Punched by an Angel
by Henry Wyckoff

A crossover between Kung Fu: The Legend Continues, Millennium, and Touched by an Angel



Chapter 6

A little before Kermit had gone off for his walk, but while he wasn't totally present mentally, Frank had been delivering his load of the case history. Naturally, he'd had to produce a bucket-load of color photos of the corpses. It wasn't just one photo per corpse. It seemed as if some Milan fashion photographer had been choreographing the corpses' poses. ("No-no-NO! Wave your arms and extend them! I want the viewer to feel your fear . . . !")

Peter tilted his head a little, "So how long was it until the FBI established any connection between the murders?"

"Four years. They were geographically scattered without any apparent trail. The victims each died in a different way, so it took a bit more analysis to realize that even so, the modus operandi was exactly the same."

"So let's hear the juicy details."

That was obviously sarcastic, but Frank made a face anyway. "The first one to die was in Seattle, Washington. I was a Fed, but it was also part of my territory. The victim was named Catherine Corrigan, a Catholic nun who wrote a series of popular books on grace through prayer . . . "

*

Frank's Story #1 -- The Murder of Catherine Corrigan

Corrigan was a people-person. I don't think there was a single day that she wasn't out in the trenches, openly finding people who felt any form of a mal du siecle. She looked everywhere -- in the streets, the soup kitchens, the bars, and the courthouses. No place was beyond her reach, and no melancholy too great for her to attempt curing. She wrote her books only to reach a wider audience, and stuck by her vow of poverty. Every cent from the sales went to feeding the hungry or some other charitable service.

The secretaries at the convent reported that early one morning, Corrigan received a phone call. The caller was collected, but not too calm. An unidentified male asked for Corrigan, asking if she might speak with him in a public place. She agreed, naturally, and asked him if he was in danger.

No, he replied, unless you counted it a danger of the soul.

That was all she needed to hear. She checked out with the secretaries and made her way to a lesser-known coffee house. This was the place where the bitter intellectuals went. They wanted their caffeine, but not the company of the yuppies. If she had been lost enough to ask for directions, perhaps more people would have remembered her. Perhaps a few of her followers would have waited at the coffee house for their turn to speak with this saint who could speak to the soul.

As it was, she had a private audience. Corrigan and the one who had asked her here sat in a shadowed alcove, just barely within earshot. At first, the lone cashier wasn't all that interested in the conversation, until it started to get really spiritual, and that's when she became interested:

"What I want to know is this. Why are the sons blamed for the sins of the fathers? If Jesus preaches forgiveness, then why is it that we are still blamed for the sins of Adam? Adam could speak directly with God. Why can't we, if we are supposedly forgiven twice?"

Corrigan nodded her head, "Those are good questions, but I can only tell you this. You must develop your faith. God is like a father who wants his children to develop some skills and strengths on their own. He'll step in when true danger comes, but he'll also stand back as necessary."

"God also keeps his silence in perpetua. If a parent who had the capability of speech kept silence, wouldn't Child Protective Services take those children away to a better home? Why is it that when God keeps such total silence, he's praised? In fact, when bad things happen, it's never his fault, but when good things happen, it's always his doing? For once, I'd like to see the truth, like a football player making an after-the-game speech, saying, 'Yeah, I was doing all right . . . until Jesus made me fumble it!'"

She shook her head, "Your questions aren't unique. Philosophers have asked the same questions throughout time, from Aristotle to George Carlin, but you're not going to get all your answers written in stone."

"Why not? Doesn't Jesus say, 'Ask, and you shall receive.' What if I am praying for those answers? Does God care so little for me that he'll tell me to screw off?"

"God wouldn't say that."

"You're right. He'd say nothing, as always, which tells me that he doesn't care a rat's ass if I live or die. Wait a minute. He wants me to live, because if I die, my suffering would end and he'd lose his source of amusement."

It was obvious that Corrigan was beginning to have her doubts about this man, but he never got crazy. Just argumentative in a calm and intellectual fashion. For every statement, he had a counter-argument that left them in a stalemate.

Corrigan left after an hour of this, and the man watched her leave. When she returned home, she was screaming. When other nuns came to investigate the noise, they discovered that her wrists had been nailed to the front door. A blood-covered note had been stapled to her forehead, saying, "God didn't save me."


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