"I've done wrong, Father," said the young girl, kneeling before the priest. He sighed, prepared to hear another tale of lies told to parents, unclean thoughts and petty theft.

"What have you done, my child?"

She shocked him to the core. Her sweet little mouth opened and in her young voice she said five words: "I have killed a man." When he said nothing -- for he was struck, and every word had deserted him -- she added, "I stabbed him with a knife until he was dead, until his breath stopped and the blood in his body separated from the water."

"What drove you to do this?" said the priest at last, his voice sounding strangled as though her slim hands were around his neck. "What made you do such a thing?"

The girl looked around, frightened.

"You can speak," he assured her. "There is nobody to hear. Nobody but us and God."

"That's what I'm afraid of," she told him. "That's what scares me."

The End

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