Short Story

Caesar of Bread

No explanation needed.
Jan 28, 2023

When I find myself in times of trouble,
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom,
Let it be

“Hi. I am news reporter Raymond Fischer. Recently, at St. Agatha's Church, a new father has started to preach. Father Kindlefresser recently came to Houston from Bern, Switzerland. Later this afternoon, we will have a live interview with Father Kindlefresser. He seems like a hopeful priest. I mean, look at this statue of the Virgin Mary here! Anyways, this is Ray Fischer reporting live from St. Agatha’s.”

Raymond “Ray” Knox Fischer is an intern at a news station in Houston, Texas. Reporting about politics and events in the community, people think of him as a good reporter. Ray feels more interested in becoming a forensic scientist, but he’s stuck with the job he has. “Alright, we got it filmed?”, Raymond asked the cameraman. “Yeah. Nice job, Ray!” The cameraman smiled.

“Hey, I just got a call from Mr. Schrader. He’d like to have dinner with me at the bar. Wanna come?” Ray asked the cameraman. “Nah, thanks for the offer though! I got some things to do tonight.” The hot air of spring blew leaves in the wind; Raymond had always hated the Houston weather. He desired to go back to somewhere way colder, or at least New Orleans. At least New Orleans had interesting things. Houston is just stress and buildings.

Ray’s Toyota pulled over at Regin’s Bar and Diner near Washington. It’s a popular place in Houston; not as popular as other bars though. “Hey, Mr. Schrader! What’s up?” Ray howled. Mr. Schrader, a fair-haired (with tints of red) man, who wore glasses and always with his business suit on and a briefcase, looked over. “Hey, Mr. Fischer. We have to do the interview in 45 minutes, so let’s get some drinks and go.”

The two sat at a table together. Schrader and Fischer are about the same age, and had gone to rival colleges. Schrader went to Harvard; Fischer to Yale. The two met at a football game a few years back. And now Schrader’s dating the girl that Ray desired, and…well, Fischer’s a bit grumpy about that. “How was the pinot noir? Was it good?” Ray asked. “Yeah, a bit too much, but good enough.” the two laughed and got in their cars; taking a few minutes to get to St. Agatha’s.

Outside of the door to the Catholic church and a few yards to the church’s entrance stood Father Kindlefresser, the Swiss priest. The cameraman came two minutes later. “Mr. Schrader, nice to see you again! It was great meeting you last Monday.” Mr. Schrader kneeled to Kindlefresser and kissed his hand. “Well, I’m a devout Roman Catholic, Ray here’s a Calvinist, my girlfriend’s atheist, and the cameraman…I don’t know what the heaven…or hell… he is.” The cameraman shook his head in shame.
“Well, have fun with your interview, Ray.” Mr. Schrader returned to his Chervolet, parked near the egg-white statue of Mary, mother of God. “All right. Hey, tell Liz I said hello.” The car blew a gray beam of smoke at Ray and sped away. “Goddamn Schrader! Damn you!” Fischer silently ranted; he didn’t know that Schrader was going to drink some more wine with his friends. If the statue had ears, she would have heard what Ray had cursed.

And about the statue, its silk-colored face did not look at Ray. All it does is look at the ground for eternity. It probably did the same in Switzerland, where the statue would actually need the robe shrouding itself, hooding it, as if she wants to humble herself.

“I am quite happy about going to Houston. In Switzerland, too many people didn’t really live near the church. Also, I may not have that good of a reputation there…whatever. And yes, I hope to continue my traditions from Bern, my little freund.” Kindlefresser laughed. “Nice. And about the school?” Ray questioned. An answer was given. “Yes, about the school. I’d like to make it more religious, which would be better than in Switzerland, where we didn’t really implement religion at our school. Now thank you for interviewing me.” the Father gave a smile, but not one holy. It was one from hell. Or something worse than hell.

“Alright. Three kids have recently disappeared from St. Agatha’s school. Apparently, according to a student who would like to remain anonymous, two were both eighth-grade boys. The two boys secretly left the cafeteria during lunch to eat near the statue, and then they were gone! The other was a six-year-old girl who arrived late. Her mother said that she has new shoes with bells on their shoelaces, and she was last scene near the Virgin Mary statue. This is Ray Fischer reporting live at St. Agatha’s.”

Ray went back home with another photo of the Virgin Mary. The first one was from after the interview with Kindlefresser. He also came back with a panic attack. Ray has had anxiety since 8th grade (it probably started from math class). Sophomore year was when the anxiety and depression really kicked in, after he had been publicly humiliated and bullied after walking out of a D&D session. He thought to himself, Who would do something like this? How? And most importantly - why?

Fischer printed out the first picture of the Theotokos he took. It was put on an onyx black background so that the Virgin Mary would stand out. “I’ll use this later. I know this.” Ray fell to the chair, putting his hand to his head. “God! What happened? I need to know!”

Ray climbed up his staircase, and dropped to his bed. His head started to hurt with questions biting at him sharply and painfully. Shadows, dark and ominous shadows, crept around the walls as the sun started to take its slumber too and the baleful night were to rise.

“As quoted by Al Pacino, ‘Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!’ Well, that applies to me here. 4 more students at St. Agatha’s have been reported missing. Police are trying to find out whatever the hell happened here. Father Kindlefresser said in his recent sermon that he hopes that God blesses everyone. Well, we all need that blessing during this dark hour. Raymond Fischer reporting live at St. Agatha’s Roman Catholic Church and School.”
The school has been closed for 4 days now. Every school in Houston has been closed for 4 days. Police were all over the site. The cameraman said. “Hey, I just took a picture of the statue. Wanna look?”Ray took his first picture of the statue from his phone, and compared it to the most recent picture, the one that the cameraman just took. What Ray saw shocked him.

Her face was a bit wider, like it had just ravenously ate a dinner feast. The Virgin Mary looked gluttonous, and grinned not with the smile of a saint, but a smile most unholy.

Ray’s face lit up in horror. He put his phone in his pocket, shouting, “Oh my God. Oh my God. The statue…it’s…it’s eating the kids!”
It's blasphemous?
Come on!
Moved to A&E
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