squeaking along the windy road, absorbing any bumps along the way. When we arrived, myfather made me carry my bow and the quiver of arrows he had whittled the day before. I madequite a ruckus in the quiet forest; my father only had to look at me and I made sure to watch myfooting. Not even a twig would be snapped without his permission. We scouted around until wefound a good spot to wait in. I had hoped my father would climb up a tree with a wooden spearand jump down to impale a wild boar like Rambo. Instead, we waited. We waited for whatseemed like hours
, my father’s silence meant that I had to be silent. He leaned against an old,
dead log, remaining motionless like a wooden statue. It was as if he was a part of the log itself, Ifought the temptation to poke him with my bow, just to see if he had life in him. But it was onlya few minutes before my father spotted an offering worthy of killing. There was so much blood.Thinking of the blood still makes my skin crawl and my mind quickly comes back to my greyoffice, my uneven desk, and the ritual before me.
I open the cylinder to make sure that it’s empty,
half-expecting a bullet to be in thechamber, but there is none. I roll the cylinder listening to the rapid clicks before snapping thecylinder back into the chamber. I hold the gun and scan around my office
because I feel I’m
being watched, now more than ever before, but there is no one in this crowded room. My desk takes up half of the space
and on it sit books that I’ve allowed to pile up over the few years I’ve
been a pastor. There are three stacks of books, categorized into different genres: classic Christianliterature such as
fiction by Dostoevsky and O’Connor; and
corny, modern Christian books that come off more as self-help books.
The latter category is piledup higher than the rest as members of my congregation thought I could use inspiring words byfamous pastors of mega-
churches to “encourage” my walk with the Lord. I’m sure they wantedme to take a hint, “This is the way you should preach. Short, concise phrases that everyone will