Broken Angels (Katie Maguire)

Free Broken Angels (Katie Maguire) by Graham Masterton

Book: Broken Angels (Katie Maguire) by Graham Masterton Read Free Book Online
Authors: Graham Masterton
but I agree with you. Our Monsignor Kelly was definitely trying a little too hard to point our noses in one particular direction – away from something that makes him feel very uncomfortable.’
    Katie held up Brendan Doody’s green-scrawled note. ‘I’ll tell you another thing,’ she said, ‘this confession doesn’t ring true at all.’
    ‘He admits he did it, like.’
    ‘I know. But it reads like it was written by an educated man pretending to be uneducated. There’s misspellings in it, for sure, but whoever wrote it has misspelled words like “intimate” that an uneducated man would never have used in the first place. Like “ torment ”. Did you ever meet an odd-job man who talked about “torment”?’
    They crossed the car park and climbed back into their car. Katie said, ‘I just don’t understand why the church is so set on laying the blame on this Brendan Doody fellow. I mean, is he really dead, or have they spirited him away for some reason so that we can never find him?’
    Chief Superintendent O’Driscoll pulled a face. ‘Let’s see if he shows up first. And if he shows up dead, let’s hope and pray that he really did do himself in. If he didn’t , this case is going to turn into a right pig’s dinner, and no mistake.’

    Father Quinlan heard a clock strike five somewhere in the street outside. His whole being throbbed with pain – every nerve, every tendon, every muscle – but he had been hanging here for so long that, in some otherworldly way, he had begun to grow used to it. He wondered if Christ had felt the same, nailed to the cross.
    The afternoon sun had moved around, so that only a thin triangular slice of it was shining in through the windows. He was alone in the bathroom, but he could still hear the thin, high voices of the St Joseph’s Orphanage Choir. They were singing ‘Bring Flowers of the Rarest’, which was traditionally sung in May – next month – to accompany the crowning of a statue of the Virgin Mary with a garland of flowers. It brought a sudden flood of tears to Father Quinlan’s eyes, even more copious than the tears that he had been weeping all afternoon because of the agony that he was suffering.
    He sobbed, and his sobbing made his broken ribs grind against each other, and he cried out even louder.
    ‘ Where are you ?’ he shouted, or tried to shout, because his throat was dry and he could hardly draw breath. ‘ Where are you, you devil ? Why don’t you kill me and have done with it ?’
    The singing went on, and again Father Quinlan thought that he heard somebody galumphing down a flight of stairs, but still nobody appeared. It was worse in a way to suffer alone than to be taunted by the Grey Mullet Man. At least when the Grey Mullet Man had been here he had felt as if somebody cared about his pain, even if he relished it.
    Suddenly, however, the bathroom door opened and for a moment, before it closed again, he heard the choir singing louder:
    ‘ O Mary! We crown you with blossoms today,
    Queen of the flowers, Queen of the May! ’
    He lifted his head, even though he could feel the tendons in his neck crackling. The Grey Mullet Man was standing on the other side of the room beside the bathtub, with his arms folded. He had taken off his grey jacket, and was now wearing an ankle-length apron made of red rubber. His bare forearms were decorated with tattoos, mostly of fish, as far as Father Quinlan could see.
    ‘Did I hear you calling out for me, father?’ he asked. This time, he spoke softly and melodiously, like a mother who hears her child crying in the night.
    ‘I thought I was alone,’ wept Father Quinlan.
    ‘How could you think such a thing, father?’ said the Grey Mullet Man – but now his voice was hoarser and harsher, the same as it had been before. ‘Don’t you know that God is always with us, and even when God has to take His eyes off us, for a moment or two, one of his angels is always watching? We are never alone.’

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