The Rise of Judas Valentine: A Short Story Series

Black tunics drag against the cobblestone floor, catching water from scattered puddles. The women wearing them whisper softly into thin vails covering their faces. Wrinkled knuckles shiver and choke at rosaries clenching against their chests. Side by side they step with the rhythm of their hymens. Pausing only to breathe and lick parched lips. In the middle of them all, a fair-haired child holds the hand of a priest. The man’s eyes sunken in and hooded, with a permanent scowl as if he was constantly disappointed. He kept a tight hold on the boy’s wrist, pulling him ever so slightly that he would skip a step from the force.

“Now remember boy, you have been chosen by God. It is a right as his child to serve him in repenting for your sin.” His flat voice came out only as a whisper to the boy’s ears, drawing away his bright eyes from the dim walls.  

“But why must I do this father, for I have not sinned.” He replies only to be silenced by the priest’s hand, gaining a fat lip from his white knuckles. He should have known better than to talk back, this was his only chance to redeem himself and his family for his bastardry. For the remaining duration of the walk, he was to remain silent and listen to the sisters. Kneading into the white dress he was placed into, after being scrubbed off of the dirt from the cell he had been sleeping in for the past month.

Towards the end of the hall, a large wooden door bolted in brass bolts creaks to the hand of the leading sister. As it parts, a rush of cold air slips under the boy’s dress and down the hall in cyclones. Illuminated by torches a marble pedestal stands in the center of stone seats, surrounding in a half moon towards the door. A seat for each sister as one by one they sit with their hands flat against their lap. The priest pushes the boy through the doorway, letting the last two nuns close the door behind them. When the last seats where filled the room fell silent, only the boy’s breath could be heard.

Taking to the stand, the Priest spreads his arms out. Leaning back into the little amount of light, seeping into the underground room of the chapel. “God created us in his image, shaped us with his holy light with the idea of sin. Sin is what brought the apple to be eaten, sin is what brought us to the plague killing our brothers and sisters… Sin is why we stand before this child, who will give up his mortality to forgive our Father for such sins. So that we may live another day, and spread our wisdom to the world.”

His cry carries to the sisters in silence, letting it settle before he spoke again. “Let this child become an angel of his army. To follow in his light and shield us from the demon’s that spread sickness and sin.”

From behind the nuns grab the boy and take him to the pedestal. Pressing his back against the smooth marble, as the Priest shifts to stand by the boy’s feet.

“Please, Father welcome your child to the light…” He says to the ceiling as the sister beside him hands him a ritual knife, and the boy shuts his eyes. There was no light when he closed them, only the still cold till he lifts from the pedestal, naked with the dismembered head of the priest in his lap. His stomach gashed open dripping in gold where his organs should be. As it covers the priest's face and the dismembered bodies of the cult sisters. He turns to look across the room at the gruesome sight, feeling something heavy on his back that wasn’t there before. Thick jet-black wings resided on his bare back, caked in fathers as long as a full-grown man’s fingers. As he felt them in shock he winced to the pain on his head. Shakily rubbing up to his face to the tip of his forehead, he felt small curled horns poke at his fingertips. What they did to him was beyond words, his sin had carried beyond the light and into the shadows. The nameless child reborn into the world as Judas.

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