Disclaimer: This is a work of fan-fiction. The here fore used characters belong rightfully to Marvel and MGM and I just borrowed them. The only profit I hope to achieve with this is the pure pleasure of the reader, so no copyright infringement intended. Please do not sue me, I don’t have money and won’t be getting some from this story.
Author’s notes: This is a crossover between X-Men and Poltergeist, the Legacy, a story in which two men meet who could not have been more differently but then have much more in common than their appearances would lead you to believe.
I do not know whether I got the accents right, ‘cause I’ve never heard Phillip that much talking in the original English episodes of the show.
Also I am not catholic, so I don’t know how a confession usually takes place in the confessional, how the usual order for this is. But then this is no ordinary confession here.
Feedback and Distribution: Feedback’s the drug I am addicted to, so please let me know what you think of the story. Loved it; hated it; want it for your own site? Send all feedback or any requests to LadySet@gmx.net
A tale of belief and faith
The day was sunny and extremely beautiful like it hadn’t been for days. The birds were singing and many couples were walking through the park in the middle of the city. All these couples were holding hands and they seemed happy together, like they were and their carefree and joyous expressions of their faces was evidence enough that they had everything what they ever needed or wished for in life, because they had each other and they believed in them. They had faith in their relationships and their partners.
There were so many couples outside this day that a single man stood out of them so clearly because he had no one else with him. Lost in his thoughts he just stood there in the shadow of one of the huge trees in the park, his glance directed into the distance, not to a special point. It seemed that something was on his mind, lying on his soul and refusing to let go now that it had him.
The man was not too tall but slender and he had a friendly face, light eyes that were clouded with problems and emitted so much pain and deep felt sorrows. A couple of his dark strands fell onto his forehead, the rest was cut nicely short. On the outside he did not differ much from the other people in the park on this day but his mind was filled with so many thoughts that were resting heavily on his conscience and soul and that beside him nobody else seemed to have. It seemed to be something that nobody else besides him concerned and nobody else probably would even notice as a problem that would have an impact on their whole lives.
He stood alone, apart from the others and he carefully watched out that nobody would bump into him unintentionally. Because if someone did, then his problems would increase rapidly and grow bigger than they already were. The man wore baggy pants and a light shirt which top button was open. A small golden cross dangled from a fine chain around his neck and shone in the sun. The man looked up and noticed the huge church that was built at the corner of the park, watching majestically over the park and its guests behind the trees. Absentmindedly he touched the cross around his neck and something in his eyes flashed. He stepped out of the shadows that had cloaked him mostly until now but before he could throw a betraying shadow of himself he stepped back. Again his eyes rose to watch the huge church and then he closed his eyes and concentrated on it. He had made his decision. After he had made sure that nobody was watching him or was close, he vanished in a cloud of smoke and brimstone, just to reappear behind the portal of the church again.
The church was empty and absolutely silent. Nobody had come here on this day to seek out divine support or any advice of Him; nobody had come today to pray, either for themselves or others. The church was empty except for the priest that stood next to the altar and lit up some candles there. He too was deep in his thoughts, but it weren’t new problems that were torturing him but more older doubts that kept still nagging at his soul and which he had not been able to banish from his mind.
The priest was tall and lean, his light brown hair orderly combed back and his brown eyes lost in thought. He wore the traditionally garment of catholic priests, the black suit with the white collar around his neck.
It was quiet in the church but then suddenly Father Phillip Callaghan felt something. He could not explain it but he had sensed something and he raised his head. He turned around because he thought to have heard a noise inside the church. But the church was empty beside him and the Holy Spirit. Phillip shook his head and returned to his work, assumed his task to relight the burnt candles on the altar. He must have imagined things, he thought by himself for nobody else was there. But then he had been so sure that there had been some noise inside church, that somebody had come to seek guidance in Him and his or her own beliefs. Again he heard a slight noise and as he turned around to look a second time around, Phillip just managed to get a glimpse of the curtain of the confessional shutting at the left side of the church ship. Somebody did come indeed into church today and was seeking advice and guidance in their beliefs, Phillip thought pleased. He was glad to be of any help for the lost souls that usually came to him and he hoped that he would be helpful again to this one, despite the nagging doubts on his mind.
He blew out the match and put it aside. Then he adjusted his black shirt and went to enter the confessional on his side. On the other side there was someone sitting who desperately needed his advice and the blessing of the Lord, so his personal problems had to wait until later then. As he sat inside he pulled back the other small separation wall so that only the small window with the tiny holes in it was now standing between him and the other one. He took a deep breath and leaned back, then he waited for the other to begin to speak.
As the man had materialised behind the huge portal of the church, he had not counted on somebody being inside it. Instead he had hoped that it would be empty on this day, but as he had seen the priest at the end of the middle way, directly standing in front of the altar, he was not so sure anymore that it had been a good idea to come here. He just had searched for peace, for peace through a prayer and the relief that he always felt when he was praying to his Lord. His faith in His grace was all that could relieve him from his doubts and his inner insecurity, just like he had often retreated to the silence of the church and blessing though his prayers, but not on this day. On this day everything was different.
When he had first seen the priest his first intentions had been to just disappear again but then he had steeled himself and decided to stay. Then he had checked again the holographic image inducer, the only thing that allowed him to go outside without the fear that usually accompanied him. He made sure that he still had the appearance he’d had in the park and that the inducer had not been damaged. Hank had always insured him that the small device was developed by the best scientists and that it was programmed to work flawlessly after teleportation, but Kurt always made sure that it still was working properly. He feared the consequences of what would happen if he would be recognized in his true from on the streets, as what he truly was and he feared most what then would happen next. Even though he had accepted for himself how he looked like in reality he knew that there still were other people who were afraid of that, people who would hunt him down for it or even more. He knew very well that there were enough people who did that.
But deep inside Kurt Wagner felt too that he had the need to talk to somebody, that he had to talk to somebody else for his team-mates were like him but they were not the right people to talk about his problems he felt at times.
Like so many times before he had wanted to seek his peace and salvation in his prayers and this way in his dialogue with the Lord but today he decided against it. Kurt noticed that he priest must have heard him and was turning around. He must have heard him when he teleported into the church. He found the confessional at the side of the church and he concentrated again. Shortly after that he disappeared again in a small cloud of sulphur and brimstone only to reappear again in front of the confessional. He had no chance now to simply sit in the church and pray but he needed to. Kurt hurried to get behind the curtain of the confessional before the priest would notice him.
In the darkness of the confessional, where he was sure that nobody would see or disturb him he deactivated the image inducer. The young man with the dark hair and the sad light eyes vanished, like he had never been there and on his place now stood a man who blended into the shadows and almost disappeared in them. He still was wearing the same clothing like the man before but where the shirt ended and his skin was to be seen there was fur recognizable. Where the clothing was not hiding his body there could be seen that it was covered with short dark blue fur, on the lower end of his back there was a small hole cut into his pants where now Kurt’s tail came out, a tail that ended in an arrowed shape. He had big yellow eyes and his ears were pointed at their ends. If he had smiled he would have revealed his sharp fangs. As he now again touched his cross around his neck he showed that both his hands only had three fingers, his feet were shaped the same.
In short term he looked like a devil and would the priest have met him outside the confessional in his true form without the induced image he probably would’ve mistaken him for exactly this, a spawn of hell and a demon possibly or something like that. But Kurt was none of this. He was as human as the priest himself was but he differed nonetheless. He was different because of a mutation of his DNA, a mutation that had given him this appearance since his birth, and later the ability to teleport himself to another place.
But here in the far dark place of the confessional he did not want to step in front of Him with a disguise although he knew well that the Lord always recognized him as what he was and embraced him in his loving arms no matter how he looked like. Kurt was not sure what he should do next, how he should begin with his prayer as all his problems and doubts again took over and overwhelmed him. But one thing he knew for sure, that everything he did was exactly the way he should do them.
Kurt was so deep into his thoughts that he did not hear the curtain closing of the other cabin. Only as the priest opened the second curtain between both chambers he noticed that he was not alone anymore. The priest must have seen him, seen how he had entered the confessional and had come now to listen to him. Well he had much to confess but actually nothing at all but how should he explain that to the priest, to that man of God who probably would not understand his problems as well? His insecurities remained but Kurt was grateful for the window with only the tiny holes in it. That way the priest would not be able to see him even though he had always thought it wrong to confess to a man hidden from him, a man that would trust you that much to give you the Lord’s blessing, who has enough faith in you but you yet remain in the shadows. How could he be sure whether you who have confessed have meant it honestly and with your heart or you with the priest and his blessing? Kurt was not so sure but he believed in it. Maybe everything was just a part of the faith in Him, in the things and in yourself, Kurt thought. The priest still just sat there and waited. Kurt took a deep breath and all his courage, then he began to speak, truly grateful to be hidden from the priests eyes, the cloak which the window between the chambers granted him.
“Bless me, Vater, for I have sinned”, Kurt began with the usual words to traditionally begin a confession. But he still was not sure what he had to confess, had he something to confess at all besides being himself? He was so full of doubts right now that he just was not sure and he wanted to seek guidance in the faith and Him, like he always did.
“If ye regret honestly and from your very heart, ye shall be forgiven”, Phillip answered on the other side of the wall and he also took a deep breath. He had heard the hesitancy in the voice and felt that maybe this man’s problem was lying much deeper than just a confession although he had not yet said anything.
Unseen from him on the other side Kurt sighed deeply and his shoulders slumped forward.
“I…I have doubts, Vater”, he began shyly, his voice speaking with a strong German accent and he was not sure how he truly should begin at all to explain everything. How in his life should he explain to the priest on the other side what problems he had in his life, what kind of barriers he had to face because of what he was, how ever could he tell that to a normal priest? “I no longer know whether the things I do are the right ones.”
“But if ye believe in them”, Phillip replied friendly, “then they cannot be wrong.”
Phillip felt the insecurities growing in the other man just like he felt his own doubts rising. He wasn’t sure if he probably was able to help this man, to give him any help or guidance at all.
“But what if I no longer know whether I still believe in them, Vater”, the voice asked silently from the other side, a voice whose accent slightly reminded Phillip of Derek. But Derek had never been unsure of anything, at least not that Phillip knew of.
He was not sure how to answer him, unsure whether he truly would be of help at all. But he wanted to try.
“If ye would no longer have yer faith then ye wouldn’t have come here t’ confess, am I right?”
“Ja, sure”, the man on the other side answered hesitantly and Phillip sensed the man nervously wandering around on his chair. “But it is not exactly my faith in church that I am questioning now, at least not entirely. It is more the ideals and beliefs whose righteousness I am questioning.”
Phillip didn’t know how to answer him right now, he felt how he deeply inhaled the hot air in the confessional and leaned back to the wall. It was obvious to him that he now had someone in front of him on the other side who was now standing at a turning point in his life and he could all too well understand his feelings. He too had been standing more than once on a turning point in his own life and Phillip often was not so sure whether it had been right what he was doing. He never was sure whether he had made the right decision and whether the things he’d decided for were the right ones. And then he had had to follow his heat, his beliefs and that was the right thing to do, was it not? But if that was the right thing why he had to repeat it for himself to believe it sometimes?
Phillip himself had always
felt like standing between to frontlines, both frontlines of his life and that
had been since he could remember. When he had been younger, the church had
always fascinated him, the beliefs that there is a Lord who brings peace to the
people and the faith that there could be a better life through the mercy of
Him. In his home country, the sometimes through civil war like circumstances
He had decided later for the church, for his service for Him and he truly believed in what he did with his hole heart. He had believed that he could change something if he only had faith in it but the more time passed the more Phillip’s illusion that he could make a difference crumbled. He so much had wanted to help other people, all people but then he had realized that no matter how hard he’d tried nothing would change and it had thrown him then in a deep crisis of faith. He had doubted his faith and all the things he could do with it, he had even doubted Him at that time, how He could have allowed this to happen and even more to continue.
Then he had found another chance to help people he had always felt close to, something he could believe in again. He got another chance to do what he had always wanted to when he had joined the Legacy, an organization that had sworn to protect the innocents from dangers he had not even heard of until then. This organization protected and defended people against demons or ghosts or other unnatural phenomena. He had felt happy then, this way he could again do service to other people and save their souls that way. Phillip had found a new belief in life, if the Lord could not do anything against this, then maybe he could fight against these demons with the Legacy. He had found then a new faith in his work, a new place he had belonged to.
Later then he was not so sure anymore whether it had been the right decision to leave the church and whether he could take the responsibility to fully be a member of the Legacy. He wasn’t sure whether he was doing the right thing for still he did not see any difference his work made. His old nagging doubts again resurfaced and began to claw their way back to his mind and thoughts as he began to doubt his work for the Legacy, the righteousness of it.
He’d left the Legacy then and turned again to the church, to find his belief and faith in their work back, he wanted salvation and found comfort in his prayers again. He had left the legacy at that time to work for the church, to do service for the people in his parish and their souls. Phillip believed to do them best by devoting his whole heart to this work, to help them best that way because he could help their souls now but his responsibilities for the Legacy did not let him go as his past caught up to him again.
He knew all to well how it had been then and Phillip sighed silently as he remembered how torn he had felt between his work for the church and his parish and the work for the Legacy and how he had fought to get both these responsibilities under one management. And he remembered how he had failed miserably.
He leaned heavily at the wall in the dark half of the confessional, his thoughts circling around his doubts and own insecurities, the inner fights he had to fight with his heart and conscience about his decisions. He had not wanted to decide whether he would remain with the Legacy or whether he would retake his work for the parish again. Even now Phillip still felt the inner fight, felt it in his heart whether he should have stayed with his work for the Legacy or work again for the church, this shared responsibility he’d had to justify in front of his heart and conscience, he had not been able to live with, so he had had to make a decision. He had feared then to make the wrong decision and he had feared the remarks of the others that taunted him, that he would do nothing with his whole heart. Phillip had never been sure about which one of his works would be the one more important, which one deserved it to be preferred and he still was not sure at times whether he had made the right decision.
He wasn’t sure whether the other man had said anything, he had been so into his thoughts and memories that he was slightly ashamed of it. This was a man confessing to him, who needed his help and he was only caught in his memories but something the other had said had made him go back into these thoughts. As he now was looking around himself in the darkness of his half confessional, he remembered the words of the other. It had not been entirely his faith he had questioned but his ideals as well. Phillip realized that he had thought the same things. He realized that it had been the hesitation in the others voice that had brought back all these memories for it was the same that he had felt. Obviously this man had a similar problem to his and he thought of an answer for him. This man, a stranger to him had come to him in search of advice, guidance from his faith and he was the only one who could give that to him. In his work it had always been for the people, either with the Legacy as well as with his work for the parish and now that he was facing this stranger who confided in him without even seeing him he knew that this was the better place to do help. He knew what he could tell this man, for it was the same thing that he had been told once and what had helped him.
“If ye only believe in it wit’ yer whole heart, then ye will make the right decision”, he said after a while. “Then ye will know how ye will decide concernin’ yer beliefs as well as yer ideals.”
Kurt on the other side ran his three-fingered hand through his hair, nervously he licked his lips. Maybe the priest was right, maybe he just had to find the answer in his heart, but how could this priest know what his life was like, that it made no difference how many fights he fought for they were still shunning him for what he was and represented through his demon-like appearance.
“Maybe you are right. But I am not sure, Vater”, Kurt said so silently that Phillip almost had not heard him. “What if nothing I will do will make a change? I so much try to make a difference but nothing ever changes and I don’t know whether it is worth to continue at all. Maybe I no longer can believe in this. What if my heart makes the wrong decision for me because it no longer is able to believe?”
Phillip thought about this silently for a while. He felt connected to this man somehow and he too had asked himself the same question thousand times. He had asked it the first time when he had left the church to join the work for the Legacy and then again when he had left it to work again for the parish. Had it been the right decision to leave and return to the service to the church and Him, could he make a difference or what if it didn’t matter at all? Could he still be there with his whole heart and believe in it again? He had asked this question again when he had rejoined the Legacy. Could he not make a difference by working for the church and could he now change something by working for the Legacy again, giving his whole energy to their both causes? He knew that he had always wanted to help people and he could do that both ways, he had found out. But he could do a much better job he thought by working for his parish and because of this he had again left and returned to church. His heart and his strong faith told him to do so and he had done it. The accusations still rang in his ears that Nick had made, that he could not decide for one side, that he only was half-heartedly at his work. He had let them down and done that again and again, and this only because he was not sure how he could follow his faith the best, how he could do his work best. Would this happen again with his work for the church now?
“This ye have t’ decide for yerself”, Phillip replied friendly and smiled at this. In his mind he added, like he had to decide for himself. “Wit’ yer faith and in yer heart and conscience. Then the others will be able t’ see that too.”
“But I don’t know if this will work out for me, what if they never recognize me, no matter what I do”, Kurt answered silently and with great sadness in his voice. He closed his eyes. “No matter what I do, they will always see that in my what I represent through my appearance, never the man I am. And no matter how strong my faith might be, this also remains constant.”
Kurt remained silent for a long while after that. He thought about his life, how people did react towards him on the streets when they saw him in his true appearance and he cast his glance down to his hands, on the three blue fingers that he had folded now in his lap. They reminded him about how other people saw him as well as did his mirror appearance. All the others only looked at him on the outside, how he looked like and they saw a demon there, the mutant he was and nothing more. Kurt remembered painfully well that the people from the small Bavarian village he came from wanted to drive a stake through his heart to slay the monster they had seen in him. And this only because he had been different from them.
And still people just saw his appearance and this marked him wide openly noticeable as mutant, as a bad joke of nature like most of the people thought about it.
All the fights he and the other X-Men had fought to become accepted were worthless, irrelevant for still mutants were shunned and hated for the way they were born, something they had no influence on. Everything he had done in his life, all the uncountable fights for acceptance, tolerance and equality remained fruitless and still the normal looking people could only see him as he was outside, not the inner soul, the man he was and the one he wanted to show them so clearly at times.
Kurt always had been a very devout catholic and believing man. He always had concerned himself with questioning the why and had wanted to find answers to this in the faith to the church. Other than most of his fellow team-mates his mutation already was to be seen at the moment of his birth and that had made him always an outsider. Most mutants discover their powers when they show themselves at the time they reach puberty but his was clear the day he was born.
Maybe that had been the reason for his mother abandoning him shortly after birth but he had understood and found forgiveness in his heart for her because of his faith that had taught him forgiveness. Later he had found out the true reason and it had shattered his faith and world. His mother had abandoned him because of his looks, but not just because of this but more because through his birth as a monster baby her own secret had been revealed, that she herself had been a mutant. He had then already found his refuge in the church and his faith and still found forgiveness for her but he did not understand it. It only had confused him even more. As he had been younger, growing up in the circus where nobody was concerned about his appearance and the audience dismissed it as a costume, he had recognized well that he was different from the others, at least on the outside but that he was as human as the others too and that he also possessed a heart and a soul, which both always hurt painfully with every rejection he faced during his life because of what he was, a mutant.
He had sought out salvation in the fact that the Lord had created mankind after His image and that He embraced them with wide open arms, no matter what appearance they might have on the outside. He was the one who could look into their souls and there see them how they truly were. It always had given him and his heart peace, comforted him that no matter how he might look like there was a God who took him the way he was and that this God must have had a reason for creating him like this. He had always believed in this and thought that he just had to hold on to his strong faith then the other people might see him too the way he was inside, how he truly was. Kurt had always done everything so that the others would find back their faith that one should look into the souls of people and not just at their outer appearances. And he had fought many fights for this, not just for acceptance and against the prejudices of normal people but also for these people against threats they also never had the slightest ideas about. He had fought them for these people, these normal born people who hated and shunned him so much, who loathed him for what he was and he had kept dangers from them they didn’t even know about. Kurt had never just fought for himself but for others as well and never regretted doing so.
But what if that had been for nothing? What if all these efforts and pains were absolutely not relevant for them, what if never changed anything? Until now nothing had changed in these people and Kurt began to wonder whether it ever would. What if all these people never could believe that he just was human too just like they were and never could get over their prejudices; what if they would always hate him for what he was, for something he could do as little as these people for being born normal. He began to wonder if all he had done in his life, all that he had thought to have achieved absolutely mattered nothing and they still would see just the loathsome mutant in him. And he began to doubt as well despite his strong faith in the Lord that He just would stand by and let this happen, that if even He could not make a difference then how could he?
“Ye just have t’ believe it, have faith in yerself and in other people”, Phillip said after a while. It had become silent on the other side and he was not sure whether the other was still there or not, but then he should have heard him leave and it was not common to leave a confession just like that. “If ye just believe in yerself and keep yer faith in the Lord and yerself then ye will find a way t’ know what t’ do. I think then ye will know how ye have to decide and then ye will be able t’ convince the other people to see ye underneath yer outer appearance, as the man ye truly are.”, Phillip now got the feeling that this man had not come to the church for a confession for he saw nothing to confess here. Instead he believed that this man had come to church to pray and seek out spiritual guidance and that he wanted to talk with somebody about all this just like he had needed someone to talk the time he had not been able to see the right path behind this wall of doubts. He could feel it in the other one as well and he had been glad to have had someone to talk to, who had understood him then and just had listened to him. Phillip wanted to be that for this man but why had he decided to do this inside the confessional, in the isolation and seclusion of this chamber and not directly come to him in the first place?
“I think ye haven’t come here t’ confess, I rather think that ye just need someone t’ talk to and I want ye t’ know that I will have an open ear for yer problems. If ye just want t’ talk ‘bout it with m’”, Phillip suggested to break the ice and he slightly bent forward, “then we can sit together in the vicarage and…”
“Nein!” Kurt briskly cut him off and Phillip could hear the panic rising in the other’s voice at his suggestion. Why should he fear the direct contact with him? Phillip couldn’t escape the feeling that the other man had not told him the entire truth about his problems but he wouldn’t pry on it. Phillip knew as a priest very well to respect the privacy of others.
“As ye wish, but ye can come t’ m’ every time ye want”, Phillip offered him instead, slightly confused about the reaction. He’d thought he understood the problem of the other man behind the wall but the same time he did not.
Obviously he was shunned by others because of his appearance but Phillip didn’t know the reason for it. The man had lost his faith in mankind because of this and now was questioning himself. Probably he had done everything he had in his powers to always help others and he must be a religious man, otherwise he wouldn’t have come here.
But now it seemed that he had lost his faith in others as well for no matter how much he did, the reaction of other people still remained the same towards him and he desperately tried to find an answer to this. How could one live with this constantly being shunned because of ones appearance, Phillip thought sadly and wanted to respect his wishes. But he also tried to offer him salvation and his guidance as well. “If ye wish t’ talk then I will have an open ear f’ ye, promise.”
“Danke”, Kurt said gratefully, thanking the priest for this. He still was slightly embarrassed about his outbreak but then he looked down again at his hands. The priest didn’t know how he looked like. Would he still be that friendly to him if he knew that his body was covered with fur, that he had a tail, only three fingers and looked like a demon if not the devil to some people? Kurt truly wondered but then this was a priest he was talking to and he believed in the good and honest meant intentions of him.
Yet, still it wondered him if he would treat him the same if he knew how he truly looked like. Kurt had too often seen the looks of people that watched him so full of loathing and hatred and maybe the priest on the other side too would think that he would be a devil, the normal looking priest he had seen when he had teleported into the church. Silently he sighed. He must have faith in someone and why not start with the priest, he felt he could trust him and confide in him. But he still would not reveal his face to him, not yet.
Kurt remembered that the professor had saved him from the angry mob at his home town, the people that had wanted to slay him as a demon only because of his appearance and then he had offered him a home, a place where he could stay and was welcome.
Although the professor also was a mutant as well as his friends and team mates, he still had found himself a new home there in the mansion and a new reason to believe in people again. He had found the professors dream, of a world in which mutants and normal people could live together in peace and overcome their hatred and prejudices. He too believed this and found his faith back then, he believed that he could do a lot of good things because he was born different and the Lord must have had a reason for creating him the way He did and it was not to Kurt to question this.
He believed strongly in this and this had always given him strength and courage to continue despite all the walls and difficulties he had to face in his life. And maybe the other people would never see in him as what he truly was but he now realized deep inside his heart that it was not wrong to fight for peace and tolerance and he believed in this deeply. He trusted his faith and he also should begin to trust again in other people.
He could do so much with his abilities others could not and he could do that because he believed in them. And maybe he realized now, he made the same mistake the other people did when they only just saw him the way he looked like and not the man inside. There were enough people who accepted him the way he was and they were not just his team mates but also a lot of these normal born people and he had to have faith in them too. Maybe he also had just seen them as normal and not as the people they were, the compassionate people like he was, who were fighting as well for peace between normal humans and mutants like he did. Maybe it was time that he also looked into their souls and not only at their appearance like they had looked into his. Then maybe then it would change things one day.
He just had to believe in it, this had the priest said and that he should have faith into the others, that they will one day be able to see him the way he was. As long as he just had faith in himself and remained true to his faith and heart.
Kurt smiled for the first time in days. He had understood now and realized that he had been stupid. He felt stronger now and just had to listen to his heart, his conscience and they advised him to continue the way he did. He had sought out divine guidance and found it within himself and in the priest that was sitting on the other side.
He brushed aside all these fears and doubts and proudly rose his head. Yes, there were so many good things he could do because of his abilities, because of the way he was born that nobody else could do and he was determined to continue on his chosen way. There were enough people who took him the way he was and there would more follow, he just had to have faith, remain strong and believe in himself, then he too would be able to see it. His eyes shone with relief, he was able to see it now, how could he have been so blind?
“I just have to believe in myself and other people”, Kurt repeated silently and smiled. Unconsciously his hands had gotten tangled around his golden cross again and he held it in his hand now. “I believe I understand now, Vater and I have to thank you for this, thank you that you helped me find my faith back.”
“Ye don’t have t’ thank m’ for this”, Phillip replied and he too was smiling. He did not know how to answer exactly to this but he felt a certain warmth spreading out in his heart. He did not know what the true problem of the other man had been but he had felt his gratefulness for him, his honest gratefulness and it had touched him.
He knew now that his decision to leave the Legacy and rejoin the church again had not been the wrong one. He hadn’t been sure of it until now.
He didn’t know how he had helped the other man find his faith back but he knew definitely that the man had helped him as well. Here was the place where he was needed, where he could help the people who were so close to his heart the best, better than anywhere else. Here he could offer them help with his advice and guidance, his faith and help their hearts and souls. This was it he had always wanted to do and now he had realized that he had found his place here. There were so many lost souls he could be of better help here than working for the Legacy for here he could offer their spirits also help. And all these lost souls that had come to him and he had been able to help filled his soul with joy. If he had today been able to just help one other of these souls because he had decided for his work for the church it felt like a great warmth and happiness in his own heart, filled it with pride and relief. Then it had not been the wrong decision and it had not been, of that he was now convinced.
“Vielen Dank, Vater”, Kurt said then and again thanked the priest for being there for him. He was truly grateful for all this and now wanted to return to the mansion, where he belonged. He said good bye to the priest and then, instead of turning on the image inducer and walk outside the church he concentrated and imagined the yard behind the church, the place where the woods almost began. He concentrated and then disappeared in a cloud of smoke and brimstone. He now had realized where he truly belonged and where his faith would lead him, home.
Phillip stood up and pulled the curtain back to leave the confessional. In his minds he replayed the conversation he’d just had with this man who’d come to confess but actually had nothing worth confessing except the insecurity Phillip himself had felt that often in his life. It definitely had not been a usual confession if it had been one at all, he knew that now.
No, Phillip rather believed that the man truly just had needed someone with an open ear for him but he did not know the true reason and he hadn’t needed to know. Instead he wanted to talk to the man in person again, he knew that he had refused personal contact and Phillip felt a bit bad about this but something in his stomach told him that he needed to talk to him. He wanted to know more about the man but as he stepped outside his half of the confessional he found the church empty.
Nobody was there inside the church and Phillip looked around. He didn’t think to have heard the other man leaving and as the church still was empty so he must still be inside his half of the confessional. Silently Phillip asked him whether he still was there or not, but he received no answer. He feared the breach of his rules but he so much wanted to talk to the man in private and person so after he had received no answer he opened the curtain to the confessional and looked inside.
He had thought to find the man inside but instead it was empty as well.
Clearly confused he stepped inside the confessional but he could not find anybody. It wasn’t that big so that somebody could hide in there but the man had disappeared, just like that. It was almost as if he had never been there, but Phillip remembered the conversation, short but obviously of good to both of them.
As hard as Phillip tried to think about this but he couldn’t come up with any explanation, something like this had never happened and he began to think that this might have just been another test of his own beliefs. Then his nose caught the scent of the slowly fading smell of sulphur and brimstone inside the booth that proved him that it had been real, that somebody had been there to talk to him. The smell reminded him of some descriptions of hell but he dismissed the thought quickly. Surely this was his imagination speaking out but he had no explanation at all for the disappearance of the man who came to confess today and now was neither in the confessional nor anywhere inside the church. It was almost as if he had vanished into thin air.
This didn’t matter to Phillip although he really wanted to know how he had managed to leave so quickly. He always had an open ear for anybody who came to him with his or her problems and this man had had one. He understand the problems of him now, understood them all too well for he’d had the same ones. He too had lost his faith at some time but then he had found it again because there’d been someone there for him and he was glad that he had been able to do the same for this man. Maybe he had been another lost soul he had been able to get back to the right way and helped him getting his faith back. As long as he had been able to help him, Phillip knew that he’d made the right decision and he knew that it had never been wrong to follow his heart and decide for his faith.
Yet still it wondered him how the man had disappeared so fast and he could not get these thoughts out of his mind.
During his time in the Legacy as a member he had seen a lot of strange things and maybe this was one of them but Phillip didn’t think so. It had been truly real, the man he had talked to had been real, just a normal human soul but now he was gone. As Phillip now stood inside the empty church he sent a silent prayer upwards for the other man and he wondered whether he would see him again one day.
Outside the church, right before the woods began again Kurt materialised again and he looked around. Quickly he activated the image inducer again which gave him the appearance of a normal human man, then he made sure that nobody had seen him. But all the couples inside the park were too busy with themselves than to take notice of him. Kurt looked down at his hands that looked normal now and sighed silently. He knew that he had to wear this disguise for now but he was confident that one day this would no longer be necessary for him and he smiled at that thought.
He no longer doubted the righteousness of what he did and inside his soul there was a feeling of peace settling in like it hadn’t for a long time and he was glad that he had stayed and decided to talk to the priest. He would never question his faith again and what it meant for him as well as for others. If the normal priest could have found his faith back and keep it, the unwavering faith in other people and the things he could achieve with it, then so could he.
He never would question again what he was doing and what for, for it was the right decision and a dream worth fighting for, a dream of peace Kurt shared. Yes, it was the right decision and Kurt knew that now for it was a decision of his heart and his faith, he finally had found back for himself.
Kurt would have loved to stay and talk to the priest, but he also was aware of the fact that he had to do it in his disguise again and he didn’t want to do that. Something about the answers the priest had given him had touched him inside and he couldn’t get rid of the feeling that he had talked out of experience to him, out of experience he himself had made but Kurt could not imagine why this man had made them or when. What could it have been that had made the priest doubt his own beliefs and faith?
Maybe it were the same reasons like his and then also not. Kurt had felt that the priest had also been in a crisis of his faiths and beliefs but he didn’t know the other mans reasons for it, but he had found it back and Kurt was grateful for the help he had given him that way. Nonetheless he still wondered what it might have been and he regretted to have had to go so fast.
He felt a great relief about talking to the priest he didn’t know the name or anything else from, a great relief talking to this man who was complete stranger to him although they hadn’t said much. But what the priest had said to Kurt had been enough for him and he would ever remain grateful for it.
He didn’t know anything about the priest but maybe on this day, when he no longer would feel the need for his hologram that disguised him as a normal man Kurt silently vowed that he would come back to talk to the priest again, to meet him like he truly was. It didn’t feel right to him to face the priest in his disguise, he wanted to meet him one day the way he was, and show him his true face. He wanted to have faith in himself and other people, just like the priest had said him; Kurt had so much wanted to believe it, now he truly did.
‘Vater’: this is German for Father, the way one addresses a priest, and since Kurt Wagner is German, he rather uses this expression while talking to Phillip in the confessional