The Skull Rosary #1: Remember That You Must Die

RANKED 1st BY VOTERS IN CHARACTER CREATION CONTEST #13!

DateIssueTitleViewRead the...
08/06/13The Skull Rosary #1Remember That You Must Die(Blog) (Forum)Disclaimer

The Rating is "M," but the explanation kind of blows the story. If you don't mind that, click below.

RatingRating Explanation
MThere's nothing explicit, but this story contains scenes that deal with child molestation and teen suicide. There's also brief physical violence between adults.

Intro:

Intro:

So far, my total output on the Fan-Fic forum has been in the Character Creation Contest. I want to share some of the stuff I've written there with the larger FF forum. We had to do a "street level" character this time, and I pulled "The Skull Rosary" from my list of original characters. I didn't expect the story to go where it did, but here it is. Let me know what you think.

Also, I've made some slight wording edits from the contest version, which resulted in this being two words shorter (so now 1,198 words).

Contest details:

Contest #DateThemeMax Words AllowedMy WordsTotal % of contest wordsVotesTotal % of VoteOverall Placement
1307/20/13Street Level OC1,2001,20024.78%866.7%1st (of 7)

And the story...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Skull Rosary: Remember That You Must Die~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Age 24

The priest shouted when I wrenched the door of the confessional open. I grabbed him by the the neck of his robes, yanked him from the compartment, and threw him roughly to the floor. “I told you I need answers!”

Father Figyuor held a shaky hand up in front of his face, and stammered, “I c-cannot tell y-you his c-confession! It’s…”

I slapped his hand away, bent down, and through the skull mask I shouted, “I don’t want his confession! I want yours! You knew what happened to my sister, and you said nothing! Nothing! Who was he? TELL ME WHO ‘UNCLE’ WAS, DAMN YOU!”

“I CAN’T!” the priest screamed in fear. “He confessed! To me! If I tell you his name, it’s as good as telling his confession! The Seal of the Confessional is inviolable! I cannot tell you! Even at pain of my own death!” The priest was breathing hard, shaking visibly, and raising his hands as far as he dared, in a weak gesture of self-protection. He looked into the unmoved face of my mask, his eyes searching for some sign of my intent.

Still in his face, I grabbed one of his wrists in one hand, and shoved my other hand into my suitcoat pocket, making him flinch. I withdrew it slowly, and put the skull rosary, my namesake, into his hand. I drew my gun and added, “Memento mori, Father: ‘Remember that you must die.’” He gasped, and I smacked him once in the face with the gun-butt. If he could see beneath the mask, he would have seen a cruel smile. Perhaps he saw it in my eyes, as I stood up.

The priest found his voice again as I walked away. “I beg you not to pursue this! Think of your immortal soul! God is watching!”

I kept walking, but called back, “God is going to do for me what he did for my sister, Father- He’s going to look the other way.”

“God is always with you, son! He never looks away!”

“Then perhaps He should start.”

***

A few minutes later, I slipped back into the church, and listened to a hushed phone call. His voice still shook, “Yes, this is Father Figyuor for Father Sinsovde. Please, it’s quite urgent!”

Sinsovde. Now I had a name.

Age 12

Delica’s funeral was today. In the movies, it always rains at funerals. It wasn’t raining today. I wish it had, because the noise of it would have muffled my mother’s crying, and broken the awful silence otherwise.

Mama found her in the bathtub a few days ago, first thing in the morning. Her screams woke me and papa. I caught only a brief glimpse of blood before papa shoved me out of the doorway and closed the door. Mama came out moments later, clutched me to her so hard I could barely breathe for a minute, then nearly dragged me to the kitchen, where she called the MP’s. They came with the medics, who carried my sister away.

She had left my parents a note on the kitchen table, which one of the MP’s found before they did. My father read it and became enraged. My mother wailed even louder than when she found my sister’s body. In it, Delica told of the things she had been victim to, at the hands of “Uncle.” She said that she endured them in order to protect me. Me! And I had been blind to it and unaware, all this time. Why would she keep it all a secret? Why?

The medics gave mama a sedative to calm her down, and papa held her until she went to sleep. He laid her down on the sofa, then shut himself in the bathroom and scrubbed away all traces of the blood. While he was in there, I heard him sobbing. It was the only time I had ever heard my father cry.

At the wake, the priest who would perform the funeral rites for my sister found me brooding out on the front porch. When he spoke to me I turned towards him, then my hand darted out and grabbed the rosary beads hanging around his neck. He caught my wrist before I could yank them away from him, and I let go. When I told him that they looked like the ones that belonged to “Uncle,” he looked distressed, and he quickly took them from his neck and stuffed them in his pants pocket.

I asked him why my sister had to die. He took a different set of rosary beads from the pocket of his suitcoat and handed them to me. I had never seen ones like these before- they had little skulls for the beads. He called it a skull rosary, or a Memento Mori- he said it means, “Remember that you must die.” Father Figyuor gave me the beads, and told me that my sister was not meant to die like this, but eventually, we all must. He added that all we could do now was pray for her soul.

Age 6

A friend of my family's used to come to the military base we lived on, where my papa was stationed. I don’t remember his name- my older sister, Delica, and I only ever called him “Uncle.” He would visit with my parents for awhile on Sundays, and always, before he left, he would offer to take me and my sister to the PX, where he would buy us candy. He could get us into the PX, even when it was closed to others.

Uncle would turn out the lights, and play hide-and-seek with us there. We would run down the aisles, grabbing candy from the shelves, while trying not to get caught. I would stuff the many pockets of my church clothes, and my sister would hold her dress up to make a bag with the folds, and drop in handfuls of candy at a time.

Delica would always get scared of the dark and cry before too long. I would always find her in the same place- sobbing hard and rocking on Uncle’s lap, candy scattered all around her. Sitting there in the floor, leaned against the ice box, he would have his arms around her, shushing her gently, and urging her not to cry. He would look at me sorrowfully, and say, “We should let her finish.” So I would go find some comics and eat some of my candy while I waited for my sister to finish crying. Sometimes, she cried for a long time.

On the way back home, Uncle would cry too, rolling his rosary beads under his thumb. Just before we would get out of the car, he would always tell us to keep our game a secret, or we wouldn’t be able to get candy anymore. He never walked us to the door- just dropped us at the curb, and drove away. My sister, tired from our game, would usually go to bed without being told, just after we got home. I would stay up a little longer, reading my comics.

We did this every Sunday, for a few years.

.

Please let me know what you think, and thanks! -cb
17 Comments
17 Comments
Edited by cbishop

Full Fan-Fic Index:

(numerical order)(alphabetical order)(categorized: [numerically] [alphabetically])
Or maybe you just want to read the other...Original Fiction by cbishop

.

OC Names:
Characters:~
  • Delica
  • Figyuor, Father
  • Sinsovde, Father ("Uncle")
  • Skull Rosary, The
  • (unnamed mama)
  • (unnamed papa)
Comic Characters used in this fic:
CompaniesPictures
DC:The first picture is a picture of DC's Black Hand, run through Microsoft Paint to invert the colors, and used to represent my original character, The Skull Rosary. If this story ever sees print outside of Comic Vine, I'd solicit an artist to draw a true representation of The Skull Rosary.
Advance praise for The Skull Rosary #1: Remember That You Must Die:
BOOM! Nice work! Like the names of the priests, very clever. Powerful piece, well donebatkevin74
...it's even harder for me to decide who to vote forImpurestCheese
@cbishop: My vote is going to you :-)ImpurestCheese
I Vote cbishopLiberty

Oh my.

I loved all the stories -- had me horrified and laughing and even had my imagination work overtime. I said it before but it merits repeating, I am floored by the literary talent CV has.

Alas, I can pick only one and it's towards @cbishop. Just...incredible and powerful. Fantastic story weaving. I want to kick @ss with The Skull Rosary.

lykopis

My vote today goes with @cbishop by a fraction

4donkeyjohnson
@liberty said:

I Vote cbishop

This.

turoksonofstone
I'm going for CBI, I know you put a lot of work into this story and you pulled it off.
jatoe48er

@cbishop, I like the way you crafted your story, wrote it. ...Honorable mention for Cbish.

kfhrfdu_89_76k

I'm voting for @cbishop I love how you traced your story backward to help explain your hero's motivation.

dngn4774

...im going to vote for @cbishop today his is awesome

Turbinail

Voting is now over. I proudly announce the well deserving cbishop as the winner. Hazah

ImpurestCheese

Wow. Folks, I cannot adequately tell you how seriously wowed I am by this. Because of the subject matter, this was really hard for me to write, and I thought readers were going to shy away from reading it, much less voting for it. It may sound silly to say for a writing contest, but I'm humbled by your votes. Thank you so much. You've given me a much needed boost in confidence in my writing, that I wasn't even aware that I needed. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Now to right a past wrong: Back in CCC #4, @wildvine and I were locked in a tie, until a tie-breaking vote finally came in, and declared her the winner. She then bowed out, because she was going to be out of town, I was declared winner, and I did the next contest. If you'll check out the Winners Thread and Voting Stats, you'll see that her name is where it belongs, as winner of that contest. She and I have chatted in PM, and now, to make her victory complete, she is going to pick the theme for the next contest. Be afraid, writers. Be very afraid. ;)

-cb

cbishop

@cbishop: No one deserved the win this time more than you :-)

ImpurestCheese

Well done on your victory bish!

batkevin74
@cbishop said:

Now to right a past wrong... [wildvine] is going to pick the theme for the next contest. Be afraid, writers. Be very afraid. ;)

-cb

That's respectable man. Respect that a lot. Nice.

Anthony_Stark
Thank you sir. I am duly honored by this gesture. I will come up with something interesting soon.
wildvine

Thanks for stopping in! :^D

Edited by batkevin74

@cbishop: skull rosary, now ongoing and kicking more church ass!

Posted by cbishop

@batkevin74: lol, well... I'm still thinking about where to go next with it, but I do want to write more of it. Putting in my CB 1-Shots group didn't feel right.

Posted by batkevin74

@cbishop: The Church has a lot of hidden places which could us some justice-ing!

Posted by ImpurestCheese

@cbishop: Between the Skull Rosary and the Patron Saint of Crime the last character creation contest brought out the dark side of religion. Glad that both of them are going to become on-going series.

Edited by cbishop

@batkevin74 said:

@cbishop: The Church has a lot of hidden places which could us some justice-ing!

Unfortunately so, but that's not really what The Skull Rosary is about. He's pissed at one priest in particular, and by extension certain things about the church, but not necessarily the church as a whole. He's not out to avenge church wrongs, he just wants to make the man who abused his sister pay.

@impurestcheese said:

@cbishop: Between the Skull Rosary and the Patron Saint of Crime the last character creation contest brought out the dark side of religion. Glad that both of them are going to become on-going series.

A molesting priest has nothing to do with religion. He's a pervert who just happens to be a priest, and has lost all sight of what that position means. As I've said a few other times, this isn't a subject I wanted to write about, but it exists, and it fit the character's story too well, so I went with it. Exploring it deeper isn't necessarily where I want to take the story. This is a man on a mission of vengeance - it won't necessarily stay within the confines of religion and the church.

Edited by batkevin74

@cbishop: But going after one, opens a whole world. One bad priest, but his superior knew about it and did nothing etc etc Evil flourishes when good men do nothing etc etc

But I could see Skull Rosary and the Patron Saint of Crime actually begrudgingly teaming up

Posted by cbishop

@batkevin74: Actually, considering that the Patron Saint of Crime is actually a cop, I'm not sure how that would go. She has a different agenda. I'm thinking that The Skull Rosary and Heironymous may run into each other at some point though. Maybe.

Posted by batkevin74

@cbishop: The best team ups are often the most mismatched people! Tango & Cash, Green Hornet & Kato, Spider-Man & Punisher, Jay-Z & Linkin Park, Batman & Judge Dredd. I think you two should explore the possibility

Posted by cbishop

@batkevin74: @impurestcheese: I would like to see where the characters go from their first chapters, before considering a crossover (and I included ImpurestCheese in this, because he's been quiet on it so far). The more I think about it, I could see the crossover happening, but I'm not at a place with The Skull Rosary that I want to do that yet. I've got some character things to figure out yet.

Posted by ImpurestCheese

@cbishop: Wasn't thinking crossover but now...interesting but as you said maybe let the characters develop and we will see.

Edited by cbishop

@impurestcheese: I wasn't either, but y'know how @batkevin74 gets. ;) The characters definitely need time to develop into something more than their beginnings, but still, the more I think about it, the more I think it would work... we'll keep it in mind. :)

Edited by ImpurestCheese

@cbishop: Yes we shall. Siwang gets her first release tomorrow in the writer's guild thing.

Edited by cbishop

@impurestcheese: Sweet! Looking forward to seeing how that turns out (the story and the w.g.t. overall).

EDIT: Hey, see your PM.

Posted by ImpurestCheese

@cbishop: I will. Now go check the cameos you have in the latest episode of Jester's 11

Posted by lykopis

I am glad you put this out on it's own -- really loved the story and the character.

Posted by cbishop

@lykopis: Thanks. :) I want to write more, but after this chapter, I really need to sit back and think about what's next. I didn't enjoy writing this- horrible subject matter and all that- but I feel like it's got to reach the conclusion.