We are starting a new series as part of our Good News blog entitled the Cult Fiction Series. Our first author and contributor we will be featuring in the coming months is Sam Haine hailing from New York City. His short story With Every Secret Thing is the first part of this new series.
Joe Pitts (editor)
With Every Secret Thing
Written by Sam Haine
It must be the devil’s work bringing this winter storm tonight. Cold and frigid air gusts so thick, the wind hits you like a bag of bricks. I can barely think straightunder these current conditions.This is becoming more difficult but not impossible. Every part of me wants to turn away in spite of knowing what has to be donefor the sake of family.
Just after 1:35 in the morning, on one of those one way streets whereseldom any cars cruise down this avenue after hours; when everyone knows to shut in and settle down inside their homes.
“Lord I know you are with me. Save your servant who believes in you. Who trusts in you and keeps your word even amongst the wolves in the darkness. Though I may stumble and fall,please understand my vision is true and my heart pure. Amen”, I prayed.
The snowfall is starting to come down heavier. I put on my gloves and pull my hoodie tightly on the pull strings under my chin.I cautiously climb the gate, one foot after the other.
- “And it shall be said, “Build up, build up, prepare the way, remove every obstruction from my people's way.”—Isaiah57:14
The window at the far right is never locked and can be opened from the outside easily by pressing in and up on the glass with your hands.It takes a few tries but moves a few inches at firstthen some more untilfinally I can get just enough wiggle room to slide myself inside.
Lisa lives here alone and on nights like this has a habit of turning off all the lights except the night light in her bedroom.
I removed my boots and tip-toe the rest of the way eliminating noise and avoiding a trail of wet footprints and sludge.
- “When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?”—Psalm56:3-4
I see nothing in this dark; only the soft silhouettes of her furniture and the bedroom doorthinly outlined by amber light at the other end. Fortunately, I’ve been inside this apartment enough times to navigate my way around in pitch darkness. In total I’ve spent the night here twelve times in the past. The first time was after Sunday sermon and the last time was Memorial Day.
LisaD’Agostino was an unfortunate soul. She was born with a full heart but bereftof maturity. Born into a broken home and daughter to an abusive stepfather. She had run away from home at the age of 14 to live on the streets, moving from squat to squat until her 16th birthday when her mother died. She was left with a small inheritance. She lived alone in a low rent apartment on the other side of town. No relatives, no friends and no support system. She found a flyer for our church and attended some sermons before deciding to join my wife’s bible study.
My wife Anna was organizing the community events for our congregation the week Lisa started. So I took it upon myself to personally attend to her studies. It took no more than 3 private lessons before I walked like a foolbetween the steel teeth of sin.Our affair felt like Christmas. The flesh is weak and delicate and gives easily.
4 months passed like weeks and in that time she had become a recurring guest at my house.Helping my wife with meals; holding hands during grace; and babysitting our two children. Shortly after Memorial Day she stopped coming for service and bible study. I began to suspect the worse until recently, when she sent photos to my mobile phone. They were sonogram stills.
We had a meeting a few days after and I expressed my urgency to end this now before it worsened. She refused and stated that this is the meaning and purpose she had been looking for, her whole life.
“Now I can be the parent I never had”, she said.
I became angered immediately.She put her arms around me and told me she loved me. I pushed her off of me and couldn’t even look her in the eye.
“That child is a bastard and a sin. Do you have any idea what this will do to me? How could you have been so stupid to let this happen? I bet this never happened with any of those johns you met on the street. So, why should I be surprised now? I should’ve known you were no good.” I said.
She looked at me for a moment with confusion just as the reality of things built up in her eyes.
“How stupid could I have been?” she said.
She called me a false prophet and swore to never terminate and to never deny her child what she was never given. She turned her back on me and walked away.
I sat in my car and thought of the mistakes and consequences. When I arrived home, Anna called me to the kitchen. She said she had received an urgent call from Lisa and needed to speak with her soon;something about confessing.
“It sounded serious. Like she was in trouble” said Anna.
“Anna, you know that girl’s mind can wander in the clouds sometimes. And even if it is something serious, you sure you want to get involved.You do know about her history? She comes from trouble,” I said.
But I knew that it was only a matter of time before the truth came to light. I was on borrowed time and standingto lose everything I had gathered for myself. Thatwas the moment I knew I had to be here tonight in this apartment.
- “Fear not, for you will not be ashamed; be not confounded, for you will not be disgraced; for you will forget the shame of your youth, and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more.”--Isaiah 54:4
I slowly crept to the bedroom door gripping the utility knife in my hand. Hesitating for a moment to think about what I was going to do and thought about Lisa and the baby. But the hesitation passed quickly – I’ve already made a life for myself and my livelihood is on the table. I made my peace with the lord and promised to never stray again after tonight andbe born again in the blood and fortified from this moment on. The door knob turns quietly and smoothly. The sharp blade extended after three clicks on the handle.It would be quick and with immediacy.
Everyone will think a fatal home invasion took the life of a young expecting mother.The moment of truth was now and I inhaled the last gasp before the leap.
I rushthe door with my weapon at the ready. The door swings open violently just as a sudden flash hits my eyes. The purest light I have ever seen; pale and instantaneous.
I never heard the shot, only the screaming. I fell to the floor gasping for air. My chest felt warm and my lungs were collapsingwith each breathe as the bullet wound began burning.Lisa couldn’t have… she doesn’t carry. Then I heard her voice,it was Anna.
It was too late. Lisa must havealready confessed to Anna the whole truth in that one phone call. Anna lied to me.
“I didn’t believe her. I didn’t want to believe her but I also couldn’t believe that she would make up such a lie. Until you came home and I saw that look in your eyes when I told you she called the house. That’s when I knew it was true. Tonight I came here to confront you both. But never in amillion years would I have thought that you would hurt anyone or worse...I can never forgive you for what you’ve done. I just pray God has mercy on you for whatever you are because you deserve none in this life,”said Anna.
Lisa cried hysterically for the next few moments while Anna placed her personal carry .38 on the dresser and dialed the police.
It’s getting harder and harder to breath.The room is fadingin and out from warm colors into black. Lisa’s tears are beginning to make no sound at all.I looked forward to the warmth of the white light... but it never came. There was nothing. There was only the feeling of absence and the great abyss swallowing me downward.
- “There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.”—Proverbs6:16–19
Sam HaiNe is a writer of short stories and flash fiction. He is the creator and writer of Hainesville (facebook.com/allhailming). He is also contributing writer for NewRetroWave.com‘s monthly movie segment.