“Not Your Steppin’ Stone”. It’s a 6.

Luca Domenico Lazarus, ordained into the Dominican Order, was a priest with a secret. A secret, should it be discovered, that most certainly would lead to his disgrace, excommunication from the Church and in the mercurial halls of justice, possible legal charges. Father Lazarus has not been sleeping welland so, reached out to his trusted friend, Tomasso.


Sequestered like first time jurors in a high profile murder trial, the two middle aged men sat across from each other in a bright, red leathered booth at the Juke Box Diner, a 1950’s themed establishment on Columbia Pike in Annandale; its interior neon lighting coalescing with sharp beams of afternoon sunlight that insisted on slipping through the smooth wooden slats of the blinds hanging on each of the restaurant’s large picture windows; creating a kaleidoscopic effect, intensified what already felt a surreal meeting.

Wiping his chin after taking a large bite of his sirloin bacon cheeseburger, Tomasso Bianchi studied the man sitting across from him, a man he hadn’t heard from since their first year of seminary and blurted “Come on Luca, it can’t be that bad man, I mean you’re a friggin’ priest for God’s sake, what could you have done that would make the holy heat come down on you – hell, just go to confession.” 

“”Bless me father for I have sinned, it’s been, well, too long and I thought I’d better confess to possibly bringing about the end of the world as we…’. Elbows on the table, Luca Lazarus aka Father Lazarus, leaned in, eyes fixed intently on his old friend and continued softly, ‘yeah, right, I’m going to sit in a confessional box, pour out a story first off, no one in their right mind would believe and second, will most likely earn me a severe reprimand, if not ex-communication, from the Church; at the end of which I’ll simply say, “my bad“. You know me Tommy – I’ve always played by the rules, but the Bishop forced my hand, he wouldn’t believe me despite the evidence I’d collected, he left me no choice – I followed the prescribed litany and method to the letter.”

Succumbing to panic rising like flood waters ready to breech a levee, Father Luka Lazarus pleaded with his friend, “what do I do Tommy, tell the Bishop I disobeyed him, performed a non-sanctioned exorcism and oh, by the way, I may have opened the gates to hell?” 

21 thoughts on ““Not Your Steppin’ Stone”. It’s a 6.

  1. Liz H September 23, 2021 / 1:52 pm

    Sounds like the beginning of another series! Woot!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Frank Hubeny September 23, 2021 / 2:01 pm

    If the gates of Hell are opened maybe the Bishop won’t mind if he performs more exorcisms. It looks like something bad happened during that exorcism.

    Liked by 1 person

    • GirlieOnTheEdge September 23, 2021 / 2:06 pm

      Once again Frank, you zeroed in on the main point 🙂 Oh, something happened alright. Afraid we’re well past additional exorcisms.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Doug Jacquier September 23, 2021 / 2:46 pm

    Not a problem, really. Just exorcising the free will God gave him. 😉 Terrific opening sentence, Denise.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. messymimi's meanderings September 23, 2021 / 3:09 pm

    He tried to do the right thing, there was no way to know what it would unleash. Sometimes you do the best you can with the information you have, and if you’re wrong, you couldn’t have known what you didn’t know.

    Liked by 1 person

    • GirlieOnTheEdge September 23, 2021 / 7:19 pm

      I agree, Mimi except in this case, Father Lazarus may have spoken some words out of order 😉


  5. Spira September 23, 2021 / 5:03 pm

    Love it, love it, love it!
    Keep unleashing…

    And in the words of another Father Lucas: ” Be careful Michael, choosing not to believe in the devil doesn’t protect you from him.”

    Δαίμονες φλέγει γαρ περί μου…

    Liked by 1 person

    • GirlieOnTheEdge September 23, 2021 / 7:32 pm

      Thank you, Spira!
      … 🙂

      How is it I did not see that movie? Hm…guess because the subject scares the sh%# out of me, lol.

      Oh, they did. They so did burn.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. clark September 23, 2021 / 5:56 pm

    Excellent Six. Very cool world building*

    Who doesn’t like origin stories, am I right?

    fave line: “…oh, by the way, I may have opened the gates to hell?”

    (Seriously, tho, what is at the heart of all the zombie stories and movies and such, if it’s not… the power of religious miracles whiplashing on modern scientific Man. The original Lazarus… I wonder how his second life went… after being brought back from the dead and all.)

    *in the sense of opening a view on the sequence of events that proceeded your (and Ford’s) excellent apocalyptia.**
    ** not a ‘real’ word

    Liked by 1 person

    • GirlieOnTheEdge September 23, 2021 / 7:49 pm

      Thank you, Clark.

      You are absolutely right. Except…origin stories, while cool to read, are a dee dilly to write into a story already in progress (at least from this writer’s present perspective!).

      Got to retain a sense of humor regardless, eh?


  7. Chris Hall September 24, 2021 / 3:56 am

    Absolutely loving this, Denise. You do dialogue so well that I’m right in the room with them! Subject matter: *leaving the lights on* 😮

    Liked by 1 person

    • GirlieOnTheEdge September 24, 2021 / 5:53 am

      Thank you, Chris! It was an odd and tense conversation for sure.
      Yes, please. Lights on. Lots of lights 😂


  8. ceayr September 24, 2021 / 5:45 am

    I kinda have to agree with Father Lazarus that confessing to opening the gates of Hell is probably not a great career move…

    Liked by 2 people

    • GirlieOnTheEdge September 24, 2021 / 6:00 am

      No, not a good move at all! Yet in the end, it won’t matter. The truth eventually comes out, even if it’s first covered up.
      Unbeknownst to our well intentioned priest, the “party” hasn’t even begun to get started.


  9. The Atomic Mage September 26, 2021 / 3:08 am

    Origin story to our three heroes on the road? Love it, D 😎 Excellent setting choice of the diner for the priests – the cozy little booth is a perfect ‘confessional box’ away from the church.
    Opening the gates to hell, exorcisms… pft, no biggie, let’s order another sirloin bacon cheesburger 😂😁

    Liked by 2 people

    • GirlieOnTheEdge September 26, 2021 / 10:02 pm

      Glad you enjoyed, V 😎
      Can never go wrong with a diner, right?! Agreed.
      No, no biggie 😆
      The vid is Hell on Earth from Maiden’s latest. Seemed appropriate 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  10. UP September 26, 2021 / 8:13 am

    Michener would be so proud! That opener is worthy!! Great six

    Liked by 1 person

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