Knocking On Heaven’s Door

Sarah casts a cold eye over the guy in the back seat – so this is Brick. He would have been quite handsome if he lost the ridiculous beard.

“It’s been a while Sarah, after I got you and McGivney away on the boat…I hear you’ve been doing well for yourself…never expected to find you here…never expected to find me here either…”

“McGivney, he has a lot to answer for, a helluvah lot. Your friend is quiet.”

“He’s just upset because we put him in the back, at least it’s not the boot, I’ve spent quite a bit of time in car boots lately…but that’s another story…”

Where are we Few? I’ve been in some real fucked up situations but this is well…it’s fucking surreal for want of a better word…you saw the priest too….I…can you get us out of here?

Look, it’s not exactly been a walk in the park for us either, Bricks’ been through some …well….I’m surprised he’s with us at all

There’s a small hamlet up ahead, a the get closer they see that it’s Knock, land of apparitions and miracles as if they haven’t had enough of those for one lifetime…Sarah stares at the giant billboard “Who Needs CCTV when Jesus is Always Watching. Welcome to Knock”. Oh holy fucking Christ not here again…not

Five Years Earlier

Ray and Sarah go the old church in Knock via a back door that they found ajar, they close and lock it behind them.

“I haven’t been in a confession box for years, I was always fascinated by them. You know I always thought they were piled high with hats when I was a kid. I thought if you pulled back the curtains all these hats would come tumbling out. I was so excited making my first confession…”

“Did you ever read that Brendan Behan story about it?”

“No Ray, it was Frank O’Connor, Behan wrote The Confirmation Suit.”

Everbody’s clever nowadays. I didn’t think you’d read books.”

“I’ll read your book in a minute you bollocks.”

Sarah opens the door and steps in. “Come over here Ray, there’s room in her for two.” She pulls him in after her.

Sarah is whispering now Bless me Father for I have sinned. She kisses Ray deeply pulling the door closed behind her. The church is empty; the silence broken by the moans of the lovers in the confession box, their animal voices rising up and mingling with the lowing of the cows out on the dark hills of Mayo. Christ peers down from his lonely tower,  unutterably heart-broken.

The vestry door opens and a priest walks out carrying a smoking thurible up to the altar. He surveys the desolate church and then a loud groan stops him dead in his tracks.

Sounding unsure and not a little bit spooked, why is it that priests, card-carry believers in the supernatural, are always so terrified by the unexpected? He proffers a hesitant “Hello…Is anyone there?” The padre figures out where the noise is coming from and heads to  the confession box.

“Oh shite Ray there’s someone there, coming this way, We have to get out of here. Pull up your fucking trousers and come the fuck on.”

She bursts out of the box dragging Ray after her just as the priest reaches them, they bowl him over, knocking the incense canister out of his hands and into a rack of glowing devotional candles, there’s a whoosh of flames and the velvet drapes go up in a wall of fire as Sarah and Ray run out through a side-door, followed by a very shocked priest in hot pursuit.

Sarah and Ray scarper down a laneway and run into a group of Spanish pilgrims, all carrying long flaming tapers in the gathering dusk. They run through, the priest, with some difficulty, keeps up with them. They turn a corner into an even smaller lane, suddenly the crowds disappear, there’s little noise but their feet clattering on the street as they struggle for breath. .The priest careers around after them and stumbles over a broken statue of the Virgin Mary. He falls over and cries out in agony. Sarah and Ray, holding hands like terrified young lovers, stop for a split second to look at the prone holyman. Everything slows down. The priest, for the first time, gets to have a good look at the people he has been chasing, Sarah and Ray suddenly realise he is in no state to follow them now, he’s obviously broken something in the fall.

“Jesus Sarah, come on will you let’s get the hell out of here..”

“But he’s seen us Ray, he can identify me…us…”

“Sure most of the country will be able to identify us in a few hours…..what does it matter If he gets to see us first?

Sarah, ignoring Ray, lets go of his hand. She turns to face the priest full on.

“What’s your name Father?”

“Francis Cleary, Father Francis Cleary.”

“You must be delighted with the new pope father, being a namesake and all. Cleary’s clock, or crock in this case….why are you chasing us father?”

“The church….the fire…..it’s my church. I’m responsible for it…”

“Responsible Father? Responsible?”

She steps forward and kicks him hard in the ribs. He cries out in pain.

“Sarah, what the fuck, he hasn’t done anything! Cop fucking on”

“He hasn’t done anything? How do you know that Ray? They’ve alldone something Ray, Isn’t that right father?”

She spits on him, it lands on his face, she kicks him again. And again. Again.

“YOU FUCKING SON OF A FUCKING BITCH PIECE OF FUCKING FILTH SHIT BASTARD”

Ray grabs her and eventfully manages to pull her away but she turns on him and starts tearing at his face.

“Fuck you Ray, fuck you, who do you fucking think you are dragging me down to this God-forsaken shithole and then you have the bleedin’ audacity to do this, to tell me I’m to take it easy, so fuck you Ray this fucker was going to finish us, finish us Ray, before we had a chance to get your man. I’m stuck here with YOU while my fucking dad is bleeding out in The Mater. Dying Ray and I can’t…just fuck off Ray… GET AWAY FROM ME”

Sarah pushes Ray over, he lands on the priest’s already fucked leg, we hear a bone snap, and the priest goes limp and silent. She legs it out of the alley leaving Ray struggling to get up.

Stop the Car Few, I’m getting out.