That’s what he was know as in the village. The paragon of virtue. So clean, so saintly and God like it was questionable if he ever needed to use the bathroom. So pure was he. Worshiped by the many who were taken in and fooled by the persona he presented to the world. But to those that knew him, it was a very different, more truthful and unpleasant tale they could tell. If only they had being asked.
Ask his wife, the recipient of his countless violent and drunken beatings. Ask his children, the recipients of his crushing, caustic and never ending criticism of everything and any thing they had ever achieved. The open invitation he offered to those in that sordid circle, to come and be cruel and abuse his children whenever they wished.
A paragon alright, but not one of virtue. More a cesspit of nastiness, cruelty, and vile intent. Assaulting those he took a dislike to, which were many. In his own family, and outside of it. In the village, among other members of the clergy. Very few were immune from his sniper like targeting. He had people fooled initially. With the charm, the friendliness. With the praise. With the building up of others. It was of course only a ruse, to get close to others. Then like a snake in the grass, he would attack and destroy, when within range.
She could see straight through him. The new Bishops wife. An eledry woman, used to many years of inner city work with drug and alcohol addicted people, and those with serious mental health issues. She could see straight through his facade, his disguise. See through the charm and friendliness. The smiles and generosity. She could see through it all to his vile, corrupted core.
He had of course tried his moves on her. The moves of the snake in the grass. The strategy to get close, then strike and destroy. Fully believing it was his destiny, his right to be promoted to Bishop. Not to be the lowly village vicar that he perceived himself to be.
The thought of the large Bishops house, come palace. The opportunity to gain full access to the large parochial accounts and funds, to use as he wished. Mainly for his own pleasure. But most especially he wanted the prestige associated with such a position.
He made it his full time mission in life to destroy and take down the new Bishop, and particularly his ever so cleaver and uppity wife, and he himself would replace them. He began to hate the new Bishops wife. he could see she was not to be fooled by the persona he presented. He endured many sleepiness nights, calculating and scheming how to bring about there downfall. As his frustrations and anger increased. The drunken, violent outrages towards his wife and cruelty towards his children increased in severity. In his own mind he declared open warfare on the Bishops wife, and decided she had to go in the cruelest way imaginable.
Staggering home from yet another heavy session of drinking at the village pub, towards the vicarage. Along empty, unlit roads. The warm air of the summers evening more than welcome. The Bishops wife was on his mind, yet again. She definitely had to go. Who was she to dare defy him, and stand in the way of his ambitions,and rightful place in the higher echelons of the clergy. He deserved nothing less, he had assured himself on many occasions. all he needed was a plan, a suitable plan.
In the car Bramhes played softly from the speakers. The late summer evening, with the sun just set. The unlit, mostly empty roads, as they made their way back towards the bishops home, come palace. The warm breeze flowing through the open windows. Life in there new appointment in this quaint village was looking promising. She had not mentioned to her husband what she had heard and knew to be true about the local vicar. Preferring to shield him from such nasty realities, and un-necessary strain, since his most recent illness. His recovery was slow, but progressing.
The headlights just caught a brief glimpse of the struggling figure before the impact caused the seat belts to tighten hard against there bodies, making breathing quiet difficult. The Bishop struggled with the wheel. His hands too weak to control the car,as it careered off the country road, overturned twice and landed on its roof. He was unconsciousness, barely breathing. Her vision was unfocused. Her chest painful and sore,with blood flowing freely from the wound above her eye. She struggled to undo his seatbelt,and attended to her own. The scent of the summer grassland, and the wild summer flowers was tinged with the strong scent of vapor. Bramhes continued to play gently from the car speakers. She fumbled and fought with her seat belt. Screamed at her husband who was unresponsive. The blood flowing freely from the wound above her eye, impinged her vision. Through the shattered windscreen she watched the small blue and yellow flames spark and ignite under the crumpled bonnet. The stench of vapour in the car was strong. She stopped struggling with the seat belt. Held her husbands cold , unresponsive hand and began to pray.
On the darkened road she drove faster than she should have. But she wanted, no needed to get back to the vicarage before he did. Because she knew her absence would only add to his anger, and the severity of the beating he would dish out to her.
The overwhelming noise startled her and drew her attention. The bright yellow and blue flames bursting high into the night sky, as the moonlight and stars shone down. The uncomfortable bump the car suffered, which very nearly caused her to lose control of the car, she assumed to be an unfilled pothole, damn useless council. She pulled the car to the side of the road, and watched alone as the flames ignited and the fireball engulfed the overturned car. After what seemed like a short time the fireball fizzled out, leaving nothing but the smoking embers of the burnt out vehicle.
The birds high in the tress again resumed there calming evening song, and the moon shone brightly in the clear night sky.
Written in response to : The Daily Prompt.