My Kind of Town

by Don Chapman

Flesh and soul

>> Our Lady of Perpetual Succor

Having confessed taking the Lord's name in vain, HPD Detective Sherlock Gomes heard Father Paul through the dark lattice order him to do three Our Fathers, one Hail Mary and one Glory Be.

"But I whispered it, Father."

"Two Our Fathers."

"Merci. By the way, Father, just between you and me. You were spotted the other night in an area that can be dangerous." To a priest's reputation.

"The restroom at Thomas Square, Father, after dark it's not a good place for a priest to be seen." It was in fact, a notorious gay hit-and-run sex hangout.

There was a pause in the shadows between them. "You're right, I've sinned. What kind of penance would you suggest?"

"Let me ask you this, Father: How much penance for my other sin today. I woke up this morning with a wonderful woman who is not my wife."

"Add two Rosaries."

"Father, the church is in trouble enough already. If something happened in that situation -- if you were hurt or arrested or seen by the wrong person -- we just can't afford any more of that kind of news. If your need for men is so great, maybe it's better to leave the priesthood."

"I've thought about it," the priest sighed through the lattice.

"You're a good priest, Father Paul, you do good work. The people of this parish need you. But you can't live two lives. It's not good for you or for your people. You have to make a choice." Gomes cleared his throat. "Bless you, father."

With that Gomes the confessor/confessee left, but the priest remained in his shadowy cubicle praying through tears of anguish.

>> Honolulu Soap Co.

When Gomes had left, Sheets Ah Sun returned to his office and went over his confession of illegally dumping soap-gone-terribly-bad in the Waimanalo pit. That explained why he'd driven past the on-going investigation at the recently discovered (by authorities) site. As the brother of a cop, Sheets had been ready and willing to come clean. He could only hope that Gomes appreciated his forthrightness and stopped there.

But who knew? Then there was the question of what those guys in spacesuits were digging up. In any event, his brother had to know that his HPD colleague was poking around in a case that could ultimately lead back to Mits and the pistol he'd reported missing 21 years ago.

Following the code they'd established when they invented their "feud" shortly after that night in Waimanalo. Sheets dialed Mits' number, let it ring twice. Called back, let it ring once. Called back again. Mits answered.

"You going by the hospital, visit your boy? I think we better talk."

Don Chapman is editor of MidWeek.
His serialized novel runs daily in the Star-Bulletin
with weekly summaries on Sunday.
He can be e-mailed at

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