Willard and Sabrina waited in the parking lot of the La Placita Mission, the late morning sun cut through the black film of the car windows on their SPF 100 soaked skin. Willard’s cell buzzed, Lizard and his passenger were nearby.
It was a modest place, a small stone chapel set among one hundred-year oaks. Willard and Sabrina felt the weight of the cross on them as they entered the sanctuary. They averted their eyes from the Christ, a plain hand carved figure in exquisite agony hanging on a simple wooden cross. Beneath him on a scarlet covered pedestal embroidered with gold crosses was a hand hammered copper baptismal. Sabrina was dressed in modest black with a lace scarf of piety draped over her ebony hair.
“This is a place of poison,” she said, “The windows are covered with portraits of suffering and salvation, the sun is most unkind. The light from these images is invested with harm for us.”
“Be strong my love, seek out the priest and prevent his interference.”
“I fear the presence of his cross,” she said.
“He is a simple man of God. His fantasies are of demons from another world. He knows not of our kind. You are a sad woman. A lamb who has strayed, who has been unfaithful. Your burden is great. Ask him the way back to forgiveness and fidelity. He is a lonely man. Nothing appeals to these celibates more than providing comfort to the newly repentant. They find fallen women of great beauty such as yourself particularly attractive.”
Sabrina made her way down the hall.
Willard found the single confessional and took the seat. He pulled the black hood of his dark cloak over his head to obscure his face, he closed the curtain. The steps of Van Helsing approached. The door opened, the ancient seat creaked as the old German kneeled.
“Forgive me father, for I have sinned.”
Willard spoke through the cloth, “What troubles you my son?”