Liam was unable to continue his part in the Mass after baring his soul’s darkest doubts. He hurried to the sacristy, removed his robes, and left the church. It was a bitter, windy day outside and gray storm clouds were fast pushing the blue sky out to sea. Liam buttoned up his black coat and walked west across Gray’s Ferry Avenue entering the industrial area along the river. The brown death of empty factory buildings, abandoned cars, and man’s detritus felt somehow comforting to his empty heart. He had spoken of love, of God’s love, and he had spoken of faith in a God who always seemed to be looking away from them, a God who had allowed such horrible evil to prevail. Words seemed so shallow. Liam could not breathe.
There was a concrete bench by the river that seemed out of place amid the brownscape, as if in some former time people had thought that coming to this spot and sitting facing the river would be desirable. Perhaps it was. Perhaps in times like these. Liam sat on the bench and stared across the river.
Somewhere over there his two brothers were enjoying their Sunday lunch after Mass, totally unaware and uncaring of the tragedy of life in the old neighborhood. And somewhere behind him was the killer that the God of Abraham would not stop, could not stop, because He had given man the one gift that would not allow Him to stop it — free will.