Through the Eyes of Madness—Part Eleven
By: David K. Montoya

Just like most early Saturday mornings Father O'Neil was found at the alter of the Saint Xenia Cathedral, he was three hours deep into a cleansing prayer. The elderly holy man felt that he had a lot to atone for, since he begin his quest to find his only child. He was well aware that his ministry suffered, but that was not enough to detour him.

In fact, despite being warned by the clergy that if his offspring were indeed found, that ramification could be suffered and it possibly might cost O'Neil his priesthood. Due to the fact that when he was very and applied to enter Seminary, the future–priest stated he had no children.

Father O'Neil kept those frustrations to himself, but deep down inside those threats angered him greatly. If O'Neil was in his younger years, he might have even made his anger known. But he was too old and had not the energy to fight the Church, he even pondered retiring the cloth, so to depart with respect and keep face.

But quickly dismissed those ideas, after all, how could they remove him from priesthood? O'Neil could had been removed from the church, sure, but to be stripped on that honor as a Holy Father, that was actually very unlikely.

Especially since he held dual masters degrees—one in philosophy and the other, of course, religion. He was not a cheap weekend preacher, but a highly educated man of God and no one could change that—church or no church.

"Father O'Neil," a warm voice that came from behind him asked. The old priest glanced up and found a tall dark man that stared back at him. "Are you Father Peter O'Neil?"

"Yes my son, I'm he," Father O'Neil said as he stood to his feet and faced the tall and stocky man who faced him. "How may I be of assistance to you?"

"Hello Father, I'm Billy Withers," he said and an awkward silence followed, until the man continued, "I am with Fair View Adoption Center... I'm here about your request to locate your son."

"Oh yes," O'Neil said while he snatched up his guest's hand and gave it an excitable handshake. "Pleasure to meet you acquaintance, Mister Withers."

The younger of the two men smiled in response to his elder's visible excitement. "The pleasure in all mine, Father. Is there somewhere we can sit?"

The two men walk from the alter and set on a wooden pew before Withers asked, "Father. I am here to collect any information that can be gathered to decide if special circumstances should be given to you on this matter."

"Oh, of course, Mister Withers," Father O'Neil said with an authentic smile. "What would you like to know?"

Withers leaned back into his seat and crossed his arms and softly replied, "I know that this may be uncomfortable for you to relive, but I need to know why you gave your child up for adoption on the first place."

#

It was 1950 and Wynonie Harris' smash hit Rock, Mr. Blues! blared from the speakers of Pat's 1940 Ford Deluxe Convertible Club Coupe. He and his gal, April, stood next to the open passenger side door of his car and they danced to the beat.

Pat a member of a local street gang, was know for his fast car and his even faster temper. But when he was with April, the known tough guy was as gentle as a kitty cat. He was two years her senior, and while his did not offer her much in the way of a living, but in return offered his love in exchange.

For April Kamprad money was not an issue, as she was a member of the Kamprad Family. Perhaps that was what drew her to Pat O'Neil, she was sick of money hungry power mongers that lingered the halls of her home like a foul odor of a wild skunk that was free to run a muck.

April's family detested Pat. They did not understand how someone from an American Royalty bloodline like the Kamprads, had even the slightest of interest in a poor peasant nonetheless a hoodlum. As for the O'Neil's they had no clue, of the relationship, as both father and mother were immigrants from Ireland and worked long hours to provide for their nine kids.

As Winter turned to Spring, like any young couple Pat and April could not keep their hands off of each other, despite the constant threats made from the Kamprads. Everyday the two would meet up at a hay field, some days the would spend their time together simply as the cut a rug, like that particular day.

While the lovers danced they knew that soon enough before they went their separate ways for the day, a discussion about the baby needed to be made. While Pat would much rather ignored it, than face the consequences, he knew the daylight drew to an end and it was time as he broke the silence, "April?"

"Yes," she answered with genuine interest.

"What are we going to do with the baby," Pat asked with apprehension mixed into his words.

"Oh, Pat," was all she said.

"What's the matter, April?" Pat asked.

April did not speak, the lines in her worried face told the story to her lover. After a brief moment of silence, Pat asked in panic, "April? April, what did you do?"

"Oh, Pat," April said once again, and then look up in sadness and continued softly. "I'm sorry."

Panic flooded over Pat.

He grabbed her by the arms and pulled April to his chest. Pat saw it in her eyes, she had done something bad and now was filled with guilt.

"What did you do, April," he asked in a stern tone. "Tell me."

"I'm sorry."

It was in that moment a brand new blue and silver Bentley appeared from the surrounding field. Pat watched as two more appeared and blocked his Ford in, he looked down at her one last time and asked, "April, what did you, do?"

Fear churned in Pat's stomach as he watched as the Kamprad's hired help got out of the first to vehicles. His suspensions of who was in the final car was answered as April's mother and father stepped out. They glared at him with great disdain and utter hatred, but it was who exited the vehicle next that sent his world spinning like a top.

It was Colin and Alma O'Neil, Pat's parents. He studied their faces as the climbed from the Bentley, embarrassment and humiliation traced their tired and overworked eyes. Pat glanced down at April and noticed he was wept heavily, but never let go of her embrace on him.

Everyone stood in silenced for a brief moment, until Mister Kamprad called to April with a rigid force. "Enough of this none sense, child, come to your mother and I at this moment."

April looked up at Pat, he saw the sorrow in her eyes and knew the end of their story had arrived. "Go on now."

She let go of her embrace and slowly walked over to her parents, once April faced her mother they walked away together and went inside the Bentley.

"I—" Pat tried to say, but was interrupted by his Father.

"Shut it, boy," Colin spat. "Did you really do it, boy?"

"Yes papa, but I love her," he answered.

"Hogwash!" Mister Kamprad exclaimed. "You two are too young to know what is good for you."

"So what are we to do, Mister Kamprad?" Colin asked directly.

"As discussed on the way over here, I will arrange for my daughter to give birth to the bastard."

Kamprad's choice of words, made both O'Neil men's blood boil.

"In return for not pressing charges against your heathen son, and spending his like forever behind bars, he must apply to Seminary."

"Seminary," Pat cried out. "That's no better than spending life in the slammer, Papa!"

"Shut it, boy, we're trying to save your hide," Colin advised his son. He turned to Mr. Kamprad and asked, "And Alma and I keep our jobs?"

Pat heard the words of his father and a sinking feeling of doom blanketed him. He now realized that there was nothing that could had been done and for the sake of his entire family, Pat walked away from the mother of his unborn child and became a Priest of the Clergy.

#

Billy Withers sat next to Father O'Neil with his mouth gaped open disbelief. He had so many questions, how could a man almost nine decades old go that long in a life that he did not want. The social worker tried to fathom that painful existence, but was unable to comprehend the grief and pain the old priest must had endured in his lifetime. There were so many question, he wanted to ask, but realized it was not his place to ask those sorts of questions—but, he knew he needed to right the wrong that was done to the Priest almost fifty–five years ago.

"Father, you're story moved me," Billy said flatly. "I will do everything I physically can do to find your child."

A smile appeared on his lips and Father O'Neil said softly thank you.

#

While it was early on a Saturday morning, Betty was in a full on dance to Magic Carpet Ride. While things were certainly complicated in her life, she was content to it. While there were a few things that she held from her lover (which was for his own good), they had an open relationship and that for the most part made her happy.

As her hips swayed to the groove, her body instantly became tense once she realized there was a blade of a very large and sharp survival knife help to her throat. She moved in the direction her assailant lead, once she noticed they were headed for the front door fear engulfed her.

"What do you want from me," Betty asked softly as she possibly could.

"You are going to help make me famous," the man replied as they exited the apartment.

To be continued…

-

Rate David K. Montoya's Through the Eyes of Madness—Part Eleven

Let The Contributor Know What You Think!

HTML Comment Box is loading comments...