Okay, here’s the deal, read parts 1 to 3 first then come back here.
Okay, we all good, cat okay, lorry driver found yet, anyhoo, this trilogy has turned into fourthology so there goes the book deal. But look at it like this, if you stick it out to the end you can think to yourself “Today I have done a good deed.” In return for your deed you don’t have to go to church ever again, well not really just foolin’. Let’s face it there will be weddings, funerals and that thing where they poor water on ya noggin and I’m sure there are more but I can’t cope with more than I already know.
Okay, so the story goes, um, hang on just reading the last few paragraphs from episode 3, yeah, yeah know that bit, tell pokies, starts at ten, now I remember.
So ten comes and I head to my least favorite place, a church. As I turn the corner I see the church up ahead and it looks beautiful, restored and tastefully renovated, it was outstanding.
Billy was the gate and shouted “Come on Sandy lets meet Father Bent” and off we go. “So Billy what is it you want me to do today?” I ask sincerely, truly out of character. Pretentious I know, as we walk along the road to damnation, gee, so dramatic Sandy it’s just a friggin church I says to myself as I forgot to add the inverted commas.
“Dunno” says Billy in his usual non-chalant way. Now seeing that my spell checker doesn’t like non-chalant, oh, I see it wants me to put it as one word, fancy that, a spell checker running your life, strange story we are in, hmm. Maybe it isn’t a real word and what’s real anyway. Yet I digress. “Just tag along with me and see what I do today, it’s great you’ll love it” enthuses Billy.
“But Billy” I push bringing us to a halt, the anxiety was palpable like it was something that you could palp, anyhoo “ I don’t believe in God” I confess.
Billy goes pale in the face and dark clouds come over and blackens the sky. The wind starts to roar like a thousand lions, rain lashes our clothes and we are drenched to the bone. Billy rises in the air and revolves to turn and face me as if magic.
[Cut cut cut, Mike the editor here, you have just blown the special effects budget on that scene Mark. We had zero cents to start with now we have minus zero. Mark: Thanks mate, it matters so much to me ennui appears a more preferable option…]
[Billy here Mark, nice lead in, how’s my hair look? Mark: You’re cool dude…]
“Okay Sandy this is how we deal with God here in our church. There is nothing wrong with believing in God, that’s fine as long as it’s peaceful it’s cool. Me and you don’t believe in God, that’s cool too as long as we are peaceful, we don’t shove ours down them they don’t shove theirs down us. Okay, is that clear.” asserts Billy. Wow an assertive speech in a Father O’Way story, what is the world coming to or too but not two?
“Yeah but why be a church at all and for that matter why priests?” I ask sensibly which is incredibly rare.
“If I told you that I’d have to kill you” grins Billy “there’s lots more you need to know and anyway I can’t give away the whole story now can I” frowns Billy.
And yes we had a day to remember for sure. We guide each group to their own individual prayer room, well I was going to say chapel but for all the words that describe a room where people meet and say prayers, to their God, recite ancient texts to each other is a prayer room, okay, all good.
After the service, all the different groups gather under a large marquee where each group provides some food and drink on a giant table for everyone to eat. Not for the groups, it’s for the invited guests first, we serve them, assist them and when their needs are met we eat.
This weeks invitees are the residents of the St Porcine Nursing Home. Its just down the road and round the corner, so we bring them over in buses. Another bus will drive around the streets and ask any of the homeless to come over for a shower, meal and clean clothes. This is complex fiction here, hope you are hanging in there.
It just felt great, not like the taxing wing nut job. Now I’d wish I’d come over with Billy. “Sandy, come over and meet Father Veritas Bent, he prefers just to be called Veri. Now Veri is going to be promoted to Bishop and that means there is a vacancy for a ‘kind hearted boy‘ at the church.” informs Billy. “You would be great, you enjoyed yourself today I can read you like a book…
[Mark: Billy,working on a book but it’s a slow process. Billy: Cheers Mark, good for you]
“…and fancy having a job that is fun and that you can’t wait to start” continues Billy like all good proselytisers do.
But yes, I didn’t look forward to going to work and even though Madame La SpaghettiBolognaise has a genuine heart I didn’t look forward to there either, well not quite, her garlic and mushroom linguine was stunning.
So I met Veri and that’s how the whole thing began. I’m now Father Sandy O’Way of the Church of St Generic Brand, Inner Cyberia.