by Matt Sorensen
Copyright 2010 Matt Sorensen
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His given name was Aloysius Patrick Mahoney but he hadn’t used it for so many years he had almost forgotten it. Father Paul now sat day after day at a little table, the only piece of furniture in his whitewashed cell, aside from a pair of wooden chairs, a cot, and a coat rack on which hung the dress uniform of an Army Captain, decorated with campaign ribbons from two World Wars and the Korean conflict; the lapels adorned with gold Chaplain's crosses.
Father Paul stared, vacantly, at a rosary, his lips moving soundlessly as he fingered the wooden beads. A shaft of sunlight from a small window high on the South wall illuminated a crucifix mounted above a bookshelf that contained a small statue of St. Francis, a worn and dog-eared Holy Bible and an equally worn volume of Plutarch’s Lives. A bare light bulb, suspended from a frayed cord in the center of the room, added a cold and eerie illumination to the scene.