Continuing from Part I.
It was so quiet that even the proverbial church mouse was not stirring around St. Francis of Assisi Chapel. Father Thomas, who had just plodded through the passageway that connected the church with the parsonage mused about the simple blessing of a warm passageway between his office and home. Though he had initially resented when the bishop had placed him in the little country parish, it did have its perks.
He gazed out the window of his home and looked down the hill where the moonlight danced on the water of small pond that the church owned. A smile crossed his face — it would only be a few months before parish children were once again playing in the pond, seeking a short respite from the heat. Life was good here.
His reflection caught his attention in the windowpane. His hair was almost entirely gray now, and the light silver rims of his glasses twinkled back at him. He sighed. He was growing old; he had originally intended much more exciting adventures for his life, but now he was known as the kindly, quiet cleric whose big secret was that he would sometimes sneak down to the pond to fish for a little while when he needed a break from the problems of the parish.
He shuffled over to his small kitchen and pulled an old coffee filter out of his Mr. Coffee. He opened open a small box that held filters and put a new one in, then took a few tablespoons of decaf coffee and placed it in the filter. A little coffee would be nice before heading to bed. Thomas then filled the coffee pot with water and started pouring it into the coffee maker. It was only then that he heard the peculiar sound coming from the chapel. It sounded like a chain saw.
Not usually a particularly brave man, the recollection of the simple enjoyment he received from the parish apparently had instilled a momentary protectiveness of his parish and he dashed over to the door that led to the passageway he had just passed through and unbolted the lock. The sound seemed to be coming from the front of the nave. He passed quickly from the apse and glanced down the aisles of pews. No, the sound was coming from the narthex. He rushed down the center aisle and pushed hard against the old, wooden doors that led to the entryway. The sound had ceased, and that's when he realized what it had been. As he stood in a stupor of a particularly confused form of shock, he heard the squeal of a car not far off. A cold breeze caused him to shiver. By the time he came back to his senses, the vehicle was long gone.
His hands trembled as he turned around and retraced his steps, trying to figure out precisely how he'd explain the situation to the police.