Sumus Solum

just a few words
quietly into the ear
words in Latin
and a whisper, these

“Velocitas. Tempo. Quaeso.”
being: speed, pace
and the last meaning
please

looking fearful, desperate
it spoke again, saying
“Fastinare, Padre.
Sumus solum.”

“Hurry up, Father.
We’re lonely.”

the words beating
in his ear like a drum

the face grinned
but it was not the smile
of the one to whom
the face did belong

it was the mockery of the evil
that hid behind that face,
working on the priest
who was less strong

“Let me show you,
all that you can have”

and reaching into his mind,
showed him his every desire

anything and everything
he’d ever wanted
anything he could
ever want or require

intoxicating visions
washed over him
waves of sensation,
each of them seeming so real

honors, wealth,
lust and health,
every appetite or pleasure
he could ever hope to feel

this Father Antonio,
the weaker of the two,
began falling apart, succumbing
to temptation’s sway

but Father Paolo
continued his prayers
even while his assistant
backed away

the spirit, bound to the bed
thrashed about and snarled
spitting and cursing every
curse-word it knew

Paolo threw holy water,
said the prayers, kept faith
fearlessly advanced,
while Antonio withdrew

the Bishop had warned
Antonio wasn’t ready,
not up to the task,
said Paolo should choose another

but neither Father Paolo
nor the good Bishop
truly understood, just how weak
was the inexperienced brother

Antonio had never
performed the Rites
and in the presence of such evil,
he succumbed to the attack

but none suspected that he too,
would become possessed
and worse, he stabbed
Father Paolo in the back

the wounded priest,
the only one of these two
who had strong faith
and the skill for the job

stumbled back into the hall
Antonio came to his senses;
and seeing what he’d done,
began to sob

the spirit, it watched,
through the eyes of the young girl
Antonio’s crying and
Father Paolo, falling down dead

Father Antonio’s
heart pumped with fear,
he slumped to the floor,
clutching his head

the spirit laughed
the last words it spoke…
“Now, let me give you
your reward.”

it closed the girl’s eyes
forced its frail host to smile
and the approaching sounds
of sirens loudly roared

Father Antonio spent
twenty years in prison
and was given parole
for good behavior

The Bishop spoke
at Father Paolo’s funeral,
said that he’d gone
to be with the Savior

the frail, young woman
possessed by the spirit,
died slowly, tormented
in the asylum

the orderlies, speaking no Latin,
thought it gibberish,
her endlessly whispering…
“Quaeso. Sumus solum.”


©2021 Kevin Trent Boswell 


This piece is part of the anthology of dark, horror poetry, called Out On The Killing Floor.

Coming Soon

Main photo by Khoa Võ


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