Losing Faith
a Stigmata fanfic
Andrew held Frankie in his arms, as he leaned his back against the rough bench. The courtyard was alive with the vivacious songs of sparrows finches, and the other birds that lined the branches of the large tree that was suspended above them. St. Matthew seemed to be smiling to the birds, the kind, stone ridges in his face deepened, but he showed no sympathy to the couple on the bench. He was not facing them, his back turned towards the church.
While the churchyard remained vital, Frankie was anemic in his arms. Slim, long fingers (made for playing the piano, not scientific experiments) stroked a few blonde strands of hair from her forehead. The skin he touched was covered in scars and raised abrasions. It did nothing to lift her sleepy eyelids. Andrew wrapped her more tightly in the white bed sheet that had been stained red by her wounds reopening against the thick gauze that protected them.
It had been long time since he had cried, despite the fact of his usual rough apathy, liquid filled his eyes and brimmed over the edge forcing its self out.
She didn't deserve this. She was a messenger, not a firm believer. Even though the rosary that was drapped around her fingers was in her posession now, it had once belonged to the south american priest. Andrew pondered this. So, why her? She didn't even believe in God.
Frankie stirred silently, moving her arms slightly, and her mouth twitched a bit. She was going to live, wasn't she? Still, her eyes remained closed shut.
Now he could see past the green platformed sandals, the risque tops, the too-short-to-be skirts, and the plastic necklaces. Andrew could see the placidness in her, the fire had brought out a childish flush to her cheeks. He could understand the child within her, the bouncy-curl haired child with her white communion dress on. What ever had happened to her? What had happened to the faith? Frankie was a true example of maiden virginity at this moment. Her hair made her look vunerable because it was layered into her eyes, and her blue pajamas made her look like a little girl in her father's oversized pajamas. Thin and scrawny beneath the flimsy fabric.
Andrew pulled out the laminated picture of the Virgin Mary from the breast pocket of his black shirt. She looked as immaculate as Frankie, a faint glow illuminating her from the hidden sun. The words rolled from his tongue in a faint whisper,
"Hail Mary,
full of grace,
the Lord is with you.
Blessed are you among women
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
Holy Mary, mother of God,
pray for us sinners
now and at the hour of our death.
The prayer wouldn't have helped, in his eyes anyway. How could something that felt so dead in his arms be brought back by a simple saying. He had a new perspective. This was that prayers need not be spoken. He wasn't even sure if there was a God anymore. He threw the picture into the grass (which needed cutting).
Frankie was out cold. Her mind was alive with visions and she believed she was being crucified. She felt the nails in her wrists, she felt the wood against her back making splinters into her bare flesh, she felt the thorns digging into her skin. Dreams had never been so vivid for Frankie before she started getting her injuries.
Andrew thought of his days in Ireland, then. His mind temporarily drifted from Frankie. He was trying to find some explination as to why he became a priest, now that he lacked all faith possible to be one. His home had been in Adare, an Irish village where some of the houses still bore roofs made of hay and other earthly materials. The religious influence where he had lived had been strong, forcing him into the church made of stone every Sunday and making him quit seeking the taverns every Friday nights. He drank less and less once he had become a priest, but Frankie had reawakened the drinker in him. He sighed. Two things he had come to love in a respectful way were now so far from him. Frankie and Ireland.
With a flutter of eyelashes as soft as a butterfly's wing touch to human skin, blue eyes reopened to the tranquil courtyard. She barely spoke the words, "Lift a rock and you will find me. Split a piece of wood and I am there," before her eyes fell close again and the wave of death took her away from him. She was gone now.
Andrew put her aside on the bench and lifted a gray stone up from its place on the ground, but Frankie did not awake. She never awoke. Andrew lost all faith then. God was cruel in mysterious ways.
He cried out, "God, why have you forsaken me?" Three hours later, Father Andrew Kearnen was rushed to an emergency room in Phittsburgh. A priest at his bedside asked him what confessions he wished to make before his spirit become amongst the clouds. "I have lost my faith, Father. There are no more things for a blind man to see if he cannot see the sky. There are no more things for a thief to steal if he has stole everything. There are no more prayers I can pray to console myself. Forgive me, Father for I have sinned." And with those words, Andrew lapsed into an unexplained coma. Just as he fell into his coma, his side began to bleed. Wounds that hadn't been there before. Andrew never woke up.