I saw her the moment she entered the sanctuary. She was wearing a long, stylish black raincoat that glistened from the raindrops she shook off. Her hair was chestnut made damp by the rain with a few drizzled strands stuck to her impossibly white forehead. Not flesh but ivory white and glowing from its rain kissed moistness. High, flawless cheeks flanked full crimson lips parted ever so slightly as she panted cat-like to catch her breath. For a moment she stood amidst the sitters as if she was taking a census of all the sheep – my flock. It was a feral, almost predatory aspect that set her apart from the other congregants sitting in placid somnolence, not yet knowing that something had changed - that a predator had slipped in their midst.
As I spoke, I couldn’t help stealing glances. At first, consumed with her survey she didn’t look back. Then suddenly she sat straight and stared. I stuttered and almost stopped but willed myself to keep speaking, my chest pounding. I couldn’t hear my words from the blood roaring in my ears. I glanced back: still staring. Again, staring. And again and again and again. I came to my conclusion and read it word for word lest I trail off into incoherence. When I finally looked up she was gone. How? I do not know, just gone. Later through careful, indirect questioning I would conclude that no one had seen her but me.
That rainy winter's morning was the first time I’d regretted leaving the porn business since I had become a Priest. I knew it wouldn't be the last.