Episode Fifty-Two

Avoid Spoilers! Read from Episode One


“You’ve been a very naughty boy, Kyle.” Inspector Wesley Manning reaches into his pocket and pulls out a pair of handcuffs. “There’s no way you were ever going to get away with what you’ve done.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Kyle Cook says, backing away from his senior officer.

“You don’t have to make this difficult for yourself.” Inspector Manning takes a step towards Kyle.

As the dust flies through the air, the two men engage in battle. They bring each other to the ground, becoming increasingly closer to the cliff’s edge.

“I told you that you were never going to get away with it!” Inspector Manning screams.

Kyle feels overpowered and lifeless. He tries to move his body to fight back but he is paralysed.

“Naughty, naughty boy!” Inspector Manning says, lifting Kyle off of his feet and raising him into the air. Kyle can feel himself flying through the air and out over the edge of the cliff. He looks back and sees Inspector Manning standing on the edge of the cliff laughing hysterically.

The sky and trees fade into the distance and Kyle lands with a thud at the base of the cliff.

Darkness fills his vision.

Kyle Cook sits up in bed violently, letting out a scream. His body is wet with sweat. He feels his heart pounding rapidly in his chest and he takes in short, shallow breaths.

“Kyle?” Joanne stirs from her sleep. “Are you okay?”

“Just a bad dream,” Kyle reassures his lover.

“I know what that feels like,” Joanne says quietly, before closing her eyes and falling back asleep.

Kyle Cook takes a few moments to calm himself down.

Don’t lose it now, Kyle, he thinks to himself. He looks over to the cot in the corner of the room and sees his infant son sleeping peacefully. You’ve got everything you ever wanted. Don’t lose your head now!

Father Bolton looks around the small congregation from the front of the church. He sees Joanne Evans, dressed in a pale pink dress, seated at the front. Her blonde hair falls to just below her shoulders in effortless curls. Joanne, Father Bolton notices, looks more radiant than ever. It is so nice to see the young woman happy and healthy again.

On Joanne’s lap, a little Richard rests. He is dressed in a long white dress. No ordinary dress though – baby Richard is adorned in a christening gown.

“I now ask baby Richard’s parents, Joanne and Kyle, to bring Richard forward to have their son presented for baptism.” Father Bolton ushers the pair to make their way to the baptism altar.

“Today the Church receives baby Richard with joy,” Father Bolton begins his blessings as Joanne and Kyle step forward.

“His name is Ricky,” Kyle suddenly interrupts.

“Ricky?” Father Bolton asks, confused. He looks to Joanne for confirmation.

“Yes,” Joanne says quietly. She looks to the floor and does not meet the priest’s gaze. “We’ve decided to name him Ricky.”

“He doesn’t suit being a Richard, anyway,” Kyle sniggers.

“Today the Church receives baby Ricky with joy,” Father Bolton continues. “In baptism, baby Ricky will begin his journey in faith. Will you care for him, and help him take his place within the life and worship of Christ’s Church?”

“I will,” Joanne and Richard echo together.

“Ricky, I baptise you in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,” Father Bolton recites.

From the back of the small church, Kelly Driver looks on as she sees Father Bolton pour the holy water onto the infant’s forehead. The sight causes a shiver to make its way down Kelly’s spine.

“Family members,” Reginald Smart calls to his friends gathered around, “let’s pray for Kelly!”

“Let go of me!” Kelly screams out.

“Let’s heal this poor girl from her pain and confusion,” Miranda Smart says. “Let’s pray that she recovers from her sickness.”

Kelly suddenly feels the congregation in front of her throwing water at her.

“This holy water will wash away your sins!” Reginald exclaims. “You have corrupted our wholesome daughter and you will now be accountable for your actions!”

“Father,” Kelly grabs a hold of Father Bolton’s arm as he exits the front door of the church.

“Kelly,” Father Bolton says, a big smile erupting on his face, “it’s so good to see you finally out of hospital. How are you doing?”

Kelly presses her hand to her abdomen. The bullet piercing through her body suddenly flashes in her memory. “I’m doing much better, thank you Father,” she says.

“You had a lot of people praying for you, Kelly,” Father Bolton adds. “So I knew you were going to make a full recovery.”

“I never lost faith,” Kelly says.

Father Bolton turns to move down the front steps of the church.

“Father,” Kelly grabs his arm again. “When you visited me in hospital, you told me you knew what had happened to Henrietta Smart.”

Father Bolton’s smile fades suddenly and he looks at Kelly despondently. “Not now, Kelly.” He turns to move away again.

“Father, I need to know what happened!” Kelly’s voice rises.

“Kelly, my child,” Father Bolton sighs. “I pray that you continue in your recovery.”

With that, Father Bolton turns away and disappears into the baptism gathering.

“In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,” Kyle Cook whispers to himself as he makes his way along the bush track. Only the light of the moon guides him.

Don’t lose your head now, Kyle, he thinks to himself.

“Faith is the gift of God to his people,” Kyle reprises the baptism of his son, quoting the words spoken by Father Bolton. He continues his climb through the bush.

Kyle slaps himself on his face. Get with it!

“In baptism, God calls us into his marvelous light. To follow Christ means dying to sin and rising to new life with him,” he repeats.

Where is it? Kyle looks around at the rocky ground beneath him. He grabs the torch out of his pocket and shines it around him, frantically.

Above him he can see the rocky cliff face. Somewhere under his feet he knows is the shallow grave of Inspector Wesley Manning.

“In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,” he says as he notices the collection of rocks he had placed on the grave to mark its location.

As he nears the grave, he can feel his heart pounding in his chest. He wipes his sweaty palms on his shirt. “I embrace Christ’s love!”

At first, Kyle doesn’t know if he’s made a mistake or not. Sitting next to the pile of rocks is a mound of dirt.

The only sound in the dark forest is Kyle’s heavy panting.

Kyle looks down into the empty hole that once housed Inspector Manning’s dead body.

Kyle flashes his torch around anxiously, the light blazing in all directions. He holds his head and feels dizzy. Pull yourself together, Kyle. You buried the body here.

Kyle points the flashlight into the empty hole again.

“I turn away from evil!” he screams into the night.

Next Episode – Thursday August 11

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