The Damnation Of Father Andrew by Keith Kitchen

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SUMMARY: When Andrew woke up face down in the mud of a pig sty, he knew he was in trouble. When a pig named Daisy told him where he was, he knew there would be Hell to pay.

1.


Consciousness came slowly, reluctantly, almost an afterthought in a slow nightmare of darkness. Slowly, darkness was replaced by a pale light that was indistinct, blurry and just out of reach. There was a sound in the background, muffled and distorted, with no apparent source and no reason for being. A feeling of dread began to spread, insidious, unstoppable.

Suddenly, Andrew's eyes popped open and he regretted it instantly. A blast of pain shot through his head. It felt like a spike being pounded through the skull and right into the brain. He couldn't see much, and to be honest, he was glad he couldn't see much. He was lying face down and felt very uncomfortable. He felt wet and couldn't understand why. He was breathing through his nose and that was because there was something in his mouth.

"BLEEECHHH!" Andrew shoved himself up and tried to raise himself to his feet as he spit mud and God knows what else there was mixed with it out of his mouth. He looked down saw mud smeared and caked into his clothes. He wiped his mouth with his right hand, then looked down in disgust to see that his hands were has filthy and muddy as his clothes. Wringing his hands, he looked around, trying to ascertain where he was.

There was a horrible taste in his mouth, from the mud and whatever else was mixed in with the mud and Andrew was quite sure it was dirt of another sort mixed into the mud. He looked around and noticed a trough filled with what he hoped was water. It was about thirty feet away and he started trudging through the mud. The area was fenced in with a low, closely tined picket fence and it was filled with mud, with a few strands of sickly looking yellow grass poking through the dark matter. Walking through the mud was difficult at best because the mud seemed to want to suck his feet in and not let go. Finally, he arrived at the trough and he made a cup of his hand to get some of the liquid and rinse out his mouth. It was oily tasting, but it was close enough to water. He didn't have much choice. After rinsing out his mouth, he thought for a moment, then rinsed his hands off as well.

There was dirt ground into his hands, but he reflected it was going to take some soap to get that out. He decided against drying his hands on his clothes when he realized just how filthy his clothes were and started to wring his hands dry when he felt something bump against the back of his leg. Startled, he jumped forward and landed in the trough of water. Sputtering water out of his mouth, he started to crawl out of the trough, only to stop when he saw what had bumped him.

It was a pig. A rather large, Vietnamese pot-bellied pig that seemed to be smiling in the way that pigs, dogs and cats have. It seemed very pleased with itself. It was dark brown, such a dark brown it was almost black and Andrew would have sworn it was laughing at him.

He started to crawl out of the trough, watching the pig very closely. He knew that some pigs had a nasty side and he didn't trust this one at all, especially after it had startled him into the trough.

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