What the Fräulein Owes

Ka-chatk, ka-chitk, came the finely soled shoes down the cellar stairs. Sarah struggled to restrain her breath, ragged and desperate to break into heady gasps.

“Fräulein,” called the silken voice, “du bist der Gott einen Tod schuldig.”

A chill ran up the teen girl’s spine causing her fist to clench with tenuous resolve. With a final resounding ka-chatk the steps came to a halt on the damp cement floor. A barely audible sound of condescending disapproval echoed off the cinder block walls. Some vermin skittered in the far corner, and for a brief instant Sarah hoped the mad priest might mistake them for her.

No such luck.

Silver hair turned gold in the warm glow cascading down from the kitchen, he stood stock still, hands folded before him. He looked so calm, so peaceful. His vestments draped so neatly about his lithe frame, crisp and immaculate, as his soul should have been. The lips’ delicate upturn, something like a smile, bespoke tenderness and absolution.

Sarah knew better, for she knew worse.

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