The Sinners of Saint Amos - Logan Fox
Exodus, Matthews, and Ephesians say you must honor your father and your mother. Guess it’s only fair then—the day my parents and me have the worst fight in history is the last day I see them.
And what was the fight about?
New clothes. Since I’d literally worn holes in all of mine.
Mom promised we’d go buy some as soon as Dad came home. There was a sale on at the mall, so the timing was perfect. I knew exactly what I wanted too — we’d be back way before the night service at our church.
But Dad ran late, and because Dad didn’t believe in things like cellphones, we had to wait for him. I mean, he knew they existed, obviously, but he saw them as materialistic trappings.
Clothes fell under that category too.
When he finally arrived, there wasn’t enough time for us to go.
I guess the planets aligned or some shit because for the first time in my life, at the age of seventeen, I threw a tantrum.
I yelled. I screamed. I swore.
They said nothing. And then they left and went to church without me.
It’s weird to think that if we hadn’t had that fight, things would have been so much different.
For instance, I’d be dead.
But I hadn’t been in the car when they’d hit the black ice on the road. I’d been in my robe and slippers, sulking into a cup of hot chocolate.
I never finished that chocolate.
I don’t even know what happened to it.
Someone must have taken it to the kitchen, tossed it out, cleaned it.
But it wasn’t me.
Because I was at a police station for most of the rest of the night, pretending to understand what they kept telling me.
My parents were dead.
Just like I should have been dead.
Something did die that night, something deep inside. Back then, I’d thought it was a precious, sacred thing like love.
Turns out I was wrong.
The only thing that perished that night were the invisible chains keeping me tethered to a life I silently hated with every breath.
I didn’t die that night.
I was set free.
And it changed everything.
“For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don’t believe, no proof is possible.”
There’s a loud thump. My head bounces off the window of the cab, and my eyes fly open in surprise. I squint out at the blurring landscape as my mind scrambles to figure out where the hell I am while my heart tries to climb out of my throat.
“Sorry ‘bout that. Road’s not exactly in the best condition.”
I glance over at the cab driver, and swipe the back of my hand over my mouth. Had I been drooling in my sleep? I’d been out cold—dreaming again. A happy dream this time. One where my parents were still alive.
“How long till we get there?” I mumble, trying to work out the kink in my neck. Outside, colossal birch and maple trees block out everything but a strip of gray sky. There’s another thump, followed by a rattle, as the cab’s wheels skate over another pothole.
“A few more minutes.”
Hugging myself, I turn and stare out my window. Better than watching the cab driver’s eyes in the rear-view mirror. We’ve spent over two hours together, and barely said a word.
We passed through the last town at least an hour ago and we’ve been heading deeper into West Virginia ever since. At least I know where I’m going. For the first time since that policeman knocked on our front door, there’s some kind of order to my life.
“There it is,” the driver says as we round a corner.
He didn’t have to—my eyes latched onto the all-boys boarding school the second it appeared through the windshield.
My mouth goes dry. “That’s Saint Amos?”
I feel his eyes on me, and we make eye contact in the mirror. “Isn’t it a little late in the year to be starting boarding school?”
Heat touches my cheeks. “I…don’t have a choice.”
The last hundred yards or so, the dilapidated tar road smooths into a hard-packed dirt road. The closer we get and the more the building looms, the deeper my stomach sinks.
This place looks more like Dracula’s castle than a boarding school. There aren’t statues of demons and things on the facade, but with its multitude of spires and fancy moldings, it’s undeniably Gothic. Before Dracula could live here, someone would have to remove the enormous crucifix above the front entrance.
The trees thin. An immaculately trimmed lawn spreads like a pool of green algae around the base of the massive,