Ambrose was only dimly aware of Barbara chit-chatting with her dad about Father Landover. He caught maybe a word here or there: a noun, a verb, a prepositional phrase, a couple of spare adjectives.
None of it added up to anything close to a legitimate sentence.
He looked out at the passing cornfields.
What if he isn’t in?
What if he doesn’t feel well?
He is pastor to a bunch of vampires. What if he’s been bit and changed? Would he still be able to perform his priestly duties? What if he’s been bit and killed? Where would that leave us?
What would we do?
Who would marry us?
Where would we have to go?
What if he’s the only one who will do it?
What then? What will we do?
He looked at her as she giggled at something her father said.
I don’t want to shack up with her. I know she wouldn’t want to either.
I want to marry her.
But what if I can’t?
What will I do?
She pulled into the parking lot and parked the car.
Doors opened: One. Two.
Doors closed: One. Two.
She came around to his side of the car and opened his door. “Hey, handsome.”
He looked up at her.
“You coming out?”
“What if something’s wrong? What if something goes wrong? What if…what if I ruin everything?”
Her expression softened. “You won’t. So, don’t worry.” She held her hands out to him. “Come.”
He curled his hands over her fingers.
She turned them down into her palms and pulled him out of the car.
He looked down at their hands. “Barbara. If there is something wrong with me…If we can never be as husband and wife, will you still love me?”
“Hmm. I think that falls into the ‘In sickness and health’ category.” She kissed his knuckles. “I will always love you, Ambrose Smith.”
Her father cleared his throat. “I hate to interrupt, but we should go inside.”
They entered the church.
It was mostly empty.
A couple of people sat in the pews.
A handful knelt in face-covered prayer.
He followed Barbara and her father into a pew.
Ambrose sat. He glanced at the handful of people praying.
Are they vampires too?
Are they just like me?
Are their prayers similar to mine?
What grace led them here?
He looked towards the altar.
To the large crucifix hanging above it.
All of his fears and doubts returned in a hard-hitting surge.
He went down on his knees.
God, please. Please. I’m scared. There are so many what if’s running through my mind. Especially in regards to my health. Please. What I have done, I have done and regretted it. Please don’t give me one more reason to regret my actions. Please let those results come back okay.
Maybe I’m being too demanding. Maybe I don’t deserve this one small mercy. Maybe You can see the good that could come of me being positive for an STD. Whatever that would be.
Please let me be okay.
Dear Father, I’m scared.
Someone touched his arm – the one that was facing the aisle.
Father Landover smiled at him.
Well, he’s alive and happy. That’s one load off my mind. Is he still human, though?
“Come to the rectory.” he said in a soft whisper. “And we’ll talk.”