Holy Water

Legends from the church tell us that some people who God sees as particularly good will find scars on their hands and feet to match the scars of Jesus. They are only legends.

Two centuries ago, an evil witch placed a curse on a young couple: their firstborn son would be born a vampire. They could not help but let him be born, but when he grew older, he murdered his parents and drank their blood. Among the undead, he could neither die nor live. Roughly a hundred years later, Victor wished to become a Christian. Let us say that he did it for love, for one can hardly have a true wish to become a Christian for any other reason.

He was afraid to dip his finger into the holy water the first time – what was the penalty for defiling holy water? He wasn’t sure. But he did it anyway. He had to.

It is a well-known fact that holy water burns vampires. Victor drew back his finger quickly. It felt like his whole hand was on fire. He shook his hand, trying to get the holy water off, and trying not to cry out.

He came back the next week, and the week after that. The first time he touched the holy water to his throat he could barely breathe for the fire, and when he touched his stomach, the holy water nearly ate a hole in it. When he got as far as the shoulders, he felt as though his arms would fall off from the hissing burning. The holy water was like acid to his skin, but after a few months, Victor was able to completely make the sign of the cross, though it hurt him horribly. And so it was that every Lord’s Day at midnight, he would go to the little church, confess his sins to the priest, large and small, and then cross himself with the holy water.

But on this particular midnight, Father Richards was gone. The week before, he’d thought he’d heard someone following him. Now he was on guard.

Victor investigated. He walked over to the confessional. The last thing he saw was Father Richards laying dead on the floor with a gash wound in his neck and a different vampire leaning over him. Then a second vampire shoved a stake through Victor’s heart.

“Throw some holy water on him,” Vlad said.

“What’s it matter; he’s dead,” Viva answered. But she dumped the holy water from the font over Victor anyway, careful not to spill any on herself.

Then something very strange happened. Instead of eating at his skin like acid, the holy water ate away the stake through Victor’s heart. He rose up with a confused look on his face. Viva and Vlad were stunned, then began moving toward him, stakes held high.

And then a light like the sun shot out from the Victor’s heart. Viva and Vlad melted away like a horrible metaphor in the hands of a great writer.

Victor stood up and entered the confessional. He placed a hand on Father Richards’ head, and to his surprise, the gash in the old man’s throat vanished away. Victor pulled back his hand quickly, but it was done. Father Richards blinked his eyes open.

“What… what happened, Victor?” he asked.

“It doesn’t matter. It’s over.”

Victor confessed his sins to Father Richards, and as he left, he dipped his fingers in another bath of holy water and crossed himself. It hurt like hell.

The next morning, he covered the scars on his hands with gloves and the scars on his feet with socks. He didn’t remember getting them the night before and wasn’t sure where they had come from.

About David M. Schell






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