Based upon True Story
I write this for those children harmed, and the adults that used to be those children harmed, at the hands of pedophile priests. Believe me, I know that there are some stories too scary to fathom, too excruciating to ever have experienced, and too horrible for anyone to ever dare seek to give that horror an audience. Yet I dared to write of one such experience in my own visceral way—my writing, the furthest thing from pusillanimous.
My hope is to shine the spotlight on these ongoing atrocities, even as the Vatican continues to spend the wealth they’ve amassed in an attempt to find some semblance of normalcy amongst the chaos—which they themselves caused by wholly ignoring the cries of the babies their priests keep hurting.
My objective was to provide just a bit of relief for those of you who’ve been able to recover from your individual trials and tribulations. For those of you who’ve yet to cope with your own horrid experiences, I hoped to ignite the healing process by first helping you understand the simple truth: this type of evil has existed since the dawn of Man. Sadly, it continues today. It seems the Vatican is unwilling, or unable, to put a stop to it.
Evil like that always lurks in places it shouldn’t, even if not as openly as with the Roman Catholic Church. More importantly, I censure the whole of the Holy See and the central government of the Roman Catholic Church. Child sexual abuse has occurred throughout their existence, and their subsequent cover-ups have been positively shameful.
Still, the truth of these acts became common knowledge in the 20th and 21st centuries. Yes, the proverbial cup finally runneth over.
Now, Catholic priests, nuns, and members of the Roman Catholic Order are being hit with numerous allegations, investigations, trials, and convictions—seems like wall-to-wall coverage at times—and the church is paying billions to settle damning claims around the world.
I felt my own calling in all of this: to shame every one of these pedophile priests, and their perverted crime enablers, in the only way I knew how to do it—speaking truth to power through the art of unhindered storytelling on your behalf.
I hope this peerless message catches fire, one so big their money will not be able to douse its flames.
~ A.K. Kuykendall
At the time of this first of many assaults, I’d been in the midst of giving a confession. I was seven years old, enamored with the teachings of the church, hoping to become the best altar boy I could possibly be. After all, the Holy Name Cathedral stood as a rock in our community, and our family had long worshiped there.
My friends and I, since we could remember, had high aspirations for serving in the church. One-by-one, we achieved our goals. On that blessed day, after we heard Mass and received the sacrament, all our names had been etched into a stone featuring the pulchritude of Saint Tarcisius—the patron saint of altar servers. As with the others, my name bulged on the tablet: Reinhold Commons Webster. Collectively, we were ecstatic.
Though my desire to be closer to the power of God took precedence over all things, I had carved out space for my friends, my love of books and reading, and my odd fascination with bugs. Indeed, I’d hoped to one day be an entomologist.
My parents, however, had different ideas. They wanted me to become a priest someday. They were devout patrons who’d regularly go door-to-door raising money for the church, and this, perhaps, is what routinely caused them to disregard my every impassioned plea.
Shortly after the initial incident, I informed them through a stream of tears and in excruciating detail, what the priest had done to me. Yet when they responded with such disappointment and fury, I immediately recanted my story. My father gave me a severe beating for “the lie.”
At the following Sunday Mass, I was hauled to the front of the cathedral and, in front of all my friends and the entire community, I was shamed not only by both my parents, but also by the very priest who had sexually assaulted me. The community as a whole had put this particular priest on a goddamn pedestal. He had such a hold on the community that, during that Sunday Mass, the assemblage witnessed his flamboyant forgiveness of me.
Furthermore, despite my now-recanted accusation, he refused to remove me as one of the altar boys. Instead, and to further layer his disreputable subterfuge, he informed them that, from that day forward, I was not only going to continue in my role as an altar boy, but that I would serve solely at his side.
This garnered a standing ovation by the congregation.
As the applause roared, I saw the unmistakably doleful glances of my friends and fellow Acolytes, as they stood clean but sullied in their ecclesiastical vestments. We knew the truth in more ways than anyone could fathom. Our collective fear, shame, and guilt had stained our young lives, but we were altogether disquieted at the lack of interest displayed by our families—by anyone that might help us, for that matter.
As if abandoned, we were left at the mercy of the church we were so proud to have grown up in, the church we so enthusiastically wanted to serve as altar boys—the very church in which we suffered our humiliating abuse.
They spread the word--red buttons was their warning...Each would know to run and hide. But after the young altar boy had tried to tell his parents, and they had taken him to the altar that next Sunday, in front of the congregation and the very priest who had assaulted him, none of them felt safe and knew there was no hope--from anybody.
Now, he, as well as his best friend, were to be targeted. They were driven away from the church, not knowing where they were going or whether they would return. They arrived at the priest's apartment, after having other priests watch them walk out with their offender and get into the car. All of them had a look in their eyes that only came at certain times--the boys felt it was the evil that came for them...
Christoph died that day and was tossed aside to the floor. I had been forced to watch... And as he climbed on top of me, I whispered, "Lord?" staring at Christoph's body...I was 13 at the time. And had whispered hundreds of prayers to God over the years, just as my friends surely did. Why didn't God help, at least...
My body now numb, I closed my eyes and said, “Lord—”
“Lord?” A voice—deep, slow, and calm—interrupted from in front of me, where Christoph lay dead on the sheets. “Your lord is not going to do anything for you, child. He is too busy sitting on his ass and ignoring the needs of his faithful followers. I will not ignore you, I promise. What you need is someone who will help you now. You need me.”
I opened my eyes and witnessed Christoph lying casually beside me, his head raised and a hand propped up on his chin. I quickly jerked my hand away from him.
“Who are you?”
“Someone who can give you satisfaction—punish that pedophile. I can make him answer for killing your beloved friend, Christoph...
As the author said in his Foreword, he felt a calling to write this short book for those who are suffering, who have suffered...with a hope that they can find solace from the words in this book. In today's world, things like this are becoming more and more public and those guilty are being identified. Money has changed hands in courts. But is that enough to take away the harm that was done to each child?
The horror of the first boy killed expands into a true fight to overcome evil. It is hard to read, yet, somehow mesmerizing as punishment for what has been done is performed.
The battle between good and evil is happening right now... This author has spoken on behalf of the young boys who have used God's church to abuse, with no thought of stopping... Sometimes, supernatural events must handle what many refuse to acknowledge...
I was one of the first readers for Aaron many years ago and have found each book a fantastic adventure. This is the first short with a cultural issue and I must say, I am impressed in his ability to merge facts and fiction to present a horror story that certainly makes us cringe--just as we do every time we hear of a child in the hands of a pedophile...
Given what I have shared and perhaps through other excerpts or reviews, you will know whether you should read this book. I think the best word I can use to describe my own response is--relief--relief that another small child has been saved from the torment of those practicing pedophilia... You choose on this one, but I do recommend it... It's an important issue we must continue to face! And act to rid it from the world!
provoking novels that blend the concepts of fact and fiction.
His writing career has been heavily inspired and influenced by Rod Serling and his classic ‘60s television series, The Twilight Zone, and by The Mercury Theatre’s October 30, 1938 broadcast of “The War of the Worlds” over the Columbia Broadcasting System radio. He was then and still is wholly enthralled with the way these two examples showcased ordinary people in extraordinary situations. He especially loved the remarkable plot twists common to The Twilight Zone stories, and the fright manifested by H.G. Wells.
When he’s not writing, he finds comfort in heading out to the golf course with his son and golf partner, Jor-El, where they altogether embarrass themselves on the fairway. He both creates and resides in Ruskin, Florida.
To view his complete biography, please visit his website, where “truth reads through fiction.” @ https://www.thewriterofbooks.com/the-biography-of-novelist-a-k-kuykendall/.