean to. It's the drugs. And I make him crazy. He's clean now. He'll be different this time."
"How many 'different times' has there been now? A bunch, right?"
She was quiet. I nearly yelled out 'Next!'
"I still want my babies back."
"You raised them in a crack house right? Sound to me like you don't deserve them."
"But they're mine!"
"I'm not done!"
"Well, tough luck! Just get over it and get a job or something and quit whining! So your daddy pimped you out and your boyfriend beat you up? You're rid of them now! Next! "
She stormed off. I hoped that I didn't make that worse.
The crack head left and a guy with gross long hair and a ladies purse in his hands got in after her.
"Father, it's been two months since my last confession."
I gripped my sais really tightly. This was that sleaze that had I chased in here in the first place. It was his fault that I'd had to listen to people complain to God for two and half hours. "Nice purse," I said.
"Father, I stole it. I'm so full of shame."
I straightened up all full of righteousness. "Damn right, you should be ashamed."
"What do I do now?"
"Do?" Wait to get your ass kicked, punk.
"Should I take it to the police station? They would arrest me. I can't have that. I have seven children…"
"Holy shit! Find some other pastime!"
He laughed. I don't know if I've ever had one of my marks laugh at a joke before. "Yeah, that's what my mother says. I have to pay $5000 a month in child support."
"You're making me really glad of my forced celibacy, pal."
"If I go to jail, then I can't pay. I'm already behind by about $50,000. I lost my job six months ago. I haven't found anything new yet. I'm living with my mother again. I'm such a failure as a man. I can't take care of my own family."
Yeah, I know how that goes. I was starting to actually feel sorry for the bastard. "You still knocked down an old lady. I don't think I can let you off for that."
"How did you know?"
Oops. "Well, that looks like an old lady purse."
"If I leave it here, will you return it to the rightful owner?"
"Depends. Did you take anything from her wallet?"
"No. It's all there."
This wasn't right. I really wanted to pay him back for making me sit on this plank for all this time and listen to crack heads and horny little boys. I couldn't stand it anymore. I pushed the door to my side of the confessional open and broke it off at the hinges from the force and then pulled the mugger out. I threw him on the ground, ready to beat the shit out of him.
"No, please! Not in the church! The eyes of God are on us!"
"That might work on Father Psycho, but no on Raphael!" But then I looked around and saw that he was right. There were statues everywhere and it felt like their eyes were all on me. It did seem pretty tacky to thump a guy in his own church. I thought of telling the story to Master Splinter and actually colored up with embarrassment.
I gave him a swift kick in the gut, took the purse and left him there.