the church murder case (part fourteen)

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"In any case, it set him off. He stopped going to church, got married, started a business, started drinking, but it all fell apart. Some of it quickly, some of it slowly, and finally one night he called me from a pay phone, talking about suicide. I convinced him to come here.

"The short story is that he moved in, and he lived here for several years. He had no official standing, to answer your other question, but he assisted me and helped people in the congregation, and it settled him. The structure, the rituals and routines, being around people who treated him with concern and respect, it was all good for him."

"I gather something went wrong."

"To be honest, you did. U-town, it was – is – everything he hates. That's why he was asking you those questions, I believe. He knew the answers, he's been following things obsessively, but he wanted to give you a chance to repent, in the house of God. That's how it used to happen in the comic books we read when we were boys. You confront the wicked with their sins, and they fall to their knees and repent. He's never quite given up on that idea. But that's not what you did, of course. You confirmed everything he hated – well, at least some of it – so you were damned in his eyes."

"I can't tell if you're capping the 'h.' Do you mean your brother's eyes, or god's eyes?"

"I'm afraid that, in my brother's mind, when he gets like this, that distinction can get blurred."

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About Anthony Lee Collins

I write.
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