Tears For Angels And Other Such Nonsense
Author: Neil Evans

Chapter 4
Glazed Eyes

I still remember the glossy stare in his eyes from that day. So long ago it was, it seems that's the only thing I can remember. It was an ingenious plot.
His name was Marion Richard Lewis. Pastor of a local church, he had his own dark past. I guess we all do, when it comes down to it. I've yet to meet a person who disagrees with me when I tell them that we have our own dark secrets. Sometimes they just nod, other times they say a small sentiment. Father Lewis was different.
We had met after Mass. This was on purpose. We had been watching Lewis. The way he moved was too smooth. The way he talked so openly about any subject, his pure charisma. It was as if he were from another world. The way he talked, his motions and movements, the deliverance of his words, all seemed to collaborate and draw you to the man.
For obvious reasons, Lewis wasn't your average pastor. His preferred vehicle, in face, was an older Harley, so loud it sounded like gunshots as it tore up the streets. Our attention had immediately been drawn to him. There was something different in him.
Upon meeting Lewis, I noted things obvious to my trained eye. His hands shook in an ill manner, suggesting his age was getting to him. You wouldn't think he was old, not upon seeing him. Lewis was in perfect shape. Our meeting wasn't by chance; I had been watching him for days. Every morning Father Lewis was jog for seven miles, breaking out a massive sweat. Regardless of rain, snow, or the Earth ripping open sending the freezing winds of hell at him, Lewis persisted this routine. His hands shouldn't have been shaking that way.
The second immediate notice of mine was Lewis had on a pentagram necklace. It seemed odd for a practicing Catholic to wear this. Even upon spying on Father Lewis for days, I hadn't found an explanation for this. Maybe I had, but I didn't know it. That didn't seem likely. I'd been trained to isolate events that seemed meaningless only to recognize what nobody else could. Father Lewis gave no indication as to why he had the Pagan star.
My third notice was the wrinkles covering Lewis's face. They were all in just the right spots. His nostrils were also somewhat larger than normal. Lewis was a smoker.
I don't think he noticed me, at first. Maybe he did. I didn't chance him seeing me before he needed to. Lewis was just outside the church, smoking a pack of Camels. I came up to him from a diagonal angle. "Would you mind sparing one?" I asked the pastor.
Most pastors might refuse this offer. Cancer was the Devil's work, after all. Instead, Lewis pulled another cigarette out and gave it to me, along with a pack of matches. I lit the Camel and inhaled slowly. I, personally, was not a smoker.
Not before seeing those glazed eyes.
Suppressing a deeply needed cough, I began to talk to the man. First of ordinary subjects, then taking a drastic turn. "Do you think God is just, Father?"
This question was said so directly, so angrily, it should have startled Lewis. Instead, he dropped his Camel and ground it into the floor with the heel of his shoe. "No, I don't." That was all he said.
"Father?" All I could muster was that word. I was absolutely stunned at his response.
Lewis looked at me. I saw the glazed look in those eyes, making me shiver slightly. "God isn't just, my son. He's not just, but that shouldn't be blamed upon His shoulders. The Lord does what he can for humanity. But we've left Him. We've lost everything He stood for. Everything our savior, Christ, intended has been twisted and mangled so horrifically that I am left with too much anger to ever express. My son, have you looked around you? It seems like He's abandon us, to some. Feels like we're lost and alone.
"But we aren't, my son. He's been here. But we act like barbarians, we kill his animals for sport. We kill for no reason. Nobody should hurt His creations. Nobody. But we still do it. Can you imagine how infuriated He must be? If God were just, my son, we wouldn't be alive."
"But, Father," I began. "If God is not just, if He's not righteous, why do we worship Him so? Why do we pray every day to such an unjust being? Surely there's a reason for this, we don't do it for nothing."
"You're correct," he replied slowly. "We don't do it for nothing. That would be a waste. We pray for Him to be unjust. Damnation is something we all deserve, my son, but not all of us receive it. Because, the few of us that do make it to Paradise, we've begged and dedicated ourselves to Him. He pities us, my son, and, therefore, He doesn't punish us so harshly. And--"
I couldn't withhold my rage. I leaped at Lewis, ready to strangle his wrinkled neck. How dare he be so blasphemous as to say these things about the God I prayed to every day? My fist rammed into Lewis's kidney, another colliding with his chin. Lewis seemed to ignore both of these blows. No emotion was drawn out. He backed up and coughed slightly.
Tackling him to the ground, I continued to slam my fists into his face, smashing bones and ripping off skin. If it hadn't been for the growing cancer in Lewis, I know he could've killed me then. Just a flick of his hands. I wasn't stupid. I knew this. I struck while he was weak. But Lewis put up no fight against me. Instead, with his dying breath, as I battered him, he somehow managed to say: "You are forgiven, my son."
By the time they pulled me off Lewis, his face was entirely destroyed. Unrecognizable. But one thing stuck out.
Those glazed eyes. The ones that have haunted my sleep for the past three years. I'd killed a man of God. But that was my job, wasn't it? That's what they told me to do. Lewis was to be terminated. Somehow, though, I regret that. I regret killing Marion Richard Lewis. Only because I can still see those glazed, dead eyes looking back at me every time I look in the mirror.
Damn those eyes.


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