The Sinners of Saint Amos - Logan Fox Page 0,1

sprawling structure.

The driver maneuvers the cab around a fountain where a concrete, pigeon-shit stained Virgin Mary is nursing baby Jesus.

Some of those streaks look like tears.

“Need help with your things?” the driver asks.

I huff as I shake my head. “I can manage, thanks.”

He nods as he brakes and puts the car into park. “Good luck, and God bless.”

My mouth tightens, but I give him another nod and drag my duffel bag out with me. That and my backpack are the only things I have with me. Our family wasn’t big on material possessions like clothes, or jewelry, or furniture. In fact, the only thing they were big on was that.

I tip my head back and stare up at the crucifix.

I hope it stays up there. It could crush someone if it were to fall.

There’s a rattle of gravel as the cab driver pulls away, and I turn to watch him until the shadow of the distant maples dapples the roof of his car.

The best way out is through, right?

I wince as I bang the big brass knocker on the door. Every person inside must have heard that racket.

But nothing happens.

I shuffle my feet and glance around as I wait, then try again.

The door shifts inward.

Guess there’s no point in locking things around here. Who the hell’s going to rob this place? It’s miles away from anything.

I push open the door and step into cool, damp shadows that cling to me like a film. I’m in a vast entrance hall. Small, stained glass windows barely let enough light through to illuminate the double staircase. On a brighter day this place would look magnificent. Right now it’s like I’m starring in my own horror movie.

“Hello?” My voice hurriedly warbles back to me as if it’s terrified to venture deeper inside.

Lord, it’s quiet in here.

Where is everyone?

Surely someone had to know I was coming.

“Are you Trinity?”

My heart leaps into my throat, strangling a gasp. I whirl around.

A kid a few years younger than me stands in the shadows beside the doorway. Dressed in brown slacks, a dress shirt with a brown tie, and a brown blazer, he looks like the adolescent version of Mr. Bean, especially with his dark, slicked-down hair. He squints at me like he’s trying to figure out if I’m real or a ghost.

Where the hell did he come from?

“That’s me.” I try and sound jolly but I probably look more like a lunatic. “And you are?”

“Jasper. I’m your roommate.” Judging from the faint scowl on his face, he’s not thrilled with the fact. He strolls past me, heading for the left set of stairs winding up to a landing.

I tighten my grip on my duffel bag and readjust the strap of my backpack before following. Our footsteps echo hollowly until we reach the wooden stairs. “Roommate?” I call out after him. “So we don’t get our own rooms?”

“Duh,” he says dryly.

Holy crap, I’m just trying to make conversation. I didn’t ask to be here any more than he did. And I know he’s not here by choice, because no one would be here by choice. This is the place bad souls go to await sentencing.

Damp. Dark. Dismal.

Jasper turns into a hallway leading off the landing. Almost immediately, he takes another turn. Then another. A minute later, I stop trying to keep track of where we’re headed.

Flickering sodium lights cast an ugly yellow glare over the doorways and somber portraits we pass.

Holy crap, it’s cold. Two weeks until summer break, and it could be the middle of winter.

I’m wearing a black cardigan, a vest, and jeans with the hems turned up so I don’t step on them. The thin wool covering my arms could have been tissue paper for all the protection it’s offering me. I’m tempted to let down my mass of black curls, if only for some extra warmth around my neck.

What I know about Saint Amos could barely fill a serviette. It’s an all-boys, faith-orientated prep school specializing in training new priests. But I didn’t come here for their theological program—I’m here because it’s the only place where even a remnant of my previous life still exists.

His name is Father Gabriel. Technically, he’s all the family I have left. If it weren’t for him, I’d still be a ward of the state. Enrolling at Saint Amos wasn’t my first choice, but I’m starting to realize orphans don’t get a say in how their lives are run.

Luckily I’m used to having all my major life decisions made for