He leaned forward conspiratorially. Bree did as well, sensing something important was about to be said. Father Thomas glanced over his shoulder sharply, hearing footsteps approach and then eventually diminish. They were alone.
He looked into Bree's eyes and began in a hushed whisper.
"I am a man of the cloth. I received my calling at a very young age. I studied with the most accomplished theologians in the world. Perhaps that's what led you here today." He started and waited for a response from her.
She sat in silence and nodded slowly, anxious for him to continue.
Father Thomas lowered his head and took off his glasses. He rubbed the bridge of his nose for a moment and sighed deeply. When he looked back up at her, Bree was shocked to see tears brimming his eyes.
"You don't believe. I know. And that's okay. We're meant to question these things, weigh them for ourselves. Faith is ultimately the most important decision you can make. And to believe or disbelieve, it IS a decision."
He looked over her shoulder briefly. A troubled shadow passed over his features.
"Bree," he said, his freckled, plump hand fluttered over hers for a brief moment and then was gone. "You are under attack."
Her blood chilled; the temperature in the room seemed to shift almost imperceptibly. The air became thick and fuzzy; tense. Strange.
She shook her head. "I'm sorry. I'm what?"
"We are often visited by people who need advice, guidance, understanding. They are often afflicted by very tangible things. They come to us because we have the answers. We know the way. We can see the path. But there are paths that are often so obscured that we do not understand them. We are lights leading the way for our Lord. But there are some shadows that even our lights cannot diminish..."
"What are you saying, Father?"
"’Sus ad mortem.’"
Bree shook her head. "What does that mean?"
Father Thomas took a deep breath. "Death to the pig."
Bree's eyes narrowed into slivers, growing frustrated. "Where the hell did you hear that?"
His eyes drifted over her shoulder yet again, his color draining.
"From the man standing behind you."
Angela Darling The Dybbuk